February 6, 2014
Good Morning! We have lots to talk about today, so let's get right to it!
Romans 6:1-7 (NASB): What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin. (See also the Amplified Version)
II Corinthians 5:21: For He hath made (poieo: appointed or committed) Him who knew no sin to be sin (hamartia: error, missing the mark, failing to receive the prize) for us, so that we might be made (ginomai: [re-]generated) the righteousness (dikaiosune: justification, made just, holy — like God): of God in Him.
Della received a download — a revelation —of this picture a couple years ago in one of our early-morning times of prayer and intercession. She saw that when Jesus kept our appointment with death, He made it as though it had never been. The way she received it was “just as if it had never been” — hence, “justification.”
See the picture? Our appointment with death ceased to exist. It was as though it never existed in the first place. The same is true of all the aspects of the curse that comes with death: sickness, disease, infirmity, weakness, poverty, need of any kind; it was made as though it had never existed. Jesus canceled it out so totally and completely that it was as if it had never been.
Have you ever noticed how Jesus only commanded the keeping of two statutes, customs or ordinances for us as believers? Both of them incorporate the end of death and the cancellation of our appointment with death.
The first of the two commands comes in the observance of the Table of the Lord.
I Corinthians 11:23-26 (NASB): For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
The second of the two commandments came after Jesus was crucified and had risen from the dead. This second of the two commandments had the force of the Throne of God backing it in terms of its demonstrative authority and power. Both Matthew and Mark record this command:
Matthew 28:18-20: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:15-16: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth (pisteuo: exercises faith) and is baptized (baptizo: covered over, fully whelmed by water or fluid) shall be saved (sozo: saved, delivered, healed, protected, made to prosper, made whole and complete); but he that believeth not shall be damned (katakrino: judged, condemned and sentenced).
Ever wonder what baptism is all about? Have you ever considered why Jesus would make such a command in the first place? Then consider what He said when He was preaching to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews and a Pharisee.
John 3:5-8: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Remember what happened when the centurion pierced Jesus’ side while He was hanging on the Cross? Water and blood came forth from Him. Jesus’ last words before He died were, “It is finished!”
And what was finished? Death. What was finished? A new birth was taking place: a bride was being birthed for the Lord Jesus Christ. But this birth was unlike any in history. In the realm of the flesh, a birth takes place in the midst of water and blood. Babies come forth out of the water or amniotic fluid that keeps them alive while they are still in the womb, and blood accompanies the birthing process.
Jesus, however, made it clear that this new birth was NOT of water — not in the normal sense — nor of blood, even though His blood was shed in the process. A supernatural transformation — a regeneration — was taking place. This new birth was taking place in that realm which has authority and power over the flesh and the soul: the spirit. A dimensional change was occurring.
Hence, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.“
Because death only affects our flesh, because death has power over unredeemed flesh, a new kind of birth had to take place — one that had never before occurred in history.
Think back to when Adam was created. He wasn’t born in the normal sense of the word. He was formed, molded and created by the Hand of God, but not until God breathed into him the breath of His Spirit did Adam become a living, breathing, speaking being. Adam was born, or rather began his existence, of and by the Spirit of God. Adam’s very breath was the Spirit of God. He existed by the Spirit.
The Blessing operated in and through him by the Spirit. He ruled and had dominion over the earth (and all that was therein) by the Spirit. (See Psalm 115:16)
When Adam missed the mark (hamartia) — the prize of God’s high calling in him — and ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he ingested HIV: the human immunodeficiency virus, which was inherent in the fruit of that tree. As we all know, there is no cure for HIV. Death is the permanent result. And that death is genetically passed on to every generation which follows.
Let’s get back to the Table of the Lord.
Why did Jesus command us to eat and drink of Him — and do it often? The apostle Paul was very clear in his explanation.
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim (kataggelo: announce and demonstrate, promulgate) the Lord’s death until He comes.
Now you’re beginning to get the picture. Jesus’ most earnest desire is that we promulgate, that we announce to the world the fact that He kept our appointment with death. We no longer have to suffer death, disease, sickness, infirmity, poverty, etc. But there’s more.
