Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Reckon Yourself Dead!

I was praying this morning for inspiration and direction, and thanking God for what a privilege it is that His mercies are new every morning--that we continually get to walk in the direction of life as a brand new man. As I was doing this, I was reminded of the revelation that we were made righteous according to the work Jesus did on the cross (Romans chapter 5:12-19), and believed I should continue on the subject I started in another posting called, "Who Made You Righteous?". You can read that posting on this web page as well.
I have often used the following illustration when giving this word to groups.
If you would like, you can get a piece of paper and pen to diagram the illustration; otherwise, picture if you will, a blank piece of paper. On the blank piece of paper draw a line down the middle dividing the paper left and right.
Now, I'm going to ask you to describe you natural attributes (natural characteristics and abilities) on the left side of the page. Some examples may be that you are musically inclined, strong, hard worker, blue eyes, etc... You get the picture. Most of us could fill up the left side of this page with these types of descriptions. It's how most of us see ourselves. It's how most of us identify who we are, wouldn't you agree?
Now, on the right side of the page, describe all your divine attributes.........that's right, I said your divine attributes. Before you stone me, hear me out. 2nd Peter 1:3-4 says, "...as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of His divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." Did you see it? We are partakers of His divine nature. So that's one for the right side--I'm a partaker of His divine nature. Here's another, if He made me righteous according to Romans 5:18-19, I can add that to the page. I am righteous. Oh here's another--I'm a new creation, 2 Corinthians 5:17. All of these things are divine and holy attributes given to us by God.
You see it's easier for most of us to fill up the left side of the page because we have been programmed to relate to ourselves more as a natural being than a spirit being. This is a direct result of the fall of man. We see ourselves in this manner, become selfconscious,and look for the fig leaves to hide behind. I know because I've done it more times than I would like to admit. We are constantly made aware of our flaws or natural talents and abilities. The enemy is always getting this information to us. Often through people who love us. That's why we need to renew our minds to what God has created us to be. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." So you might say, how do I know whether I'm walking in the spirit or not? Let me ask you a question. How do you identify yourself? Do you identify yourself with the left side of the page or the right side. The left side of the page comes from a self conscious perspective. The right side of the page comes from being God conscious. In other words, God consciousness keeps us aware of our born again nature and His presence. We identify ourselves literally by our fellowship with Him. If we are not in communion with Him, chances are we have become self conscious and identify ourselves from that perspective. We always go downhill when we think from that place. You see, from that place, we have no hope, because scripture says that the natural man (self conscious man) doesn't receive the things of God. If we can't receive the things of God, we are in a hopeless condition.
The first thing we want to do is correct ourselves so that we are acceptable to God again, but that's impossible. You see God didn't come to fix or repair your carnal nature. He came to slay it! Scripture says that we were crucified with Christ and it's no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20). Also read Romans 6:4-5. So if we have this brand new divine life alive on the inside of us, and our natural man does not discern the things of God, why do we spend all our time living on the left side of the page. We need to be able to describe ourselves according to who God says we are. There are several descriptions of who we are in Christ.
There is another significant place in scripture where Paul chastises the Corinthians, telling them that he has to speak to them as babes, because they see themselves as mere men (1Corinthians 3:1-3). How would you like to be rebuked by Paul because you identified yourself more from the natural perspective than from the spiritual? Romans 8:6 says, "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
It's a fact that we are natural beings and we do have to identify with that fact, but if we see ourselves so much from the natural perspective that we can't receive the things of God, we have become carnal. This is the result of seeing ourselves only after the flesh. But please, don't quit bathing! I hope you get the spirit of what I'm saying.
That brings us to the title of this posting. Romans 6:11--"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." You see, that's all you can do. You have to leave or turn from your carnal condition because you can't fix it, you can only slay it by repenting and turning your heart to God and freely receiving His provision for you. To try and repair your condition any other way is a dead work and it was for that reason John the Baptist went out preaching to all to repent from there dead works and be baptized. This was their opportunity to repent from dead works and release their faith towards the coming messiah, Jesus Christ.
If you find that you are trapped in your own carnality--turn by faith, and do not listen to what your natural feelings might be telling you. You will be putting to death that carnal condition by doing this.
Now, trust God that you will experience the fruit of that decision. He is able to complete the work that He started in you. He is the author and finisher of your faith. You will fulfill your destiny if you stay on this course.
So please, if you're born again, reckon yourselves dead!
P.S. Continue to bathe and use your deodorant! Thanks:)

1 Comments:

Blogger Rob McKinnon said...

Ken,

Again, it's simple and true. Right on, brother. Kudos. All that stuff.

Rob

9:36 AM  

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