LET’S PUT SIN IN ITS PLACE
BY: E. M. ‘ED’ DUPAS –
FEBRUARY 8, 2008
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (Prov. 25:2 NASB)
I participated in the Eucharist at a Roman Catholic Church some time ago, during which the blood of the new covenant (testament), for the forgiveness of sins became more real for me. At that event I was also blessed to be served the wine by Katie, our neighbor’s daughter. I had invited her to “Acquire the Fire” the previous year. She seemed interested, but never got back to me. I made a mental note to invite her again next time.
On hearing about the blood of the new covenant that day I was reminded of a few things. First of all, I wondered why we still deal with sin as a barrier between God and us. Secondly, I asked myself “What about guilt? Where does it fit in? What is the impact of transgressions if there is no associated guilt? Is this even possible? I remembered this verse from the prophecy of Hosea:
“…For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, And like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away, I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver. I will go away and return to My place UNTIL THEY ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR GUILT AND SEEK MY FACE; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” (Hosea 5:15 NASB, emphasis added)
Please notice that the Lord says He won’t return until Judah and Ephraim acknowledge their guilt, not their sin. Isn’t that interesting? Aren’t the two inextricably linked? Surely they were before Calvary…
OUR ESSENTIAL NATURE IS SPIRIT
I believe (rather, I know in my heart of hearts) that we ARE eternal beings who were previously with Elohim, even before the foundation of the world. If we were created in God’s image and of His substance (Gen. 1:26-27) where does the concept of sin and punishment fit in? Since we were created in His image and likeness, we are, spiritually at least, gods. Try not to have trouble with this, for Jesus himself testified of it, speaking to Jews who were about to stone Him:
Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:34-36 NASB)
In saying this, Jesus was quoting the scriptures (Psalms 82:6 and Isaiah 41:23). I realize that hearing we are gods may be unsettling for some readers. For now, let’s just agree that our essential nature is spiritual, in the likeness of our Father God – his children, as it were. To reinforce this truth, remember Jesus’ words to his listeners:
“And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.” (Matt. 23:9 NASB)
CAN/SHOULD A SPIRIT BE DAMNED?
So God (capital ‘g’) is our father and we are gods (very small ‘g’). This means we, being spiritual, are eternal beings, since according to 2 Cor. 4:18 the unseen things are eternal. I consider the soul to be secondary, and the body tertiary. The arrangement of body, soul and spirit, may be compared to the Temple, with its outer court, holy place and the holiest place. If the soul consists of the mind, will and emotions, as many claim, and since our bodies are perishable, the soul and body will not survive beyond time into eternity (This suggests that time is a portion of eternity, which it is not. I am using this “untruth” as a useful convenience, because it is commonly believed that after time ends, we will continue in eternity). Therefore we should consider our eternal destinies, which involve our spirits – our essential nature. This brings us to the questions of punishment and damnation. Should our spirits (gods, according to Jesus) be subjected to eternal punishment? In the realm where God exists (where our spirits dwell), there is neither good nor evil, but if I had to ascribe natures to things in that realm I should call them good, because I postulate a God who is good – could a God whose name is Love be anything else but eternally benevolent and loving?
Therefore the ‘punishment’ we receive in this age and the ages to come is never for damnation, but for correction and instruction. To what end? I believe it is so that we may (re)learn and apply in this realm what our spirits saw in our Father before the “foundation of the world” – to love as God loves, so that we too are willing to “give ourselves up” for His creation. Somehow we have become prisoners in this earthly realm – imprisoned as a result of acquiring knowledge of good and evil (blessing and calamity). With the knowledge of calamity comes anxiety about the consequences of those calamities, the initial result of which is the fear of death, and the end result is death itself. Hence the Father said to Adam, “In the day you eat of the tree you will surely (begin to) die.” God literally said “In dying you will die.”
DO OUR SPIRITS SIN?
