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What are we dead to? When did we die? What exactly was it that died?

When I saw that the death pronounced on the first Adam was really prophetic of the last Adam’s death, it changed my take on this. By His death, we are all relieved of our ‘old man’ and are a new creation. The old has passed away and all things have become new. We have His life in us. Paul said that he was dead, yet he lived.

Paul also said that we are dead and our life is hid with Christ in God. This makes sense to me now. Because of the death Jesus died, all that old stuff we worry about, and call sin, does not count any more. We “died” with Him. We are raised with Him in new life. His life is in us. We don’t have to figure out how. It just is. And that is what will raise us bodily one day.

So, when Paul says to “put off the old man”, what is he saying? Is it something we can actually do? No.

Paul is saying to realize we are new – to quit thinking the old way. It’s an exhortation. We are new, through what Christ did. The sense in the original text is that it has been done and they (the Ephesians) had been taught this, and they were to realize it and act like it. We are new creations. Notify your mind and actions. Let grace teach you, not rules and laws. We have new life.

We do not “die daily”. We do not decrease so that He can increase. We do not put off the old man. It is already done. Jesus did it. When we see this, we walk in newness and freedom. It is joy unspeakable. All we have to do is be ourselves, except that we need to stop being our own worst enemy. God loves us to be us. We used to say, “Let go and let God.” We should do it.

He has done it all, given it all to us, and lives this life with us, in us. It’s a wonderful dance.


What Does the New Testament Say About Surrender?

Not much!

We often hear that we should surrender our all to Jesus in order to live a Christian life. Is this something we should do? What does it mean? Do we do it so God can use us? So we can be more spiritual or holy? Hardly! He does it all, not us – so none can boast, is how Paul says it. That is grace. Besides, we could never surrender our all. We aren’t capable.

We are imperfect and would always leave something out. God doesn’t set us up to fail.

What does scripture say? Well, the word, surrender, only appears once in the New Testament, and that is in the New American Standard Bible. 1 Corinthians 13:3, And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. The King James Version says, “give”, by the way.

So where do we get this idea of surrendering to God? Romans 12:1 says to present our bodies as a living sacrifice (for there is no more killing of sacrifices) holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service. We are now transferred into the kingdom, clean and holy. That is not exactly the meaning of surrendering. What Paul is saying is that in His mercy He gives us grace, so our lives are acceptable and He works through us. By His compassion and grace, this is the new and living way. He is not served by human hands, and His temple is not made with human hands.

We serve in the body of Christ. This is our logical way of service.

In the gospels, Jesus talks about a grain of corn falling to the ground and dying. In context, he was speaking of his own death, not our surrendering.

John 12:20-20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: 21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. 22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

In verse 25, the word for life is psyche, in the first instances, and zoe in the last, in connection to eternal life. Psyche is the breath of life, or soul. When Jesus lay down his life, the word is psyche.

He never lay down his eternal life, or zoe! Hallelujah!

Back to surrender, then. Where do we get that idea? When we believe in Jesus, our old life is exchanged for a new one. That is not surrender either. It is receiving zoe eternal. It is freedom. It is joy. It is grace in action. We have a spirit of adoption, where we can cry out, “Abba, Father”!

This is not surrender, but is coming home.

We come into the light and walk in the Spirit, as children of God – with Jesus as our brother. We are born again of the Spirit, our old man dies, and we walk in newness of life (zoe) and spirit.

Ro 6:4 – 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.

Ro 7:6 – But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Surrender? I think it is the powers of darkness that have to surrender – not that it is necessary, since they are defeated and triumphed over openly!

Christ is in us and we are in him. We live an exchanged life, not a surrendered one, and are more than conquerors in him. We do not surrender.

Surrender may sound good – but it is actually the language of religion, rearing its head. It is bondage, and this is key, for we can never totally surrender.

We can never do it, for we are not capable of total anything.

Like trying to confess all our sins – we could never remember them all! That’s why Jesus died to take them ALL away….. Surrender becomes a mindset that will defeat us every time. We merely rest in Him and trust Him to live His life in us.

An afterthought: perhaps we should choose our lyrics more carefully in the songs we sing. Real change begins with a renewed mind, and I do know that I often change the words when I sing. However, lyrics are poetry and express emotion. Our relationship with God is one of passion. If it isn’t passionate, something is wrong. But to say we have to cut out all songs that don’t match our theology is to become the very thing that we are not wanting to be – legalists.

Come As You Are

He’s not mad at you
And He’s not disappointed
His grace is greater still
Than all of your wrong choices

He is full of mercy
And He is ever kind
Hear His invitation
His arms are open wide

You can come as you are
With all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart
Bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

Louder than the voice
That whispers you’re unworthy
Hear the sound of love
That tells a different story

Shattering your darkness
And pushing through the lies
How tenderly He calls you
His arms are open wide

(2009 Word Music LLC, Pocket Full of Rocks Publishing ASCAP)

Don’t listen to the naysayers, who want to put people under condemnation, or the guilt that comes from the law of Moses, or any man made religious rule. These lyrics are truth.

God is not mad at you.

He’s not even disappointed. He knows you, and will walk with you, all the days of your life. He sent His Son Jesus to rescue the humanity that He loves. He did it by all the mystery of His death and resurrection, under the harsh law of the Moses, becoming the second Adam.

In Him, we are blameless and have eternal life, the penalty of death being paid by. We die, but we inherit eternal, resurrection life. In effect, Jesus gave us back to us, and to Himself. And in Jesus, if we have believed in Him, we live and move and have our being. We can know we have eternal life because of what is written and because we have that witness in our hearts that He lives in us.

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