Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 22
Now let’s get down to the subject at hand, and that would be in Romans Chapter 6, and this whole idea of overcoming the old sin nature, old Adam, and to enter into this new life which, of course, is what Christianity is all about. Christianity is not a religion, it’s not just something that we work for, it is something that is all accomplished by the Grace of God and by His power, and that alone. Now let’s review verse 6 and come right on into verse 7.
“Knowing this, that our old man (the old nature) is crucified (put to death)…:
Let’s stop and qualify. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, and God had made only one stipulation, one responsibility, and that was not to eat of that one tree, God said:
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, `Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.'”
Now I call that the very first fundamental law in Scripture. Then it’s repeated in Ezekiel.
“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Then Paul in that classic third Chapter of Romans tells us:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
And so God has mandated that as soon as Adam sinned, and as soon as every son of Adam has sinned, what has to be the result? Death! And there is no getting around it. The soul that sinneth has to die. It’s a command of God, but God gave mankind what we call a loophole. Yes we have to die, but we do not have to die in ourselves, we can take Christ’s death as our substitution. And so this is the whole concept then of Salvation, and that is, yes, we have to die because we’re sinners, but if we will just simply believe the Gospel, then Christ’s death takes our place. That’s what we call the substitutionary death of Christ. He took my place, and He took yours. So that’s why Paul has to teach that the old Adam has to be crucified, he has to be put to death because he’s a sinner. Now let’s read on.
“For he that is dead is freed from sin (or old Adam).”
I used to have two judges in my classes years ago, and one of them has since passed away, and when we would come to something like this, then naturally it always helped to get the feedback from somebody who has firsthand knowledge on these things. And when we would come to this idea that old Adam had to die in order to be broken from any relationship in the future, then I would use the analogy, especially with one of these judges in the class, by saying, “Now look, you have someone up for murder, and you’ve gone all the way through the trial process, and it’s evident that he was guilty. In fact, you can almost bet that the jury is going to vote to put him to death, but what if about a week before it’s all over the guy dies? He’s dead, then what?” Well, you all know how those judges answered. The trial’s over. It’s all done, because you don’t try a dead man. Even though he was as guilty as can be there is nothing you can do once he dies. Well, it’s the same way with regard to old Adam, the only way we can separate ourselves from that old Adamic nature is to put old Adam to death. And the moment that he dies, he loses that control over us. Have you got the picture? And that’s exactly what verse 7 is saying.
“For he that is dead (been crucified) is now freed from sin (old Adam).”
And until old Adam is put to death, he reigns as a king. Now verse 8, so Paul is building all of this for our own information to increase our faith of where we are as believers.
“Now if we be dead with Christ (if we have identified with that death then that’s when we died, and that all comes by faith when we believe the Gospel), we believe that we shall also live with him:”
So it isn’t a matter of being put to death, and then it’s over, but when old Adam is put to death then life really begins. So it all begins when we enter into this new relationship with God as part and parcel of our everyday existence and experiences. Now let’s move on to verse 9; we’re going to make a little headway today.
“Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”
Now this is another concept that we have to get locked into our thinking. Christ did not have to die over and over again. Let’s turn back to the Book of Hebrews for a moment, because there is one word back there that I want people to never forget, and it’s the word “ONCE.” Here in Hebrews, we find Paul has been referring back to Aaron’s priesthood in Israel, and here in verse 27 he’s speaking of those priests.
“Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins (that is now referring to Christ compared to the Jewish high priest), and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. Now turn on over to Chapter 9, and let’s begin with verse 11.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (or creation, in other words, speaking of the One in Heaven); Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
That finished it, that settled it. It’s so sad as we move through the active world around us, and we see these multitudes of people, and all their fast lane living. And they think no further than this life. They never think of eternity, they never think in terms of God, and His Word, and they never come to realize that everything has already been done on their behalf if they would just believe the Gospel for their Salvation. (Ref: I Corinthians 15:1-4) If they had requirements that were almost impossible to reach then it would be a different story, but that’s not what they have to do. All they have to do is believe the Gospel, and God’s will take care of the so-called hard decisions. Now let’s also look at verse 25 and 26.
“Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others (the animals); For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world (age) hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Now I have one more here in Hebrews, and that will be in Chapter 10:
“By the which will we are sanctified (or set apart) through the offering of the body (not the Church which is His Body, but rather His physical body of flesh) of Jesus Christ once for all(never to have to be done again). And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man (Jesus Christ), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
For how long? Forever. Now I would like to show you a verse I promised to share with you in our last lesson. And this is the dilemma that the world is in, and that we’re up against, as we commiserate with them. So come back to II Corinthians Chapter 4, and my lands, if this doesn’t say it all, I don’t know what does. I think God isn’t willing that we get flustered or get discouraged, or give up, and I guess I’m as tempted as anyone at times. But let’s just realize what we’re up against as we think of the unsaved world, unconcerned, living their life only for today with no thought for eternity, and here’s their problem.
