To quote the coroner of Oz, you’re “not only merely dead, you’re really most sincerely dead” to your old sin nature. Really? That’s right. Ding, dong, the old man’s dead! But now you’re really most sincerely alive in Christ. And that’s good news.
“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col.3:3)
So, if these things are true, which they really most sincerely are, why do we keep living our Christian life in the cemetery, trying to dig up our old nature, declaring ourselves “a sinner saved by grace” like that’s even scriptural? You were a sinner, but that person’s dead. Now you’re a saint saved by grace.
Here’s the problem. You act out on what you believe, good or bad (Prov.23:7; Lk.6:45; 2 Cor.3:18). Jesus said, in effect, that what we believe becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy (Mt.8:13). And as Bill Johnson has said, “The person who thinks they are a ‘sinner saved by grace’ sins by faith.”
But notice what Paul says about us…
“knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.” (Rom.6:6-7)
He starts by saying, “Knowing this….” He had to say it because it’s not something we automatically know. We need to go to our own funeral and have some closure here. We must also decide to know something wonderful about our new self and not be talked out of it by powerless religious traditions.
What are we to know? Well, if you read Paul’s teachings, he seems to think that living according to this Truth will bring you real freedom. Jesus said that too (Jn.8:31-32). You are free from your sinful nature because you’re not a dirty old sinner anymore.
The Christian who sins is in a temporary state of amnesia. Or maybe deception because they’ve been led to believe something other than what the Bible teaches about who they are in Christ.
It’s not that you now have an excuse to sin; you now have an excuse not to. Your new life is Christ’s life, and He doesn’t sin. Isn’t that better? That’s true freedom.
This is why our “dirty rotten sinner” theology stinks and doesn’t glorify God. It keeps us bound to a corpse that Jesus already set us free from. It is a false humility, a deceptive excuse to remain a victim, un-transformed, so that we never venture out our comfort zone to “walk on the water” of faith. Thus, we never live in that space where we contend for who God says we are until our experience matches that reality.
This grave robbing theology is what’s behind most of our feelings of self-condemnation, shame and confusion in the body of Christ. We empower this condemnation because we’re listening to the wrong voice in our head. We think it’s our voice…or worse, God’s voice. It makes us live in the cemetery of our failures instead of the life and light of Christ. This accusing voice is a demon, a false god of religious self-righteousness that must be taken captive (2 Cor.10:3-5).
Beloved, you have no past. It’s been obliterated; nailed to a bloody cross 2,000 years ago. Only the devil, and those in your life that he uses as “accusers of the brethren,” try to bind you to your past. God owns your past. Hanging to it is holding onto stolen property. Let it go.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:17 NLT)
The normal Christian is a crucified Christian (Gal.2:20), who has no past, and who now lives Jesus’ resurrected life (2 Cor.5:17). Our life is Jesus’ life (1 Jn.4:17). Why do we keep wanting to believe something else?
So…stop your grave robbing! Just take all that powerless grave robbing theology and have it cremated. Don’t go back there. Let your old “buried with Christ” corpse rot in peace. It’s nothing but a stinking thing that will never bring you life. Stop trying to raise it from the dead. Leave it in the dirty ground where it belongs. Be like Paul, “one thing I do…forgetting what is behind….” And let’s lay hold of “that for which” Christ laid hold of us. (Phil.3:12-14). And “that for which” includes real freedom (Gal.5:1). His power working in us “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph.3:20). And I know I can think a bunch!
Christ not only died for you, He died as you. So be free to love Him and live His life. Let’s stop living in the cemetery of empty religion and walk by faith in the freedom of the Spirit. For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor.3:17), which means you were meant to be the freest place on earth!