When Christ died, He died unto sin, or rather for sin.  He died because our sin was imputed to Him, and He was constrained as our surety to suffer the penalty due unto it, which is death.  But that offering needed only to be made one time, because in His cross work our Lord made entire satisfaction to God for the sins of His people.  When He rose from the dead, ensuring our justification, He had utterly dispensed with our sin, leaving it in the tomb behind Him, never to see the light of day again.  He certainly will never sin in His own right, and it is equally certain that God will not again charge Him with our sin.  He made one offering for sins forever, and He is now set down on the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.  By one offering He perfected forever them that are sanctified, and now He lives again to God, by the power of God.  It is impossible that our Saviour, Who was resurrected from the dead by the glory of the Father, can perish again, and come under subjection to death.  He lives unto God, and even that human body in which our Lord suffered and died now lives forever, and can never again be subject to the pains of death.  In that same body, where He now sits at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, our Lord lives unto God, continuing to work the will of the Father in His sovereign government of the kingdoms of the world.

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Christ’s one-time death unto sin, and resurrection to a new and endless life unto God, is the pattern of God’s dealing with the believer.  We are dead unto sin, Christ having slain its power to condemn us and its power to rule us.  Because we have believed in Christ and become His disciples, we are to reckon ourselves as dead unto sin.  Whether we feel internally all the glorious things that have happened to us or not (and often we do not), we are to recollect and remember the basic facts of the Gospel, which Paul has been enumerating, and to conduct ourselves accordingly.

I should be very glad to know what is the state of your soul.  Is it not tired of its own righteousness?  Does it not breathe freely at last, and does it not confide in the righteousness of Christ?  In our days, pride seduces many, and especially those who labour with all their might to become righteous.  Not understanding the righteousness of God that is given to us freely in Christ Jesus, they wish to stand before Him on their own merits.  But that cannot be.  When you were living with me, you were in that error, and so was I.  I am yet struggling unceasingly against it, and I have not yet entirely triumphed over it.

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Oh, my dear brother, learn to know Christ, and Him crucified.  Learn to sing unto Him a new song, to despair of yourself, and to say to Him: Thou, Lord Jesus CHrist, art my righteousness, and I am Thy sin.  Thou hast taken what was mine, and hast given me what was Thine.  What Thou wast not, Thou didst become, in order that I might become what I was not!-Beware, my dear George, of pretending to such purity as no longer to confess yourself a sinner: for Christ dwells only with sinners.  He came down from heaven, where He was living among the righteous, in order to live also among sinners.  Meditate carefully upon this love of Christ, and you will taste all its unspeakable consolation.  If our labours and afflictions could give peace to the conscience, why should Christ have died?  You will not find peace, save in Him, by despairing of yourself and of your works, and in learning with what love He opens His arms to you, taking all your sins upon Himself, and giving thee all His righteousness.

The Fifth Commandment

This is my first message on the Fifth Commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”  This sermon first attempts to expound what it means to honor one’s parents, then shows the extent of a child’s obedience (“in all things”), and finally shows the reward of obedience: a long life.  A clear understanding of the commandment shows just how far short each of us has fallen of perfect obedience, and how dearly we need a Saviour Who always obeyed this, as well as all the rest of God’s laws.

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Christ’s resurrection was a one-time event, and there is no necessity that it should ever be repeated.  He can never die again, and therefore He is utterly and entirely free from the dominion of death.

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Just so, those who are joined in vital union with Him, can never again come under the power of sin and death.  Yes, this mortal flesh shall die, but that is only in order that it may be resurrected again in the likeness of His glorified body.  In the spiritual realm, just as Christ died but once and can never come into subjection to death again, we who are liberated by His grace can never come under condemnation again.  Our life is hid with Christ in God, as this same apostle told the Colossians, and it is just as secure as is His place in heaven at the right hand of the Father.

 

R.L. Dabney and the American Idea of Equality

I would encourage anyone who has time to read this article by Boyd Cathey, from the excellent Abbeville Institute web site, about R.L. Dabney, the famous Southern theologian, which deals mostly with Dabney’s teaching concerning equality.  Having read Dabney’s works several years ago, I can say without hesitation that they had a tremendous impact upon me, and still shape my thinking to a large degree today.

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Dabney would be considered very politically incorrect today, but it is hard when we read him not to see in him something of a 19th century prophet.  He saw and predicted where the women’s suffrage movement was leading, where the public school movement was leading, and more.  Most interesting of all is the quotation Cathey provides in the closing paragraph, where he describes American conservatism as simply a shadow following Progressivism.  Any careful research of American history will find this to be exactly true: conservatives who once opposed various egalitarian movements in the country now laud them as part of the American fabric.  No doubt those calling themselves conservatives will in the future, with precious few exceptions, do so with the LGBT movement as well.  Indeed, some are already doing so.  It is no exaggeration to say that it is a satanic concept of equality that has turned America into the moral cesspool that we see today.

Those who are dead with Christ may have a confident faith that they will also live with Him.  Their sins were crucified with Him, and those sins can never be resurrected to testify against them to their condemnation.  We are, as has consistently been emphasized, also dead to the ruling power of sin.  Every aspect of sin’s dreadful reign has been abolished, even as we saw at the end of the 5th chapter.  Sin once reigned over us unto death, but now that we have come under the reign of grace, we have received righteousness as a free gift, and the promise is that we shall reign in life by Jesus Christ.

Those who have died to sin’s dominion, even though it leads to them living a life of mortification of sin, including compelling us to be willing to suffer persecution, nevertheless have the promise that we shall live with Him.  As He was resurrected, so shall we be resurrected.  As He died unto sin once, and rose again, so shall we die to sin in every aspect of its dominion, and live in newness of life through Him, being sanctified through the Spirit and made meet for the kingdom of heaven.

 

Since the power of sin has been utterly broken in this judicial sense, it is impossible to imagine that God has yet permitted its power to linger in our lives.  Those whose sins have been nailed to Christ’s cross, and have seen them drowned in the blood that flowed from His sacred body, can never be content to allow sin to be the ruling factor in their lives.  If we have partaken of the blessing of Christ’s salvation, we must not serve sin any longer.

The man who is dead is freed from sin.  Once a man has died, sin no longer has any power to energize his mortal frame to commit deeds of lawlessness against God.  Much more so, the man whose body of sin has been destroyed through Christ’s death and resurrection, is no longer under the power of the body of sin.  He is at liberty from sin, and can never be crushed under its dominion again.