Have you ever seen the wonder
in the air of second life
having come out of the water
with the old one left behind
These lyrics from the newest United album (released yesterday!) are ringing in my head today. This song is speaking of the new life—the transfer of origins—which takes place at the moment anyone believes in Jesus as their Savior. When one comes to realize the state of slavery they’re living in in this world, which they’re born in to, and turns to find rescue—Jesus’ rescue—a person is transferred (rescued) from the race of Adam to the race of Jesus the glorified Christ. The lyrics speaking of “the old one left behind” are referring to this exact thing. The new believer has left the old race in Adam behind, and has come into the new race of Jesus Christ—and oh the wonder of it!
THE OLD LIFE LEFT BEHIND
I love that this song speaks of the wonder of this transfer of origins. The truth is it is wonderful! It’s a wonderful thing because, first of all, leaving the old, enslaved Adam race is wonderful! What Satan blinds us to before we learn the good news of Jesus, is the fact that we’re his slaves by our in-born nature. Because it’s the state we’re all born in to, it seems normal and natural. But the truth is, there’s nothing natural about it. It’s never the way it was meant to be. In fact, it’s very unnatural. So by default we all live unnatural lives in the slavery of the enemy of our souls. And that very enemy who enslaves us lies to us and convinces us we’re neither slaves nor that we’re miserable under his dominion.
But for those who find their rescue from the old, in-born man, once Life is received by faith, they’re the ones who really see, for the first time, the race they left behind. There’s this opening of the eyes that takes place when one believes Jesus is who He says He is—the second Adam… the First of a race of mankind which is free, full of life, love, joy, and mystery. A race not of this world, but of the heavenly places where Christ Jesus lives. Once the new is received, the slavery of the old man stands stark and clear to the eyes of the new, freed man. And oh the marvel in having left it behind. The joy in having left it behind.
THE NEW CHRIST LIFE RECEIVED
Not only is there wonder in really seeing the nature of the old Adam-man and realizing it is now left behind, but oh the wonder of looking now at the new Christ-man received by faith. Oh the marvel of it. Oh the joy of it. Stepping out of the race of our ancestor Adam, who unwittingly sold us into slavery, and into the race of our new forefather Jesus the Christ, who bought us out from slavery and took us into Himself to be united with Him, the God-man—the fully God and fully glorified-man Man… it’s wonder-ful. Oh how we need to come to understand all this transfer has appropriated for us! Oh how we need to understand the wonder of the new LIFE we have, the new race we are. This knowledge changes everything for the Christian. Without it, we are made new but we live as if we aren’t. Without understanding all implied in this transaction from old to glorious new, we live carnal, fleshly, under the dominion of sin, as if nothing at all has taken place. We live by rules and regulations and commands imposed on the body—the flesh—instead of living by the reformation of Jesus Christ Himself! And oh the crime in this! Oh the absurd tragedy in this!
WHAT WE INHERITED
The truth is, as we inherited sin-slavery from Adam, those who have believed inherit glory-freedom from Christ. Being in Adam, we biologically inherited all that he became after he ignorantly sold himself to be the devil’s slave. This is not very difficult for us to grasp because we understand how we inherit traits from our parents and the generations before them. Not only do we inherit physical traits, but we inherit spiritual traits. As alcoholism can be traced from one generation to the next, so can sin-slavery be traced back through the generations to it’s original victim… to Adam.
As every natural-born man inherited slavery from the original man we all descended from, the Spirit-born man inherits freedom and glory from the original God-man we now descend from. But unlike our inherited slavery from Adam, coming down to us through the physical body (see Rom. 7:14), our inherited freedom and glory comes down to us through the spirit of man from the Spirit of God. And thus the exhortation to every believer to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh (body) (Romans 8:4-5). The Christian, as long as he/she lives from the flesh—the body of slavery—he/she will continue to live from his/her body-inherited slavery. As long as he/she tries to live out all the New Testament ways of life from the body of slavery, Satan, the slave-master of the body, will not enable the person to live God’s way. But if the Christian learns to live from the Spirit of freedom in them instead, the Spirit of God will indeed enable the Christian still residing on planet earth to live God’s way. Unless the Christian learns to live from the Spirit of God by abiding in Christ (John 15), the New Testament way of life—the God way of life—will be utterly unattainable on planet earth.
And so the believer must be taught the wonder of the new LIFE that is theirs in Christ, received the first moment of faith in Him. And the believer must be taught how to abide in Christ and walk by the Spirit of God in the inner man!
