Message by Petra Renatus
It’s one thing to learn about the identification truths, but it’s another to apply them. We always need to know how it works in practice. You might ask the following questions:
- How do I reckon the old man crucified and the new man alive?
- How do I divide or distinguish the old man from the new?
1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV) says:
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The identification truths are some of the hardest truths in the Bible to grasp and I believe that is because they are spiritually discerned. While we walk in the strength of our flesh and try to use our natural minds to try to understand the Bible, we will struggle and end up under condemnation. We can only grasp identification truths through the Holy Spirit giving us understanding in our hearts, and by faith. When you’ve reached the end of yourself and realise there is no good in your flesh, you can agree with Romans 7:18 (KJV) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
The Christian that has not experienced sufficient failure in their lives, still thinks there is some good in their flesh and that they can serve God in their own strength. God-willing, they will reach the point of self-bankruptcy at some stage. So the Holy Spirit has brought you to that defeated point, and your heart is ready to start accepting identification truths. You’re all out of answers within yourself, so you’re ready to take God at His word, which is faith. You know God is perfect, true, and good, and knowing how much of a failure you are, you realise that you have to start believing what He says about you in His word, not what the enemy says about you.
The word says that you are Spirit and flesh. It says that your flesh was crucified on the Cross and your Spirit was reborn of God and risen in Christ Jesus. It says that you are dead to the law and free from the power of sin. Until you start to experience freedom from sin’s power in your life, and Christ’s life manifested in you, you can only take these truths by faith. That is not easy and will seem like a long shot because you’re not sure you’ll ever get a breakthrough.
It really is a leap of faith. You read God’s Word, in particular Romans 6-8. You meditate on it, you listen to teaching on it (teachers like David Benjamin keeping coming back to these truths and really help your understanding theoretically and practically). As David encourages people to preach the gospel to yourself, you can preach identification truths to yourself regularly. By speaking it out, your Spirit connects with the truth being spoken by your mouth, but I feel the same by speaking in my mind as well. So you pray things like:
Thank you Jesus that:
- I was crucified with Christ and raised to newness of life in Christ Jesus
- my Spirit was reborn of incorruptible seed
- my Spirit has been joined with Christ and He now dwells in me
- I have been released from the law
- I am free from sin and free to obey righteousness through the Holy Spirit
- my life is hidden in Christ
- I am seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus
- after you completed the work of the Cross, and were raised from the dead, you ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father
- thank you that my flesh will not inherit eternal life, and that I will receive a new body at the Rapture
And so on, as long as you can think of amazing things Jesus accomplished for you.
This aligns your mind with your spiritual reality; in other words, it renews your mind as stated in Romans 12:2 (KJV): And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
As this verse says, you will be transformed by the renewing of your mind. This takes time, but keep standing on these truths no matter how you feel about your condition, and you will be renewed.
If you’re looking for practicalities, e.g. how do I …, aside from learning the truths, and praying them, there isn’t much you should do. Actually you need to learn to stop doing, and just rest. We know we are released from the law, so there are no dos and don’ts that you should be following, and if you do give yourself ‘laws’ to follow, you will see an increase of sin in your life. Reckoning your old man crucified and your new man alive in Christ is believing it, counting on it and reminding yourself of it regularly. It’s choosing what to believe and what voice in your head to listen to. The flesh will tell you not to rest, and that you are not what the Bible says about you. The Spirit agrees with God’s Word and is spiritually refreshed by the identification truths.
You’ve got to stop beating yourself up over your sin. Stand to one side and see that your sin is a product of the law of sin and death that operates in your flesh. Romans 7:17 (KJV) Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Your carnal mind will tell you, no, that’s you just giving yourself a license to sin! Well guess what, you’re going to sin whether you think you have a license or not, because that is what the flesh does. You have to remember that your flesh cannot produce good, only sin. And your Spirit cannot sin, therefore it is your flesh that is responsible, not you (your Spirit/new man). You, the real you, is your reborn Spirit. Your flesh is crucified and ready to be done away with completely at the Rapture.
So when I sin, I don’t go into repentance mode, sorrowing over it, begging for forgiveness and determining that I will try harder not to do it again. That’s just asking for trouble. Your sin will increase because you are only going to Jesus for forgiveness (as though that’s all He will do for you, or indeed that He will only forgive if you ask Him to) and determining you will stop doing it in your own strength. That will never happen. All I do is acknowledge that my flesh is sinful, and that in my own strength, I can’t overcome that sin. I thank Jesus that I am forgiven already and ask Jesus to deal with that sin in my life. I remind myself of the identification truths, which lifts me above the situation, and keeps my eyes on things above rather than things below. The enemy wants you to look at yourself and your condition, and to lament over your sin and your failure to deal with it sufficiently. If you do that, you give him what he wants and keep yourself looking at the part of you that is crucified instead of the part of you that is justified, righteous, sanctified, holy, and alive in Christ!
This is resting. If you struggle and lament over your sin and beg forgiveness and vow never to do it again, you are not resting. Resting is a release of responsibility. It’s like being waited on in a restaurant. You don’t jump up and get yourself a menu, then take your own order, and then cook the food, then bring it to your table, then take the plates away when you’re finished eating, then clean the restaurant at the end of the night and so on. You just sit down, relax and let others do this for you. Resting is realising that you are forgiven, that Jesus has done everything for you, that He has overcome the enemy, that your old man was crucified and that you are alive in Christ, that He is the source of your life, that He will produce fruit in you, that He is the one that cleans you up, and so on. There is nothing left for you to do except believe it and rejoice. He wants to remove your burdens.
So how do you distinguish between the old and the new man?
- The old man sins
- the old man listens to the enemy who says you’ve got to do this and do that to be acceptable before God
- the old man hates people
- the old man resents God
- the old man only sees an angry demanding God in the Bible
- the old man wants you to focus on him
- the old man puts you under law, which leads to more sin
- the old man makes you feel guilty and ashamed
- the old man says you better clean up your life or you won’t be able to hold up your head and look Jesus in the eye when you meet Him in heaven.
- The new man relinquishes control and lets God do the work
- the new man rests
- the new man cannot sin
- the new man rejoices in the truth
- the new man ignores the old man and only looks to Jesus
- the new man does not impose law on himself, but trusts that Jesus fulfilled the law in him
- the new man believes what the word of God says about him
- the new man loves others genuinely
- the new man sees love and freedom in the Bible
- the new man cries Abba Father.
The new man is your Spirit, and your old man is the flesh. Galatians 5 (KJV) contrasts the two as well:
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
So walking in the Spirit is another way of describing what I’ve been talking about: reckoning on identification truths, believing who the word says you are, praying these truths, ignoring the contrary voices telling you otherwise, and resting in Jesus, letting Him take control and responsibility for cleaning you up and manifesting His life and fruit in your life.
But all that said, it is too idealistic to expect that a Christian can reach a point where their flesh no longer rises up and causes trouble, and they are able to continually walk in the Spirit. Paul told us in Galatians 5:17 that the flesh lusts against the Spirit, making you do things you don’t want to do. Your flesh is strong, and the enemy will try everything he can to get you walking in the flesh and forgetting who you are in Christ. Knowing this will happen even to the most mature Christian, the key is to go to God, renew your mind by affirming the Gospel and identification truths, and rest in Jesus. You will fall off the horse, but just keep getting back on when it happens, and God will teach you something valuable each time you fall off. You will learn to trust Him more and more, and you will be conformed to Jesus’ image.