Taking Up One’s Cross
Notice the twenty-fourth verse of the Scripture text says, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples.” Certainly, Jesus had reason to say what He said. There was a background that moved him to say it: Peter had just asserted self. When Jesus told him that He must go into Jerusalem and suffer and die, Peter raised up and rebuked Him. Self will get us into trouble. Some people today don’t worry about rebuking a pastor or a minister. They think everything’s all right with them; however, everything wasn’t all right with Peter when he asserted self.
After Jesus preached the Kingdom to the lost, Peter so asserted self that Jesus was moved to say, “You cannot follow Me unless you deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.” In so many words, Jesus said, “Peter, you’re trying to save My life and your life, but the only way to find real salvation is to be willing to lose your life completely.” On reason more people aren’t strong in salvation is, they’re trying to save self. When something happens, right away, self rises up in defense.
Jesus said, “If any man [this covers everyone] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Due to misconceptions of Christ’s words and a lack of understanding, many false ideas arise about taking up one’s cross. Some think they’ve taken up their cross by working at religious duties or by doing what has fallen their lot in life. Some think they take up their cross by witnessing for Christ. Others feel they carry their cross by living with an unsaved companion. They say, “Everyone has to carry their cross, and I’m carrying my by living with my companion.”
I’ve heard a song which says, “I’ll carry my cross with a smile.” This song doesn’t express the depths of what Christ was talking about. We won’t carry “this cross” with a smile any more than Christ carried His Cross with a smile.
Some people feel they’ve taken up their cross and are following Christ. Many things which people call a cross, Jesus called meat. Some people think they’re taking up their cross by working personal evangelism, by giving them selves in reaching others. However, that is not a cross; that is meat to eat. We’re missing the mark when we thing something is a cross, but is actually meat to eat. Jesus met the woman at the well and talked with her while His disciples went into town to buy something to eat. She was saved and got a wonderful and went to tell others about Him. The disciples came back and said, “Master, eat,” but He replied, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” This was not a cross, it was meat, a blessing, divine strength and help from the Gather came by helping someone else.
Notice Jesus’ words, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow men.” If we’ll study the Gospel of John and other places in the Bible, we’ll find that Jesus not only told His disciples that He was to go to Jerusalem and die, but He also said that you must take up your cross and follow Him. When we begin to follow Christ, we need to know what happened when He took up His Cross. The minute the Cross was laid on Him, He went the way of sorrow, bearing His Cross outside the city.
A Reproach That We Must Bear
Paul said in Hebrews 13:12-12: “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him [This is taking up our cross and following Him, biblically. Just as He took up His Cross and went outside the city, Paul let us know that we must go forth unto Him.] without the camp, bearing his reproach.”
There’s great reproach and sorrow in carrying the cross. Too many have never sorrowed deep enough at “an altar of prayer” and gotten to the place where this experience has come into their hearts and lives. Instead, they receive a little thrill, a little touch from God, but their experience didn’t last long. God has given us a prescribed manner in which we can reach the depths of this experience. Jesus said we must take up our cross and follow Him. Where did He go? He took His Cross and went without the city and suffered and died.
Paul let us know that we, too, must take up our cross and go without the camp. We can’t go forth unto Him from the camp without leaving lost of things. Going forth to Him without the camp, first of all, means isolation. We must take up our cross and go without the camp, without the people, in isolation and humiliation. Some are not meeting the conditions that bring real, lasting salvation. They go to an altar of prayer with a smile, and they leave with a smile; and it is (and becomes) obvious that they don’t get anything.
If we meet the basic conditions of real salvation, we’ll get the experience. It brings us to a place of repentance, not to be repented of. Paul said we must take up our cross and go unto Him. Isolation is giving up father, mother, husband, wife, friends, children and everyone else. We must go outside the camp, away from the people, and go unto Him and bear His reproach.
The Bible lets us know that when the reproach of the cross ceases, there’s no more glory. There’s a reproach that we must bear, and too many aren’t willing to bear that reproach. They’d like to have an experience on a worldly level, whereby everyone thinks well of them. Jesus said if we follow Him we must take up our cross. We must follow Him without the camp to a place of isolation. Why did Jesus make this necessary? He said in Matthew 19:29, “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sister, or father, or mother or wife, or children, or lands…” Isolation is getting to the place where we are without the camp, where there’s nobody but us and Jesus. We lose every thought of what other people (whoever they may be) think about it and go without the camp to Him alone, and there settle it.
