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Liberating Faith

Only the believer possess two natures, the old and the new, because the unbeliever has only the old nature, and the Lord Jesus has had, neither the old nor the new nature but a divine nature which was not created but has been eternal—unlike the new nature of the believer “which after God is created” (Eph 4:24). With Christ’s tempting’s they are never related to “being enticed to do evil” but with “being touched with the feeling of our infirmities” and “in all points tempted (tested; tried) like as we are” (Heb 4:15).

“Tempted in all points as we are” is not to be confused or referenced with the temptations of our sinful nature, for He “cannot be tempted with evil” (Jam 1:13) in the sense of tempted as enticed to do evil as we are. It stands to reason that one must have an evil nature to be tempted as enticed to evil. Tempt has two primary definitions: to test as determining an outcome, and to entice to do evil. When God tests a person it is never an enticement for evil but a testing, and not to determine anything concerning His knowledge because He already knows the outcome, but for our learning in the testing.

Thus, human nature is sinful but Christ’s human nature is divine and is used to create a new human nature, which is partaker of Christ’s divine nature, “in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph 4:24), but not partaker in the divinity. This can be attributed only to God; to the Creator, not the creature (man and angel).

It is imperative to understand that the Lord Jesus was human in every way as we are, minus the sin nature, or He would not have been able to qualify as a sinless sacrifice. The sin nature was not involved with His incarnation because He was not conceived of man but of “the Holy Spirit” (Mat 1:20). Thus Jesus was not “born of the flesh” (sinful nature) but “born of the Spirit” (Jhn 3:6). This answers to Christ being “the only begotten (born incarnate) of the Father” (Jhn 1:14, 18; 3:18). Adam and Eve were not begotten but created incarnate, and man (except the Son of man) was born or begotten after Adam and Eve.

This article’s crux?—the believer’s identification with the Lord Jesus was effected at His Cross, but received upon belief!


Liberating Faith

Do you believe you have died to sin? Do you “feel” dead? Would it seem like presumption for you to say, “I have died to sin”? Why” “Because,” you say, “I am conscious of the workings and uprisings of sin in me. I know I do things, too, that are wrong. I wish I were dead to sin, but I know I am not.” Now, in all these answers you are speaking of your own “feelings,” and “expressions.” You are speaking of what you know about yourself as you seem to yourself.

As to their experience*, believers enter into union with the Lord Jesus when they believe, when they are saved; but as to the fact of their identification*, that was accomplished by the Father at the Cross. When were the sins of the believer now reading these words put away? At the Cross, you say. And that is right*. But that was centuries before those sins were committed. And in the same way the Father positioned us in His Son on the Cross*, and had us share His death unto sin, before we were born into the world as children of Adam.

Of course we are to enter upon the realization of this by faith (Rom 6:11); we are to appropriate it as true of us*—but it is not our appropriation that makes it true*. It is true of all believers, of those in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are partakers of His death unto sin on Calvary, whether they know it and believe it, or not. And it is His death, not our subjective experience that is the ground of all true liberty from the reign of sin.

On the Cross our blessed Lord, who personally was “holy, guileless, undefiled, separate form sinners” (Heb 7:26) became identified with us as a sinner of Adam’s race. He was a man before, by His birth; but He had no connection with sin until He was “made to be sin for us”* (2Cor 5:21). And on the Cross He died unto sin, as well as for it (“for sin”—Rom 8:3—NC). As a propitiation He died for our sins; but as a person made to become sin (or become as sin—NC), as an Adam or representative man, “He died unto sin” (Rom 6:10—NC).

He left the realm where sin existed and reigned; and left it by dying to it. He rose into a realm where sin cannot reign, to live unto God* (Rom5:10). The fact that our Lord Jesus died to sin on the Cross, forever and entered a new, glad realm of life and glory is the foundation for our walking also in “newness of life.” For we died when He died; we rose when He rose—and the Father wants us to reckon upon it all.

What actually happened to our “old man” on the Cross? Remember that this crucifixion of our old man is not to be brought about through our efforts or prayers, but has been “once for all” (Heb 10:10) done on the Cross. We do not have to do it, but to reckon it is done*. On the ground of this crucifixion of the old man, accomplished on Calvary, what is to happen to the “body of sin,” according to Romans 6:6?

The “body of sin” is that which we as individuals were outside of Christ. That corrupt old man, which had grown up in sin, was utterly sinful, and responded constantly to sin. In the revised version (1901) “destroyed” in verse 6 is rendered “done away”; by Alford, and Darby, “annulled.” In Romans 3:3, it is “make without effect”; 3:31, “make void”; 4:14, “made of none effect”; 7:2, “loosed”; 7:6, “delivered.”

This game word, ‘”katargeo” (destroyed) is used nearly twenty times more in Paul’s Epistles. Whatever its best translation in the present passage (Rom 6:6), it is plain that it signifies at least this: that the “body of sin” is to cease to have any power to bring the believer into bondage to sin. “That so we should not be in bondage to sin,” are the words of God completing this verse.

- Wm R Newell

Poster’s (NC) opinions:

*” When were the sins of the believer now reading these words put away? At the Cross, you say. And that is right”: e.g. the destruction of the guilt and reign of all believers sins were as good as applied at the time of Christ’s Crucifixion because God foreknew all who would be receiving this expiation.

*”As to their experience”: actual occurrence of rebirth.

*”as to the fact of their identification”: foreknown by the Father of all who will be saved.

*”the Father positioned us in His Son on the Cross”: as in identification, God foreknew (not only at the time of His crucifixion but from everlasting, i.e. eternity past) all who were going to be the recipients of everything the Cross provides.

*”appropriate it as true of us”: even though all believers have at rebirth, “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2Pet 1:3), they need to first know of this before being able to consciously apply (appropriate) the promises of them for spiritual growth in Christ’s image.

*”it is not our appropriation that makes it true”: e.g. appropriation utilizes a provision, not effects it.

*”made to be sin for us”: not to literally become sin but rather sin imputed to Him but not imparted, for He “knew no sin” (2Cor 5:21); He was “yet without sin” (Heb 4:15). Hence the phrase “bore our sins,” i.e. carry our sins (Heb 9:28); “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom 8:3). Christ’s body was “prepared” (Heb 10:5) in order to “bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1Pet 2:24). Our sins were in His body but never His spirit and soul.

*“live unto God”: we are saved “from” and saved “for.” Our salvation not only causes us to die unto an evil realm, but also to live unto a holy realm (Gal 2:19).

*“reckon” it is done: again, to reckon a truth of God is appropriating a truth and is thereby utilizing it.