Why Christ Dying For Your Sins Was Not Enough

empty_tombIt’s easy to read over Romans 5:10 rapidly and miss its point.

And yet it’s one of the most sublime and poignant passages of Scripture.

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

See, we were reconciled to God through the death of Christ. And that is a great truth. Our sins were paid for, the curtain of separation between us and God was taken out of the way. Nothing stood any longer between us and God.

Yet Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that if Christ was not risen from the dead, then we Christians would be pitiful, because we would still be dead in our sins.

How can this be? Wasn’t His death on the Cross enough?

Being separated from God by our sins was only part of the problem. We also were spiritually dead. And even if our sins were paid for, it would have been no more valuable than paying for the Purina Dog Chow of a dead Doberman.

There also needed to be Life. New Life. A New Creation.

Being reconciled to God, as wonderful as that is, was not enough, and so the death of Jesus was not enough. He had to be risen from the dead, so that we too could be risen from our awful state, dead in our sins and trespasses.

“…according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead….even when we were dead in trespasses, [He] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”, (Ephesians 1:19,20; 2:5,6)

And so Jesus had to rise from the dead, or we would be lost. And fools. And blind leading the blind.

But He did rise from the dead.

And so we have not only the reconciling to God from the death of Christ, but our salvation through New Life, given as a free gift by God through the same power He used to raise Christ from the dead!

And so we have Romans 5:10, with profound meaning that might escape us if we simply read over it rapidly. Romans 5:10…

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, WE SHALL BE SAVED BY HIS LIFE.”

To All You Readers of Grace For Life,

We Love You.

Happy Easter!

He Is Risen!

Behold, He Makes All Things New

The First Sunrise of the New Year 2009

compiled by Michele Rayburn

Behold, He makes all things new…a New Covenant, a new creation in Christ, a new identity in Christ, a new spirit…

Psalm 40:3  He has put a *new* song in my mouth. Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.

Psalm 96:1  Oh, sing to the Lord a *new* song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Isaiah 42:9  Behold, the former things have come to pass, And *new* things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Isaiah 62:2  The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a *new* name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name.

Isaiah 65:17  “For behold, I create *new* heavens and a *new* earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”

Jeremiah 31:31  “Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a *new* covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”

Ezekiel 11:19  Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a *new* spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 18:31  Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a *new* heart and a *new* spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?

Ezekiel 36:26  I will give you a *new* heart and put a *new* spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Matthew 26:28  For this is My blood of the *new* covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Mark 14:24  And He said to them, “This is My blood of the *new* covenant, which is shed for many.”

Luke 22:20  Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the *new* covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”

John 13:34  A *new* commandment that I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Romans 6:4  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in *newness* of life.

Romans 7:6  But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the *newness* of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Romans 12:2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the *renewing* of your mind…

2 Corinthians 3:6  God…who also made us sufficient as ministers of the *new* covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 4:16  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being *renewed* day by day.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a *new* creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become *new*.

Galatians 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a *new* creation.

Ephesians 2:14-15  For He Himself is our peace…having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one *new* man from the two, thus making peace…

Ephesians 4:22-24  …put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts, and be *renewed* in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the *new* man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:9-10  …you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the *new* man who is *renewed* in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.

Titus 3:5  …according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and *renewing* of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 8:8  “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a *new* covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…” (Jer.31:31)

Hebrews 8:13  In that He says, “A *new* covenant,” He has made the first obsolete.

Hebrews 9:15  He is the Mediator of the *new* covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 10:19-20  Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a *new* and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh…

Hebrews 12:22-24  But you have come…to Jesus the Mediator of the *new* covenant…

1 Peter 2:2  …as *newborn* babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…

2 Peter 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for *new* heavens and a *new* earth in which righteousness dwells.

1 John 2:8  Again, a *new* commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

2 John 1:5  And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a *new* commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning; that we love one another.

Revelation 2:17  And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a *new* name written which no one knows except him who receives it.

Revelation 3:12  And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the *New* Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God. And I will write on him My *new* name.

Revelation 14:3  And they sang as it were a *new* song before the throne…

Revelation 21:1  And I saw a *new* heaven and a *new* earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.

