Nothing is certain but death and taxes?

There is an old and famous proverb that says, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Some people have a degree of success in avoiding paying their taxes, but no one escapes their death. Is death the only certainty? Paul says there’s a certainty that’s bigger than death.

Romans 8:9-11

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Cross, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Daily Devotional, Certain

Paul says in the reading, “your body is subject to death because of sin”. We are powerless to defeat sin’s power, which condemns us to death. But Jesus is not powerless. Earlier in this letter Paul said, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6) At the cross, Jesus defeated sin’s power to condemn us. Those who trust in Jesus are declared by God as “not guilty”, because Jesus has taken the justice for our sins at the cross. God also declares us as “righteous”, because he counts Jesus’ perfect life record as if it were ours. It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to trust in Jesus in this way. This is what Paul means when he says, “…the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.”

“Nothing is certain but death and taxes”? It is certain that the Holy Spirit applies the life-giving power of the message of the cross of Jesus to all who trust in him. Though we cannot avoid death, Paul assures us in verse 11 that “…if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies…”

Head: Do I believe in the sin and death defeating power of Jesus’ death and resurrection?

Heart: Does my heart rely on my own ‘righteousness’ or the righteousness of Jesus, that the Holy Spirit applies to my heart and life in the message of the cross of Jesus?

Hands: Write down how everyday life choices can change when we move from thinking death is the end, to believing that “he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies”.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I rejoice in the sin and death defeating power of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Thank you Holy Spirit that you enable my heart to rely, not on my own ‘righteousness’, but on the righteousness of Jesus in the message of the cross of Jesus. Please enable my life choices today to be shaped by the conviction that you who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to my mortal body. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

A song to listen to: Jesus Paid it All

Phil Strong

This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the Must See Passages series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.