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The Blood and the Cross

In The Normal Christian Life Watchman Nee describes the essence of a victorious life in Christ.  He first relates that the "normal life" is defined in Galatians 2:20.

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

As we walk through this life we are to live less and less of ourselves and have more and more of Christ living through us.  There is so much in God's word about this we could spend our entire life studying and practicing and still never gleam all that is presented in the Bible.  Let's just look at the very tip of the matter.

Watchman Nee describes how in Romans 1:1 to 5:11 that it is focusing on the word "sins" as relating to what we have done.  The sins that have been committed before God.  We are born sinners and cannot escape that fact on our own.  From Adam and that first act of rebellion we are all born sinners.   We desire to go our own way, not having or wanting God to reign over us.  Because of our sins there is a penalty of blood, no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22). In order to be forgiven of our sins God sent his son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to live a perfect sinless life and to die on the cross in our place, so that we can approach God and accept his sacrifice for us, through faith, so that we can be forgiven of our sins.

Romans 3:25  "Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"

Rom 5:8, 9  "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."

Rom. 3:23-25  "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"

This forgiveness by Christ's shed blood is God's work and we can receive this free gift by faith and know we have been forgiven and will enjoy the blessedness of the lord for all eternity.

This forgiveness does bring fellowship with God, but this fellowship can be broken.  We still have our sin nature that can cause God to withdraw his presence from our lives.  That is why Romans 5:12 through 8:39 deals with the word "sin".  Before we are born again we have sins being committed before the presence of God, but after forgiveness we still have sin that can plague our lives and rob us of the joy and blessedness that God has made available to us if we walk in the light of his word.

The second part in Romans is from Romans 5:12 to 8:39.  This passage deals with "sin", singular.  The "sins" we talked about is about the sins we have committed before God has given us forgiveness and salvation, through the blood of Christ.  The "sin" now talked about is the sin nature working in all of us.  Forgiveness does not make us sinless, incapable of sinning, we still need deliverance from the power of sin.

The remedy is found in Romans 6:6, and 5:19:

Rom 6:6 "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."

The Blood of Christ washes away our sins, but it does not take away our sin nature.  As Christ bore our sins on the cross, we must take up our cross and follow him.  We are crucified with Christ, he paid our penalty.  It is up to us to bear our cross and follow him (Matt. 16:24).  Everybody still sins, and our sin can keep us from the Kingdom.  We have a "besetting sin" that troubles us and is the most difficult to conquer.

Hbr 12:1 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,"

If we fully realize our sins were crucified on the cross with Christ, then, denying ourselves as we are dead to sin, being crucified , and follow Christ the race can be won and we can gain the prize of the Kingdom of God.  The comprehension that our old self was crucified on the cross with Jesus and being dead, as Christ then we can live in the newness of life, being now a son of God and possessing his nature as we allow the Holy Spirit to live in us and through us.

Rom 5:19 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

Following Christ means following his example of obedience to God.  With that obedience comes blessings from God and possibly a "Well done, though good and faithful servant" in the end.

Bearing our cross and crucifying the old self is part of "seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness."

Luk 21:36 "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

We can be victorious and reign with Christ if we watch ourselves, pray always for deliverance from sin and our flesh, crucifying the old nature and live obedient and pleasing to God.  It may seem difficult, but Christ is greater than anything you may need to bear.

Jhn 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."