Life out of Death of Our Old Nature

“You Gotta Die Before You Live” is the name of the song [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeDb5WdFHS0 ].

That really sums up the gateway into the Christian walk. The old sinful self must die on the cross with Christ, and then by believing in His resurrection, we, too, are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” There is no watering it down; no excuses. “The soul that sins must die.” That’s the law laid down in the beginning. Man is born with unwanted sinful compulsions. In the Adamic nature, he is born into a slavery to sin. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Sin dwells in the unregenerated human, making them do incredibly selfish sinful things to others. Who can deliver man from such bondage to sin? (Rom. 7: 15-25).

We Christians know that  it is God through His Son that has provided the key to unlock the chains of sin from our hearts. He said that He would deliver us from sin, but we have been told that you’ll be a sinner till the day you die, that you cannot stop sinning; just ask forgiveness. Many precious Christian souls are wrestling with the sin question as we speak.

“Sinner till the day you die…” The irony would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. For death is the way out of the slavery of continual sinning. Not the physical death of the body, but it is the spiritual death of the old Adamic heart and nature within. That is the ticket to freedom.

What again is the answer to this dilemma?

Our Old Nature Must Die on the Cross

So how does one get out of the bondage of sin and sinning?  How do we deal with this sin problem in our lives?  The scriptures say that  “He shall save His people from their sins.”  How does this happen?  Can we ever get in a “right” state with God?  What must we do?  There is only one thing to do with the carnal sinful self and that is to confess our depraved state, identify it with Christ on the cross, and let it die.  There is only one way for the body of sin to be destroyed for the old sinful Adamic nature; it must be crucified.  But we cannot really do anything to bring this on.  It is a total work of God that has already been done—at the cross.  We cannot do anything to deserve this wonderful deliverance from this death caused by sin and sinning.  All He wants us to do is believe what He has already done to deliver us from the bondage of sin.

First, we must know this one thing: our old man, our old ego, our old self, our old nature, our old heart, our old carnal nature, the flesh, the depraved body of sin within us—it is put to death with the sacrificial Lamb.  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:6.

Paul did not say that our old sinful nature was going to be taken care of some day when we all get to heaven.  No!  He said that it is dead, already put to death on the cross! That is not a misprint or a mis-translation.  The sacrificial Lamb of God took our sins upon Him at the time of His death.  He was our scapegoat, as when the Levitical priest laid hands on the goat transferring the sins of the people onto it.  Christ died as a sinful lost man that day, for He “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21).

He wants us to believe this—that our sinful nature died with Him on the cross, and that we was buried with Him, and that we were raised up with Him as well.  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.

Is this hard for us to believe?  Is it hard to have faith in this teaching?  Yet the elect will believe this word.  The others will fall as the children of Israel did through unbelief.  For you see that God is not asking us to do anything except believe what He has already done for us.  He first believed in His work in us long before we got here on this earth.

Entering the State of Being Right with God

And if we believe His word on this, then He will reckon a righteous status unto us. He will lay to our account that we are righteous in His eyes.  For it is God who makes the dead-in-sin come to life and imputes righteousness unto them because they believe Him.  Even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  Romans 4:17.

Our part is to surrender our old sinful selves unto the cross.  Because of our faith in His redemptive sacrifice by surrendering unto death our own sinful heart, then He says, “You are now my child, and you are now righteous in My sight.  You are welcome into my arms of love and mercy.  Just walk in it by forgiving others and doing my words.  For it is not you that are doing it, for you are dead now, my sons and daughters.  It is the Spirit of the living God that I have dispatched into your hearts.  It is the Spirit of Christ within you who I recognize as the one motivating spirit of your life.  And soon you will be able to truthfully say what Paul said to the Galatians.”  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. Gal. 2:20.

When we simply believe His apostle’s word and identify  our  depraved  carnal  nature with the Lamb that day, and surrender to the punishment of death to that old selfish way of life, then He is pleased.  That faith pleases Him very much, for we believe the report that He has given us concerning the Savior.

