How To Live This New Life
©2016 Dr. Irene Bonney Faulkes DD


Chapter One

As Jesus Taught

The story of a man coming to Jesus under the cover of darkness strikes at the heart of the need of all of us. The realities of the supernatural as revealed by Jesus can only grip our attention.
Nicodemus, whose story is related in John 3:1-10, was a religious leader among the Jews when Jesus was pursuing His ministry in the land of Israel. The majority of those leaders refused to admit to the claims of this new religious Teacher. They eventually crucified Him. However, Nicodemus had a compulsion to seek out this Teacher. He did so secretly. His view of this Man was that He must be of God.

The response of Jesus to this man’s visit and to his quest was to point out the necessity of being born again.

What a strange term, “To be born again”! Jesus in effect was saying that the need of that man was not to hear a new teaching only. The need of Nicodemus and of all mankind was a new birth. The religious leader should have had an inkling of the need. It had already been stated in the Holy Book he read, in several places. There were mentions of a new thing that God would do. He would make possible for all mankind, such an experience of Divine origin that it would enable whoever would, to see the Kingdom of God.

Nicodemus, being who he was, had knowledge of God. He read the Old Testament, God’s book written by inspired prophets. He knew God had a Kingdom, although his view of it was a common one at the time. He and his fellow religious leaders expected it to be a Kingdom in this world. They thought there would be the Messiah who would squash all their enemies. At that time it was the Roman Empire. If the Messiah were to come then, they would be free of the yoke of Rome. Their Messiah would rule and bring national deliverance. Despite this, his understanding was awakened to receive this new teaching.

“Unless one is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God”, Jesus said, showing him differently. “The new birth is not a glorified earthly life; it is not national; it is not to throw off the yoke of Rome.” To enter His kingdom there must happen within a man, a “Spirit-ual” work. This must happen from heaven. There is new life and a new sphere of existence. These words spoken to Nicodemus also sound out to all even today who will listen.

Jesus spoke of “seeing the kingdom of God”. “To see” has the following meaning. This new way of life happens after being born from above. Being born again happens first. Then the capacity to “see” the spiritual things of the Kingdom of God is given. A new sight implies a new life. When given this new life to enter the Kingdom, then one can “see” what the kingdom is all about. We can then understand its ways for us personally. We can know about the end of the world and God’s plans concerning a people for Himself.

Nicodemus could not think beyond entering into a new sphere of existence by a second natural birth that was impossible. It seemed to him on this basis he could never see this kingdom. He did not realise there is to be a different beginning.

In Verses 5-8, Jesus showed it a necessity that must be from God. Psalm 36:9, “With You is the fountain of life; in your light we see light”. Our spiritual life comes from God, with Christ as the Mediator. Colossians 1:19 “In Him (Christ) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”; John 1:16 “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace”.

This is restated as, “Christ is our life”, Colossians 3:4, not so much that we live, as “Christ lives in us”, Galatians 2:20, It does not spring from our actions but His and see 1 Corinthians 15:10, “by the grace of God I am what I am”. The fountain of this life is in God. The fullness and power of it is in Christ.

It is through the Holy Spirit, Romans 8:9-11, “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him, And if Christ is in you, though your bodies must die because of sin,” “your spirit is full of life because of righteousness” or “your spirits are now enjoying life because of right standing with God” or “yet the spirit is life itself because you have been justified” or “yet your spirit is life, because of righteousness which dwells within it”. The Holy Spirit gives life from Jesus Christ.

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, had refused John’s baptism. This baptism would have placed him, a Jew, under the Messianic promises. Now Jesus is saying you did not have that baptism but there is still hope for you even though a Pharisee. There is a fountain of blood to be opened for you, at the Cross. You can believe for that and experience the new birth.

Water as a type is found in Old Testament. Psalm 51:4,9, “Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow”; Ezekiel 36:25 “sprinkle upon you clean water”; Zechariah 13:1 “In that day a fountain opened”. You can be washed from your sin through the new birth, as the shed blood of the Lamb of God will cleanse you. 1 John 5:6 “by water and blood”, the Spirit witnesses, relating it to John 19:34 “blood and water, “from His pierced side. John 1:32, John “bare witness”. This was the witness to national Israel, including the Pharisees and Nicodemus.

Now, after the Cross, the Spirit gives us witness. The water and blood was swallowed up by the earth at the Cross. For us now, the death was finished in the past. In a spiritual way what took place at Christ’s death we are to regard as taking place and going on all the time, in the present. “From before the foundation of the world” Jesus is “the Lamb slain”, Revelation 13:8. The Spirit applies this water and blood to us that was shed in the death of Christ.

Nicodemus had tried to understand this new birth in the senses of his soul, with his carnal mind. It has nothing to do with the senses that include the emotions. It is of the Spirit, as the wind blows. It has to do with spirit.

Nicodemus should have known, as he was a teacher in Israel and the Old Testament spoke about this new birth., back to John 3, verses 9, 10 See Psalm 143:10,1; Ezekiel 36:26; Jeremiah 31:33. He knew that water was used in the Old Testament ceremonies, Leviticus 14:1; Numbers 19:1. He often saw the laver between the altar and the entrance of the Tabernacle. It contained water for cleansing. Ezekiel 36:25 declared, “I will sprinkle water upon you and you will be clean”.

Water is a type that speaks of cleanliness in the offering that is the obedience of Christ in the atoning sacrifice. Our person has to be cleansed in the born again experience. It is a work of the Spirit. He applies Christ’s obedience and sacrifice to us. That is the meaning of the water. 1 John 5:6 shows “He came by water and blood”. These are applied to us when we are born again, as in Titus 3:5, by the “washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost”. They are heavenly things and not natural, earthly or material things. 1 John 5:7 says “There are three that testify, the Spirit the water and the blood”.

We are to consider the Glory of the Kingdom in a person newly born again and not look for holiness in him, or say he is not a new creation because he is doing this or doing that, as e.g. smoking, or wearing gold.

That Jesus showed Nicodemus the need to be born again, shows the terrible condition of human nature. As it is it cannot enter into anything of God, into heaven, into perfection, into light, illumination, life or into the Presence of God. Ephesians 5:18, shows the natural man is in a condition of “sleep and death”. An operation of grace upon us, in the depth of our unconsciousness, brings about the born again experience. It is somewhat similar to natural conception, where the parents unite and conception takes place in the mother’s womb. The baby conceived is unconscious of anything taking place.

Sinners (as all of us) need a turning from darkness to light, Acts 26:18. God must create light in us. Sinners have vanity of mind, Ephesians 4:17,18. Sinners are depraved, corrupted, are in darkness, vanity, are enemies of God and are carnal. See Romans 8:7, “the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God. Indeed it cannot obey it; it is worldly, anti-Christ, makes gods of things, animals, people, the human self, and their own kind of Jesus even or their own imagination of God. 2 Peter 2:12, says “natural brute beasts. These men with no more sense than the unreasoning brute beasts which are born to be caught and killed, sneer at what they can not understand; in their corruption. They will perish.”

The soul is the source of the carnal nature, that is ever with us until we get to heaven, Ephesians 4:22, “you lay aside the old self which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit”. Romans 7 explains this very well, how that it causes a man to “walk after the flesh”, Romans 8:1 but that “in Christ Jesus”, i.e. the “born again spirit” being “in”, “there is therefore no condemnation.” Once born again, we are to “put on the new man (continually, i.e. also to walk according to it) that is created after God in righteousness”, Ephesians 4:24.

Dead works are unprofitable, Ephesians 5:11, “unfruitful works of darkness, end in eternal death”, James 1:15 speaks of “lust, sin, death”. John 3:3 states we who are all born in this condition need to be “born again / anew / born from above” / of God.

We become a new creation. There is still within us that which may be quickened and saved. 2 Corinthians 5:17, the believer is “a new creation” or “a new being” “a new person altogether” “in a new world” “there is a new world His old life has passed away; a new life has begun”. Christ identified Himself with us in our humanity but not in our sin. Now (v.19), we are in Christ. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. God personally came in Christ, v.18 God personally acted through the agency of Christ. Hebrews 2:14,15, “The children share flesh and blood, he (GOD in Christ) himself likewise shared the same things, (identification with humanity) that he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the Devil and free those”. This is a Representation only and not actually being made to be sin in the sense of becoming sinful. 2 Corinthians 5:14,15, says “One died for all” as He represents His people.

It is for the many – Romans 5:15,19, “The free gift abounded for the many” and “by one man’s (Christ’s) obedience, many were made righteous”. He identified Himself with His people’s humanity and plight not with their sinfulness. He did not need to be born again, as their sin did not touch His inner being to become part of Him and make Him literally full of their sin. He died the death they should have died. The penalty of their sins was carried by Him. He died in their place.