The Law of Greater Life
Jesus took up His Cross and carried it without the camp, laid it down, and was nailed to it. He was raised between heaven and earth, and He suffered. In too many cases, people aren’t suffering enough over their sins. This is why some quickly go back and take them up again. They weren’t sick of sin, and they didn’t suffer over their sins. When we come to the place that we feel the suffering because we know that we have wounded God and have done despite to Him, we’ll groan and weep and cry. These things are taken too lightly by some. Someone who really suffers over his condition because of what he’s done to God and against God won’t go back and pick up his ole, sinful habits in a week or so.
When Christ suffered, bled, and died on the Cross, He was taken off the Cross and was buried, and the Cross had no further meaning to Him. His enemies had poured out the full measure upon Him there, and the Cross no longer had a place in His experience. Whenever a cross was mentioned in the Bible, it was used for only one purpose, and that was for people to die on it. The Bible doesn’t say there’s a cross for the Christian to carry around with him. I know this is contrary to many people’s theology and some songwriters’ lyrics, but this is what the Bible declares. If we’ll study this, we’ll find that this was the only purpose for the cross in New Testament salvation. Therefore when Christ said to deny our and follow Him, He meant that our cross is to die on. The cross isn’t some burden to carry through the Christian journey, and it’s not some Christian duty or penance to perform. Whenever the Scripture says anything about the cross, it carries with it the idea of dying.
After Christ said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” He said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lost it: and whosoever will lose his life [ this is where the cross comes in] for my sake shall find it [he will find it anew]” (Matthew 16:25). Christ expects us to lose our life for Him and make a full commitment and consecration to Him. Our prayer should be, “Lord, I will no longer live for myself. This is the end of my living for self. I’m in a sad mess, sinful and corrupt, and I’m sick of myself. From this point on, I will live for You.”
This is no strange thing, because we can read throughout the Bible that in order to have greater life, there has to be a death. Jesus said in John 12:24, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” This is the law of greater life. It begins with houst on grain of corn, or one grain of wheat, dropped into the ground, it dies, but when it comes forth, there are many grains. The law of greater life is always brought about through death.
We can’t attain this great life (eternal life) that Jesus said He would give us without a death of the old life. As the corn of wheat falls into the ground, it begins to rot, and as new life begins to spring up, it bursts the old shell it was in. The old shell becomes the fertilizer to fertilize the new life into more abundant life. It goes from one grain to many grains. The same is true in spiritual life. There must first be a death, and then new life will spring up. There’s greater life than we have found living here, but there’s no way to get to that greater life in eternity except to go through the experience of physical death. The mortal body must go to the grave in order to reach immortality. Again, the law of greater life comes about through death.
The Teachings of Life and Death
Jesus wants us to find God life, eternal life, but we first have to lose our lives. There has to be a death of the old life. Sometimes it’s a great struggle. We may think the old man is dead, but he will not lie down. This is a point that’s being passed up today. Some people are trying to take hold of an experience of salvation without any struggle, without a real crucifixion, and without a real death, and they are not enjoying eternal, or everlasting life.
God expects to save us with such an experience that we’ll never backslide. I’m not teaching eternal security; nevertheless, the Bible teaches us that if we let Him give us the experience that He wants us to have, we’ll never backslide, if we’ll continue to walk with Him. We don’t have to backslide. The teachings of life and death make it plain. Jesus told us that whosoever will try to save his life, or hold onto it, will lose it; but whosoever is willing to lose his life for His sake shall find it anew.
There’s no other way to save our life except to give it up and turn it over to the Lord. It’s by giving that we save our lives, and by dying, we live. I want to show that carrying this cross is foolishness. If we don’t die upon our cross, it will avail us no more in this life than it would have availed us if Christ had just come down here, carried His Cross, and gone back to Heaven. We’d not have received anything. It was when He died on the Cross and rose again that salvation come into action, and the same is true with us. We can carry our cross and carry it, but until we die on it, salvation never will be activated. When Christ died on the Cross, He was finished with it. Thank God, He never had to bear it again. Likewise, when we truly die on our cross, that will be the end of it. It will have served it’s purpose, and we no longer need to carry it. It’s not carrying the cross that blesses us, helps us, or avails anything; it’s dying on it.
