501: To Reckon or Not Reckon, that is the Question
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The Cross Not Only Paid For Your Sins…
We have been looking at the three key truths that will allow you to experience the surrender that leads to the Higher Christian Life. Let’s take a moment for a quick review.
Truth One – You are incapable of pleasing God or producing anything good with your flesh (your sinful nature) no matter how hard you try. It cannot be done, has never been done, will never be done, by anybody, ever. And you can find the foundation of Truth One in Romans 7:15-25, especially verse 18.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find – Romans 7:18.
So Truth One states you can’t, no matter how hard you try. But Truth Two reveals He can, beyond all you can imagine. Truth Two reminds us that God has given you the Holy Spirit to live in you. And one of His purposes for His Spirit dwelling in you is to work in you “both to will and to do (why) for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). In other words, the Holy Spirit now living in you is able to do in you “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20). And, by the way, the power that works “in us” is none other than the Holy Spirit. (Note: Did you notice how many times the phrase “in you” was used in this paragraph? It is not something to gloss over lightly).
This brings us to Truth Three. But first, a bit of warning. Truth three is not something to be believed only, but to be experienced, just like the Higher Christian Life. For without experiencing this truth, firsthand, you will not gain the wonderful benefit of it nor the changed life that comes with it. Finally, all the benefits of Truth Three are contingent on faith. And it is in your faith the enemy will attack. Maybe even today. So be forewarned.
Let’s look at Truth Three.
You Are Also to “Reckon” Yourself Dead to Sin
Truth Three states that when Christ was crucified, He took with Him to the cross not only your sins, but also your sinful nature (the “old man”). Let that truth sink in for a moment.
Remember, your “old man” refers to your unregenerate human spirit consisting of the Adamic life prior to salvation. And the “new man” refers to the regenerate human spirit, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Basically, the “old man” is all that you were before salvation, and the “new man” is all that you have become after salvation. You can find these terms used in Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22 and 24, and Colossians 3:9-10, among other places. It should be a familiar concept to you. But one not usually carried to its logical conclusion.
Watch how this plays out so clearly in Romans 6. First, the foundation:
For if (since, because) we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be (united together) in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that (what) our old man was crucified with Him, (why) that the body of sin might be done away with, (why) that we should no longer be slaves of sin – Romans 6:5-6.
Next, the logical progression based on the foundation:
For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if (since, because) we died (how) with Christ, we believe (our choice, see below) that we shall also live (how) with Him, (how) knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. (why) Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died (past tense), He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives (present tense), He lives to God – Romans 6:7-10.
And finally, the conclusion about our old man and his death on the cross. But remember, this truth only becomes real to you by experience. Or, as Romans says, when you “reckon yourself” to this truth.
Likewise (in the same manner) you (personal) also (like others who have experienced what you now seek), reckon (to impute, consider, count, reason, think, to be of the conviction) yourselves (personal) to be (present tense, currently, at this very moment, right now) dead indeed (truly, on the one hand) to sin, but (on the other hand) alive to God (how) in Christ Jesus our Lord – Romans 6:11.
Note the obvious, if you “reckon yourself” to this truth, its power becomes real to you. But if by doubt or disbelief you refuse to believe what the Scriptures say about you and your old nature, you will still struggle with failure because, per Truth One, “you are incapable of pleasing God or producing anything good with your flesh (your sinful nature) no matter how hard you try.” The choice of either being an overcomer or one who lives in constant defeat is based on the content of your faith. You will either “reckon yourself” to be what the Scriptures say you are, or you will choose to take your eyes off Jesus and focus on the waves and sink like Peter (Matt. 14:30).
The choice is always yours. Always.
The following is the sermon that goes into much greater detail about Truth Three than I can present in a short blog post. I know it is much longer than the usual podcasts, but I would encourage you to listen and let your mind embrace the possibilities of Truth Three. And remember, Satan cannot attack the truth. He cannot make Truth Three not be true. But he can, and he will attack your faith and belief in Truth Three. And if he succeeds, the power found in Truth Three will be lost to you, and you will languish in defeat with your life of holiness and most likely fail to experience all of the Higher Christian Life. Or, if you simply trust Him and “reckon” (to impute, consider, count, reason, think, to be of the conviction) yourself to be what the Scriptures say, then watch out, for the best is yet to come.
So choose wisely.