The old life has gone. Believers now share His resurrection newness. Christ’s oneness with the race means His acting in their name and offering to God on their behalf as their substitute an offering of obedience and allegiance that God accepted. Because of this, He acted forgivingly to restore the race of sinners. “He died for others” by acting as representative and in their name or stead. This now results in changing personal attitudes and dispositions. They live for Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:8-21. He did for them what they could never do for themselves.

As shown in Ephesians 2:10 “We are created in Christ Jesus for good works”. These are produced by the Spirit. In Ephesians 4:24 we are told to “put on the new man which is after God, created in righteousness and holiness of truth.” This means we are to live according to that new man who is in us. v.17 there is a new creation. This is not water baptism or christening, where it says in Ephesians 5:26, We are “washed by the Water of the Word. This is stated in Greek and in all English translations, that says “by the washing of the water by the Word”. It is not as in the Tamil or Malayalam Bibles, where it is wrongly translated, “water of baptism”. We should note that water is a symbol. Water cleanses from filth, i.e. the water of the Word. The Spirit works regeneration within and cleanses by the blood of Jesus. Psalm 51:2; Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 36:25; Zechariah 13:1; John 15:3; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17. There is to then follow a life of obedience to God as a result of His redemption and restoration which shows forth the new creation.

This new creature is the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus in John 3:6 shows “What is born of the Spirit is spirit”. It has nothing to do with baptism by christening or by immersion. Jesus repeats all that He meant in the whole passage as by “water and Spirit”. John 1:13, shows it is not by natural means. It is of “spirit”. This means there is a new spiritual being, (creature, nature, life). Ephesians 2:1, 5 “Made us alive together with Christ.” This was a secret, mysterious work of the Holy Spirit upon our spirits. The Spirit witnesses to our spirits, Romans 8:14-17. The Spirit witnesses personally. If certain actions in a person are undesirable to us, there is no reason to say they are not a new creature. Every one born of God is equally so, though one may act more Christ-like than another, as he reveals the image of his heavenly Father more wonderfully. Some who are truly born of God may not have this image revealed through them to such a degree that others can see it. With the children of God it is the same as natural children in world. All are different and some are more clever or more beautiful etc. Titus 3:5 By the washing of regeneration” or “through means of the bathing of a new birth” or” through the ‘spirit-ual’ water of rebirth”.

Being born again is to have a new life imparted to the individual, 2 Corinthians 5:17, calls it “a new creation”. This is not the Christian’s experience or behaviour. The “new creation” is that miracle done within the new believer by the Holy Spirit. This new creation with the newness of life is not referring to a new kind of life the believer is to live but to a new source of spiritual energy imparted to him by God, by which he is enabled to live the new life of the new creation, in the resurrection life of Christ. It has nothing to do with acts, legalistic or otherwise. It does not refer to outward change of behaviour or habits or following laws and regulations. However, a new conduct proceeds from this new life in due course.

2 Corinthians 5:17,18 shows that “If anyone be in Christ there is a new creation; the old order has gone, to be replaced by the new (in every way).” “This new order in all respects is God’s doing who reconciled us”, or “The older order has gone and a new order has already begun / his old being has passed away and behold, all has become new / His old life has passed away; a new life has begun!” In v.21 we read, “God appointed him (who was without any acquaintance with sin) to be a sin-offering on our behalf, that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

This happened because of imputation. “To impute” means “to regard as belonging to”. Thus, God regarded our sin as belonging to Jesus. It was reckoned to Him and He was charged with our sin. It does not mean that He in His being became sin or took on the nature of sin. He is, was and ever will be holy. Our sin was charged to Him, in the same way in which someone might buy you a motor-bike and charge it to another person. God charged our sin to Jesus. We received instead, of His righteousness.

There was a transfer of our sin. It with its guilty was transferred and placed on the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. This did not happen in the grave. It happened on the cross. In the Old Testament, the animals offered often had hands placed on them to indicate the transfer of the sins of the offerer. God Himself placed His hand on Jesus on the cross by transferring our sin with its guilt upon Him. See 1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree”. The tree is the cross and not in the grave.

Romans 4:4-8 declares the ungodly to be righteous. He acquits the guilty. Unto those who believe in Christ, God “reckons righteousness apart from works / credits with righteousness apart from his actions”. The sinless Christ took our condemnation that for us there might be condemnation no more. Christ in his sinlessness took responsibility for our sin we then are gifted with “righteousness of God”. “Substitution” and “imputation” are explained in Romans 5:19 “By one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous”. Christ’s perfect obedience alone deserved righteousness. This righteousness is credited to our account.

2 Corinthians 5:17 relates to reconciliation and a new order. See 2 Corinthians 3. The gospel is not the old external Covenant. It is the New Covenant of Spirit. It does not promote Moses as a “divine man” but merely a lawgiver. In 2 Corinthians 4 Satan rules the world and “blinds the minds of the unbelievers”. In vv 1-15 Paul says that he does not follow other preachers and the false apostles and teachers who rely on worldly success and lordly power. By such things they try to establish their standing as preachers / pastors. In 4:16-5:10 their slogan is “we walk by sight”. Paul is the opposite. He speaks against their type of thinking that saw the future as being only in the present. They even denied the future hope of resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15. This raised hostility to Paul, as they said he was “out of his mind”. Thus verse 2 Corinthians 5:17 is not so much describing a person’s conversion as in the new birth. Rather, he has entered the new order in Christ, God’s Kingdom. The emphasis is not on experience. It emphasises a new act of creation, not a person’s new living or his forgiveness as a sinner.

The old order is the old world of sin and death, “flesh”. It has gone in the sense that its rule is broken, though its power remains, Galatians 5:16-21,24. It is made to produce no effect in Christ, so “there is a new creation” under a “new covenant”, as in 2 Corinthians 3.

The tense of “passed away” in 2 Corinthians 5:17 points back to a definite event, namely, the experience of the new birth. It was then that old things, the traditions, prejudices, wrong ideas and bondage of the former unregenerate way of life became “past”. “Became new” is the Greek perfect tense. This indicates the old things “became” and “continue to be” new. For the newness of God’s new creation is not a newness that in course of time grows old. It is a newness that is everlastingly new. This new creation is present in the hearts of all who though still in the world have already become by grace members of world to come. Note – there is the present earthly body and the future glorified body; the present old nature and in the future all sin removed. Revelation 18:4 “that you may not share in her sins”; 14:3 “redeemed from the earth”; 21:4 “the old order past or gone.

In Christ we have experienced death and resurrection. Therefore we live now “from the perspective of the Spirit” (resurrection) as against “flesh” (death). The old order has gone, the new “creation” has come in its place – not just in the life of the person but in the total sense of what God is doing. The new creation itself has come; the old order is on its way out. Death and resurrection of Christ, plus the gift of the Spirit have changed everything. The former order of things is “flesh”, self-centred, with a creature-orientated point of view. Power, influence, wealth, wisdom 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 are important for the “flesh”. In Christ all that passed away, the new has come. It is now for believers, the time of the Spirit. The power does not lie in externals but in the Spirit, who indwells the believer. By grace our “inner nature (or person)” is “being renewed day by day”, 2 Corinthians 4:16.

2 Corinthians 4:2, We are in the sight of God. 5:7 “we walk by faith not by sight / with what we see / by external appearance/without seeing him. In chapter 5 if we die, particularly through persecution, we enter heaven. v.16 “We regard no man after the flesh by what is external / from world’s standpoint / based on their outward lives / worldly standards have ceased to count in our estimate of any man / we judge no one from an outward point of view. Though we may have judged Christ from such a viewpoint now we do so no long.” In Christ, there is a new creation. It is the work of God. In relation to John 3:3, we are born from above (again / anew) 2 Corinthians 5:17 shows the new has come. This is the new age in human history as against the old covenant in 2 Corinthians 3.

There is now for us a glory far more than Moses had, 2 Corinthians 3:7,8,18. Being born again is made clear in 2 Corinthians 4:6,7. Believers are not made divine. They are reborn and now belong to the future order of the new heavens and the new earth. The old order of the things of this world and the carnal nature, has given place to an experience in which everything is new. “In the face of Jesus Christ” as in 2 Corinthians 4:6, gives the light of the knowledge of God by regeneration through Light. It refers to the activity of God at creation, Genesis 1.