“Righteousness” is the upright walk in God’s ways and laws.  If one is righteous in God’s eyes, then He approves of their walk of faith.  Our old carnal Adamic nature can never please God, for it cannot keep the ten commandment law.  But there was one who did, even the Savior Himself.  Our part is to just believe that He is living within, for He is the Spirit, and His Spirit within keeps us in that righteous condition in God’s eyes.  Remember that He is the one who “calls those things that be not as though they were.”  He believes in His own sacrificial power; He can’t go back on it.  If we believe what He believes about us in our redeemed position with Him within, then we are walking in faith.

[The above is an excerpt from The Unveiling of the Sons of God. You may read a portion of it here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ or you may order a free copy of the trade paperback–details here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/donate/ ]  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under faith toward God, repentance

Everyone Wants to Be Loved

Everyone wants to be loved–to be cared for, thought of kindly, smiled upon, approved of, praised as worthy.

Everyone wants to be loved. It is the universal spiritual need that stares us all in the face. When our eyes meet, we witness simultaneously the same longing ache that we see when we peer into a looking glass and see the loneliness reflected in our own two wells of tears.

Everyone wants to be loved. We spend much of our lives searching for “the one”–the one who can fill that longing. A cosmic vacuum exists in the human heart, and no one is there to fill its aching need for love.

And there is only one earthly organism on the planet that is specifically designed to channel the kind of love that we all need. Only one being on earth that is capable of loving another the exact way that they want to be loved. And that is the human being.

We are all human. So then, why can’t we simply meet the need and fill the vacuum and just love everyone?

Someone will say, Well, I love people. Yet, Christ tells us, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” Whoa. You mean we are to love everyone? He continues, “But love your enemies, and do good…and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest” [1].

Everyone wants to be loved. But natural man has an irrational fear of rejection. It is irrational because  even a two year old teaches us its folly as they unconditionally embrace us and drown us with wet kisses. They have no fear of rejection, for innately they know that everyone wants to be loved.

So what happens to us? After our brief taste of the victory of fearless love as toddlers, what prevents us from giving what everyone wants?

If we can agree that the Creator made us this way–both with the need for love and the capacity to selflessly channel it–then we must realize that He has made a way for us to do it–to be the riverbeds of the living waters of the love from above that will fill the vacuum.

God is this love–this agape love. He through His Spirit will flow this selfless love and help us fulfill our destiny as His conduits, channeling His love to those who need it. For everyone wants to be loved.

The Price

But to be one of the “children of the Highest” who will love everyone like their Father does, there is a price to be paid. It costs something. And we should “count the cost,” as He admonished us to do [2].

It costs us our old life and all of our allegiances to the people and things we deemed important. And to pay the cost, we must bear our own cross and follow Him.

How do we do that? We must let our old spiritual heart die with the Son of God on His cross. We must die with Him, be buried with Him, and be resurrected with Him. This happens when we believe that God raised up Christ from the grave. We, too, now are resurrected “to walk in a newness of life” [3].

It all starts at the cross–now our cross. We, like Christ, show the greatest love when we lay down our lives for another [4]. There is no greater love. He did it, and now as the “children of the Highest,” we do it. And then God’s love will flow through us. Then we will be used by our Creator to be His fountain of fearless love, His essence, agape love. For “God is love” [5].

Then we will conquer the fear of being rejected. For “perfect love casts out fear” [6]. With our old selves dead and gone, we will be able to channel Christ’s Spirit of love back to God by loving others.

And then great joy will be ours, for we will have the capacity to fulfill everyone’s desire. For everyone wants to be loved.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

Leave a comment

Filed under doctrine of baptisms, faith toward God, repentance, resurrection of the dead

The Law and the Testimony of Love That Fulfills It–How to Prevent Backsliding

“Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Which law? The Ten Commandments, the breaking of which constitutes the definition of sin (I John 3: 4; Rom. 13: 8-10).

