“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
-- Romans 8:1-2
I hope you have been enjoying this series as much as I have had writing it.
In the Law of the Mind, we discovered the unbelievable power and strength of the human will. We learned from the illustration of the man possessed with Legion, that he was able to overpower the multitude of demons that possessed him enough to run to Jesus and begin to worship Him.
This kind of power was (and is) remarkable, to say the least, and each and every one of us has this same kind of power today. However, even with all of this power of the human will, this man was not able to free himself from the pain and torment that possessed him all those years.
It was not until Christ commanded the unclean spirits to come out of the man and ordered them into the swine that the man became free from his torment and was brought back into his "right mind" (Mark 5:15).
In our last lesson, we looked into the doctrine of humanity and the doctrine of sin, which is, essentially, what the Law of Sin and Death is really all about.
In today’s study what I want to share with you is something that is even more powerful than the human will, and more exciting than anything you could ever imagine. I want to take this time and take you back to the beginning, back to when everything first went wrong, and then to the present day where Christ has offered us a way of escape from any torment, from any condemnation, and ultimately from eternal damnation.
The Fumble of Dominion Power
In the beginning, God gave man dominion power over all the earth (Genesis 1:26). Try and imagine or picture this dominion power like some kind of actual object -- a gift, if you will.
This gift started in the hands of God (Holy Hands) and was passed on to Adam (righteous fleshly hands).
Now, what you got to understand is that this was before the Fall. So, at this point, Adam and Eve are still in right standing with God. They are still innocent and living in the righteous flesh that God formed them in.
However, when Adam and Eve both made the decision to eat of the forbidden fruit and disobey God, what they, essentially, did was pass on that dominion power – that gift of authority – on to the devil (demonic hands).
Now, watch this: this dominion power started in Holy Hands (God’s hands), and was then passed over to Adam and Eve’s hands, righteous fleshly hands (that being before the Fall). But when Adam and Eve passed this power over to demonic hands their righteous flesh became filthy flesh.
With that said, the thing about God is, because He is Holy, He can’t mix with filth or demonic hands. So now we have a dilemma. That is why I call this the Fumble of Dominion Power.
What is humanity to do? What is God to do?
Retrieving Dominion Power
What we learned in our last study was that, because of the First Adam we were all born into sin, but because of the Last Adam (Jesus Christ) we have all be given the ability to be born out of sin (born again – New Birth).
God came in flesh in the person of Jesus Christ; He was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7). However, the key word here is “likeness”. You see, unlike all of us, Jesus was born of an earthly mother but had no earthly father. His mother was of flesh while His father was of deity or spirit.
In the miracle of the Incarnation, the Last Adam was able to put on righteous flesh like that of the Frist Adam, before the Fall.
In the precious gift of the only-begotten Son, He made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant… humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:7-8).
After Jesus died on the cross and was put into the tomb, within the span of three days He went down to hell and took back the keys of death, hell, and the grave (Revelation 1:18) – the Law of Sin and Death.
In other words, He came back with that dominion power that the Frist Adam fumbled and gave to the devil in exchange for the Law of Sin and Death, which can also be referred to as condemnation, torment, unrest, and complete separation from God.
Restoring Dominion Power to its Rightful Owner
Christ then ascended back into Heaven with a holy, righteous, and glorified body. And He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, which is the Holy Ghost. Luke wrote: “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” (Acts 1:5).
This is similar to what Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews and a wise rabbi (or teacher). Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
That was when Nicodemus asked the question, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:4)
Some theologians and Bible scholars may disagree with me, but I don’t believe Nicodemus was being a “smarty pants” by asking this question. I think this was a sincere question from a man that was truly interested in knowing what was required in order to make heaven his home.
Moreover, I believe that Nicodemus had something inside him that knew that this man (Jesus) had the answer that he had been longing for.
Jesus then answered him by saying, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)
In this answer, Jesus went a bit further in detail of what is required of man to be able to make heaven their home. He mentioned being born of the water and born of the Spirit. The water is natural while the Spirit is supernatural. That is why Jesus goes on to say in John 3:6, “That which is born of the flesh (water) is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit (supernatural) is spirit.”
The water aspect represents a mother’s “water breaking” when she is about to go into labor. This is what water baptism is symbolic of. That is to say the part of coming back up out from under the water. But, of course, this is a natural symbolism.
However, going down in the water also has a very spiritual symbolism to it. In fact, Paul refers to it as being a symbolism of joining in Christ’s death and burial. Paul puts it like this: “Therefore we are buried with him [Christ] by baptism (water 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.” (Romans 6:4)
With that said, it is important to note that that last half of that verse is referring to the baptism of the Spirit and not the water. In other words, it is of the Spirit that we can "walk in newness of life."
However, let’s go back to John, and follow along in the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. In John 3:7 Christ tells Nicodemus not to marvel that He said we must be born again. In other words, not to become perplexed or confused by what has been said.
Understand this: in verse 9 it is made clear that Nicodemus is still having trouble grasping the magnitude of what Jesus has just said. He was trying to understand spiritual things using carnal, fleshly, or earthly reasoning (refer back to the Law of the Mind).
Jesus then responds to Nicodemus by saying, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12)
You see, water baptism is on the natural or earthly plane, but it is Spirit baptism that is on a heavenly plane.
In verse 13 Jesus makes a very interesting statement. He says, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”
Did you notice what He just said? No man was able to ascend up to heaven. This is because after the Fall this ability was taking away from us. You see, we had fallen (or descended) and couldn’t get up. Therefore, God became a man, taking on righteous flesh, and went down (all the way down) so that He could pick us back up.
