TEEN TREE OF LIFE

The Doctrine of

Part 2

February 5, 2017

BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).

In last week’s Tree of Life, we began a study of the different categories of death. We began with physical death. The second category – Spiritual Death – is actually the most important category to understand. The Spiritual Death of the human race is noted in GEN 2:17: “ …but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die. This verse’s reference to death is spiritual not physical. We know this because neither Adam, nor the woman, dies when they eat from the tree of knowledge. Instead, they become separated from God. This is what Spiritual Death is.

The origin of Spiritual Death was not and is not anyone’s personal sin but originates with the fall of man (Adam). The fall of man resulted in the penalty imposed upon the human race. The penalty (Spiritual Death) is issued simultaneously at physical birth when human life is imputed to the biological life. We are all, therefore, born physically alive and spiritually dead: Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned(ROM 5:12)

There are actually two categories of Spiritual Death: real Spiritual Death and substitutionary Spiritual Death. Real Spiritual Death refers to the actual Spiritual Death of Adam when he was separated from God. Substitutionary Spiritual Death refers to the Spiritual Death experienced by Jesus Christ on The Cross when He was judged for all sins and separated from God in place of us:  For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit… (1PE 3:18) This is also taught in 2CO 5:21: He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Though we were born in sin, God does not make us pay the penalty for our sins, He allowed a Substitute Sacrifice on our behalf. What then is the solution to man’s Spiritual Death? ROM 6:23 gives us that answer: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Without the acceptance of this gift on the part of man’s free will, man remains in Spiritual Death and is eternally separated from God.

The next category of Biblical death is the Positional Death of the believer. At the point of Salvation, the believer receives a new nature and the old nature is considered dead to God. Our Positional Death, therefore, is our identification with the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is known as the Baptism of The Spirit. On the Cross, Jesus Christ paid the price for all sin and also rejected the Old Sin Nature and all it produces: human good and evil. Our identification with this is our Positional Death to the Old Sin Nature and its productions, ROM 6:1-4: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore 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. Our new nature is the nature in which we execute the spiritual life. The old nature can offer nothing to God – no matter how good it appears!

ROM 6:10 tells us that Christ crucified (killed) the Old Sin Nature on the Cross. Therefore, in the eyes of God the Old Sin Nature is dead and can offer nothing good. Apart from God, we can produce NOTHING: “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (JOH 15:3-5) Our goal, then, should be to only try to accomplish Divine good which is accomplished when we are filled with The Spirit. We should reject that which the flesh produces. The flesh (Old Sin Nature) produces human good and evil and these are what please Satan.

We should live our lives relying on God and the Power and Nature He has supplied for us in His Plan. When we rely on self, we are adopting the policy of Satan. Jesus Christ incarnate pioneered the spiritual life by His Complete Reliance on the Father’s Will and the Spirit’s Power. We are to live our lives in the same manner. You are therefore a loser believer unless you have the Spirit of God as your Power and are motivated by God’s Word, accurately divided: “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (JOH 4:24)

The next Biblical category of death is Carnal Death or Cosmic Death, which is basically what results in post-salvation when the Old Sin Nature takes control of the soul. Carnal/Cosmic Death exists in three areas: post salvation sinning; post salvation human good; and post salvation evil. The Carnal Death of the believer can be classified in three ways: temporal death which is when the believer is out of fellowship with God; cosmic death which is when the believer lives a life of cosmic involvement; and the fragmented death of the believer when the believer is living in moral or immoral degeneracy. Remember that moral degeneracy is dead works or things done without being filled with The Spirit. All of these carnal deaths refer to the function of the believer’s volition in converting temptation from the Old Sin Nature into sinfulness. In other words, you have to make the choice to sin at the point of temptation! The issue is not whether the believer is aware of his cosmic involvement or not but that the desire is freely acted upon by the believer’s volition. Temptation is not a sin until human volition follows through with action.

Sin and cosmic involvement bring in Carnal Death which separates the believer from God. Look at REV 3:1: “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” This verse explains that the carnal believer does have production and that he is alive but God considers his/her works dead!

Remember this: … the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace… (ROM 8:6) If the believer remains in Carnal Death, he/she will eventually die the sin unto death. The sin unto death is maximum punishment from God.  It is fair, painful and terminates in physical death. Believers can die the sin unto death through prolonged negative volition and reversionism. This is actually a grace gift from God because God is saving him/her from the greater evil that is surely to come and He is  taking him home to heaven.

{to be continued}

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