Which “love” is it then? It is the love from above–agape love. It is only through agape love that the law can be kept. Natural man without this love cannot keep the law, no matter how hard he works to keep it. It is spiritual, and it takes a new spirit from a brand new heart to keep it.

This divine law is the standard that man can and must attain unto, but it will be only through God’s Spirit helping him. In fact, that is precisely the point. The only way that a man stops breaking the Ten Commandments–stops sinning, in other words– is by receiving a new spirit from God.

The Greatest Love

In order for this to happen, one must visit the source of agape love. The source is God Himself and what He did for us. He gave us His Son. Yahweh was in Christ, “reconciling the world unto Himself” (II Cor. 5: 19). It is the laying down of His life on the cross that is the greatest love. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15: 13).

When we believe this love that Christ showed, when we are grateful and appreciative for this selfless act, and when we do what Christ did, then this great agape love that He exhibited in dying for us is transferred into and through us to others. We then become a channel of God’s love, which is His essence, for “God is love” (I John 4: 16).

This agape love is the essence of His Spirit, which He gives to us. And this love inside our new hearts in the form of His Spirit, now courses through us.

We must see that Christ “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5: 21). And we must identify our old sinful law-breaking selfish nature with Christ on the cross. We must believe that when He died, our old sinful nature died with Him. Same goes with His burial. And–HalleluYah!–when we believe that He rose from the dead, we rise, also, to walk in a newness of life! He is not our substitute; He is our example.

It is all lined out in Romans 6. Our old sinful Adamic nature must die with Christ on the cross. And be buried with Him. And through belief that He arose from the dead, God will raise us up with a new heart! For which is easier for God to perform–raising Christ from a three day death or giving us a new heart that is free from sin and sinning?

This is the crux of the matter. This is the rock solid foundation that will never be shaken. Just feeling guilty about the sin in one’s life and walking down to the front of a church building will not sustain a young convert to Christ. How many have we seen “back slide” into the slop and vomit of their old lives?

The crux? Do we believe that Christ was raised from the dead? Not just the historical resurrection some 2,000 years ago. It is believing that Christ, when He arose then, now arises IN US. Do we believe that? For that is the crux of the matter. Even the devils believe in one God and tremble (James 2: 19). So believing that Christ’s historical resurrection is not enough. It is believing that His Spirit is resurrected in us–that is the important thing. That is the solid Rock in us that cannot be moved. That is what prevents backsliding into the old life of sin.

When this Spirit of agape love, now in us, begins to flow through us to others, then the law is fulfilled in us. Love fulfills the law in us. This is the testimony of God’s Spirit incarnate once again in us.

And now the old scripture passage becomes clear. “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8: 20). Those that speak of this law and the testimony that keeps the law through divine love, have the light of God. If they don’t speak in agreement with the law and this testimony of what fulfills it, then beware of them, for there is no light in them.     [For much more on this visit here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/light/ ]

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1 Comment

Filed under doctrine of baptisms, faith toward God, repentance, resurrection of the dead

How to Repent from Sin–Once and for All

Most Christians are taught that they are sinners. They have never heard this verse preached: “He that is born of God does not commit sin, for His seed remains in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God” (I John 3: 9). They will be browbeaten about their sinful state but they will never hear this verse taught.

When one hears this verse for the first time, it is shocking.  And yet, there it is, the Spirit of Christ Himself writing through His apostle this astonishing doctrine. It was there all the time, but man’s traditions have been smeared over it, so much so that few have eyes have ever seen it.