Paul used many truth to make this message clear. In Galatians 6:14 he said, “But God forbid [they were glorying in the flesh, in circumcision] that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” A crucified world can’t hurt us. However, too many have never met the requirements of this experience. There’s only one way to quit being worldly: we must take up our cross and carry it to the place where we die on it; and the world is crucified unto us, and we’re crucified unto the world. One dead thing doesn’t bother another dead thing. Pastors, there’s no need to wear yourselves out preaching on “worldliness”. We’d better get back to preaching on crucifying self.
Crucifying the Flesh
Notice the three crucifixions in Galatians 6:14. The first crucifixion mentioned is the crucifixion of Christ; that’s the basis for all of them The second crucifixion mentioned is a result of Christ’s crucifixion; when we’re able, because of His crucifixion, to crucify the world. Therefore, the second crucifixion is the crucifixion of the world. Next, Paul said that he was crucified unto the world; so the third crucifixion is that of self. This is the way the morning church preached. They continued in one accord, praising God, and having favor with the people. They were in agreement with on another. Where does it all stem from? The message of crucifixion.
Paul said in Galatians 5:24, “And they that are Christ’s [ or they that belong to Christ] have [already] crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” What was Paul telling us? We don’t belong to Christ until we’ve crucified the flesh with its affection. What’s the trouble? There are too many living dead men and not enough dead living men, spiritually speaking. They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh. Verse 25 reads, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” If the Holy Spirit is really living in our inner man as we say He is, then, let’s let the principles of godliness get out into our daily walk and our daily living.
There are three points that Paul dealt with in Galatians 2:20. He said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh[This gets right down to where we’re living. He wasn’t talking about some life over in Heaven, but the live we live here in this fleshly body.] I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” The first point that Paul dealt with was crucifixion. He said, “I am crucified with Christ.” The second point that he dealt with was, death was brought through the crucifixion. The third point that he brought out was the fact that we’re raised to life through Jesus Christ. In other words, Paul was saying, “I am crucified with Christ. I’m dead, yet I live; but it’s no longer I but Christ. The life I now live [It was not merely an experience that he had for a moment, but it was lasting. He wrote that passage of Scripture several years after he got this experience.], I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Dead Unto Sin and Alive Unto God
In Romans 6:9-11, Paul said, speaking of Christ: “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. [This life is everlasting life, a life we can find and live for the rest of our life and never have to give it up to temptation and sin. When Christ died, he died no more. Why? Because death no longer had dominion over him. Paul used that for a point to direct us.] For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise [ The same as when Christ died once, death had no more dominion over Him. He was brought to a love over which death had no power.] reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed into sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We can be dead to sin from then on.
Paul went on to say in verse 14, “For sin shall not have [cannot have] dominion over you…” Christ died once, and that was the end of death; it didn’t have anymore power over Him. Even so, when we die this death, thank God, we’re raised to a new life, and sin and the power of death have no power (or dominion over us, because we have been set free.
This matter of becoming a Christian is not merely turning over a new leaf, forming good resolutions, or starting to do religious duties. First of all, it’s a death; Paul makes this plain. Christ died, and when He died, death had no more dominion over him. Likewise, reckon yourself to be dead unto sin and alive unto God, and sin shall not have dominion over you any longer. God intended it to be this way. This is why Jesus came.
Luke, the first chapter, tells us that He came that we might serve Him in righteousness and true holiness all the days of our lives. This was Christ’s ordained plan. Christ paid the price whereby we can live consistently in righteousness and holiness all the days of our lives. The work has been perfected, and salvation begins with a death.
Christianity is not simply educational, although this is what it has fallen to in the minds of many people. Some religious organizations say, “We’ll catechize you, and if you will believe the teachings, you will be brought into an experience with Christ.” I repeat, real salvation is not educational, but it is, first of all militant. One of the first things that happens, when we get salvation is, the old life is killed. We must hate ourselves.
