Dead To The Law!

By Lenny Antonsson

 

August 9, 1998

Neosho, MO

 

In my daily meditations this week, as usual, I was "standing in the gap" for the men in the Sunday School class, where God has sent me as a witness to His power and glory. The Spirit gave me a lesson for them. It is this: Since I've been attending this men's Sunday School class, I've heard several of you say, "We're sinners saved by grace." Is that really true? Do you know what you're saying? When you say that you're a sinner saved by grace right now, you are saying that your old Adam nature is still alive in you. It is the old Adam nature who was the sinner in you and that sinner was crucified with Christ. It was buried in baptism with Christ. You rose again a new man, a new creation. Old things have passed away; "Behold, all things have become new." (II Cor. 5:17). You are a new heaven and a new earth. The old heaven and the old earth have passed away. (II Pet. 3:10; Rev. 21:1). You are the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven, (Rev. 21:2) or coming from the presence of God; yes, you are coming from the presence of God because you are seated with Christ in heavenly places. (Eph. 1:3). These are the facts. Now, when you say that you are a sinner saved by grace, after you were crucified with Christ, after you were buried with Christ; then you are just like the Israelites. After they had seen the power of God's deliverance, and had wandered the desert for awhile, they realized they had really been comfortable with the leeks and garlic of Egypt, and they had been comfortable with the fact that they were always told what to do. They did not have to make any of their own choices, even if they were punished when they didn't do what they were supposed to. They murmured and complained against God and against His servant, Moses. (Numbers 11:1-34).

The same thing has happened to you. You have realized that you were very comfortable with the law. The law is for the natural, and for the part of the soul that the natural has taken over. The purpose of the law is to control the natural; to tell it what to do, just like the Israelites as slaves in Egypt were told what to do. It is exactly the same thing. The law is tangible. You know what's going to happen if you don't follow it. You are so comfortable with this way of life that you dug up the old man again so that you could go back into the law. When you do that, I want you to know that you are an adulterer! You cannot be married to two people at once; joined to two different things. Here, in Romans 7, it clearly says that if a woman marries another man while her first husband is still alive, she is an adulteress, but if the man dies, then she is free from the law to marry another. In verse 4, it clearly says, "Likewise my brethren, you have died to the law through the body of Christ so that you may be married to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God." Christ is the one to whom you are married. Can you see here what the writer is talking about in the first three verses? To whom did you die? The law. The first man is the law. The woman is you, the church, and the second man is Christ. Just as the law says, you cannot marry another unless your first husband is dead. That's what this verse is saying here, that you have to be dead to the law before you can marry Christ. When you say that you are a sinner saved by grace, you are saying that your sinful nature, your old man, is still alive; that it has not been crucified with Christ; that it has not been killed by the law, and yet you are still married to Christ. You are an adulterer. You are married to the law and you are married to Christ at the same time! That is adultery in the eyes of God!

Living in that type of spiritual adultery is terrible. You cannot have the abundant life (Jn. 10:10) that Jesus is talking about when you are trying to be married to Christ and to the law at the same time. You must let go of the law. You have to be free to marry Christ. That's why Jesus said, "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another." (Jn. 13:34). By saying that, He is saying that you are free from the law because under the law, there is no commandment to love one another. There are plenty of commandments saying how you must behave toward one another, but not that you have to love one another. But now, the law is no more your authority, the control in you, for as the Hebrew writer explains, it is obsolete, growing old, and is "ready to vanish away." (Heb. 8:13). The law is no more your school master, for it did its job in bringing us to Christ. (Gal. 3:24). Your natural Adam nature is dead. You do not need the law anymore because dead men don't need law. Paul wrote the Colossians, "For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Col. 3:3). Since your old man has been done away with; therefore you are free in Christ. The law is for the natural; the Spirit of God is for our spirit, and we are spiritual beings now, not that we are going to be spiritual "bye and bye in the sky when we die." No, we are spiritual beings right now. It is impossible for you to be a sinner saved by grace and to be joined to Christ, to be an heir and a joint heir with Christ; (See Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29;4:7; Eph. 3:6; Tit. 3:7; Heb. 1:14; Jas. 2:5; I Pet. 3:7) at the same time. It cannot be done. You have to accept one or the other.