A creature is “created by God”. A new creation is produced within by power of God. We know all this by faith, through the Word and the Spirit. It is something new. Anything we have or do, from the old man, or the old life, is not new. It belongs to the old creation. It is not the new creation. It is nothing we do or are. Galatians 5:6 “once we are in Christ circumcision means nothing and the want of it means nothing.” The faith that finds its expression in love is all that matters. That is the criterion. Galatians 6:15 Neither circumcision nor the lack of it is important but a new creation counts, (a new future). Ephesians 2:10 “We are His workmanship” (not the workmanship of a Pastor baptising us in water).

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a new, clean heart, O God. There is nothing added to the old nature. It is a totally new creation.

We share in the Divine Nature as shown in 2 Peter 1:4 Through this might and splendour he has given us his promises, great beyond all price”, in order that through these you may come to share in the divine nature now that you have fled from the corruption in the world, resulting from human passions. It is the nature of God that we personally partake of, worked in us by God. We bear His image. A divine, supernatural principle of spiritual actions and operations is imparted to us. Ephesians 4:22-24, “Put on the new man which is created to be like God”.

Thus the gift of righteousness is not just a matter of good standing with God but is also a matter of living out the life of this righteous God in the present age. See Romans 8:29, “Whom God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son whom God designated to be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” The key to living such a righteousness is the gift of the Spirit, as in Romans 8:1-30. In Romans 6:4 Paul urges, “thus let us also walk in newness of life,” 7:6 in newness of Spirit, 8:2 the Spirit of life = the Spirit who give life and 8:4 who walk according to the Spirit.

Romans 6:1,2 shows it is not right to sin so as to repent and experience God’s grace. In fact, that path leads downward to hell for any believer who chooses it. The gospel does not give us freedom to do as we like. Some in Corinth thought that sexual irregularities were matters of small importance. 1 Corinthians 5 they followed “Christian liberty (and love?)” and did not disapprove of the scandals. Therefore some said, “You should get the law of Moses into people.” That is not the way to walk in righteousness and holiness.

When a person yields his life to Christ and the power of His Spirit, his inward being is transformed, a new creation takes place. He gets a new nature. It is the nature of Christ within. This Christ nature loves to produce the fruits of the Spirit. These are graces in the perfection of Christ. Some think this impossible. But Galatians 4:19 shows Christ must be “formed” in us. Believers are “dead to sin”. Death means separation. Physical death is separation of a person from his body. Spiritual death, separation of a person from God. When born again, there is a cut between the person and his evil nature. This happened in the mind of God when that believing sinner, elected to salvation before creation, was identified with the Lord Jesus in His death on the cross, Romans 6:3-7.

God thus separated the believing sinner from the evil nature; He did not take it out of him but left it in his inner being. 1 John 1:8 shows that the evil nature remains in the believer throughout the earthly life. It is not removed until that believer dies or Jesus comes again. John says, “If we say that sin we are not constantly having, ourselves we are deceiving (nobody else) and the truth is not in us”. Sin here is the nature, not the act. There is a separation of the person from the sinful nature. Yet it remains in him until he dies or is glorified.

Because of the frailty of man, believers do give in to the evil nature and sin. He need not do so. God has given a share of the divine nature (partakers or participants of that divine nature through the promises) that gives the believer a hatred of sin and a love of righteousness. See 2 Peter 1:4 (participate in); John 3:3; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:1. In 1 John 4:15 God dwells in us and we dwell in God. We have “the seed of the divine remaining in us”, 1 John 3:9. “We know that we have our origin in God”, 1 John 5:19 and “we dwell in his Son, Jesus Christ”, 1 John 5:20. Note, “How is it possible for such as we, who have been separated once for all from the sinful nature, any longer to live within its grip?”

Romans 6:3,4. This baptism is into Jesus Christ, into His death and then resurrection. That makes us His property, He is the One whose death, resurrection and ascension began a new age. Christ must always be thought of in terms of crucifixion and resurrection. “Baptism into Christ” means baptism into Christ crucified. “Baptism into His death” is a spiritual fact. It is not a fact concerning natural things. Therefore it is not water baptism. His death was a “baptism”, Mark 10:38,39, Luke 12:50. Water baptism is a type, 1 Peter 3:21 but we are saved “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” that gives us a good conscience.

Paul shows how the cutting from sin was made. It was by God’s act of baptising the believing sinner into Christ so that that person would share His death on the Cross, thus separating him from the sinful nature. As in Romans 5:11. Christ died regarding the sinful nature (ours) once for all. This the death of the Lord regarding sin. Romans 3:21-5:11. He died with reference to our acts of sin. In Romans 6:11 it is re our sinful nature. He paid the penalty for us. This was the penalty that the Law demanded.

It actually is the act of God introducing a believing sinner into vital union with Jesus Christ in order that that believer might have the power of his sinful nature broken. The divine nature (the principle of the new life) is implanted through a person’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. See Titus 3:5. “the bathing in water which brings about regeneration and the renewal which has its source in the Holy Spirit”. It is not water baptism and indeed one is not bathed in that water. It is that in regeneration we are washed and renewed, all the work of the Holy Spirit. We are given new life, “You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God”, 1 Peter 1:23.

This alters the condition and relationship of that sinner regarding his previous state and environment. It brings him into a new environment, the kingdom of God. God placed us in Christ when He died so that we might share His death and benefit from that identification with Him, viz. separated from the evil nature as part of the salvation. Our new environment is Christ. The old one was the First Adam and we as sinners were under condemnation. In our new environment in Christ we have righteousness and life. There is now no condemnation, Romans 8:1. Our condition is changed from a sinner to a saint. We were not only placed in Christ by God the Holy Spirit so as to share His death and be separated from the evil nature. We were placed in Him so as to share His resurrection and thus have divine life imparted to us, 1 Corinthians 1:29,30.

The newness of life does not refer to a new quality of experience or conduct but to a new quality of life imparted. Romans 6 does not deal with the believer’s experience or behaviour. That is in chapters 12-16. Romans 8:10 shows that Christ lives in believers by His Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who gives life and the born-again one does not have a spirit quickened sufficiently to give life from itself. It is the life of Christ by His Spirit. Man’s spirit does not have the nature of God. The nature of God is within in the Person of Christ. We have become “one spirit with Him”, 1 Corinthians 6:17. Our spirit is in His Spirit, in the born again experience. His Spirit dwells within, 1 Corinthians 3:16.

2 Corinthians 5:17, In Christ, the believer is a new creation with old opinions, views, plans, desires, principles and affections passed away. He is a new creation in a new order that beings now with eternal life and continues on into and throughout eternity. The old world of sin, death and the flesh have gone. Instead the believer is a new creation in a new world under a new covenant. It is not so much subjective as being in connection with being a new creation in the new age, now and to come, 2 Corinthians 3. See Ephesians 2:10. The believer is the “re-created man in Christ”. His spirit is re-created in Christ and in that sense there is the nature of God. It is not the old “I”, whether spirit, soul or body that has the nature of God. That “I” is dead, crucified with Christ.

He is exhorted to “put on once for all the new nature (self) which was created after God’s likeness; was created in righteousness and holiness of truth”, Ephesians 4:24. This new creation is wholly good, Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 2:10, “created in Christ Jesus”. Galatians 6:15, “A new creation is everything”.

Romans 6:5-7 “Joined together” means “grown together with”. Our experience is grounded in a death and resurrection dependent upon Christ’s. It is we who are reckoned as having been crucified with Him when He was crucified, Galatians 2:20; 6:14. It is a present state produced by the past event of about the past in Greek. Those united by faith to Christ Romans 6:16. “For the destruction of the sinful self”; or the “flesh”, the “unregenerate nature with its downward tendency”, the “old Adam”, to make it unable to operate. It is more than an individual affair. It is that solidarity of sin and death we all share “in Adam”. It is not the human body; it is the “old man”, Colossians 4:22. In Christ now, we are united to Him.

Romans 6:8-13 “with Him”, = with respect to Him. The new life imparted at the moment of believing, is Christ, We will live by means of Him. “Christ died unto sin once for all”, not to acts of sin. The relation of Christ’s death to the sinful nature breaks the power of indwelling sin in one’s life. What must the believer do if he is to get results from this inner change God made in him? Two things – a. Reckon himself dead to sin; b. reckon himself alive to God. “Reckon” means “to count, compute, take into account”.

As we try to live a life in accordance with the Word of God, we must consider that we are dead to sin, not acting according to the evil nature, that it no longer has power and that we can say “No” to sin. We must count on the fact that the Divine nature is within because we are born of the Spirit with Christ within. We are united to Christ. Our sinful nature has not been changed into the Divine nature. We can never say we had the nature of Satan and that now we have the nature of God. We still have the sinful nature within and participate in the Divine nature.

