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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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I am crucified with Christ!

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From the book “The Master's Indwelling” By Andrew Murray

 

Chapter 9 (in part) DEAD WITH CHRIST (and Risen with Christ)

 

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ... (words in italics added)

 

We often ask earnestly: How can I be free from the self life? The answer is, “Get another life.” We often speak about the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon us, but I doubt if we fully realize that the Holy Spirit is a heavenly life come to expel the selfish, and fleshly, and the earthly life. If we truly want to enjoy fully the rest that there is in Jesus, we can only have it as He comes in, in the power of His death, to slay what is in us of human nature, and to take possession, and to live His own life in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

 

Christ died for my sins, He was judged for them as my substitute, only He could do this,

 

God's Word takes us to the cross of Christ, and it teaches us about that cross, two things. It tells us that Christ died for sin. We understand what that means, that in His atonement He died as I never die, as I never can die, as I never need die; He died for sin and for me.

 

1 Jo 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his NIV Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (to be judged as our substitute).

 

Christ also died to the sin nature and wants to conform me to it, to free me from sin’s power,

 

He also died to sin, and in dying He conquered sin. Now, I cannot die for sin like Christ, but I can and I must die to sin like Christ. Christ died for sin. In that He stands alone. Christ died to sin, and in that I am to have fellowship with Him. I am crucified, I am dead.

 

Rom 8:3 …God…condemned sin in human nature (judged it and sentenced it to death) by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like man's sinful nature (and then He died to it, on our behalf) to do away with sin. TEV

 

Phil 3:10 That I may know Him...being conformed to His death (to sin),

2 Tim 2:11 This is a faithful saying: for if we died with Him we shall also live with Him.

 

Christians are largely ignorant of Christ’s death to sin, therefore sin still reigns over them,

 

If we want to have the real Christ that God has given us, the real Christ that died to sin for us, in the power of His death and resurrection, we must take our stand here. But many Christians do not understand the 6th chapter of Romans. They do not know that they are dead to sin. They do not know it, and therefore Paul instructs them: Do you not Know that as many of you as are baptized into Christ Jesus, are baptized into His death? How can we who are dead to sin in Christ live any longer in its power? (Rom 6:2-3). We have the death and the life of Christ working within us. But, alas! most Christians do not know this, and therefore do not experience or practice it. They need to be taught that their first need is to understand and to believe what Christ did about the sinfulness of their human nature on Calvary, and what that means to us when we are united to Christ.

 

A person must begin to say, even before he understands it, “In Christ I am dead to sin.” It is a command: Reckon (believe) yourselves to be dead to sin. (Rom 6:11). Get hold of your union to Christ; believe in the new nature within you, that spiritual life which you have from Christ, a life that has died and been raised again. A person’s acts are always in accordance with his idea of his nature. So I cannot live the life of a true believer unless I am conscious of this new nature every day: “I thank God that I am dead in Christ. Christ died to sin, and I am united with Christ, and Christ lives in me and I am dead to sin.”

 

The Adam life I inherited is alive to sin, but the Christ life in me is dead to sin – if I know it,

 

What is the life Christ lives in me? Ask what is the life Adam lives in me? Adam lives in me the death life, a life that has fallen under the power of sin and death, death to God. That Adam life lives in me by human nature as an unconverted man. And Christ, the second Adam, has come to me with a new life, and I now live in His life, the death-life of Christ. As long as I do not know it, I can not act according to it, though it be in me. Praise God, when a person begins to see what it is, and begins in obedience to say, “I will do what God's Word says; I am dead, I reckon myself dead,” he enters upon a new life. On the strength of God's everlasting Word, and your union to Christ, and the great fact of Calvary, reckon, know yourself as dead indeed to sin. A Christian must see this truth.

 

Rom 6:10 For the death that He (Christ) died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Gal 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh, the godless human nature with its passions and appetites and desires. AMP

Gal 2:20 (I believe God’s word and hence know that) I am crucified with Christ... KJV

Rom 6:7 For he who has died (with Christ to sin) has been freed from sin.

John 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free (from sin), you shall be free indeed.

Matt 1:21 ...You shall call His name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.