Moreover, as we move on through John chapter 3 we come to verse 18 where Christ starts talking about this condemnation thing. In fact, verse 18-20 reads like this:
These are some strong words, and as we look back to our opening text (Romans 8:1), we find that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. It is Christ who is that "light" that has come into the world. And the condemnation is in our sinful flesh, that refuses to believe in that light.
Now, the questions is: How does one “enter into” Christ? Or "cometh to the light"?
Well, as Paul so elegantly articulated, we are brought “into” Christ (into His death, burial, and resurrection) when we are water baptized in His name -- for there is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
Moreover, going back to John, we find in verse 21 the following, “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
The truth and light is the revelation of who Jesus is (the One God in flesh). And the "deeds" that are made manifest are man’s faithfulness to the gospel and obedience to water baptism in Jesus Name and the baptism (or infilling) of the Holy Ghost (with the evidence of speaking other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance). This is the wrought (or work) of God.
Now, when Jesus told his disciples to tarry in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit to come -- this Spirit is the same spirit of life that was in Christ Jesus.
He went on to say that when they are baptized with the Holy Spirit, that they will receive power and become bold witnesses of Christ throughout the entire world (Acts 1:8).
You remember that Jesus went down into hell to retrieve the keys, right?
When the word keys is mentioned in the Bible it almost always represents (or is symbolic to) that of authority and/or dominion power. In other words, Jesus went down into hell to retrieve the authority and dominion power that was over death and hell, which are the “keys” that were given to the devil from Adam and Eve at the point of the Fall.
Now, did you catch that? Satan doesn’t even have the “keys” to his own house!
Moreover, didn’t Jesus mention something else about keys somewhere else in the Bible? Of course He did. Remember when Peter declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God? (Matthew 16:16) This was when Jesus said that flesh and blood had not revealed this knowledge to him [Peter], but the Father which is in heaven.
Jesus then said something else that is pretty interesting. He said, “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) The rock being the revelation of who Jesus was (the Christ, the son of the living God) -- and notice, again, that the gates of hell shall not prevail.
With that said, the next verse that I want to bring your attention to is this: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)
In this verse, Christ is giving Peter the dominion power and authority (or the "keys") of heaven and earth. Similar to the dominion power that was given to Adam and Eve before the Fall.
Moreover, who was it that preached the first message on the Day of Pentecost? Well, Peter, of course. And in response to a question a member of the congregation asked of how they were to be saved, Peter said in Acts 2:38, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
This is the message of the gospel: repent (death), water baptism in Jesus name (burial), and baptism of the Holy Spirit (resurrection).
That is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, which has made us free from the Law of Sin and Death.
In closing, I take us back to the man that was possessed with legion.
This man had the will-power to get to Jesus, but he could not get rid of the demons on his own accord. This is similar to the Jews of Paul’s day who could not make themselves righteous by their adherent to the Law of Moses, which at this point had been fulfilled by the shedding of the blood of Christ.
No, all that man could do on his own accord was fall at the fit of Jesus. In other words, to acknowledge our need for a Savior. The only way the man was able to be made free from his possession torment was by the divine power that was in Christ Jesus commanding the demons out. That is the power that is in the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.
That is why Romans 8:1-2 is my most favorite verses in the entire Bible.
I have been made free from the Law of Sin and Death because I have been baptized in the only saving name that is under heaven – Jesus Christ. And God has seen fit to fill me with His Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit has given the utterance.
You can be made free as well!
Now Over to You
In the majority of the last article, I mentioned how I had given you the "bad news"(and I have highlighted some of that here as well), but it was my desire with this article to present to you the "Good News."
You see, you don't have to live in bondage anymore. You can be made free from the law of sin and death! All it takes is a truly repented heart, and the obedience to the plan of salvation that the Lord has so graciously laid before us. He has truly made a way of escape!
In other words, where one man's disobedience put us all into bondage, and by ONE MAN's obedience to lay down His life, we have all be given a chance to be reconciled back into right standing (righteousness) with Christ -- no longer separated by our sin, but united by His love (Romans 8:38-39).
With that said, I encourage you to find a church that preaches the Oneness of God, and baptizes in the name of Jesus Christ. Consider reading through the United Pentecostal Church International's (UPCI) website and utilize their church locator to find a church near you.
And if there is not a UPCI church near you, consider looking through the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ's (ALJC) website and utilizing their church locator feature.
Finally, I want to encourage you to subscribe to our monthly Bible Study Blog and Newsletter so you never miss a beat. Plus, when you subscribe today, you'll also be given access to a complimentary digital copy of our booklet, "Etiquette: For Apostolic Christian Writers." If you have ever felt called to the Writing Ministry (in any way) then this resource is for you.
Until next time, please take a moment to share your thoughts on this lesson in the comments below. I look forward to reading your insights. And if you so desire, consider following me on Instagram. I look forward to connecting with you there.
William Ballard, MBA
William grew up in church (within the Assemblies of God), but around the ages of 16 to 18, he backslide -- essentially turning his back towards God. However, God never turned His back towards him. As God continued to work on William's heart, the Spirit of God eventually led William to a small Apostolic church in Durant, Oklahoma. It was there that he was introduced to this wonderful Truth -- the Oneness of God and this New Birth experience. William was baptized in the only saving name of Jesus Christ in February of 2007, and in December of that very year the Lord baptized him with Holy Ghost -- with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance.
It wasn't long after that, in the year of 2008, that William felt the call of God on his life to ministry. William has faced a number of battles since his New Birth experience, much heartbreak and despair, but it has only made his ministry that much more powerful and affective for the Kingdom. Many prophesies have been spoken into William's life, and William has been anointed with the heart of a teacher. With that said, his heartbeat is lost souls, and his mission is to teach the message of Jesus of Christ to a dying world -- providing hope wherever possible!