Tag Archives: death of self

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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Exploring the Mind of God–His Love, Purpose, and Plan

Distilling the mind of God into the ink of a single page is like trying to put a cloud burst into a coffee cup. After the torrent, we see a bit of the water of heaven captured in a small finite vessel, a symbol of the moisture poured forth on the thirsty land.

That cup of truth may satisfy the parched souls of only a few pilgrims who stop for refreshment. Hopefully this cup of rain reminds them of the firmament from which it fell.

The mind of God. How do we begin to consider and relate such ethereal thoughts? Perhaps when our finite minds decrease and His infinite wisdom increases in them.

The Hebrew God has left us a record of His thoughts that emanates from His mind as revealed to His prophets of old. This record of His thoughts were written down and miraculously preserved through the millenia for us in the last days. They are called the “scriptures of truth,” or the writings of truth.

Thousands of years ago, God spoke His mind to His people using the prophets, who wrote it down. Now God speaks to us by His Son, the heir of all things, the King of God’s Kingdom (Heb. 1: 1-2). The prophets knew the mind of God because the “Spirit of Christ…was in them” (I Pet. 1: 11). These prophets “spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (II Pet. 1: 21). They had the Spirit of Christ in them and were longing for our day, the day when the Spirit of Christ is multiplied and reproduced into a body of “many sons [and daughters] unto glory”–right here on earth!

The Spirit of Christ in the prophets of old longed for that time about 2,000 years ago for the Father Yahweh’s Son to come on the scene. For with His arrival, the Seed Son then could be planted in the earth. They knew that there could be no great harvest without the planting of the Seed Son into the earth. Christ, reflecting on His date with death, said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12: 24 NKJV).

Without Christ’s death and resurrection, there would be no harvest of “grain,” no reproduction of seed. By definition, grain is reproducible seed. And in this case, Christ is teaching us that by believing Him, we become just like the original Seed that was planted. The harvest is not a harvest of little immature seedlings. No. It is a harvest of seeds, like the original, ready to be planted for their own harvest.

With Christ’s planting of Himself literally in the tomb in the earth, we have the inevitable harvest of Seed just like Him! That is what He said. And He is speaking the mind of God. He is speaking the thoughts of God about His purpose, which is this: God is reproducing Himself in a group of people called and chosen for this purpose.

That is worthy of repeating over and over in our finite minds. God is reproducing Himself in a body of people from all over the earth. He is calling them and choosing them. It is all His doing. It is all Him. They did not work for this honor. To the contrary. He has chosen the weak, the foolish, the low, and the despised of the earth to bring to nothing the world and its thinking (I Cor. 1: 27).

The Plan Is Found in the Scriptures

If you peel back all the layers of the Seed, you will find the seminal heart to be Unselfish Love. God is Love, and Love cannot by its very nature do anything but share. God is sharing Himself.

And in the very beginning, God, of course, realized this about Himself. He knew that the wonderful thing that He is is Love, and Love shares and magnifies and expresses and ultimately reproduces itself. That is what unselfish love, the love from above, is.

So this reproduction of Himself, which is Love, became His Purpose and Life. In His Mind of Love He created thoughts comprised of words. And with these words and thoughts He created the Plan to make His Purpose happen.

Using His thoughts, comprised of words, He created the  concept of “seed time and harvest.” And He made the original Seed His Word, and He made it incorruptible (I Pet. 1: 23).

We must pause a moment and realize that this whereof we speak was in the beginning before this dimension in which we breathe existed.

God created the Plan to carry out His Purpose of Reproducing Himself (Love). And this Plan is laid out in the scriptures of truth. To the prophets and apostles He revealed a precept here and a precept there, but we now have the privelege of seeing all the pieces to the puzzle spread before us. And with the Spirit of Christ within us, we through His help can comprehend the mysteries of God’s Plan.

His Plan, which is expressed in words, becomes the Word, the Logos. And this entire Plan of His Purpose of Reproducing Love is all poured into the Son of God. “And the Word (Logos) was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory…” (John 1: 14).

The Plan and Purpose is all in the Seed, who is the Word, who is the Son of God. The Father, whose thoughts we have endeavored to explore, poured His everything into His Son–His very nature, His purpose, His plan. It is all there in Him. That’s the reason the apostle Paul says, “He is before all things, and by Him all things consist (Col. 1: 17-18).

