The Law Of Sin & Death Is Slain Through Christ
August 8, 2013
Last weekend at church a friend gave an excellent sermon and explanation of our identity in Christ, describing how we are no longer under law but under grace. He affirmed that to try to remain under both is to negate the covenant of grace. (Rom. 7:1-6 // Gal. 5:4) His message revolved around all of Romans 7, but he began with Rom. 6:14: “For then sin will no longer have any power over you, for you are living not under law, but under grace.” This is because, by our union with Christ (6:1-13), the old self –the body of sin– has had its existence, along with its power, killed. (6:6)
Our friend explained how Rom. 7 is a description of the man who is trying to obey God while still adhering to the Old Covenant, which, in itself was/is sacred (7:12), but which, because men, still carrying around the sinful nature have no power to obey it, was the weapon Sin used to bring men death. (7:10,11) But, by becoming new creations through Christ and by identifying with Him (6:2-4,10,11), the sinful nature, the law, and the death-march are slain / died to / extinguished. (same verses & 7:20-25) This is the true Gospel –the fantastic News!
The same day, Daniel, who lives in another country, sent out a similar message and I’ve pasted it below. May all of us understand and spread this Good News, never ceasing to diligently seek the Truth in God’s Word under the tutelage of the Spirit so that we may better explain to all men everywhere the glorious freedom Christ has brought us into. (8:2)
“But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” Romans 7:6)
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)
God is after the obedience of faith (according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith –Rom 16:26). The Lord is looking for sons and daughters who will be obedient to the leading, prompting and desire of the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives. This is the obedience that God seeks from us in Christ Jesus, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14) This kind of obedience sets us free from legalistic pursuits, to serve God in the newness of the Spirit.
Jesus was perfectly obedient to God in this way in every moment, and God is indeed seeking to conform us to the image of Jesus. Therefore it is best if we search and examine our hearts, to truly see if we are seeking and learning this same kind of obedience to God by His Spirit or if we are more under the control of our fleshly impulses and desires – and sincerely come to God asking Him to correct us in the way if needs be.
It’s a joyous thing to learn obedience to God by faith in this way, and it is through this kind of obedience that our faith is proved genuine.
“So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).” (AMP James 2:17)
“For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead.” (AMP James 2:26)
Below are the rest of Daniel’s messages he has sent to me –pasted in at this post on 12/1/13:
(10/25/13) –Another Season
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12 – NIV)
The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. (Romans 13:12 – NLV)
I believe there is now a special season again in the spiritual realms, where God is giving an opportunity for His people to repent of any works of darkness or lukewarmness or complacency, to shed those things off, to turn to Him with all their hearts to right living with Him. I believe God is really working by His Spirit in gentleness but firmness to those who are willing to hear and respond, to heed the call to ‘strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way;’ (Isaiah 35:3)
There is a greater darkness coming onto this world as the days pass by, things are only going to get darker in the world at large and also in the spiritual realms, attempting to deceive even the elect and to cause believers to stay or go to sleep spiritually. So I feel that God is really calling us to be sobered up and alert, not from a place of fear but of wisdom and repentance and seriousness with Him, to press into Him more, get to know Jesus better, clean up any ‘dirt’ through the Word and through the working of His Spirit and to walk closely with our Lord and Saviour, to walk in the ancient paths: ‘This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ (Jeremiah 6:16)
So I just wanted to send out an encouragement if convicted, to pray to God about these things and asking Him that we wish to take our walk with Him as the priority in our life and to press into Him with all our hearts, focusing on His Kingdom and the things of His Kingdom, and not the things of this world. (‘Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.’) (Luke 21:34-36)
“Heavenly Father, I pray that you would please strengthen me in these things. Please grant me the grace and mercy to walk after you in truth and in Spirit, in Jesus name. I choose to walk in the ancient paths and to seek you with all my heart in these days. Please help me to do this by the power of your Spirit as I come to you in repentance now. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”
(10/18/13) –The Old Time Gospel
Thought I’d share this message when you have a chance to read it
Hope it blesses you.