Romans 6:14-16 In a sense we are no longer “under the Law’, Galatians 5:18 but that does not mean its demands are no longer sound. Love demanded of us is the fulfilment of the Law, Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14. Love does not exclude reference to commandments, for love and obedience cannot be separated, John 15:10. The enabling factor is the Spirit. Man under the Law faces a desperate situation, not because the Law is an inferior revelation connecting us to a limited or even false knowledge of God. Prior to faith there is no true fulfilment of the Law. Jesus fulfilled it for us and now the Spirit has set us free from the law of sin and death and writes the law of God on our hearts, Jeremiah 31:33.

Yet we have been released from the law by the death of Christ, i.e. law in terms of the Mosaic covenant has ceased. Rules re food, special days and circumcision do not apply. Ritual law has been removed. Ministration of the Law is one of death and does not give life because we transgress the Law and are guilty, 2 Corinthians 3:8,9. The Holy Spirit within convicts of sin. We have changed our masters. “Doulos” = servile slave first of Satan due to our sinning and now of the Lord Jesus. We have a new nature, the divine and the evil nature forcing us to serve the Devil has its power broken. We hate sin and try to keep it out. If we sin, we must immediately confess our sin to Him, 1 John 1:7-9. “Before it was the will of Satan, now the will of God. The believer’s identification with the Lord Jesus in His death, broke the bands which bound him to Satan, Colossians 1:13.

Re 2 Corinthians 3. The difference between following the letter of the law and following the Spirit shows a. the law as externally written at Sinai on tablets of stone and b. the same law as written internally in the heart of the Christian believer. Formerly, the unrighteous (all) were confronted and condemned. Sin was revealed by the law and the verdict was death, Ezekiel 18:4,20 Proverbs 11:19; Romans 5:12. Teaching the Letter of law saying not to sin, kills. The life-giving Spirit must be there.

The new covenant is life-giving through grace. Christ, who as God is the Law-Giver and as Man as the only law-keeper, suffered the sinner’s death penalty. This removed the legal document with its accusations and nailed it to His cross for all to see, Colossians 2:14. At Pentecost when the New Covenant came into being, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the means and still is, whereby His life and obedience are communicated to every believer.

Chapter Two

Being Born Again Does not Include Water Baptism

When a person is born again, of the water and of the Spirit, the experience with water and Spirit is at the one time, the one second and is simultaneous. That alone shows that when people are taught that water is baptism by immersion and Spirit is speaking in tongues, they are taught error. Their baptism in water by immersion and their speaking in tongues occurs at different times and not at the one moment. The above explanations should show clearly that water baptism by immersion has nothing to do with being born again. People are born again always before they are baptised in water by immersion.

Water baptism by immersion is called “Believer’s Baptism” so how can the baptism be the born again experience? You must believe first. Later on the person is baptised by immersion as was the case when Philip baptised the eunuch of the Queen of Sheba, in Acts 8:25-29. The eunuch believed first in his heart and then requested baptism by immersion. It is unscriptural to equate being born again with becoming “a Pentecostal”! Being a Pentecostal has nothing to do with being born again. The Bible does not mention such a thing as “a Pentecostal”. Many people are in heaven today, who were never baptised by immersion or spoke in tongues. Consider the thief on the cross to whom Jesus said, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise”.

To be called “Pentecostal” began nearly a hundred years ago when believers in Jesus suddenly began to be baptised in the Spirit and speak with other tongues. Let us notice that they were already born again of the Spirit of God and washed in the blood of Jesus. Some had been baptised by immersion and some had not. All of them after years perhaps of being a believer in Jesus, received the baptism in the Spirit. They were forced out of their churches and thus formed their own gatherings which were then called “Pentecostal” because the reason they formed their own churches was their experience of speaking in tongues as on the Day of Pentecost.

A “Pentecostal” is a person who has been born again of the water of the Word and of the Spirit of God when he first believed on Jesus as his Saviour and Lord. He was washed in the blood of Jesus. At some later stage, he is baptised in water by immersion and is baptised in the Holy Ghost when he speaks definitely in other tongues. “Other tongues” are languages from the Spirit of God within the person and do not come from his mind but from the Mind of the Holy Spirit. “Shala ma hundah, ba, ba, ba” is most decidedly not speaking in tongues. It is false and could even be of demonic influence.

A Pentecostal then is one who lives a holy life, separated from the world’s system. He often prays in other tongues, he is looking for the return of the Lord Jesus and believes and practises the nine gifts of the Holy Ghost as well as following the order in assemblies as in 1 Corinthians 12-14. The aforementioned practices make the Church as it was in the books of Acts and the Epistles. It preaches the gospel plainly and preaches Jesus as the only Saviour. The emphasis is always on Jesus and His death on the cross and resurrection.

Being born again does not include water baptism. 1 Peter 3:21 “In answer baptism now saves you (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ’. Jesus went through the baptism of death. He arose. We are justified through His resurrection. His baptism in death on the cross has saved us. Our death with His death meant the filth of our flesh, the carnal nature, was removed or put away. Now the answer from us to any question regarding our salvation is that our conscience is clear before God. As Hebrews 10:22 says “having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience”. Also see John 4:14; Isaiah 12:3; Revelation 1:5.

The outward baptism that a believer then takes is material and an outward act. It is not any kind of washing of the inward man and it does not even wash the body. This is made clear in Galatians 6:15 that reads, “In Christ Jesus neither circumcisions (an outward act) avails anything, nor uncircumcision but a new creature.”

“Circumcision” means the whole system of Mosaic ordinances. Similarly regarding the gospel, “baptism” is merely an ordinance. From them all Paul distinguishes the new creation and says it is without “circumcision” (or “baptism”). Baptism does not mean regeneration. See Acts 8:13, where Simon was baptized but in verse 21 Peter said to him, “Your heart is not right before God”. Baptism had not saved him.

“circumcision” in a transferred sense only, corresponds to water baptism. It is a sign only. In Colossians 2:11, we see that “the body of the flesh” was “the condition in which the corrupt desires rooted in the flesh were not yet extinct”. In v.13 the expression, “the uncircumcision of your flesh” is derived from the fact that the foreskin was the sign of impurity and alienation from God. That was one reason the Children of Israel were circumcised naturally. Reading, “made you live again through fellowship with Christ”, it can be understood that in Christ’s circumcision, our carnal nature of flesh was legally cut off. Then we lived with Christ in the new birth. This was an actuality. Christ by His Spirit actually came into our hearts or spirits. Creation in the new birth is instantaneous. It is a miracle. We are begotten of God. James 1:18 “He begat us / gave us birth by the word of Truth”. 1 John 5:1 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God and every one that loves Him that begat lives the sons born of Him”.

Let us look at the whole of Colossians 2:11-13, “In whom also you are circumcised when you threw off your sinful nature in the circumcision of Christ” or “by being set free from the sins of the flesh by virtue of Christ’s circumcision” or “in the circumcision of Christ you were set free from your sinful nature” or “in baptism you were buried with Him” or “united with His burial” “and raised to life with Him through your faith in the power of God who raised Him from the dead. Yes, although you were dead through your sins and your uncircumcised nature” or “dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh”. In Colossians 2:11,13, “baptism” is not referring to water baptism. The “flesh” in the Greek Dictionary means “mere human nature, the earthly nature man apart from divine influence and therefore it is prone to sin. In John 3:6 “flesh” means “the human body”. “Circumcision” was a word unknown to the Greeks. Jesus’ death was a “baptism” Mark 1;38; Luke 12:50; Romans 6:3; Galatians 2:20.

Showing it is not water baptism from Galatians 2:19-21

    i. To believe in Christ is “to die”. This “death” gives rise to a different kind of living. “To live for God” has the thought of life beyond death, not just a different kind of life in this world. This is by a life that has experienced death and over which death has no more say, Romans 6:10,11. In the above verses from Galatians, Paul said “and we died” to the Law and “were crucified with Christ”. In Greek, the word for “crucified” is in the perfect tense, meaning “I have been nailed to the cross with Christ and am still hanging there with him”. See also Galatians 3:1; 6:14; Romans 6:5.

If it were water baptism, we would have to be “in the water of baptism all the time, to be crucified all the time”. Now, understanding this, see Romans 6:2-8; 7:6; Colossians 2:20; 3:3. It is not water baptism that brings about this “dying” but believing in Christ.

“Baptism” comes from the Greek “baptizo”. It means, “the introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union with something else so as to alter its condition or its relationship to its previous environment or condition”. That is what it means here and in Romans 6:3,4. It cannot be water baptism because when we come up out of the water, our environment is still the same and so is our condition. We still live in this world, in these bodies.