This righteous message thrusts us to a crossroads–whether to believe it or not. Someone is thinking…Well, nobody at church has ever brought this out. Not straightforward like this. The preacher never quoted or preached on this verse. If he ever said anything about sin, it was that we are all “sinners saved by grace.” But we already knew that. He said that we would definitely keep on sinning, but the good news is that now we have a Savior to pray to, and He would forgive us. Just confess your sins–confess them. It kind of sounds like the same set up the Catholics have except they confess their sins to a priest, but we Protestants confess them direct to the Savior. But we are still going to sin. No getting around that, according to the preacher. You just got to confess them to get rid of the guilt. It’s like we have sin hanging over our heads just waiting to jump on you and make you do things you really don’t want to do. Bad things. Hurtful things to others. Selfish things that are lurking there in the back rooms of your heart. Just waiting to jump out and take over for a spell, and then, they recede after you confess them. You are going to sin; you just have to confess them. At least, that’s what they teach…

And that is the doctrine concerning sin that we have been taught. This teaching is not astonishing! It is frustrating and depressing. It does not make you want to shout, HalleluYah! There is nothing astonishing about it. It is just old and unenlightened and powerless. There is no liberty and freedom there. No deliverance. No saving them from their sins. No freedom from being a slave to sin. Christ did say, He who commits sin is a slave to sin. And no man can serve two masters.

But Christ also taught that we are more than conquerors through Him. He came to save us from our sins (Matt. 1: 21). He is not the minister of sin. When our old sinful nature dies with Christ on the cross, sin within our hearts is “destroyed, that we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

How to Repent from Sin

When our old sinful nature dies with Christ on the cross, sin within our hearts is “destroyed, that we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”So we reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive to God through Him (Rom. 6: 1-11). Freed from the slavery and bondage to sin. Free! Now that is astonishing!

The key is just believing this. God said it; I didn’t. It is all in His written word. We must study it out and believe it. Here is some more on this from my book Yah Is Savior: The Road to Immortality: 

Chapter 28  How the Old Self Dies–Baptism into His Death

     We may not realize it yet, but we are blessed, for we have seen that our old self needs to go.  Many try to redirect or re-channel its activities.  Sometimes we try to clean it up, but He wants it to die.

     He said to repent and be baptized in water.  Yes, water baptism is a symbol of something else, yet we should still do it.  But few know what the real baptism is.  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Messiah Yahshua were baptized into His death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Rom. 6:3-4. NIV.

     Going down into the water is a symbol of the mortal life we now live in this flesh.  Coming up out of the water is a symbol of the new spirit-being life we shall live, which is the immortal life that we are called to.

Water is a symbol of our mortality.  Our first physical birth is an immersion in a bag of water.  We are born of water.  We mortals are about 75% water.  We  begin  in  our  mother’s  womb in water.  During water baptism we are baptized into His death.  To live in this mortal body is to die.  This watery entombment we call a body is really a deathtrap.  It by its very nature has to die.  The Messiah’s body was composed of the same watery stuff that our bodies are.  And He died.  He had to die by reason of the nature of his shell during His earthly tenure.  This watery, flesh and blood body cannot inherit immortality and go into the kingdom of the Eternal One.  To be made of water is to be mortal, to be awaiting death, for water is extremely unstable, subject to every whim of nature’s forces.

To sin is to die.  Mortality is to be able to die.  Therefore, our mortality is to sin. Sinning insures a human of not receiving a new spiritual heavenly body.  But now He has enabled us to live a life where we do not have to sin, if we receive His Spirit.  “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust (desires) of the flesh (this old mortal body)” Gal. 5:16 NKJV.

He was made to be sin for us

We, then, when we go under in water, are symbolically being immersed into this watery mortal state of sin with Him.  We “are buried with him by baptism into death.” Rom.6:4. God calls those things that are not,  as though they were.  We are dead already (Yahshua told the disciples, “Let the dead bury their dead”).  He calls it before its actual physical death when we consent to and experience it (in revelation).  The water is the symbol of our earthly mortal bodily state.  This spiritual death of our old self comes now in this revelation before the fruit of death comes to our earthly bodies.

