Lotsa good things in C5.
After quoting Rom. 6 3-10, DM says that “according to this passage the key to gaining victory over sin is our new identity.
First what does God say I am? “
Identity speaks not to what but WHO. Nature speaks to WHAT. In my position we are both a new who and a new what. But that aside, DM makes the point that having a new ID in God may not do us any good id we do not understand and appropiate what God has done. Agree!
Under the heading: KNOWING, he tells us that in the short passage given that Paul mentions ‘knowing’ 3 times, vs. 3,6, and 9
First, in 3, we should know that we as Christians are united to Christ through spiritual baptism [again i am reminded of 1st Cor. 12:13: For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.] DM tells us we died and rose with Jesus, not actually there on the cross but when placed in Jesus , His death and Rez become ours. Agree!
DM continues speaking of our new ID in Christ, the way God sees us and that by our knowing this and applying it to our lives, we can live changed lives. Agree!.
Of course, I am agreeing with the truth of what he is saying, for it is true, though incomplete since he separates ID from nature. ut the truth is that because of our new nature and ID in Christ we can live changed lives. In fact, we will be miserable when we don’t try, but that isn’t found here in the text or his book.
Then we encounter the spot where my last email focused on. One thing i thought of in meditating on the passage was from Ephesians 2:
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
Before we were saved, we were by nature children of wrath. But God… and we read in vs. 10 that now “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” So that in a very true sense we have been re-created, for we were once in Adam as children of wrath as sons of disobedience, but now we are created in Christ Jesus as sons of obedience. Both our nature and ID have changed.
So ends that section and on to the one titled: BELIEVING.
In this section, I like his thrust but i want to point out a few things.
He talks about 1st John 4:16-19 somewhat, and i want to go there with more context:
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
Identity is perception of WHO one is. Nature is WHAT one is. Those who abide in God and God in them have more than just the ID of being of God, but also have a new godly nature. Does God abide with a sinful nature? No, of course not.
Now what DM is saying in this s is right for the most part, but he misses an important truth. Missing this truth is what I believe separates his understanding from mine in dealing with the Lordship differences we have. As you read through this section, it kinda gives the idea that true believers can live a life of sin because these great truths are unknown to him. Sadly enough, many are taught that they don’t need to seek a life of holiness as long as they believe Jesus died and rose: He is Savior but not Lord. It seems to me that DM accepts these as believers and blames their sin walking due to ignorance. For some, it may be, for others it may be because they are still children of wrath. A proper emphasis on the lordship of Jesus from the start and throughout one’s walk by one’s leaders, elders, and preachers would go along way to remedy that ignorance.
But aside from my opinion and superseding it, is the Word of God. For it says that whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. Then as we continue through this passage we can see two different ideas being promoted, even as they were in our Romans 6 passage. The one idea is of the changed nature of the person, dead to sin, alive to God, walking in love. The other idea is an admonition to put away sin and to love his brother. The truth of who we are and what we are now is to be manifested in our lives by our actions.
This is a major theme in the book of 1st John, and we read in chapter 2:
3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
Who you claim to be [your ID] should reflect who you are [your nature] and should be moving toward conformity with Jesus.
In other words, Christians WILL have a conformed-to-Jesus trajectory as they live out the rest of this life. That we stumble at times, and may go through ‘seasons of sin’ as the exceptions only show the dips in our lives where then the grace of God brings us back to a true ending. Not every thorn is taken away when we ask.
Under the heading: CONSIDERING
I really like what he says there:
“Knowing the facts isn’t enough. We also have to apply active faith. Real faith in the Biblical sense always has an action component.”
“According to the Bible, you really haven’t believed something until you act on it.” Amen to that. Romans 10:9-10 comes to mind:
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
How can one believe [and be righteous, other versions, justified] and yet not saved? Salvation comes at confession, faith is complete when it has its work. On this same theme we read the next verses:
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”.
If one believes [and thus not be disappointed] do they not have to call on Him? Of course not. If one believes, he will call! he will confess! Faith always leads to choice. But that is another topic (-:
In agreeing with DM in this section wholeheartedly, let me just add a comment on to his last sentence. In seeing ourselves as God sees us, we should gain a growing sense of the reality of what we are reading, and YES we should also gain the sense of the reality of WHAT we are [not just who] -children of God.
under heading: PRESENTING to the end of the chapter.
Amen to the points DM is making.
It is God who has the responsibility to make us stumbling children feel loved despite our sin, and it is the duty of our under shepherds to bring these truths out in the open. The more we are open in our weaknesses the more we will attract those in the world who feel their own deficiencies: the poor, the needy, the downtrodden, the blind, the lame, the depressed, and the more Christ will be glorified for His cross.