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Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : The Law of the Spirit Of Life

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AbideinHim
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Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3385
Louisiana

 The Law of the Spirit Of Life

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

Let any of our old man, whether of our old temper, our old way of judging, our old disposition, any of it come up at all, if we are children of God, we know quite well that at that point a barrier is set up and we cannot get past, we are held up in our spiritual life and we have to go back and have that thing cleared up. It is as real as any other thing in the universe to us. At that moment we stand still spiritually, and the flaming sword is across our path. There is no way for that here. Bring that here and you will be judged. You will meet the judgment of God. You will be broken. It is coming up against the fact that God finished with all that long ago and we have to accept God’s standpoint. When we have accepted it then the thing works out, it continually works out. We take that position, we accept the truth.

We cannot bring an actual end to the old creation ourselves, but we say in a positive way: "I reckon as God reckons." Well then we shall find as we go on that God, having put all that under death, death rests upon it and if ever it shows its head again, the sentence of death is met. If we begin to work for the Lord with our own natural strength we meet death and before long our natural strength will come under death. If we begin to use our natural judgment in the things of God we shall meet an arrest and before long we shall come to a deadlock, unable to get through. Anything which we bring of nature into the things of God will bring us up against – not some new issue, but the old issue – death which was made to rest upon the old creation. In so far as we move in the newness of Life, work by the Spirit of God, and walk after the Spirit, death is done away and we are in Life and we can go on and can get through, no matter how much there may be of handicap and weakness in nature, we can get through as we go on in the Spirit. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and death." We are free!


By T. Austin-Sparks from: Foundations - Chapter 4


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Mike

 2019/7/7 8:12Profile
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 Re: The Law of the Spirit Of Life

Hi Brother Mike,

What the author says is Scriptural. There is another verse that says we should by the Spirit put to death the misdeeds of the body. The idea of considering and trusting that our old man has been put to death is instrumental. How does this truth fit with the idea of some activity on our part to put to death the misdeeds of the body by the Spirit. Are the two ideas the same or is there a difference?


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Robert

 2019/7/8 4:01Profile
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1154
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Good Question!

Brother Robert,

Indeed what you have put forth asking, is a central & essential issue that requires our utmost attentiveness... am looking forward to this discussion:)

May the Lord Himself lead it, teaching His children, revealing the truth of His Spirit 🙏🏻


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Fletcher

 2019/7/8 9:51Profile
AbideinHim
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Joined: 2006/11/26
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 Re:

Hi Brother Robert,

The writings of Watchman Nee have been a great help to me in understanding how Romans 6:6 and Romans 8:13 work together to crucify the flesh. The former is what Christ has done in the finished work of the cross, and the latter is how we appropriate our co death with Christ to put to death the works of the old sin nature.

"But how can we have power to apply the Lord's death to our members? Romans 8:13 says that "by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body." A believer who wants to put to death the practices of the body must depend on the Holy Spirit to make his co-death with Christ become experience. When a believer puts to death the practices of his body by the Lord's death, he must believe that the Holy Spirit will cause the death of the cross to become real in the particular matter which he wants to put to death. The crucifixion of the believer's flesh with Christ on the cross is an accomplished fact. There is no need to crucify it again. Nevertheless, if the evil deeds of the body seem about to operate, then the Spirit should be there to apply the death which the cross of the Lord Jesus has accomplished for us to that very evil deed that it might be put to death by the power of the Lord's death. The evil practices of the flesh at all times and in every place are ready to come out and be manifested from our body. Therefore, unless the Spirit empowers the believer with the power of the holy death of the Lord Jesus, the believer cannot overcome. If the believer can put to death his practices in this way, the indwelling Holy Spirit will be able to accomplish God's purpose that the body of sin might be annulled (6:6). When the baby believers know the cross in this way, they can be liberated from the dominion of the flesh and be joined to the Lord Jesus in the life of resurrection."


Watchman Nee


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Mike

 2019/7/8 11:06Profile
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 Re:

How would these Scriptures function in the idea of applying His death. The Scriptures seem to speak of us no longer being under the power of sin but also in having ongoing power to fight the temptations of sin. ??


But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. - Galatians 5:16

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. - Matthew 5:29

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. - Hebrews 12:4


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Robert

 2019/7/8 13:42Profile
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 Re:

The most crucial question now is: how can we overcome? In other words, how can we reject the power and work of the old nature, and walk according to the aspirations of the new nature, and thus please the Lord? Let us read three verses:

"But they who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and its lusts" (Gal. 5:24).

"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit"; "But I say, Walk by the Spirit and you shall by no means fulfill the lust of the flesh" (vv. 25, 16).

These three verses tell us two ways to overcome the flesh, that is, the sinful nature, the old nature, and the old Adamic nature. Actually, the two ways are merely two aspects, or two phases, of one way. The cross and the Holy Spirit are the unique way to overcome the sinful nature. Other than this way, any human resolutions, determinations, or vows to charity are destined for failure.