II Corinthians 4:3
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”
Again, I was thinking the other day that maybe the world out there doesn’t understand what the Scripture means when it says that they are lost, and I’m afraid there are too many who do not. But the Lord Himself many times used earthly analogies, and one He used so many times was the sheep. We know a sheep would not last 48 hours out in a wilderness without the protection of the shepherd. They have no means of self-defense, no way to defend themselves. They’re dumb. They’re lost the minute you turn them loose, and again as I was thinking about this, I pictured a sheep out in the middle of the Sahara Desert. How long would that critter last? Well, maybe hours at the most. There may not be as many wild animals out there as there would be in some other area, but whatever, when you find a sheep out in that kind of circumstance where death lurks at any moment, what is he? He’s lost! He’s helpless and lost, and that’s exactly what the Scripture is talking about.
This is mankind without Salvation, they are lost, they are without any direction in life, they have no anchor, they have no real solid principles. The old Adamic nature is ruling and reigning like a king, but they’re lost. Now that’s exactly what the word `lost’ means as it’s used here in verse 3. They have no idea that they’re lost, and neither does a sheep until it’s too late, and then he can’t do anything about it. Now verse 4, and here is the crucial dilemma.
II Corinthians 4:4
“In whom the god (Satan) of this world (remember what Ephesians 2 said in the last lesson. That they are steeped in deadness, and the works of the flesh. It’s the same thing here – Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not. lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
The reason they can’t believe The Word is because Satan has them totally blinded. Now you want to remember that you don’t have to be in total darkness to be blinded. As I get older, I’m realizing that night driving isn’t as simple as it used to be because lights blind me more than they used to. So what can blind you? A bright light, and that’s what happens to a lot of people of this world who are lost. The things of this world are so bright, and so glistening, and so attractive, but it’s blinding them. The glorious Gospel of Christ is there for them, but they cannot see it. Now back to Romans Chapter 6, and reading verse 9 again.
“Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once (He died to take care of that old Adamic nature of mankind once): but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.”
“Likewise (what does that mean? That puts us into that same category, so likewise) reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Now I’m going to say something that a lot of people aren’t going to like, but it’s the truth of Scripture. When we became believers, those of you who are genuine children of God, you’re believers, you’ve accepted the Gospel and it’s power for your Salvation; do you know that’s when we were really given the free will? See, the lost person out there doesn’t have as much freedom as he thinks he does. He’s entwined in the spider web of the Devil, the flesh, and the world. He’s all wrapped up, and only the power of God can break that. But once the power of God breaks that binding force of the lost person he’s set free, and this is the freedom that Paul expounds on. Now if we’re going to have true freedom, what’s that going to do to the exercise of our will? Hey, that leaves it with us. But look at this word here in verse 11:
What does that mean? Come to a mental conclusion. You have this freedom now. It isn’t something that’s commanded, or demanded or has already been done, but rather now it’s left with our free will that we’re going to have to come to some place of decision even as a believer. Are we going to live spiritual lives or are we going to live carnal, fleshly lives? Yes, it’s possible for a Christian to make that kind of choice. The admonition of course is to be led of the Spirit, to live profitable lives, and to bring honor, and glory to the God of glory by keeping old Adam in subjection. But you have that free will, God has not taken that away from the believer. Reading on:
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin (old Adam) but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In other words you believed, and understand all that the Gospel has done for you. Now look at the next verse:
“Let (implies choice) not sin (old Adam) reign (like a king. Now of course this is the dilemma with a lot of unhappy believers. They’re miserable. Why? Because old Adam is still controlling them, he doesn’t have to. And the implication from Scripture is, choose to be a spirit-filled believer, and not a fleshly-minded believer. But still a believer. Now reading on. Don’t let sin reign) in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”
Can it happen? Sure it can. Now God is not pleased when this happens, and the first thing I have to do is remind people when they say, “Well then, they are no longer saved.” I always say, “Now wait a minute.” If a true believer is going fool around in sin, and bring reproach upon the name of Christ, the first thing God will do is discipline him. That’s over in Hebrews just as plain as day.
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?”
God doesn’t chasten the unbeliever, but He will chasten the believer if he starts dabbling in sin. If the chastening doesn’t wake him up, and bring him to par then what will God do? Take him out. We call that the sin unto death, and Paul certainly teaches that. (Ref: I Corinthians 5:1-5) Let’s just read verse 5: This is a story about a believer who was committing a terrible sin.
I Corinthians 5:5
“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
I think it’s rather sobering that we as believers had better be aware that if we start being obnoxious in our Christian behavior then God is going to spank. And God is the originator of discipline, He knows how. You know there are a lot of child psychologists that try to tell the parents how to discipline. You talk to them first, and then talk a little stronger second, and maybe send them to their room. Only when things get real tough do you give them that spanking on their little rear which is the real discipline. Well, God knows how to do all that better. So He will begin with discipline, and if discipline won’t do it, then He’s going to give us a good old whipping. And if that doesn’t do it, then we’re out of here, and I’ve seen it happen where a believer just refuses to come back, and bring honour to the glory of God, and just that quick they’re gone. Now I certainly don’t believe they were lost. I believe that God took them out for a purpose so that they would no longer bring reproach to His name. God will not permit His name to be dragged by a believer through the mud of this world. Let’s close with verse 13.
“Let not sin therefore reign (like a king) in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield (it’s a choice word again. Are we going to keep old Adam under subjection? Are we going to let Christ, and His Spirit reign like a king? Or are we going to give old Adam free reign, and let him reign like a king?)…”