To be born again refers to the act of God introducing a believing sinner into vital union with Jesus Christ, in order that that believer might have the power of his sinful nature broken and the divine nature implanted through his identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. This spiritual act could never take place in water baptism. God’s act alters the condition and relationship of that sinner with regard to his previous state and environment, bringing him into a new place, the Kingdom of God. This new place could never occur through material baptism in water. God placed us in Christ when He died so that we might share His death and thus come into the benefits of that identification with Him, namely, be legally separated from the evil nature as part of the salvation He gives us when we believe. The carnal nature no longer dominates us. Christ is our life. We now have imputed righteousness and Christ’s life. We are placed in Christ by God the Holy Spirit in order that we might share Christ’s resurrection and have divine life imparted to us. It takes an act of the Spirit of God to do this, not a plunging into water.

It is Spirit that gives birth to spirit. We are born “from above” in the new birth. Water is not spirit. Water is not from above. Spirit works like water but in a spiritual sense, in working this change of regeneration. As water cleanses the filthy, so the Spirit applies the blood of Christ for cleansing the polluted nature and renews it in true holiness. Water refreshes the thirsty and as applied by the Spirit, the “fainting” souls of sinners are refreshed. Psalm 42:1 “As the hart longs for running streams so long I for thee O God (my whole being longs for Thee)”. In the new birth, there is created within us a longing that corresponds to the thirst of a hart panting after a long run. v.6 “That born of the flesh is flesh”. It has material element. The baby has flesh, just as the mother has flesh. That birth is not in a spiritual realm.

In the spiritual realm, that “born of the Spirit is spirit”. It does not have any material element. John.3:4;7:38,39; Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 34:26;39:29; 36:26, show the Spirit moving in the spiritual realm. Nicodemus thought he would have to return to the “womb and be born”, an impossibility. Man, the same as Nicodemus did, tries to put spiritual truth into the carnal ways. He tries to give spiritual truth a carnal understanding. “The carnal mind is at enmity with God”, Romans 8:6,7.

In John 3:5, the Spirit is likened to “water”. In verse 7,8. “Water” in the Word generally means “The Spirit”, as in John 4:24, speaking of living water and in Isaiah 44:3,4; Revelation 22:17,1; Psalm 46:4.

It can also be “the Word”, as in Ephesians 5:26, where it mentions in the King James and other translations, “the water of the Word”.

Also, the Spirit is compared to “wind”, as in John 3:8, Acts 2:2, Ezekiel 37:9 “Come from the four winds, O breath (or Spirit)” Song of Solomon 4:16 “Awake O north wind”. John 14:18.

When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, the baptising of repentant sinners in the River Jordan was common knowledge. Nicodemus, as a Pharisee, would not have subjected himself to this baptism. This meant he rejected the forerunner of the Messiah, Matthew 3:3. Jesus was not telling him to submit to John’s baptism that he had neglected. Now Jesus, the Messiah had appeared and he must listen to Him.

Jesus had the true message of salvation and not John. Jesus never taught in the Gospels when mentioning salvation, the necessity of being water baptised to obtain it. It was always, “Repent and believe in the Gospel, Mark 1:15; “he who does not believe is condemned”, John 3:18; “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”, John 9:35; “Believe in God, believe also in Me”, 14:1; “have not seen and yet believe”, 20:29. The apostles generally just mentioned “believing”, Acts 2:21; 8:17; 15:11; 16:11; 26:27; Romans 3:22; 10:9; 1 Corinthians 1:21; see also Acts 4:4; 5:14; 9:42; 11:21; 13:12; 14:1; 15:2; 17:12,34;,18:8. The emphasis is on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Saviour from all sin, Matthew 1:21. See Romans 3:9; 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 2:1; Hebrews 10:17; 1 Peter 2:24.

Christ comes to us as the Spirit, even in the new birth. “I will not leave you fatherless I will come to you (in Holy Spirit) John 14:18; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 15:45.

Chapter Three

Born into The Family of God

We are born again into the family of God. We become His children. He is our Heavenly Father. We pray to our heaven Father, in the Name of Jesus, His Son. John 1:12,13 “But to all who received him, who believed in his name he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man but of God.” 1 John 3:9, “Whoever is born of God cannot go on sinning because the very nature of God dwells within him / A divine germ remains in him / because His SEED remains within him / because God’s new life is in him.

Romans 9:26 “Hosea says, ‘You are not My people’ there they shall be called children of the living God”; Ephesians 5:8 “Walk as children of light”; Romans 8:16-21 “The Spirit bears witness that we are the children of God, if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ into the glorious liberty of the children of God”.

We are called sons of God. This is the grace of God. See 1 John 3:1,2 “Born of Him. See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called the sons of God (children); and such we are”. Galatians 4:6 “Because you are sons, God has sent forth His Spirit into your hearts, crying ‘Abba, Father’.”

We are also adopted as sons. Galatians 4:5 “That we might receive adoption of sons”. This is the placing of a son used in every-day Greek into the status of sons. Ephesians 1:5 “The adoption of children by Jesus Christ”. It is a Roman legal term. It was not a Jewish practice and Paul was a Roman citizen, Acts 22:25-27. The legal act of “adoption” was one by which a Roman citizen entered another family and came under the fatherly protection of its head. It is to receive the “status of sons”. In the Christian sense, it transfers believers from being slaves in Satan’s slave-camp to the family circle of God’s favour. It gives believers heavenly citizenship and untold privileges. Exodus 4:22 Israel is shown as the first-born son. Adoption shows Father’s good pleasure that a company of sons of God should be gathered one by one and stamped with the image of His eternal Son. They are made co-heirs. They cry “Abba”. Romans 8:15,16 says “You have not received a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear but you have received the spirit of adoption. When we cry Abba Father it is that the very Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, heirs of God”. This is not reformation, good works, legalism or baptism. It is a supernatural act of God.

Adoption is that legal act whereby, by Jesus Christ, the believer is transferred from the family of the world and Satan into the family of God, Colossians 1:13. This includes the fact that he is admitted into all the privileges and advantages of that family. Those blessings are spiritual and material. Believers have a right to call God, “Father”, they have a right to forgiveness of sins through the Blood of Jesus. They have a right to enter the presence of God freely, absolved from all guilt and a guilty conscience. They have a right to the blessings of the Spirit of God, to holy living, to answered prayer and to material blessings. Every one of these blessings is through the grace and mercy of God. They are based on faith only and not on any kind of work.

They also receive material blessings through faith and the care of our heavenly Father. It is by grace. Jesus said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?”, Matthew 7:11. Read Matthew 6:26-33. These verses show the way material blessings come to believers in Christ. First of all, watch the birds. They do not worry, sow seed nor pay tithes. Yet God provides for the flowers, the birds and the animals. We are not to strive for material goods, like the unbelievers. Our heavenly Father knows what things we have need of. We do not need to ask. Jesus said, “Strive first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well”.

We have not been born again in the water of baptism. Being baptised in water using the Name of Jesus does not make us born again. We are not born again through speaking in other tongues. We are not born again by being christened. All this is made clear in 1 Peter 1:23 “You have been born again not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God (through the word of the living and enduring God).” There was corruption in one’s natural birth. Now there is no corruption in our spirit birth. By conception and birth we were born into this world like our parents who were full of sin. By regeneration (being born again), “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. That birth makes us pure, holy and God-like.

Chapter Four

The New Life and the Carnal Nature
We are now in the family of God, Ephesians 3:15. It is a legal act. It is done by public declaration. First of all to the angels, Hebrews 12:22-24, Revelation 22:9; Ephesians 3:6-10. It is declared to Satan as one who has been judged and condemned. The Lord Jesus Christ has bound Satan once for all on the Cross, Luke 11:22. Satan is bound in our lives when we receive Christ. We do not have to bind demons. It is revealed to the adopted person himself, by the Spirit, Romans 8:14,15; Galatians 4:6.

Believers are freed from sin, eternal death, Satan and the Law (or legalism). They should not allow any preacher, book or inward feeling, bring them back under Law. We are under grace.

We were not born with the nature of Satan. We have never had his nature. We had a nature of sin, Romans 1-3. On being born again, our spirits that were dead, Ephesians 2:1-3, were quickened by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Titus 3:5,6 shows that it was through the “water of rebirth” (the Word as the seed) and “renewal by the Holy Spirit”. It means life begins all over again. It does not mean the person receives the actual nature of God in His Spirit to the extent that he can say, “I am Christ. I am the righteousness of Christ. I am Divine”.

