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Thread: The Necessity of Death - Death of the Flesh is the Only Salvation

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    Default The Necessity of Death - Death of the Flesh is the Only Salvation

    The Necessity for Death

    To the degree that a believer is enlightened by the Holy Spirit into apprehending something of the pitiful condition of being fleshly, to that extent will his struggle with the flesh be intensified; and more often will be manifested his failures. In defeat he will be shown more of the sin and frailty of his flesh in order that he may be aroused to an increased indignation at himself and an ardent determination to contend with the sin of his flesh. Such a chain reaction may extend protractedly until at last, through experiencing the deeper work of the cross, he is delivered. That the Holy Spirit should lead us in just this way is truly fraught with meaning. Before the cross can do its deeper work there must be an adequate preparation. Struggle and failure supply just that.

    Apropos the believer’s experience, although he may agree mentally with God’s estimate of the flesh that it is corrupted to the core and irredeemable, he nevertheless may lack that clear spiritual insight which accurately appreciates the defilement and corruptness of the flesh. He may suppose what God says to be true. But though the believer still would never say so, he still tries to tinker with his flesh.

    Many believers, ignorant of the salvation of God, attempt to conquer the flesh by battling it. They hold that victory depends upon the measure of power they have. These therefore earnestly anticipate God will grant them increased spiritual power to enable them to subdue their flesh. This battle normally extends over a long period, marked by more defeats than victories, until finally it seems complete victory over the flesh is unrealizable.

    During this time the believer continues on the one hand to wage war and on the other to try improving or disciplining his flesh. He prays, he searches the Bible, he sets up many rules (“do not handle, do not taste, do not touch”) in the vain hope of subduing and taming the flesh. He unwittingly tumbles into the trap of treating the evil of the flesh as due to the lack of rules, education and civilization. If only he could give his flesh some spiritual training, thinks he, he will be freed from its trouble. He does not comprehend that such treatment is useless (Col. 2.21-23).

    Because of the Christian’s confusion in apparently desiring the destruction of the flesh while concurrently trying to refine it, the Holy Spirit must allow him to strive, to be defeated, and then to suffer under self-accusation. Only after he has had this experience over and over again will the believer realize that the flesh is irredeemable and his method futile. He then will search out another kind of salvation. Thus he now has come to appreciate in his experience what before he merely came to know in his mind.

    If a child of God faithfully and honestly believes in God and sincerely entreats the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s holiness to him so that he may know his flesh in that light, the Spirit certainly will do so. Henceforth he may perhaps be spared many sufferings. But such believers are few. Most trust in their own method, assuming that they are not that bad after all. In order to correct this incorrect assumption, the Holy Spirit patiently leads believers into experiencing little by little the futility of their own devices.

    We have observed that we cannot yield to the flesh; nor can we repair, regulate, or educate it, because none of our methods can ever alter in the slightest the nature of the flesh. What then can be done? The flesh must die. This is God’s way. Not through any other avenue but death is it to be. We would prefer to tame the flesh by striving, by changing it, by exercising the will, or by innumerable other means; but God’s prescription is death. If the flesh is dead, are not all problems automatically solved? The flesh is not to be conquered; it is to die. This is most reasonable when considered in relation to how we became flesh in the first place: “that which is born of the flesh is flesh.” We became flesh by being born of it. Now the exit simply follows the entrance. The way of possessing is the way of losing. Since we became flesh by being born of the flesh, it naturally follows that we shall be freed from it if the flesh dies. Crucifixion is the one and only way. “For he who has died is freed from sin” (Rom. 6.7). Anything less than death is insufficient. Death is the only salvation.

    The flesh is most defiled (2 Peter 2.10-22); God accordingly does not attempt to change it. There is no method of deliverance other than to put it to death. Even the precious blood of the Lord Jesus cannot cleanse the flesh. We find in the Bible how His blood washes our sin but never washes our flesh. It must be crucified (Gal. 5.24).

    The Holy Spirit can not reform the flesh; therefore He will not dwell in the midst of sinful flesh. His abiding in the believer is not for the purpose of improving, but for warring against, the flesh (Gal 5.17). “It (the holy anointing oil which is a type of the Holy Spirit) shall not be poured upon the bodies of ordinary men” (Ex. 30.32). If such be the case, how absurd for us frequently to pray that the Lord will make us good and loving so that we may serve Him! How vain is that hope which aims at a holy position some day wherein we may be daily with the Lord and are able to glorify Him in all things! Indeed, we should never attempt to repair the flesh in order to make it cooperate with the Spirit of God. The flesh is ordained to death. Only by consigning the flesh to the cross may we be liberated from being enslaved permanently by it.

