Summary of message.
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I received a question from a reader that continues to be of great importance. I have responded to this question before, only then it was an accusation, not a question. In that earlier response, “Put on the New Man,” I answered the question three different ways. As I lay in bed last night, pondering this important reality even further, I saw several more ways to present it.
Romans 6: Reckon ye yourselves dead to sin but alive to God through Christ Jesus.
OK. Fair enough. But then: let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body…. Neither yield ye your members… unto sin
And: Let us walk… not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying (13:13).
Paul does seem to be “considering human weakness” and making “its desires mean something”. Doesn’t he?
This is my million dollar question of the moment: can we, must we “put ourselves second”, or “put ourselves last” (this is quoting a friend, whom I told I don’t believe she can do that)?
Arrrr! I feel like I’m winding myself in knots! I’ll keep reading…!
Dear Sister, your question is of supreme importance. Be assured that when I write what I write about Romans 6:11, I am fully aware of Paul’s admonition to “therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body.”
Now, I want to come at this from many different directions, but I want all of the directions to flow out of one thing. But first, there is a very simple response to your friend’s comment. I do not put myself second, and I do not put myself last. I put myself not at all, for God never tells me such a thing. I put Christ as all, but when I put Christ as all, I reckon with a real and living Person, living in power as the source and the all of me. I do not recognize that Person by my feelings, but by His faith operating now as my faith in Him, that is, in what He says.
John 14:20 In that day you shall know that I am in the Father and you in Me and I in you.
Here is my continual contention, by personal experience. Living entirely inside of you in Me and I in you changes, not the word God speaks, but our seeing and hearing. We enter that way of living by accepting the absolute finality of the cross. I cannot put myself anywhere for I am dead. Neither is Christ in me alongside of me, but entirely and utterly in ME. And I am entirely and utterly in Him.
We are commanded by God to PUT Jesus upon ourselves, but we are not commanded to “put” ourselves into Jesus. God’s intention for us putting Jesus upon ourselves is that He might win our hearts. But we ARE inside of Jesus from the prayer of Jesus in the upper room on. It makes no difference how much a believer in Jesus may not know that they ARE in Jesus, it’s a done deal. Yet Jesus does command us to remain there in Him.
For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. Therefore take heed how you hear. Luke 8:17-18
When Jesus said, “Take heed how you hear,” He was positioning the reality of John 14:20.
You say, “I feel like I’m winding myself in knots.” Yes. That is the experience of ALL who have ever taken God’s word seriously. God contradicts Himself – unless we hear Him only inside of and out from John 14:20.
Everything will be exposed. Everything.
Now, I want to make this comment. I see that you are using the King James Version of the Bible and I wonder at that. The KJV is, I think, just about the worst translation of the Bible there is. The translators were college intellectuals who did not know the Spirit, who did not know first century Greek, and who were filled with the prejudices and superstitions of Germanic, Puritan, Nicene Christianity. Many times their choice of translation is fine, but often it is NOT, including in critical places. More than that, their choices are generally negative, coming out from the hatred of human flesh that came via the fall into Roman darkness.
I wonder that any of my readers would continue to use the KJV. It is certainly fine, from a cultural point of view or for its poetry, and you, of course, are perfectly free to use any translation you wish. But I think that breaking free from the thinking of this world requires that we escape from the prejudice of Nicene Christianity as it scattered its foul seed all through God’s field including all through His word, including all through the KJV.
We are transformed by the renewing of our minds, by changing how we think.
Take heed how you hear.
Let me give the layout of seeming contradiction coming from Paul.
Romans 6: Reckon that you are dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God VS Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should fulfill its lusts.
Romans 8: The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death. VS If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if you through the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body you will live.
Romans 13:14 Put on the Lord Jesus Christ VS and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. (This last part is a poor translation, especially in the KJV – but we’ll get to that in a bit.)
Ephesians 4: Put on the new man which was created according to God VS Put off the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.
Colossians 3: You are dead – Christ is your life VS therefore put to death your members which are on the earth.
Do not let sin reign – Put to death your members.
Okay, but we must then ask and seek an answer to an incredibly important question. This question is considered realistically by so very few. Most everyone just assumes they “know” the answer, even though their answer is total unreality – which they also know, but hide with a very clever lie.
The answer almost anyone gives to this question is, “Hear and obey.” That is the answer of dishonesty. If you press them, you will discover that their real answer to “HOW, God, HOW do we stop sinning?” is “Try and lie.”
Trying and lying, God, just trying and lying.
