Monday, March 22, 2010

The Reckoning That Counts

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Have you even begun to grasp the depth of the power of the truths we have shared in the past two lessons?
Not only did Christ die on the cross as atonement for our sins past present and future, but also; “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”

A friend once told me; I’ve tried to believe that to be true, but I don’t feel like I’m “free from sin”. I asked; “have you reckoned on the truth?” He just shook his head. In the next few posts, we will try to explain the Principles of Reckoning ... as I understand them. We will attempt to answer the question “How do I Reckon?” Reckoning is understood through learning principles. As an example, through the principle of knowledge, we come to understand our identification with the Lord Jesus Christ. The word Reckon means: “to regard as being, to count as true.” Romans 6 call upon us to count as true that our old sinful self died on the cross at Calvary. This would obviously be difficult for someone who believes that absolutes don't exist.

Now why is it so hard to grasp that fact when we were so completely able to accept other truths such as; “for by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” I have reckoned this to be truth. I am sure when I first heard it, it hardly made sense since I had always believed that I needed to be a good person and accomplish good works to get into heaven. In fact, my sister told me that when she first explained the gospel to me, it went right over my head … it made no sense to me at all. I was blind to this truth. In reality, to this day, I don't even remember the conversation. But now I am so certain of this truth that I have no fear of physical death whatsoever. By His grace, you and I reckoned on this truth and we received Jesus as our personal Savior.

Unfortunately for almost all of us, all goes well for a time, and then we just get busy, our focus shifts off of the living and written word and we begin to drift and before you know it, various areas of sin comes back into our lives.
So if we want absolute victory over sin in our lives, we must reckon or believe that our old sin nature died with Christ on the cross. He will not only free us from the guilt and penalty of sin, but also from the power and domination of sin. The problem is that we will not and cannot reckon or believe the truths of God if we do not know and understand them and are not focused upon them. We are engaged in a battle: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

That is why God says: Joshua 4:7-9 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” We must renew and transform our mind with the truth and once our mind is no longer conformed to the world, then we can reckon on God’s truth with the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit. This doesn’t come by watching soap operas on TV or reading mystery novels or being overly focused on sports or games. These activities are not bad … they are just, not the best. Meditation and prayer and seeking out God’s guidance for our lives takes time, effort and our undivided attention … as do all meaningful endeavors. And of course being transformed by the renewing of our mind is the most meaningful and important challenge of our life and existence on earth.

The biggest barrier here is false expectation. The content of Romans 6 has to do with the reign of the principal of sin---not the symptom: sins. Reckoning is believing God’s promise: that the curse that has hung over us since the fall of Adam which was crucified on the cross at Calvary and that the power that Satan had over us has been broken … but it was not annihilated! When our hearts and minds are rightly focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word ... Satan will flee us!
Reckoning is not saying: I reckon, I believe, I reckon, I believe. No …

The Reckoning That Counts requires three steps:

1. Know and Reckon on the identification truths
2. Abide and Rest in our liberator
3. Depend on and Walk in the Spirit

Reckoning is a three step process of transformation. Anything less leads to frustration and failure. We are delivered by belief in the liberation truths found in God’s word … by meditating on them and praying on them and memorizing them. When our hearts and minds and thoughts and beliefs and goals and priorities and values and judgments and relationships and world views are renewed and transformed by God’s word by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will absolutely believe or reckon God’s truths one by one.Certainly we must believe and appropriate these truths, but the actual liberation comes as a result of our intimate, personal fellowship with the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
Simply put, the principle is: liberation is in the Liberator."
”The Reckoning That Counts” by Miles J. Stanford

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
God Bless You My Friends, Bob

1 comment:

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