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    We are crucified IN Christ and participate in His death and Resurrection by baptism in water. The baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire gives us what we need to walk the walk. We are never free from sin until we are dead and or made incorruptible. We must strive for excellence and with EVERY temptation, look for a way out that we may be able to bear it. If we do sin, we have an advocate with the father who will intercede on our behalf, and will forgive our sins IF we confess them to Him.
    Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

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    We who are saved are once saved always saved. If there is a possibility you could lose what you believe to be salvation it is not the salvation of the Bible. One indication this is true for you is by thinking baptism will save you. It cannot save you. God saves by regeneration. Whereas baptism of the Holy Spirit is something one experiences when ready after they are saved, for having died with Christ now one becomes buried, dies to the world and has that sense of a sojourner, and comes out of the water with Christ. Having this experience one may go and get baptized by water if they wish to let others know in the body of Christ they are members of the same body. But that baptism of the Holy Spirit itself is real and substantial entering into a deeper experience and consecration with the Lord. After that one can experience even further blessing of the dividing of their spirit, soul and body (Heb. 4.12) towards becoming an overcomer.

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    It doesn't appear to matter in practically all the churches I've visited and been a member of the last 40 years. If once saved always saved is true, or not, since most people are not saved, it's not important to them, is it ? ((I mean it won't make any difference, if they never get saved anyway))

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    servant77,

    But you are not saved, because you admit you are not once saved always saved. You claim you could lose salvation. Therefore, you have given your life to a false Christ and are going to Hell. You were too selfish to receive the Jesus who always keeps. It's like you have one foot in the door and one foot out at all times. You have not genuinely, therefore, come to Christ. God doesn't save you because you don't come in with both feet to accept the Jesus who always keeps. You are still relying on self and your own power.

  6. #6
    Choir Loft Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    We are crucified IN Christ and participate in His death and Resurrection by baptism in water. The baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire gives us what we need to walk the walk. We are never free from sin until we are dead and or made incorruptible. We must strive for excellence and with EVERY temptation, look for a way out that we may be able to bear it. If we do sin, we have an advocate with the father who will intercede on our behalf, and will forgive our sins IF we confess them to Him.
    Your statement is confusing. Perhaps if you reiterated .....

    If we are never free from (the power of) sin, as you say, "until we are dead", then it is impossible to "walk the walk" (whatever that means) for according to your statement the power of sin will reign over the living man. How can a dead man walk? There is no hiking of the dead in the cemetary (except in Hollywood movies).

    In point of fact, the reason we need salvation from the power of sin is so that we CAN LIVE and live a life that is pleasing to God.

    "For to me life is Christ and death is gain."- Paul to Phillipians 1:21

    We ARE free from the power of sin at the moment the second birth begins - at the moment the Holy Spirit joins within.

    "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship." - Paul to the Romans in 12:1

    If a man is a sinner all the days he lives, then he cannot be a "living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God". Jesus said that no man is autonomous. A man cannot serve two masters. If a man loves the world he will hate God and if he loves God he will hate the world. When the power of sin resides in a man he loves the world and cannot love God. Therefore being saved and with the guidance and in the power of the Holy Spirit, the man CAN live a life pleasing to God because in the power of God he can love God.(*)

    The idea that a man needs to die to be truly saved ignors the teaching of the Mosaic Law. In the law it is written that sin can be cast away like a dirty worn out old coat. Gulit is removed so that the people of God can live with God without fear of judgement either here or hereafter.

    Jesus did not come to abolish the Law (to this day no one has a license to sin). He came to fulfill the Law (so that we can life without the power of sin over us or the threat of judgment upons us).
    That means that the power of sin is removed and that the saved man can live 'in the spirit' a life pleasing to God.

    You don't need to die to be free of sin. LIVE and praise God for it. That is what He wants and THAT is what He died for.

    Read the book of Galatians. The letter of Paul may clear up a few things for you.

    and that's me, hollering from the choir loft...
    (*) Note that 'in the power of the Holy Spirit' man is still NOT autonomous. The autonomy enjoyed by Adam & Eve before the fall is eternally lost - forever gone.
    Fellowship has been restored and sin forgiven via the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross, but autonomy has been forever lost to all. We are called to live 'in the spirit' saved by Him and guided by Him and all this not of ourselves lest any man should boast. No man is an island and no man lives for himself in the Kingdom of God.

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    Choir,

    I think you are misunderstanding what Stan said. Stan was not saying Christians don't have the power over sin, but that as long as we are in these bodies of flesh and blood we are susceptible to the flesh even though those born-again have died to their old man. I would disagree with Stan in what he said about baptism. Baptism comes after the new birth. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is experientially sensing one has died to the world, gone down to the water with Christ, and coming up out of the world as a sojourner.

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