And then settling for the weak answer of unbelief and contempt for God’s word. “You will never obey Paul’s command; God doesn’t really want you to do that here in this life. It’s all for heaven after we die.”
The enemy, my sister, is “go to” heaven. It is the final refuge of triers and liars.
Paul is very clear on the HOW. He presents two possibilities only.
By Faith VS By Works
Let me give another name for works: trying and lying.
Now, I want to change how you think and how you hear. I can’t really do that, of course, nor would I want you to rely on me to accomplish this only salvation in your life. My hope is that the Lord Jesus, in Whom you live and Who is your only life, would, by His Spirit, change how you hear and think, using my words, maybe, just a little bit.
Let me share with you a very simple fact of reality that you will find if you just observe speakers of “the gospel” closely over time.
No one talks about sin and Christ 50/50 in the way that Paul seems to do (He does not, but we will get to that). One very small group will talk about Christ most of the time, with sin as something incidental, that Christ takes care of already. The other very large group will talk about sin and the flesh and dying and obedience most of the time with the Lord Jesus as far away, incidental to our present reality, helping us just a little bit by His Spirit, but only as we try for ourselves and only a very little bit (which is why we have to lie).
Why do Christians who try have to lie? Because God doesn’t help them at all.
I know. God never helped me once. That’s why I stopped lying.
If God refuses to help, and He does, why should we continue to try and therefore lie?
Let me explain exactly what is going on, and then use a number of illustrations to show how reality works.
Let’s position these two:
Christ our life VERSUS sin in the flesh.
Wow! Do you see where most Christians choose to live – in the arena that does not exist. Wow! That’s why they have to lie. Do you see? Most Christians choose to live in the VERSUS! But there is no such place. There are NOT three places to live. There are only TWO!!!
We live in Christ OR we live in sin. This is so obviously self-evident, yet so many insist that NO! We live only in the VERSUS. In fact this is the accusation – that anyone who lives only in Christ is “the real liar.” Anyone who lives only in sin is, of course reprobate, so the only place any Christian can live in now on this earth is inside of the VERSUS. Only in heaven can we actually live in Christ.
Yes, I was accused by a minister of the gospel that by saying that I live only in Christ, I was the one who was lying. That’s why I wrote “Put on the New Man.” Do you see the viciousness of those who would attempt to drag us out of Christ and force us to live with them inside the VERSUS, inside of trying and lying?
Take heed how you hear.
Here is how too many believers in Jesus “hear” Paul’s command, best expressed by the incorrecttranslation: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. They hear only “make no provision for the flesh,” they cannot hear “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Thus they enter this command of the gospel through the “and,” through the “VERSUS,” and immediately turn their backs on Christ, face sin alone, and spend the rest of their lives trying and lying, trying and lying.
Jesus’ statement “Take heed how you hear,” requires a completely different way of hearing. You see, all the trying and lying will be exposed for what it really is.
No one ever lives inside the VERSUS. Such a realm cannot exist.
Here is a Christian living utterly inside of the old man, inside of sin in the flesh, a condition that exists only in the imagination of the carnal mind (be transformed by changing the way you think), and by the strength and ability of the flesh busies him or herself with putting to death sin in the flesh. Sin killing sin. Sin triumphing over sin. Sin in the flesh putting to death sin in the flesh. Self putting self under foot. Sin preventing sin from ruling. Living according to the flesh putting to death the deeds of the body. The old man putting off the old man. Earthly members putting to death earthly members.
Do you see the lying? It is really pretty clear. It is really a sick, sick, perversion.
And when sin succeeds in not sinning, what does it become? Sin not sinning is called self-righteousness, the filthiest perversion of iniquity in the universe. Sin not sinning is the greatest sin of all. That is why those who try must lie by the very nature of their disobedience.
I had thought to save my title illustration for last, but I will put it first and then show some other ways in which God has made this huge dichotomy real to us.
Closing the Door
The Bible, and every word in it, is a Door. Christ, the Word God is always speaking, is the doorway into Christ our only life.
A door is for two things. A door serves to keep out that which does not belong, and a door serves to welcome invited guests into your home. And yes, you know well all the many statements of Jesus, Isaiah, Paul, and others saying exactly that.
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled . . . Matthew 13:10-14
Go to this people and say: “Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you will see, and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.” Matthew 13:14-15 & Acts 28:26-27 & Isaiah 6:9-10
You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? Romans 9:19-21
I am laying this out in depth here because the entrance into Christ is through the door of shutting up, of stopping all this LYING, of placing our foreheads upon the ground in silence before a holy and a mighty God who does not put up with nonsense.
