By Dan Stone
Paul says, “He died for all that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again” (II Cor. 5:15). We never live for self again. If we only look at self, we will often appear to be living for self. Likewise, when we were lost and self-oriented, we sometimes appeared as if we weren’t living for self. But the realm of appearance is not the place where the battle is fought-it is fought in the spirit realm. As a result of that battle, Paul says, “You were an expression of that person regardless of what the outcroppings were. But now you are an expression of another person, Christ.” We need to get that point home, and we need to know who we are, before we start worrying about conduct.
For years we spent time dealing with our conduct, not knowing who we were, but this did not bring us to a consciousness that “Christ is my life.” Instead it brought confusion about who we are related to. This confusion fostered the big lie of two natures. Reasoning from actions back to truth is dangerous, for we may or may not reach truth. But if we start from truth, which is spirit-reality-from “He and I are one”-the conduct is His. Starting from conduct, we are not sure who is in control, and it never brings any of us the awareness of union with Christ. The blessed love of God is to let us worry about conduct until it kills us. It produces the “Oh, wretched man that I am” in a man who was anything but wretched. That is its glory. Paul says, “If there is a glory in the ministry of condemnation, there is a greater glory in this ministry of grace.” So let’s praise God for misery in the believer.
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By Dan Stone