     In conjunction with this, few know that the Messiah, the day of His death, actually became sin for us—he who had never sinned.  He was the sacrificial  Lamb who was set to be sacrificed  before the world ever came into existence.  God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. II Cor. 5:21. NIV. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev. 13: 8.

     The levitical priest, in types and shadows, laid his hands on the sacrificial goat, thereby transferring Israel’s sins upon it.  So did the Father place all of mankind’s sins upon the body of Messiah.  When He died, the body of sin died; our sin died that day.  To whom is the arm of Yahweh revealed?…Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all…It pleased Yahweh to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see His seed. Isa. 53:1,6,10.

     We make the Lamb’s soul an offering for our own sins by realizing that it was us in our sinful state hanging on the tree that day.  We must be immersed in this knowledge.  We must believe that our old self—that old monkey on our back, that old demon that we were, that selfish, egotistical, self-absorbed, sorry excuse for a human being—that old thing that we were is now, in God’s eyes dead.  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin. Rom. 6: 6.
[You can read more of this book on line or order a free hard copy found here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/book-yah-is-savior-the-road-to-immortality/  and https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/donate/ ]

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under doctrine of baptisms, faith toward God, repentance, resurrection of the dead

Sin Is a Heart Condition

Pneumonia is a lung condition. One’s lungs are either infected with the diplococcus pneumoniae bacteria or they are not.

Leukemia is a blood condition. If someone has cancer of the white blood cells, then they have this condition. One either has this blood condition or one does not.

Sin is a heart condition. However, it is not a physical condition of the fleshly muscle that pumps our blood. But rather it is a condition of the spiritual heart, the very center of a person, the spiritual core and center of being. And sin is the condition of natural man’s heart.

This condition of the spiritual heart called sin is an all or nothing condition, like the examples above. Either the lungs are invaded by the bacteria causing pneumonia or they are not. The same thing applies to sin. It either resides in a person’s heart or it does not. They have a heart that sins or they do not.

It is not a pick and choose thing in God’s eyes. Sin occupies the old nature of mankind, the natural man. Sinning is in unregenerated man’s nature. The selfishness exhibited in sinning comes, well, naturally. It is what the old man, the old self does—sin. Sin is the breaking of the 10 Commandment Law (I John 3: 4). So it is in man’s old nature to break these laws.

Someone will say, “Well, I don’t go around murdering people and committing adultery.” Of course, Christ magnified the law when He said that if you hate someone, you have the heart of someone who could kill. He knew that in this spiritual law, murder grows from the seed of hate. Adultery grows from the seed of desire and lust. It is spiritual law and it will take a new heart with a new spirit to obey it. And this new heart and spirit comes from our Father Yahweh [translated “the LORD” in most versions].

For mankind is born into a sinful world, and he fits right in with it because he has this innate sinful nature. The condition of sin in one’s old nature is the spirit of getting for the self. Mankind is born with this sinful nature. It is a condition of mankind’s heart.

Sin is a heart condition. It is either a spiritual condition of sin and sinning in a human being’s heart, or it is not. God looks on the heart—not on the outward appearance. Christ said for us to either make the tree evil or make it good.

I know that many will balk at this teaching, for it is new to their ears. Not many are speaking on sin. In fact, it is not politically correct to bring up the word. And it is rare that pastors will preach against it from the pulpit today. People don’t want to hear it. They get their feathers ruffled and feelings hurt. Most are content to dress up the old nature within themselves. Clean it up a little bit. Go to church. Try to stop the obvious unacceptable things. But for many, the old heart is still there.

Why? Because the old sinful heart has not died yet. And this does not get done in most churchgoers because they are following a pastor who does not tell them how it is done. The pastors either do not know how to get rid of the sin condition in themselves and their flock, or they know and have chosen to withhold that information; I hope it is the former.

