Category Archives: old self

Repentance from Sin and Faults–But What’s the Difference?

If we were to outline the apostles’ doctrine “Repentance from dead works,” it would roughly look like this:

I. Repentance from Dead Works

A. Repentance from sin

B. Repentance from faults

We see that this teaching of repentance is divided into two distinct categories that are very different in meaning. Most people do not know the scriptural difference. The denominations have their own definitions. There is much confusion.

Especially when it comes to sin. Some say that shuffling your feet on a sawdust floor is sin. Some say that sipping a glass of wine is a sin. Some say losing your patience and yelling at someone is a sin.

God looks at the intent of the heart and not the outward appearance of things like natural man does. Sin is the state of spiritual being that we are born with. It is based on the love of self and the ego’s unquenchable drive for self-aggrandizement. In essence, sins are the actions one does in the worship of one’s self.  Sin is selfishness incarnate. It is a spiritual state of self-worship and all that it entails. The scriptures say that “Sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3: 4). That “law” is the Ten Commandments.

“Thou shalt not steal” is a pretty plain commandment. One steals from another for selfish reasons. It is not to help the victim of the theft. “Thou shalt not covet.” This is desiring things that another has, including wives or husbands. This is sin. As you go down the list of the Ten Commandments, you see how the worship of the self dominates and thereby breaks every one of them. Self-worship is the root cause of sinning.

Love Fulfills the Ten Commandment Law

The law must be taken as a whole to be understood. Breaking the Ten Commandments is a state of spiritual being alienated from God, who is Love. The state of Love keeps or obeys the law.  The old nature of man wants and takes for himself. The new nature of Love gives to others. “Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13: 9-10). There is no law against loving others. But there are laws on God’s book against selfishness and the sin that comes out of it.

The old original Adamic nature that man is born with cannot keep the law, try as he will. But “love fulfills the law.” God’s Spirit of love does keep the law—inside us! The old nature we are born with cannot obey the law, for its nature is opposite of loving God and others. This is why the old nature must die on the cross with Christ. “The wages of sin is death,” so for the lost person, it is best to just die now (spiritually) and avoid the rush. Death is coming for all who have sinned, for all who have broken the Ten Commandment Law. Christ’s sacrifice as our sin offering has given us an opportunity to let our sinful selfish nature die with Him, be buried with Him, and to be resurrected with Him—by believing God’s word about Him.

The old nature is a sin nature that must die in revelation with Christ. This is how we repent from sin. By faith we receive an earnest of His Spirit in a new life in Him by faith in His resurrection.  God has given us a portion of His Spirit that is sufficient to change our lives from sin to righteousness. It is now that we can begin to grow in this new life He has given us. At this beginning stage we are spiritual newborn babes in Christ. And there are things to digest in the milk of the word given by God’s five offices. We learn how to do certain new things in our new walk, and we learn of old things that need to be gotten rid of.

These are called faults. These actions are not breaking the Ten Commandments; they are not sin. Children of God have them. These shortcomings must be repented of as they are revealed to us—if we desire to grow in God. Many followers of Christ confuse faults with sins. Faults are habits of thoughts and actions generated by a lack of knowledge of God’s plan and purpose. Faults in Christians are things in our lives that show our lack of spiritual maturity. [More on “faults” next time.]  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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The Cross Experience, Repentance, and the Kingdom of God

You are a Christian. You want to win souls to Christ. But what is the exact message that you need to deliver? Christ is our example. What did He say to them?

Christ did not mince words. The first words out of His mouth were these: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Abrupt, perhaps. Straight to the point. Yet that short message is packed with meaning. He is saying, You must repent of your sins because God’s kingdom is right here, right now, waiting for you to enter. But you must make a spiritual entrance. If you do not change your old ways, you will miss this opportunity to be with Me in My kingdom, for I am its King.

The Spirit of Christ in the apostle John continues explaining what He is talking about. Unless you are born from above—born again—you cannot see nor enter the spiritual kingdom of God. This is being born of the Spirit. Except a man be born again [born from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3: 3-5.

