“7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the Power may be of God, and not of us.
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-10.
The Apostle Paul’s ministry did not gather grapes of thorns and figs of thistles (Matthew 7:16-20). So that the Power may be of God in his earthen vessel, Paul presented in his life the victory we have through the Cross of Christ. “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus…” as the Source and the Means by which life and liberty are found. Life and liberty were played out in Paul’s life and made manifest to others. Paul picked up his cross daily, not through strict religious disciplines which lead to death but, by bearing about in his body the dying of our Lord Jesus which IS our victory, the ONLY victory by which life and liberty from sin’s dominion is found.
“3 Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the Glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His Resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans 6:3-6
Knowing WHO Jesus Christ is and WHAT He accomplished on Calvary’s Cross for whosoever will believe, there is no doubt as to His Resurrection. Furthermore, being determined to know nothing else other than WHO Jesus is and WHAT He did on Calvary’s Cross daily, allows the Power, which is the Cross of Christ, to be of God and not of man. Being planted together in the likeness of Jesus’ death, HIS victory over sin and death works in us so that we too may be in the likeness of His Resurrection. What Jesus accomplished through His death, works in us life and life more abundantly.
We no longer serve our sin nature, which we are all born with due to Adam’s fall, but our sin nature (elder nature) serves our new nature, our younger nature…the Divine Nature (Genesis 25:23, Romans 9;12) – the elder serves the younger. Through our faith in Jesus’ atoning work, the Holy Spirit is given the latitude to do that which He is commissioned to do in our life, free us from the law of sin and death.
“For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:11-12.
If Jesus’ finished work, His death, is working in us, It will bring life to others. You will know them by their fruit. Do they gather grapes of thorns and figs of thistles? Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing.
-Donna Clark Warren