Today I would like for everyone to be energized. I would like for you to experience God, and I wish to speak about how you can become high-spirited. If you would do what the Bible tells you to do, then what it says will happen. To begin, let us look into what must be done first.
Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and sinned. From there, things did not go right for us. To correct this, Jesus came. If we would do three things that must be done as Christians, then we will change from Christians who are walking to Christians who are flying freely in the air, so to speak. I definitely believe this is true. Today, I would like to concentrate on one of the three.
Because we had the sin of Adam, we were estranged from God and could not receive the grace of God.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live2 when you followed the ways of this world3 and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,4 the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.5 1 All of us also lived among them at one time,6 gratifying the cravings of our sinful naturea7 and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)
What is meant here by your transgression is the sin that you commit. The other sin is Adam’s sin. We were dead in those sins. It is saying that we are alive but were dead. Spiritually dead, that is. The condition is such that the relationship is severed with God which is life. Therefore, people do not know for what purpose they are living, and they are at a loss as to how to get blessed. It was life under the curse. It seems as though people are living according to their will, however, as stated in verse 2, people were living by following the ways of the spirit of disobedience. In the sin of Adam and one’s own transgression, verse 3 says, we were “by nature object of wrath”. People were placed in the condition of being given the wrath of God. Therefore, they neither understood what happiness is, nor what the purpose of life is. We were created by God, and yet we are estranged from God. This does not attain the purpose of having been created. The automobile just being there is useless. It is useful because people ride on it.
For everything that was created by God, God said of them it was good, good, good, and very good. (Genesis 1:4,10,12,18,21,25,31） Originally, we were good, but because Adam sinned, we became estranged from God, and became that without the flow of life, like the electrical appliance that is not plugged in, we became lifeless. For this is the kind of people that we were, what did God try to do through Jesus? What kind of things are we designed to receive from God?
“to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,” (Luke 1:77)
One of the knowledge in Christianity is the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sin. We come to know that we have been delivered from the sin of Adam and our own sin. For the said, we believed in Jesus. I became a Christian and got baptized. I could not forgive myself who sinned, but when I became a Christian, I felt refreshed in feeling that I had been released and forgiven of all my sin. However, not even four days went by that I sinned, and there I was who had not changed from before. When I became a Christian, I was determined that my sin of the past had been erased, that I was now wearing a pure white garment, and that I was not going to soil it. But I sinned, and I got discouraged. From there, my faith life oscillated up and down.
Why was this so? It is because my thinking was such that my sin of up to the time I became a Christian was forgiven. Once becoming a Christian, I felt that it was through my own responsibility that I wore a new garment, therefore, I must not soil it, and that I must do my best to keep it clean. It is written, “the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17), yet I felt that nothing has changed. The Bible is saying “the new has come”, but my demeanor has not changed. Then what became new?
“To be made new in the attitude of your minds.” (Ephesians 4:23)1 It does not say the body, nor the soul became new. The spirit became new. I thought that when I got baptized, I was made entirely new and became as one who does not sin anymore, but the body and the soul were not made new. Let us read this one more time.
“You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off1 your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on5 the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.“ (Ephesians 4:20-24)
The Bible is saying that only the spirit has become new, and the body and the soul is still the old self. What is this teaching about? It is about separating yourself to the old and the new. By separating the two, we are able to walk in faith.
One of the three things that I wish to talk about today is about holding on firmly to the consciousness of being forgiven. By that, we are able to walk as if we are flying in the air.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:6-11)
The reason why we are reminded of the guilt of sin despite being Christians is due to our looking at our old selves. When we look at ourselves, we must look at it in separating the two, the old and the new selves. When we sin, we judge ourselves as sinners. Jesus was put on the cross, but was that necessary for him? No. Then for who was he put on the cross? It was for our sin. Therefore, our sin has been done away with by the cross of Jesus. It was for this nature of Adam and for our old selves that sin, which Jesus became the sin. He was put on the cross and died for our sin. Verse 10 states, “The death he died, he died to sin once for all.” Who was it that Christ died for? He died for our sin.
Due to the nature of Adam, here we are who sin even though we became Christians. However, if Jesus had paid for our sin, then it means that our sin was settled with. Verse 7 states, “Because anyone who has died,” meaning, by the sacrifice of Jesus, the old self has died, and so he “has been freed from sin”. We have been put to the cross together with Jesus, we had gone to hell together with Jesus, and we have risen together with Jesus. This is the meaning of the cross. Therefore, the self that sin is dead on the cross. Satan will say, “And like that you call yourself a Christian, a pastor, an evangelizer?” I always say this. If I had a debt of ten million yen which I am unable to pay, but if my parents paid for it, then my debt will be gone.
