This led me to realize how many people do not understand the "finished work of the cross" and showed me what such a thought is distorted to mean in some people's minds.
His accusations of my faith are not at all what I implied. May this study pose as an introductory study concerning the FINISHED WORK OF THE CROSS.
There is much work of God to be done in our lives after we experience initial salvation There is a life that must be lived holily, and we must be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. We must live separated lives from the world and its lusts and sins. We must deny ourselves and deny our fleshly lusts every day. However, this is not what Paul referred to in saying he "died daily." Paul spoke about literal and physical threats of his life in the jeopardy of persecution, in the words of 1 Corinthians 15. The finished work of the cross speaks about the fact that the work required to take us out of Adam and put us into Christ making us completely new creatures is fully completed through the cross. God needs to do nothing else to us in order to make us new creatures and to annihilate the old people we used to be before we came to Christ than what He did through the cross. That is a finished work. The issue of what should be done to our sins before we are saved is completely finished and settled once and for all by the cross. We do not need any more work done in our lives as far as our past sins committed before salvation. Christ crucified them in Himself when we obeyed Acts 2:38, and God has accomplished such a thorough work in dealing with them that He told us He forgot all those sins! They will not be held against us on that day of judgment! And regarding any problems we will face in the future, the finished work of the cross deals with each of them, too. God does not need to accomplish another work for us to resort to when we face troubles in life. He already accomplished all that we will ever need to resort to in order to overcome sin and trouble. He did it through the work of the cross. We simply turn back to the past where Christ was crucified and apply all the provisions of that cross that cover any problems we might ever face.
When I face sin, I resort to the cross' accomplishments. God provided me with forgiveness should I sin and sincerely repent of that sin after I was baptized into Christ's death. The cross not only gives us victory over our past sins in the lives we lived before we found Christ, but it also takes care of every future problem and sin we might commit, so long as we truly repent.
For example, after Israel left Egypt, they came to poisoned waters and found that throwing a "tree" into the bitter waters healed them. This shows us the truth that in any bitter situation of life after we are saved from sin, we apply the work of the cross, the tree, to that bitter water, and see it solved! What is the truth we apply to the situation? What does it mean to apply the cross? It means that we take the provisions that God accomplished for us through the Cross and apply them to our bitter situations. And those accomplishments are the power to overcome that which would destroy and defeat someone who did not know God, for example. It may be sickness that we face, and call upon the blood of Christ that was shed upon the cross and thereby claim our healing in that bitter situation of ill health. Did God have to do something since the cross in order to provide us with help for dealing with sickness? No!
What about the need to grow and overcome sinful temptations? Is there not a work in our lives to be done in that area? The teaching of the "finished work of the cross" does not imply there is no further work in seeing us grow stronger in life. It strictly points to the work of providing us with everything we might ever need to live a proper Christian life after we are baptized into Christ. That is the key point that this man has missed. I am sure he would agree if he understood what the finished work is talking about. The single work of the cross provided us with all the necessary equipment we need to do EVERYTHING we need to do in life as a Christian. That includes provisions for living holy, unspotted from the world, and for remaining separate from the world and having the strength to overcome any obstacle that threatens our Christianity and holiness. We are made sons of God through the work of the cross! The cross allowed us to come to God and experience new birth! And since we are sons of God, we have the ability to see God's will accomplished in our lives. But it is all because of the work of the cross.
The thought of our need to become more spiritually inclined and to grow and mature in holiness and spirituality is not at all finished! There is indeed much more work to be done upon our lives after the initial salvation through the cross.
This brother made this overall statement about my thoughts on the "die daily" issue. "The article by Brother Blume demonstrates his spiritualizing philosophy: that is, if a theory does not conform to Scripture, you make the Scripture conform to your theory."
I do not at all "spiritualize" scripture. To spiritualize scripture is to purport some kind of gnostic and mystical teaching that the true thoughts of the Bible are not written plainly in the Bible, and one must have some kind of higher understanding in order to learn them. I do not believe that at all. My thoughts are based upon explicit teaching of other scriptures to interpret the thoughts demonstrated in verses that are given concerning the same issues. For example, Paul said that as Christ died once unto sin and is now alive forever more, we are to likewise reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin (Romans 6:6-11). Therefore, if we are dead in the same manner as Christ died, and Christ died ONCE unto sin, then we are not going to die daily. That would contradict Romans 6:6-11. It is appointed unto man ONCE to die. That is the reason Christ died ONCE (Hebrews 9:27-28). If he were correct, and we die daily, then Christ should have continued to be offered in death to identify with our requirement to die daily. In fact, this is exactly what Hebrews addressed as follows:
Hebrews 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;Hebrews teaches not only do we know that his single death answered the need, since we do not see Christ suffering continually since the beginning of the world, but this thought of a single death makes perfect sense when applied to the thought that we each required only one death in order to meet the penalty of sin in our lives. How plainer can it read?
Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
So to say that I spiritualize verses of scripture, as evidenced by my thoughts on 1 Cor. 15:31 is to simply be in error. I say that those who deny the idea that we died ONCE with Christ, having no more need to die, are contradicting explicit Bible teaching by the Apostolic Church in Romans chapter 6, and Hebrews chapter 9.
There is a great analogy to what I was trying to convey in my writings when we compare our status in Christ regarding our past sins with the futility of trying a dead man in court for the crimes he committed. The man is dead! How can you try a dead man for his crimes?
Our baptism into Christ grants us pardon from our past sins and is followed by a resurrection with Christ that is characterized by acts of holiness and righteousness. We count ourselves to have apprehended a new life in Christ wherein the old man has died and passed away and a new person is now living in that body, a resurrected person.
When a person goes through the separation waters of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, they count themselves dead unto sin FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE!
But it is incorrect to assume the finished work implies " It is not a 'done deal in the sense of finished, completed, or ended! Instead it is NOT 'a one time deal,' but a 'continuing deal, a covenant, an everlasting covenant,' and baptism does ALWAYS save us."
The finished work of the cross neither teaches nor suggests any such thing that the covenant is a done deal and is not ongoing in our lives in experience. As The finished work of the cross deals specifically with our old lives lived before we were buried with Christ and the past sins associated with it, only. The thought of a continuing covenant is altogether true! We continue on and grow more in our behavioural holiness and righteousness. This goes on and on and on throughout our Christian lives.
Baptism is the reason we are continually washed by the blood of Jesus. We are to "count" the blood of Jesus as a daily benefit that comes to us through our covenant of baptism. The word "count" here is meant to be the same as "considered". Water baptism is an event that is supposed to govern our lives for the rest that remains. At no time can a person say I was baptized some time ago, and mean by that it was a work of salvation that no longer has any effect upon or in their walk with the Lord. As if it happened some time ago and is over, behind us, and it has no present value or role in a person's salvation (baptism got you something and it is now over).
Some feel that when Paul said he died daily, he did counted his baptism to have authority over his life and each day he lived he counted his carnal man dead in the separation waters of baptism. Paul did not believe that by counting his carnal man dead, he died daily to the carnal desires of sin, the temptations of the world, and the enticements of the devil. Paul was not at all speaking about the baptism issue Paul noted in 1 Cor 15:29 when he said he died daily. True, 1 Cor 15:29 refers to baptism into Christ's death. But it is totally wrong in saying, "Paul said he died daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). Paul's discourse in this text has to do with the death of Christ and those baptized into the death of Christ."
Paul was not speaking about his baptism into Christ's death in verse 29. He was pointing back to the "jeopardy" he experienced in 1 Cor 15:30. Look at the context.
1 Corinthians 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?Verse 30 shows Paul's willingness to stand in the jeopardy of being killed due to persecution because he was convinced that his baptism into Christ death (noted in verse 29) would see him literally rise from the dead on the day of resurrection should he indeed be killed! Therefore, Paul stood so willingly in this kind of jeopardy of life that he said, "I die daily." In other words, Paul was so sure of resurrection due to his baptism into Christ's death, that he withstood persecution and already accepted the fact that he might in fact die. He thought, "So what if I die today? I know I will rise again! Therefore I am daily in peril of death, willingly!"
1 Corinthians 15:30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
1 Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
1 Corinthians 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
And to vindicate that thought, verse 32 gives an example of his daily threats of death, and rephrases the very thing I am proposing in his words of verse 30. Paul said that he once fought with the beasts at Ephesus. He asked a hypothetical questions, "Why would I do that and willing stand in that king of jeopardy if the there is no resurrection due to my baptism in Christ's death? It would be more sensible to stop risking my life in preaching that brought upon me such perils and jeopardy, because our existence beyond physical death would be over. I might as well simply get everything out of this life that I could, if this is the only life that exists for me! I would eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow I will simply die and no longer exist. But I continue to stand in jeopardy daily and accept the thought that my ministry might cause me to die today, because I know there is a resurrection day coming!"
Thinking that baptism into death is a daily thing we experience is only another slant for the popularly misunderstood words of 1 Cor 15:31 by tying the thought that the baptism into Christ's death in verse 29 must be daily applied to us. The principle proposed in this misunderstanding is essentially correct in thinking that we must apply our deaths with Christ's death to our lives daily, but that is not at all the context of verses 30-32 after reading verse 29. He is wrong.
