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For God so loved the world…John 3:16 NKJV

At the heart of the Gospel is the humbling reality that man CANNOT save himself. A holy God demands holiness, and all of man’s works cannot bring him to the place of walking, living and being holy. Man is dead – DEAD! – in trespasses and sins. All religion revolves around the false and cruel premise of trying to reach a place – holiness – that cannot be achieved by mankind. There is none that is righteous, none that does good…no, not one. Even a nice, cheerful, good looking dead person is still a what? A stone-cold dead person.

Thus, God Himself must provide a Savior, a Mediator between God and man, a perfect Man but with the potential for sin, just like Adam, who with His perfectly pure and holy nature then chooses to live righteously and fulfill His calling as both the High Priest and the Passover lamb for all mankind for all time. He pours out His blood to do for man, perfect redemption, what man’s blood and life couldn’t do for himself. There is no greater love…

The Bible is a miracle in itself, actually an incredible string of miracles. Sixty-six books, over forty authors written over fifteen hundred years and in its original texts before translational errors it is perfect, seamless, with each part fitting perfectly to make up the whole. If you ever study the equidistant letter sequencings in the original Hebrew and Greek texts you discover there is a depth to its perfection, scientifically proven that’s far beyond anything a mere human writer could do.

While other books may vary in their placement in the critical Greek texts of the New Testament, the seven Church Epistles – Romans through Thessalonians – never vary in their order. Romans begins with man in utter degradation, and teaches God’s solution to man’s dilemma, the finished work of Jesus Christ. Romans lays the foundation of our walk in Christ.

I felt on this first day of a new decade it would be edifying to understand the first command God gives to His New Testament Church. It’s found in Romans chapter six…read it slowly, out loud!

The ‘we’, lower case ‘he’, ‘our’ and ‘you/yourselves’ refers to you and I, the born-again ones…

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:5-11 NKJV

See that last line? That’s the command, and this is a major blessing in receiving and living the promises of God. Let’s break it down…

“Likewise, you also” – Jesus became sin for, or in place of us, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Our spirit man, which was once dead in trespasses and sin, has now been made alive, and purified, made holy through the price of redemption, the suffering and death of Jesus, and His resurrection. We are as He is – just like Him in purity in our spirits. Do you see why now when you as a born again one die your spirit man, the real you, goes right to Heaven? Only holy things can be in Heaven. This is why we are called saints – Grk. HAGIOS – ‘holy ones’! ‘Likewise you also’ is a HUGE word here!

“Reckon yourselves” – Reckon is the word LOGIZOMAI and is one of the great New Testament Greek words. It means to count up in a ledger and work the equation to a final answer. It’s the word used in 1 Corinthians 13 where it says ‘thinks no evil.’ Here it means to count up all that Jesus did and compare it against all of my sin and determine, by mathematical analysis, that the full price has been paid. The Greek term is in the imperative mood which means you are commanded to do it. How good are you at responding to commands?

“To be dead indeed to sin” – Sin here, in the context refers to our ‘old man,’ our old nature of sin. You do what you are by nature. The deepest reality of the unsaved one is that they are a sinner by nature because of the sin of Adam the father of the race of men. Do you see why they can’t get into Heaven? A nice, pleasant religious sinner is still a what? A sinner. It’s their nature!

You and I were sinners by nature. We couldn’t get into Heaven…we couldn’t even look over the fence! But Jesus came – bless God forever – and took our sin nature, paid for our redemption, and clothed us in His righteousness. I was dead BECAUSE OF sin, but now I am dead TO sin. Sin has no ownership of me, no power over me. Satan has nothing valid to accuse me of, so we have the right to tell him to shut up and go! I reckon myself to be dead to sin!

Think through every sin in your life, every corrupt and carnal thing, and your old nature of sin, and declare them to be fully paid for, washed away in the blood of Jesus, forgotten by the Lord and cast as far as the east is from the west – even the smell of sin has been washed off of you. You are a new man or woman!

“But alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” – Christ is our life. We are as He is…let your soul drink that in for a minute! The life of God flows through you, literally, especially when you speak much in tongues. This is why you touch people, even the unsaved, and they get healed. Sickness is the absence of life in part. The life of God dwells within you. You simply access that reality for your health and the healing of others.

‘In’ refers to ‘immersed in’ Christ Jesus our Lord. Sin used to be our lord, but no longer. We are hidden in God, immersed in the Lord. Are you with me?

This is all so important because the power of God to do miracles flows out of the heart that is secure in its standing before God. What follows is the great exhortation of what we are to do with our lives in light of Jesus’ perfect work for us…

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Rom 6:12-14 NKJV

What does it mean to present yourself to God? You probably immediately think of the record in Job (Job 1:6, 2:1) where the sons of God, plus Satan, went to present themselves to the Lord. What seems to be happening there is that the Lord asks questions and they give an account of their activities in His Kingdom. This idea of giving account to the Lord goes all the way back to Genesis…

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Gen 3:8 NKJV

It’s a fundamental theme all the way through the Word. Romans 14:12 says “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” The thing to do now is to go before the Lord and ‘report in’ about your activities over the last year, the last ten years. Let the Lord ask you questions, and get His evaluation of what He was pleased with, and what He wasn’t. In my evaluation I saw, among other things, that I made a serious presumption at the start of 2019 which made my road ‘bumpy’ for parts of the year. Thank God nobody died! I am resolved to not fall into that trap again, bless God forever. It’s a really healthy thing to do – present yourself to God! Love you!

Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business…