I Have Been Alive and I Have Been Dead……Dead Is Better Because It Made Me Alive

Alive and then Dead

Romans 5:15
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

Romans 6:4
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

I know it can seem confusing but it really is not. You must understand what kind of death and what dead means according to scripture and when it is good and when it is bad because all death is not bad. When I was younger and did not know Christ Jesus and had no understanding of God and lived my life in way I wanted to I was alive to my will but I was really the walking dead. So how did this happen and why and just how did I get dead to begin with? All very good questions to be sure and ones that really do have an answer and a clear one at that.

As our verse above states the offence of one caused many to be dead. It’s like an illustration I read not too long ago that showed how this happened. In this illustration the man said he was driving his family to have a family outing where they were going to eat at the park and enjoy the day. Sounds great, right? But, unfortunately, the man made a wrong turn and went a long way out of the way from the park they were to be going to. Now he made the mistake…one guy… but the bigger problem was that he had his family in the car and through no fault their own they all ended up at the wrong place because they were all in the car together. Through one man’s misdirection the whole suffered.

It is the same for mankind.

I know you may be thinking, “That stinks! How did this happen?” Glad you asked. Let me show you right here in the book of Romans.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

The idea that the sin nature was inherited is a totally new concept to many Christians, but it is a fact none the less. The majority of people believe it’s what they do that makes them sinners. But this verse clearly teaches that sin entered the earth through one man, Adam (also see Romans 5:15-18), and death is a result of that sin (Romans 5:15). It is not our individual actions of sin that separate us from God (separation from God is spiritual death). It’s that sin nature that separates us.

Our sins don’t make us sinners. We were born sinners (remember the car story) and we sin because that is our nature. Paul said this in Ephesians 2:3 “And were by nature the children of wrath.” This is why we “must be born again” (John 3:7). We received our sinful nature through our natural birth, and we only receive a new nature through a spiritual birth. You are saved by grace through faith! Paul makes this very clear and he also made a comparison of just how great this grace was in its working in Romans 5:7.

Paul, in an effort to show just how great this love of God is and how it is shown to us through grace, makes an illustration. One of the greatest expressions of love a human can do is to lay down their life for another. But then Paul went further still and illustrated that yes, it is possible to image people giving up their lives for others, that happens and has happened many times. But the shocking thing and the thing that is inconceivable is that a person would give up their life and lay it down for a sworn enemy. And yet this is exactly what God did as we can read here in Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And because this is the case of what was done for me and for you let me ask you, how could we ever doubt the goodness of God towards us? (Wommack, 2015),

At this point where Paul was making those comparisons, he made another to make the same point. Many teachers do this. They say the same thing only in a slightly different way as to bring more understanding to the subject. And in so doing he added as it were a parentheses and inserted Romans 5:13-17 and to really get a clear picture of what Paul was saying it is very helpful to skip this parenthetical section of Romans 5:12 to 5:18 and read it like this.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:18 – Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

I Have Been Alive and I Have Been Dead……Dead Is Better Because It Made Me Alive
Part Two

In other words, Paul is saying that in the same way that we all inherited the sin nature independently of our own actions (we were passengers in the car), we also inherit God’s righteous nature, not because of what we have done but through the new birth provided to us through Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. We became sinners through what ONE man did and we become righteous through what ONE man has done. We see in 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And in being a new creature in Christ Jesus we became alive in Christ and dead to sin hence the title of the article: I Have Been Alive and I Have Been Dead……Dead Is Better Because It Made Me Alive

Maybe this will help like a timeline:

• Alive to sin – I was born with the nature of sin
• Dead to God (separated/spiritual death)
o Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. The death spoken of here is spiritual death resulting from sin. People without Christ may be physically alive, yet they walk around in the state of spiritual death. Scripture describes this condition as being alienated from the life of God, controlled by the old nature, having no hope, being by nature the children of wrath, and controlled by the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:1-6, 12, 4:18; and Galatians 5:19-21).
• Alive to God (new birth) – Being quickened, or made alive, with Christ reverses the effects of spiritual death. All that had once alienated us from God is gone, and we are now seated with Christ Jesus in the very presence of God (Colossians 3:1).
• Dead to sin – Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Also see Col.3:3
o (which made me)
• Alive to God through Christ and made righteous and my life is hid in Christ, Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Galatians 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

Paul was saying that his deliverance from the Law (which is the strength of sin – see I Corinthians 15:56) is not through unlawful means. The Law demanded death for sin because the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23 (Ezekiel 18:4 and 20), and Jesus fulfilled that requirement by dying in our place. Now it would be unlawful to punish us once our debt has been paid. That would be double jeopardy. So then how do we live? We live the same way that Paul, who was alive then dead then alive again, lived. (Wommack, 2015)

Looking at Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth 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 for me.

