“We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves. but in God which raiseth the dead.” 2 Cor. 1:9
…Follow the Presence of God, and keep your eyes on Him as you walk by faith. The wisdom of God is foolishness to the world. The point of the story is very clear. We must identify with the Lord Jesus and follow Him. He was baptized in Jordan and set His face like a flint to go to the cross [Luke 9:53;12:50]. We too must claim the promise of Galatians 2:20 as our own. We were crucified with Christ and our individual lives are now OVER! But we must claim it and reckon ourselves dead indeed [Rom. 6:11].
Our intelligent “baptism” is to show the Father that we are saying “goodbye” to our old way of trusting our self-life, and that now we are consenting to our death with Christ. We now choose that “to us to live is Christ,” and we are raised from the dead in His resurrection. Our lives are “hidden with Christ in God” [Col. 3:3]. The old man is buried with Him, and the life we now have is His [in our spirit]. With a freshly circumcised heart, we begin to feast on Him (1 Cor. 5:7-8).
The “rest” that we enter into is when we have given up our old fleshly life of unbelief and have received by the Spirit the very life of the Risen Son [practically, in the soul]. We go forth and become “more than conquerors through Him” [Rom. 8:37]. We have made the faith choice of “no more”! , and now Christ is to live in us [experientially].
It is a necessity that we come to the cross and agree that “I am crucified with Christ.” We see His death as our own death. He hung on that cross until all was finished. We have been brought clean over [the Jordan]. Now we are in the army of the Lord, and the weapons of our warfare are NOT carnal [2 Cor. 10:4]. Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us that we are to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We are to put on the whole armor of God, and with all manner of prayer take the sword of the Spirit to face the foes of Light. An army on our knees … invincible.
Once we begin to see that ALL the Book is about Him and the wonderful truth of the Gospel….it will transport us into a new dimension of Bible study. Everything before the cross pointed to it and everything since it has pointed back to it. As the Son was obedient unto the death of the cross, and willing to become the very judgement for our sins, He faced the wrath of God as our propitiation [Rom. 3:24-26]. Father God demonstrated that His payment was perfect by raising Him from the dead and seating Him on the throne of Eternity as Lord of all. He is the Lord of Hosts. We are His royal priesthood, and an army of those who worship Him in the Spirit (Phil. 3:3).
“They that are Christ’s have [positionally] crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24). Someone once said that if you wanted to know what the “flesh” is then just knock off the “H” and spell it backwards. The self life must be ended … not just mended!
By faith, we must have a funeral for our self-life, and a coronation for the indwelling King. In all things He must be given the pre-eminence. I must ask myself if I have done this. The New Covenant calls for a inward circumcision of our hearts. “We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Our real citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:3,20). We have died and our lives are now hidden with Christ in God.
From carnality to Canaan, now Christ is to be our very life! While we remain on this earth we must deny our self life and take up our cross [Luke 9:23]. This is a daily love-choice! Resurrection life is waiting for us on the other side of the cross! By the Holy Spirit’s power we are to mortify our members which remain upon the earth and follow in His steps [Rom. 8:13].
In amazement and faith let us keep the feast of Christ our Passover (1 Cor. 5: 7-8). May He give us a glorious vision of the Captain of the armies of the Lord of Hosts; and then He will lead us in His triumph into all the promises of God.
(Part 3 of 3. Parts 1,2 are at Gracenotebook.com)
by Al Whittinghill, Kneemail, 2/2010 edition, used with permission. firstname.lastname@example.org
Serving with Ambassadors for Christ International, 1355 Terrell Mill Road, Building 1462, Suite 100, Marietta, GA 30067, Phone: 770-980-2020. www.afci-usa.org “REVIVAL IN THE CHURCH – EVANGELISM THRU THE CHURCH – TRAINING FOR THE CHURCH”