The Law of Sin and Death

August 18, 2015

Judges 21:25
In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.

The Law of Sin and Death

The state that we see Israel in, in the book of Judges is the same state that we could see a lot of us as Christians in. We have the promise and the inheritance and we have the Word of God, but we haven’t embraced our King. Just as the Israelites could be God’s chosen people by name, it didn’t mean they were His people in their heart. They became apostate, doing whatever seemed good to them, while ignoring who God had called them to be. Isn’t that the way many in the Christian world have become. They have become apostate because they live and do what is right in their own eyes and justification rather than according to the will and calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I am not writing this to bring condemnation, but to make us aware of which law we are living under in this state of mind. Before Christ, we were living under the law of sin and death. It was a law of the commandments whereby sin abounded because of the weakness of the flesh to live and keep it. Under that law we stood condemned because we were lawless and law breakers. Even in our best efforts we were not able to find reconciliation and intimate relationship with Papa because our sin stood to condemn us. Because sin would ultimately rule us, God had to send judgement to correct us and bring us back to repentance. There we would cry out under our judgement and God in His mercy would send a judge to bring us back to Himself where we would remain briefly before repeating the cycle again.
Now, we have a King and His name is Jesus. He is not only the King, but the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. In His realm of authority and dominion He has called us out of the old law of sin and death, because the crucifixion of His divine life nailed that old law of condemnation to the cross. When we come to Him in faith we must recognize that is where our old selfish sinful nature and man has been identified; with Him on that cross. We also died to that former way of doing, “whatever seemed right in our own eyes.” As He raised us up by faith into His life we come under a new law, because we have entered and become citizens and partakers of a new kingdom. The laws of this kingdom don’t operate like the former one. Here there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. “In Christ” speaks to a state of being in our spirit man that is manifested through our physical being.
We find this in Romans 8. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” The key to living in this realm and kingdom is living by faith out of the law of the Spirit and no longer after the flesh. A line of demarcation has been drawn that you live under one law or the other, but you can’t live under both.
Jesus says you can’t serve two masters in Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Mammon is the old world order that falls under the law of sin and death.
The question then really becomes, “What law are we living under?”
Romans 8 goes on to define what it is to live in the law of the Spirit of life and what the differences are. “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
The Word doesn’t say we don’t still struggle with the inclinations toward our former sinful nature, but it has become a matter of new identity, allegiance and citizenship. If you move to the United States from a foreign country and decide to become a US citizen then you have changed your identity, allegiance and citizenship. You must renounce the old to embrace the new. If the United States is at war with your former country, who are you going to fight for and stand with? Where is your identity and allegiance? You may feel the soul ties that want to draw you back to the former feelings you had for your country and countrymen, but now you have to cut them off, because it is no longer who you are. You can no longer go between countries and have your allegiance divided or you will be considered a traitor. You can no longer live under the former laws and traditions of the old country and still be a US citizen. They don’t work in this new country. You no longer have to live under tyranny, but you can live in freedom, but freedom isn’t freedom if it brings you again under the bondage of sin. “13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. You see it is the Spirit that now indwells you that is the power in you to overcome who you used to be. As we learn to live in obedience and faithfulness to Him we are led by Him. It is living under His banner and direction that we become the sons of God.
If we are still doing whatever is right in our eyes we are missing what it is to live under the higher law. It is only under this law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that we live and abide in the life of God and we come to experience the intimacy of relationship with Him. God has given us the choice to be sons or slaves. Where is our true identity, allegiance and citizenship, in the law of sin and death or the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus? Your identity is who you are, not what you call yourself.

Blessings,
#kent

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Did You Know You were Dead?

Colossians 3:1-4
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

A principle of salvation and the work of the cross that is hard for us to really grasp and assimilate into our minds and get down into our spirits is the fact that when we gave our hearts and lives to Christ we died. We became identified with Christ upon that cross. When we came into Christ our old man died there with Him. Romans 6:6 says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” We have so long been associated with this body of sin, that many of us haven’t really made the transition spiritually and physically to the reality of this truth. We are still identified with our old body of sin and sin-nature. We keep wanting and trying to change it and reform it. That is not going to happen. We have to grasp the reality that it is DEAD! When we came into Christ we became a new creation, a spiritual man or woman with a redeemed soul. One of the greatest strategies of the enemy is to keep us in that old mindset of being sinners, still living under the curse of sin. Paul said in 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.” With that new life we found in Christ, there has to come in us a whole new mindset and way of seeing ourselves and our world through the eyes and mind of the Spirit of God. This is why we can be no longer conformed to the world, but as Romans 12:2 says,”transformed through the renewing of our minds.” Our nation, our country, our citizenship is Heaven. As such we must become heavenly minded in our thinking and actions. This is a hard rut for most of us to get out of, because we live in the world, we are around worldly people and our tendency is to think like they think and live like they live. But we have to remember that we are a redeemed and holy people now, living out our spiritual lives in these natural bodies. That is what makes us a peculiar people. Our thoughts, our dreams, our way of life and living and thinking are lining up now with the mind of the Spirit as revealed through God’s Word. The revelation of that Word is becoming alive in us more and more as we mature and grow up into Christ in all things.
So why are we still struggling with a sin nature that is no longer our nature? Much of it is because we are still housed in a body that can be influenced and moved by sin and temptation. Think of it this way: if when I came to Christ I literally died and went to heaven then I am in Christ and there is no more worries, no more struggles with the sin and the flesh. I can live a sinless life, no more temptations or trials. The reality is that while I did die and my life is in Christ, I am still left in this mortal body and subject to the curse of sin that is all around me and that still is trying to lay hold of my mortal body and soul. Even though I am dead to sin, I can’t run away from it influence. That is by God’s design, because He doesn’t want us to run away from sin, He wants us to overcome and conquer it even as Christ did. The power is not in us alone to overcome sin. If that were the case the law would have been enough and Christ would not have had to die for our sin. The only way to overcome sin is with a Savior whose life and power abides within us by faith. With the natural eye and understanding we may not see who we are in Christ, but with the eyes of faith, empowered by the Spirit and with the authority of God’s Word we go into battle. The battle to live out who we really are in the Spirit and at the same time bring others out of death and darkness, into light and life. As we have died to the natural man with it’s sin nature; we are now free to allow the Christ to live through us as we willing submit our wills to Him as a living sacrifice. We no longer hold our lives as being our own, but that ownership is now the Lord’s. We are His servants, servants of righteousness and no longer of sin. The more we lay hold of and live in this reality the less power sin has over us. It is as Romans 6:13 says, “Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.” It is a paradox that when we die to sin and that old nature, we become alive in our spirits unto God. We have become the products of His life giving Spirit at work in us. While we have not yet physically made the ascent, spiritually we have stepped out of earth and into heaven where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:1-7). We must walk in the revelation of who we are in Christ. Our state has changed from dead unto God to dead unto sin. That death is only made complete as Christ lives in and through us.

Blessings,
kent

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