Revelation 21:2  Then I, John, saw the holy city, *New* Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:5  Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things *new*.”

Morning Has Broken – sung by Cat Stevens

Stop Calling Christians Sinners (Transcript)

I recently witnessed a good friend being put out of fellowship from his local church for unrepentant public sin against his wife. The process was handled in accordance with Matthew Chapter 18, which starts with approaching a sinning brother, confronting him lovingly about his sin.

If he doesn’t repent, one or two others are brought in to confront the person, and if he still won’t repent, then you tell it to the church, and if he still won’t repent, then you treat him as a heathen or tax collector (that’s not a reference to the Internal Revenue Service, but another way of saying you treat him as an unbeliever, as though he were never born again at all).

Although outwardly the process appears to have been handled Scripturally and with humility, as the final disfellowshiping was announced to the congregation I heard something repeatedly that not only bothered me, but I believe actually compounds the problem of sinning in the church.

What I heard repeatedly in that meeting, both in teaching and in prayers, was the referring to all Christians as “sinners”. It was in the context of intended humility, something like, “As we gather to talk about this unrepentant friend of ours, we need to remember that we are all ‘sinners’.”

But of course it wasn’t just a theme of this meeting, but a common one. This referring to all Christians as sinners is common in the typical Bible-believing church. And I want to address it Biblically.

Are Christians sinners?

A Popular Bumper Sticker

But before I answer that question from the Scriptures, I want to introduce the topic by talking about a common bumper sticker that has been around ever since I became a Christian in 1976.

I’ve never liked the bumper sticker that says, “Christians Are Not Perfect — Just Forgiven”. It’s true we’re not perfected yet in every way, but it’s not true that we’re “just forgiven”.

A lot more has been accomplished with our regeneration, our “new birth”. We are a new creation. Old things have passed away, all things have become new.


But there is sometimes a real pride in self-abasement. How’s that for an oxymoron? Colossians 2:18 says, “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement…”

I have a couple friends who are so into self-abasement that they actually say that God didn’t send Jesus to die for us because He loved us, but only for His own glory. Well, He certainly did it for His own glory, but how absurd to deny the very clear John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that…He gave his own begotten Son…”.

One friend even claims his favorite Bible verse is in Job 42, when Job says, “I abhor myself”. When it’s pointed out that “abhor” is a questionable translation, translated “I retract”, for example in the NASB, he says it’s still his favorite verse, but he likes “abhor”.

Of course we need to be Christ-centered. Indeed, the more Christ-centered we are, I believe the more we will be amazed at what He has done in us. And the more Christ-centered we are, the more we will walk by the Spirit.

Yet, I believe that, ironically, to deny what God has done in and to us, is a sort of unbelief that quenches the Spirit.

All Christians Are Saints

And that brings me to the main point of this message. The biblical truth is that Christians are NOT Sinners in their new identity. They are Saints.

Now someone may quickly say, “Well sure they’re Saints, whatever that means, but they’re also Sinners. And if you don’t keep calling Christians Sinners then they’ll get all high and mighty and think they’re something.”

So allow me to make two things clear.

1. First, Who should get the glory and credit for all this new creation? Well, the one who did it all, of course, and that’s the Lord. Whatever we are is by grace.

“What do you have, O man, that you did not receive?” -1 Cor. 4:7

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” -Rev. 4:11

2. The second thing I’d like to make clear is that I’m well aware that Christians sin. That’s not the issue.

Before we were born again, we inherited a sin nature, a sin spirit, from Adam.

It’s that sin nature that sends a person who does not believe in Jesus Christ to hell.

And if you’re not born again, you still have that sinful nature, or spirit.

But when you’re born again, the old spirit, the old nature, is put to death in Christ on the cross, and replaced by a new nature. The Bible calls the old spirit “the old man”, and the new spirit, “the new man” or “new creation”.

Do We Have Two Natures?

So then do we have two natures? Two spirits? No, the Bible says the “old man” is dead, was crucified with Christ on the Cross. So we don’t have two natures, we still have one.