Everybody has heard that, but few know what it means. In order to be born of the Spirit, thereby guaranteeing your entrance into His kingdom, there must be a dying of the old seed within us. And that old seed is the old heart, the old Adamic sinful nature. “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone. But if it die, it brings forth much fruit” (John 12: 24).

Our old sin nature is like a bad seed that keeps producing sinful actions. And there is only one way to rid ourselves of it, and that is to surrender it to the death of the cross with Christ. That will bring the change of heart when we believe that He plants a new righteous seed in our hearts. This new seed germinates by faith in His resurrection. It sprouts forth love, joy, and peace. This is the born again experience. It comes out of repentance from sin. When a man gets this right, then he will have seen and entered the kingdom of God.

The Cross Experience

Many preachers speak about Christ suffering and dying on the cross for us. They say that He was our substitute; they say to just believe in His death and resurrection and you are saved. Many speak of this, but few explain what God requires of us concerning the cross. Just acknowledging Christ’s death is not enough to get rid of the old sinful nature. The old nature that we are born with has to die, or it will keep sprouting up. That’s why so many people back slide into sin. They back slide because their old sin nature is still there.

What the preachers fail to realize is that when Christ died on the cross, mankind’s old sinful nature died with Him. We are to examine ourselves. God is now asking, Has your old sin nature died on the cross with Christ? As professing Christians, have you laid down willingly your old sinful life, letting it die with Christ? Or have you just felt sorry for your sinful ways and “walked the aisle” like they encouraged you to do? Most mistake this experience as being “born again.” It is good to feel sorrow for the sinful way we have lived. “Godly sorrow leads us to repentance.” However, it is not repentance from sin (II Cor. 7: 10).

To the Cross

Godly sorrow leads you to the cross, the spiritual place of your repentance, which is the first of the apostles’ doctrine. Next, you must realize that Christ took upon Himself the sins of all mankind, and He died as a lost man. For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. II Cor. 5: 21.

When Christ died on the cross, the sin of all mankind died with Him. In God’s eyes, everyone’s  old sinful self died when He died. He could take all the sins of the whole world on Himself because He is the only man in history who was perfect–a perfectly sinless human being. He was the only One pure enough to be the sacrificial “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29). He was the only One pure enough to wash away your sin and mine.

This is how the shedding of His blood cleanses us of all sin. The life is in the blood. When Christ bled out on the cross, the life of sin, the strength of sin, the force of sin died. That is the power of the blood of Christ—because sin’s life force, sin’s blood, drained out, leaving sin lifeless within us. God just requires us to believe it, to believe His word about it. It is through belief that we become new creatures whose life force is restored by the power of His resurrection.

Our old nature died with Him on the cross. It is a spiritual death, not a physical one. Our old selves are already dead in God’s eyes. Why would any one knowing this continue to go on sinning? “Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” And they won’t come to the light lest their “deeds should be discovered” (John 3: 19-20).

But I Am Baptized

Yet, some believe that after they are baptized in water, somehow mystically they are okay. But baptism is an outward symbol of a spiritual event called the cross experience. Do you not know that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? We are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Romans 6: 3-6.

Our sin nature died on the cross. We are free! Free from the guilt, the shame, the mental torture, the indignity, the pain, and the fear. Free!

Sin is the breaking of the Ten Commandments, and it is the written record of what the old sinful nature can and will do (I John 3: 4). Sinning is the old nature still manifesting itself through actions that break the law. “And we know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (I John 3: 5). By dying with Him, we are freed from the bondage of sinning!

Free! Free from sin and sinning! Free now to grow spiritually to the point where we will bear much fruit like Peter, James, John and Paul. Free! Are you kidding me? Believe this truth in Christ, and you’ll be walking in a new life, freed from sin, for He has given us a new heart (Ezek. 18: 31).

This is true repentance. This is being born again of His incorruptible seed, the word of God (I Peter 1: 23). By faith we have to reckon our old self dead and gone with Christ on the cross, and also reckon ourselves alive unto God by faith in Christ’s resurrection. He said it; we believe it, and now we walk in its light. He gave His word on this. He is way ahead of us. He already sees us as righteous before Him. He is just waiting on His elect to believe His word, to believe like He believes. He with great patience waits for His chosen ones to awake unto righteousness, thus fulfilling His purpose of reproducing Himself.