THE ABIDING LIFE
In simplest language, abiding in Christ is dependance on Him to fill the inner man so that all energies exerted by the human are His energies and not the human’s. To expand this further, abiding in Jesus also involves dependance on Him to shield and fight for the man against the fiery darts of the evil one. Keep in mind: all this dependence on Christ is based on the fact that the believer has been transferred from the race of Adam to the race of Christ. So the abiding life is the life lived by faith that the new Man we descend from will live His own glorified, curse-free, sinless, powerful, heavenly, eternal LIFE in us and through us, affecting the world around us. OH the wonder of the new LIFE we now have access to in Christ!
…for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. (Eph. 2:18)
Paul gives clear instructions on how to “abide in Christ” in Romans 6:11. He says, “ Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus…” Saying it another ways, he wrote in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
DEAD TO SIN
First, according to Paul, we must consider ourselves dead to sin. This means that we must consider that we’re dead to Satan as our master. He no longer has dominion over us. The reason being: our place in the new race of Christ. As Paul said in Galatians 2:20, we who are in Christ were crucified with Christ. Romans 6:3-4 tells us that at the moment of faith in Christ as our Rescuer (Savior) from humanity under Satan, we received the Holy Spirit into us. This coming-in of the Holy Spirit is called “baptism” in this verse (aka: the baptism of the Holy Spirit). And by this, we were baptized into His death on the cross. Just like we were there in the garden with Adam (Romans 3:23, 5:12), biologically speaking, we must know that via the Holy Spirit, we were there with Christ at the cross! His death on the cross was our death on the cross. Our death in Him freed us from our chains to Satan. These bodies hold us captive to be the devil’s slaves. Once dead, he no longer can rule us from them. And so we must consider/count/reckon on the fact that because of the Holy Spirit in us, we’ve been transferred to Christ, whose death brought our own bodies to death, and by so doing, brought our slavery to death. Hallelujah!
ALIVE TO GOD IN CHRIST JESUS
Romans 6:11 tells us we must consider ourselves to be not only dead to sin (via the cross of Christ just mentioned), but also alive to God in Christ Jesus. Because of the Holy Spirit in us, we were transferred to Christ not only at His cross, but we were still there at His burial and subsequent resurrection and ascension. As we were once alive to sin to be it’s slave, so now we must consider ourselves to be resurrected, apart from sin, and alive to God as our King and Father, to live and work from Him. We count on this based on our placement in Christ Jesus who is alive to God, living and working from Him (Rom. 6:10). As Paul said in Galatians 2, “…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” No longer do we live according to all we inherited bodily in Adam (slavery to the devil), we now live according to all we’ve inherited spiritually in Christ. As Christ reigns and lives from His Father’s glory, so we too, when we abide, reign in freedom over the darkness and live from the Father’s glory..
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)
OH THE WONDER OF SECOND LIFE
Isn’t it wonderful? Oh the wonder of new LIFE in Christ. And oh the deep need to fully understand all that has taken place in us that glorious day we believed in Jesus! For once we understand in fullness, we’re set up for the living Christ—who is sinless and full of glory—to Himself live in these weak vessels of dirt (weak because they’re where our slavery dwells). As we abide in Him (counting by faith that we’re literally in Him in heaven), He overcomes the darkness in our flesh. And not only does He come and give us victory over the sin which seeks to rule us (which itself would be enough!), He then goes on in that lavish love of His to produce fruit in and through us… to love us individually and tenderly, revolutionizing our every day lives (producing the fruit of the Spirit IN us), and to powerfully work as God divine through us, drawing the humanity He loves so deeply to Himself. All this… through simple earthen vessels such as us.
Oh how wonder-ful it is! I say it again and again! Church, we must wake up to who we are in Christ! Seek to understand these truths more and more and more, day in and day out. (If you don’t know where to start, obsessively study Romans 5-8 and Ephesians 1-4 to begin with.) Don’t be satisfied jogging along in life without living in all He is, filled with all of Him! Want His Life, long for it, thirst for it, be unsettled without it, need it, chase it, seek to understand it, take hold of it, enjoy it. For all He is is already yours. You’ve already been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3). That’s inheritance-speak folks! You’ve already been given your inheritance through your union with the living Christ! So seek to take hold of it (Him) with all your heart, soul, mind, and spirit!
Oh the wonder you will know!
Have you ever seen the wonder
in the air of second life
having come out of the water
with the old one left behind
(Excerpted from Wonder, © 2017 by Hillsong United. From their new album titled Wonder. Words and music by Joel Houston and Matt Crocker)