Dead To The Law

By The Faith of Christ

By Lenny Antonsson

Neosho, MO

August 16, 1998

 

In "Dead To The Law," Part I, (See End Note A) I talked about how a person who is married to Christ, yet still living by law, is actually committing spiritual adultery. (Rom. 7:4). The Lord continued the lesson for me on behalf of the Baptist men's Sunday School class this week. If you truly are a spiritual adulterer, and again I say that the responsibility is up to the Spirit of truth to reveal to you whether you are or not, then it's not something that you or I can get ourselves out of. We cannot die to the law on our own. Paul said that we are crucified with Christ, (Gal. 2:20) but no one can crucify himself. God knows where we are, and only the Holy Spirit can reveal to us if we are holding on to the law and married to Christ at the same time. Only the Holy Spirit can bring us out of this. So, there is no fault on anyone else's part. But if you are in that situation of spiritual adultery, then the rest of Romans 7 is going to be fulfilled in your life. You do the things you don't want to do, and the things you want to do, you do not do, the way Paul is talking about it. But, if God has brought you out of the law and you are married to Christ, then you are free to skip the rest of Romans 7 and go into Romans 8, which says clearly, "There is therefore no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:1). There is no condemnation whatsoever in Christ. The law cannot condemn you anymore because you are dead to the law. (Gal. 2:19). You have not accomplished this on your own. This has come from God.

A revelation from God, a teaching from the Holy Spirit is the only thing that can bring you out of this completely, a revelation that you have been truly crucified with Christ and that you are dead. It is Christ living in and through you in the new immortal body as the new immortal body. Your old man has truly been buried with Christ in baptism, (Rom. 6:4) and the new immortal body has risen again in Christ. So the life you now live in the flesh, and I'm saying in the immortal flesh, you live by the faith of Jesus Christ, because He is the one living in and through you. Your old man, the Adamic nature, is not living anymore. There's no faith in him. It is by Christ's faith that we live! We have to understand that there is no faith in the law! The Bible clearly teaches that faith came by Jesus Christ. (Gal. 2:16). In Hebrews 4: 9-11, it speaks of the Sabbath rest, and it goes on to say that the people of God failed to come into the rest because of unbelief. It was not that they had tried and failed; they just did not have the faith to enter because faith did not come until Jesus Christ. Faith comes by grace, not by law. Jesus said, "A New commandment I give you that you love one another." (Jn. 13:34). With that new commandment, came faith, through Jesus Christ. I know the Bible speaks of faith IN Jesus Christ in many places. That faith is only available to us in Christ, in Him, and of Him; it is not our faith. We cannot love one another without the help of God. We cannot have faith without the help of God. What we're talking about here is the tree of Life, the pure tree of life. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is the law, the fulfillment of the law, has works in it: duty and works. Under that system, you do to become. But the tree of Life is a person. The tree of Life is Jesus Christ, and everything in the tree of Life is a person. Righteousness is a person; love is a person; faith is a person, and on and on and on. Note that Romans 8 declares that there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ. You are in Christ Jesus. In John 14:20, Jesus clearly says, "You are in me and I am in you." Just as Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in him, so we are in Jesus and Jesus is in us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, (I Cor. 6:19) the representative of Christ.

Again, I'm not criticizing or complaining, or taunting you because of where you are. You have not failed. You are in the will of God. I am just revealing to you where God has you right now so that you can see that and cry out to God, "I want to go further. I want you to give me a clear vision of what is ahead, and take me into that which is ahead." We all know that you must be born again to see the Kingdom of God. (Jn. 3:3). You are born again. God has revealed that to me. Now, ask Him to let you see ahead, to let you see what He has done for you up to now and to cause a hunger in you to go further into Him; so you can see things much clearer than what you can see them now. Only God can take you beyond this point. Up to this point, you have been walking in religion as well as in the Spirit of God. Now, you have to dump the law, dump religion, dump the organization and go on with the organism, the body of Christ. Let God take you further. Only God, by the Holy Spirit, the teacher, will lead you into all truth. (Jn. 16:13; I Jn. 2:27). He is the only one who can help you to see clearer, who can help you to hear clearer, who can help you to feel clearer, who can help you to understand clearer, who can help you to have a closer, intimate relationship with Christ. He's the only one who can help you to experience Him clearer. He is the only one who can help you to be Him clearer. You are him. You have been crucified with Christ. Your natural man is not living anymore. (Rom. 8:10). It is Christ who is living in and through you, and He's the only one who can reveal himself in you in such a way that you know that you are He.

