Philippians 3:13-14… “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Forgetting those things which are behind…
2 Corinthians 5:17… “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
…as old things are passed away…
Romans 6:11… “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
…we are dead indeed unto sin and made alive unto God through the atoning work of Christ Jesus…! Amen and AMEN!!!
1 Corinthians 15:1-4… “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
Believe this, and you are a new creature, whether you feel like one or not. It seems too good to be possible, it seems to easy to be true. Believing the gospel for today, the gospel of Christ and Christ alone, is all God asks of mankind to make of him a new creature and to bestow upon him the fullness of the riches of His own Glory. How is it even remotely possible that men everywhere fight tooth and nail against this very thing? But I digress…
Since we have been made anew in Gods sight, we must then begin the effort to reckon ourselves dead indeed unto the sin nature which once had control over us. This is easier said than done as the “flesh” will constantly remind the believer of sin’s existence in the believers physical body. This takes time, patience with oneself, and learning. The saved man is now essentially 2 beings in one… an “old man” and a new creature; and that old man does not give up his influence in the believers life.
Romans 6:6… “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
Ephesians 4:22… “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;”
Notice that Paul says to “put off” the old man… this is essential to the “reckoning” process taking place in the believers mind, body and soul. It is with mental, physical and spiritual effort on the believers part that the old man is put off.
But how is this done?
Colossians 3:9-10… “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:”
The new man is “reckoned” (internalized in the believer) with the internalization of the knowledge of all that Christ has done for him. Without this “reckoning” the old man will never be put off to any degree in the believers life; and the believers “walk” will suffer for it. The “new man” is put on as the believer studies Gods Word and learns more and more of what was accomplished at the cross on his behalf. Paul himself prays for the believer…
Colossians 1:9… “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”
Ephesians 1:17… “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: ”
…and compels the believer to study Gods Word.
2 Timothy 2:15… “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
As we become more and more “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” through the study of Gods Word rightly divided, we will be more and more apt to be able to forget those things which are behind, and thus more able to move forward in the knowledge of Him; no longer serving our carnal sin nature which has been crucified with Christ in Gods sight. Paul provides great insight into this internal struggle and process.
Romans 7:18-19… “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”
The frustration Paul feels is palpable. He knows that he is physically a sinner, as the will to “do good and not evil” is now in him; yet he admits that the good he wants do do is foiled by the corrupt flesh he still exists in, with evil the inevitable result. Look at the next verse however…
Romans 7:20… “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
It is the internalized realization, through the cross-work of Christ, that it is NOT “Paul the new spiritually awakened/quickened man” (Paul the new creature) which performs the evil act, it is his old inescapable sin nature which does. Two beings in one…
Romans 7:22-23… “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
While we exist in these “old” sinful bodies, sin is inescapable; we are captive to it, it is the result of Gods curse on creation itself. The old man can’t not sin. Yet, again and again in scripture Paul shows us that we are dead to sins effects upon us as we are crucified with Christ and baptized into His death; who took sin upon Himself that the sin issue between man and God would be put away for ever. The new man created by Christ’s efforts.
2 Corinthians 5:21… “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Romans 6:3… “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” NOTE” this is NOT water baptism but the Holy Spirit baptizing us spiritually into the church which is His body (Ephesians 4:4-5).
Galatians 2:20… “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
What Paul is exhorting us to remember is that we are dead indeed unto sin as God has forgiven us ALL trespasses. That we are to live by the faith OF the Son of God (the very SON of GODS FAITH and NOT our own meager faithfulness to Him). Such a critical difference. We have the faith OF Christ, God’s own faith, on our side and within us!
Colossians 1:27…” To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
Again, it is NOT US which can accomplish any of this, it is Christ IN US which can. As Christ paid the WHOLE penalty, He takes the WHOLE burden. ALL OF IT!!! AMEN!
Let us consider extremely carefully these next extraordinarily important verses…
Colossians 2:13… “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”
Forgiven ALL trespasses. (Why in the world pray; “forgive us our trespasses” when He has already?)
2 Corinthians 5:19… “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
NOT imputing trespasses unto them.
The new man, made in the image of Christ, while existing in the sinful physical body it exists in, is completely and totally 100% immune from sins effect on his “present” AND on his “eternity”. That man is completely, totally and 100% forgiven of ALL his trespasses; past, present and future. Now THAT is freedom my friends. NOT what is written on some bill of rights somewhere…
The fundamental key to remember is this: we have been given ultimate forgiveness that we may “forget those things which are behind and to reach forth unto those things which are before and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ!” Reckon this within yourself and you are on your way to realizing practically and spiritually what God has done and is doing in the world today.
We must remember forgiveness in Christ always, to keep it always at the forefront of our minds (WE ARE FORGIVEN ALL TRESPASSES) that we may forget our sinful past (no matter how miserable), that we may deal effectively with our present condition (no matter that conditions condition), and reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin; that we may move forward here on earth in that knowledge; that we may be effective ambassadors for Him (come what may).
2 Corinthians 5:20… “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
(satan does not want people to know this.)
What an exalted state the true Christian actually exists in. How sad so few truly understand. This is what God would have us know after coming to salvation in Christ Jesus. All professing Christians wonder what the “will of God” is for their lives. What is the simple will of God for all men?
1 Timothy 2:3-4… “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Salvation first; knowledge of what salvation accomplished (total forgiveness and so much more), second.
With these taken care of… God would have us to walk worthy of this exalted position the saved man finds himself in.
(It is here we begin to pose a direct threat to satan’s plan of evil in the world. To hell with satan I say.)
Next Post: “Walk Worthy!“