The death of Christ, quite apart from its achievement as a final dealing with sins, is a judgment of the sin nature, which judgment does not mean that that nature is rendered incapable of action or that it is changed in its character; it does mean that a perfect judgment is gained against it and that God is now righteously free to deal with that nature as a judged thing. The evil character of that nature does not, after it is judged, restrain the Holy Spirit from curbing its power for us. Thus, by faith in the indwelling Spirit, the believer may be delivered from the reigning power of sin and on the ground of Christ’s death as a judgment of the sin nature. This feature of Christ’s death is substitutionary to the last degree. The central passage asserts that the death of Christ is so definitely an act in behalf of the believer, that it is a cocrucifixion, a codeath, a coburial, and a coresurrection:

Colossians 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. (NIV)

Colossians 2:12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (NKJ)

The application of this truth is not an injunction to enact all or any part of it; it is rather something about himself which the Christian is to believe or reckon to be true, being, as it is, the ground upon which he may by an intelligent faith claim deliverance from the power of the inbred sin nature.

To be placed thus permanently before God as one for whom Christ has died a judgment death against the sin nature is a position of privilege of infinite blessedness.

7. FREE FROM THE LAW.

As now considered, the law is more than a code or set of rules governing conduct. Too often it is thought that to be free from the law is to be excused from doing the things which the law prescribes, and, because the law is “holy, and just, and good,” it is difficult for many to accept the New Testament teaching that the law is not the prescribed rule of life for the believer. Why, indeed, it is inquired, should the believer do other than to pursue that which is holy, just, and good? Over against this idea is the uncompromising warning to the Christian that he by the death of Christ is free from the law:

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (NIV)

Acts 15:24-29 24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell. (NIV)

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (NIV)

Romans 7:2-6 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3 So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. 4 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 3:6-13 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?
9 If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! 12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. (NIV)

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. (NIV)

Also consider these passages:

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (NIV)

We are not under the law.

And again in Romans 7:2-6, we are said to be both dead to the law and delivered from the law.

Romans 7:2-6 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3 So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. 4 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (NIV)

Since every ideal or principle of the law, except the fourth commandment, is carried forward and restated and incorporated in the grace manner of life, it hardly seems reasonable to contend that the believer should be warned so positively against doing the things contained in the law. The solution of the problem is to be found in the fact that the law is a system demanding human merit, while the injunctions addressed to the Christian under grace are unrelated to human merit. Since the child of God is already accepted in the Beloved and stands forever in the merit of Christ, application of the merit system to him is both unreasonable and unscriptural. When the principles contained in the merit system reappear in the grace injunctions, it is always with this vital change in the character. It is one thing to do a thing that is contained in the law in order that one may be accepted or blessed; it is a wholly different thing to do those same things because one is accepted and blessed. Freedom from the merit obligation is that “liberty” to which reference is made in :

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (NIV)

It is not liberty to do evil; but it is a perfect relief from the crushing burden - the yoke of bondage:

Acts 15:10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? (NIV)

Acts 15:10 “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? (NKJ)

(works of merit)

To be “free from the law”

Romans 8:2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (NIV)

to be “dead to the law”

Romans 7:4 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. (NIV)

and to be “delivered from the law”

Romans 7:6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (NIV)

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 3:11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! (NIV)

Galatians 3:25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. (NIV)

describe a position in grace before God which is rich and full unto everlasting blessing.

8. CHILDREN OF GOD.

To be born anew by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit into a relationship in which God the First Person becomes a legitimate Father and the saved one becomes a legitimate child, is a position which is but dimly apprehended by any human being in this world. This far-flung reality is more a matter of heavenly values than of the earth. Nevertheless, this very regeneration is one of the foundational realities of everyone who has believed upon Christ as Savior. This birth from above accomplishes a measureless transformation.
To be born into an earthly home of outstanding character is of great advantage, but to be born of God with every right and title belonging to that position - an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ - passes the range of human understanding. This new existence is not only intensely real, but it, like all begotten life, is everlasting in its very nature. The theme is so vast that it includes other positions and possessions which, in turn, will be mentioned as this analysis progresses.

Varied terms are used in the New Testament to identify this new birth. Each of these is distinct in itself and revealing.

We are BORN AGAIN.

It is interesting to note that the Lord Jesus Christ selected Nicodemus, the most religious and ideal man of his day in Judaism, to whom and as applied to himself Christ declared the necessity of the new birth.
The word “anothen” is rendered anew, and its implication is that it is not only an actual birth, but it is new in the sense that it is no part of that first birth which is after the flesh. It is not a reordering or revising of the birth by the flesh. It is new in the sense that it is complete in itself and no product of the flesh. Of this distinction Christ said,

John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (NKJ)
Other confirming passages are:

John 1:12-13 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (NKJ)

1 Peter 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, (NKJ)

A. We are REGENERATED.

This expressive term, which appears in:

Titus 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, (NKJ)

This conveys the same idea of a rebirth. The passage relates a cleansing to this birth, but the birth does not consist in a mere cleansing of the old being; it is rather that a cleansing, like forgiveness, accompanies the regeneration.

B. We are QUICKENED.

The word quickened expresses the thought that an object is made alive that did not possess that life before. Through regeneration by the Spirit, as in the case with the flesh, there is an impartation of life. Regeneration imparts the divine nature. Attention should be given also to:

Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, (NKJ)

Colossians 2:13 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, (NKJ)

C. We are SONS OF GOD.

This title, is used many times:

2 Corinthians 6:18 “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (NKJ)

Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (NKJ)

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (NKJ)

These verses declare the true relationship between God and those who are saved. They are sons of God, not by a mere title or pretense, but by actual generation the offspring of God. The reality which the title designates cannot be taken too literally.

D. We are A NEW CREATION.

Thus again, and by language both appropriate and emphatic, the mighty creative power of God is seen to be engaged in the salvation of men. As respects their salvation it is said that they are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. That exalted new creation is not only the direct work of God, but owes all that it is to its vital relation to Christ Jesus.

9. ADOPTED

The peculiar position of one who is adopted is an important feature of the riches of divine grace. Its unique place in the following passage indicates its major import:

Ephesians 1:4-5 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- (NIV)

In attempting to discover what this position really is, it is needful to recognize that divine adoption has almost nothing in common with that form of it as accepted and practiced among men. According to human custom, adoption is a means whereby an outsider may become a member of a family. It is a legal way to create father and son relationship as a substitute for father and son reality. On the other hand, divine adoption, while referring both to Israel’s kinship to God:

Romans 9:4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. (NIV)

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