Series: Christ in me; Finished Works
Sun am 10 April 2011 – Kobus Swart
Eph. 2:10-22 (Amplified); 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:1; (Rom. 7);
Acts 17:22-23 (MSG); Rom. 6:11; 1 Peter 3:19; Eph. 4:9
There is a fresh level of understanding required to receive the proceeding word that is coming now. This will require the renewal of the spirit of the mind. When Mary was told that she would fall pregnant by the Holy Spirit, as a virgin she did not understand this message at first. When the pregnancy began to show, however, she caught up (in her understanding). We are not just collecting new truths and principles mentally.
The intensity in which the Spirit is bringing these basic truths to us now, means that God is serious and that He wants us to catch up with our real identity; who we really are and have always been destined to be. We have to catch up with that which has been finished before the foundation of the world. ‘For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship),recreated in Christ Jesus,’ If we don’t see that, we won’t see the difference between what religion has preached to us in terms of us being a sinner and always making that our frame of reference, instead of embracing this truth: we have been recreated in Christ Jesus. [born anew] ‘that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]’ (Eph. 2:10). We should spend more time connecting with that plan, than in doing dead ‘Christian’ works.
Two truths from the above:
- We are born from above. The phrase ‘born again’ has become meaningless. We are recreated in Christ Jesus. He who is in Christ is a new creation; which means you have no past. Remove from your speech all the references to your past, because you’re activating things you don’t need to. I don’t make my old Adamic history my origin. I connect now with my true lineage; I go back to my genesis. In Christ Jesus He redeemed me from my fallen state and gave me a new identity.
- Both “groups” made into one new man. We need to revisit the way we used to look at those outside the redeemed community. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation, not condemnation! What are the implications of these two truths in this apostolic season? The gospel now is making a different sound. Great damage was done by religion. Some of the characteristics of this is self-condemnation. It is like a dark cloud following you; it affects the way you pray, the way you worship, the way you relate. The ministry of condemnation is the ministry of death.
In Romans 7, Paul was talking about his inner struggles before his conversion. Then in Rom. 8:1 he gives the answer, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The last thing you want to do, is be the one through whom condemnation is ministered. The result is sin consciousness.
The Cross and what it really stands for has never been fully and accurately explained as it is now. The Cross finally and fully dealt with the old ‘Adam;’ who I was, my history since the fall, my old lineage. Adam was finally dealt with. When Jesus on the cross spoke to the man who recognized Him and said, “Will you think of me today in Your Kingdom?” Jesus said to him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Those words contain an unbelievable truth. It is not tomorrow or in 2000 years – but that moment the old Adam disappeared out of the picture for those who are recreated in Christ. Our fallenness and the root problems of our alienation from God were dealt with forever. This brings a whole new understanding of repentance. This alienation God took upon Himself on the cross. “My God why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Creation shut down for three hours. It was too ugly to bear. The depth of that cry was for our sake; to re-connect us to our original identity and our true new humanity.
Do you think Satan knew all along that Jesus was the Christ? Satan would have much rather expected a king to come on a white horse and gallop into history. Satan was completely caught off guard when he discovered that it was the baby born in a manger, in a stable. Satan on several occasions said, “If you are the Son of God …” He wanted to draw Him out. I think Satan was unsure. Satan thought the night he entered Judas’ heart, that he exposed Him; that He wasn’t who He said He was. All Satan could see was the Son of Man, but inside was the Son of God. During those 3 nights and 3 days Jesus was in the tomb, He went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:19). He descended into the lower parts of the earth (Eph. 4:9). David, foreseeing this, spoke [by foreknowledge] of the resurrection of the Christ (the Messiah) that He was not deserted [in death] and left in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor did His body know decay or see destruction (Acts 2:31 Ampl). He comes out and says, “Death where is your victory; death where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
For you and me to benefit from the finished works of Christ, there has to be the encounter of agreement. We must agree with the finished work, before we participate in it. That is why repentance is so important. Repentance means to change the way you think. We need to re-define “spiritual warfare”. If we really understand the truth of being recreated in Christ, what is warfare about? Spiritual warfare is not fighting the devil; it is to resist the lie of the enemy – the accuser of the brethren!
What is our attitude to be towards those still outside the redeemed community? Paul said, ‘…When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with”’ (Acts 17:22-23). We must introduce the living God to the stranger. Introduce him and infect him with the Christ within. It is more by demonstration, than by preaching. ‘From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did’ (Rom. 6:11 MSG).
Know no-one after the flesh or his/her past history. We have a new history, and that history is in Christ. We are part of a new humanity. The last Adam is a life giving spirit.