The following pictorial representation from Handbook to Happiness has been used by the Holy Spirit to help many understand how to leave eternal death in Adam and find eternal life in Jesus Christ. I implore you to study it with Bible in hand and find security in a totally insecure world.
The Line Diagram (see attached) shows the “life out of death” principle; God’s way of taking us out of Adam and placing us in the life of the Lord Jesus.
The horizontal line represents eternal life, the life of Christ. By definition, eternal indicates no beginning or end. It exceeds the boundaries of time. Since Christ is God, He has always lived and always will. His life is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). As portrayed at the left of the line, Christ “became flesh” (John 1:14) and lived in a human body for some 33 years. Then, He was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). He continues to live today (Hebrews 7:25). Note that eternal life is not only a present and future reality for the believer, but also involves the eternal past.
Until we are born again (John 3:3), we are not in the life of Christ;eternal life; but we are in the spiritually dead life of Adam. One can readily see that if any one of our ancestors, represented by the hatch marks on the diagonal line, had been missing, we also would be missing. Physically speaking, our lives had beginning in Adam, so whatever happened to him also happened to us. When he sinned, we sinned. When he died (spiritually), we died [Romans 5:12,15] just as we would have died in our great-grandfather if he had died before siring any children. Thus, since spiritual death is separation from God, we were all born dead (spiritually). We need forgiveness for our sins, but we also need life. The Lord Jesus Christ came to provide both by dying for our sins and by giving us His resurrection life (John 10:10).
If you are a Christian, you already know this much. What you may not yet know is the following: For the believer, physical death is the gateway from life in the world and the presence of sin to life in Heaven and the presence of God. Similarly, another type of death is the gateway from the sinful life of Adam to the eternal life of Christ. When a person is “born again”, he, in the same instant, dies. He is born into the life of Christ, but he simultaneously dies out of the life of Adam.
Christ comes into our lives when we believe in Him and are born again, but that is not all. We are also made “partakers” of His life–eternal life. Romans 6:3 says we are not only baptized into Jesus Christ (His Life) but also into His death. We can’t occupy two opposite lives at the same time–the life of Adam and the life of Christ.
When we receive Christ by faith, it means that His death on the cross counts as payment for our sins. But it means much more. It also means that we enter into a new life–one that extends forever into the past as well as into the future. To put it another way, we exchange our history in Adam, the bad and the good, for an eternal history in Christ. We inherit a new “family tree”! We not only get a new future, we get a new past! By becoming partakers of Christ’s life, we become participants in His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and seating in the heavenlies (Romans 6:3-6; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:6). He only has one life, and this is the life we receive at our new birth (1 John 5:11,12).
Unless and until we know by personal faith experience that we were crucified with Christ, we will continue to try to live for Christ, using the methods we learned in our old self-lives. The conflicts stemming from our history in Adam will go on plaguing and defeating us. But when, by faith, we take our rightful place at the Cross in union with Christ’s death and resurrection, then, and only then, can we truly “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4b) where “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The Cross experience (understanding experientially our crucifixion and resurrection with Christ) is the gateway into the Spirit-controlled life (Galatians 5:16). It is life out of death, victory out of defeat, the purpose and answer for suffering in the life of the believer. Our path to the Cross, as well as the Cross itself, is a path of suffering; but it is the only path that leads to the end of suffering.
Are you weary enough of your internal conflict and constant defeat to put an end to it by faith? Are you willing to die to all that you are so you can live in all that He is? To do so is to exchange the self-life for the Christ-life and be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. To refuse to do so is to continue to walk after the flesh and to grieve the Spirit with a continuation of conflict, suffering, and defeat.
If you have prayed the “salvation prayer”, you have been born again, for God says He gives to all who believe in Christ the privilege of becoming His children (John 1:12).
Now, praying an “identification prayer” may help you to experience Christ’s life of victory and peace. Before this prayer can be effective, you must be truly sick of your self-life; you must be under conviction by the Holy Spirit of trying to live the Christian life in your own strength, and you must be ready to give up control of your life. If this is your condition, pray in this manner:
“Father, thank you for forgiving my sins and taking me out of the life of Adam and grafting me into the life of Christ. Now that I am in Christ, I believe that I was crucified with Him, buried with Him, raised with Him, and that I am seated with Him at your right hand. From this moment on, I choose to have your son, Jesus Christ, live His life in me and through me. I consider myself dead to sin and alive to You, and I am counting on the Holy Spirit to make me aware when I forget my death with Christ and try to live His life for Him in my own human wisdom and energy. I choose to yield my total being to You as an instrument of righteousness, allowing no part of me to be used for sin. Thank you for making Christ and His life real to me. Glorify Yourself through me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Please take to heart that the Holy Spirit can give you a new past so that you can live victoriously in the present while preparing for the future since eternal life spans all three dimensions of time.
The time when we could amass fortunes and estates to live a life of ease and to pass on to our children can no longer be assured since everything is up for grabs in an insecure country. Only in the Homeland of Heaven do we have treasures that we can enjoy forever. I urge you to book your passage today.
HEART TO HEART
When we come to the place of full retreat
And our heart cries out for God,
The only person whose hearts ours can meet
Is one who has likewise trod.
Others may offer a word of cheer
To lift us from despair;
But above the rest, the one we hear
Is the whisper, “I’ve been there”.
For more detail see chapter 2 of Handbook to Happiness, by Charles Solomon (Tyndale).
For further teaching on this by Dr. Solomon, see also A Guide to Freedom through the Cross