“For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:5).

God has done something so radical through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, that our response of faith has fused, grown together, and united our lives to his. That “united” is in the perfect tense offers the necessary reminder that this bonding together, in the likeness of Christ’ death, is an unceasing, life-long process of dying to self. Thus, the question becomes, Am I more dead to self than I was 10, 5, or 2 years ago? Or have I become more self-focused, self-absorbed, demanding, angry, frustrated, all the things that are opposite of the fruit of the Spirit?

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