THE PRINCIPLE OF THE CROSS - DEATH TO SELF
Every Israelite that came out of Egypt had been circumcised as their initial covenant commitment and all were baptised in the Red Sea which we know was equivalent to immersion in water in the new covenant. But with all of them Yahweh was not well pleased because they did not continue in the covenant commitment they had made, but instead allowed their fleshly nature to dominate their lives (1 Corinthians 10:1-5).
Their immersion was intended to be a passage from their old life in Egypt (the world) whereby they passed over to a new life, living in the Cloud of His Presence. Because they did not continue to walk in the spiritual work which had been done in their lives, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, around and around the same mountain.
In the new covenant, we have been immersed into Yeshua by Baptism in water. It is intended to be a burial of our old life in the world and a raising up to live a new life in Him, virtually a spiritual resurrection into a new life. But it only becomes a reality when it is enacted by faith in His Word with a depth of commitment to actually 'bury' the old life.
As Paul says, “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into in Messiah Yeshua were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:2-4)
It is past tense! We were baptized into His death and that means that our old life was buried with Him at that time.
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Romans 6:5-6)
“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh [Aramaic: “by casting off the flesh of sins”], by the circumcision of Messiah, buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” (Colossians 2:11-13)
The reality is that the entity of the flesh-nature was “put off” from you by the operation of the Spirit of God in an act of spiritual circumcision, separating flesh from spirit (Hebrews 4:12); and that flesh-nature entity (body), was buried under the waters of baptism with Him in His burial; and therefore IF you were buried WITH Him, you were also IN Him when He was raised from the dead into a new creation man. The word used in the Greek text for 'putting off' .the sinful flesh, is a lot stronger than how it is translated, and actually means it was “stripped off”, like a garment.
The sinful nature has been stripped off us as an unclean garment and we are now clothed in His righteousness.
The word in Greek for “put off” (APEKDUO – strip off from) is used again in verses 14-15 of Colossians 2; to express the victory He gained over the principalities and powers when He stripped them (or 'spoiled them KJ) of their authority to place upon Himself the debts of our sins. By stripping them off from Himself as they wrapped around and clung to Him, He canceled our debt of sin and the principalities and powers no longer have any authority over us.
Therefore, by the same Spirit which resides within us, we are counseled to “put off the old man” (Colossians 3:9) in our daily lives. It is the same word APEKDUO – to “strip off”. We have to enact the stripping off of the old man by faith in what He did on our behalf on the execution stake as it does not become a reality in our lives unless/unless we walk in faith and reckon it to be so. It is like an external 'garment' which clings to us that just needs to be stripped off.
A dead man cannot sin! Our death in Him set us free from the sinful human nature inherited from Adam!
“Likewise you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.”
“Therefore, Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey it in its lusts.” (Romans 6:11-12)
“For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now we believe that if we have died with Messiah, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” Romans 6:3-8
NEW CREATIONS IN MESSIAH
Reckon yourself to be dead to sin and alive unto God! Reckon it to be so! Count on it as a fact! God's Word says it is a fact and, His Word is truth! (John 17:17) It will become a reality when you believe it. It requires faith to put it into operation!
The second aspect of making it a reality, is - Do not let sin reign in any part of your being. Don't obey the lusts of your flesh or your mind! (Ephesians 2:3) Put them to death by reckoning them to be dead!
“And do not present your members as instrument of unrighteousness to sin .....” you always have the choice!
.... “but (instead) present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you” Romans 6:13-14
It is our choice whether we yield to the old sinful self-nature and allow it to reign or whether we yield to God.
We now have our life through the second man (Yeshua) and not through the first man Adam (1 Cor.15:47-49) Just as He was a new order of creation, so also we are new creatures in Him (2 Cor.5:17)
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind .....” (Romans 12:1-2) Make a determined choice to present yourself to God – present your members to Him every part of your being, to be an instrument of His grace and His righteousness. This is, after all, just our reasonable service in response to His great sacrifice for us in laying down His life for us. Renew your mind to the reality of the new creation – which is His life in us!
We are spiritually alive in Him!
“But God, who is rich in mercy because of the great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua”. (Ephesians 2:4-6)
If we were united with Him in His Baptism then we shall also be united with Him in His resurrection. As the Father raised up Yeshua from death by His power, so we were also raised up with Him and are partakers of that resurrection life. In raising us up together with Him, he has also enthroned us in the spiritual realms with Him. We are seated with Him in heavenly places. Our citizenship is in heaven (Ephesians 2:19; Philippians 3:20).
“If then you were raised with Messiah, ...... seek those things which are above, where Messiah is, sitting (enthroned in authority) at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Messiah in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)
Although you were raised with Messiah, you need to make the adjustments in your thinking to actively seek spiritual things, based upon your position of authority in Him at the right hand of the Father, and set/adjust your mind to the reality of the death of your old life and your recreation in Messiah, in whom you now live.
As Paul said, “I have been crucified with Messiah, it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me,” (Gal. 2:20)
Having identified himself by faith with Messiah in His crucifixion, Paul had entered into the experience of living in union with Messiah in His resurrection, so that, it was no longer the old man Paul who was living in his flesh, but the Spirit of Messiah was living in and through the renewed man, Paul.
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him ....” (Romans 6:5)
We have the choice of entering the land of our inheritance by faith in His finished work on the Cross/execution stake; or else to continue in the fleshly nature with which we are familiar and comfortable in our sense-realm existence. Will we be like the generation that came out of Egypt who wandered in the wilderness for forty years because they did not believe and deal with their flesh? The choice is ours! The slow process of many purging trials, or the way of faith.