Sins remitted and the ‘Ticket to Heaven’, but there’s so much more!
Most people believe that Jesus ascended into Heaven. However few seem to know what this means to them in their own life.
If we put the Bible back on the shelf after merely fulfilling Romans 10v9 just to get into Heaven through salvation, we are sadly missing the majority of the Gospel. That is, to our detriment, and those in our path that need Jesus.
Believers Are Dead to Sin, Alive to God
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
When we give our lives to Christ Jesus, when we allow him into our hearts, when we confess that he is Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead, the Bible says in Romans 10v9 we are saved.
Part of becoming saved is that we are baptized into His death (see Rom 6v3 above). God recreates our heart, our spirit. We become a new creation, as stated in:
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
See here that the old things passed away. What old things? The old you! What happened to the old me? It died with Christ Jesus on the cross. The old self that was sin-ruled since the first birth (out of our Mother’s womb). We did not know any different, but to sin. That is because we had a sin-nature. It was inherent in us, we did not need to be taught it. This goes back to the sin committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3 regarding the Fall of Man.)
Now however, the Bible says in:
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
God the Father made Jesus who was sinless, had never done anything wrong, become sin on OUR behalf. All of our sin, past present and future was placed onto Jesus on the cross, and thus our old sin-ruled self has died on the cross with Jesus!
Without Jesus doing this, salvation would not be possible, as there would be no way back to God following the events of the Fall of Man.
So now understand this placing of our sins on the cross with Jesus is us being baptized into his death.
Sin no longer has a hold on a new believer, positionally. The devil Satan has no rights over you once you choose to receive Jesus and make him your Lord. That is because now you have been bought by the blood of Jesus, have become one of his, and no are no longer a child of the devil (1 John 3:10).
Romans chapter 6 continues (bold emphasis mine):
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
One of the huge victories Christ Jesus won for those who believe in him is that our old “body of sin might be done away with” (v6 above), having been nailed to the cross with Jesus. This is you FINALLY being set FREE by Jesus! You are no longer a slave to sin, seemingly being controlled and overwhelmed by it, while your own feeble efforts as an unbeliever are not sufficient to overcome it. That is until you become a believer and God’s Grace becomes sufficient. Not a license to sin, but rather the strength of God’s will to support and help you resist the temptations of the devil and to give you a way of escape (1 Cor 10v13).
If we are dead to sin, why do some of us still decide to habitually embroil ourselves in it? Here I am not talking of the odd slip and fall, but the deliberate and habitual sin that we apply effort into practicing. Because we have a free will, and we decide to push aside the conviction of the Holy Spirit because the temptations are “just too strong” to say no to. Or so some of us tend to believe. However, 1 Cor 10v13 shows us that no temptation is strong enough to say no to for a believer. We must not try to raise the old man back up and continue habitually living in our former ways. We must act who we now are, a totally different creature or species. To do this we must focus on Jesus, while at the same time study the Truth that is God’s Word, and believe what is written is the truth, and act it out in our daily lives. This is the mind being renewed, which is essential to giving further distance to our old ways:
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
The bible says that the carnal mind is enmity against God (Rom 8:7). We owe it to God — the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit to walk as Jesus walked.. Holy (1 Peter 1:15). However tough it is to say “no” to temptation, know that is the RIGHT thing to do. Seek God first and His Righteousness. (Matt 6:33). Do your best to walk upright.
It is to our detriment and thousands of people that God wants to bless through us, that we abuse our new self with the sin that causes us not to be as effective in bringing the Light that is in us to the darkness of this world, the Life that is Jesus who is in us to the suffering of this world. Not to mention we end up with a sin consciousness, where we should focus on a righteousness consciousness. We will slip and fall from time to time. This is not habitual. In these cases, we can apply 1 John 1:9, repent (change our thinking, do a 180 degree turn around and walk in the ‘right’ way again.) and it says Jesus is faithful to forgive as we confess our sins.
Remember, we are a NEW creation!
Put On the New Self
1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Galatians 2:20 says that you are no longer alive, but it’s Christ living in you!
20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Let us not act someone who we are not. Sin has no grip on us any more. Simply don’t play games with fire any more. Leave it well alone, and focus on doing the Great Commission of Jesus (Mark 16; Matthew 28) and you will be fulfilling James 4:7, and the devil will leave you well alone:
7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Finally, Romans 6 verses 8-11 (bold emphasis mine):
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Consider yourselves to be dead to sin.
Each time the devil reminds you of your past and your old sins, tell him that old man is dead, and now you are a new creation.
Consider yourselves to be alive to God in Christ Jesus.
There is much work to be done, to set the captives free (Isaiah 61), to lay hands on the sick and see them recover (Mark 16:18). No time to be wasted foolishly. There are people dying, people sick, people who need Jesus, and you the believer are CARRYING HIM!
7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.