These (conflicted) psychological and physiological symptoms begin to disappear when one sees how God can deal with the root problem by dethroning the self-life.
The Line Diagram shows the “life out of death” principle–God’s way of disposing of internal conflict. 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 (Heb. 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 (I Cor. 15:3-4). He continues to live today (Heb. 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 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–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 give us 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!” By becoming partakers of Christ’s life, we become participants in His death, burial, resurrection, ascension and seating in the heavenlies (Rom. 6:3-6; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:6). He only has one life, and this is the life we receive at our new birth (I 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” (Rom. 6:4b) where “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
The Cross experience (understanding experientially our crucifixion and resurrection with Christ) is the gateway into the Spirit-controlled life (Gal. 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 a walk after the flesh and to grieve the Spirit with a continuation of conflict, suffering and defeat.
If you are tired of the anguish that results from doing things your way, Christ will free you if you will sincerely commit yourself to let Him have His way. If you have never accepted Christ as your personal Savior, your first need is to let God create you anew by giving you spiritual rebirth. You can be born again if you can honestly pray like this:
“Heavenly Father, I have seen that I am a sinner, still in the life of Adam,and that I have committed sins. I believe you sent your only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die in my place for my sins. I also believe He rose again and now lives, and right now I receive Him into my spirit as my Savior. I surrender all that I am, all I have and all I shall be to you. I turn from my sins and my selfish ways to live my new life in Christ. Thank you for saving me. Amen.”
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, whether you prayed for salvation just now or in the past, 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.”
Part 1 of this article is titled “The Wheel.”
by Charles R. Solomon, Ed.D., Founder and President of Grace Fellowship International (GFI). The pioneer of a Christ-centered approach to counseling called Spirituotherapy since 1969, he has written 10 books, including: Handbook to Happiness, The Ins and Out of Rejection, Counseling With the Mind of Christ,Handbook to Acceptance, Gems and Jargon, Handbook to Happiness in Verse, and Handbook to Happiness and You, A Spiritual Clinic. This tract is a condensation of Chapter 2 of Handbook to Happiness. © 1996-2014 Grace Fellowship International. You can order printed copies of this Wheel & Line tract from Grace Fellowship International.
This lesson is also included in free introductory courses online at gracefellowshipinternational.com.
Over 40 translations of this article are available on the GFI web site: https://gracefellowshipinternational.com/resources/wheel-and-line/