IF you are feeling condemned or upset while I'm speaking of this, then you realize that God still has you in some part of the law. Cry out to Him to reveal to you that you are dead to the law. Ask Him to remove that from you. Listen to what verses 5 and 6 have to say in Romans 7. "For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." (Rom. 7:5-6). This is past tense. We were living in the flesh, but we are not living in the flesh anymore.

However, even in our flesh, we are the body of Christ. (Rom. 12:5). He is living in and through us now. So, it is impossible for us as mature Christians to say that we are "sinners saved by grace," that we are still sinning. That is taking up the old flesh again, just like Paul said to the Galatians, "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" (Gal. 3:3) Having begun in the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Gal. 3:2). Do you see the difference? What we have to understand is that when God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments, yes, their flesh had matured to a certain extent, but the soul, which the flesh controlled, had not matured yet. So, He needed to give them the law so the soul could mature in them, and this is what is happening to us. Only as our soul matures, does God remove the law from us so that the spirit can totally take over the soul and teach the soul spiritual things. Romans 7:9 says, "I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died." All the way from Adam to Moses, those people were alive in the flesh because it needed to mature, but then God brought the law and they died; they started dying off in the flesh, why? Because the soul needed to mature. The soul needed the freedom to be in the law and test itself, and see how it could mature. It is the same thing today. We are dead to the flesh and to that part of the soul that the flesh has taken over. It is dead so that now the spirit can mature. Paul wrote, "The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual." (1 Cor. 15:46) The natural has matured already. Now, it's time for the spiritual to mature, but the only way the spiritual can truly mature in us is for us to be dead to the law and alive unto God, and the Spirit of truth will lead us into all the truth of God. When we were children in God, we could not bear to hear the whole truth, (Jn. 16:12) but now that we are mature, we can hear all the truth of God.

In Gal. 3:22, it says that the scripture has shut together all under sin in order that the promised faith of Jesus Christ might be given to the believers. There was no faith under the law. Faith came by Jesus Christ. His faith in and through us is what we're living by right now. It is all the handiwork of God. We have no control over it. There is nothing that we can do to try to apply ourselves to accomplish any of this. In Romans 7:25 it says, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, so then I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh, I served the law of sin." This verse shows the conflict that comes when a man, still in the law and in the flesh, is serving Christ with his mind. The Spirit of God has already taken over the mind and is serving God with the mind, but the flesh is still alive also in this example of Paul's, because he had not yet reckoned it dead. (Rom. 6:11). So, with the flesh, he's serving the law of sin. When, by the Spirit, you reckon yourself dead, seeing that you are crucified with Him, and that it is Christ living in and through you, then Chapter 8:1, comes into effect. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death."

You are free; you are totally free to serve Christ and not even think of the law or live in the law or think that you are a sinner anymore. You are not. I Jn. 3:9 says, "No one born of God commits sin; for God's nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God." When I speak of the body, the flesh being dead, I'm saying that it's dormant within us; just like the spirit was dormant within us after the fall. (See End Note B) because Romans 8:11 says, "If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead, dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through His Spirit which dwells in you." In other words, that flesh life is dormant in us. We know it's pulsating, giving us trouble every so often, but it is dormant; it is dead; we have reckoned it dead. The Spirit of God is going to come alive in that mortal body; the Spirit of God is going to clothe that flesh with immortality. The Spirit of God has not given up on our flesh. (Job. 19:26). It is going to become an immortal body. (I Cor. 15:53). That's what that verse says. All creation is waiting for us to come into the fulness of God: body, soul and spirit. Immortal body; immortal soul; immortal spirit. In Romans 8:19, it speaks of that, "For the creation waits with eager longing for the manifestation of the sons of God." That's us. The entire creation is waiting for us to be fulfilled by God, not by ourselves, not by our works, not by anything we can do, but the fulfilling is going to be by God. Listen to what Jude, verse 24 has to say, "Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless, without blemish before the presence of His glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen." That's for us.