The concept of sin and evil is related to making our way in the earth – where sin can be defined as walking out of harmony with the Father. It has no place in nor relevance to the spirit realm, which is frequently called “heaven” by bible translators. Please read this sentence again. It is important to see that sin is of the physical realm, not of the spiritual (2 Peter 2:4 mentions angels that sinned, but there is no proof these were spiritual beings – the Greek noun is ‘aggelos’ which simply means messengers, and is frequently used in scripture to describe earthly men.)” Therefore I am becoming more and more convinced that before we can truly become one with God in spirit, we must get back to the “garden.” It is not so much a matter of getting back to Eden, but rather of returning to a state where we have no awareness or discernment about good and evil – absolutely no fear of death.
OUR MINDS ARE SLAVES TO THE FEAR OF DEATH
When man(kind) acquired the ability to die, he acquired the fear of death, and from that time forward, all his days, thoughts and deeds were colored by the background awareness of his eventual demise. This became the thing to be avoided, and so death became the common ingredient in all the affairs of the history of mankind. L. Ron Hubbard, in his book Dianetics, reported that after extensive study, and searching out the wisdom of the ages, it was determined that the single word which best represents and explains the behavior and history of mankind, is ‘survival.’ Obviously survival is predicated upon avoiding or postponing death. Therefore the fear of death has greatly affected, possibly even directed the paths of men and nations.
Hebrews 2:14-15 supports this concept:
“Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” (Heb. 2:15 NAS, emphasis added)
Also Isaiah 61, which says:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives, And freedom to prisoners; ...” (Isa. 61:1-4 NAS, emphasis added)
Jesus came to set free those who are held captive by their “fears” in the earth. Actually, it is only in our minds that we have been held captive (Col. 1:21). Separated from God in our minds, we followed our own darkened reasoning, and acted accordingly. Jesus came to set us free and to show us the way back to the Father. To be truly set free, we must choose the mind of Christ over our carnal minds. This will enable us to let go of our attraction to this world. We must adopt the spirit realm as our home, because, as the Apostle Paul said:
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;” (Phil. 3:20 NASB)
IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE TRULY FREE?
To be really free we must divorce the world system, (not the earth) and not just with our flesh, but also with our conscious and subconscious minds – not an easy task. We must “hate” our flesh and desire God – both actions are necessary for success. Denial of the flesh without the goal of drawing near to our loving Father is doomed to failure.
If we hold on to the consciousness of sin it will stand in the way of our freedom. But how can we come away from sin consciousness? We have been convinced that we were born with a sin nature, and that we will always have it. We have been taught that a cause and effect relationship still exists between sin and hell. Indeed, there is a great deal of incorrect teaching to overcome. To begin with, the veil of the Hebrew tabernacle which separated people from God was a symbolic representation of our flesh. It separated the Israelites from the presence of God as it still separates most people today. To come into His presence we must leave the realm of flesh and enter spiritually into the Holiest of Holies. It is the presence of guilt, brought about by the consciousness of sin, which keeps us from passing through the veil. When Jesus gave up his spirit on Calvary the veil in the temple was ripped from the top. The literal Greek phrase was “from above,” the same words Jesus spoke to Nicodemus when He said “…you must be born from above.”
WE NEED A NEW WAY TO LOOK AT SIN AND GUILT
To begin with, we must adopt a new definition for sin. Granted there was a time when all were lost in their “sins,” having been separated from God and far from their real home. Without being reconciled to God everyone faced the prospect of ongoing separation from Him, to the grave and beyond – what many consider to be hell. However all that changed at Calvary, where God reconciled the entire world (Gk: cosmos) to Himself, with the promise that he would never impute their trespasses to them. That means that there are no eternal consequences for sin. Certainly there are physical consequences, because of the law of sowing and reaping, but the question of eternal damnation becomes moot. This is not to say that we will not be corrected by punishment. Judgment and correction must come, but they will occur no longer than is required to convince us of our need for oneness with our Father. This revelation will drive us to him, every man in his own order and time. I will leave to God how to work this out through the ages to come. I just know that his word is true – that he will not (ever) impute transgressions to us.
