Freed by the Cross

Apr. 16, 2017 | By Creflo Dollar

Summary

Our minds can play tricks on us. If we believe something that is incorrect long enough, our minds can become closed to the truth. The truth is that Jesus freed us from sin when he died on the cross, which means we no longer have to keep sinning. If we continue in sin, it is because we have a flawed understanding of the power of his death and resurrection. However, we do not have to condemn ourselves for our shortcomings; instead we can be encouraged by what Jesus did. He delivered us from our old sinful natures, and made us into new creations by putting his perfect, righteous spirit in us. In this way, Jesus dealt with the root of sin once and for all.

A. We must learn the difference between “sin” used as a noun and “sin” as a verb.
  1. While he thought on these things, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. She will bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:20, 21).
    1. The objective of Jesus’ coming to earth was to save his people from sin.
    2. Initially this was strictly for the Jews, but Jesus included everyone else in this plan.
  2. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounds, grace did much more abound, that as sin reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:19-21).
    1. What Adam did was responsible for making us sinners. Because of him, everyone was born a sinner. This is why it is so important to be born again. We are able to be born again because of what Jesus did.
    2. Grace will always be stronger than sin.
    3. We must apply the correct interpretation of the word “sin.” In this passage, sin is used as a noun, not a verb.
    4. In the book of Romans, “sin” is used forty-eight times. Forty of these references use it as a noun, referring to man’s sinful nature before being born again.
  3. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Do you not know that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into his 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. 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. For he who is dead is freed from sin. Now if we are dead with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him (Romans 6:1-8).
    1. In chapter six, “sin” is used as a verb only once.
    2. Jesus did not come to deliver us from the act of sinning, but from the sinful nature inside us.
    3. Traditional teaching tells us that sinning makes us sinners, but we are not what we do.
    4. When we continue to sin after being born again, it is because our minds (our souls) are still being influenced by the devil. We need to update the old “software” that the old, sinful nature left behind by renewing our minds with the word of God.
    5. Living under the law instead of under grace makes us sin-conscious.
    6. The only requirement to get into heaven is to be born again. This means that if we sin later, we still go to heaven.
    7. Just because we do not specifically break any of the Ten Commandments does not mean we are not sinning. Whatever we do not do in faith is sin (Romans 14:23); knowing what to do but not doing it is sin (James 4:17).
    8. Religion tells us we have to die to sin repeatedly, but we only need to die to it once.
    9. Victory over sinning does not come from working on our behavior. It comes from knowing we have been freed from sin.
B. Jesus delivered us from sin by exchanging our sinful nature for his sinless nature.
  1. And why do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work? I look death in the face practically every day I live. Do you think I’d do this if I wasn’t convinced of your resurrection and mine guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus? (1 Corinthians 15:30, 31, MSG).
    1. Pau l was referring to the persecution he faced every day, not dying to sin daily. If we take this out of context, it is because the enemy is trying to keep us confused on this point.
  2. Jesus, who had no root of sin, lives in us. We have the same faith as him. Despite the temptations he faced, he did not have the nature to sin.
    1. I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me (Galatians 2:20).
    2. For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
  3. For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
    1. Our sinful natures were put on Jesus’ body, and his sinless nature was put inside of us. The plan was to give us the root of righteousness so we could eventually produce the correct spiritual fruit.
  4. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22).
    1. Jesus was incapable of sinning, because he did not have the root of sin inside him. He was born of a virgin and had the nature of his heavenly Father.
    2. Going to church to correctly learn the word of God helps us line up our thinking about our identity in Christ. After being born again, the most important thing we can do as Christians is to renew our minds, so we can prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).
    3. Jesus’ death and resurrection allows us to be just like him on this earth (1 John 4:17).

Scripture References

Matthew 1:20, 21

Galatians 2:20  

Romans 5:19-21

Hebrews 4:15

Romans 6:1-8

2 Corinthians 5:21

Romans 14:23

James 4:17

1 Corinthians 15:30, 31, MSG

 

1 Peter 2:22  

Romans 12:2

1 John 4:17

  


 

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