When LeAnn got pregnant with our first child, we didn't want to choose a name for our little one simply because we liked it. While it is completely fine to pick a name simply for the sound, we wanted a name that also had meaning. We ended up naming our first born "Karis" after the Greek word charis which means "grace," and chose Ephesians 2:8 as her key verse.
When LeAnn got pregnant with our second child, I once again found myself longing for a name with meaning, and ended up choosing Poema as our second daughter's middle name, which comes from the Greek word poiema meaning "masterpiece" from Ephesians 2:10.
So when LeAnn got pregnant with our third, I found myself poring through Ephesians 2, trying to keep the pattern going. When I saw the phrase "alive in Christ" in verse 5, I thought, "Wow, what a cool concept! I wonder what the Greek is for 'alive in Christ'?" After some digging, I discovered the Greek word was συζοοποιεο, which is pronounced "sood-zo-op-oy-eh'-o". (Yeah... we didn't go with that for obvious reasons.)
While my third child is not named "Soodzy" (you're welcome, Salem), I still love the concept found in Ephesians 2:5, which is echoed in Romans 6:11...
"So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus."Romans 6:11 (ESV)
If you are a follower of Jesus, the moment you put your faith in Christ and the Gospel story, you were resurrected from spiritual death into spiritual life. Just as Jesus was raised physically from the dead, the same thing happened to you spiritually. You may not have changed much physically, but you were drastically and completely changed on the spiritual level.
But notice - you are not "alive in Christ" and "alive to sin." To be alive in Christ means you are dead to sin! And this is good news - because it means you don't HAVE to sin.
I know... sometimes the temptation to say something cruel or cough up a lie or give in to an addiction is incredibly strong. But remember: the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead now dwells in you (Romans 8:11), which means you are Spirit-empowered to say "no" to the old default decision of sin and "yes" to God-honoring, life-giving decisions.
But what should you do when you give in to the old default? When you realize you have sinned, pray something like this:
"Heavenly Father, I confess I have sinned. That is not who I want to be, nor who you created me to be. I thank you for the forgiveness you have given me through the cross of Jesus. Help me to live as though I am dead to sin but alive in Christ."
If you begin to pray and live this way, you will not only experience great joy from being alive in Christ, but you might find yourself tempted to rename yourself "Soodzy." (Ok, probably not.)
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