And again in Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Please look at a very important word here, although it is a small word it has big meaning. “OF” Paul said he was living by the faith OF, not faith IN, the Son of God. Now don’t take me wrong I do not believe it is wrong to say we place our faith in the Son of God, but Paul was clear here saying that he was living by the faith OF Jesus and again repeated it in Gal. 2:16 as seen above. We use the faith OF Jesus and where do we get it? Well, the same place as Paul and as every born-again believer gets it from, the Word of God, Romans 10:17 Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Most of the oldest transcripts read, ‘faith comes by hearing the word or message of Christ. ( See examples below)’ We heard the report and faith came to be born-again, we continue to hear the message and in hearing we do and faith is, therefore, the doing.

And so we as believes are alive and full of the life of God and we live by the faith of God who loved us and gave His life for us. And as Paul wrote in Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened (made alive) together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. And looking a bit farther into His Word we can see even more and this is really exciting because we can see such a great truth here (but I must warn you at this point, if you are still wearing your religious glasses take them off now so as not to incur religious action that could cause blindness to the truth…..)

Hebrews 10:10-14
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

This is speaking of past, present, and even future sins. All our sins have been dealt with through the sacrifice and atonement of Christ. And if you are saying, “Wait! Future sins can’t be forgiven,” you better think again. Jesus died for our sins 2,000 years ago, before we ever committed sins. If you think sins cannot be forgiven before they are committed, then your sins aren’t forgiven. Keeping in our minds and hearts 2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him. As a Christian we will suffer some hardships and failings but God is so good that even when we fail, He remains faithful to us (2 Timothy 2:13). Paul used a series of opposites to put our hardships in perspective. If we die, we live (this verse). If we suffer, we reign (2 Timothy 2:12). Though we falter in our faith, God never will. Always remember the rewards are greater than the sacrifices. As a child of God we can’t lose for winning. (Wommack, 2015)

The Fruit of the spirit Study

Some time ago I did an in depth study of the fruit of the spirit, and made several posts about each fruit and how they are used in our lives. So when this site crashed and I started rebuilding it instead of posting 9 new blogs to be sent out I decided to put a link to them via PDF all in this one spot.

I hope you find this an easy and convenient alternative and I hope you enjoy these lessons as much as I enjoyed researching and writing them.

INTRODUCTION

Holiness

God cleanses our hearts by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). We cannot and could not save ourselves, thus the need for a savior to come and that Savior is Jesus Christ. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were not unlike many religions and religious leaders of today. They believed that “right actions and performance would produce a right relationship with God” but the ONLY way to have a right relationship with God is to humble ourselves and accept His sacrifice and receive His gift of righteousness through faith.

  1. LOVE 
  2. JOY
  3. PEACE 
  4. PATIENCE 
  5. GENTLENESS
  6. GOODNESS
  7. THE FRUIT OF FAITH
  8. MEEKNESS
  9. TEMPERANCE

 

 

 

 

Forgiving the Right Way

When I was younger I saw a TV commercial about forgiveness. It was animated and had a story of two ranchers one rich and one poor. As the story unfolded the poor rancher stole one of the rich ranchers cows and was caught by the cow hands and when they brought him to the owner they all said “string him up it will teach him a lesson” but the owner said “Forgive him it will teach him a lesson” We must learn to forgive and to forgive and forgive the right way.

One of if not the most destructive things a person can have is condemnation. When in condemnation one will suffer from all kinds of things like depression, sickness, fear, strife the effects of condemnation are very damaging. And if a person uses condemnation to try to correct or punish then they are operating in witchcraft (manipulation for intimidation to bring domination) it is really the ministry of the devil. Because the devil will try to condemn you about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING he can, it is his greatest tool.

If you work hard and get some overtime on the job then he will say you don’t spend enough  time with your family, if you stay home then he will condemn you for being lazy. No matter what you do it will never satisfy the devil, I know people who are the same way.

But when you are free from condemnation then it is a victorious life to live indeed, not a life of sin or licentiousness as some would want you to believe. Many Christians stay in condemnation all the time because they don’t understand what Jesus has done for them through his death, burial and resurrection. When you are covered by the blood of Jesus you are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1). How? Because you are dead to sin, and live no longer in it.

Romans 6:1-2
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

The question is this “How shall we, who are dead to sin, live in it any longer in it” many  misinterpret this as saying that they are dead to the power and influence of sin or in other words some believe that when they are born again that sin no longer has any influence on them. But the divine reasoning of Jesus and the Apostles is this, that when a person is free from condemnation then sin loses its power. The problem is condemnation.

Remember John 8: 1-2 the story of the woman caught in adultery, they (legal, religious folk) you can always pick them out they have no joy, always judging somebody else and pointing at the person who they feel is wrong in some way and will try to get as many other people involved with them as they can so they can feel justified in themselves.