Jesus was put on the cross for our sin. Do not be deceived by the devil. If in your walk of Christian life, should you feel that you must condemn yourself in thinking, “you call yourself a Christian with the way you are?,” then that is the voice of the devil and not God’s. Insomuch as Jesus died for your sin, your old self that sin has died. When I recognized this, I was able to forgive myself.
The prodigal son was God’s son. That son sinned and returned, and the Father accepted him. Now, for us, if we believe in Jesus, we are God’s sons and daughters. However, the state of his or her condition could be like that of the prodigal son that sinned. Nevertheless, if we return to the Father, though we are not in the position to be called a son, God’s thinking is, “for this son of mine was dead and is alive again.” (Luke 15:24). The prodigal son returned all the way to heaven, to the kingdom of God. To what extent are we forgiven? Let us read verse 11 again, it is a wonderful Word. “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” When we sin, we are thinking that we have sinned against God. However, this verse is saying that by the cross of Jesus, we are alive to God in Christ Jesus. It is saying that Jesus was put on the cross so that when we face God, we are able to face Him as being alive to God.
By the cross of Jesus we died to sin. We may sin, but that self has died.
The Greek word for “count” in verse 11 means “to calculate”. I, too, sometimes sin.
Before, I could not calculate and I was troubled, but now I do the calculation every time I sin. Because Jesus had paid for all of my sin until the time I can go to heaven, for those sin that takes place from now until then, the payment was made. Therefore, I dwell on the cross of Jesus, say “Amen”, “thank you”, and offer my gratitude. What was done is wrong, so I confess my sin and repent, then be forgiven, and give thanks that I am established as being alive to God. The prodigal son planned to say, “I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.” This parable of the prodigal son is one that shadows the cross of Jesus. It is talking about us. Therefore, as a son, he returned.
Toward God, think that you are alive to God in Christ Jesus, and calculate. God treats us in this way. You may sin a billion, yet there is still change left over when that is subtracted from the unlimited atonement of Jesus. Therefore, you can do the calculation, and say thank you. It goes to show that the payment has been made for our sin since our becoming Christians until we go to heaven.
When did God think about this? He thought about this before the creation of the universe. God had planned before the creation of the universe to create you to be without sin in Jesus Christ. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4) On our own, we are not holy, and with blame. However, before the creation of the universe, God’s plan was to create us to be holy and blameless. That plan was to be completed with Jesus. “For he chose us in him, meaning, chose us in Jesus.” That is the New Testament. From the beginning, therefore, God was thinking about the New Testament. In God’s thinking, He does not think that Adam and Eve are able to live right. God knew that the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would be eaten. Otherwise, man would not understand God’s wisdom, nor of good or evil. That is why that tree was in the center of the garden.
God’s plan was to resolve this with Jesus.
Due to the knowledge of good and evil, we have come to feel sin. Next, however, if the sin of knowing good and evil is done away with, then we can come to understand good and evil, become as those being forgiven of sin and, therefore, live together with God. “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”(Ephesians 1:5) There was the plan of God from the creation of the universe to make us His children. That is through Jesus Christ. Therefore, prior to the creation of the universe, it was predestined that through Jesus we will be forgiven of our sin, enter into heaven and live. Accordingly, we are not to say that we are sinners, due to sin that we commit after becoming Christians. We must do the calculation. What we must first realize is that we are forgiven of our sin. Let us look at to what extent our sin was forgiven when we were not yet Christians.
“I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.”(Mark 3:28)
All that is done, while not knowing God, will be forgiven. Even if blasphemies were said, it will be forgiven because one does not know God. Upon becoming Christians, although there is the boundary of the payment being within the cross of Jesus, unless something extremely grave happened, we are forgiven.
At the church of Corinth, there was a man who made his mother his wife. She was his father’s wife, perhaps a remarried person? As a Christian, he was sinning. How was he prayed for by Paul? This person believed in Jesus, and his sin is within the boundary of the cross of Jesus, therefore, there is salvation. The best thing to do is to repent, be cleared of sin, and go to heaven.
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief2 and have put out of your fellowship3 the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)
Because of the seriousness of the sin of adultery, verse 5 says, hand this man over to Satan, so that further sin may not accumulate, have it that life be destroyed in this world early, that sin does not go beyond the cross of Jesus, and that he may be “saved on the day of the Lord.” This person repented, therefore, the settlement was made, and he was saved within the boundary of the cross of Jesus, and was able to go to heaven.