The fact that we do not die daily does not teach that you die only once at your baptism, and this had no effect on your spirituality afterward in a person's daily life, is a false teaching. It does indeed have an affect upon our lives after our baptism. We must ever remind ourselves that we are dead. This is actually the entire essence of what Paul meant when he told us to be renewed in our minds and thereby be transformed! Our thinking will invariably be that we are still the same old people we were before we were saved. And Paul showed us that this is absolutely wrong! Our baptism in His death destroyed and crucified once and for all the old man! That truth will ever lead us towards maturity in spirit and will thereby affect our very behaviour. I have often said that if we think we must sin, then we will probably find a way to do it. I say this because Romans 6 teaches that sin shall not have dominion over our lives (verse 14). But we must know some things before we can enjoy that liberty above sin. And we are specifically told that we must know that we died once and for all through Christ's death when we are baptized into that death. And we must know that if we died with Christ through that manner, we are also risen with Him, since His death into which we were baptized led to His subsequent resurrection. And that resurrection caused Christ to no longer be affected by death again (Romans 6:9). And that means that He died to sin once (verse 10). And the kicker that destroys every but of his idea that we die daily is found in Romans 6:11! Romans 6:11 tells us to apply all of the truths of Christ's resurrection as noted in verses 9 and 10 to our own lives! And that includes the fact that Christ died once to sin and has no need to die to sin again and again. And the reckoning part of all of this (the applying of it to our lives and identifying ourselves with all of this) is the part that affects us the rest of our Christian lives! And the more we succeed in being renewed in our minds in this issue, the more our Christianity matures and we find victory over sin! The truth is, we had victory over sin at the cross! We just need to understand that now, and then apply it to ourselves now! That indeed is seeing the cross and our baptism into Christ's death affect our lives ever afterwards!
It is partially correct to say, for example, "Each time a sin comes to overcome, to corrupt a chosen vessel, and to bring damnation, we deny it, nail it to his Cross, and continue on in our life of glorious salvation. Romans 8:13 shows us Paul's doctrine on this: 'For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (Strongs 2289-kill or become dead), the deeds of the body, ye shall live.' " Basically this is correct but is using the wrong scriptures to support the true principle. People often handle hard-to-be-understood passages of scripture by applying other truths in other scriptures that really have nothing to do with the former. So the principle in the above thought is correct, but the issue of "dying daily" in Paul's words in 1 Cor 15 is not speaking about that truth.
Dealing with the sins we are tempted with after our baptism into Christ's death is not dealt with by "nailing it to Christ's cross." No. We find the strength in knowing we are dead with Christ, and therefore knowing that sin shall not have dominion over us, and we overcome it by relying on Christ's resurrection power over sin. That is actually what Romans 6:13 is telling us to do. Once we KNOW we are dead with Christ and that we are ever alive to die no more to sin, we RECKON that to each of our own lives, and then YIELD ourselves to God as those who truly are alive from the dead, in no more need of dying to sin!
KNOW, RECKON and then YIELD.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.We are alive from God because we KNOW that we died and were risen with Christ, who liveth unto God forevermore. We are in union with Christ's death and resurrection. If we are in union with His resurrection, and His resurrection is one that enjoys no more dealings with death again, then why do we die daily? We do not die daily to sin! WE EVER LIVE UNTO GOD, as Jesus is ever living unto God. Compare these two verses.
Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.Are we dead indeed or not? Someone who claims we die daily must reply, "No." Paul said "YES, INDEED!" How? THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. In other words, HIS DEATH COUNTS AS OUR DEATHS. This is also what Paul meant in Romans 7:4 in saying we are dead by the body of Christ!
Romans 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,...
Are we ever alive unto God now, in no need of dying again? Someone who claims we die daily must reply, "No." Paul said "YES, -- INDEED!" Paul applies everything about Christ's death and resurrection life in Romans 6:9-10 to ourselves in Romans 6:11 when he said "LIKEWISE"! Someone who claims we die daily must reply, "Not likewise". Paul said we identify with Christ's death and resurrection in every way, including the fact that Christ does not die any more, since He died ONCE unto sin and is evermore alive to God. Someone who claims we die daily must disagree with Paul. And like so many, many misinformed christians today, people do not apply all of Christ's death and resurrection to themselves, but have a wrench thrown into all of this understanding in thinking they must die to sin every day. I recommend all Apostolics who doubt their absolute death to sin through Christ's death to study Romans 6 very carefully once again and be corrected.
Yes, indeed, we do apply this understanding daily to our lives in order to daily overcome sin! We cannot sit back and think there is nothing else to do as we face sin since our baptism into Christ's death. We must apply these truths to our minds when we face sin, and by faith overcome, for this is the victory that overcometh the world and all that is in the world, EVEN OUR FAITH. Our faith in what? Our faith in our one and only required death with Christ unto sin!
