The Two Sides of the Cross (Part 2)

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By Robert Xavier

I. Grace Is Not A License To Sin (Romans 5:20-6:2)

A. The Law (Romans 5:20): The System of the Law (The Ten Commandments) was given to reveal and define sin. When God brought in the law through Moses, sin and its awareness increased; however, God revealed to us through the Apostle Paul that He did not leave us to struggle with our sinful- ness, since the law had condemned us. Instead, God chose to deal with us by using Christ Jesus to bring in a new system – GRACE!

B. Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9): Grace is the basis of our Salvation. Because of God’s grace (unmerited favor), Christ laid down His Life for our redemption. As our sins abounded (actually grew) because of the coming of the law, God’s Grace abounded even more by the coming of our Great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

C. The Reign of Grace (Romans 5:21): Chapter five of Romans tells us that all of us became spiritually separated from God by being in Adam, the father of the human race. When Adam sinned, we all shared in his sin. We all became dead toward God and alive toward sin. (Romans 5:12)

1. Physical Death – One result of Old Adam’s sin was the coming of physical death. If Adam had not sinned, he would be alive today! That same death was passed on to the whole human race. We each begin to die the very day that we are born into this world. Someday, God will do away with physical death, even as He will do away with all sin.

2. Spiritual Death – An even more serious result of Adam’s sin was spiritual death. Adam became spiritually separated from God. In this case, the word “dead” means “separated.” His human spirit became unable to fellowship with his Creator, being cut off from the One who gave him life, meaning and purpose. He was left to try to meet his needs by his own human resources. In other words, he became alive to sin and independent of the Eternal Creator God. One good definition of SIN is “attempting to get ones needs met, apart from God.”

3. Eternal Life – God’s Grace provided the answer to spiritual death. Even as sin ruled over mankind, bringing physical and spiritual death, the reign of God’s Grace was brought in by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary. He came to end our spiritual death, by becoming our righteousness and our eternal life! The Lord Jesus Christ’s Life is the ONLY REAL LIFE in this world. To those who have received Him, He is their Life!

D. No More Excuse to Continue In Sin (Romans 6:1 & 2):

In the first two verses of chapter six, Paul makes it clear to us that GRACE is no excuse to continue on in sin! He says that we no longer need to live in sin, because we have “Died to Sin”!

II. Baptized Into Christ (Romans 6:3-5)

A. “Baptized” Defined: We, who have received Christ as our Savior, have
been spiritually baptized into Him. The word “baptized” might better be understood to mean “immersed into,” so, we were immersed into Christ (in the spiritual realm) at salvation and, therefore, were made literally to parti- cipate (in our spirit being) in His death, burial and resurrection.

B. United with Him: When the Lord Jesus Christ became our Savior through our believing the Gospel of the Grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:3 & 4), we were united with Him. This means that we became one with Him in our spirit. First Corinthians 6:17 says, “…. The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” Christ Life has become our Life. (Ephesians 1:3), and all that has happened to Him has happened to us, because we are IN Him. As He is, so are we, according to The Book, the Word of God!

1. When HE Died, WE Died (Romans 6:3-4): At the moment of our salvation, God took our old corrupt human spirit — the one we inherited from Adam — placed it into the Body of Christ and sent it to the Cross where it was killed!!!

2. When HE Was Buried, WE Were Buried (Romans 6:4): Then our old, corrupt (but now crucified) human spirit was buried with Christ. It is very interesting to note that, in order to be born again, we first had to die. “Born once, die twice; born twice, die once.” Note: Consider taking time to look up and reread each Scripture verse.

3. When He Rose Again, We Rose Up With Him (Romans 6:4-5): When Christ was resurrected, we were raised up with Him “to walk in newness of life.” This means that we went into the grave as spirits who were “dead to God and alive to sin,” but came out of the grave with Christ as regenerated spirits who now are “dead to sin and alive unto God.” This happened in the spiritual realm. Further- more, in our resurrection with Christ, our new human spirit became the indwell- ing place of God’s Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 3:16)

III. Our Participation At Calvary (Romans 6:6-11)

Romans 6:6-7 brings the truth of our death with Christ at Calvary into sharp focus. It is vital that we grasp the significance of these important words.

A. Old Self: Have you ever wondered, as you read Romans 6:6, “What in the world is an “old self”? Many possible explanations have been offered. Some have called “old self” the “Adamic Nature” or “Sinful Nature,” basic to all humans. I choose to use the term “Old Adam.” Others have referred to the “Old Self” as everything we were before we were saved. This, too, is a true statement, but it still comes short of giving us a really clear understanding.

B. The Best Explanation of “Old Self” Follows:

1. It is obvious that something called “You” went to the cross with Christ. Since you do not have holes in your hands as Christ did, we can assume that your body did not go to the cross.

2. Since you do not have a memory of going to the cross, we can assume that your mind and, therefore, your soul did not die with Christ.

3. There is only one part of your being left to consider — your spirit. Your spirit is what you inherited from Adam. It was corrupted by sin when Adam fell into sin. Your spirit, also, is the only part of your being that is not limited by time, space and force. It is the only part of your being that could have gone to the cross of Christ and been co-crucified with Him.

