Angelic Conflict part 277: Defeater of death – Rom 5:12-21; 8:1-11; Col 1:27; 1Co 14:15.
Title: Angelic Conflict part 277: Defeater of death – Rom 5:12-21; 8:1-11; Col 1:27; 1Co 14:15.
Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned —
Rom 5:13 for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed [charged to their account] when there is no law.
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Rom 5:15 But the free gift is not like [has no comparison to] the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many [all humanity] died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
Rom 5:16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
Rom 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned [as king] through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign [as kings] in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
God is a great transformer of lives. He turns slaves into kings. He deposes the dynasty of sin, chains it in the dungeon, and en-thrones the dynasty of righteousness.
Comparison of lordship of Adam vs. Christ.
The lordship of death was a despotic tyranny, while Christ reigns by means of the cords of love.
One of the greatest benefits to reigning in life through a willing following of Christ is the restoration of the personality.
Sovereignty over life restores the personality of a person so that they, in freedom, become the person that God sees and desires.
A great example of this is again found in the US. Under freedom, without over regulation and the tyranny of over burdening people with rules, the US, quicker than anyone in history, became a nation of entrepreneurs and inventors. In freedom and personal sovereignty, which can be described by the word liberty, human personality thrives. Under the reign of death and sin the human soul languishes in slavery and struggles to find expression in uniqueness and invention and creativity, but rather runs with the herd in approbation lust, power lust, monetary lust, and the long list of other lusts. Christ not only restored who we were made to be, but made us brand new creatures in Him and He asked us to grow and thrive and rule in this life, and to do so with His incredible love, joy, and peace.
This fact opens up some critical thinking about the reality of free will. Is mankind truly free? According to the founders, all men were born with certain inalienable rights that were bestowed by God. However they didn't agree on life, liberty, and happiness; but life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not everyone has the right to be made happy, but they have every right to pursue it.
Mankind can choose, and so we say that he has free will, but can any man freely choose God's happiness? The answer would be yes for a believer with wisdom of doctrine, and no for the negative believer, and a more emphatic no for the unbeliever. Can any man choose to beat death or sin? Certainly, as our passage states, the unbeliever is completely ruled by the despots of death and sin and he cannot, not even the best man, choose to release himself from their power. However, the believer has been given complete power over sin and death and so we would say that the believer has the free will or choice not to live under their power.
Christ restored the free will of man to choose righteousness and life by binding the strong man whose power was based on sin and death.
Adam and his sons can choose some things, but not everything. A man can choose items on his menu, but he cannot decide whether or not he is allergic to one or more of those items. He can choose to live in one city or another, but he cannot choose to be tall or short, or decide the color of his eyes. He may decide all the unimportant things of life, but not the important ones.
There are many things that the unbeliever cannot choose and which are very important, but he can choose faith in the gospel, and then Christ opens the ability to choose for these things freely.
His choices are so limited in the spiritual realm that he cannot even seek for God. God must come to him and reveal Himself to him. God brings the gospel to us. No one has ever sought for it.
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
People don't like this because they like to think they are totally free, but when all of us are under the reign of sin and death, then none of us are truly free. Yet God in Christ has made us free.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
The reason for failure to understand and move toward God is expressed in our text. Unsaved man is not master of anything that counts — he is the slave of sin and death. Death reigns; death is a despot; death is a tyrant; death holds unsaved men in slavery.
When a man is justified by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, the slavery of sin and death is broken.
The freedom provided by Christ is so great and wonderful because He reverses the positions of master and slave. We were the slaves of the dread master death; now we are the masters of life, and death is the slave of the Lord of life.
When a man is born again, he receives new life in Christ, and God gives a free will to choose the important things. He will never have freedom to change his height or his race or other characteristics; but as a regenerated man he receives free will to choose for God, a life in Christ, a life of righteousness, and to walk in the predestination that is the plan of God for his life. As he continually yields to the Lord and makes the choices of righteousness, the Lord transforms his entire personality.
God's purpose in the Christian life is to train the Christian's free will until it is in complete conformity with the will of God so that he may prosper.
This is not sinlessness but walking in that will. Such things as higher life movements or Christian perfection doctrines have been taught in some circles for a long time, but the Bible is clear that all sin and no one ever reaches sinlessness, and that there is no second blessing in life, all that you needed in blessing was given at the moment of salvation, including your ability to learn the word of God so that you come to understand who you are in Christ. The perfectionist teaching was made popular by John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, and his followers began the Keswick movement. True, thousands of Christians live and die without knowing the true victory that is possible for them in Christ. But we must not mistake the experience of some Christians for true Christian experience. Christian experience is that which is positionally ours in Christ. Like money in the bank it is there in our name; we are free to draw on it and spend it in daily living. But very frequently the experience of Christians is a miserly matter. They prefer to live in their own strength and will not avail themselves of the Lord's provision for victory. If you are not living in the triumph which Christ has made available for you, there can be no doubt that the fault lies within you. He has made it possible for you to live the life of a conquering king, through Him.
The confidence and contentment of sharing God's glory and glorifying God is:
God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
We are told this so that we see ourselves as brand new creatures and that Adam and the old things have passed away, and behold new things have come; exciting and wonderful things. Christ in me is a guarantee of justification, eternal life, and royalty in Him, and that royalty means ruling, reigning, living as a king over all things in this life. How could I possibly be the old creature if the Lord Jesus Christ indwells my body?
But it is not Christ forcing the individual. It is Christ dwelling within and giving a new spirit so that we are born from above.
The new spirit works on different principles from the old soul; consequently, an entirely new manner of life is possible for one who has new life in Christ.
Lordship over sin and death comes from the power which Christ furnishes to each believer through regeneration, His Spirit, and Word.
This power is not outside of the believer. It is not as some cults attempt a yielding to some outward power that overtakes the person and thus casting them into an out of control state.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
There is no place for such manifestations in the true Christian life. No religious experience which causes a person to lose control of his faculties comes from God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit. The so-called "holy rollers" are not holy in the biblical sense of the word.
At every moment of the Christian life, the whole being of the believer must be in subjection to the willing center of the individual's personality.
My mind, my ability to reason with doctrine, my choices are never shut off but are in concert with the Holy Spirit and the living word.
In the Corinthian church there were evidently some people who were emotionally unstable. From the manner in which Paul rebukes them, we gather that they prayed in loud, uncontrolled voices and more than one person spoke at the same time. Instead of reverent stillness before God, there was confusion. You may be sure that the Holy Spirit is never noisy. Paul wrote to this young church:
1Co 14:15 What is the outcome then? I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also; I shall sing with the spirit and I shall sing with the mind also.
Later in the chapter he emphasizes this teaching. Before the New Testament was completed, God revealed certain of its truths to individuals who spoke in the meeting under impulsion of the Holy Spirit. These had the gift of prophecy, a temporary spiritual gift in the early church which was removed when the NT was completed. Evidently carnal Christians with approbation lust, or onlookers who were not really saved [Paul described as ungifted], attempted to imitate these outbursts of supernatural revelation. Since these imitators could not get the floor, they broke in upon the speaker in loud voices. Through Paul the Holy Spirit told them that one speaker should stop talking.
1Co 14:30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, let the first keep silent.
1Co 14:31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted;
The Holy Spirit concludes His instruction with these words:
1Co 14:32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets;
1Co 14:33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.