11 Self-Denial


  Self-denial is not exactly what you think it is.  
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This is a book review of The Green Letters with comments and study questions along the way.  Feel free to answer questions or ask them with your comments to enrich our learning.

11: SELF-DENIAL

When a believer begins to discover something of the awful tyranny of the self-life, or has been endlessly struggling against that tyranny, he becomes intensely concerned about the denial of self with the resultant freedom to rest and grow in Christ. Man has many ways of seeking to escape the thralldom of self; God has but one way. First then, some of these man-centered methods.

MORTIFCATION

Denying oneself certain things for a time, or even for all time, is not even close to the answer since the old nature will adjust and thrive under any conditions – anything short of death to self. “There have been those who have thought that to get themselves out of the way it was necessary to withdraw from society; so they denied all natural human relationships and went into the desert or the mountain or the hermit’s cell to fast and labor and struggle to mortify the flesh. While their motive was good it is impossible to commend their method. For it is not scriptural to believe that the old Adam nature can be conquered in that manner. It yields to nothing less than the death of the cross. It is altogether too tough to be killed by abusing the body or starving the affections.” – A. W. Tozer

CONQUEST

Probably the most drawn out and exhausting effort of all is the believer’s struggle to conquer and control this rebel self. More meetings, more Bible study, more prayer are all resorted to, but neither are these God’s answer to this problem.

TRAINING

Here is a favorite that has been tried and found wanting down through the ages. Good Christian training and culture in the right homes, churches and schools have been relied upon to subdue the old nature and bring it into line.

REVIVALISM

Another failure has been the practice of holding special meetings once or twice a year. This involves outside leadership (a stranger to the individual problems), and the devastating revival routine (confession, new resolutions, etc.), in the hope that something will change – but it rarely does, and then not for long.

GROWTH

So many dear Christians just keep plodding (or racing) through the deadening routine of their multitudinous church activities and duties, expecting that in time self will change for the better as they grow. But self never changes into anything but more of the same! “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6). “Sometimes this self is entirely bad, as when it is angry, spiteful, unkind, unjust, untruthful, unloving, catty. In other cases a good exterior conceals an evil heart, as when we are proud of our humility, conceited about our Christian service, boastful of our orthodoxy. And an over forwardness and obvious conceit at the sound of one’s own voice spoils many a prayer meeting.”

CLEANSING

Up-to-the-moment confession and consequent cleansing have also constituted a popular method. However, 1 John 1:9 has to do with sins already committed, and not with the source (self) from which they emanate.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

“Our sins are dealt with by the blood, we ourselves are dealt with by the cross.[1] The blood procures our pardon, the cross procures deliverance from what we are in Adam. The blood can wash away my sins, but it cannot wash away my old man: I need the cross to crucify me – the sinner.”

EXPERIENCES

Today one of the prevalent attempts for something better is to go in for “the baptism of the Spirit,” speaking in tongues, etc. This is by far the most dangerous and pathetic trap of all, as it is simply self, neurotically and religiously rampant. “Calvary precedes Pentecost. Death with Christ precedes the fullness of the Spirit. Power! Yes, God’s children need power, but God does not give power to the old creation, nor to the uncrucified soul. Satan will give power to the ‘old Adam,’ but not God.”

Which of us does not know something of the failure of our ways, well-intentioned as they may be? What most do not know is that this very failure is the path to learning, and entering into, God’s way. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8, 9). Now just what is God’s way of self-denial? He has but one way, and it is on the basis of all His other ways: the principle of the finished work. His way for us in everything is the way He has already traveled, conquered, and completed in Christ.