Jesus dealt with the sin and did not side step the sin issue he did not say “don’t stone her show some mercy, no he said “if you are without sin throw the first stone” no one there could do that, except for Jesus and he would not do it, so one by one they all left.

Jesus ask this woman a question “where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” It seems here that Jesus was more concerned with her condemnation than the sin. He is wanting to know about her accusers, he is wanting to know if she is still feeling shame, and feeling condemnation. You can see Jesus is wanting her to say something, he wants to hear certain words come out of her mouth. So what does she say “No one Lord”. And Jesus said to her “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” What are we seeing here? When you are free from condemnation you are empowered to go and sin no more. Why? Because you are able to use your faith without a sense of guilt and shame, you are enabled to have confidence and be bold.

I like a definition by E.W. Kenyon

“Righteousness is the ability to stand in the presence of a Holy God without any sense of guilt, inferiority, condemnation or shame of any kind.”

You see the work of Jesus is to remove darkness of every kind from your life, because his light that shines on you shows and points to his perfect work in you and not your own works. His light shows how clean you are by his blood, how perfect his righteousness is in you, how clean your conscience is by removing all your sins. Many of the problems Christians are having today are because of condemnation, they are in bondage and are often helped to stay that way by other people who try to bring condemnation all the time.

Back to Romans.

Rom 6:9-11 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.

Jesus died for our sins, and the Bible teaches not only did he die for our sins but he died to sin at the cross, “once for all”. How did Jesus die to sin? You see we must understand verses 9 & 10 if we are to understand how “we who are dead to sin should live any longer therein”  Verse 11 starts with a key word “Likewise” (in the same manner) you also, reckon (take into account, calculate, count over, meditate) yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. So this being dead to sin question must be answered, if we are to reckon ourselves or take into account what is in our spiritual bank then we must answer a questions about Jesus.

Did the Lord Jesus die to….

  1. a) The power and influence of sin. No, Jesus came in flesh and blood but he had no sin nature, no lusts to be tempted by, (Hebrews 4:15)  For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. In us we have the flesh a sin nature but Jesus had no such thing in him. Jesus had nothing for sin to attach itself to but we have. So was Jesus ever under the power and influence of sin….. No! So how did he die to sin on the cross, well for one thing for us as our substitute?
  2. b) The imputation (ascribed, or attributed.) guilt (condemnation) and penalty of sin? God took our sins and put them on Jesus. Is this how he died to sin? YES for us as our substitute!! Glory to God forever! So LIKEWISE you RECKON yourself dead to the imputation the guilt or condemnation and penalty of sin because you are in Christ.

Sin is still sin and the power of sin comes in when we forget to reckon the truth. The truth is you have been redeemed and condemnation is not imputed to you because of the blood of Jesus. Now the next verse, verse 12 becomes something you can do if you understand verse 11 and verse 10 of Romans.

Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. Many Christians try to practice verse 12 without understanding the power of the previous verses and what Jesus has done for us by his death, burial and resurrection. Sins power is no more over you, you are no longer under condemnation but are now under justification.

If Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be, and He did die on a cross at a point of time in history, then, for all history past and all history future it is relevant because that is the very focal point for forgiveness and redemption. – Josh McDowell

So then what does all this have to do with forgiveness and forgiving the right way? I will tell you. One man I know handled his children like this when they did something wrong and got into trouble. They would come to him and would say “dad I’m sorry forgive me” and he would always forgive them and afterword it would never be brought up again because that was the end of it. Where did he learn how to do that? He learned it from Jesus, because our Father is that way. His children then did not have to walk around in condemnation and guilt afterword wondering if it were over or if he was going to start fussing at them again. No they knew it was finished.

Likewise Jesus has forgiven you the same way, he is not holding your sin against you he is not accusing you or remembering the sin any longer. Well then when someone, perhaps your wife or husband or mother, your children or friends come to you and say “forgive me” don’t say ah don’t worry about it or forget it I am your husband……no when they say forgive me, they need to hear you say “I forgive you, completely” look your child in the face and say “daddy forgives you, completely” and what does that mean? That means do your best to never, ever bring it up again.

Why that is so important because when we understand that is the way God is with us then we can rest in his forgiveness and not have condemnation. That puts you in a position to be well to be free to know that God wants you to be dead to condemnation and sin means you are alive to the joy and strength of the Lord.

 

(1 Corinthians 15:34)  Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

It means we can go to God in confidence and in faith knowing we are clean we are righteous in Him and he is not mad with us. When we have this understanding then we can receive our healing and all the other benefits that come to us through Jesus Christ.

Until next time remember look to your future and not to the past, learn to live in the grace of God and love much forgive always and hold no bitterness toward anyone.