Come and Die

The Lord’s Supper never ceases to amaze me. The moment I think I have sounded the depths of this act of faith, the Spirit uses the Word to show me I am only splashing around on the surface.

Come and die

The Lord’s Supper is a regular invitation to come and die. The Way of Christ is a road of daily dying. Jesus made it undeniably clear, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).

In salvation, we are transferred from death to life, from the reign of sin and death into the reign of grace and life. This fundamental and unrepeatable change must be modeled and acted upon in our daily decisions. This transformation must be acted upon.

In the Lord’s Supper we receive an invitation to come and die. The Lord’s Supper is a reset. We’ve spent the week living for ourselves. Come and die. We have surrendered so much to the reign of death. Come and die. We have fought for the wrong things and murdered those we should love. Come and die. We’ve gone a long way in the wrong way. Come and die. There is grace sufficient for you.

Come and die so that you may live

At the Lord’s table we see the world for what it is and cry out “there is death in the pot” (2 Kings 4:40). The stew we’ve made from the gathered gourds isn’t just a harmless meal. When we pause and look anew at the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we see death swimming in our desires. But Jesus is a better prophet than Elisha. Jesus isn’t content to simply give you good things. Jesus came to make you a good thing. Jesus came to bring the dead to life.

The way to life is through embracing the reality of your death. There is death in me! The way I work, rest, spend, play, love, and hate are all poisoned…by me. When the dinner bell sounds to come and eat at Jesus’s table we are being told to leave behind the lies and lures of the world. Take stock of yourself. Examine your desires. There is death in there! There is life here with Jesus. Look upon the One who was slain. Look upon the One who was raised. There is no life out there. Life is found in Him.


10/23 Sermon Discussion Questions

  1. Use Romans 5 to explain our helpless condition. How are we helpless before God? How are we helpless against sin?
  2. Why is it right to say Adam’s sin applies to every person without exception but Christ’s righteousness does not apply to every person without exception?
  3. Use Romans 5:20 to explain the proper use of the law.
  4. Why is it necessary to give our children the law in order to prepare them to stand firm in the gospel (see 1 Timothy 1:8-11)?
  5. Justification has been described using the analogy of a passport. How is justification like a passport?
  6. Why is it necessary to get the gospel of Jesus Christ to Muslims, Hindus, and Humanists? Why are other religions insufficient?
  7. God’s grace is sufficient to enable you to stand firm against sin. Where do you struggle to believe this? Where have you found grace to be sufficient for righteous living?
  8. God’s grace is sufficient to enable you to rejoice in suffering. Where do you struggle to believer this? Where have you found grace to be sufficient for joy?

10/16 Sermon Discussion Questions

  1. How do we experience the reign of death?
  2. How is Adam like Christ? How is Adam different from Christ?
  3. Romans 5:15 says, “the free gift is not like the trespass.” How is the free gift better than the trespass?
  4. Romans 5:16 makes the argument that the result of the free gift is better than the result of the trespass. How is Jesus’s work better?
  5. What would it look like for you to receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness so that you reign in over sin, in your family, and in your work?
  6. What can you do to separate yourself from the influence of the reign of death and depend on Christ so that you reign in life?

Two Cars and Two Men

Romans 5 is a thick passage and so are the concepts of being in Adam and in Christ. Maybe if we think of being in a Ford Pinto or in KITT from Knight Rider we can get a better grasp of federal headship.

All of humanity starts “in Adam”. That is the equivalent of being in a Ford Pinto stalled out in the middle of I20. You aren’t capable of doing anything good and it’s a matter of time before things go badly. Sometimes our lives, our minds, and our relationships look like this precisely because we are “in Adam”.


But being “in Christ” is different from being “in Adam”. It is similar to moving out of your Ford Pinto life of destruction into a Pontiac Trans Am life of security and ability. Obviously there is a personal or spiritual change that happens alongside this transfer of vehicles, but let’s not overlook the change of authority that happens in salvation. Colossians 1:13 describes salvation as the Father’s work of delivering us from the domain of darkness and transferring us into the kingdom of His beloved Son.

Think for a moment about your condition apart from Christ. You are unable and incapable of anything but a self-serving existence often marked by explosions. But in Christ, in the strength of His resurrected existence you are made able to stand against evil and the schemes of the Devil (both inside and outside of you).

There is much more to say and to work out in our daily lives concerning being “in Christ.” But maybe thinking about being in these two cars will help.

10/9 Discussion Questions

1. How can one man affect redemptive history as seen in Romans 5:1-11? (v. 12-14)

2. What is the chief cause of death? Is it just physical, or is it also spiritual? (Eph 2:1-3)

3. Because sin introduced death “in Adam”, how does being “in Christ” change us? (1 Cor 15:20-28; Ezekiel 36:26-27)

4. How does Adam serve as a type of the One to come? In what way does this bring hope for us (1 Cor 15:50-58)? How does it affect understanding of our neighbor and how we see our relationships (2 Cor 5:11-21)

Once Enemies, Now Friends

Romans 5:10, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconilced, shall we be saved by his life” (ESV).

John Stott makes the point clear and encouraging, “The logic of it is this, that if, when we were enemies, God reconciled us through giving His Son to die for us, how much more, now we are God’s friends, will He finally save us from His wrath by His Son’s life? If God performed the more costly service (involving His Son’s death) for His enemies, He will surely perform the less costly service now that His erstwhile enemies are His friends” (Men Made New, 20).