This freedom from sin and sinning is the fruit of repentance wrought at the cross. It is the key to being born again and entering into His kingdom. This is why, to win souls, Christ spoke these words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

{If you liked this article, hit the “like” button. Please make a comment. I will answer them all. And be sure to send for my latest book The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect; it is totally free. Just send me your mailing address to my email: wayneman5@hotmail.com If you appreciated this article, you will be thrilled with the new book. I wrote it for you. You need this book if you want to grow spiritually and be like Peter, James, John, and Paul.
“Greater works” we will do with His help and guidance. Order it now, my brothers and sisters.}

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Curing Divisions in the Body of Christ– The Hidden Wisdom and the Cross Experience

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The Hidden Wisdom

It is hiding in plain sight, this great mystery that the apostles and prophets wrote about. It is not in man’s old nature to see and understand what it is, for this hidden wisdom of God entails attributes that are completely opposite of the old sin nature man is born with.

In fact, when old man Adam glimpses the hidden wisdom in operation in a human’s life, it appears as foolishness. But God has chosen the foolish, weak, base, and despised things on this planet to confound the current powers that be. These powers are the humans who think that they in their own strength and position rule their own destinies (I Cor. 1: 25-29).

So just what is this wisdom of God that is hidden from men? What is this secret mystery of God that He withholds from carnal man’s eyes? The answer is in that first letter to the church at Corinth that the apostle Paul wrote.  In it he upbraids them for their lack of spirituality, citing many instances of their carnality and lack of the Spirit.

Paul explains early on in the letter that he was not coming to them “with enticing words of man’s wisdom,” but in the Spirit and its power” (2: 4).  They were hung up on following the teachings of a man. Some were saying, “I am of Paul and I am of Apollos, and I am of Cephas” (1: 12).  Sounds like, I am of Luther; I am of the Pope; I am of Wesley; I am evangelical; I am charismatic, ad infinitum. Denominationalism was already in full bloom by AD 59.

“Only by pride comes contention.” And such contention seen today in churches comes from believing that they are the only ones who have the truth. When pride is present, then disagreements, contentions, drama and divisions grow.

It is this vain glory that causes the divisions and schisms in the church (1: 10-17). Most denominations, distrustful of each other, labor in carnality, thus showing a lack of the wisdom of God.  We all should be “perfectly joined together.” But how? “By having the same mind.” Which mind? “Let this mind be in you that was in Christ,” which was a mind of humility, which is exemplified in the cross.

The Preaching of the Cross

The cross experience is for us to go through, not just observe in another.  Man’s wisdom looks at this as the man Christ dying on the cross for our sins.  But Paul speaks of the hidden wisdom of God as “the preaching of the cross” and what it spiritually represents.

Had the rulers of this world in Christ’s day known of this hidden wisdom of God, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”  Make no mistake of who they were.  They were the offspring of Edom who had converted to Pharisaism and by Christ’s day held most of the top posts in the religious hierarchy of Jerusalem.  They were the chief priests and religious henchmen who conspired on trumped up charges to get rid of Christ.  They goaded the people and the Romans to crucify Him, which is just what God wanted them to do. They thought in their carnal man’s wisdom that they were getting rid of Him, when they were in reality ensuring that “the cross” and the humility of God that it signified in the hearts of all mankind would ring down like joyful bells through the ages.

Of course, if the rulers at Jerusalem knew of this hidden wisdom of humility, they would not have crucified Christ.  For His cross experience put to death our old sinful nature. I am going to say that again. For His cross experience put to death our old sinful nature.

Our sins were placed upon Him just before He expired on that cross.  Not only our sins died with Him that day, but also our old sinful carnal nature died as well. When He died, our old sinful self died; when He was buried, our old lives were buried with Him.  When He was resurrected, we were also “raised to walk in a newness of life.”  We are free from the bondage of having to sin,” for “he that is dead is freed from sin.” Those who believe this become “new creatures” by faith, and we receive His Spirit within and receive a new heart (Col. 2: 11-12; Romans 6: 1-11).