THE CROSS GOD’S WAY

It was on the cross of Calvary that God, in Christ, dealt fully and finally with self, the nature from which all our sins flow. “We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body, [which is the instrument] of sin, might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin” (Rom 6:6, Amp.). The reason there is no other way for self to be denied is that God has done the work in this way: our identification with Christ Jesus in His death and resurrection! It is done; now ours to believe.[2]

“The ‘flesh’ will only yield to the cross; not to all the resolutions you may make at a conference, not to any self-effort, not to any attempted self-crucifixion; only to co-crucifixion, crucified together with Christ.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

It is not by putting yourself to death, but by taking, through faith and surrender, your place of union with Christ in His death.[3] That is the blessed barrier of safety between you and all the attractions of the flesh, and that makes the way open to do the will of God.” – G. Watt

The cross of Calvary resulted in the death of the Lord Jesus, both for sin, and unto sin. In that He died unto sin, He died out of the realm of sin, and He arose into the realm of “newness of life,” eternal life. And our identification with Him on Calvary took us into death; down into the tomb; up into “newness of life” (Rom 6:4). First, Romans 6:3 – “Baptized into his death”; then, Romans 6:4 – “Buried with him”; then, Romans 6:5 – “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection”; also, Colossians 3:3 – “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God”; therefore, Romans 6:11-“Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Praise the Lord! it all happened at Calvary: our sins were paid for, our sinfulness was dealt with, and both by the ultimate death. And we receive the benefits of the work of the cross simply by reckoning on, believing in, the finished work of the cross. First, through the Word, we find out what God did about our problem. Then, as we become thoroughly convinced of the fact and begin to understand it clearly, we are able to agree to “reckon” it true. And as we exercise faith in God’s fact, we begin to receive the benefits of that finished work in experience. Was it not true in the matter of our justification? Yes, and we will likewise find it to be true in the matter of our emancipation from the slavery of the self-life.

“The powerful effect of the cross with God, in heaven, in the blotting out of guilt, and our renewed union with God, is inseparable from the other effect – the breaking down of the authority of sin over man, by the crucifixion of self. Therefore Scripture teaches us that the cross not only works out a disposition or desire to make such a sacrifice, but it really bestows the power to do so, and completes the work. This appears with wonderful clarity in Galatians. In one place the cross is spoken of as the reconciliation for guilt (Gal 3:13). But there are three more places where the cross is even more plainly spoken of as the victory over the power of sin; as the power to hold in the place of death the ‘I’ of the self-life; of the flesh (the outworking of self); and of the world (Gal 2:20; 5:24; 6:14). In these passages our union (identification) with Christ, the crucified One, and the conformity to Him resulting from the union, are represented as the result of the power exercised within us and upon us by the cross.” – Andrew Murray

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us — for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE” —

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

As we learn to stand upon the finished work of Calvary, the Holy Spirit will begin to faithfully and effectively apply that finished work of the cross to the self-life, thereby holding it in the place of death – inactive – resulting in the “not I, but Christ” life.

Questions

  1. Our sins are dealt with by the ______, we ourselves are dealt with by the ______.

  2. The reason there is no other way for self to be denied is that ______

  3. It is not by putting yourself to death, but by taking, through faith and surrender, your place of ______ with Christ in His death.

10 Self

There is an exuberant joy that comes to us when we understand the doctrine of justification by faith.  When we realize we are convicted and sentenced to death for our sin and someone in the audience says to the judge "Your honor, I will pay this man's penalty" and they actually mean it and prove that they do; it brings great joy and gratitude.  But, where is the joy in the doctrine of sanctification by faith?  Can there be a similar joy?  There can.  This chapter will dip us into that less known but most beautiful divine truth.  As I look at this again I'm amazed by the intricacies, the details, and how these truths are interwoven.  It seems a paradox is presented; the way up is down.  How could even the brightest mind of man come up with such things?  Surely, this is divine information comes from God. 
What's a Paradox? | Dogfoose.com (Michael Kline)
This is a book review of The Green Letters with comments and study questions along the way.  Feel free to answer questions or ask them with your comments to enrich our learning.

One of the most important factors in Christian growth is the Holy Spirit’s revelation of the self-life to the believer.[1] Self is the fleshly, carnal life of nature, the life of the first Adam – “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1); thoroughly corrupt before God (Gal 5:19-21); the life in which there is no good thing in the sight of God (Rom 7:18). Nowhere do spiritual principles mean more than here. Plato, with his “Know thyself,” was more right than he knew, but still only half right. Paul, with God’s “Not I, but Christ,” was all right!

Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

For one to get beyond just knowing about the Lord Jesus, and enter into a consistent and growing personal knowledge of and fellowship with Him, one must first come to know oneself. Introspection is not involved here – the Holy Spirit uses experiential revelation. First, the believer learns “Not I,” then, “but Christ.” First, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone,” then “but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24). First, “always delivered unto death,” then, “that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest” (2 Cor 4:11). In service: first, “death worketh in us,” then, “but life in you” (2 Cor 4:12). All resurrection life springs out of death, else it would not be resurrection life – His risen life (Rom 6:5, 6).[2] We are to yield ourselves unto God as those who are alive from the dead.

Romans 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

For some years now the evangelistic scene has been dominated by a conversion known as “commitment,” which often, sad to say, amounts to little more than a spiritual miscarriage. When there is a bit of life it usually blossoms overnight into full bloom, and soon becomes heavy with the fruit of “dynamic,” “radiant,” personality coupled with busy, rushing service. The tragedy of this sort of thing is that self is at home and thrives in the glow of it all, and is rarely found out for what it really is. All is indiscriminate “hearts and flowers.”

The healthy new birth, based on deep conviction of sin, and repentance toward God, starts out clear and strong with love and devotion to the Savior. But, before long, there comes the sickening realization of an element within that pulls one back to self-centeredness, to the world, to the rule of the law, to sin. This learning by heartbreaking experience of the utter sinfulness and reigning power of self in the everyday Christian life, is the means whereby we come to know the Lord Jesus beyond the birth phase – as our Savior; on to the growth-phase – as our Lord and Life. “To me to live is Christ.” No believer will truly come to know the Lord Jesus as his Life until he knows by experience the deadly self-life deep within for what it is.[3]

At a Spiritual Life Conference many years ago, Dr. C. I. Scofield said, “Not everyone, by any means, has had the experience of the seventh of Romans, that agony of conflict, of desire to do what we cannot do, of longing to do the right we find we cannot do. It is a great blessing when a person gets into the seventh of Romans and begins to realize the awful conflict of its struggle and defeat; because the first step toward getting out of the struggle of the seventh chapter and into the victory of the eighth, is to get into the seventh. Of all the needy classes of people, the neediest of this earth are not those who are having a heartbreaking, agonizing struggle for victory, but those who are having no struggle at all, and no victory, and who do not know it, and who are satisfied and jogging along in a pitiable absence of almost all the possessions that belong to them in Christ.”

J. C. Metcalfe gives this same fact an added witness: “Many a young Christian, who has not been warned of this necessary voyage of discovery upon which the Holy Spirit will certainly embark him (Rom 7), has been plunged into almost incurable despair at the sight of the sinfulness which is his by nature. He has in the first place rejoiced greatly in the forgiveness of his sins, and his acceptance by God; but sooner or later he begins to realize that all is not well, and that he has failed and fallen from the high standard which he set himself to reach in the first flush of his conversion.

“He begins to know something of the experience which Paul so graphically describes: ‘What I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I’ (Rom 7:15), and, in consequence, he feels that the bottom has fallen out of his Christian life; and then perhaps the Devil whispers to him that it is just no good his going on, because he will never be able to make the grade. Little does he know how healthy his condition is, and that this shattering discovery is but the prelude to a magnificent series of further discoveries of things which God has expressly designed for his eternal enrichment. All through life God has to show us our utter sinfulness and need, before He is able to lead us on into realms of grace, in which we shall glimpse His glory.”[4]

Self-revelation precedes divine revelation – that is a principle for both spiritual birth and spiritual growth. The believer who is going through struggle and failure is the Christian who is being carefully and lovingly handled by his Lord in a very personal way. He is being taken through the experience (years in extent) of self-revelation and into death, the only basis upon which to “know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Phil 3:10).

