“There are only two kinds of persons: those dead in sin and those dead to sin.” -Leonard Ravenhill
Recently, while preaching at a couple of churches in Michigan, I experienced something that I have never experienced before. I felt that instead of preaching to God’s people, I felt like I was preaching to a bunch of dead people in a funeral home, literally.
While I was preaching, I said to these professors (1 John 2:4), “No wonder why no one listens to a thing that you have to say, there is no life in you (Matthew 23:3). After all, you cannot give what it is that you do not have (Romans 15:8; 2 Timothy 2:6).”
I then made reference to 1 John 5:12.
“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
Jesus said that you can do nothing without Me (John 15:5).
Remember that Jesus also said to the religious hypocrites, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them” (Luke 11:44).
In Matthew 5:13 He said, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
Friends, it was Jesus that also said, “that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).
Sin is defined out in 1 John 3:4 for us as the transgression of God’s law (Read Exodus 20).
To whom is it that is quickened by grace to them that are dead to trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-10)?
Remember that Jesus came into the world to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21), not in our sins.
Men that are dead to their sins need the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:4)!
The problem is that these people have never been to the cross and the law has never driven them to the Christ where it can do no more (Galatians 3:24) so that they might be endued with power from on high.
“…repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21)
Now, with that aside, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
He goes on…
“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” 12-17
Therefore, without the Holy Ghost, there is no witness.
Jesus said unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
In Galatians 2:20 Paul wrote, “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.”
And in Mark 16:16 it says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Now, to those who claim to have been crucified with Christ, to them that have claimed to have been baptized into His death, Scripture is clear.
“Know ye not, 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 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.” -Romans 6:3-11
Friends, if you are then dead to self and alive to God then I ask, as the new disciples were asked, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost” (Acts 19:2).
Remember, men are to find their faith, not in the wisdom of men’s words but in the power and in the demonstration of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 2:5, 4:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:5)
It is when we come to meet the Lord on His terms that He promises that we will be His witnesses (Mark 16:17-18) and the world will know it!
“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” -Acts 4:33
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