This is the preaching of the cross.  This is the hidden wisdom; this is that special knowledge of God that is hidden from carnal man and definitely hidden from the rulers of this world system, as it was hidden from the rulers of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. This act of humility–giving up our old lives–is the cross experience and is the hidden wisdom put into action in our hearts.  It is the only sacrifice that God is pleased with, for it takes faith.  It takes believing that He has done all this for us. And now, brothers and sisters, God’s hidden wisdom is in us–when we believe all this. All we have to do is ask Him for this wisdom, and He will give it to us (James 1: 5-6).

Those who go through this cross experience receive the resurrection power of the Spirit into their new hearts and their lives begin to change, and through proper nurturing, they will grow up into Him and He in them. But they are the desperate ones to change, and they will love much, for they will know that they have been forgiven much.  In this crucible lies the hidden wisdom and the power of God.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Belief–The Key to Growing into the Manifestation of the Sons of God

Life is all about love and belief. It is all about believing the love that God showed to us when He had His Son give up His life to ransom us from the darkness of sin.

The “Life” we speak of is not the selfish little mortal life we first knew here on earth. No, we speak now about the life that  is in the Son of God. We speak of life without end, eternal life, life everlasting. Eternal life is the only true life, for life is not really life if it can die.

In order to exchange our first natural, mortal life for the eternal life that God is and wants for us, He merely requires us to just believe Him and have faith in His word concerning all this.

Our belief in His death [the death of our old life], His burial [the burial of our old life], and His resurrection [our being “raised to walk in a newness of life“] is the key. God has ordained belief to be the spark of spiritual energy that surges into our hearts, igniting the fire of life, causing us to begin to grow spiritually.

Like sunshine in spring upon the moist earth energizes the seed to awaken to its potential, even so we now spring to life in the garden of the King. In believing Him, we become His plants, flourishing in watered terraces, bearing the fruits of love, compassion, and justice for all to enjoy. For we are those trees He speaks of, trees planted by the river of life. Oh, how we should thank Him! And the sincerest form of thanks is belief.

Belief of God Is Elemental

We humans are created beings. Our origin, therefore, comes not from our own volition, but from the mind of a Superior Being who wanted us to be, to have life. Consequently, our sole responsibility is to believe the One who says that He is the Word. We are to believe His words. Belief is elemental and seminal in this walk on earth.

Belief, rendered “faith” in many verses, is profound, yet simple. In fact, the profound things of God, the mysteries, riddles, parables, precepts, and the puzzling enigmas that have perplexed prophets and wise men, and beggars and kings–they remain profoundly simple.

Remember the simplicity of the innocence of a little child that Christ spoke about? Unencumbered by the adult mind, the child believes simply. But man’s wisdom blunts the human mind like the granite rock dulls the sword that dares to strike it. The rock and the sword are not for each other. They are out of place, out of time. Such is the mind of old man Adam when endeavoring to comprehend the things of God.

Such are the mysteries of the mind of God. But childlike belief opens them up to our understanding. It is like when a child of three years plucks the petals of his first daisy or smells his first red rose. He does not need the botanist to analyze their parts. He needs no chart or graph depicting how to cultivate them. As the flower’s fragrance enters the child’s nostrils, he understands, yea, believes in the beauty and simplicity of the rose. He inhales its grace and its love. Of such belief, is the kingdom of heaven.

In like manner, let us savor the truth about how the Spirit grows within us to the point of God reproducing Himself. But it will take a childlike belief of God’s word, free from all doubt.

The “Greater Works”

As Christians we have wondered how it would be to have the same power to do good as the apostles of the early church. Through the Spirit, they raised the dead and healed the sick and did many astounding miracles. Whole denominations today have as their main purpose a return to the power of those early days.

Did Christ ever speak about this kind of growth? Did He ever promise us that we could grow to this point in Him? to do what He and His disciples did?

Yes, He did. He said, “He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…” (John 14: 12). There it is. “Belief” is right there. The person that believes on Him shall do not only the works of Christ, but “greater works” than what He did. It’s there in irrefutable black and white.

But wait. There’s a problem here. Hundreds of millions of believers of Christ are out there. Why aren’t we all raising the dead and healing the sick and doing these “greater works” that He promised? We believe that He not only existed as an historical figure, but that He also is the Son of God and that He arose from the dead. Why don’t we have the power of the early apostles?