God works by paradox. Success comes via failure; life springs out of death, etc. The only element in the believer’s life that crumbles is that which has to go anyway – the new life can never be harmed or affected. This disintegration is something the believer cannot enter into nor engineer on his own – self will never cast out self. He has to be led into it by the mercy of the Holy Spirit – into failure; abject and total. “For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor 4:11). So often the means utilized by the Spirit is an unsaved mate, or even a saved one! Or poor health, yes, and good health, too! A thousand and one things are used by Him – in fact, everything (Rom 8:28-29), to bring out the worst in us, ultimately enabling us to see that the Christian life has to be “not I, but Christ.” People, circumstances, etc., are never the cause of failure. Self’s reaction to them is the cause, and the one problem to be dealt with.[5] “It’s me, it’s me, O Lord.”

“Many of us have probably known what it was to rejoice in the grace of God without having apprehended very much the true character of the flesh. It has often been noticed that where there is the greatest exuberance of joy in young converts, there is often a levity which fails to take into account that the flesh is unchanged. In such cases the grace of God is taken up in a self-confident way; there is very little self-distrust, or sense of weakness and dependence. And the inevitable consequence is a fall, or a succession of falls, that gradually bring home to the consciences of believers their utter weakness and incapacity as in the flesh.” – C. A Coates

Evan Hopkins shares some important light on our subject: “How infinite are the forms in which self appears. Some are occupied with good self. They pride themselves on their excellencies. Others are just as much occupied with bad self. They are forever groaning over their imperfections, and struggling with the flesh as if they hoped in time to improve it. When shall we be convinced it is so utterly bad that it is beyond all recovery?[6] Our experience, upward, in the power of God, is just in proportion to our experience, downward, in ceasing from self.

“Is it, Reckon yourself to be weak in reference to sin? No, it is lower than that. Is it, Reckon yourself to be dying? No, lower still. ‘Reckon yourself to be dead – (Rom 6:11) – indeed unto sin.’ Some believe they are very weak. But what does that imply? That they have some strength. But when a man is dead he has no strength. We must act on the fact that we are dead in reference to sin. We shall not then speak of difficulty as to resisting temptation in reference to ourselves. We shall take the lowest place, and say it is impossible. But we shall know that what is impossible with self is possible with God. We shall take our place on the resurrection side of the cross, and in so doing we leave behind the old self-life for the new Christ-life. To live in Him who is our Life, is to be in the power of God.”[7] Someone has rightly said that “there are many ‘separated from the world’ Christians who are not ‘separated from themselves’ Christians.”

Questions

  1. One of the most important factors in Christian growth is the Holy Spirit’s ______ of the self-life to the believer.
  2. Resurrection life springs out of ______.
  3. Explain the means by which we come to know Jesus not just as Lord but as our life.
  4. True or False: The path into the realms of grace in which we glimpse His marvelous glory is usually marked by a series of victories.
  5. People, circumstances, etc., are never the cause of failure. ______ reaction to them is the cause, and the one problem to be dealt with.
  6. Are you groaning over your imperfections, and struggling with the flesh as if you hope in time to improve it? When will you be convinced it is so utterly bad that it is beyond all recovery?
  7. To live in Him who is our Life, is to be in the ______ of God.
Click on the "The Green Letters" tag below to see all the posts in this series.  To go to the start of this series click here.

9 Consecration

Two chapters ago we learned about appropriation – to set aside for our practical possession something that already belongs to us. That idea should be carried through this chapter. Don’t get lost and forget what already belongs to us in Christ. One insightful point made in this today’s chapter that I will put in the form of a question to think about is – Does crucifixion (putting to death the deeds of the flesh) come before consecration or does consecration come before crucifixion? One lets God work; the other does not.

This is a book review of The Green Letters with comments and study questions along the way.  Feel free to answer questions or ask them with your comments to enrich our learning.