Jesus said that if we don’t hate father, mother, wife, children, and even our own self, we cannot be His disciple. We have to hate ourselves enough to kill self. Too many people want to save their lives. They think they have some good qualities to hold on to. On the contrary, every good quality we ever had was corrupted by sin, and it’s not worth saving. It has to be killed. This crucifixion is a painful, violent death. It’s no light matter to destroy the life of sin. We have to really mean business. We can’t do it ourselves; however, God will help us when He sees that we’re ready to really lose our life. If we’ll completely let go of the old life, we’ll find a new life at “an altar of prayer”.
Newness of Life
When the old life goes, the new, more abundant life comes in by Christ moving into our heart. This is what Paul was saying, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” The same Jesus who will save us is the same Jesus who will keep us. He not only will bring us to life, but He also will keep us alive. Right in this present, evil world, right in this flesh, which has everything that the devil ever needed to cause us to sin in the first place, Christ will sustain us, strengthen us, and give us power, and sin will no longer have dominion over us.
Paul told us that he had so given himself up to Christ that the ruling power in him was no longer self, but Christ. There are just two ruling powers: self and Christ. Paul said this new life is Christ’s life. Let’s leave this right where the Bible puts it. Some people have trouble because they want to hold on to old characteristics. They say, “Christ has given me a new life, and He has given us a new life. You may go one way, and I may go another.” No, this new life is Christ’s life in each and every one who is born again. This is what makes the church the body of Christ. We have the life of Christ within. This new life derives its power from Christ, and it’s swayed by the will of Christ.
The beginning of the experience of salvation, biblically speaking, is a death as real as Christ’s death, a crucifixion as real as His was, and a resurrection to a new life, just as He was raised from the dead. If we haven’t been crucified and resurrected with Him, we’re not His.
One man, because people couldn’t understand how he was so changed, referred to his life as John Smith B. C. and John Smith A. D. Likewise, we could say the seventh chapter of Romans gives us a description of Paul B. C., and the eighth chapter describes him as Paul A. D. There’s a point in which there’s a definite , quick, and powerful change. It’s not something that one grows into. Paul could say that it was no longer him, but Christ. It took a while for the church to receive him, because they were still afraid of him, no matter where he showed up. But he didn’t have to live very long till he let them know he was not Saul of Tarsus anymore. For him to live was Christ, and he proved it.
When we come with what the Bible calls the old man (the unregenerate us, the man we were before Christ changed us, the man, B. C.), and we’re willing to let the old man be crucified, we can then walk in newness of life. Romans, the sixth chapter, tells us that the old man, the man that we were before we came to Christ, is crucified with Christ. Because of that, we’re raised to walk in newness of life, not raised to enjoy newness, but raised to walk in it. That’s why Paul said if you live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit. We were raised to daily walk in it, consistently in our life. Although Paul lived in the flesh, he did not live after the flesh. Paul let us know in the seventh and the eighth chapters of Romans that we either walk after the flesh or after the Spirit.
Living By Faith in the Son of God
Paul said, “I live by the faith of the Son of God.” When he used the word faith, he wasn’t referring to a momentary act at an altar of prayer, but rather, he was speaking of the attitude of the Christian’s entire life. He didn’t say, “At one time I believed in Jesus Christ.” The Christian’s faith in the Son of God is to continue, day after day, month after month, and year after year, believing in Jesus Christ. When we do that, we not only can be resurrected by Him, but we also can live by faith in Him, day by day. This is what Paul was saying.
One time I read about a man who made a statement about this new life to which Paul was referring. He wrote something similar to this, as though Paul were speaking: “This new life I now live by faith in the Son of God. I believed in Him the day He saved me, I believed in Him on the Damascus Road, and I believe in Him over on the street called Straight. He so changed me that it’s not Paul anymore; it’s Christ. I’ve lived several years for Him now, and I have lived by that same faith in the Son of God. I still believe that He is Jesus Christ today, the Son of God that came to save me and keep, and I live day after day by that faith.”