And Christ is our Head, and we are His body. He now needs His body to agree with His Mind, the Mind of God. And God’s Mind becomes our mind when we agree with His thoughts.      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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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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The Law and the Testimony of Love That Fulfills It–How to Prevent Backsliding

“Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Which law? The Ten Commandments, the breaking of which constitutes the definition of sin (I John 3: 4; Rom. 13: 8-10).

Which “love” is it then? It is the love from above–agape love. It is only through agape love that the law can be kept. Natural man without this love cannot keep the law, no matter how hard he works to keep it. It is spiritual, and it takes a new spirit from a brand new heart to keep it.

This divine law is the standard that man can and must attain unto, but it will be only through God’s Spirit helping him. In fact, that is precisely the point. The only way that a man stops breaking the Ten Commandments–stops sinning, in other words– is by receiving a new spirit from God.

The Greatest Love

In order for this to happen, one must visit the source of agape love. The source is God Himself and what He did for us. He gave us His Son. Yahweh was in Christ, “reconciling the world unto Himself” (II Cor. 5: 19). It is the laying down of His life on the cross that is the greatest love. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15: 13).

When we believe this love that Christ showed, when we are grateful and appreciative for this selfless act, and when we do what Christ did, then this great agape love that He exhibited in dying for us is transferred into and through us to others. We then become a channel of God’s love, which is His essence, for “God is love” (I John 4: 16).

This agape love is the essence of His Spirit, which He gives to us. And this love inside our new hearts in the form of His Spirit, now courses through us.

We must see that Christ “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5: 21). And we must identify our old sinful law-breaking selfish nature with Christ on the cross. We must believe that when He died, our old sinful nature died with Him. Same goes with His burial. And–HalleluYah!–when we believe that He rose from the dead, we rise, also, to walk in a newness of life! He is not our substitute; He is our example.

It is all lined out in Romans 6. Our old sinful Adamic nature must die with Christ on the cross. And be buried with Him. And through belief that He arose from the dead, God will raise us up with a new heart! For which is easier for God to perform–raising Christ from a three day death or giving us a new heart that is free from sin and sinning?

This is the crux of the matter. This is the rock solid foundation that will never be shaken. Just feeling guilty about the sin in one’s life and walking down to the front of a church building will not sustain a young convert to Christ. How many have we seen “back slide” into the slop and vomit of their old lives?

The crux? Do we believe that Christ was raised from the dead? Not just the historical resurrection some 2,000 years ago. It is believing that Christ, when He arose then, now arises IN US. Do we believe that? For that is the crux of the matter. Even the devils believe in one God and tremble (James 2: 19). So believing that Christ’s historical resurrection is not enough. It is believing that His Spirit is resurrected in us–that is the important thing. That is the solid Rock in us that cannot be moved. That is what prevents backsliding into the old life of sin.

When this Spirit of agape love, now in us, begins to flow through us to others, then the law is fulfilled in us. Love fulfills the law in us. This is the testimony of God’s Spirit incarnate once again in us.

And now the old scripture passage becomes clear. “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8: 20). Those that speak of this law and the testimony that keeps the law through divine love, have the light of God. If they don’t speak in agreement with the law and this testimony of what fulfills it, then beware of them, for there is no light in them.     [For much more on this visit here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/light/ ]

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Christ’s Doctrine Is Astonishing

The most distinguishing characteristic of Christ’s doctrine is that it is astonishing. “And they were astonished at His doctrine, for His word was with power” (Luke 4: 32).

The word “astonished” in the Greek means “to be struck with amazement as by lightening.” The Latin roots of our English word is “to be thunderstruck.” In both, there is an attack on our complacency. We are shocked and shaken, as when a lightening bolt and its deafening blast of thunder hits so close that it frightens us and shakes us to our core. That is what the doctrine of Christ does to the hearer.

He owned the words He was saying, and they had a force that shook up the hearers. His word was with power because He did not speak words about  the word of God, but He spoke God’s words. Big difference. Christ’s mouth was God’s mouth, and His words were “spirit and life” to the hearers. And God is still speaking by His Spirit, now desiring to speak through us.

However, most preachers today, at best, speak about God. Many speak only about themselves. Just briefly listen  to them. They go on and on numbingly about their personal lives, and you keeping waiting patiently, but precious few have God speaking His words through them. Their teachings are not astonishing, for their words are not with power. Their doctrine is filled with words about God, not words from God. If the message spoken by modern ministers is not astonishing, then it needs to be re-examined to see if it really is the word of God or just words.