He has a new nature within, but it is in the Person of Christ by His Spirit, Romans 8:9. The Bible says, “God made us alive together with Christ”, Ephesians 2:5. We can never receive the nature of God. God has created within us a “creature”, a “new nature”. God can never create Himself, so we do not have created within us the nature of God.

A man’s spirit that was dead is transformed at the new birth, by the impartation of a new life and a new nature. It is a new spiritual being, creature, nature or life. It continues on in a course of being transformed, as in 2 Corinthians 3:18.

This new birth does not produce an inherent nature, that could be called “the nature of God”. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature”. He is a “creature”. It can never be said that he as such a creature, has the “nature of God”. A new creature is a moral man, not a God. There is a workmanship of God within us, Ephesians 2:10. He has put His Spirit within us. First of all, the sinner has to repent. Then God produces within by His creating act, a new creature, Psalm 51:10; Ephesians 2:10. Man has no part in this creation. It is of God.

In 2 Peter 1:4, “He has given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these you are made partakers of the divine nature”. This divine nature is not the nature of God. We do not subjectively partake of this nature. It is a nature but it is a principle of operation, created in us by God and bearing His image.

We are in Christ. All we are and have is as we are “in Christ”. How wonderful to know that we are in Christ and that Christ is in us, the hope of glory.

When receiving Christ, there still remains within us, the carnal nature or as the Bible says, “the old man”. That is centred in our soul area. Christ lives within our spirits. The spirit communicates with God. The soul communicates with the world. It is the seat of our sinful tendencies, sinful notions and sinful acts. They are all centred there. They do not become sin until we commit it as a sin, James 1:14,15.

This is the reason John said, in 1 John 1:10 “if we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” Carrying on into the next verse, we read, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”. If and when we fall into sin, such as continuing anger, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness and other works of the flesh, Galatians 5:19-21, we should immediately pray to the Lord Jesus, confessing the sin. Then as it says in 1 John 1:9,7, “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”, and “the blood of Jesus, the Son, cleanses us from all sin”. This is after the verse that says, “If we say we have no sin, the truth is not in us”.

This does not give us a licence to sin. We are meant to confess, rise up and obtain the victory, even if it is eventually only. This confirms Romans 6:11, “You must also consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God, in Christ Jesus”. We are not to go on deliberately living in sin. We are to “No longer present your members (of your body) to sin as instruments of wickedness; present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness”. Sin shall not have dominion over us.

If we read Romans 7, we can understand the power of sin of the carnal nature. God says in Ephesians 4:22,23 “You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”. This means that we are to let the new self take over from the old self. Notice that we cannot renew our own minds by our own efforts. Neither can we clothe ourselves with the new self by self-effort. It has to be by faith. This new self must be fed with much reading of the Epistles. This new self must communicate with the Father in the Name of Jesus. This also must be done by praying in the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 14:2, which is praying in other tongues.

Each of us must give an account of ourselves before the throne of Christ one day, 1 Corinthians 5:10. Let us follow Jesus, who said, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me”, Mark 8:34. Each is to follow Jesus, not the other believer, the Pastor or the church.

The carnal, sinful nature, the old man, the old self has been dealt with by God.

Preaching from the Old Testament can never help the situation of a believer in dealing with that carnal nature. It can never show him how he must operate in the Spirit.

There are lessons from the Old Testament. The scriptures are given for our instruction and learning. If we know the New Testament and are under it we can then apply portions of the Old Testament to our situation but only in the Spirit of God.

The Law can never promote Christian living. We are not under Law. We are under grace. All the godly orf the Old Testament were not under what we are. We are not under what they were. Law only condemns. Law brings death. Following Law as a believer causes us to be in spiritual death. Romans 7 proves this. Paul knew the Law. It was in his mind. It could not produce righteousness in his standing before God or in living. He said, “Woe is me”. The carnal nature was too strong. There was a law of sin and death within him. Then in Romans 8 he shows hat victory is in the Spirit of God, because Christ came in the flesh. He defeated sin in the flesh. Therefore His Spirit gives us spiritual life and living in our flesh.

Therefore, our way in Christ is to do what he did. He left following the Law to be under grace and the power of the Spirit. He did not find it in the Old Testament. He did not find victory in the Old Testament. Neither will we. He found it in the cross of Christ that was revealed to him. It was the mystery that had been hidden to the Old Testament writers and prophets. It was revealed to Paul. We know that mystery by reading what Paul wrote. Not by reading what the Old Testament or the Psalms say. Once we know the mystery of the gospel we can then find glimpses of it in the Old Testament, including the Psalms.

We must see our carnal nature on the cross with Christ. That is how God sees it. It is a legal action by God for us when Christ was on the cross. He died I died. My carnal nature, as Paul says, is hanging on the cross with Christ.

Let us look at Romans 12:1,2. We are to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God. We cannot present our nature or our souls. Dead on the cross. Our body was never placed “on the cross”. Therefore, for victory, as well as seeing our old man on the cross (not in the waters of baptism), we have to deal with our body. It is the centre of sin and the lusts of the flesh. To sacrifice it to God means a spiritual process occurs by the Spirit of God. It is made a holy sacrifice. It is acceptable to God. This is because the Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, dwells in our mortal body. The Spirit quickens it to the extent of enabling the members of our body to be presented to God. Then His holiness is worked out through this sacrifice.

If we follow the renewed mind already in us and are not conformed to this world it means a transformation in us. We do not follow the carnal mind that all of us still have. We follow the renewed mind that the Spirit uses to produce the life and righteousness of Christ. It is grace through faith. It is not a matter of reading and confessing the Word of God to produce a renewed mind. That is Law. We have the renewed mind. The Spirit and the Word of God will feed this renewed mind and enable it to control us. This renewed mind has the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians.

We are to prove the perfect and acceptable will of God. .This does not mean we are to find it out through experience. It means that the perfect and acceptable will of God is already set in place. The Word of God has established it. If we follow the renewed mind we will be transformed as it controls us by the Spirit. This transformation will enable us to see the perfect and acceptable will of God operating. We will know what it is. It is not something we are to seek out for ourselves by experience and actions in our lives. It is there. We see it. We do it as we know it. It is by the operation of the Spirit of God through the renewed mind.

We are to put off the old man and put on the new.

We are never, in the Christian sense, to deal with ourselves in a psychological manner.

We share in the Divine Nature, 2 Peter 1:4. Perhaps the translation, “may become”, is better as it gives the idea of growth. See Hebrews 12:10, “Partakers of His holiness”. Through this might and splendour he has given us his promises, great beyond all price, in order that through these you may come to share in the divine nature now that you have fled from the corruption in the world, resulting from human passions. It is the nature of God that we personally partake of, worked in us by God. We do not partake of His essential Divine Nature, that cannot be given. It is something of His Divine Nature that He is able to give to us. It is “in Christ” for us. We are “partners” with Him in His nature. We bear His image. A divine, supernatural principle of spiritual actions and operations is imparted to us. Ephesians 4:22-24, “Put on the new man which is created to be like God”.

Thus the gift of righteousness is not just a matter of good standing with God but is also a matter of living out the life of this righteous God in the present age. See Romans 8:29, “Whom God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son whom God designated to be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” The key to living such a righteousness is the gift of the Spirit, as in Romans 8:1-30. In Romans 6:4 Paul urges, “thus let us also walk in newness of life,” 7:6 in newness of Spirit, 8:2 the Spirit of life = the Spirit who give life and 8:4 who walk according to the Spirit.

Romans 6:1,2 shows it is not right to sin so as to repent and experience God’s grace. In fact, that path leads downward to hell for any believer who chooses it. The gospel does not give us freedom to do as we like. Some in Corinth thought that sexual irregularities were matters of small importance. 1 Corinthians 5 they followed “Christian liberty (and love?)” and did not disapprove of the scandals. Therefore some said, “You should get the law of Moses into people.” That is not the way to walk in righteousness and holiness.

When a person yields his life to Christ and the power of His Spirit, his inward being is transformed, a new creation takes place. He gets a new nature. It is the nature of Christ within. This Christ nature loves to produce the fruits of the Spirit. These are graces in the perfection of Christ. Some think this impossible. But Galatians 4:19 shows Christ must be “formed” in us. Believers are “dead to sin”. Death means separation. Physical death is separation of a person from his body. Spiritual death, separation of a person from God. When born again, there is a cut between the person and his evil nature. This happened in the mind of God when that believing sinner, elected to salvation before creation, was identified with the Lord Jesus in His death on the cross, Romans 6:3-7.