There is no place in the Bible that it states that these wonderful spiritual gifts are going to happen to you when you get to heaven. The promises of God, spoken of in the Bible, are in the present tense. Now is the acceptable day of the Lord. (II Cor. 6:2, Rev. 12:10). Today is the day of his salvation. "Now, are we the sons of God." (I Jn. 3:2). Not in the sky bye and bye when we die, but now!. In Jn. 14, Jesus said, "I am in you and you are in me." (Jn. 14:20). These verses make it very clear that it has happened already to us. It is not something in the future. Paul says, don't you know that you ARE the temple of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit. You are not your own. (I Cor. 6:19). He did not say, you are going to be. He said YOU ARE - present tense. I think that everyone in this class who thinks that you are a sinner saved by grace, needs to be baptized and push that old man down under all the way, and then come out and leave him buried there. Don't pick him up again. I know it's very comfortable to be in the law. It feels good. You are at home when you are in the law, but that's not the answer. You have a choice; you can be free with Christ and soar in spiritual things if you let go of your natural man, of the old Adam nature. Don't you want to be free to soar in the heavenlies with Christ? to be a spiritual being? to be a new man? What did Jesus call those who were in the law, living by law, laying law on everyone else? He said, "You are blind leaders of the blind." (Matt: 14; Lk. 6:39). Paul said we were "dead in trespasses and sins." (Eph. 2:1). People living under law are not alive, though they may appear to be living, which is exactly what Jesus said to the church at Sardis. (Rev. 3:1). When he spoke to the man who said, "I want to follow you, but I want to go home and bury my father first," Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead." (Matt. 8:22; Lk. 9:60). He's talking about those who are dead in trespasses and sin. He says let them bury each other.

You have become alive unto God. (Lk. 20:38; Rom. 6:11). His messengers are "a flame of fire." (Heb. 1:7). That's what you are. How can you think that you are baptized in the Holy Spirit and baptized in fire, being cleansed in the refining process of God if you are still sinners saved by grace, and you're still sinning, like you're saying? It is an impossibility for that to be so. I have to say the same thing as Paul said, "Have you started out in the Spirit and now you're going to finish up in the flesh, in the law?" (Gal. 3:3). That's what's happening to you. I know exactly what you're going through because I've been in the same place. I was so comfortable with the law because I knew what was going to happen if I didn't follow the law. Walking in the Spirit is more difficult, because the Spirit is so illusive; it is so hard to catch hold of the Spirit of God; to catch hold of spiritual things, you have to totally rely on the Holy Spirit as your teacher to reveal the mystery of the Gospel to you. Whereas in the law, it's just clear cut.

So, when you leave the law and enter into marriage with Christ and begin to understand all these spiritual things which are so illusive, it's very difficult to stay there because you have nothing to hold on to. You are forgiven, but you don't understand what that means because you don't fully understand the mystery of the Gospel. It is a place where God is totally in charge and controls everything. (Eph. 1:11). Whereas in the law, you were able to control yourself, or at least you tried. You knew what would happen if you didn't follow the law. (Deut. 11:26-28). And if you did follow the law, you knew that God would bless you. (II Chron. 7:14). That's how simple it was. It's not that way anymore. Being in love with Christ and knowing that Christ loves you unconditionally is a wonderful thing, but there's no structure in it. There's nothing tangible there. There's nothing you can touch, see, or hear, or feel in it at all. Only when the Spirit of God comes to teach you or to give you revelation, or to give you a vision or a dream, do you know that you are fully in God, and all the other times, you're there, but you don't know it. You don't feel it; you don't see it; you don't taste it; you don't smell it; you don't hear it. It's a very difficult place to be, to totally, totally, totally trust God for everything and with everything.