Allow me to illustrate the point in this way: When Neil Armstrong stepped out of the spacecraft on July 20, 1969, he entered into an environment wherein it was impossible for man to survive. His only hope of survival was his space suit and two lifelines that went back to the ship. He lived in a place where a man cannot live. The laws of nature were against him. A man can’t live on the moon, but he lived there, walked there, and drove around in a moon buggy. How did he do it? By the equipment that he was equipped with and by the two lifelines that were connected to the ship. He wasn’t getting a bit of his life from the moon. The moon was dead to him, and he was dead to it. The moon was not giving him anything. His life went back to the United States and the power that was invested in that ship to keep him alive.
Also, let’s consider the people who go down deep into the sea and walk around. How can they do it? Man can’t live down in the sea, however, he can with a special suit and helmet and lifelines going back to the ship. This is how the Christian lives, thank God. We live in a world that is contaminated by sin, but we have lifelines going back to Jesus through prayer and Bible reading. We live right in a world where they say that nobody can live right, yet we can live right her in the flesh by faith in the Son of God. That’s why the devil works so hard to cut off our lifeline. He wants us to think we can pick up something from this world that will help us. Nevertheless, there’s nothing in this world that will help us. This world is our enemy. We live by faith in the Son of God, putting our full trust in Him and receiving help from Him.
Yielding Ourselves Unto God
The Amplified Bible, in Galatians 2:20, will also help us to see what Paul was saying. It tells the secret of living this life right here in the flesh. It reads, “I have been crucified with Christ---[in Him] I have shared His crucifixion, it is no longer I who live[In other words, I cannot live because I am dead.], but Christ, the Messiah, lives in me, and the life I now live in the body I live by faith---by adherence to and reliance on and [complete] trust---in the Son of God, Who loved men and gave Himself up for me.” That’s what it means by “faith in the Son of God.”
Again, Paul said in Romans 6:10-11, speaking of Christ: “For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This means that we are free from sin, just as much as if we were dead and lying in our graves. We’re not free from temptations and trials, but we’re free from sin. Paul was talking about a means that absolutely shuts out sin from our lives.
Romans 6:12-13 reads: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteous unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God…” Notice these three words in verses 10-13: reckon, let, and yield. Paul was writing to Christians and, in essence, was saying, “Reckon yourselves to be just as dead as Christ was.” In verse 11 he tells us that we have some reckoning or considering to do. When we were out in sin, we were dead to God and had no connection with Him spiritually whatsoever. Now, thank God, through this death, we have died to sin, and we have been made alive unto God and separated from sin. We have no more connection with sin whatsoever.
The Amplified Bible, in Romans 6:11, makes this point even plainer. It reads, “Even so consider yourselves also [that’s why he says likewise reckon] dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but [that you] alive to God---living in unbroken fellowship with Him---in Christ Jesus.” Real salvation brings about a definite change. The Greek word used in this Scripture for reckon actually means to place to someone else’s account. In other words, Paul said to reckon, or consider, this in your mind: what you have intellectually grasped with your mind and believed, lay it to account with your life and live it; really believe that it’s true, and then take hold of it and live it that way.
Let Not Sin Reign in Your Mortal Body
In verse 12 he said, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body…” The Amplified Bible reads, “Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to their cravings and be subject to their lusts and evil passions.” Why did he say “let not”? Because when God gave us this experience, He gave us the power to choose. We don’t have to let sin bother us; it’s up to us! He’s fixed it so that power over sin is fool proof. God won’t let sin overtake us; so we need to make sure that we don’t let it reign in our mortal body.
Verse 13 clarifies this. He said, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin…” How can people go back into sin after God gives them this wonderful experience? They yield themselves to it. What does the devil have to work through? These members (the body) that are still on the earth. If we’re saved, our soul has been raised up together with Christ in heavenly places, but our members are still on the earth. The body hasn’t been raised up; it’s still a corrupt, vile body. It hasn’t been changed; it won’t be changed until Jesus comes again and changes it. If we let sin come in, it will reign. People need to get rid of the old idea that says, “I may be wrong, but sin won’t get hold of me.” If sin come into our life, it will reign. No one stops with just one sin. When we commit sin, we become a sinner. Then we’ll add sin to sin, and there’ will be a multiplicity of sins.
How are we kept from sin? Paul said, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin…” The devil will come around and tempt us. However, if we’re saved, Jesus enables us to reign over sin;’ it can’t have dominion over us. The devil cannot make us do anything. We’ve been put in control, and sin cannot have dominion over us unless we let it. God has fixed it this way. How de we let sin in? By yielding our members to it.
