WHEN THE OLD MAN IS DEAD
Apostle Paul emphatically stated, “I die daily” (I Corinthians 15:31). Sometimes we all marvel at the power of this apostle’s life, but the power was in his “death, to himself.” Over and over this theme fills the revelations that flooded his life. In his second epistle to Corinth he stated, “But we have this treasure (all the priceless blessings and benefits of the Holy Spirit) in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (II Corinthians 4:7).
Much of this generation can only conceive a saint of God walking on Hallelujah Boulevard with a golden cloud under their feet. Well, they surely need to read how this apostle described his life of constant death, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (II Corinthians 4:8-11).
When our old man is dead, something so wonderful happens that carnal people cannot conceive or understand it. God’s sovereign Spirit cannot rest upon or dwell in a human vessel until death to the sin nature has occurred. This is why the early church was so dynamic that they turned the cities in which they ministered into revival centers. Read Acts chapter 8, where a table-attending appointee shared the gospel message, “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:5-8).
The expectation after the Crucifixion and Resurrection was that the believers gave up their selfish life to live only for Christ. It is clear that all of them did not follow this expectation and we see that many were labeled as carnal instead of spiritual. It is clear that all of them that became spiritual also became powerful. Phillip and Stephen in Acts chapters six and seven were prime examples. It’s shattering to realize how carnal and helpless the church is today. It will never change in anyone’s life until they are fully prepared to die to the “old man.”
I challenge each reader of this Salty Saints to consider this wonderful possibility. The Romans Road of the Book of Romans is our starting point. By the Holy Spirit Paul stated, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 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. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:11-14). This is a powerful truth that our modern churches ignore.
You cannot research the history of the great saints of God without constantly encountering this revelation. It does not matter whether it is Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, or Baptist, etc. Every time you find someone that dares to seek the crucified life the same results follow. Those in the Catholic Church had to leave their connections to Catholicism. Often, those in reformed or orthodox circles were persecuted and driven out. But, every time these dear saints begin to bless multitudes and turn cities and communities into harvest fields.
Revival is going to occur either before the Rapture or after the Rapture. The Holy Spirit is searching our Church World to find laborers and the crucified life is His single source. He cannot anoint the carnal life with His unction, but He cannot fail to anoint the crucified. Listen to Apostle Paul explain this great truth, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:6-8).
This level of revelation is enough to thrill a committed believer and to fill with fear the carnal believer. In I Corinthians we read, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14). There is very little difference, if any, between the natural man and the carnal man. At least the carnal man has made a decision to be a Christian, while the natural man probably hasn’t. But, neither is destined to remain in this unspiritual condition.
The sacrifice of Christ’s sacred body was a spiritual moment when cleansing and redemptive powers were released to change our lives. The Blood of Christ cleanses us from the guilt of sin, but is also fully prepared to break the powers of the nature of sin. In His pastoral prayer Jesus proclaimed, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:15-17). Sanctify means to set apart for a righteous cause and to enable the same in their hearts and lives.
Apostle Paul said a similar thing in his epistle to Thessalonica, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (I Thessalonians 5:23-24).
You furnish the life fully ready to be put to death and He is fully ready to do the rest. Paul said, “That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die” (I Corinthians 15:36). Jesus completely settles this entire discussion. “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” and He also says, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27, 33).