To find out what the words “he that believes on Me” mean, we must back up to John 14: 1. Christ tells his disciples, You believe in God; believe in Me, also. In our Father’s house are many abodes, many dwelling places. I am going now to prepare a place for you to dwell. I’ll return and you will be with Me. You know where I am going. And you know the way (1-4).

Thomas then asks Him the famous question. We do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way to the Father (v. 5). Christ replies, “I am the way.” I am the way; I am the traveled road, that will get you to the Father. “I am the truth.” I won’t steer you wrong with bad directions on your road to the Father. I am full of grace and truth for all seekers of the divine. “I am the life.” Life dwells in Me. That is the truth. That is the way to the Father. In fact, “no man comes to the Father but by Me” (v. 6).

How to Believe on Christ

In John 14, Christ is, no less, telling us how to believe on Him so that we can do the “greater works”!

He is saying, You can’t get to the Father without Me. Besides, If you really knew Me, you would know My Father also. And from now on, after this teaching that I am giving you, you know the Father and you have seen Him (v. 7).

Christ is saying, Right now you are seeing the Father, who is an invisible Spirit, dwelling in the abode of His Son. Then Philip says to Him, If You will just show us the Father, we’ll be satisfied and contented (v. 8).

I am persuaded that Christ just shook his head and said, I have been with you for a long time and you don’t know Me? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The Father dwells inside of Me, and He speaks the words through Me and does the works (vs. 9-10).

Christ in v. 11 is pleading with us, imploring us, commanding us: “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.” Christ is “in the Father” because He is doing His will perfectly. The Son is a vessel, then, that is in the Father, in the Spirit. And the Father, in turn, is also in the Son as that same one invisible Spirit. Christ is saying, The miracles that I have been performing, only the Father can do, so believe what I am saying to you about the Father being now present with you in Me.

The above is the prologue to Christ’s promise to us that we will do greater miracles than what He and His disciples did (John 14: 12). This is an astounding promise that is predicated on our understanding of the following: “He that believes on Me, the works I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall He do.”

“Believes on Me…” With the promise of growing up to become like–I am going to say it–like Christ, what do these three words mean? What kind of belief in Christ are we talking about here? We must believe that Christ is in the Father, and the Father is in Him. The invisible Spirit of Love, the Creator Himself, “dwelt bodily” in Christ. They are not sitting on two thrones; they are not a Twinity. Christ sits right now with the Father still inside of His vessel. The Father is invisible. The scriptures tell us this (Col. 1: 15; I Tim. 1: 17).

The question is this. Can we smell this rose as a little child? Can we simply believe, not my words, but Christ’s very own words: “The Father is in Me.” If we can believe on Christ this way, in child like faith, then our growth in Him is limitless.The great Yahweh, walking around in human form, left us with this commandment: Believe Me that I am in My Son. If we keep this commandment, nothing shall be impossible for us.      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Resurrection of the Dead–Apostles’ Doctrine #5

Vital for Today’s Church

The apostles’ doctrine was the teachings that the early church walked in. Many Christians want what they had, but few in the pews (or pulpits, for that matter) know what those teachings are (Acts 2: 42).

In fact, some will say, We don’t want doctrine; we just want Jesus. Newsflash: You can’t have Jesus without His teachings. For the word for “doctrine” in the Greek means “teachings.” As the apostle states: “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). So the doctrine of Christ is vitally important.

And His teachings are plainly listed in the scriptures: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, eternal judgement, and perfection (Heb. 6: 1-2). Of course, there are seven of them.

The Resurrection of the Dead

To understand this teaching, we need to remember two things. First, there can obviously be no resurrection without a death. Self-preservation is built into a mortal’s DNA. We want to live forever, but our longings for immortality exist in a clay body that will die. So, ironically, the immortality that we long for will only come as a result of our inevitable death.

We cannot prevent our own demise. We need a Savior. We need One who understands, who has conquered death. We need someone to take our hand and lead us through this minefield of mortality and across the river of death to the green fields of everlasting life. We have that Savior who has tasted death for every man and woman. We see Him now, “who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2: 9).