If someone is not obeying, then why in the name of all that is holy and true do they keep right on trying and lying in the very face of the Almighty?
Let me make a claim about myself.
I, Daniel Yordy, put off the old man daily. I close the door to sin every moment. I put to death every deed of my body. I make no provision for the flesh. I do not yield my members to sin.
And here is where you ask me – are you ready?
How, Yordy, do you obey Paul’s continual injunction?
I put on the Lord Jesus Christ. And have done so daily, now, for seven years.
But the question then is, how do I HEAR Paul’s words. I hear them in this way.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and close the Door to sin.
Put on the new man and close the Door to the old man.
Reckon yourself dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God and close the Door to a life of sin in your members. (And remember that Jesus is the Door; we are closing Jesus Himself upon all that is not Christ.)
Enter into Christ and close the Door to not-Christ.
Now, Paul really is saying, “Close the door.” And that really is how Romans 13:14 should be paraphrased, according to the actual Greek words.
I live IN Christ. I do not live in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying, but only in Christ.
And here is the saddest thing in the universe. Too many Christians who “hear” Paul speak and take him seriously, do obey. They do close the door.
And here is the lie working in their minds. I must get rid of sin FIRST before I can enter into Christ.
They close the door to Christ, and then, with their backs to Christ, they turn to face sin to defeat it. Only they remain in rioting and drunkenness, trying not to riot or get drunk so that someday they can enter into Christ. They remain in chambering and wantonness, trying not to chamber or be wanton so that someday they can enter into Christ. They remain in strife and envying trying not to strive and envy so that someday they can enter into Christ.
Trying and lying and not living inside of Jesus.
I also close the door, just like they do, but I close the door, having already BOLDLY entered in according to the COMMAND of the gospel. I close the door, and sin is not in my arena, sin is outside where it belongs, inside an empty, empty grave.
Why must we place the ten most important verses in the Bible as the ten most important concepts in our minds ruling over and undergirding all of our hearing and seeing and thinking? Because if we don’t, then we will hear and see the opposite of Christ, just as Isaiah and Jesus and Paul warned us against so very carefully.
Look at the words of all those who teach putting to death the deeds of the body FIRST. Where is the Person of Jesus filling our hearts with His glory inside their words? He is not there. He is not there. He is not there.
Run from them, for they are lying to you.
Hearing and seeing the opposite of Christ is the normal fallen human condition.
I enter in by faith. I close the door by faith.
I believe, therefore I speak.
Next, let me present to you a verse that stands as a mighty dividing line in the church of Christ.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. . . And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12
I have given the whole, slightly reduced, context. But the verse I want to zero in on is this:
Whom (that is, the man of sin) the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
Here, again, even the New King James wrongly translates. The word is not “destroy,” it is “cause to cease.”
All who teach, “Make no provision for the flesh FIRST, so that someday you will be allowed to put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” run, by their words, in fear from this line. “Oh me, oh my, if you don’t get rid of the old man, then see, Paul says that the Lord will destroy you!!!!”
I ALSO RUN!!! Faster and more fiercely then they.
I run into this same coming Jesus, arising every moment inside of me with joy unspeakable and full of glory. I KNOW that the only possible way that sin can be defeated is by the Present breath of His mouth blowing across me right now. I KNOW that the only way that whatever is not of God can be caused to cease is by the brightness of His parousia in me, filling my heart as the very throne of God.
Christ is always all FIRST before anything not Christ could EVER vanish away.
AS HE IS, so am I right now. And I am BOLD in His parousia, I am BOLD in the Day of Judgment. Let all secrets be shouted upon the housetops concerning me. Let every hidden room be exposed for all to see. Here is my secret, Galatians 2:20:
Christ Jesus is my life; I have no other life.
I shout my secrets to the heavens, and I will not be silenced.
My face is bloody, my face is bruised, and I am not ashamed.
Do not rip apart God’s word, setting one verse against another. This is what all do who will not enter into living only inside of John 14:20. God’s word is Christ alone; it has never been “words on the page.”
How do I respond, then, to Paul’s strongest injunction? – If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if you through the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body you will live. Romans 8:13
My dear sister, I NEVER approach God any other way than by Mary’s very, very smart choice. I never approach God in any word that He speaks except by faith.
“LOOK AT ME, God!!!! I belong absolutely and utterly to You and to no one and nothing else. Let it be to me according to Your word in all that it means, as Christ Jesus, my very and only life.”