This mystery, that the Bible speaks of, hidden from the foundation of the world, (Col. 2:26) is the seed. God speaks in Genesis about the seed, and Paul says that Jesus was that seed. (Gal. 3:16). He took the stripes of healing for us. (Is. 53:5). Our spiritual seed was in Him when He did that. He hung on the cross for us. (I Pet. 2:24). Our spiritual seed was in him. He died for us. (Rom. 5:8; 1 Thes. 5:10). He went into Hades to release the prisoners. (Eph. 4:8). Our seed was in him. When he rose again on the third day, our spiritual seed rose again in victory. (Rom. 6:5; 1 Pet. 3:21). We arose completed. We arose immortal, just like Jesus did, never to die again. (Jn. 11:26). These are the facts that we need to get hold of. Some Christians are still living today as if sin has not been dealt with. It has. Jesus dealt it a death blow and it is finished. That's what He said, "It is finished." (Jn. 19:30). He finished the job and yet, we live as though we don't trust that He did that. Our sinful nature has been done away with. Jesus would not have said that it is finished, unless it had been finished, completed.

Father, open our understanding so that we can see that we are living in immortal bodies, not under the curse of sin anymore. As in Adam all die, so in you, Father, "all have been made alive." (I Cor. 15:22). We are alive in you. The Spirit that raised Christ from the dead has quickened our mortal bodies, has given life to our mortal bodies. We who believe on him are immortal. He said we would never die. (Jn. 11:25-26). We rose again with Christ in all His fulness. Father, we need to see this; we need to hear this; we need to feel this; we need to taste this; we need to smell this. In all of our being, every cell of our body needs to know this. We are heirs and joint heirs of the kingdom right now. (Rom. 8:17). We live in the eternal right now, not some time into the future, but it is here right now with us. Right now, we are sons of God. (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 3:26; I Jn. 3:1). We are part of the Christ body. (I Cor. 12:27). Jesus is the head and we are the rest of the body, right now. We're not going to be; we are already. Father, this is what we need to see; this is what we need to understand. Open up our understanding so that we can live accordingly. We must be born again to see the kingdom of God. We ARE born again, Father. Let us see the fulness of the kingdom; let us operate in the fulness of the kingdom; let us walk and breath the fulness of the kingdom, Father. Today is the acceptable day, Father.

The old Adamic nature has passed away. We are living in the new nature, the nature of God. This that we're living in is the new heaven and the new earth. The old has passed away. We have to realize that. God, open our understanding to see these things, now. Only you can reveal these things to us, Father. They cannot come from anywhere else. We cannot learn it on our own. By your Spirit of Truth, you have to lead us into all truth, Father. In this new life, we have to totally depend on you, Father. It is not us. It is You living in and through us, Father. You are the one doing; you are the one willing. (Phil. 2:13). Did Paul the Apostle say we are members of Christ's body, members in particular? Or did he say we are going to be this? He said we ARE, right now we are. It's all in the present tense, but we keep pushing it off, making ourselves believe that it's going to be in the future. We have the promise right now. Give up; give up that body of flesh, that body of sin. Give it up right now. It has been done away with. Right from the very beginning of time, God spoke of the seed, that the seed of the woman would bruise Satan's head, (Gen. 3:15) and that's Christ that He's talking about. The seed of the tree of Life. Christ is that seed and Christ is that tree of Life that God spoke of.

The seed was spoken of again when Abraham came back from the slaughter of the kings. (Gen. 14:17-20). He had rescued Lot and his family, and on the way back, when he had plundered those kings and taken all the gold and silver that they had, he met Melchisedec, and he gave Melchisedec 1/10th; he gave tithe to Melchisedec, and in Hebrews, it says that when Abraham gave tithe to Melchisedec, the whole tribe of Israel gave tithe to Melchisedec at the same time because the seed of the tribe of Israel was in Abraham when he gave that tithe. (Heb. 7:1-10). The same thing is true with Christ. When He went to the cross, our spiritual seed was in him. He took us with him to the cross. We were crucified with Christ, the Bible says. We died at the cross with Christ. As much as we died, we also rose in newness of life. We rose in immortal bodies, but we have not fully accepted that yet. We live as if Christ did not pay the price; we live as if Christ had not said, "It is finished." How can we go forth and speak to others about this if we cannot accept the Good News for ourselves. The Good News is that Jesus did everything that He said He would do. May God reveal to us that the work is finished.

Lenny Antonsson

Jan Antonsson, Editor and Scribe

Jan & Lenny Antonsson

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

 

"Dead To The Law," Part I

  "Echoes From The Fall"

  The Glory Road

 

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Last edited on 11/07/08