Second, in this doctrine there are several distinct types of resurrection. We have Christ’s bodily resurrection without which there would be no other resurrections. There is the spiritual side of His resurrection that provides our spiritual resurrection while still in these earthly bodies. There is the resurrection of the souls that lead into “eternal judgment.” And there is the resurrection and restoration of the House of Israel (12 tribes)–the dry bones of Ezekiel receiving life after so long a time. And then there is when we receive our immortal spiritual bodies at the end of this age.

Our Individual Spiritual Resurrection

This spiritual resurrection comes when we believe the following: He took upon Himself our sin, and when He died on the cross, it was our sinful old self dying with Him. Then we believe that we are buried with Him. And when we believe that He rose from the dead, we, too, receive a spiritual resurrection inside our current mortal bodies. We through faith and belief do now walk in “a newness of life.” He provides a new heart and a new spirit through faith where “all things are become new” (Romans 6: 1-11; Gal. 2: 20; Col. 2: 11).

His resurrection provides the way for our spiritual resurrection in Him. For by faith we have now received His Spirit. We are now “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Eph. 1: 13-14).

What “possession”? Us. We are bought with a price–His blood. He owns us. What “promise”? He has promised us that He would grant us everlasting life if we go with Him on this great spiritual adventure. Immortality is our “inheritance.” He is our Redeemer. He bought us out of the chains of sin and misery. We owe everything to the King.

It is this personal resurrection where we receive a new Spirit while still in these earthly bodies. This admits us into the receiving of our new spiritual bodies at the end of this age. Our earthly bodies can’t handle a fullness of the Spirit. God wants to reproduce Himself; that is His overriding purpose and plan. And He cannot do it in us as long as we are in these mortal bodies. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” There’s that “inheritance” we talked about. Our inheritance is immortality. But we cannot receive it as long as we are in these aging, decaying, curruptible earthly bodies. We need a new spiritual body, a new wineskin, to contain the new wine of His spiritual fullness. Read I Corinthians 15; 35-58, the resurrection chapter, with new eyes. And rejoice knowing that in Him it is all worthwhile. For “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

In the end, these old decaying and aging earthly bodies have got to go. They must die in order to fulfill God’s purpose. He is reproducing Himself–in us.  This is the key to understanding everything else.

[I understand that the riches of His teachings are unsearchable. We haven’t even scratched the surface of the depth and breadth of His doctrine. I am humbled in this attempt to put into English a tiny bit of them. It will take us ages to search His treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Perhaps that is why He is granting us everlasting life].

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

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Life Comes Out of Death of Old Nature

“You Gotta Die Before You Live” is the name of the song [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeDb5WdFHS0 ].

That really sums up the gateway into the Christian walk. The old sinful self must die on the cross with Christ, and then by believing in His resurrection, we, too, are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” There is no watering it down; no excuses. “The soul that sins must die.” That’s the law laid down in the beginning. Man is born with unwanted sinful compulsions. In the Adamic nature, he is born into a slavery to sin. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Sin dwells in the unregenerated human, making them do incredibly selfish sinful things to others. Who can deliver man from such bondage to sin? (Rom. 7: 15-25).

We Christians know that  it is God through His Son that has provided the key to unlock the chains of sin from our hearts. He said that He would deliver us from sin, but we have been told that you’ll be a sinner till the day you die, that you cannot stop sinning; just ask forgiveness. Many precious Christian souls are wrestling with the sin question as we speak.

“Sinner till the day you die…” The irony would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. For death is the way out of the slavery of continual sinning. Not the physical death of the body, but it is the spiritual death of the old Adamic heart and nature within. That is the ticket to freedom.

What again is the answer to this dilemma?

Our Old Nature Must Die on the Cross

So how does one get out of the bondage of sin and sinning?  How do we deal with this sin problem in our lives?  The scriptures say that  “He shall save His people from their sins.”  How does this happen?  Can we ever get in a “right” state with God?  What must we do?  There is only one thing to do with the carnal sinful self and that is to confess our depraved state, identify it with Christ on the cross, and let it die.  There is only one way for the body of sin to be destroyed for the old sinful Adamic nature; it must be crucified.  But we cannot really do anything to bring this on.  It is a total work of God that has already been done—at the cross.  We cannot do anything to deserve this wonderful deliverance from this death caused by sin and sinning.  All He wants us to do is believe what He has already done to deliver us from the bondage of sin.