Someone who claims we die daily say we must mortify the deeds of our bodies. Yes, indeed! But we do not MORTIFY OURSELVES! We have been mortified! We only need to mortify the deeds of our bodies in the manner in which Paul instructs us in Romans 6:13! Notice that Romans 6:13 speaks of two elements. First, that of ourselves being dead indeed unto sin, and second, that of yielding our members, or our bodies, to God as His instruments!
Look closely at these verses side by side.
Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.We are dead to sin and therefore we do not have any need of dying daily to sin. So Paul said we must present or yield ourselves to God as people who know they are dead to sin and now alive to God, just as Jesus ever liveth to God (Romans 6:10). And secondly, we must yield our members to God to be instruments of righteousness. Our very lives and our "members" are two different things! Your members are your very body --- all the arms, hands and legs and tongue, etc., that sin will use if we do not understand Romans 6. And here is where Colossians' and Romans 8:13's mortification of our members comes into play. Paul is saying that we will not commit sin if we understand we are dead with Christ to sin, and alive to God, and we therefore present ourselves FOR HIS EMPOWERMENT over sin, that He may use our BODIES to not be made instruments and tools of sin, but for HIM TO USE and FOR HIM TO COMMIT GOOD AND RIGHTEOUS WORKS THROUGH.
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Many people wonder how it is that we are not under the power of sin if so many Christians do indeed sin. Do they not sin? Yes! Many Christians who are dead to sin do sin! Why? It is because they have never understood the very words that Paul taught in Romans 6. They, like him, do not know that they are dead indeed unto sin. They have no more need to die daily, monthly or even yearly! They are absolutely dead to sin. But their error is that they EXPECT THEY ARE GOING TO SIN. And therefore, they will probably find a way to do it!
Let's say that a man was much stronger in physical might than an enemy of his. However, suppose this man did know that he was much stronger. The enemy comes and intimidates the man, and the man, convinced he is weaker, allows the enemy to beat him up. The man did not have to suffer like that, but his lack of understanding or KNOWING, saw him defeated. It is the same with Christians baptized into Christ's death. They do not have to submit to the act of sinning. But they do not know that, and therefore sin intimidates them, and their lack of KNOWING causes them to be defeated. Satan lies to their uneducated souls, and makes them think they must sin. And therefore they do indeed sin.
Paul is informing us and helping us to KNOW some things that will not allow sin and Satan to intimidate us any longer, if we only believe these things!
KNOW that you were baptized into Christ's death.
KNOW that you were therefore put into union with Him.
KNOW that His death, that you shared, was followed by His resurrection, and is therefore also YOUR experience, too! You rose with Him!
KNOW that His death to which you were united was a single death to sin, not to be repeated daily or yearly.
KNOW that Christ ever liveth unto God now since that death and resurrection.
RECKON yourself to be absolutely dead to sin as much as Christ died to sin.
RECKON yourself to be alive unto God as much as Jesus is, due to your union with Him.
YIELD yourself to God as one who knows he is alive unto God, with no need of dying to sin again, but one who is rightfully the possessor of victory over every sin that may confront you. Apply these truths to yourself EVERY TIME you are tempted with sin. God to God, and say, "God, here I am! Sin is tempting me, and I know that I died with Christ and rose with Him to ever live unto you! Take my hands and feet, and all my members of my body and use them as your instruments that I may do good instead of commit sins with those members!"
THAT IS THE ANSWER!
And what you have done is mortified your MEMBERS. Since you are already dead to sin, you are applying that truth to your activities! You are applying it to your fleshly LUSTS. The lusts belong to the old person you used to be. SLAY THOSE LUSTS.
In this thought, one who believes we do die daily to sin is partially correct. But the terminology is somewhat off-key. That which we SLAY and MORTIFY is our LUSTS AND MEMBERS. But we, ourselves, are already mortified and slain with Christ once and for all!
Since the term LIKEWISE in Romans 6:11 applies all of Christ's death and resurrection to ourselves, we must identify ourselves to the benefits of Christ's death and resurrection as are listed in the following verses:
Hebrews 10:10-14 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.We merely have to SIT and EXPECT our enemies to become our footstools, as we exert faith in our union to Christ's death to sin and resurrection to God. Sitting refers to no need for any work to be done that we might have victory over sin. The work we resort to is the work of the cross. And exerting faith refers to the effort we must make in daily applying our identification with Christ's only required single death to ourselves. As you can see, it is incorrect to say that we die daily. What we actually do daily, is renew our minds to the truth that we died ONCE to sin, and claim that as our rights to be empowered by God to overcome sin! Praise God! I died ONCE and for all!