The blessing of having died with Christ
The Christian life is so unlike religion. Religion always presents some achievement that the participant must attain to. Christianity reveals the truth and sheds light on it for those who are humble enough to accept it. Spiritual growth is simply seeing more of the truth. "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him" (Ephesians 1:17).
The truth is that all men and women were in Christ when He died. Their old nature was crucified with Him at the Cross. That is a fact. God loved the world, not just believers! The problem is not all men see the truth.
When someone is deaf they cannot enjoy the sound of music. When someone is blind they cannot enjoy the colors of nature and the sky. However the fact that they are deaf or blind does not remove the music or the colors. They simply cannot enjoy the truth of it.
When someone is blinded to the truth of history, that they have died with Christ, that their old fallen Adamic nature was killed and put away, and that they have been raised with Christ a new creation, a new species of human that never existed before, their unbelief does not change the truth, they simply cannot enjoy its benefits.
Believer, believe Romans chapter 6. Meditate on it day and night. Receive its benefits! Rest in the fact that as a new creature, death and all its sub effects have no more mastery or dominion over you. The curse due your old nature no longer can hurt you! You do not have to struggle to please God, He took your old nature to the Cross and put His nature in you.
Our main task is found in Romans 6:13. Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness, but rather yield them to God. Our strongest members are our tongue and our thought life. When Adam was created he had a very strong soul. As long as he placed his latent soul power under the obedience to the Word of God he was okay. However when he exalted his soul power over the Word, he fell into a curse.
Luke 9:24 says, "Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life [soul life] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it."
When we say no to the power of our soul, we can enjoy the benefits of being crucified with Christ and being raised with Him to new life.
Romans 6:3-13 says, "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death?
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--
7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness."
ISOB - September, 1999