First, we must know this one thing: our old man, our old ego, our old self, our old nature, our old heart, our old carnal nature, the flesh, the depraved body of sin within us—it is put to death with the sacrificial Lamb.  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:6.

Paul did not say that our old sinful nature was going to be taken care of some day when we all get to heaven.  No!  He said that it is dead, already put to death on the cross! That is not a misprint or a mis-translation.  The sacrificial Lamb of God took our sins upon Him at the time of His death.  He was our scapegoat, as when the Levitical priest laid hands on the goat transferring the sins of the people onto it.  Christ died as a sinful lost man that day, for He “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21).

He wants us to believe this—that our sinful nature died with Him on the cross, and that we was buried with Him, and that we were raised up with Him as well.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Romans 6:5.

Is this hard for us to believe?  Is it hard to have faith in this teaching?  Yet the elect will believe this word.  The others will fall as the children of Israel did through unbelief.  For you see that God is not asking us to do anything except believe what He has already done for us.  He first believed in His work in us long before we got here on this earth.

Entering the State of Being Right with God

And if we believe His word on this, then He will reckon a righteous status unto us. He will lay to our account that we are righteous in His eyes.  For it is God who makes the dead-in-sin come to life and imputes righteousness unto them because they believe Him.  Even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  Romans 4:17.

Our part is to surrender our old sinful selves unto the cross.  Because of our faith in His redemptive sacrifice by surrendering unto death our own sinful heart, then He says, “You are now my child, and you are now righteous in My sight.  You are welcome into my arms of love and mercy.  Just walk in it by forgiving others and doing my words.  For it is not you that are doing it, for you are dead now, my sons and daughters.  It is the Spirit of the living God that I have dispatched into your hearts.  It is the Spirit of Christ within you who I recognize as the one motivating spirit of your life.  And soon you will be able to truthfully say what Paul said to the Galatians.”  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. Gal. 2:20.

When we simply believe His apostle’s word and identify  our  depraved  carnal  nature with the Lamb that day, and surrender to the punishment of death to that old selfish way of life, then He is pleased.  That faith pleases Him very much, for we believe the report that He has given us concerning the Savior.

“Righteousness” is the upright walk in God’s ways and laws.  If one is righteous in God’s eyes, then He approves of their walk of faith.  Our old carnal Adamic nature can never please God, for it cannot keep the ten commandment law.  But there was one who did, even the Savior Himself.  Our part is to just believe that He is living within, for He is the Spirit, and His Spirit within keeps us in that righteous condition in God’s eyes.  Remember that He is the one who “calls those things that be not as though they were.”  He believes in His own sacrificial power; He can’t go back on it.  If we believe what He believes about us in our redeemed position with Him within, then we are walking in faith.

[The above is an excerpt from The Unveiling of the Sons of God. You may read a portion of it here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ or you may order a free copy of the trade paperback–details here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/donate/ ]  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under cross, crucified with Christ, death, death of self, faith, old self, repentance, resurrection, righteousness

The Difference Between 1st and 21st Century Christianity

The difference between 1st and 21st Century Christianity is vast. The God worshiped is the same, of course. But it is a question of focus.

The central point of the early church teachings was to introduce to both the followers of Judaism and to the pagan masses the Savior and His Passion. Neither of the two audiences believed the story of the Savior and His death, burial, and resurrection upon first hearing.

In the early disciples’ writings preserved for us in the New Testament, we find the “apostles’ doctrine,” which is the teachings of Christ concerning His kingdom and our place in it. To the Jews they taught that Christ was the Messiah prophesied of old and that He is the Son of Yahweh of the Old Testament writings. To the Gentiles they taught that Christ is the true God and Savior of the whole world. They were powerful advocates with His Spirit confirming with many signs and wonders.

