In this section of Romans the Apostle Paul gives us essentials for our sanctification. These essentials are our requirements for living "The Normal Christian Life", that is the life sanctified unto God. We ended the last post with the statement that, "The normal Christian life must begin with a very definite "knowing."" Here we need to ask ourselves what does it mean to know?
This type of knowing is not just about a "head" knowledge. I know many facts about Christ, his life, and redemptive work, but do I know them as they pertain deeply to my life? This "knowing" is a knowledge that comes by "opening the eyes of the heart". This is not a mere intellectual knowledge that we are talking about, but a knowledge that has been divinely revealed to us by God.
How do you know that your sins are forgiven? Is it because your pastor has told you so? No. You just know! This is a divine revelation. The forgiveness of sins is in the Bible, but for the written word to become the living word from God to you he had to give you "the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him" (Eph. 1:17). You needed to know Christ in that way . There is a time, in regard to any new apprehension of Christ, when you know it in your own heart; you "see" in your spirit. Deliverance is like forgiveness in this, God's light shines into your heart and you see yourself in Christ. This is not because someone has told you, certainly not because I have, and not just because Romans 6 says so. It is something more. God has revealed it to you by his Spirit. You may not feel it or understand it, but you know it, for you have seen it.
Revelation is Essential to Knowledge
How do we come to this divinely revealed knowledge? Our first step is to seek it from God. We must seek, from him, greater understanding of the finished work of Christ on the Cross. Once we believe, living "in Christ" is true all the time but it must become true to us in a new and personal way. The only avenue for us to reach this is by God's grace. He must reveal it to us.
We are in Christ. Often we wonder how to be "in Christ". We don't feel that we are living in him and we are not letting his life flow out from us. But we must know that we are "in Christ" with his death being both representative for our justification and inclusive for our death to sin and life in Christ. Think how absurd it would be to try getting into a room in which you already are! How absurd to ask to be put in! This is how we are "in Christ". We do not need to ask to get there, it is already so. Much of our praying for ourselves is because we are blind to what God has already done.
The Cross Handles the Root
The cross takes care our our "old man" our "sin-nature". This is stressed so much because we must see it. Do you remember our factory example from October 11? There we discussed sin-nature. We are sinners not because we sin but because we are sinners by nature. The sin is the product and we are the factory. Well consider the government of you country trying to get rid of all strong alcoholic drinks. Lets just say that they destroyed all of the bottles of alcohol that they could find so that not even a single bottle was left. Would that solve the problem? Of course not! The factories would just continue production and make more alcohol. The same is true of our sin and sin-nature. Would God deal with the product and leave us to deal with the factory? Of course he has not done half the work and left the other half undone. There are no half measures with God. "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" (Rom. 6:6, KJV).
This is what we are to know. We are crucified with Christ. This is true whether we know it or not. It is a fact, but we must know it to be true in ourselves. How are we to know it? This is only by the revelation from God's Spirit. This is why we must be in prayer for God to enlighten our hearts as we continue on in our study. Next we will begin studying the second essential for our sanctification, or our second requirement: Reckoning. Until next time, dearly beloved, continue in prayer and study of God's Word.