We have seen that all our failures are caused by the tenaciousness of the sinful nature; we sink to such a low condition because of it. Hence, whether or not we will overcome depends on whether or not we are able to deal with this sinful nature, which is the flesh. Thank God that though we are helpless, He has the way. He has prepared a way for us on the cross. When the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross, not only did He die for us, but He crucified our flesh with Him on the cross. Hence, all those who belong to Christ Jesus and are regenerated have their flesh crucified. When He died on the cross, our flesh was crucified there as well. Both the substitutional death and the identifying death have been accomplished by the Lord Jesus. Both are fully accomplished. Formerly, we believed in His substitutional death and were regenerated. Now, in the same way, we believe that our flesh is crucified with Him, and we are brought into the experience of the death of the flesh.

We know that the flesh is always the flesh. This is why God gave us a new life and a new nature. But what shall we do with the flesh? Since God considered it hopeless and impossible, He decided to terminate it, that is, to put it to death. There is no better way than to cause the flesh to die. Hence, "they who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and its lusts." This puts the flesh to death. This is what the Lord Jesus has accomplished; He has accomplished it already. By crucifying our flesh with Him, it becomes possible now for us to put to death the sinful nature. This has been accomplished without any effort of our own.

How can this co-crucifixion become our experience? We have said that the way is by faith. Romans 6:11 says, "So also you, reckon yourselves to be dead to sin." Sin here refers to the sinful nature which is the flesh. By ourselves, we cannot cause the flesh to die. The only way is by reckoning. Reckoning is an exercise of our will and our faith. This means that in our daily life, we should adopt the attitude that we are dead to the flesh, that we believe in God's word, and that we consider all God's words to be true. God says that our flesh has been crucified with the Lord Jesus; I believe that my flesh is indeed crucified. On the one hand, we believe that we are dead. On the other hand, we adopt the attitude that we are truly dead. If we do this, we will have the genuine experience of dying to sin.

If we reckon this way, we will see the cross freeing us, and the flesh will become powerless. It is true that once we reckon ourselves dead, we will experience instant victory. However, many people experience a gradual deliverance from the power of the flesh. This is either due to their own foolishness or to the lingering of evil spirits. If we persist in faith and if we take the proper attitude in our will, we will eventually overcome. However, this does not mean that henceforth there is no more sinful nature in us and that only the new nature remains. If we say this, we fall into heresy. Not only does this obscure the teaching of the Bible, but it betrays the experience of the saints. Until we are delivered from this body of sin, we will never be free from the "flesh"—the sinful nature—which comes from the body of sin. Even though we have accepted the work of the cross, the fact that the flesh still exists means that we must continually "walk by the Spirit." Only by doing this, will we "by no means fulfill the lust of the flesh."

The cross is the instrument by which we crucify the flesh. The Holy Spirit is the power by which we keep the flesh from resurrecting. On the negative side, we should believe in the co-crucifixion of the cross for the elimination of a life in the flesh. On the positive side, we should walk according to the Spirit so that the flesh will have no chance to be rekindled. Many believers experience the resurrection of their flesh because they fail in this one point. Every time we walk contrary to the Holy Spirit, we give opportunity to the flesh to reign. If in everything we walk according to the Spirit, the flesh will not have any opportunity.

A person can read about this way of overcoming the flesh, the sinful nature, from the Bible; he can hear about it from others. But only when he encounters it in his experience will he realize that it is real. I often tell others that they can experience such a matter the minute they believe. Yet for myself, it took me a long time before I experienced it! What does this mean? Many times we merely strive. Although we say that we trust in the cross, thirty percent of the time we trust in ourselves and in our own "reckoning." Many times God allows us to be defeated so that in the end we would realize that nothing is trustworthy in our experience. Even our own "reckoning" with which we "reckon" ourselves dead is of no merit. This is why it is true to say that as soon as we truly reckon, we have the experience of victory, and it is equally true to say that we enter such experience only through a gradual understanding.

Brothers, by now you can understand our two natures and the way to overcome the flesh. While you are reading, you can exercise your faith to reckon yourself dead to sin, and you can pray that the Holy Spirit of the Lord will apply the cross of the Lord Jesus deeply in you, so that you can overcome sin in your experience. After this, you should resolve to walk by the Holy Spirit. Previously, you have failed in your resolution. Now, you should ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen your will, so that it will be able to incline itself to the new nature. The will is like a rudder; it can turn the whole ship. However, a rudder that does not work is useless. After the Holy Spirit has strengthened you, you should exercise this will to walk according to the Holy Spirit. Remember that the flesh never disappears; it is always there. If you walk by the Holy Spirit, you will be able to crucify the flesh on the cross continually. Otherwise, the flesh will cause suffering to you. The meaning of walking by the Spirit is to trust in the Holy Spirit in a calm way in everything, so that you will bear the nine-in-one fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Lord will lead you experientially step by step into the mystery of this matter. However, on your part, you should be faithful.