God thus separated the believer who was a sinner, from the evil nature, He did not take it out of him but left it in his inner being. 1 John 1:8 shows that the evil nature remains in the believer throughout the earthly life. It is not removed until that believer dies or Jesus comes again. John says, “If we say that sin we are not constantly having, ourselves we are deceiving (nobody else) and the truth is not in us”. Sin here is the nature, not the act. There is a separation of the person from the sinful nature. Yet it remains in him until he dies or is glorified.

Because of the frailty of man, believers do give in to the evil nature and sin. This need not happen. God has given a share of the divine nature (partakers or participants of that divine nature through the promises) that gives the believer a hatred of sin and a love of righteousness. See 2 Peter 1:4 (participate in); John 3:3; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:1.

In 1 John 4:15 God dwells in us and we dwell in God. We have “the seed of the divine remaining in us”, 1 John 3:9. “We know that we have our origin in God”, 1 John 5:19 and “we dwell in his Son, Jesus Christ”, 1 John 5:20. Note, “How is it possible for such as we, who have been separated once for all from the sinful nature, any longer to live within its grip?”

The baptism is into Jesus Christ, into His death and then resurrection, as shown in Romans 6 3-14 and Colossians 2:10-15. This makes us His property. “You are not your own for you are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your bodies, which are Christ’s”, 1 Corinthians 6:20.
He is the One whose death, resurrection and ascension began a new age. Christ must always be thought of in terms of crucifixion and resurrection. “Baptism into Christ” means baptism into Christ crucified. “Baptism into His death” is a spiritual fact. It is not a fact concerning natural things. Therefore it is not water baptism. His death was a “baptism”, Mark 10:38,39, Luke 12:50. Water baptism is a type, 1 Peter 3:21 but we are saved “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” that gives us a good conscience.

Paul shows how the cutting from sin was made. It was by God’s act of baptising the believing sinner into Christ so that that person would share His death on the Cross, thus separating him from the sinful nature. As in Romans 5:11. Christ died regarding the sinful nature (ours) once for all. This the death of the Lord is regarding sin. Romans 3:21-5:11. He died because of our acts of sin. Romans 6:11 concerns our sinful nature. He paid the penalty for us. This was the penalty that the broken Law demanded.

It actually is the act of God introducing a believing sinner into vital union with Jesus Christ in order that that believer might have the power of his sinful nature broken. The divine nature (the principle of the new life) is implanted through a person’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. See Titus 3:5. “the bathing in water which brings about regeneration and the renewal which has its source in the Holy Spirit”. It is not water baptism and indeed one is not bathed in that water. It is that in regeneration we are washed and renewed, all the work of the Holy Spirit. We are given new life, “You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God”, 1 Peter 1:23.

This alters the condition and relationship of that sinner regarding his previous state and environment. It brings him into a new environment, the kingdom of God. God placed us in Christ when He died so that we might share His death and benefit from that identification with Him, viz. separated from the evil nature as part of the salvation. Our new environment is Christ. The old one was the First Adam and we as sinners were under condemnation. In our new environment in Christ we have righteousness and life. There is now no condemnation, Romans 8:1. Our condition is changed from a sinner to a saint. We were not only placed in Christ by God the Holy Spirit so as to share His death and be separated from the evil nature. We were placed in Him so as to share His resurrection and thus have divine life imparted to us, 1 Corinthians 1:29,30.

2 Corinthians 5:17, In Christ, the believer is a new creation with old opinions, views, plans, desires, principles and affections passed away. He is a new creation in a new order that beings now with eternal life and continues on into and throughout eternity. The old world of sin, death and the flesh have gone. Instead the believer is a new creation in a new world under a new covenant. It is not so much subjective as being in connection with being a new creation in the new age, now and to come, 2 Corinthians 3. See Ephesians 2:10. The believer is the “re-created man in Christ”. His spirit is re-created in Christ and in that sense there is the nature of God. It is not the old “I”, whether spirit, soul or body that has the nature of God. That “I” is dead, crucified with Christ.

He is exhorted to “put on once for all the new nature (self) which was created after God’s likeness; was created in righteousness and holiness of truth”, Ephesians 4:24. This new creation is wholly good, Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 2:10, “created in Christ Jesus”. Galatians 6:15, “A new creation is everything”.

Our experience is grounded in a death and resurrection dependent upon Christ’s. It is that we are reckoned as having been crucified with Him when He was crucified, Galatians 2:20; 6:14. It is a present state produced by the past event (or “about the past” in Greek). It is for those united by faith to Christ Romans 6:16. “It is for the destruction of the sinful self”; or the “flesh”, the “unregenerate nature with its downward tendency”, the “old Adam”, to make it unable to operate. It is more than being an individual sinner. It is that solidarity of sin and death we all share “in Adam”. The flesh here is not the human body; it is the “old man”, Colossians 4:22. In Christ now, we are united to Him.

The new life imparted at the moment of believing, is Christ, We will live by means of Him. “Christ died unto sin once for all”, not to acts of sin. The relation of Christ’s death to the sinful nature breaks the power of indwelling sin in one’s life. What must the believer do if he is to get results from this inner change God made in him? It is shown in Romans 6:11-13. Two things – a. Reckon himself dead to sin; b. reckon himself alive to God. “Reckon” means “to count, compute, take into account”.

As we are to live a life in accordance with the Word of God, we must consider that we are dead to sin, not acting according to the evil nature, that it no longer has power so that we can say “No” to sin. We must count on the fact that we are a partaker of the Divine nature within because we are born of the Spirit with Christ within. We are united to Christ. Our sinful nature has not been changed into the Divine nature. We can never say we had the nature of Satan and that now we have the nature of God. We still have the sinful nature within and participate in the Divine nature.

Romans 6:14-16 In a sense we are no longer “under the Law’, Galatians 5:18, “If we are led by the Spirit we are not under the law”. That does not mean there is no longer any requirement for it in our lives. There is. It is fulfilled in us because Christ fulfilled the Law. He lives in us and His Spirit works through our spirits. Galatians 5:6, “Faith that works by love”. That faith is in us because Christ is in us. The way we live is through faith. It is not by works. Christ did it all on the cross. We benefit from what He did, through faith that He gives us as a manner of living. He has given it to us. We do not have to try to work it up. It is within us. As we meditate upon these truths, they come alive within us. Hebrews 4:12, “The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, dividing even the soul and spirit”. In this case, where the new creation must be dominant, the Word will so divide soul (old man) and spirit that the soul will have to submit to the spirit (new man). We find that they feed the love principle deep within our spirits. Then we find that they are so influencing our lives that we live them almost automatically. We are not struggling from our carnal nature. Our “new man” is then in control over our carnal nature. We do not follow the carnal nature. We are walking in the Spirit and living in the Spirit. The Spirit so controls us that His fruit is produced in our lives. We are living in victory and not in defeat, subject to the lusts of our carnal nature. Our carnal nature has gone to sleep, as it were. Our new man is very much alive.

We find that we are showing forth the love put within us by the Spirit, when we were born again, Romans 5:5, “The love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us”. He was given to us when we were born again. At that time the love of God was “shed abroad” within our spirits, within our new creation man, our new nature. Love is the fulfilment of the Law, Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14. Therefore, the law is fulfilled within us and in our lives by the Spirit of Christ within our new creation spirits. Love does not exclude reference to commandments, for love and obedience cannot be separated, John 15:10. The Spirit enables us. If, as believers, we try to do good, try to act as if we are under the Law thus disobeying the truths of the gospel, we are not pleasing God. Even before the time of faith arrived after the resurrection of Jesus, no one could fulfil the Law. Jesus fulfilled it for us and now the Spirit has set us free from the law of sin and death and writes the law of God on our hearts, Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 10:16. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death”.

Brother, sister believer, you are free from that law that could only result in sin, show sin is within and pronounce the sentence of eternal death. However, we are still aware of the fact that we were under that power. Christ nailed that law to the cross, Colossians 2:14. We still recognize that within us is that old man, that carnal nature that would like to follow law and not look to the Cross. We, however, by faith, look at the cross and its power in our lives. We do not deny the existence of that old man but we walk in the Spirit, keeping it under subjection. The new nature with the fruits of the Spirit, relying on Christ and what He did on the cross, lives in the Spirit. There is our victory.

