A Few Foundational Facts

The sense of sin and guilt can become so real*, so terrible, as almost to cripple us, by causing us to lose sight of the true effectiveness of the Blood*. It seems to us that our sins are so real, and some particular sin may trouble us so many times, that we come to the point where to us our sins loom larger than the Blood of Christ (Rom 5:20—NC).

The whole trouble with us is that we are trying to sense it; we are trying to feel its value and to estimate subjectively what the Blood is for us. We cannot do it; it does not work that way. The Blood is first for God to see. We then have to accept His evaluation of it. In so doing we shall find our evaluation. We have to believe that the Blood is precious to God because He says so (1Pe 1:18, 19). If God can accept the Blood as payment for our sins and as the price of our redemption, then we can rest assured that the debt has been paid.”

I approach my Father through His merit alone, and never on the basis of my attainment; never, for example, on the ground that I have been extra kind or patient today, or that I have done something for the Lord this morning. I have to come by way of the Blood every time.

The temptation to so many of us when we try to approach God is to think because He has been dealing with us—because He has been taking steps to bring us into something more of Himself and has been teaching us deeper lessons of the Cross—He has thereby set before us new standards, and that only by attaining to these can we have a clear conscience before Him. No! A clear conscience is never based upon our attainment*; it can only be based on the work of the Lord Jesus in the shedding of His Blood!

The objectivity of the Blood deals with our sins. The Lord Jesus has borne them of the Cross for us as our Substitute* and has thereby obtained for us forgiveness, justification and reconciliation. But we must now go a step farther in the plan of God to understand how He deals with the sin principle in us. The Blood can wash away my sins, but it cannot wash away my old man. It needs the Cross to crucify me*. The Blood deals with the sins, but the Cross must deal with the sinner*.

When God’s light first shines in my heart my one cry is for forgiveness, for I realize I have committed sins against Him; but when once I have received forgiveness of sins I make a new discovery, namely, the discovery of sin, and I realize not only that I have committed sins before God but that there is something wrong within.

I discover that I have the nature of a sinner. There is an inward inclination to sin, a power within that draws to sin*. When that power breaks out I commit sins. I may seek and receive forgiveness, but then I sin once more. So life goes on in a vicious circle of sinning and being forgiven and then sinning again (Rom 7:14-23—NC). I need forgiveness for what I have done, but I need also deliverance from what I am* (Rom 7:24—NC).

We are apt to think that what we have done is very bad, but that we ourselves are not so bad. God is taking pains to show us that we ourselves are fundamentally wrong. The root trouble is the sinner*; he must be dealt with. Our sins are dealt with by the Blood, but we ourselves are dealt with by the Cross. The Blood procures our pardon for what we have done; the Cross procures our deliverance from what we are.

In His death unto sin we all died*. None of us can progress spiritually without seeing this. Just as we cannot have justification if we have not seen Him bearing our sins on the Cross, so we cannot grow in sanctification if we have not seen Him bearing us on the Cross. Not only have our sins been laid on Him but we ourselves have been identified with Him (1Jhn 4:17—NC).

Unfortunately, in presenting the truth of our identification with Christ the emphasis has too often been placed upon the matter of reckoning ourselves to have died in Him, as though that were the starting point, whereas it should rather be upon knowing ourselves to have died. God’s Word makes it clear that “knowing” is to precede “reckoning.” The sequence is most important. Our reckoning must be based on the knowledge of divinely revealed fact, for otherwise faith has no legitimate foundation upon which to rest. When we know, then we count upon the facts spontaneously*.

What, then, is the secret of reckoning? To put it I one word, it is “revelation”. We need revelation from God through His Word (Eph 1:17, 18). Most of us can remember the day when we saw clearly that Christ died for us, and we ought to be equally clear as to the fact when we saw that we died with Him. It is not that I reckon myself to be dead, and therefore I will be dead. It is that, because I have died—because I see now what God has done with me in Christ—therefore I reckon myself to have died unto sin. It is not reckoning toward death but from death*.