(10/13/13) –Remaining Connected to the Vine
Just felt to share this message.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid, and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46)
God would have us stay firmly connected to the True Vine in these days. Recently I had an example of a leaf that fell off a tree, within a couple of days the leaf was dried up, and when I put it in my hand it crushed into little pieces. Essentially it lost all its nutrient supplies, its life, its vigor, and it withered and lost all strength. This is what can easily happen to us if we disconnect with Jesus in these days. God wants us to realise just how much we actually need Him. We are utterly and totally dependent on Him as believers, as new creations that He has created us in Christ, our life is found in Him, and drawn from Him. Apart from the Lord, we can do nothing. I believe God really wants to press this home, because we can sometimes think God can just be a part of our life, and it’s okay. While actually God is saying, no, its not okay. He needs to be our very life, the One we live for. (Matthew 13:45-46)
Please let’s examine our hearts, and heed the call of God that we live for Him by just responding to Him, that He becomes our fountain of life, and has the place in our hearts and lives where He is not just a part of our life, but He is actually our life. And so when He has all of us, we will be able to firmly remain connected to the Vine, through the Word and through the Lords provision, and walk as daughters and sons in the Kingdom of light.
‘Dear Heavenly Father, please enable us to live for you with all our hearts, please restore us to having you be our very life, that we may live for you and not for the things of this world, that we may glorify You and remain firmly connected with Jesus, your True Vine. In Jesus name we ask. Amen’
(9/28/13) –Living To The Lord
“For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:8
As believers, if we are to live in this world, we are to live to the Lord, and if we die, we are to die to the Lord. God has led us out of darkness into His light that we should no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who died for us and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:15) God is calling us in these days when it’s easy to be lulled into sleepiness (Romans 13:11-14) to awake from any slumbers and press into the Lord with all our hearts, so that we can walk as Christians who live daily to the Lord, and not to ourselves. This is our new purpose in Christ, that we died to ourselves in order that we may live to another (Romans 7:4 ).
A little later in Romans it tells us how we can live like this and in a way that pleases and is acceptable to God, and that is through the power of the Holy Spirit.. “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. (Romans 14:17-19) We are only able to live a life to the Lord if we are daily relying upon the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, and not ourselves: to guide us, empower us and enable us to live to the Lord, and not ourselves.
May we all cry out to God for these things and ask Him to correct us in any way we are or need to be corrected.
‘Heavenly Father, we pray that you may help us to live to Jesus as our new Master and Lord and not to ourselves, through the Mighty power of your Holy Spirit who dwells in us, that we may live a life pleasing and acceptable to you. Please also help us to abide in your Word so that we may always remain in the truth. In Jesus Mighty name we ask. Amen.’
(9/24/13) –Our Need For Continuous Oiling
“You shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may regularly be set up to burn.” Exodus 27:20
“Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps … And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding, and the door was shut.” Matthew 25:3-4, 10
I just wanted to share something that God re-impressed upon me, which is our continual need to be given fresh oil, the oil representing the Holy Spirit, in order for us to maintain fluidity and good motion in our Christian lives. I was doing some work around the house today, in oiling a sliding tressel gate that was getting stuck as you moved it back and forth. God just made it abundantly clear that we are like those instruments which need the oil of His Holy Spirit on a continual and regular basis in order to remain effective as believers, and in order to walk as we should.
In Matthew 25 Jesus talks about the wise and foolish virgins, and the wise virgins pouring more and more oil into their lamps, which enabled them to be ready when the bridegroom arrived. I believe this is something God is impressing upon the church, and as individuals, our need to have the oil of the Holy Spirit poured into us and over us more and more. This results in peace, the fruit of the Spirit and in honouring Christ, as well as keeping us awake, functioning and alert.