WE NEED A NEW WAY TO LOOK AT JUDGMENT
We have seen so many courtroom dramas where judges are shown dealing out sentences of punishment or setting prisoners free. This is valid, but it is not the kind of judgment Jesus came to bring. Remember that the psalmist said:
“Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD.” (Psa. 97:8 KJV)
After the price was paid for our redemption, and the veil in the temple was opened (remember that this veil represents the one within each of us – our flesh), our judgment became less like a courtroom verdict and more like a chef preparing a fine meal. Since salvation belongs to the Lord, it is He who is in charge of the kitchen. At times he adds more salt or seasonings; at other times he turns up the heat in one area of our lives and turns it down in another. Sometimes he uses flames to bring about an abrupt change in appearance or taste; some parts of our lives are allowed to simmer, and others made to wait in the refrigerator for the right time. We may spend considerable time in hot water. This is how God’s judgments work in our lives. Too bad our teachers have chosen to emphasize the flames so strongly, and have relegated them to the time beyond the grave, as eternal punishment. How much better to be served up here in this life as a meal fit for a king(dom)!
NOW THE REAL PROBLEM IS GUILT, NOT SIN
Our natural minds are convinced by what we see, hear, feel and experience. Because of this, most of us live and die according to worldly perceptions, from which we must be liberated. Examples of such perceptions are: feelings of unworthiness, being separated from God (I’m just a human and He’s God), being unacceptable, etc. These come from believing that we are still sinners. Try to understand that sin is not the problem, but rather it is lingering guilt that causes us to expect some recompense or punishment for our actions. Let me give you an example to help clear this up. When The Lord commanded Joshua to kill all the inhabitants of Ai – men, women and children – Joshua obeyed. Because he was following the Lord’s command there was no guilt involved, and the men of Israel had clear consciences, understanding that God was pleased by their obedience. I can’t picture this scenario in this day and age. Today we would consider such a massacre to be sin, and our upbringing would never allow us to wantonly kill without feeling great guilt. Yet when our hearts and minds are yoked with God, obeying His leading, there is no question of sin and guilt. It was from that mindset that the Apostle Paul could say:
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Cor. 6:12 NASB)
The image (seed) of God within us has a perfect sense of mercy, love and justice, deep down (very deep, for some of us). It is buried, pushed down because we perceive ourselves as living, moving and having our existence in the physical realm, so the attributes of godly mercy, love and justice are far, far away from most of us. As long as we follow our reason, these attributes remain hidden from our “view,” but nevertheless affect us. We can only connect with them through spiritual means. The problem is that most of the time we dwell in the natural world. In this world we have always been taught and shown that we are sinners, and that we are not fit to draw near to God, much less be One with him. Oh, we might get in touch with some spiritual things, but not nearly enough. Now, because our God-given yearning for justice deep within comes face-to-face with our sense of unworthiness, we insist on paying for our transgressions ourselves. It goes against our nature to let someone else (Jesus) pay our way. Our pride won’t let us accept it. Oh, we say with our mouths that we have been cleansed, but our sense of having “fallen short of the perfection of God” in our deep natures makes us want to “die,” (remember we have been taught that no unholy thing can come near God – “Your eyes are too pure to behold evil, and you cannot look on wrongdoing…” (Hab. 1:13 NRSV) – we see our flesh as unholy, and subconsciously try to destroy it) since the wages of sin is death. We ought to remember God’s admonition to Peter:
“…’What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.’” (Acts 11:9 NASB)
This is how a guilty conscience works, and it happens below the threshold of thought or reason. So we (subconsciously let ourselves) develop sicknesses, depression, and other health-threatening ways to punish ourselves. These things sometimes lead us into attitudes that cause us to further walk away from or even to deny God at times. We can see that it is a vicious circle!!