Watchman Nee - THE TWO NATURES


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Vern

 2019/7/9 6:07Profile
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 Re:

"I have been crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20).

"If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23).

What Galatians 2:20 speaks of is something accomplished once for all. After we realize that our self needs to be put to death, we should then by faith acknowledge in a definite way that "I have been crucified with Christ." The word in the original text is ego, the "I," the self. Besides the cross, there is indeed no other way to put the self to death. We should also pay attention to the words "with Christ." The crucifixion of the self is not an independent act of the believers. Believers are not to crucify the self on the cross by themselves in their own strength. The crucifixion of the self is to be joined to Christ and in conjunction with Christ. This is not to say that we help Christ to put the self on the cross. Rather, it means that Christ has already accomplished this fact, and I now merely acknowledge and believe its reality. Here the main focus is Christ. This is why it says: "I have been crucified with Christ," and not "Christ has been crucified with me." It is not that we want to put the self to death, and that Christ comes merely to accompany us. Rather, it was Christ who in His death brought all our "ego," our self, to the cross and nailed it there. Therefore, I am not crucifying the self again but am merely acknowledging the fact. The two words "have been" show us that it is a fact and not a wish. A life that dies to the self is possible, real, and attainable. The apostles in the ancient time obtained that kind of life already; their self passed the test. Therefore, it is possible for us to obtain this life also. However, we should remember that this is "crucified with" and not "crucified alone." Apart from the Lord we can do nothing. To crucify the self with the strength of the self is an impossible task and can never be done. If we are not united with the Lord in His death, our self will never die. Christ alone brought all the old creation together with every part of it to the cross in His death. If we try to find another way besides the Lord's way, and to try to accomplish anything besides the Lord's accomplishment, we are not only foolish but are also wasting our time. Therefore, we are to do nothing but come to the Lord with full assurance of faith and acknowledge the Lord's accomplishment as ours; following this we should pray for the Holy Spirit to apply in us the work of the Lord's cross and to express this very work from us.

Watchman Nee THE WORD OF THE CROSS - DYING WITH THE LORD TO SIN


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Vern

 2019/7/9 6:19Profile
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 Re: watchman nee

The Lord has used some of this brothers writing to help me to grow in Christlikeness,... however brother Nee (no matter how well intended ) isn’t correct and does clearly err when he departs from the clear testimony of scripture- which he does several times in the various passages quoted in this thread.

My prayer is that all whom read this would, carefully and prayerfully read these passages from brother Nee and observing and noting where they depart from scripture. Doing this contrast and compare not to the end of laying charge of error at the feet of a brother, but rather to the end of upholding the truth with integrity giving all diligence to keeping pure what is entrusted to us.

A quick example;

Brother Nee is quoted; “To crucify the self with the strength of the self is an impossible task and can never be done.”
While this appears to be correct, it is actually an affront to the testimony of scripture- as the appeal is made to simply “appropriate” what Christ has done, which again sounds good and appeals to our flesh however this leaves huge portions of the scriptural commands on the floor,... essentially removing any practical application by the Spirit on our part. (Which brother Robert has humbly submitted, asking for clarification tho only receiving more intellectual gobbledygook quotes) This is not at all what our Lord intended and will lead to catastrophe. Our Lord, by the spirit , commands us to be instant in and out of season to offer quotes from someone else when someone inquires of us the reason for our hope??
No! not once not ever, while it can be profitable for the cause of Christ to share quotes that have been used by God to grow us spiritually, it’s not appropriate to respond to a question from another brother to us personally with quotes from someone else.... if we don’t know or have the capacity to answer we should just be humble and say so-


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Fletcher

 2019/7/9 10:03Profile
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Joined: 2016/6/15
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 Re:

Quote:
No! not once not ever, while it can be profitable for the cause of Christ to share quotes that have been used by God to grow us spiritually, it’s not appropriate to respond to a question from another brother to us personally with quotes from someone else.... if we don’t know or have the capacity to answer we should just be humble and say so-



I am sorry, brother Fletcher, but this is just your own opinion. I have no problem with this.


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Jade

 2019/7/9 10:37Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
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 Re:

Fletchers point is valid and the issue of long quotes is seen more commonly when this topic is discussed than any other.

I agree that it is intellectual gobbledygook. There is a whole lot of this whenever this topic is discussed.

Simply “reckoning” something does not make it so.

Faith in Jesus Christ qualifies us to do battle. But battle we must- this is clear in scripture.

Unbelievers are not qualified to do battle. It is a hopeless cause for them. Not only that, they have no desire to do battle.

It seems one of the most sure signs that someone is a true believer is their desire and willingness to do battle.


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Todd

 2019/7/9 11:28Profile





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