(From: To Die Daily: That the life and power of Christ abides continually (True life series) – Kindle edition by C.J. Cutrone II. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
“…After the fall, Adam had a spiritual death. His spirit was no longer in fellowship with God. Sin caused a separation and “death” of the spirit of man. Adam became a soul not led by the Spirit of God but by his own intellect, will, desires, and physical body. When Adam traded the knowledge of God for the knowledge of good and evil his intellect, his will, and his very nature changed. God was no longer leading him but now the sin nature was. Sin taking opportunity by the law through the weakness of the flesh brought death. (Rom 7:8, 8:3)The point of this book is not a theological study on the distinctions between soul, spirit, and flesh; to get entangled in that would be a distraction. But for the sake of clarity I submit the following: At the fall, rebellion was the sin, trading the knowledge of God for the knowledge of good and evil was the occasion and what was being warned against, sin empowered and death was the result. Sin brought death to every part of mankind; spiritual death through separation from fellowship with God, soulish death through a corruption of the volition, intellect, desires, and emotion of mankind, physical death through sickness and disease.
Whereas the spirit, soul and flesh of mankind fell in the garden, by necessity all three must be redeemed in salvation. Jesus atoning death and resurrection paid the price for an entire salvation, not a partial one as some may teach. Upon true faith and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ; the Spirit is instantly born again and made alive to God, the soul begins the process of renewal since the power of sin is broken, and the body is set to be redeemed and glorified on that day when corruption will put on incorruption. (John 3:3-6, Rom 12:2, 1 Cor 15:52-54, Phil 3:20)
Why is all that important? The bible clearly teaches us that the soul of man is his essence. It is in the soul that your will, intellect, emotions, and desires exist. Your soul is who you are, your very life.
Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect for restoring the soul…
John 15 speaks of our abiding in Christ and His word abiding in us. Peter talks about the milk of the word of God. God’s truth is life and healing for the soul, it stands in opposition to the carnal man.
Prov 2:1 My son if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you… 5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding… 10 For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Prov 3:1 My son do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commands… 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 and do not be wise in your own eyes…
If the fall was a spiritual death and a corrupted soul then both must be cured inside the new creation. If sin and worldly intellect, controls your soul then sin is still controlling you. But God’s word calls us to something much different.
And here is one of the points of this book, what is God telling us about dying daily and the new creation in relation to the work of Christ in our redemption here and now?”
Excerpt from “To Die Daily” Ch. 12
John 14:15 If you love me you will obey me.
1 John 2:3 By this we know we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
1 John 2:5 Whoever keeps His word, in Him the love of God has been perfected.
If you look at these scriptures and run because it sounds like law, and then claim grace; you are confused. Grace does not eliminate the call for obedience to commands or laws. Grace removes us from the power of the law, sin, and death because of the weakness of the flesh. But grace also places us under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Not under law, but under grace has a contextual truth.
So a person may then ask, what comes first, it all sounds so circular. If we love we obey, but we have to obey to grow in love. If we obey then there is the abiding in His love? But without abiding we cannot obey. If we know Him, we will love Him, but to know Him we must obey Him, and we must love Him to know and obey Him. So what comes first, love, obedience, or knowing? All the statements in the scriptures above are truth. They are absolutes! There is not one inconsistency in any of them. There are two primary understandings needed for clarity. God’s order is clear.
While the following statements seem to be a contradiction, they are not. Everything begins with love, but there is no beginning of one without the other, in we who believe.
In the beginning, there is God. God is love and God in His love for us, offered Christ for our salvation. God was not surrendering to Himself or obeying a command. His actions proceeded from who He was, His love. So neither obedience nor surrender was required first, on God’s part, but surrender and obedience is in the beginning, as much as love is for us.
All contained in God’s loving sacrifice was faith, obedience, surrender, death, and life… all in Jesus Christ!
Can you see that? All contained in Jesus is love, surrender, obedience, death of the old, the new creation, life, and the power of God! Hallelujah!
So which comes first in us, love or obedience, abiding or knowing? Neither is the answer. We surrender by faith, because in love, God has opened our eyes. At that place of surrender there is death and life, abiding, knowing, an unfathomable love is birthed in our hearts. All things rest on the ground of the love of God in Christ Jesus. God is so awesome! Oh, that which He has given us in Christ. You see, it is not a list of things in which we have to grow in. It is in the person of Jesus Christ we grow. At salvation, when we receive Christ, we have a measure of all of these things. The life of Christ, joined with Him in death, the power to surrender, the power of God, the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the abiding; everything is in Christ. This is why Jesus Himself is the object of our faith. The words, “I believe in you Jesus, and I surrender” have to be the most dreaded words in all of Hell.
So even though we may want to ask, which comes first, the question is faulty and without merit. Now with that in mind, we know that we are justified and given a measure at salvation, but we are to grow in sanctification. Sanctification, now explained more thoroughly, means to grow in Christ, and we grow in all of those areas at the same time. But to be sure, “Dying Daily” is a vital part of that growth into the new life in Christ. For there is an enemy of this new life called “self.” In self, we have “my way” not “God’s way.” In self, we have “my life” not “God’s life.” And without God’s life we have nothing but enmity toward God.
It is easy to see the sin and death in a person who outright denies God. But what about the self- centered Christian, which seems to be the greatest majority of those who call themselves Christians? The “Christian” person living the self-centered life is the one who looks for ways to use God to be happy. The self-centered life is the life that seeks to do to be justified by works because there is no crucifixion or death, there is just a little will power, and a little sacrifice. And death is much more painful than sacrifice. So the self-preservation in partial sacrifice and will power is much more appealing than a death of self. Will power has such an appearance of godliness that many can fall to its allure. But why is that bad, after all sacrifice is much better for God than simple belief, right? Well actually, sacrifice for justification is just as worthless as simple belief if that belief is not in truth and a life changing belief.
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