REMEMBER THE PHILISTINES WITH THE ARK OF THE COVENANT?
In trying to understand the above it may be helpful to consider the image and likeness of God within us as a “presence” of God in the world, much like His presence in the Ark of the Covenant in ancient days. We may not agree that God’s presence is within an “unbeliever,” but there is no denying that every person’s spirit is in contact with the Spirit of God, and in this sense, some sort of Godly awareness or communication is available to him. This is evidenced by the following verse of scripture:
“The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the innermost parts of his being.” (Prov. 20:27 NAS)
When the Ark of the Covenant was in the hands of the Philistines (1 Sam. 5) –ungodly men– they became afflicted. I suspect this affliction was not the result of a direct, overt act by God, but rather the response by the hearts of unholy men (who had been created in God’s image) to the presence of their God. Perhaps deep (God’s presence in the ark) called to deep (God’s seed/image/likeness within them). The light of His presence shining upon their souls revealed the ungodliness there, causing them to respond with an unconscious cleansing of their ungodly flesh. After all, what are boils but the body’s ejection of impurities and imperfections as an attempt to cleanse and heal? We still consider a common cold to be a curse rather than a blessing, even though cold symptoms are the cleansing response of a healthy immune system to an invasion of bacteria. You might say that the Philistines, like Isaiah, became undone in the presence of the Most High God. Had their response to His presence been one of worship and contrition, as Isaiah’s was, it is possible we would have seen different results.
It is quite possible that, to a lesser degree, we all are afflicted in the same way as the Philistines because deep down we sense the incompatibility of an unholy body/soul with the perfect image of God deep within us. This is propelled by knowledge that “no man (i.e., flesh) can see the face of God and live.” We think of such a confrontation as being similar to dropping a block of ice into a vat of molten iron. The two substances are so unlike and incompatible that A VIOLENT EXPLOSION OCCURS when they are brought together.
Much of our time in life is spent finding ways to believe that we are OK. This pursuit may take many forms, too many to get into now, but for example, some people engage in self-affirmation – you know, the “I’m OK, you’re OK” crowd, or they seek the approval of men. These approaches are no better than treading water – they must be continually done, otherwise the person will eventually tire and have to be rescued to avoid drowning.
SOME PEOPLE CAN COPE, SORT OF
Some wiser, more disciplined people, those who try to embrace the life principles taught by Jesus, can make their way not too badly. They manage to plant their feet in relatively solid ground which is somewhere between “heaven” and earth, but closer to the earth. They may walk mostly in obedience to the commandments, and when they stray they find that confessing their “sins” makes them feel worthy enough again to continue, albeit more in the world than in “heaven.” This enables them to get by but comes short of the freedom Jesus taught in John 8:32. This practice is a kind of treadmill, which provides exercise, but does not allow much forward progress into the kingdom of God – they can merely hang around the doorway of it, just inside. In my view, the confession of sins only brings us back to the entrance to the kingdom, and should always be followed by a time of basking in the presence and acceptance of God, letting Him draw us deeper into His heart.
“…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17 NAS)
It would be better to confess our “sins” only as and when we are prompted by the Spirit to do so. If we were to practice this, there is a good chance we would be led to confess less and less often (because we sin less and less) as we draw closer with God. This would serve to lessen our sin consciousness – necessary if we are ever to “return to Adam’s first estate.“
LEARNING TO LIVE WITHOUT THE BURDEN OF GUILT
Now that the burden of “hell” has been lifted from believers you might say we are “learning to drive” in life. I use this metaphor because it shows what our walk in Christ ought to really be like. When we were first learning to drive a car, we took to the street and attempted to stay between the lane markers. If we drifted over into the next lane or onto the shoulder (without an accident) we simply turned the steering wheel back a little, corrected the situation and continued on. As we progressed in our driving, we left our lane fewer and few times, until eventually we stayed in the center of our lane without even trying. As we missed the mark of perfect driving (sinned, if you will), we did not condemn ourselves, nor did we take on a measure of guilt. Our passengers didn’t, either. We let it go, because WE WERE LEARNING TO DRIVE. This is what our lives should be like now. On the cross of Christ we were delivered from the burden of guilt.