It might be good to stress several points just here. (1) Never was a believer brought into healthy spiritual maturity by means of pressure meetings, and constant exhortation, nor before he was prepared by the Spirit.[1] (2) Healthy progress is based upon the apprehension, understanding and appropriation of the truths in Christ that make for real growth.[2] (3) The experiential aspect of all truth, and especially these so-called deeper truths, is closed to all but the needy heart. Until one is aware of his need to progress spiritually, he will never be brought beyond the birth truths – a mere babe in Christ. “Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ, the Messiah, advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belongs to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works [dead formalism], and of the faith [by which you turned] to God” (Heb 6:1, Amp.).

This subject of consecration seems to be badly misunderstood by so many believers. Many, especially those young in the Lord, have been victimized time and time again in this matter of surrender, or commitment. The bludgeon most commonly used is: “The Lord Jesus gave His all for you, now the least you can do is give your all for Him!” The believer is exhorted and pressured to consecrate, surrender, commit his life to Christ on the basis of his love and gratitude for what has been done on his behalf at Calvary.

How often the average congregation is put through this routine. How often the individual believer is maneuvered down front to consecrate and re-consecrate, surrender and re-surrender, commit and recommit himself to Christ! Why is it that after a while the believer comes to dread such meetings and messages? Well, there are a number of reasons for all this frustration, floundering and failure; and, praise the Lord, there are scriptural answers available to all who need and want them.

First of all, it is utterly futile to expect a believer, by means of consecration, surrender, or commitment, to step from his ground of substitution (Rom 3-5), onto that of the deeper truths in Romans 8 and 12:1.

There is the all-important area of identification truth in Romans 6 and 7 that cannot be skipped over. Every hungry-hearted Christian yearns to be fully consecrated and conditioned for effective life and service. And from the very outset; until hard experience teaches him otherwise, the well-meaning believer thinks that since he has the will to obey God and to be what He intends for him, he should attempt to carry it out through personal consecrated effort with His help. He seeks to struggle forward via the love motive, i.e., He did for me, so I must do for Him.

The following two thoughts by Andrew Murray will help here. “A superficial acquaintance with God’s plan leads to the view that while justification is God’s work, by faith in Christ, sanctification (growth) is our work, to be performed under the influence of the gratitude we feel for the deliverance we have experienced, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit. But the earnest Christian soon finds how little gratitude can supply the power. When he thinks that more prayer will supply it, he finds that, indispensable as prayer is, it is not enough. Often the believer struggles hopelessly for years, until he listens to the teaching of the Spirit, as He glorifies Christ again, and reveals Christ, our Sanctification, to be appropriated by faith alone.[3]

“God works to will, and He is ready to work to do (Phil 2:13), but, alas! many Christians misunderstand this.

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

“They think because they have the will it is enough, and that now they are able to do. This is not so. The new will is a permanent gift, an attribute of the new nature. The power to do is not a permanent gift, but must be each moment received from the Holy Spirit. It is the man who is conscious of his own impotence as a believer who will learn that by the Holy Spirit he can lead a holy life.” Now and then one is called upon to speak out against something that is good, in order to present His best. The love motive from which to live the Christian life and serve the Lord is good, it is high, but it is not adequate – especially because it is not the motivation underwritten by Him.

As growing Christians, it is time for us to see the necessity of going beyond the love motive to the life motive.[4] “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21). Our consecration, surrender, or commitment will never hold up if it is our responding to Him from any other motivation than the response of His life in us. Yielding to Him on any different basis will simply amount to our trying to live for Him in the self-life. And even if that were possible He could never accept it, since in that realm there dwelleth no good thing (Rom 7:18); plus the fact that He has already taken the old life to the cross and crucified it (Rom 6:6; Gal 2:20; 2 Tim 2:11; 1 Peter 2:24).

Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

2 Timothy 2:11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;

1 Peter 2:24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

J. C. Metcalfe sees both the problem and the answer: “The modern teaching of consecration, which is tantamount to the consecration of the ‘old man,’ seeks to bypass the death sentence and, therefore, only leads to frustration and failure. When, however, you and I are prepared, in simple humility, to make the fact of our death with Christ our daily basis of life and service, there is nothing that can prevent the uprising and outflow of new life, and meet the need of thirsty souls around us.”

