We’ve seen so far that when we died with Christ we died to sin and we died to the law. The third aspect of our death with Christ is that we died to the world. In Galatians 6:14 we read, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
It’s interesting to me that this is written in the past tense as a completed act. The world has been crucified to me and I to the world. This is a fact and we need to believe God when He says so. However, we don’t always put into practice what is true. Even though we’ve died to the world, we still interact in ways that suggest that we really haven’t died to it. When we do this, it does not change the reality of what happened at the cross. As in so many other teachings of Scripture there are completed events which God then challenges us to live up to. Rather than having to reach some sort of perfection before He declares us righteous or dead to the world, he makes the declaration of fact first and then by His spirit works in us to move us toward what, in His eyes, is a completed reality.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul uses this approach to challenge the Christians there not to subject themselves to the futile rules of human religion. “Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations?” (Colossians 2:20) In other words, since you’ve died to the world, don’t subject yourselves to its regulations.
In Colossians 3:2 we are told to “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” For what reason are we to do this? “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”So the message is that because we have died to sin, the law and the world, we are to work this out on a day to day basis in our lives We are to realize more and more on a daily basis the reality of what is already absolutely true of us.