Series: Finished Works
Sun am 6 March 2011 – Kobus Swart
Heb. 12:1-3; Gen. 2:7-9; Rev 2:7; Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:5-7; Matt. 16:24-25; Luke 23:39-43
What more does the Church of Jesus Christ need to become overcomers?
The apostolic mandate is to present every man complete in Christ. Believers must always be migrating, growing spiritually. What God has been giving us faithfully over the years is not to focus on sin by attacking the sin habit in our lives, but to provide a formula that can deal with the sin nature or our misunderstanding of that sin nature. The Gospel of the Kingdom talks about Jesus Christ as Lord over our lives.
What happened to the old Adamic nature when we were born again?
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2Co 5:17) However, we have to run this race with endurance and a focus on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…and also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us! (Heb. 12:1). We may still have weights on our feet; sinful habits that stay with us and the way we deal with that will determine the rate of our spiritual growth.
In the beginning, in the garden of Eden (Paradise), man was given the choice to eat of the Tree of Life. However, he chose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden. They were banned from Paradise!
In the Book of Revelation, we find that God provided a way back to Paradise. ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the (midst of the) Paradise of God’ (Rev 2:7). The whole book of Revelation is addressed to the overcomers. In Genesis there were two trees (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life) but in the end in Revelation there is only one tree – the tree of life. How do we eat from that tree? We have to be an overcomer!
Originally in the Garden of Eden, we get acquainted with three entities/characters: God, Adam and the Serpent. At the Cross of Calvary we find the same three entities/characters again – each one hanging on a cross with Jesus in the middle – (Luke 23:39-43), represented in:
- Jesus – the LAST ADAM, ushering in a whole new plane of living as the First Born of a new creation.
- A criminal representing the Serpent (Satan), uttering the words: “Are You not the Christ, Save Yourself and us!” The same voice that tempted Eve in the garden, as well as Jesus in the wilderness after His baptism. (Gen 3:1; Matt. 4:3).
- The other criminal representing the first Adam, who answered the Serpent, rebuking him with the words: “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me (connect me back to my original position) when You come in Your kingdom!”
What was the response of Jesus? And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise!“ From that moment on a whole new ‘Last Adam’ new creation life has become accessible to anybody who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Paul explains what actually happened on Calvary: “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 (Gal. 2:20). It says that I have been crucified with Christ; it does not say He has been crucified in my place. How is that possible? Knowing this, that our old self (referring to the old nature) 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; for he who has died is freed from sin (Rom. 6:6-7).
We have been crucified with Him. That is an established fact of the finished works of Christ!
What is our new frame of reference when we are born again? The Last Adam has opened the door for a whole new life of victory, resurrection life. Because this truth was not seen by all, sin consciousness (which was born in Eden after the Fall) found its way back into the Church.
God wants to see the enemy crushed under the feet of the overcomers. He left the last part of the execution of the victory to the overcoming Church. We need to become co-owners of this victory. Stand on the finished works; confess that you have been crucified with Him.
Death was the punishment after the disobedience in the first Paradise. It is through death that we will come back. The Son of God died and we died with Him. When He died, you and I died. This truth has to dawn on us and impact our lifestyle and it can only happen when this truth of “Christ in me” becomes a revelation truth.