One of the ways we can do this is by regularly abiding in the Word, and as we read it ask God to minister to us by His Spirit in Jesus name, and so fill us with His oil so we can be refreshed, restored and ‘re-oiled’. Obviously one of the dangers of not doing this is we will get rusty, broken down and according to Jesus, not be in a ready condition as the virgins in the parable.
I would really urge us to remain in the anointing of God (1 John 2:27) and regularly seek to be filled, nourished, restored and led by the Holy Spirit in the Word of God and by relying on the Spirit as our source of strength in life (Zechariah 4:6)
‘Dear Heavenly Father, could you please help me to be wise in these days by coming to You in your Word in Spirit and in truth, in order to be led by You, filled with Your Spirit and taught by You, by your grace and mercy please help me to do this. In Jesus Name. Amen.’
(9/16/13) –Desiring the Pure Milk of the Word
“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” (1 Peter 2:2-3)
I just wanted to send out an encouragement from the Lord, that we should seek to live on the pure milk of the Word (the Bible). The Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12) enduring forever (1 Peter 1:25), and as believers in Christ, has been given to us as our spiritual food. I’ve recently come to realize, actually, just how completely and utterly necessary it is that we are feeding on the Word on a regular basis. Without the Word, coupled with the Holy Spirit, there can be no sap running through us, and therefore our fruit will slowly begin to cease. If we utterly neglect the Word we can even become dry branches, whom the Lord has said will be thrown in the fire.(John 15:6) Remaining in the Word is so crucial to us as believers, because it is like physical food for us, but for our new life that has been given to us in Christ. By drinking of the Word that new life is sustained and nourished. If we neglect the Word it is like neglecting physical food. After a few days of not eating physically we will become weak, ineffective in our daily activities, drained, weary and if we continue to not eat for a certain duration, we would become unhealthy and eventually die. So it is with the Word, it is just as important to us as physical food, in fact more so according to the Lord (Matthew 4:4).
I just wanted to encourage us to be regularly, even daily feeding on the Word of God, by spending time with the Lord in it, contemplating and meditating on what we read (Psalm 119:15) so that it can be ingested and fed upon, bringing nourishment and nutrients to our spirit and soul. A friend of ours recently gave a wonderful example of eating the Word like a cow chews on grass. The cow rips a section of grass (representing a verse or verses) and chews that grass slowly until it has absorbed all the nutrients it can from it.
I hope God ministers through this and we all seek Him to abide in His Word, for even our Lord said ‘If you abide in My Word, you are truly my disciples’ (John 8:31)
(9/11/13) –Your Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet
God desires for us to be in the Word, He has provided His Word for us for our good. That through His Word we may be nourished, restored, strengthened, built up and rooted in faith. Oh how much God loves to spend time with His children in the Word. God calls out to us, even cries out to us to abide in His Word, as Jesus told us: “if you abide in my Word you are my disciples indeed.” (John 8:31). God has said that His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105), and especially in these days when it is important that we pour oil into our lamps to keep them burning (Matthew 25:1-13), oh how we need to regularly come and ‘feed’ on the Word of God. To allow God to minister to us, build us up, refresh us and keep us by His Word. It’s one of the enemies more subtle schemes to cause us to either neglect the Word, or to get us to be superficial in the Word, so that we do not truly feed on it, and allow God to pour His oil into us and minister to us by His Spirit. And the result is that we unfortunately become weakened and lose sight of the things that are most important in the Kingdom.
Friends, God really and truly loves us, and He knows what is best for us, and so He calls out to us to regularly abide in and feed upon His Word in loving-kindness and grace. Let us call out to Him and ask for grace to enable us to truly abide in His Word and remain there in a prayer like: ‘Heavenly Father, You have said Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path, please help me to abide in Your Word, please grant me the grace to remain in Your Word and to come to You to be fed and ministered to and nourished. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.’
(8/30/13) –Training With And For Our Lord
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 9:25)
This is important. Please listen to this revelation by God Almighty. If we have a runner who competes in this world’s greatest competition. And that runner decides that he or she will not go into strict training to win the competition, but on the contrary decides that in their training for the race they will only do their running training when they feel like going for a run, or they will not have a strict regime of training in place to prepare for the race to run it well, only training here and there, what do we think will happen to that runner when they have to compete in the race? I think common sense tells us they will either fail abysmally, come last, or even drop out of the race due to tiredness and being unfit.
