I am able to tell this story not only because I still have a pulse, but also because I used to be a zombie – living and dead. Here in Paul’s letter to the Romans is a description of my zombie past and, by the mercy of God, my current condition:
“5 For those who live according to the flesh (natural inclinations) set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8).
Without Christ, I was physically alive but spiritually dead. “My throat was an open grave (Romans 3:13). I was a whitewashed tomb, which looked beautiful on the outside but on the inside was full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean (Matthew 23:27). When I was dead in sins, God made me alive with Christ. He forgave me all my sins (Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:1-10).
He forgave my sins is, of course, only the beginning of the Christian life. Charles Spurgeon, in his “The former and the latter rain,” says “there is a point in Grace as much above the ordinary Christian, as the ordinary Christian is above the worldling.” Our zombie is the worldling. Spurgeon’s point is that it is not enough to rest on the fact that your sins have been forgiven, that you have been saved. There’s much more: there’s knowing God; knowing more and more who God is, and in so doing building up the “inner man.” Before Christ saved a zombie, there was no inner man, only an innard man, a visceral shell.
The Apostle Paul prays to God the Father:
That he (Christ) would grant you (the Christians in Ephesus), according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19).