“For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works (guilt) to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:13-14 NASB)
We are still keeping count of transgressions, even though God is not.
“FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.” (Heb. 8:12 NASB)
Unfortunately we keep score not only on ourselves, but also on those around us.
WE MUST TURN OUR EYES AWAY FROM SIN
It is my experience that confession of a sin is not a requirement for overcoming that sin. This was demonstrated clearly to me during a National Day of Prayer gathering at our church several years ago. We were given a comprehensive list of about 35 “possible sins” to confess as a method of preparing our hearts to intercede before God for our country. As I dutifully worked my way down the list in my quiet “corner,” I noticed that the sixth item on the list was a transgression I USED TO BE GUILTY OF, BUT NO LONGER COMMIT. However, I don’t recall ever confessing this particular sin. Nevertheless I proceeded to confess the item. About halfway through my admission, I believe I heard in my spirit these words: “What are you still doing here? This nation needs prayer more than you need to confess things I’ve already taken care of.” I immediately saw that as I had turned my face to seek God, I began to leave behind things that were displeasing to Him, even without my awareness of it. Taking this to a logical extreme, I inferred that one who seeks the Lord continually, MAY TURN FROM VIRTUALLY ALL THINGS THAT ARE DISPLEASING TO GOD, and eventually that person’s awareness of these things (sin) will begin to fade. To help readers to believe that my experience can be theirs, too, I am offering as proof the following bible verses from the Gospel of John. It follows Jesus’ healing of the man who had been blind from birth.
And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” (John 9:39-41 NASB)
Here Jesus has hidden THE MOST POWERFUL GOSPEL TRUTH EVER NEGLECTED, in this writer’s opinion. Allow me to paraphrase it this way:
And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see with spiritual eyes may begin to see the truth; and that those who see through natural eyes and carnal minds may stop doing so.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you would stop looking at your assumed sin/guilt, (which was no longer their responsibility, but was transferred to the Lamb when he was slain from the foundation of the world) you would let it go and no longer have it; but since you hold your awareness of sin/guilt before you this makes it real to you, and so it remains – my hands are tied.”
To complete the transition to a life with no consciousness of sin, one has to see him/herself as a citizen of heaven (the spiritual realm), answerable to that “standard” of living. In that perception he/she understands that IN CHRIST WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR EXISTENCE, and while we are living totally in Him, sinning is not only unthinkable, but impossible.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chr. 7:14 KJV)
This verse is so commonly quoted these days that most of us can recite it from memory. I invite you to look more closely at it. God said if we will turn our back on our evil lifestyles he will forgive us. He did not mention confession. Can you see how confession keeps our sins before us? We are to keep His face before us! If you find yourself thinking about what it really means to be called by His name, you may want to read the article What’s In A Name?
“Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God’s seed abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God. (from above)” (1 John 3:9 NRSV)
This is God’s word. It tells us our potential and our calling, AMEN?
WE MUST BE OVERCOMERS
Of course, to live up to this we need to overcome fear. We need to really believe that ALL THINGS WORK FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD AND ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE. (Rom. 8:28) This can give us the faith to endure to the end of a thing, instead of sinning by “taking over for God,” when it appears that He is not going to give us what we asked for “this time.”
The key to being assured a crown of righteousness in the Kingdom is to overcome, as the Apostle Paul did. This is not promised to all who will be saved. Literally Paul said that award is reserved for “…those who have loved his appearing.” Examine Paul’s life and testimony, and you will see that he was completely spent for His Lord and the Gospel, and eventually was martyred for that cause. Paul said:
“…In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8 NAS)
This means ‘those who have welcomed his appearing WITHIN THEM (the kingdom of God).’ These persons will rule with Jesus in His kingdom. All those who are saved have garments of righteousness, but a crown is reserved for an overcomer.