The Difference

The early church was starting at ground zero. Most Jews rejected the Messiah, and the pagan masses clung to their false gods. So they told them about Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His love for them. This was a message that they had not heard before.

But today it is different. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of professing Christians reside all over this planet. It’s like that commercial: Q: Did you know that Christ is the Savior of the world?  A: Yes. Everyone knows that.

Today billions of Christians don’t need to be introduced to Christ and Him dying for us. What we need to know are the spiritual intricacies of what His death, burial, and resurrection mean in our own lives and how that ties into the greater plan and purpose of God reproducing Himself–in us! We need to know how His plan and purpose will come to pass since we as Christians are smack dab in it; we are, after all “the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). Oh, we do need to know how to get from being puny and powerless little babes in Christ to being the “fulness of Him.” In other words, to be like Christ.

And the early apostles planted the seeds on how to get there in our spiritual growth. But man’s religious Christian leaders have been stuck in the First Century, continually teaching their flocks today about Christ, seldom mentioning how to ignite the power of the Spirit in a believer’s heart and how to grow to become part of the “manifested sons of the living God.”

Why are the pastors and priests today still preaching sermons about Christ and not about how to become like Christ? Most don’t know, for they were never taught by their mentors. And if they do find out, they become afraid of their jobs, for most are hirelings, and they did not “count the cost” to fully follow Him. They are purveyors of weak pablum, for they have not “purged out the old leaven” of hypocrisy and falseness.

And yet, the early apostles sowed seeds for our growth as Christians in the 21st Century. They told us what would thwart our attempts to grow spiritually. Yes, they gave us the timeless truths of His salvation, but they also warned us of the treacherous times to come. They warned us of the blasphemy of some in the last days who would be selfish, ungrateful, unholy, hateful, and be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” They warned of evil seducers and how it would get worse and worse in their deceiving of Christians (II Tim. 3: 1-13). They called them “false prophets” and “false teachers” that will definitely “bring in damnable heresies” into the church congregations (2 Pet. 2; Jude 3-12).

And this is the tough one to swallow; they warned us that these deceivers would come to us as Christian pastors and teachers. Even in Paul’s day, the heresy had already begun. “False apostles and deceitful workers” were already “transforming themselves into the apostles of light. And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11: 13-15). I believe that many pastors today are sincere and have been deceived through the false teachings that started way back in the day.

And so these old leaven teachings are passed on down from generation to generation. That is why the deeper things are not taught. Our adversary does not want them taught; he does not desire God’s plan for His body to come to fruition. Satan does not want us to grow. He does not want us to dig deep and grow up into Him.

Some Deeper Things

We all know that through His great love for us, Christ offered up Himself on the cross unto death. However, it is not enough to believe that He died, was buried, and was raised from the dead. We must believe that our old sinful nature died with Christ on the cross. When He died, all the sins of every human being died, also. When He gave up the ghost, our old heart, old spirit, and old nature died along with Him. Then we are buried with Him, and then we are “raised to walk in a newness of life.” It is all right there in Romans 6.

“He that is dead is freed from sin.” When we truly believe in His resurrection, we are believing in our own resurrection. For at the moment of Christ’s death, He took on Himself the sin of us all. He died as a sinner. He was our scapegoat offering for sin. That was us up there on the cross. That’s why the apostle Paul tells us, “You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3: 3).

But this message is not preached very often. Not many anymore want to be told that they have to “reckon themselves dead” on the cross and let their old sinful selves die, and then by faith in Christ’s resurrection, be risen with Him (Col. 2: 12). Not a popular message. Most would rather hear about Christ dying, not them dying.

Now when we really believe this, astounding things happen. The hand that stole, steals no more. The eye that lusted and coveted no longer yearns for things it cannot have. Cursing vanishes. Joy replaces bitterness and despair. We become new creatures in Christ.

This transformation, of course, is provided by our Savior through His great love and mercy. This is wonderful, but it is only the first step in “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” But this puts us on the right track, on the way to growing up and maturing into the full grown sons and daughters of God.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, baptism, body of Christ, church, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, eternal purpose, false doctrines, false prophets, false teachers, kingdom of God, manifestation of the sons of God, old leaven, old self, sons and daughters of God, Spirit of God, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle