The Laid Down Life
Living in the Spirit
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in
the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:24-25
“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” Romans 6:5
Living in the Spirit and not in the flesh is a settled issue with the remnant. They “have crucified the flesh” and the evil the sinful nature would do. It’s a done deal - They “HAVE crucified the flesh” that Christ the LORD might reign in their mortal body.
“Likewise reckon (count) ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you (because you have accounted yourself dead): for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:11-18
The “form of doctrine” delivered by Christ and His holy apostles in the original Gospel, included the accounting of one’s life now dead and then being raised up by Christ, with His life-giving grace operating within to please Him fully (see also Rom. 12:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:10; 2 Cor. 12:9).
“What does this mean for us? Remember that there are two aspects of Christ’s death. He died for our sins. He died for us – substitution. But then Paul tells us that we are also to die with Him. “I have been crucified WITH CHRIST” (Gal. 2:20): “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin” (Rom. 6:11). The Israelites in bondage were delivered by the blood shed and sprinkled. But they are pursued by certain of their foes. These foes are slain at the Red Sea, but they themselves escape and are free. Egypt stands for the world of sin. Christ found us in “Egypt,” and by His death in our stead delivered us from the penalty of sin. But even after our conversion some of these sins followed us and harassed us – temper, pride, jealousy, lust, worry, avarice – causing discomfiture and misery, and occasionally temporary defeat. Where is there any escape, any real victory? Only through the Red Sea – baptism, or what baptism implies; i.e., a death to sin and a rising again to righteousness. That is a crucifixion with Christ, so as to be able to “reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin.” How to Live the Victorious Life, by an Unknown Christian
God’s desire, plan, and command is that His people reign victorious in this life over sin and the enemy.
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17
Let’s peer again into the words of our LORD found in John 12:
“And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:23-26
Laying down our lives is paramount to walking with Jesus. It is His command (Lk. 9
:23-24; 14:33, etc.). He raises up in new life those that are bowed down before Him (Ps. 146:8). The seed (“corn”) is planted or buried alive, and is resurrected by God to a life of glory and blessing. Without a death, there can be no resurrection. This death to the self-life is volitional and ongoing in this life – “I die daily.” (1 Cor. 15:31)
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
As we are blessed to be “planted together in the likeness of his death”, so “we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” Romans 6:3-5
This is rightfully the most popular Bible passage on water baptism and what the meaning and purpose of water baptism is. At water baptism, we are buried in water, figuratively dying to the old man, the man of sin, and being resurrected by the risen Savior and LORD to a new life where He reigns supreme.
“And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:10-11
There are symptoms in the life of one who is not buried. The disciple who is buried with Christ is “dead to sin.” (Rom. 6:2) When we argue to justify the things we do in this life and call those who point them out “legalistic”, it is symptomatic of a life that is not laid down. When we argue against the truth (the Bible says “Lie not against the truth” (James 3:14) when we are shown it, we manifest the rebellion in our hearts because our lives are not authentically laid out before the LORD. The “corn of wheat” (dead seed) must be planted and remain planted in order to bud and bring forth new life. The laid down life does not make excuse when he realizes that he has sin. No, instead he rejoices to be yet more delivered and in the place of blessing and holiness with the One He delights to please and serve.
Aren’t we the temple of the Holy Ghost and commanded to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”? (2 Cor. 7:1)
If we still have habitual sin in our lives, we should know that we are not buried with Christ. If we were, His life would be teeming in us and causing us to put away sinfulness. Overcoming sin happens when we bury the old man of sin by nailing it to the cross. God is with us to do such (Rom. 8:13; Phil. 2:12-13)
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:21-24
The LORD looks upon the hearts of men (1 Sam. 16:7). Getting our hearts right with God begins with laying down the right to ourselves and releasing ourselves into the unfailing hands of the One who made us and gives us the breath of life (Lk. 23:46). This is in following the ultimate example of our LORD Jesus who came and laid down His sinless life for us (1 Pet. 2:21; 4:1).
Let’s check our deadness. Let’s see how dead we are to this world system and all of it’s arrogant rebellion against the God of the universe and all that is: Do we defend our “right” to fill our minds and hearts with the evil things that are blatantly and subtly portrayed on some TV and radio programming (and other forms of modern media)? If so, the fleshly nature is not dead but is still alive and we are therefore not raised to new life.
Perhaps it is true (as has been stated by some) that a person can be known by what he laughs at or finds humorous. What do we laugh at? What do we find entertaining? – “Charity…Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” (1 Cor. 13:4, 6)
Laying down our lives requires a deliberate, willful decision. Believers are called to be circumspect (fully orbed in holiness) and not glorify anything the LORD calls profane (Prov. 17:15; 24:24; Isa. 5:20-24; Ezek. 44:23; Eph. 5:15-17).
Why crucify the flesh when there is no reason to do such? When a new believer is told that he is “eternally secure” or OSAS, why then should he get sanctified, live a repented life, be wholly set apart to the LORD, be matured and equipped to do ministry, or prepare for the soon return of Jesus Christ?
Apparently, according to the Word of God, returning laughter when we witness foolishness (folly) confirms the person we are laughing at in his folly and causes us to partake of his foolishness and deeds.
The following brief and yet convicting commentary is taken from the Life in the Spirit Study Bible concerning Romans 1:32. First let’s view the Biblical text, then the commentary.
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:32
“‘HAVE PLEASURE IN THEM THAT DO THEM’. Paul’s last word on general human sinfulness is God’s condemnation of a condition even more damning than the practice, i.e., supporting, approving, and encouraging evil by taking pleasure in the immoral actions of others. This disposition is the ultimate in depravity - vicarious enjoyment of lust and evil. Sin becomes entertainment. (1) The word ‘have pleasure’ (Gk. suneudokeo) means ‘are pleased with,’ ‘delight in,’ or ‘give approval to,’ and points to the casual enjoyment of the sins of others that prevails in human society. (2) Today we know that great harm is produced by the portrayal of immorality that dominates the entertainment media; yet many consent to it and derive pleasure from it. Being entertained by watching other people sin and engage in ungodly actions, even while you yourself abstain, brings you under the same condemnation of God as those engaging in such evil practices. Iniquity is intensified in any society where sin meets with no inhibition from the disapproval of others and where people enjoy watching it. (3) Hence, those (and especially those who profess faith in Christ) who use the immoral actions of others for entertainment and enjoyment are directly contributing to public opinion favorable to immorality and, therefore, to the corruption and eternal damnation of an indefinite number of other people. This sin is worthy of death and will be exposed and judged at the final day of judgment (2 Thess. 2:12).” p. 1729
Concerning the many things in this sinful world that would draw our affections away from Jesus Christ and blur that pure-focused disposition, the Psalmist wrote:
“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” Psalms 101:3
Do we seek to protect our “right” to continue relishing the things of this world which are despised of God? See 1 John 2:14-17. The Bible tells us that those who love this world system and the things in it, hate God and are His enemies – regardless of what they profess (Tit. 1:16; James 4:4).
When we live out the Word, He promised persecution and instructed us to rejoice (Matt. 5:10-12; Mk. 4:17; 1 Pet. 4:12). Have you ever been persecuted by other “believers” and called legalistic because you chose not to watch a movie that mocks at what God calls sin? I guess I have seen people do this to truth-speakers for so long, that it has little affect anymore, other than inducing a concern for w
here they really are in their hearts. Seeking to be upright in one’s ways in not legalistic – it is biblical. The Word instructs us to “walk circumspectly” which means fully obedient – exactly, diligently, perfectly.
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” Ephesians 5:15-20
“And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” Exodus 23:13
What the LORD tells us in Proverbs 26:4-5, is that when we join a fool in his folly (foolishness), we become as guilty as he is and perpetuate this sinfulness in his life and more importantly – we offend the holiness of the LORD we claim to be serving.
What we partake of and/or laugh at reveals who we really are. If all these sinful things and justification of them are still alive in us, we do not have a laid down life.
“Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.” Proverbs 14:9
“Folly (foolishness) is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.” Proverbs 15:21
Yes, laughter is a blessing and there is a “time to laugh” and to rejoice, yet we are not made free from sin by the blood of Christ to laugh at evil things (Eccl. 3:4). LORD please bless us to be purified in our hearts and to rejoice and laugh more – for the right reasons! Please grant us Your joy Jesus! Amen.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge and those who have it walk uprightly - they walk biblically in the Holy Spirit of grace and not legalistically. They have joy from Jesus and are the most blessed people in the world.
“The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.” Psalms 145:14
Beloved, our LORD is calling us to lay down our lives like Christ did – that He might fully possess us. Bow down before His holiness that He may raise you up His way. Let it all go. Die to justifying your sins. Before this day expires, get alone with the Savior and release the life He gave to you back to Him. Completely relinquish control as you cry out like Jesus did on the cross when dying for us - “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Lk. 23:46) Give up the ghost. Cease living life on your terms. Lay your whole life at His feet and let Him raise you up in newness of life in the Holy Spirit and reign supreme in your body.
The Path of Our LORD Jesus
Jesus was to be glorified by the Father in laying down His life for all men (Jn. 15:13).
“…nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done...” Luke 22:42
He laid down His own will because of the immeasurable love He has for each of us.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Do we love Jesus Christ in return? How much do I love Him? Will I lay down my whole existence before Him, knowing He will raise me up to new life and fruitfulness as He lives His life through me? Is this not the essence of Galatians 2:20?
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
He must increase and we must decrease, that He might be glorified in us, and we might be the living epistles He has called us to be. When Jesus is reigning in a person’s life, it is obvious. His holy and impelling presence is the life that exudes from that person instead of the stench of the self-centered and selfish nature (Jn. 3:30). At this place of resurrection life, the LORD who made and redeemed us is greatly glorified and pleased and His fruit is being yielded.
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Ephesians 5:1-2
Finding that place with God in prayer is where the laid down life begins. May I suggest that you begin with prayerfully, and from deep within, citing Galatians 2:20 aloud.
Supporting This Ministry
“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” Psalms 42:7
PRAYER: Please draw me deeper in You LORD Jesus. Father in Heaven, You sent Your only begotten Son to die for me in order that I might be raised up in new life in this brief life and eternally. I love You Jesus and ask You to lead me to that crucified life that you lived when here on earth. Quicken me by Your Holy Spirit and fill me afresh O LORD, that this life You gave might be fully fruitful and pleasing to Thee. Lord, I am watching and praying in light of Your soon return. Amen.
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