This is especially hard in the beginning when you are an infant and a child in God; (I Jn. 2:12) when you become a teenager, a young adult and know you have the power of God, you go out there and practice and pray for people for their healing; you pray to cast out demons; you are flexing your spiritual muscles, and it feels good, but until you reach that point where you see some results, it is a very, very difficult place to be in. (I Jn. 2: 13). When you become an adult in God, and you put aside the first principles of Christ, (Heb. 6:1-3) then you totally trust the Father, and it is a totally comfortable place to be in. (I Jn. 2:14). You know that God is all in all. You are with God; you are in God; you are of God; there is no question about that whatsoever. In Him, do you live and move and have your being. He is all in all. (Eph. 4:6). You start realizing what Jesus said when He said, "You must be born again to see the kingdom of God." (Jn. 3:3).

As an adult, you start seeing the kingdom of God. You recognize that God is totally in control. He is in charge of everything. You realize that there is not a second of your life that He has not been in control of; and now, you see His handiwork through out your entire life. There He was, every moment of the day, fulfilling your life, bringing you forward, bringing you from glory to glory. (II Cor. 3:18). You see it in the present right now. In the now, God is God in your life, totally controlling you, totally doing what He wants to do with your life, teaching you what He wants to teach you. You reach a place where John the Apostle said, in one of His letters, that the Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth comes to teach you, you have no need that any man teach you because now, you are being taught spiritual things by the Spirit, (I Jn. 2:27) and man can only teach you religious things, but it takes the Spirit of God to teach you spiritual things.

And that's where you are now, as a mature Christian, you and God are totally one. You have been to the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Rev. 19:7,9). You have become married to the Lamb of God, the Christ, the anointed one, and you are one. The sting of the law is gone. (I Cor. 15:56). The law is there to reveal sin; (Rom. 7:7-9) that's all the law can do, but the old man, sold into sin under the law is dead. (Rom. 7:4,6). You are now free; (Jn. 8:36) you are married to Christ, anointed by the Holy One of God, and the scripture says, "He that is born of God does not sin." (I Jn. 3:9). Yes, it is true. This is how you can walk from now on in the freedom of God, knowing that you are in Him and of Him. He is your portion; He is your source; He is your food, (Jn. 6:33, 35, 48, 51) He is your inheritance, and you are His; (See Ps. 33:12; 82:8; Micah 7:18; Gal. 3:18; Eph. 5:5) and He is your very great reward. (Gen. 15:10). You are in Him, (I Jn. 4:15-16) and you are of Him. You are his very personality, his character, even His very DNA. Christ has turned you over to the Father and the Father is now all in all.

I just want you to know that I know God is totally in charge of every one of your lives and He has you exactly where He wants you right now, (Heb. 6:3) but I just want you to see where you are. I'm not criticizing or complaining about you; I'm not trying to lift you up or put you down. I'm just stating the facts to you, about where God has you right now. He has opened your understanding to see so much and no more, and that is His problem and His domain. He has put you where you are. We cannot blame it on ourselves. I'm not trying to condemn you with law or lift you up. I am just sharing with you where God has you, exactly where He has you, and it is His responsibility to bring you from this place where you are into greater truth. He does this line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, (Is. 28:13), until you stand before Him perfect and holy, not because of anything you have done or thought or said, but because He is perfect and holy, (Matt. 5: 48; Lev. 20:26) and you were called to be holy. (I Cor. 1:2). You cannot be anything other than what He is, for He chose you in Him before the foundations of the world. (Eph. 1:4). He lives in you, (Gal. 2:20) and when Christ is fully formed in you, (Gal. 4:19) you will be like him. (I Jn. 3:2). May God open the eyes of your understanding as He did for the disciples walking along the Emmaus Road. They did not recognize Jesus because "Their eyes were kept from recognizing him," (Lk. 24:16) until the time when "their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight." (Vs. 31). In God's perfect time, your eyes will also be opened to see what it is the Father wishes for you to see.

 

Lenny Antonsson

Jan Antonsson, Editor and Scribe

 

Jan and Lenny Antonsson

17178 S. Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)

 

Dead to the Law, Part II

The Glory Road

 

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Last edited on 11/07/08.