4. Therefore, your old, unregenerated, corrupt human spirit was your “Old Self” or Old Adam. Some have equated the “Old Self” to the “Body of Sin” in Romans 6:6. They are not the same thing! A more accurate render- ing of verse six would be that we know that our old, unrenewed self, which was the instrument of sin, might be made ineffective and inactive for evil. Most importantly, we no longer would be slaves of sin. In other words, the “Body of SIN” is our physical body. The old, corrupt human spirit was crucified with Christ in order to provide a way that our physical body might no longer be used for sin. We will attempt to lay the foundation for this under- standing in the rest of Romans 6 and will discuss the practical application of God’s provision for victory over temptation and sin found in chapter seven.

IV. Sin No Longer Is To Reign (Romans 6:12-23)

• Because we have been crucified, buried and raised up as new creations in spiritual union with Christ, we now must accept the fact that sin no longer is our master. We can choose to live in victory over sin’s temptations!

A. Presenting the Members of Our Body To Christ (Romans 6:12-14)

We are told not to allow sin to rule over us in our bodies. It is important to note that Scripture tells nothing about NOT letting sin rule in our spirit. Why? This is because it cannot sin! Our spirit has been freed (by death on the cross with Christ) from sin. The only place left for sin to reign is in our body and soul (mind, emotion and will).

We are to present (by faith) our bodies to God as His instruments of right- eousness, rather than to present our bodies to sin to be used for unrighteous- ness. If we do this, we will find that sin has lost its power to control us and to motivate us toward evil or life-controlling deeds. Since we NOW are under Grace, instead of the law, sin no longer is our master!

B. No Longer Slaves To Sin (Romans 6:15-23): God firmly states in Romans 6:1-2, “Shall we continue in sin because we are not under the law but under grace?” Never- Never- Never! He is telling us that it is pointless to go on living in sin, when we (our spirit) have died (IN Christ) to sin. He is telling us that we should not go on living in sin because we once were slaves to it, and now have been “Set Free” from that slavery. Why would we want to go back to living like slaves, when, in reality, we are FREED?

C. Died With Christ, Spiritually Alive IN Christ: If we now present ourselves as slaves to sin, the result is death. (Romans 6:16) The death that the Apostle Paul is talking about here is NOT spiritual death (separation from God), but rather a deterioration and degradation in our earthly lives that eventually will lead to physical death. If we present ourselves in obedience (to God) the result is Christ’s righteousness being lived in us and through us, as us.

In Romans 6:19-22, Paul goes on to tell us that, if we choose to become slaves to Christ’s righteousness, a progressive sanctification takes place in our lives. Just as slavery to sin degrades and deteriorates our bodies, souls and spirits, so, also, slavery to righteousness (by counting ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God IN Christ), gives us the expression of Christ in our own unique humanity. Our spirit’s being IN Christ helps to heal and to restore us from the harm that sin did to us in the past and makes us clean vessels for God’s use. “The wages of sin is death, but God’s FREE GIFT is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” The result of this GIFT is His eternal life dwelling in us and expressed through us!

Summary: When our “Old Man, Old Adam” died on the cross with Christ, there were certain things to which we died. To put it another way, our spirit ceased its relationship with certain things that no longer hold power over us — over our new spirit, our true identity. We are dead to them! The first thing to which we died is sin. We are not speaking of sins, which are the acts of our unrighteousness, but sin, which is the power responsible for producing those acts of unrighteousness.

“Know this, that our Old Man was crucified with Christ, in order that our body of sin might be made powerless, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6-7)

God sees us differently than we see ourselves. We often inflict mental and emotional punishment, guilt and condemnation upon ourselves, day after day, episode after episode, for things about us that He is not even seeing. Why? It is because He chooses not to see them. God chooses to see us co-crucified with His Son. In the unseen, eternal realm, when Jesus died, we were in Him, and we died, too. The old spirit is gone; the new is come, and we are a new creation in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 says:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

The blood side of the cross deals with the forgiveness of sins action or attitudes that break the law of God. The body side of the cross deals with our sin, whose source was the old man, our old Adamic nature. Our problem al- ways was a spiritual problem: sin. Jesus Christ did not just identify with our problem; He became the problem. “He (God) made Him (Jesus), who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God In Him.” (2 Co- rinthians 5:21) The Gospel of Christ provides forgiveness of sins, through being in His Spirit who is holy, unreproveable, unblameable, without accusation, thus, without sin. Even when we, emotionally, do not feel holy, our spirit is holy, because the Word of God says that the real you is a spirit that lives in a body that has a soul. We can choose to trust our feeling or trust God’s Word! We have only three options of where we can put our faith and trust, according to Jeremiah 17:5,7,9 — inwardly, upwardly or outwardly:

1. Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. (17:5)

2. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. (17:7) 3. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can
know it. (17:9)

It is a great victory to move into an understanding of the reality of who we are in Christ Jesus. We have the wonderful blessing and privilege of seeing ourselves the way He sees us. Our entire point of reference is now Christ, Who lives His Life in us. We and Christ are One. He is Living His Life uniquely in us and through us, as us.
Remember that we have only three options of where we can put our faith and trust.

Written by Grand Master Robert Xavier

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