Tag Archives: Romans 6

Faith He Rose Not Enough–With Him We Rose, Too

It is not enough to believe that Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead. We must believe that our old Adamic nature died with Him, was buried with Him, and by believing in His resurrection, we too are “raised to walk in a newness of life.”[Romans 6: 4].

This is what He requires us to do. It is not difficult to believe that Christ existed and went through what the scriptures said He went through. “Even the devils believe in one God and tremble” [James 2:19]. But He is requiring His followers to go all in, to lay it all on the line, to get skin in the game. And we do that by giving up our old lives, ambitions, haunts, addictions, habits–you get the idea. He tells us to “count the cost” to see if we have the right stuff to complete the spiritual growth process He wants us to go through in order to become like Him. I’ll repeat that: to become just like Him.

We must first realize that the moment Christ expired on the cross, your sin nature and mine died along with Him. That was us dying there. He took our sins upon Him and through death eradicated them out of existence. All the sins of every human being, along with the old nature that gave rise to the sin, died when He died [Romans 6: 1-15]. This is precious knowledge that is seldom heard on Sundays around the world.

And then Christ was buried, and with Him was buried all the sins of mankind. Your sins and my sins, along with our old sinful nature that generated the evilness in the first place–they died and were buried.

And then we believe that Christ rose from the dead. But it wasn’t just Him that rose, but we rose too! He is so merciful to provide a way for us to have a new life–before our physical body goes back to dust. He rose, we rose, by believing it so. He said it; He wrote it; we are now  just to believe it.

So it is not just believing that only Christ rose from the dead. We rose with Him. But all we have are His words promising this new life if we believe the above. We must believe words that express this truth, written down by Christ’s followers almost 2,000 years ago. And that takes faith, which is believing having not seen the evidence beforehand.

The Seed Germinates

When we really believe in our own death, burial and resurrection, which happened simultaneously with His, then the light of truth ignites within our hearts. It is like when a seed is planted in the garden. The warmth of the sun combines with the moisture in the earth and then–a miracle happens.

The old seed ceases to exist in its original state. It dies, losing its old identity. Its old outward shell goes back to dust as its new inner life springs out to the light and warmth of the sun. We as God’s offspring are given birth like those garden seeds. It is a miracle.

The original spiritual Seed is the Word of God. Christ is the Author and Finisher of our faith. An author writes the script. And this Author wrote the play of Life having Himself come in flesh and give Himself as a ransom for all of us. And He would be the Word of God enacted on the earth. And that Word became the Seed. And when that Word is believed by us–about Him and us as outlined above–then we become “new creatures in Christ.” We become part of the enactment of the Play. We are in it! Or rather, He is in us, enacting the love one to another, which is His nature and is an integral part of the Script.

““Most assuredly, I say to you, 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). That wheat seed that Christ was talking about was Himself. If He does not go to the cross, then He would remain alone. But if He dies, then many more grains–just like Himself–will be produced. He would have reproduced Himself through the self-sacrifice.

The same thing is true for man. If a person chooses to not die with Christ, then he will face the  lonely, dusty tomb of death.

But if we choose His way of life, then our old sinful heart dies and we are freed from its clutches. We were slaves to sin and sinning, but we now are liberated from the slavemaster sin.

And like that seed in the garden, through belief in the word of promise that the Son/Word/Seed proclaimed, we newly sprout up with the very power of the Creator surging with life through our new being.

Sprouted Wheat Grows into Grain

We like freshly sprouted wheat are together become potential grain that the Master mills into flour which He uses to make the spiritual “bread of life.” But we must grow to full maturity till we “come to seed” and can become flour for baking that bread.

For all this to happen, we must grow from that little sprouted blade of wheat. Christ explains that the kingdom of God is like the earth that brings forth fruit of itself. A man sows the seed, and it comes up–“first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head” (Mark 4: 28).

