Our Old Man 
Latent power is that which needs a change of circumstances to be unleashed, not so? 
For example, when a marksman wishes to shoot a bullet at a target he points his rifle in that direction and when the sights line up, his eye tells the brain it's time, his brain informs the trigger finger, which tightens, causing the latent power in the firing pin to shoot forward, which deforms the primer in the cartridge, causing the latent power there to catch alight, which causes the powder to burn, rapidly spreading the latent power of the gasses to propel the bullet down the barrel to the target. However, nothing would have happened if the eye had not given the first signal. 
A week or two back we went to a neighbouring city to visit an old friend of my wife's, whose birthday it was, also accompanying them to a house church there. 
Dave, the man who shared the following teaching with us certainly started something moving in this writer's soul. There was something there spiritually that was seen through a glass darkly and only after a period of time did the Lord see fit to answer my prayer in the matter and allow a glimpse. 
It's a subject that has been discussed before in these teachings, but this new slant is revealed for a purpose, for someone who needs it. 
All glory to the Living God. 
The teaching that we heard from Dave was part two of a series, so it was not known what went before or came after. What is important to bear in mind is that the teaching of the day was used by the Holy Spirit to spur this writer on. 
Remembering from previous teachings that Satan gained control of our souls through Adam's sin, that we are born with a "body of sin", a body that sin controls - I want, I'll take, etc., we realise that our soul must be changed from self centred to God centred. Our old nature, our "body of sin" must disappear. 
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 
(1 Peter 2:11)
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 
(James 4:1)
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 
(James 1:13-17)
The passage that Dave used for his teaching was as follows. Please read it through a few times because it is a piece of fairly profound Scripture. 
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ were baptised into his death? 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 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 that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 
(Romans 6:1-19)
Let's read verse six again, and understand what it says: 
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. 
Taken literally, this means that our sins were placed on Jesus at the time of His crucifixion and that when we come into Covenant with God through Him, the body (or power) of our sin nature is "destroyed." 
The cross reference to this phrase in the Authorised Version is as follows: 
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 
(Colossians 2:11)
Another reference explains the word "destroyed" as "rendered inoperative". This then means that the power of the sin nature is rendered ineffective when we receive Christ as our Redeemer. 
Here are other passages that explain what is meant: 
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth 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 for me. 
(Galatians 2:20)
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 
(Galatians 6:14-15)
Remember the story of the scapegoat in the Old Covenant? 
And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. 
(Leviticus 16:7-10)
And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. 
(Leviticus 16:20-22)
We also know that Jesus was the Scapegoat for us, to make atonement for us: 
Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 
(John 11:45-52)
The High Priest had to prepare a scapegoat every year for the Israelites, but once we come into Covenant with God through His Sacrificial Lamb, accepting the atonement that it brings, our sins are forgiven and our names are placed in the book of life in heaven. We don't need to come back repeatedly. 
That is why Paul exclaims that the old man is crucified (killed) with Christ and Peter cries out: 
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 
(1 Peter 2:24)
Dave explained our old man this way: 
When you are in the world you are carnally minded and your sin nature has control of you. Like two people bound together with ropes, the stronger one will pull the weaker in the way that he wishes to go. However, your act of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ cuts those bonds and your sin nature is no longer a part of you, but a separate entity walking beside you. Your sin nature, your "old man" is still with you and can still tempt you but cannot control you. This is not a theoretical but an actual occurrence. 
At this point we leave Dave. 
He showed us that we must become a new person, but he didn't tell us how. 
The beautiful, faithful, loving Holy Spirit of God has, as so often happened in the past, been showing this writer certain passages of Scripture, for what purpose it was not known, nor in fact that there was a purpose at all, so when He supplied the key through Dave it all started falling into place. 
Like the disputes about the rapture, speaking in tongues, baptism and even prayer, many Christian teachers maintain that faith in Christ Jesus is all that is needed for salvation. Whether these people are genuine or not is not part of this teaching. However, be warned about them by the fruit of their lips. 
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 
(Acts 20:28-31)
There are many Scriptures that seem to state that faith only is enough to be saved, and this is true - while we are on this earth; but what shall happen when we stand before the Judgement Seat? 
Here is one of these Scriptures:
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 
(1 John 5:1)
and another:
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 
(John 1:12)
This last one is a slightly better example because it shows that we receive the power to become the sons of God at some later date. 
Here's a passage of Scripture that shows how faith comes into operation. There are three components: 
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 
(Hebrews 11:13)
The three are: 
  • see the promises 
  • believe them 
  • embrace (accept) them 
But faith is only part of the truth. 