But Christ spoke the Father’s words, the word of God. And we know that the word of God is powerful (Heb. 4: 12). And the hearers of it will be astonished!

The Teachings that Bring Astonishment

What exactly did Christ say to them that shook them out of the rut of their everyday lives? He told them, “Repent,” the first of His doctrines [1]. And the hearers were “astonished at His doctrine.” Why?

When you and I bear witness to the heart-changing doctrine of true repentance from sin, when we stand up and testify before others that this hand that stole steals no more, and this tongue that cursed, swears no more, and these eyes that lusted after women desires them no more, and this mouth that lied in self-promotion and delusions of grandeur now issues forth the sweet waters of love and encouragement to those that thirst–this is an astonishing miracle of transformation of the human heart.

This is an astounding change that God has wrought in my heart–a change totally sustained by the heart that He has given me, a heart that is new, a heart that is born from above, a heart transplanted from heaven by the Great Physician who has done a truly marvelous work, a lasting work founded upon His great love and mercy in that while we were yet sinners, “Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5: 6).

That is astonishing! To be in such a state of grace (favor from God) that I am now free from the slave master called Sin! “For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom. 6: 7). Dying with Christ on the cross is how we repent of our sins and how we are made free by faith in Him. I am now free from the bondage of sin and sinning! That is astonishing!

And you are free now, too. He has already secured our liberty from the bondage to sin! We just need to believe it! Which is, of course, the second principle of Christ’s doctrine, which is the milk of the word that helps us to grow up and be another Peter, John, James, or Paul. I know this is what we all want–to walk in power. But first things first.

First, we need to surrender our old self to the death of the cross with Christ, die with Him, be buried with Him, and by believing that He was raised from the dead, we too can walk in a “newness of life.” What’s newer than being freed from sin and sinning?

You know that Christ came to take away our sins, thus destroying the works of the devil. “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” [2].

That is astonishing! That is earth shaking and heart rending. This is it. No more playing around. This is repentance from sin, the first of the principles of the doctrine of Christ, the first cup of the milk of the word, and it is astonishing!

{Send this milk on to all you know and love. They are hungry for righteousness; they need it. Feed His lambs, brothers and sisters. Feed them…Visit my new blog The Milk of the Word devoted to the first principles of Christ’s doctrine found here: https://themilkoftheword.wordpress.com/ } Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1. Matt. 3: 2 & 4: 17; Mark 1: 15, 6: 12; Luke 13: 3 among others

2. I John 3: 5-9

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Doctrine of Baptisms–Baptized into His Death Frees Us from Sin

The early apostles taught their third doctrine–the “doctrine of baptisms–with an “s.”  For there are several baptisms in the Christian walk–not just the one with water.

The first baptism mentioned was John the Baptist’s “baptism unto repentance.”  He encouraged the people to repent of their sins, be baptized in water, thus pointing them to the Lamb of God, who would soon become the Sacrifice for all men’s sins.  “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I…he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Mt. 3:11).  Here we have three baptisms in one verse.

The baptism in water is symbolic of the death of our old sinful heart (see post on this at https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/baptismempty-ritual-or-symbol-of-death-of-self/ ).  Paul taught that it was symbolic of being immersed into Christ’s death.  “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6: 3).

Just How Are We Immersed into Christ’s Death?

     Just before Christ died, this perfectly sinless man took upon Himself the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future.  Sin was transferred onto this sin offering, and He died with all our sins upon Him.  Consequently, when He died, my old self died.  When He died that day, our old selfish egos died.

When He was literally buried in the tomb, our old lives were buried.  Gone.  Over with.  And when He rose from the dead, we rose from the deadness of our sinful existence, into a brand new wonderful life, energized with God’s Spirit now within (for more on this, see “Introduction” of my book The Unveiling of the Sons of God  found at the top of this page).  All this has already been done for us by God.  We have to only believe it when we read it in Romans 6: 3-7 :

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.  Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”

We are now free from sin–if we really believe it.  Free!  We are no longer slaves to the pulls, urges, and demands of that old spiritual nature that held us in bondage to do sinful acts!  I’m talking about revolutionary freedom here!  We were dead to sin, but now we live unto God by faith in the Spirit that He has given us.

Water baptism is just the symbol of this immersion into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.  Believing and walking in this truth is the reality.  But God has promised his sons and daughters more and greater baptisms–the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of fire, which takes us into the very presence of God’s transformative power.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, baptism, cross, crucified with Christ, death, death of self, forgiveness, old self, repentance