Indeed, it is a major undertaking to get the sin question straight; it can be a real upheaval in a person’s life. But the bottom line is this: God has provided a way to get rid of sin and sinning in our lives. Our old selfish sinful nature dies when we reckon it dead with Christ. When He died on the cross, our old sinful nature died there with Him. When we spiritually make His soul the sacrifice for our sin, then we die with Him. And we are then buried with Him. And then through belief in God’s power that raised Him from the dead, we also are raised up with a new nature and a new spirit from our heavenly Father. Baptism in water symbolizes this act of faith, being “baptized into His death” (Romans 6; 3).

We have to reckon our old selves dead with Christ. It is this spiritual death that frees us from that bondage to keep breaking the 10 commandments. We are freed from the slavery to sin. But it takes faith to believe it. I am not imagining this teaching. I have lived it. It is in the Holy Bible, although it is seldom, if ever, taught. Just read Romans 6: 1-13 and Colossians 2: 11-12, 20 for starters. It is there.

And this is just the beginning of the “milk of the word.” Just the first two principles—repentance from sin and faith toward God. We have got to get this into our hearts. Be shocked. Be astonished. Study it out thoroughly. Read more of these articles. Be fed the milk that you may grow up into Christ. That’s in there, too. Later the “meat of the word” will help us grow into full spiritual maturity to become just like Christ. There—I said it. Kenneth Wayne Hancock

5 Comments

Filed under faith toward God, repentance

Building the House of God on the Rock

I can still hear our little voices singing now, some sixty years later. “The rains came down and the floods came up. The rains came down and the floods came up. The rains came down and the floods came down, and the house on the rock stood still.” And our Sunday school teacher, no doubt, told us that that Rock was Christ, and that He is our strong foundation.

And as I recall, that was about as deep as the teachings ever got. Just love Jesus. He’s the Rock. But  I never did find out what the foundation of God’s house is made of in that little church house.

Of course, that old children’s song is based on one of the Master’s teachings. He was saying, Whenever someone comes to Me and hears my sayings and does them, they are like a man who laid the foundation of his house on a rock. When the flood of trials and tribulations beat on the house, it will withstand the storms.

He goes on to say, But when a person hears My teachings and does not do them, it’s like building a “house upon the earth.” When the streaming flood beat on the house, it fell immediately and the ruin of that house was great (Luke 6: 47-49).

So building a solid foundation in Christ means doing what He says for us to do. We hear the word, and then we are to do it. He makes it really very simple; it is basic spiritual foundation building upon the Rock.

The Problem

But there is a problem. Why do so many Christians after joining their church, fall down when the trials come?  Why do they fall away?

They must not be doing what Christ said for them to do, according to His above teaching. So what is the first thing that He has told us to do? He says that if we do this thing in His instructions to us found in the gospels, then we will not be shaken by the devil in our walk on this earth. The very first thing that He told us to do is to repent of our sins. We must do something about His command to us: “Repent, and believe the gospel…Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

In a word, we are to do “repentance from dead works” or repent from sin. These are not pretty philosophically innocuous little words. No. Repentance from sin, repentance from actions that one does that bring forth death–this is a violent upheaval. It is a complete about-face from the getting-for-oneself-mentality that mankind has had all of their natural lifetime.

No, repentance is a moment at the crossroads of our future life. It is not feeling terrible and feeling sorry for the selfish life of hurting others and using others. Although this kind of “godly sorrow” is needed to lead us to repentance, feeling bad about our sinful ways will never change us for good. It is not repentance.

Repentance only comes with a spiritual heart transplant. The old heart must be replaced by a new heart, which is a new spirit that only God can give. We are born with a corrupt heart, and that corrupt heart cannot bring forth good fruit (Luke 6: 43-45; Matt. 7: 17-20; Jer. 31: 33).

And so our old heart must be replaced by the miraculous “operation of God” through a “circumcision not made by hands” by God’s own finger, where He gives us a new heart, a new spirit, a new purpose, a new understanding, a new reason-to-be, a new spiritual center that no longer sins against Him and our fellow man! Halleluyah (which being interpreted from the Hebrew means Praise Yah!. It’s all new. if we continue on sinning, how is that new? (Col. 2: 11-13).