As an example of what's meant, let's look at the following passage of Scripture which seems to show that at some future date the Jews would receive new hearts, and God's Spirit: 
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 
(Ezekiel 36:25-28)
From this it would seem that God would just do it, for His Holy Name's sake; but we know that the only way into God's presence is through the Lord Jesus Christ, not so - which means that, while the Ezekiel passage shall come to pass because God said it through His prophet, the persons who will receive this new heart shall have to accept Christ Jesus as their Redeemer. 
Therefore, the Ezekiel passage, while true, is only part of the Truth. Which means that God hid the other part. 
It's the same with salvation today, you have to seek for the truth and search as for hidden treasure. 
There is something here that I don't fully understand, which should be stated. 
If we look at the following passages of Scripture, 
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. 
(Acts 10:43)
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
(Romans 10:8-10)
it seems clear enough that faith is enough when we "believeth unto righteousness" and many new born Christians seem to have a special protection over them for a time, while they learn about God's will, from His Spirit and from His word. But if this is so it's only for a relatively short time. 
The reason why this is believed correct is a seeming contradiction: 
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 
(Matthew 24:12-13)
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 
(Revelation 2:1-5)
We see below that God's grace is the result of faith, perhaps part of His grace is His protection: 
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 
(Romans 5:1-2)
Perhaps the answer lies in the following passage: 
And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. 
(Romans 2:3-16)
Here's verse four again:
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 
Nevertheless, here is the full Truth: 
And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 
(Acts 20:18-21)
So, we see that we need to repent of our sins to God Himself and have faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Two separate actions. 
Here's an example.
The Bible states that we are saved by faith. It also states that we are saved by grace. Both are correct, but we need both of them. The one happens as a result of the other. 
And another.
Most people in developed nations walk past an electric wall socket on a daily basis. Only when they want light do they push the plug from the lamp into the socket. This is where most Christians are; they have the faith that power will come through the socket but they are powerless. They sing hymns and go to church, but they have failed to do the other needful thing. They have not switched the power on. When they do this they are in the light of the light bulb that the power has made effective. And when the light is on it shines on them allowing them to see; and others to see them and what they are doing. 
The following are those who haven't switched the power on: 
Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. 
(Ezekiel 33:30-32)
You see, we need to come into a Blood Covenant with God. The only way to do this is through the cleansing of the Blood Sacrifice, the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Christ Jesus is the door, He said so Himself. The door into the throne room of God. The hinge of that door is repentance to God. 
The old man cannot die except that we reject it's fruit, which is sin. When we are each convicted of how dirty we are, abhor and despise those past sins and ask God to forgive us for committing them with the resolve to turn away from committing more, He does so, knowing our inner feelings and the reasons why we repent of them. It is the act of repentance, the willingness to turn from sin, that destroys Satan's power over us. And when the old man dies and is washed off us in the waters of baptism we reappear as a new creature. The power of sin has no more hold over us. We can choose to put it permanently behind us. 
Please read this Scripture carefully, a phrase at a time, because this is repentance: 
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 
(James 4:7-10)
He shall lift you up. Not maybe. It is a promise. 
And, going back to Romans chapter six: 
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 
Here it is in a nutshell, as shown by Paul while witnessing to King Agrippa: 
And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. 
(Acts 26:15-20) 
Someone once wrote:
When God conquers us and takes all the flint out of our nature, and we get deep visions into the Spirit of Jesus, we then see as never before the great rarity of gentleness of spirit in this dark and unheavenly world. The graces of the Spirit do not settle themselves down upon us by chance, and if we do not discern certain states of grace, and choose them, and in our thoughts nourish them, they never become fastened in our nature or behaviour. Every advance step in grace must be preceded by first apprehending it, and then a prayerful resolve to have it. So few are willing to undergo the suffering out of which thorough gentleness comes. We must die before we are turned into gentleness, and crucifixion involves suffering; it is a real crushing and breaking of self, which wrings the heart and conquers the mind. There is a good deal of mere mental and logical sanctification nowadays, which is only a religious fiction. It consists of mentally putting one’s self on the altar, and then mentally saying that the altar sanctifies the gift, and then logically concluding therefore one is sanctified; and such an one goes forth with a gay, flippant, theological prattle about the deep things of God. But the natural heartstrings have not been snapped, and the Adamic flint has not been ground to powder, and the bosom has not throbbed with the lonely, surging sighs of Gethsemane; and not having the real death marks of Calvary, there cannot be that soft, sweet, gentle, floating, victorious, overflowing, triumphant life that flows like a spring morning from an empty tomb. 
The man Daniel, greatly beloved of the LORD, had this to say: 
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 
(Daniel 9:3-4)
Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name. 
(Daniel 9:17-19)
Do you believe that you are a stranger and pilgrim on the earth?