We must not lose sight of the fact that we are presented with a command: “Reckon ye . . . .” There is a definite attitude to be taken. When the Lord Jesus was on the Cross, I was there with Him. I reckon and declare that I have died unto sin with Him. If you look at yourself you will think death is not there, but it is a question of faith not in yourself but in Him. You look at the Lord, and know what He has done. “Lord, I believe in thee. I reckon upon the fact in Thee.” Stand there all day.

As we stand steadfastly on the ground of what Christ is, we find all that is true of Him becomes experientially true of us. If instead we come on the ground of what we are in ourselves, we will find all that is true of the old man remaining is true of us. If we get there in faith we have everything; if we return back here we find nothing. We have only to look within to find we are very much alive to sin; but when we look over there to the glorified Lord Jesus Christ “who is our Life” (Col 3:4), the Father sees to it that death works here but that “newness of life” is ours also. We are “alive unto God in Christ Jesus.”

We know that justification is ours through the Lord Jesus and requires no work on our part*, but we may think sanctification is dependent upon our own efforts. We fear that if we do nothing, nothing will happen. After being saved the old habit of “doing”* reasserts itself and we begin our old self-efforts again. Then God’s Word comes fresh to us: “It is finished.” He has done everything on the Cross for our forgiveness and our deliverance as well. In both cases He is the doer. “It is God that worketh in you” (Phil 2:13) that which He has completed on Calvary.

- Unknown

Poster’s Opinion:
*“become so real”: For God to progressively reveal more of His holiness to us He must also proportionately reveal to us more of our sin source (old man), for contrasting between two systems best reveals one another, which I believe is one of the purposes for Satan. The more understanding God gives us concerning the usefulness of acknowledging our Adamic nature, the more He will teach us that which concerns His holiness.

*”cripple us, by causing us to lose sight of the true effectiveness of the Blood”: cripple, e.g. slow the maturing process but never interfere with the established redemption. The true effectiveness of the Blood is salvation, and losing sight of this can effect mental peace and security for growth, but never the Blood’s established redemption concerning the believer.

*”A clear conscience is never based upon our attainment”: e.g. a truly clear conscience.

*”as our Substitute”: On His Cross Christ not only bore our “wages of Sin” (death—Rom 6:23) but also “condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom 8:3) by them being imputed to Him while on the Cross (Isa 53:6)—which justifies us. His sacrifice revealed that He veiled His own glory so that the Father’s glory would be prominent, thus He “restored that (God’s glory) which” He “took not away” (Psa 69:4).

*”the Cross to crucify me”: e. g. the old me, and that continually, until “the redemption of the body” (Rom 8:23).

*”the sinner”: the flesh; sin nature; old man, which is not considered to be the believer in the new man, which is “not in the flesh” (Rom 8:9).

*”a power (sin nature) within that draws to sin (sinning)”: James 1:14—“his own lust”—which still resides dormant (torpid; inactive towards being dominant) within the believer, as opposed to its activity being dominant within the unbeliever (Rom 6:12, 14).

*”deliverance from what I am”: Deliverance from what I am in my old man is freedom from its guilt and dominion which is established upon rebirth, so that we in our new man “may grow up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15).

*”The root trouble is the sinner”: e.g. the “old man” or sin source.

*”In His death unto sin we all died”: God always knew who would be saved, hence He saw all the saved on the Cross during His Son’s crucifixion.

*”then we count upon the facts spontaneously “: not that a promise within salvation is dependent upon our reckoning, for it is not our reckoning that effects a promise but rather helps us to be certain of a security in a promise.

*”not reckoning toward death but from death”: reckoning is never a cause but an effect, which provides mental peace and security, as a believer can have a promise of God even if there is a void of understanding it sufficiently, which will only interfere with enjoying the encouragement that comes from a promise.

*”requires no work on our part”: work related to effecting salvation, not our work in showing it.

*”old habit of “doing”: doing something that we may believe effects the retaining of salvation, similar to believing doing that which we believe effects salvation. Works never precede salvation but rather proceeds it, for salvation can temporarily be void of true works while maturing in Christ, but true works can never be void of salvation.
O for a thousand thumbs to raise in grateful affirmation
of this glorious truth! Thank you for posting, NC.