Yet we have been released from the law by the death of Christ, i.e. law as we see it written in the Old covenant has ceased. Rules regarding food, special days and circumcision do not apply. Ritual law has been removed totally. Any part of the Law that was ritual, e.g. its priests, the garments, the incense and the sacrifices, have all finished. The music (singing, dancing, music) that was under the Law at the time of King David, the Psalm singing at the time of sacrifices and keeping of the Feast of Israel, have finished. We are not under those things. We are under the New Covenant. Ministration of the Law is one of death and does not give life because we transgress the Law and are guilty, 2 Corinthians 3:8,9. The Holy Spirit within convicts of sin. We have changed our masters. “Doulos” = servile slave first of Satan due to our sinning and now of the Lord Jesus. We have a new nature, the divine and the evil nature forcing us to serve the Devil has its power broken. We hate sin and try to keep it out. If we sin, we must immediately confess our sin to Him, 1 John 1:7-9. Before it was the will of Satan, now the will of God. The believer’s identification with the Lord Jesus in His death, broke the bands which bound him to Satan, Colossians 1:13.

In 2 Corinthians 3, the difference between following the letter of the law and following the Spirit is shown clearly. The law as externally written at Sinai on tablets of stone and b. the same law as written internally in the heart of the Christian believer. Under the law the unrighteous (all mankind) were shown to be sinners and condemned. Sin was revealed by the law and the verdict was death, Ezekiel 18:4,20 Proverbs 11:19; Romans 5:12. Before we were born again by faith in Jesus, we were in that state. Now we have the Spirit of Christ within. Filled with the Spirit in the baptism with the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues, we are now to walk in the Spirit. Teaching the letter of law telling us not to sin, kills. Also, teaching that says we must “do” this and “not do” that kills. We must, of course, know what is right and what is wrong. However, the life-giving Spirit must do it all. This leaves no room for human psychology or effort.

The new covenant is life-giving through grace. Christ, who as God is the Law-Giver and as Man as the only law-keeper, suffered the sinner’s death penalty. This removed the legal document with its accusations and nailed it to His cross for all to see, Colossians 2:14. At Pentecost when the New Covenant came into being, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the means and still is, whereby His life and obedience are communicated to every believer.

I have found four prayers necessary to enable one to live a victorious life in Christ.

They are: –

    a. I see myself, my carnal nature, on the cross with Christ, Galatians 2:20.

    b. I reckon myself dead to this particular sin and alive to God, Romans 6:11,13.

    c. I by faith, put off the old man and put on the new, Ephesians 22-24.

   d. I present my body a living sacrifice to God, Romans 12:1-3. I have the renewing of the mind and from that, the Holy Spirit in me will enable me to prove the will of God.

    e. I yield to the Holy Spirit to operate through my body, to quicken it that His resurrection life might flow through me, Romans 8:11.

    f. I am filled with the Spirit, speaking in other tongues, Jude 24, 1 Corinthians 14:2,14,15,16.

    g. I believe the Holy Spirit acts in my spirit for fruits of the Spirit to appear, Galatians 5:16-24.

Chapter Five

End Time Warnings

We are now in a time in history, that is perhaps close to the coming of Jesus. We do not have any idea when He will come, Acts 1:7. We are living I believe in the time spoken of as “the falling away”. We are not in a time of revival. Nowhere in the New Testament is revival mentioned or promised. We are not to look for a revival that is never promised. We are called to be witnesses to Jesus in the power of the Spirit, to live sanctified lives and to look for His coming. “Except there comes a falling away first”, 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

There is to be the lawless one working, as in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, “is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned”.

May God comfort your heart and strengthen you in the face of this.

1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons”. This, according to the Scripture, is happening also in the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, particularly in Australia. We need to be watchful and be sure we do not follow those who are led by these spirits. We will know them by the Word of God as the plumbline. If their teaching is not found in the Bible, if they twist scriptures, if they take verses out of the Bible constantly, if they consistently diverge from the Gospel as preached by Paul, if they major on experiences that are not in the Word of God, beware. Do not follow them. Let us know that these kind of leaders and believers do mouth some of the Truth. Satan would deceive us. “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their deeds”, 2 Corinthians 11:14,15. I cannot emphasise enough that you personally must fill your heart with the Epistles in particular, daily.

You must pray, “Open my eyes, that I may see the wonderful truths out of your Word. Teach me, O Lord”.

There are false teachers, false Pastors, false prophets, false evangelists and false apostles. They are in our midst today. Note 2 Corinthians 11:4,13; Galatians 1:6-9; 2:4,6;3:11; Ephesians 6:10-17. The Ephesians were facing persecution and heresy as in Revelation 2:6, Nicolaitanes, who taught to eat meat offered to idols and indulge in sexual immorality, Revelation 2:14,15, 22,24; 3:9 (Jews meaning believers in the Church Israel), Jude 4. Each Epistle was written to correct the terrible sins and errors in each church, viz. Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Thessalonians, Hebrews, James, Peter, Epistles of John, Revelation chapters 2 and 3 and Jude 11, 12, 13 and divisions in the church, Jude 19; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13.
Then Jude says, verses 17-20 “But you, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, for they said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts. Worldly people. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit”. Those words are spoken for us, also.

2 Peter 2 speaks of the false prophets who definitely will be among “you” and who shall “bring in damnable heresies”. I have known such false prophets, in the Assemblies of God, in the protestant and catholic churches and very many in the Charismatic move and churches. The latter follow certain Pentecostal beliefs and practices but those are the churches that have come out of the Charismatic move that started over 30 years ago. That does not turn me off from following Jesus. It just makes me have a heart to be sure that I find the Truth, follow the Truth of the Word of God and righteousness and follow the true Jesus of the true gospel.

In Acts 20:29-31, “I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears”. That condition is present today in our churches.
“Behold the bridegroom is coming, I hear the midnight cry. We’ll go up with a shout if we all watch out to meet Him in the sky; So watch and pray my brother, lest someone take your crown, for the lukewarm and backslider won’t wear the marriage gown”.

Jesus warned us about those who follow blind leaders; when all end up in the ditch. We are living in days prior to the coming of the Lord. Matthew 24 and Luke 17 set out the terrible things to happen on the face of the earth and in the church. Those things are in process of happening. Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes, will there be faith on the earth?” This shows the fact that those who are true to Jesus are the minority, in the world and in the so-called church. Each of us should make sure that we are one of those who are faith-ful – even unto death.

Jesus said, “You be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life”.

The book of Revelation is particularly for the true Church and true believers to show that even though Satan does his will on the earth and in the end-time in the so-called church, that in the end there is complete victory, forever, for those who stay faith-ful. In chapters 2 and 3, the message goes out loud and clear to the faithful in each church. Jesus speaks individually to each church-attender, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” and “Repent” and “He who overcomes”. We must make sure we are one of those overcomers. Then we will enter the joy of our Lord in heaven, the new heaves and the new earth, forever and ever. The whole book depicts the terrible things to happen on the earth and in the church. This is fact. But we can know Jesus, walk with Him and live with Him forever and ever.

Revelation 11:1,2 shows that the majority of people in the outer court of the church, are living in the world controlled by Satan, in mind, deed and wish. Only the minority in the church worldwide are living in the Holy of Holies with the Presence of the true Christ in their lives.

Regarding faith. There is faith for salvation, Romans 10:9, the faith of James 13,:6, the faith we “stand in”, Romans 5:1, faith to receive answers to prayer, Mark 11:24, faith that is genuine seen through testings, 1 Peter 1:7, the measure of faith given by God, Romans 12;6, faith that works by love, Galatians 5:6, we take up the shield of faith, that is the Word of God, Ephesians 6:16, there is faith to speak in tongues and heal the sick, Mark 16:17,18, the prayer of faith, James 5:15-17, there is the fruit of faith, Galatians 5:22 and the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 14:8.

Any of the above mentions of faith may occur in the believer’s experience from time to time. They will probably not all occur over a period of a lifetime even, but you can be sure you will experience some. It is possible to ask wrongly and not receive, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?”, James 4:3,4. There must be complete separation from the world in the believer’s life.

We should not think that every prayer we make has the answer we would like. That is not humanly or heavenly possible. Whatever happens in life, we are to have faith in God in the midst of each situation. We need not be moved at whatever comes.

Our biggest enemy is not Satan as many say. We are not fighting Satan very often. The fight is two-fold. First of all, we fight the good fight of faith. Then our fight is in the flesh desiring against the Spirit and the Spirit inside of us desiring what is contrary to our flesh, Galatians 5:17.18 “They are in conflict with each other”.

Many are being taught to visualise. They are taught to see it in their imagination. Nowhere in the Bible is there a mention of “seeing” or “visualising”. In fact it comes out of Eastern religions and should have no part in a believer’s life. I my self, I think without exaggeration, can say I would have experienced and known a million miracles throughout my life. Not once did I “see” or “visualize”. It is not necessary and is contrary to the Word of God. Do not think that every prayer we make has the answer we would like. That is not humanly or heavenly possible. Whatever happens in life, we are to have faith in God in the midst of each situation. We need not be moved at whatever comes.