“I wrote as I did so that when I came I should not be distressed by those who ought to make me rejoice. I had confidence3 in all of you, that you would all share my joy. For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you. If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent– not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” (2 Corinthians 2:3-7)
This person repented early, so his life was not taken away. He was forgiven because his sin was within the boundary of the cross of Jesus. We may commit a grave sin one day. However, if we would honestly confess of our sin, then we will be forgiven. There might be times that we feel we have come to the end. However, God does not want to judge sinners, instead, He hopes for sinners to repent and return to Him. Therefore, we are forgiven.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
You already all know the awesomeness of this Word. When we sin, when does the Bible say we will be forgiven? God does not begin judging upon hearing us confess of certain sin. The cross of Jesus was already accomplished; the settlement has already been made. Therefore, as soon as we say out loud our sin, that sin is cleared. Like the father who was waiting for his prodigal son had long before decided on forgiving him, God has already decided on forgiving our sin at the moment we repent. That is because Jesus had made the payment.
The plan of God is for us to return to heaven in Christ as holy and without blame. We are forgiven until the time we go to heaven. Jesus had paid for our sin to that point. I would like for you to clearly know the heart of God. God’s plan is not to forgive us of our sins, but to have us become inheritors of the kingdom of God.
“To open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:18)
We believed in Jesus and returned from Satan’s control. We received the forgiveness of sin, and were made to be holy, for His plan is for us to inherit His kingdom. As the father who was waiting for the prodigal son had decided long before to receive his son, God’s thinking extends to having us return to heaven and inherit His kingdom. The purpose of the payment that Jesus made on the cross was for us to go to heaven, and have us enter there. Let us change our own consciousness. That is, as long as we maintain our thinking on the forgiveness of sin, we will sin again and think whether we will be forgiven or not. Jesus had done more than forgiving sins. Calculate that fact. We must become aware of the fact that we have been given far more than just forgiveness of sin. Do this calculation. Our old selves have died, and we are already those who are alive to God.
“Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrew 9:26)
Jesus had come not to forgive sin, but to take it away. He came to take away Adam’s sin and our sin.
Let us say out loud.
“In Jesus, my sin has been taken away. Therefore, to God I am alive. Amen”
There are times that we sin, but they have already been done away with. However, you must, in faith, confess your sin, and stand on the fact that you have been forgiven. Do not let Satan deceive you. Let us maintain this consciousness that our sin has been taken away. We must not be trying to live right under the law concerning the matter which was begun in the spirit. What began in the spirit cannot be made righteous by the law. We have been saved by grace. Let’s go back once again. What happened when you confessed?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Because sin had been taken away from us, if we believe that our sin had been taken away, and confess of our sin, then He will “forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Many people get depressed because they look at their present state. Your sin has already been settled by Jesus. I will say it again. With Jesus you have been put on the cross. You went to hell with Him, and resurrected with Him. If Jesus is in heaven, then where are you? You are in heaven. Only the spirit is in heaven. Therefore, our spirit alone is saved. The Bible says, “The kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21) The kingdom of God is within our spirit. The kingdom of God is in heaven. The heaven and our spirit are connected, as our spirit is within us, simultaneously, it is in heaven. Our spirit is seated in heaven. This is written in the past tense. “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6) It does not say one day He will seat us, but “seated” us in heaven. Why? It is because, by the atonement made by Jesus, to God we are alive.
In our daily lives, look not on the self that sin, but on the new self in Christ. In reality we are not able to see the new self. We believe the new self. Look at the self that is invisible which was made new. The self that sins died on the cross with Christ. Believe not in the self that died, but in the self that is alive, that is new. Continue carrying on in this.
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:3,4)
Our new selves are hidden with God. That will appear when Jesus appears. What was planned before the creation of the universe in Christ, to make us holy and without blemish, is already so, spiritually. It is written in this way because in the spiritual realm, you are alive to God.
“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body2 through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation..” (Colossians 1:22)
We have already been reconciled. Therefore, we are holy, without blemish, and free from accusation.”
Let us say out loud.
”By the cross of Jesus, I was made holy, without blemish, and free from accusation. Satan can’t condemn me for sin. Amen.”
Christians do not get depressed. They are always high-spirited. When we forget about being forgiven, we get depressed.
Say to Satan:
“Has not Jesus paid for my sin! I have been made holy, I am without blemish, and I am free from accusation!”
You must attack Satan in this way.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
For we have believed in Christ, we who are in Jesus, will never be condemned for sin. Therefore, should you sin, confess of it right away. If you do, you will be forgiven. If you have a sense of sin, you cannot pray. Make this definitely your own, and clear through step one.
Let us say out loud.
”I am in Christ, therefore, I will never be condemned for sin. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.”
Step two is about having the consciousness of being blessed.
Step three is about having the consciousness of being loved.
Unless you have these three, you cannot fly in air. In order to become a Christian who is free, as if flying in the air, clear these three. If you do, you will experience that in everything, you will walk within the protection of God, and you do not have to be troubled.
Being led by the Lord, I wish to speak on steps two and three to follow.
All glory to God.