Monday, March 11, 2019

A Permanent Ending

 Death is defined in various ways. One definition is "a permanent ending to that which was alive." The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul, concerning a believers former life before Christ, and their new life in Christ, tells us, "For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." (Romans 6:7-8) This literally means "he that has died" in a physical sense. Note that the physical truth points to the spiritual truth. What the Holy Spirit wants all believers to completely understand is that, has been freed from sin, means, justified, acquitted, absolved, freed from sin, period. That as Christ was once dead but now lives to God, and will no more die, so we, being dead to sin, but living unto God, should not obey sin, but should live only to God, not only in the next life but now! The believers identification with Christ (his/her union with Christ) is noted throughout Romans, "Died with Him" (Romans 6:3, 8)…"Buried with Him" (Romans 6:4)…"United together with Him" (Romans 6:5)…"Raised with Him" (Romans 6:4-5)…"Crucified with Him" (Romans 6:6)..."Alive with Him" (Romans 6:8). Believers need to see not only Christ’s substitution in these things but also our identification with Him in these thing. Paul goes on... 

"Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion 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. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts."  (Romans 6:9-12) Reckon means, to not imagine or count something true that is not true. In verse 11 we see another faith declaration. Let's declare, "I conclude that it is true, I am dead to sin, and I am alive, I have life in Christ Jesus my Lord." The believer is to allow Christ, as King, to reign over him or her, not sin. Although the law of sin has not yet been eradicated from the believer, because the believer still has a mortal body that is subject to physical death, (physical death is the last enemy to be destroyed, 1 Corinthians 15:26), there is the constant need to say no to sin and yes to life in Christ Jesus. Paul now gives us very detailed instructions concerning our new life... 

"And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." (Romans 6:13) This is our identification with Christ’s death and resurrection. Sin is a spiritual law and needs a person, their body, as an instrument to express itself. The heart of the whole matter concerns yielding the body's members as an instruments of sin or instruments of righteousness. God will not encroach our choice, but exhorts us to live in a higher level of life which is actually true freedom. This life, simply put, is a life by grace through faith. The more we recognize how to live in the grace of God, the more freedom that we will experience. The following scripture makes this completely clear.  

"For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:14) Paul is clear that the believer can live a victorious life in Christ. Sin does not need to have dominion (reign as king) over the believer. The believer can have dominion (reign as king) over sin. This does not mean that the believer has reached a state of sinless perfection, but rather the believer no longer needs to be ruled or dominated by sin. The believer is not under the law, that is, the dominion of the law of sin as the context is dealing with, nor is the believer under the law to Moses (see Romans 7), but the believer is under grace, which is actually being under the law to Christ. Grace is a higher and stronger law.

Grace as defined as, "[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight." (Philippians 2:13 AMP) Simply put, grace is the free gift of God given gratuitously which is undeserved and unmerited, overflowing with superior love, superior favor and divine influence that gives believes the ability and desire to do God’s will, to fulfill His purpose, and is the source of all the benefits believers receive, which is released through faith. What we have seen here in Romans 6 is the sanctification and identification of the believer in and with Christ. Sanctification is the operation of the new law of life in Christ Jesus, a higher spiritual law, which makes us free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

Therefore, in the mind of God, when Christ was crucified, we were crucified; when Christ died, we died; when Christ was buried, we were buried; when Christ spent three days and three nights as our substitute in hell, we were in Him until the claims of justice were fully met; when Christ met the claims of justice, our old satanic, sinful nature was put away; when Christ was raised, we were raised; when Christ ascended, we ascended; when Christ sat down on the throne with all things under His feet, we also sat down on the throne with all things under our feet; as Christ lives, we also live; we are no longer slaves of sin; we have been freed from sin, and should walk in the newness of life! When believers come into the full knowledge of these things, we will experience what is commonly known as revival, but it will be normal Christianity, which is really true Christianity. The Christianity that we read in the Acts of the Apostles, filled with God's presence, glory and power. In other words, the way Christianity was intended to be until Christ returns. The grace of our LORD Jesus Christ be with you all...

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