Brothers and sisters, we are His seed; we are God’s children. And we are meant to grow. That is our destiny: to become just like Him and to be used to make the bread of life. If we are not growing into maturity, something is wrong!

To mature like this, we must “purge out the old leaven” and the false teachings that well meaning people have passed down to us. We must be ready to “dig deep” and study His word diligently and do it in the face of the opposition that will come–mostly from those of our own family and circle of friends and acquaintances.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

3 Comments

Filed under baptism, cross, crucified with Christ, death, death of self, faith, false doctrines, kingdom of God, light, old leaven, resurrection, sin, spiritual growth

I Will Remember Him That Way–Elegy for My Mentor

I thought of my spiritual mentor who passed away some nine years ago now.  Without him and his love and patience, I would not have come out of the depraved selfish existence I led in my old life.  I wrote this elegy upon hearing of his death.  I want to share it with you.

I Will Remember Him That Way

I will remember him, but not for his last days on earth.

I will recall three decades ago, when the world was mad

and senseless and cruel,

When a young man and woman so in need of love

and patience

And so full of fear and loss and alienation, with cynicism

in full rotten bloom—

I’ll remember him that day, that warm April East Texas

spring day

When the joy emanating from his countenance hit me right

in the chest

As I strutted in with a smirk that said,

Okay, show me what you got,

Because I’ve just about given up the search for truth,

although I talk about it all the time,

And I know that my old self is my nemesis, my master, my

ruin,

And I can’t get rid of it by myself, because my self is my

very problem,

And I know that it has to die, and I’ve looked three years in

books from India,

And books from China, and books from Persia,

And none of the sages of the East could tell me how to put

my self to death,

And live to tell about it,

And I knew that I would waste my time

In looking to the christian buildings which cannot hold

moms and dads together in love—

So as a last futile foray for the truth before I give up

And sink into the numbness of nothingness,

I was thinking, Okay, show me what you got.

And he did, as I remember the joy and the love that swept

down on me,

As he spoke of a certain writer named Paul who spoke of

an old man Adam

Who was now put to death with the Lamb in a Roman 6

finality

And who could be raised to walk in a newness of life.

“You mean that my old self, my old ego, can die?”

I asked out loud that April morning in the cedar cabin in the

East Texas woods.

“That’s exactly what Paul is saying.”

And so I had finally found my sign that I had searched for.

I’ll remember him that way,

As the joyous messenger of my joy in God.

I’ll remember how he let me keep sleeping till noon the first

time we spent the night,

Under his breakfast table in the tarpaper shack,

For I was bidden to come and rest, and he let me rest.

I’ll recall the joy and deliverance from tobacco, drugs, alcohol,

and cursing.

I’ll remember him that way.

I’ll remember the countless times I robbed him of his rest,

And he would smile,

Knowing I was special in the hands of God.

I’ll remember him that way.

I’ll remember a man who believed in me like no one had done

before.

I’ll remember the days of Pepsi and popcorn,

And winter mornings, wood burning stove, kettle on top,

Cool mornings full of hot tea and scriptures,

When riches meant nothing and material possessions held no

power over us,

As we sat laughing into the gentle breezy piney woods evenings,

Secure at last that, yes, there is a God with a plan and purpose,

And all was as it should be here on earth at this moment.

I’ll remember him that way.

I’ll remember Tom as the mentor of my youth,

Who awakened me to greater things than my old self,

Who showed me how to speak to tens of thousands

about the Kingdom.

I’ll remember him as the one who helped me

along the road to God,

Who patiently in those early days,

taught me all the Truth he knew.

And so I ask, What more can any one man do?

I’ll remember him that way.

I’ll not let those early days be blotted out of my memory

By judging him on his last days on earth—

No matter how much it hurt—

I’ll leave all judgements of him to God and to bitter little hearts

Who can’t remember him in the early days.

But I’ll remember him that way.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

Leave a comment

Filed under apostles' doctrine, crucified with Christ, death of self, old self, repentance, truth