Here is the crux of the matter. The question is, Which life is to be consecrated to Him, the old self-life, or the new Christ life? God can accept absolutely nothing from the old – He sees and acknowledges only that which ‘is centered in His Son, who is our Life. Hence God has but one stipulation for consecration: “Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead” (Rom 6:13). This is our only ground, and from this platform we are to count ourselves dead unto sin, self, the law, the world, and alive unto God in Christ Risen – to walk in “newness of life,” “risen life” (Rom 6:11, 4).

“‘Present yourselves unto God as alive from the dead’ (Rom 6:13, ASV). This is the true place of consecration. For believers to ‘consecrate themselves to God’ ere they have learnt their union with Christ in death and resurrection (identification) is only to present to God the members of the natural man, which He cannot accept. Only those ‘alive from the dead’ – that is, having appropriated fully their likeness with Him in death – are bidden to present their members as instruments unto God.”

“God asks us to present our bodies as living sacrifices to Him (Rom 12:1). Until we have done this, there is nothing else we can do. Notice this exhortation comes after Romans six. There is a reason for this order – crucifixion comes before consecration.[5] Uncrucified self refuses to be consecrated. This is why so many people with all sincerity walk down the aisles again and again, consecrating uncrucified self to God.” – H. Duncan. This is why the identification truths must be carefully and thoroughly presented, ultimately understood, and their reality entered into. We cannot even get as far as consecration without them! Many feel that identification is an “emphasis,” an interesting subject ministered at a few Deeper Life Conferences, and Keswick Conventions. But these truths are not peripheral; they are foundational. “The sixth of Romans is not an aspect of the truth, but the foundation truth upon which every believer must stand to know anything about victory.”

“All the (identification) truths we have learned about the cross, of our death with Christ, our death to sin with Him, of our conformity to death like the grain of wheat falling into the ground to die, are preparatory to the overcoming life. They are the foundation of, and fundamental to it.”

“A careful study of all the Epistles of Paul will show that they are written on the basis of the cross set forth in Romans six – the fact that God consigns the old fallen Adam-life to the cross, and has nothing to say to it. God deals with all believers on the ground – ‘ln Christ you died.’ But the Church of Christ, as a whole, ignores this fact. It treats the fallen creation (self-life) as capable of improvement, and the meaning of the cross bringing to death the old Adam race as fallen beyond repair, is thus nullified.”

  1. In order for one to be brought to healthy spiritual maturity he must be ______ by the Holy Spirit.
  2. Healthy ______ is based upon the apprehension, understanding and appropriation of the truths in Christ that make for real growth.
  3. Justification is by faith alone; sanctification is by ______ alone.

  4. What is greater than the love motivation for serving Christ?

  5. Crucifixion comes before consecration or consecration comes before crucifixion?

Click on the "The Green Letters" tag below to see all the posts in this series.  To go to the start of this series click here.

Alarming covid Mortality

Here is a look at insurance mortality figures. They are probably not lying.

“Basically, millennials experienced a Vietnam War…in the second half of 2021.”  (61,000 excess deaths).

Anyone up for a fight yet?  Look your child in his eye and say you will fight for him. 

Don’t panic in the midst of a war that kills people around you like this. Instead, pray for guidance and trust God because He is ultimately in control. The Book of Nehemiah has a lot of tips on what you can do. Read it. Nehemiah was in a far worse situation than we and yet with God’s help he overcame.

I consider our problem like a body infected with a virus. To ward off the virus many components of our immune system must go to work. No single cell can overcome what is multiplying around it to destroy it. The same is true regarding our nation. We must learn to work together and that means a search for allies. Take inventory of who is friendly in your list of people you know. Better still, who in your family is friendly and on the same page with you? God often used families and tribes to overthrow the force of evil that comes on a national scale. So plan a meal with one or two of these people and see where that leads next. God’s got this. Soon you will be multiplying and soon we will overtake the virus.

The Best of My Brain

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