The Apostle Paul said, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.” He had reached a place where his life was so caught up in Christ that the question of sin for him was irrelevant. You might be tempted to say that could not be so for you, considering the seventh chapter of the Book of Romans, where Paul allegedly wrestled with sin continually. We have not properly understood Paul’s message in this text. Let’s take a closer look at those verses, holding them up to the light of reason and to the rest of his writings.
According to common interpretation, Paul was engaged in an ongoing struggle with a sinful nature, from which he had to be rescued. In order for this to be true of Paul, we would have to declare other scriptures to be in error. Consider Rom. 7:7-11
What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.” But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. And I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. (NAS, emphasis added)
In verse 9 Paul wrote “…I was once alive apart from the Law.“ It is wise to recognize that this is impossible. Sound Christian doctrine assumes that Paul was born under the law, and remained there until he was delivered from the law’s curse by Christ’s death. Therefore Paul could not have been alive apart from the law, after which he died. If one insists in applying the above verses to the life of Paul, he is faced with other contradictions. As quoted earlier, Paul claimed all things were lawful for him. How could that be if he were in a constant battle with his flesh? Also, he reported several times that he was dead to sin (crucified with Christ). (Rom. 6:6,11, 8:10,Gal 2:19, 5:24, 6:14) Clearly one who is dead to sin cannot be struggling with it. After all, he is dead!
It should now be clear that our traditional understanding of these verses is impossible. But we know the bible is true…so what is the explanation? The only explanation for this apparent contradiction is that Paul, under the anointing, was prophesying for (about the condition of) mankind. In other words, Paul was addressing the plight of mankind since Adam, in that there was a time where mankind existed without the written law. During this time there was no reckoning of sin. But when the law was given to Moses, sin was defined in terms that became the basis for judgment (and death) of all men. If these verses are understood in that way, they make perfect sense. Look back to the Verses 4-6. Here we find Paul speaking for the collective body of Christ, with himself as a member. He continues in Verse 7 with “What shall WE say (declare) then?…” He then proceeds to suggest what each man in the group might say, thus switching his perspective from the plural to the singular, speaking as any member of the body of Christ might. I’ll leave it to the linguists and Greek scholars to debate this point. All I know is that PAUL WAS NOT SPEAKING ABOUT HIMSELF. If he had been, the following verses would become questionable:
- Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. (Rom. 6:7 NAS)
- Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 6:11 NAS)
- And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. (Rom. 8:10 NAS)
- For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God. (Gal. 2:19 NAS)
- Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5:24 NAS)
- But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14 NAS)
- All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Cor. 6:12 NAS)
Clearly Paul considered himself dead to sin and so ought we – dead to sin, and alive in the Spirit of Christ. Perhaps the greatest truth of this is revealed in 2 Cor. 5:17-21:
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (NAS)
HALLELUJAH!! Those who ARE the righteousness of God, in Him, should not keep dragging themselves back to the “wilderness” and condemnation of our past existences, like a dog to its vomit. Rather, we were delivered from that awareness, into the “Promised Land” (the kingdom of heaven). Remember that Moses told the Israelites about entering the Promised Land:
“Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them, and they shall possess it.” (Deut. 1:39 NASB, emphasis added)
If the Israelites’ Promised Land (Cana) is a type of our promised land (the kingdom of God), can you see that those who will possess the kingdom will have no knowledge of good or evil? In other words, they will be returned to Adam’s first estate, without consciousness of sin. They will be like little children are, before they have been taught and shown how to judge.
“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all.” (Luke 18:17 NAS)
That is why Jesus came, that we might not live our lives according to a knowledge of good and evil, but in all things to be submitted to God and trusting in Him who is all Good and all Love!! AMEN.
LET’S PUT SIN IN IT’S PLACE [E. M. ‘Ed’ Dupas] February 2008 1