And it is here that the doubters will begin to tear your down with their lack of faith. These doubters are not doing what He said for us to do. They find it difficult to believe that God can give us a new heart that does not sin. Yet, He said that He would do it (Ezekiel 18: 30-31.

A few verses before this house on the rock story in Matthew 7, we see Christ tell us to “beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing,” but they are really destroyers of God’s flock. They look like His sheep, and they talk about Christ with “great swelling words of man’s wisdom,” and they claim to be shepherds and pastors, but when it comes down to repenting from sin, once and for all, they will tell you that it is impossible.

But our question to them is this; “Is anything too hard for God? I thought that all things are possible with God (Jer. 32: 27).

Beware of them, for “not everyone who calls Christ the Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 7: 15-22).

We need to just believe Him that He will empower us to do what He asks us to do–like repent of sins.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1 Comment

Filed under faith toward God, repentance

Overcoming Sin by Doing the “First Works”

In my dream I was standing behind a pulpit center stage about to speak to a packed auditorium. I haltingly looked down at my notes, and before I uttered a word, a youth, stage left, began to testify.

In shame I stepped off the stage and wandered outside amongst the cars, looking for mine. After a while I went back in, and it turned to me to speak. I now had the message:

I want to speak today concerning the “high calling” that God has placed upon us. He wants us to grow spiritually and become just like Christ, having overcome all things to become one of His royal relatives sitting on His throne with Him in His kingdom on earth, as He promised in Revelation 3: 21. Some of us will sit with Him on His throne!

But this honor will only come to those who overcome. He said, “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in my throne…”

But overcome what exactly? Earlier in Christ’s message to the churches, He said to repent and do the “first works” [1]. “Works” are the things that we do. The first things in God, the first steps in our spiritual growth are the first principles of the oracles of God, which are the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” [2]. These are the foundation of us God’s spiritual house, His body, His church. These are the milk-of-the-word teachings (doctrines) that must be solid in our lives before we are granted permission to sit with Christ on His throne.

Many will balk in unbelief at this teaching. Christ said that these things that many righteous men and kings have desired to see are only seen by those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches” [3]. Some can hear and understand. Some cannot. But for those that do, unspeakable vistas await them.

But What Are These “First Works”?

They are the first teachings that must  be solid and working in our lives. The first two are “repentance from dead works and faith toward God.”

Dead works are the things done that brings forth death. And there is only one thing in the scriptures fitting this description, and that is sin. “The wages of sin is death” [4]. If a person is sinning then death awaits them in the end. That’s why Christ told the young man who wanted to bury his father before following Him, “Let the dead bury the dead” [5]. Christ considered those arranging his father’s funeral   to be as dead as his father was. Why? Because their old sinful nature leads to death.  It was like there were two camps–the dead in sin and those alive with God’s Spirit within. After that, Christ told him by contrast, You go and “preach the kingdom of God.” For God is not a God of the dead, but the living. In other words, God is not a God of sin, but of righteousness.

Sin must be reckoned dead by the Christian. God has already in Christ reckoned it so about us. Why should we not agree with Him? We must get “repentance from sin” solid in our new life in Christ. For He is not “the minister of sin” [6]. God forbids that. And to repent from sin one must believe (faith) that our old sin nature died with Him on the cross, and we were buried with Him, and now we are risen with Him. And he that is dead is freed from sin. Free [7].

All the other teachings will be built on this foundation. And this foundation is solid for it is built upon the Rock. And that was it.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1. Rev. 2: 5

2. Heb. 5; 12-14; 6: 1-2

3. Rev. 3 21; Mark 4: 9-12

4. Rom. 6: 23

5. Luke 9: 60

6. Gal. 2: 17, 20

7. Rom. 6: 1-7

1 Comment

Filed under faith toward God, repentance