By The Book #12: The Normal Christian Life
The Normal Christian Life
God’s normal for a Christian can be summarized as follows: I no longer live! Now it is Christ who lives His life in me (Gal. 2:20).
There are two aspects of salvation that should be manifest in a Christian life: the first is forgiveness of sin; the second is his deliverance from sinning. Anyone who is not experiencing both aspects in his life is living beneath the privileges that God has accomplished for us in Christ.
Because of our limited comprehension of the state of our fallen nature, we do not have true appreciation of how helpless the natural man truly is. Thus, we still have some expectations in ourselves. And as a result of this faulty line of thought, we think we can please God.
The blood can wash away my sins, but it cannot wash away my “old man” (Rom 6:6). For this we are in need of the cross, that the old man may be crucified. Thought the blood deals with sins, it is the cross that deals with the sinner.
At the beginning of the Christian life, we are concerned with our doing and not our being; we are distressed more by what have done than by what we are. We think that if we could only rectify certain things we would be good Christians; therefore, we set out to change our actions. We try to please the Lord; we find that something within us does not want to please Him. And the more we try to rectify matters externally, the more we realize how deep seated the problem is.
Since we came into this world by birth, we must go out by death. To do away with our sinfulness, we must do away with our life, but how do we die? It is not by trying to kill ourselves. Rather, we die by recognizing that God has already dealt with us in Christ. This is summer up in the apostle’s statement, ´as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death” (Rom. 6:3).
The cross terminates the first creation, and out of death there is brought in a new creation in Christ: the Second Man.
The conditions for living a Christian life are fourfold: 1) Knowing–revelation from God of what Christ has done for us. 2) Reckoning—experiencing what He has revealed to us in our lives. 3) Presenting ourselves to God—consecration to God of that which pertains to the new life He has placed in us. 4) Walking in the Spirit—maturing in our spirit to be sensitive to His leading. The experience of every Christian should encompass these four conditions.
God’s way of deliverance is altogether different from man’s way. Man’s way is to try to suppress sin by seeking to overcome it; God’s way is to remove the sinner. Many Christians morn over their weakness, thinking that if they were only stronger all would be well. But God’s way of delivering us from sin is not by making us stronger and stronger; rather; it is by making us weaker and weaker. God sets us free from the domination of sin, not by strengthening our old man, but by crucifying him; not by helping him to do anything, but by removing him entirely from the scene of action.
It is not an intellectual knowledge at all, but an opening of the eyes of the heart—to see what we have in Christ.
For the written word of God to become the living word of God to you, He has to give you “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph. 1:17 KJV).
We are the factory, and our actions are the products. The blood of the Lord Jesus has dealt with the question of the products, namely our sins, and the Cross has made a clean sweep of the factory that produces the goods.