 

By my belief in this truth, and the power of the Holy Spirit I’m kept free from my sin nature,

 

And that is what the Holy Spirit will teach us and work in us. If I have accepted Christ in faith by the Holy Spirit, and yield myself to Him, Christ every day keeps possession, and reveals the full power of my fellowship in His death and life in my heart. To some this comes undoubtedly in one moment of supreme power and blessing; all at once they see and accept it, and enter in, and there is death to sin as a Divine experience. It is not that the tendency to evil is rooted out. No; but the power of Christ's death keeps us from sin, and destroys the power of sin. As we believe God’s word, the power of Christ's death will be manifested by the Holy Spirit's always putting to death the deeds of our human nature.

 

Rom 8:13 For if you live according to your human nature you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body (your old self), you will live.

 

I get asked if, after this, spiritual growth is still needed. Yes it is. By the Holy Spirit a person can now begin to live and grow, deeper and deeper, into the fellowship of Christ's death. New things are discovered by him in areas of which he never thought. A person can be filled with the Holy Spirit, and yet still have great imperfections in him. Why? Because his heart, perhaps, has not been fully prepared by a complete discovery to him of sin. There may be areas of pride, self-consciousness, impatience, or other qualities of his old nature which he has never noticed. The Holy Spirit does not always cast everything out at once.

 

Out intellects won’t accept our human nature is riddled with sin and God’s curse is upon it,

 

Here is one of the reasons why the Church of Christ enters so little into the death of Christ: Christians do not want to believe that the curse of God is upon everything in them that has not died with Christ. People talk about the curse of sin, but they do not understand that the whole of human nature has been infected by sin, and that the curse is on everything. My intellect, has that been defiled by sin? Terribly, and the curse of sin is on it, and therefore my intellect must go down into the death.

 

Rm 8:6–8 The mind of the flesh is death…because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God’s Law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the flesh (and it’s intellect) cannot please God.

 

I believe that the Church of Christ suffers more to-day from trusting in intellect, in human wisdom, in culture, and in mental refinement, than from almost anything else. The Spirit of the world comes in, and men seek by their wisdom, and by their knowledge, to help the Gospel, and they rob it of its crucifixion power. Christ directed Paul to preach the Gospel of the cross, but to do it not with wisdom of man’s words. The curse of sin is on all that is of human nature. If there is a minister who delights in his preaching, who does his very best, who gives his very best in the way of talent and of thought, and who asks, “Must that go down into the grave?” I say, “Yes, my brother, the whole man must be crucified.”

 

Matt 16:24,25 (Jesus) "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (every day reckon, believe himself dead, crucified with Christ to his sinful human nature, primarily his human wisdom) , and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life (natural life) will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (their life in Christ).”

 

It is very hard to give up a thing to the death, and it is hardest of all to give up my life to the death, and I never will until I have learned that everything about that life is stamped by sin. And let it go down into the death as the only way to have it quickened, brought under the life of God, and sanctified, made Holy when given to God as a living sacrifice.

 

Col 2:11–13 In Him (Jesus) you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh (old man) was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism (in death to the sin nature), in which you were also raised with Him through your faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. NIV

 

Don’t look for crowds before dying to Self – God is rarely with the crowd but with a remnant,

 

Do not wait to see what others do; if you wait for that,—alas! I desire to say it in love and tenderness,—you will not find much company in the Church of Christ. Pray incessantly: “Lord Christ, let the power of Your death come into me.” For God's sake, pray the prayer. If you want to live the life of Heaven, there must be death to sin in the power of Jesus. There must be a personal entrusting of the soul into His death to sin, and a personal acceptance of Jesus to do this mighty work.

 

1 Thes 2:13 …the word of God (Jesus Christ) , which works mightily in you that believe.

 

Shall we not come into personal contact with Jesus, and shall not each one of us just speak before the world these simple words: “Lord, here is this life; there is much in it still of self, sinfulness, and self-will, but I come to You; I long to enter fully into Your death; I long to know fully that I have been crucified with You; I long to live Your life every day.”

 

Rom 6:6-7 Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with...For he who has died has been freed from sin.

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