But it’s new, and it loves Jesus Christ and it hates sin. It believes in Jesus. Or as we say, YOU believe in Jesus. Because that spirit is YOU, and YOU are that spirit.

Now this spirit has a soul. And for discussion purposes we might say that this soul is our mind, emotions and will. [listen to Mp3 re how our mind, emotions and will were not "born again", but our spirit was]

So this spirit has a soul, and we live in a body.

But the real you, the real me, we are spirits. We are spirit beings. And to top that off, the Bible says that we have been given the Holy Spirit of God to live in us, also. Now we aren’t the Holy Spirit and He is not us, but the Bible does teach that we became one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). That’s amazing.

O.K. So why is this even important? Who cares if we say we have one nature or two natures? Who cares if somebody says we are both a bad spirit and a good spirit? Who cares if somebody says that we are two natures, old and new, battling ourselves?

Well, aside from the value of Truth itself, it’s important because we will live out our lives based on what we think is real. We will tend to ACT like we think we ARE. If we think we are partly evil, we will think it’s “natural” to act evil.

Or to put it another way, if we think we are a Sinner in our nature, in our identity, then we will think it’s “natural” to sin. We will think that, “Hey, this is me. This is who I am. I’m just a Sinner. Of course it’s natural for me to sin.”

And the problem with that thinking is it’s not Biblical.

Is Sinning Against Our Nature As Christians?

The Biblical truth is, when we sin it goes AGAINST our nature. Our new nature. This New Man, this New Creation. Sin goes AGAINST our nature.

So when we sin, we aren’t doing what’s natural, as a believer, but we are violating our own new nature. I’m being redundant on purpose here.

Because when you know the truth that you are not a Sinner, but a Saint, a separated one, a holy one, a new creation, then that truth can help to set you free.

As a believer, you are a new creation, a new spirit, a new identity in Christ, and the more you understand this, and review it, and believe it, the more your life will reflect it.

Let’s just look a little bit at our new identity in Christ. First, we are:

Holy (Eph. 1:4, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love”),

Righteous (2 Cor. 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”),

Saint of God (Rom. 1:7, “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints”),

Blameless (Eph. 1:4, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love”),

Christ as Our very Life (Col. 3:4, “Christ who is our life”),

A Son of God (Jn. 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name”),

A Citizen of Heaven (Eph. 2:19, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”),

An Ambassador representing the Kingdom of God (2 Cor. 5:20, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God”),

Son of the Second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45, “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit”),

Born from Him (Rom. 8:9, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His”),

With all your Needs (not greeds) Supplied (Phil. 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”),

Blessed with every Spiritual Blessing in Heavenly Places (Eph. 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”),

Unstopped by the obstacles of the world (Phil.4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”),

Navigating our Loving Father’s “obstacle course” designed to conform us to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:28-29, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren”)

A New Identity

You have a new identity, not that of a Sinner, but of a Saint.

By grace the old you has died, and the new you has come. That’s why Rom. 6:6 says, “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.”

But we have to “reckon” that. We have to “consider that true”. We have to “choose to believe that”. Rom. 6:11, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Don’t deny when you sin. Admit it. Confess it. But recognize that’s not your identity. That’s not who you are. That goes against who you are. You’re dead to sin and alive to God in your spirit, in your nature, through Jesus Christ.

Stop saying you’re a Sinner. “Such WERE some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” -1 Cor. 6:11

You WERE a Sinner. Now you are a Saint.

Now Rom. 6:12 makes sense. After Paul tells us to reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God, Rom. 6:12 says, “THEREFORE do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.”

See how that makes sense? If we were still SINNERS it wouldn’t make sense. It would be saying, “since you’re SINNERS, don’t let sin reign in your body.” That doesn’t make sense and that’s why so many Christians are confused. But if you are no LONGER a Sinner, then it makes sense to say, “don’t let sin reign in your body”. It’s not you. It’s AGAINST the new you.

Friend, accept this by faith as your true identity!

Set your mind on it!

Dwell on it!

Meditate on the truth of it!

Then, moment by moment act like it is true! Praise the Lord in all things, whatever circumstances you may encounter, acting as if Christ is expressing His Life through you.

Because He is.