Friday, March 19, 2010

The Second Most Important Truth

Romans 6: 1-10 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 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, 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. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Do you really believe; “you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you?” Yes? Okay then, here is a good question for you. Do you have absolute victory over your old self? Have you actually put sin to death in your life once and for all? Or, are you still struggling with your Old self and your Old ways? Is sin continually coming back to hinder your daily walk with the Lord? Well, these truths are more Good News for us all!

One of my favorite authors, William R. Newell writes “To those who refuse or neglect to “reckon themselves dead to sin” as God commands, we press the question, how are you able to believe that Christ really bore the guilt of your sins and that you will not meet them at the judgment day? It is only God’s Word that tells you that Christ bore your sins in his body on the tree. And it is same Word that tells you that you as connected with Adam, died with Christ, that your old man was crucified, that since you are in Christ you shared his death unto sin, and are thus to reckon your present relation to sin in Christ—as one who is dead to it, and alive unto God” (Romans, Verse By Verse)

Although denying your old self, sound teaching, bible study, meditation, service, daily prayer and confession are all effective tools in building spiritual maturity … all of them together are not likely to completely neutralize the power of our enemy over our old self. In the denying of your old self, have you put to death your old self? Have you reckoned your old self dead on the Cross at Calvary? My own experience tells me that I still have a problem here. My old nature has a way of adjusting and figuring out new ways to come back to life. Sort of like cancer that has infected your body, lust and pride have innumerable ways of coming back to life. Even men who have hidden themselves away from the world and all of it’s temptations still meet up with their old self all alone in the wilderness. Only Jesus was able to totally defeat Satan when He met him in the wilderness. Our old Adam nature yields to nothing less than the death of our old man that happened at Calvary on the cross.

In further regard to our victory over our old self, Lewis Sperry Chafer writes; Romans 6:1-10 is the foundation as well as the key to the possibility of a walk in the spirit” (He that is Spiritual, p. 154). And in (Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret” p. 116) we read; “since Christ has dwelt in my heart by faith, how happy I have been. I am dead and buried with Christ—ay, and risen too! And now Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God , who loved me and gave himself up for me. Nor should we look upon this experience, these truths, as for the few. They are the birthright of every child of God, and no one can dispense with them without dishonoring our Lord.”

Here are a few more quotes. There is no way I can explain these truths as well as they have.

The believer has been united with Christ in his death. In this union with Christ, the flesh, the body of sin—the entire fallen sin ruined being with its intelligence, will and desires—is judged and crucified. By faith, the believer reckons (counts) himself dead unto sin. Alexander Hay, (Order for Church and Missionary p. 310.)

God says in effect, My Child, as you reckoned on the substitutionary work of the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation, now go a step farther and reckon on his representative work for your victory day by day. You believe the Lord Jesus died for your sins because God said so. Now take the next step. Accept by faith the further fact that you died with Him--that your old man was crucified with him” Reginald Wallis (The New Life, p 51)

“Because He died, death hath no more dominion over Him and because of our union with Him, sin shall not have dominion over you, even though it is present in you. Our reckoning ourselves dead to sin in Jesus Christ does not make it a fact---it is already a fact through our union with Him. Our reckoning it to be true only makes us to begin to realize the fact in experience.” James R. McConkey, (The Way of Victory, p. 16)

“As we do this reckoning. “the Holy Spirit will begin to faithfully and effectively apply that finished work of the Cross to the self-life, thereby holding it in the place of death—inactive---resulting in the “Not I … But Christ” life.”

Now … what does all of this mean to you and me, here and now? God has a way for us to deny our old self, and it is not our old way of dealing with the challenges in our life. His way is to follow the principle of the finished work. He has already conquered and completed the work in us, on the cross at Calvary. It was at Calvary that God in Christ dealt fully and finally with our old man … the nature from which all of our sins flow. This is the “Second Most Important Truth” in the New Testament. We only need to reckon (believe) this fact to be true, just as we have believed that Christ’s blood washed our sins away at Calvary. Our old nature will always bow to Christ at the Cross when we stand on this truth … and to the contrary, standing against the devil in our own strength will always fail. We receive the deliverance from our old nature by simply reckoning these facts to be true, believing in and standing on the finished work of Christ on the Cross.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
God Bless You My Friend, Bob

Reference: Miles J Stanford, The Complete Green Letters

1 comment:

  1. Believing anything is possible with HIM who loves me most!
    Blessings, andrea