Go ahead, put to death the deeds of your body. Paul did not say “flesh,” he said “Body.” If you commit suicide, that is a deed of the body. If you stay in bed so that your body does not do anything, that is a deed of the body. If you get up and say, “Here, God, all that I do today in my body is for You alone,” hey, that’s still a deed of the body and Paul told you to put it to death.
In Christ all die. One sacrifice for sins forever. Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.
I lived for 21 years inside a Christian environment in which Romans 8:13 ruled as the ruling verse over all our approach to God. I have heard more anointed and profound teaching on the importance of obeying Romans 8:13 than any other topic under the sun. I walked among a people who considered daily, admonishing each other daily, to obey Romans 8:13, maybe not referring to the exact verse, no, but to what Paul commanded us.
“Die, brother, die.”
And I stand and testify to you that never once did any of us ever obey Romans 8:13. And in the same breath, I testify that I, today, obey Romans 8:13 every day of my life, moment by moment.
I put all that I am in all of my humanity to the one death, the ONLY death that counts.
I am dead. Good, that is finished. And now I live in Christ alone.
Jesus bought all of my sin from me. I withhold none of it from Him.
I put on the Lord Jesus Christ. I sink into Him daily, moment by moment, in the same way that I sink into the covers of my bed.
You will not find me anywhere else, ever.
I enter and I speak by faith and with all reckless audacity and fierce boldness.
I close the door. I see the Lord high and lifted up in me. And you see the Lord Jesus Christ honored and exalted in every letter I write, all the way through. Let’s bring in the full context of Isaiah’s experience.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth isfull of His glory!”
And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold,this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.”
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.”
Then I said, “Lord, how long?”
And He answered: “Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate, the Lord has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. But yet a tenth will be in it, and will return . . . Isaiah 6
The only proper response to God is Woe is me, for I am undone!
Do not “try” and do not lie. The problem is our lips. Shut your mouth first, and then speak Christ second.
The word is near you, even in your mouth.
Stop speaking sin; speak Christ alone.
Your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged. Speak Christ alone.
What are you doing when you speak Christ alone? You are obeying Paul. You are putting to death, to the one death of Christ, the only death God accepts, your members which are on this earth. You are closing forever the Door against sin.
Only those who put on the Lord Jesus Christ are, in fact, putting off the old man.
The others are lying; the truth is, they are barely trying. They just say those things to control the flock, to make vulnerable Christians quiver before them and call them “men” or “women of God.”
The tithe, the tenth part, belongs to God. You and I are that tithe.
I have other illustrations that show the lying found behind “trying.” Let me give another one just briefly. A computer has an operating system. Most computers use Windows as their operating system. My son just put together his own computer and downloaded Linux to be his computer’s operating system. You can, in fact, have both Linux and Windows on the same machine and choose, on start up, which operating system you wish to use that day.
You and I have two operating systems from which to choose every time we “startup,” every moment of every day. One operating system is Christ, the other is sin. Here is how most Christians “read” and “hear” Paul.
“I am a ‘sinner.’ Therefore, my operating system must be sin. Therefore, as I startup each moment, I acknowledge “sin” as my operating system. But I am trying to obey Paul, so here, inside this operating system of sin, I try very hard to get rid of my sin operating system. I try and fail, but that’s okay, because I’ll go to heaven.”
If you have a computer with both Windows and Linux on it, allowing you to choose which system will run your computer every time you start up, and if you wish to use Linux and not Windows, will you then, as a rational person, click on Windows, so that Windows now opens your system (I’m just a sinner “saved by grace”), and will you then, working inside of Windows, try very hard to get rid of Windows so that someday, someday, you will be free to click on Linux when you start up?
Because you are a rational person, smart like Mary, you would click on Linux every startup, and by doing so, eliminate Windows as far as you are concerned. Windows may still be there in your computer, most certainly, but you do not regard it, you do not see it, for you are in Linux alone.
Because I am a rational person, I click on, I acknowledge Christ alone every moment of my life. And by doing so, I eliminate sin as my operating system as far as I am concerned. Sin may still be around, hiding out inside that empty, empty tomb; who cares. I do not regard it, I do not see it, for I am in Christ alone.
I shut the Door. I go no more out.
Windows contains no ability inside its programming to get rid of itself. And neither does sin.
Opening Linux at every startup is the only thing that causes Windows to cease.
Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ every moment is the only thing that causes sin to be irrelevant.
Here is a better translation/paraphrase of Romans 13:14, more accurate to the actual Greek words Paul used.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and turn your back forever on anything not-Christ.
Close the door. Let Christ take care of sin. Turn and see Christ Jesus alone, the only life you are.