Romans, the eighth chapter, and Galatians, the fifth chapter, lets us know that we have members that are still on the earth. This body is what the devil has to work through. How does sin get into ones heart? When one yields his members to it. How do we yield our members to sin? One example is when the devil wants us to say something that we shouldn’t or talk about somebody, and we yield our member. James said that our tongue is an unruly member. It’s very easy to get out of control. More than any other way, many people have lost the brightness of their experience by saying things they shouldn’t say.
Another way to yield our members is by yielding our hand to pick up something that doesn’t belong to us. Some men lose out by freely touching some other man’s wife. Let’s not yield our members. The devil will tempt us, but he can’t get us to do wrong unless we yield. We have the say so. The devil is only a prince, but God has made us a king, and a king reigns high above any prince.
To God, sin is sin. It doesn’t matter if we tell a little lie or if we have a little hatred in our heart, we’re just as much a sinner in God’s eyes as the one who has murdered someone. People may rate sin, but God doesn’t rate it. Let’s not yield our members, because if we do, sin will come into our life, and when it does, it will reign again in our mortal body. We must not give place to the devil. He’ll press us, tempt us and push us, but we need to hold right on and tell him, “You can’t make me sin.”
If we’re saved, our soul has been raised to a heavenly place in Christ Jesus, living high above the earth, but our members are still on the earth. It’s through these members that the devil works, and when he gets us to yield any one of our members to unrighteousness, we commit sin.
The Old Man Is Crucified With Him
The devil is working to get us to look at things which we shouldn’t. One way is through television. Romans 1:32 states, “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” There are many things that Christian people would not do, but some find pleasure in watching movie actors do them. The devil is after our members (our eyes, our ears and our minds) that are still here on the earth. Let’s not yield our members to unrighteousness, but yield them to God. Let’s look at the things God wants us to look at, read the things God wants us to read, and go to the places where God wants us to go.
Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” How did we get free from the curse of the Law? We were under the curse of the Law until Christ died and became accursed for us. Once He died and became accursed for us, we became free from the Law. Thank God, we’re not under the Law but under grace. The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth come by Jesus Christ. He fulfilled the Law, and He took the curse of the Law. What was the curse? Everyone who disobeys the Law must die. Jesus took the curse of the Law; He finished it, fulfilled it, and nailed it to His Cross. We’re under grace, and sin shall not have dominion over us.
I like one old song which says, “Sin shall not have dominion over you, for the Lord hath spoken and sin’s power is broken. Sin shall not have dominion over you, for He causeth us to triumph day by day.” Thank God for the freedom. We’re no longer slaves to the Law, but we’re subject to God’s favor and mercy. We’re living in the benevolent atmosphere of the grace of God
We don’t have to submit to the works of the devil or to the Mosaic Law. Neither Saturday nor Sunday is a Sabbath. The old Sabbath has been nailed to the Cross. What’s happening? There are those who exalt Sunday when Paul said you must not exalt one day above another. Many people will live “good” on Sunday, but when Monday comes, they do anything they want to do. God wants us to live the same seven days a week. Sunday was chosen to be a day of worship because that’s the day Christ rose from the dead, but Sunday’s not a Sabbath. There’s not one thing in New Testament teaching, that will tell us not to do this or that on Sunday. There’s only one thing it tells us to do: be a Christian on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
There’s an experience we can find, and if we’ll meet the conditions of it, we’ll not have any trouble letting loose of this, that, and the other thing; we’ll become dead to sin. We may have to live for awhile after we’re converted before we understand that some things are wrong, and we may have a struggle getting ourselves to lay them down; but the truth still stands. Paul said to reckon ourselves to be dead unto sin. When He did, He only had to die once. How many people have been to “an altar of prayer” several times, and yet aren’t dead to sin? If we do a thorough work, it takes suffering, and we may be in the bedroom on our knees “half the night” getting it done. The old man will not let us kill him very easily; however, we can know when the old man is gone. Paul said in Romans 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [Christ], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Too many people have too many things of the old man still around. If we meet the conditions of the message, we can get an experience that will keep us for the rest of our life. God will give us everlasting life. [The End]