How much more do we as believers, running an eternal race, have to be in a strict training regime in order to run well, keep running and not allow the enemy to outwit us. I think God is against something that is often said by believers: that we should only spend time in the Word of God and with God when we feel like it, that it should be a spontaneous thing done here and there only. But friends, that is not what the Word of God teaches in the above verse, and that is EVEN not what people of the World do when they run a important worldly race. They put themselves into training, in order to build a solid foundation to run well, regardless of how they feel. On some days they would do anything rather than get up and go for a run, and on some days they can’t wait to go for a run and joyfully do it, but yet they do it consistently because they are in training to win the crown. Of how much more do we who are running for an eternal crown need to be in a solid training regime in the Word of God and in spending time with our awesome Lord, that is consistent and premeditated, in order to run in such a way as to win the prize, and be overcoming.
Please let us be joyfully encouraged to take this seriously and make a decision through and with our gracious and good God, in earnestness and sincerity, to take this run seriously, and ask God to pull us into a training schedule with Him, so we can be built up in the faith and in Him and be able to be steadfast in the Kingdom and in our walks.
God is willing …
(8/28/13) –Dwelling in the Shadow of the Almighty.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.’”
“…And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”
“A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.”
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
I just wanted to encourage anyone reading this to press into making the Lord God their true shelter, their true portion, their true place of rest. To really turn to God with all their hearts and pursue Him with all their passion. I believe Psalm 91 has a spiritual meaning other than just a physical one, and when it speaks of a thousand falling at your side, it may also be pointing towards our position in the last days when there is a great falling away. If we make the Lord God our shelter and our might, if we leave all the world behind (in a spiritual, marriage like sense) and hide ourselves in the shadow of the Almighty, making Jesus our true portion and life, then thousands may be falling away at our sides through false deception, through false preaching, through a false understanding of grace, through false understanding of salvation (not having to seek His Will); but it shall not come near us and we will be able to discern the truth and continue to keep awake like the wise virgins, and so eventually enter into the wedding banquet, into the doors of the Kingdom, and Jesus will shut the door behind us.
I hope anyone is moved and encouraged by the Spirit of God to make a decision to forsake all, repent from their hearts, and make God their everlasting portion and great reward.
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.” (2 Peter 1:10)
(8/18/13) –No Water Except In God
“They went to the cisterns and found no water, They returned with their vessels empty” (Jeremiah 14:3)
“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn for themselves cisterns – broken cisterns [idols] that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)
God wants His people to learn to turn to Him to be satisfied with the abundance of His household. He’s always sought after and wanted people who will be consecrated to Him, who will seek Him, and who will go His way. In the book of Jeremiah God talks about Israel never learning restraint. God wants us to learn to actively choose to be satisfied in Him, while restraining those things that the world seeks to be satisfied with. He has an abundance of goodness for us, and only He has true water that can satify our souls and cause us to live in fertile ground, and grow up in Him with strong roots and a solid foundation.
The Lord reveals in Jeremiah that those ‘other things’ only offer the illusion of water, like a mirage in a dessert, but actually they only leave us parched. Let us cry out to God in prayer and ask Him for His power and Holy Spirit in Jesus name to enable us to turn to Him, and not to other things, to help us to choose Him as our portion, our sufficient portion, not needing, and voluntarily choosing to not be involved in those other things that abound in the world, and that the world loves, but rather choosing to be involved in the good things God has provided for His people, such as His presence, His Word, prayer, fellowship, and good wholesome things added to us by the Lord, not by our own provision.
“Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own mercy” (Jonah 2:8)
(8/11/13) –Lamps Burning In The Dark
I was praying and God gave me the following picture of the times we are in, in the spiritual realm. The picture was of a thick dark background, three dimensional, pitch black, like a thick black fog, with various lamps burning sticking out of the black background. The amount of darkness was much greater than the amount of lamps that were burning, almost like stars on the background of the dark sky, and some lamps were burning dull, while others were brighter, with varying degrees of brightness. The adversary, satan, was then going about from lamp to lamp to try extinguish the individual lamps, so that they go completely out. Some of the lamps were going out as the enemy was working His purposes, like stars vanishing from the sky one by one. I could picture that satan would try to come at other lamps, and they would resist Him and so carry on shining (even dull ones), even with the potential to increase in brightness.
God revealed to me the application of the word, is that these days are dark, and the enemy is attempting to put out the lamps of believers altogether, through various means, and that the encouragement is that we need to resist the devil, and so keep our lamps burning, by walking closely with God, remaining in the Word and having wisdom to understand the times we are living in. Satan’s attempts will come and we are really called to resist (James 4:7), and keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), remain in the Lord (John 15:4), and abide in Him and in the Word (John 8:31-32) – keeping up our walk with Him. The further encouragement, is I saw that it is completely possible for our lamps to burn bright, even with the darkness around us, we don’t need to be afraid that we cannot shine, and that we cannot also grow in brightness, as God has given authority to those who resist the adversary, for their lamps to shine and to keep on shining.
James 4:7 – 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (NKJV)
Galatians 5:25 – 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (NKJV)
John 15:4 – 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (NIV)
John 8:31-32 – 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (NKJV)
(8/10/13) –Meant To Be Courageous
“So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
I’d like to share some of the lyrics of a song by Casting Crowns called Courageous:
“We were meant to be courageous, we were made to lead the way, we could be the generation that finally breaks the chains, we were meant to be courageous.
We were warriors on the front lines, standing unafraid, but now we’re watchers on the side lines, while our families slip away. Where are you men of courage? You were made for so much more, let the pounding of our hearts cry – we will serve the Lord! Lord make us courageous! We will reignite the passion, that we buried deep inside, may the watchers become warriors, may the men of God arise.
Seek justice, love mercy, walk only with your God. Seek justice, love mercy, walk only with your God. Seek justice, love mercy, walk only with your God, Seek justice, love mercy, walk only with your God.”
This is Gods cry to us, will we listen, or are we sleeping? In a nice comfortable life? Not tasting what it means to seek God in our rooms fervently? Not seeking to grapple in the Word? Not having Him command us to do good works which He prepared beforehand that we should walk in them? I hope we haven’t lost the taste for war, and forgotten what it means to do Gods will and to battle the powers of darkness.
“15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17 (AMP))
(8/7/13) –God Is Light
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)
It’s so wonderful to be able to know the God of light. In fact it’s such a high privilege I don’t think we fully understand what Christ has truly done for us on the cross. He’s purchased us out of the kingdom of darkness and into His kingdom of Light (Colossians 1:13). The great deceiver, the god of darkness, has placed and continuously tries to place a veil of darkness on the eyes of both believers and unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4), all for the purpose of distracting us and keeping our eyes off of Christ – in whom all the fullness of the Godhead lives bodily. (Colossians 2:9)
He constantly wants to deceive us and distract us with seemingly important worldly things, or matters that seem more important than seeking God in our lives, and if we are not on our guard and watchful, ready to fight with all our armour to deflect the attacks of deception, he will blind us for God’s purposes, will and desires for our lives – and we won’t even be aware of it (deceived).
Consider that we have been given this so great a salvation, that we should know, seek and grow in the God of light, so that we may bear fruit into the Kingdom, and be as lights unto the world (not living for ourselves and as the world does, but for Him who died for us and rose again).
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.” (Luke 21:34)
God is love, and we’re only short changing ourselves when He isn’t our top priority and all-in-all, our Most High Passion in life. Let us all repent and ask God to correct us and enable us to live for Him fully and His Kingdom as the passion of our hearts, through the power of His Spirit, in Jesus name, and for His glory.