It is important that we not only show the world our deliverance from death: we must also demonstrate to Satan, to principalities, to rulers of this world’s darkness, that we’ve been set free from the curse of death, that we’ve been freed from Satan’s dominion, that we’ve been restored the authority, the power and the dominion originally given to Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Water baptism does just that. This ordinance — this statute —has enormous spiritual significance. This isn’t for the world’s sake, even though it is part of an outward show, a demonstration of a spiritual regeneration that has taken place.
This is a “Hands Off!” declaration to Satan. This is the posting of a legal decree which clearly states we are no longer members of that class of human beings subject to the Law of Sin and Death. The old being which was subject to death and had the “knowledge virus” in our genes has been put to death.
The appointment with death has been kept. The person who then comes up out of the water is raised from the dead by the Spirit of God. This newly-born individual is born again — both of water AND of the Spirit!
Once again we have Paul’s description to the Romans: “all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death.“
Yessir! The appointment with death has been kept.
And again Paul says, “as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
The “new us” is no longer subject to the Law of Sin and Death.
Romans 8:2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
The “new us” is free from death, sickness, disease, infirmity, weakness, poverty, need, etc. Now we’re free to demonstrate Jesus! Jesus established a pattern for all believers when He was baptized in the River Jordan by John and a remarkable thing took place. We need to look at this event in context.
Matthew 3:13-17: Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Up to this time, Jesus had been an ordinary man. Yes, He was the Son of God, and Yes, He was destined to bring deliverance from the curse, but He had not yet been empowered to do so by the Father.
As far as the world was concerned, Jesus was just another man — a gifted man, One whose knowledge of the Scripture at age 12 had astounded the most learned among the priests, the Levites, the Pharisees, the Sadducees and scholars — but still seen as an ordinary man.
Nothing exhibited in His life thus far could be quantified as “divine” or “supernatural.” For His ministry to begin, something extraordinary had to take place. There had to be a transition from “ordinary” to “naturally supernatural and supernaturally natural.
Notice what happened when Jesus was baptized.
1. He transferred His citizenship to the Kingdom of Heaven.
2. The Holy Spirit appeared on the scene, settling as a dove on Jesus before all who witnessed this event.
3. All Heaven was put on notice that Jesus was now THE SON OF GOD.
4. The Father spoke out of Heaven and stated emphatically and unequivocally, “This is My Beloved Son!”
5. As the SON OF GOD, He was now vested with the authority and power of The Father.
6. The “man” Jesus had become the Messiah, the Christ, The “Anointed One.”
7. Baptism demonstrated before principalities and powers, before the rulers of the darkness of this world, before Satan himself that the “old Jesus” was dead.
8. A “New Man” had come forth out of the grave, resurrected by the power of God, transformed into a trans-dimensional Being with the ability to function both in this natural realm and in the realm of the Spirit.
Are you seeing it? God the Father vested Himself in and made clear to all that Jesus WAS His Son, His appointed and commissioned family member to bring redemption from the curse of death, and from the curse of the Law of Sin and Death.
The fact that Satan saw this event take place or was notified of it shook him and his kingdom to the core. What’s the first thing that Satan did when Jesus — after fasting for 40 days — was at his weakest, physically and emotionally?
Right. He questioned Jesus repeatedly as to His status as THE Son of God, attempting to trick Him into yielding to the desires of His flesh. Were Jesus to have yielded to even one of these temptations, He would have forfeited His Sonship status and condemned the human race to perpetuity in slavery and bondage to Satan and the curse.
Satan would have had the upper hand. Jesus could not yield. He must not! And He would not — not under any circumstances. His baptism had already demonstrated to Satan that the “man” Jesus — the natural man, Jesus — was dead. The risen Jesus was the Son of God.
This is exactly what happens with us. Now do you understand why Jesus said, "Except you eat my flesh and drink my blood, no have no life in you”? Now you can understand why water baptism plays such an important role in the life of every believer.
Gotta leave it there for today. I'm still not done with this.
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