Earlier this month in the Jots and Tittles May 2011 post, I linked to a sermon jam I created from a sermon from Graham Cooke on the new nature. The sermon offered a fresh, redemptive perspective on a familiar concept and one that has been absolutely paramount to my own growth as a Christian: our death and life in Christ. Cooke's message is overwhelmingly positive, incredibly encouraging and transforming. His words reflect the heart of God and the eyes of grace.
I took the sermon and cut and pasted various pieces together using Audacity and added background music to blend the piece together. Later, I transcribed the recording and added relevant scriptures to support various points.
One of the comments on the Jots and Tittles post follows:
re the New Nature sermon - when he got to Phil 4:8, well, pass the kleenex...really needed to hear that. This is a concept that was never "taught" at our mainline denomination - it was almost considered impertinent to believe that the Lord wanted to have a direct part in your life. It's hard to shake off the teachings of decades (I'm in my 40s) and re-learn what the Bible really says/means. Don't have a clue who that was (maybe you could give an answer later in the month? and what was the music as well?)Thank you for sharing this.Lynn in ON, Canada
God is using this message to teach us His heart and renew our minds: to redirect our eyes off of our failures and our old nature and onto our new nature, the nature of Christ within. The music is from James Newton Howard's soundtrack to The Village. I don't recommend many movies these days, but I wholeheartedly recommend the soundtrack.
Part of the transcription is below. The full transcript and New Nature sermon jam have been uploaded using Digital Dropbox. Download them by right clicking and clicking "save link as..." I hope you are blessed.
(Taken from a sermon preached at the Mission Vacaville on 4-11-2010.)
The paradox for you spiritually is that a part of your life is already a finished work, but another part of it is an ongoing work that’s clearly not finished. The finished part of you is the old nature: it’s dead.
How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:2-4Your old nature is dead; God is not going to resurrect it. You’re not allowed to raise it from the dead in any way, shape or form. Neither is your wife or your husband. There is a part of you that is a finished work. Your old nature is dead. It’s in the ground; it’s buried; it has a personal headstone. There is no possibility of it coming back. God says to you in Romans 6:11, “consider yourself dead…but alive to me.”
…our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Romans 6:6-7
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:11
So the finished part of the work of God in you is that you’re dead. Jesus came to deal with your old nature.
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
The Bible says that God dealt with sin once and for all, which means He’s not dealing with your sin anymore. It’s dead.
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Romans 6:10
He’s not resurrecting a corpse. He’s not dealing with your old nature. Why would God deal with your old nature and tell you that it’s dead at the same time? Does that make sense? That doesn’t make sense to anybody. It certainly doesn’t make sense to the Lord. Because He’s not a schizophrenic, so He wouldn’t say to you, “You consider this dead. Oh, but I’m dealing with your old nature.”
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:11So when God puts His finger on a part of your life that’s not working He’s inviting you into the site of your next miracle. He’s saying, “We’re going to bring some life into this area.” So we’re in Christ. We’re dead. We’re learning to be Christ-like. We’re learning to be alive in Him.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
The role of Jesus was to kill off the old nature. The role of the Holy Spirit is to establish your new nature. So everything that God is doing in your life, He’s not working with the old nature. It’s dead. He’s working with your new nature. So God is not dealing with your sin; He’s establishing your righteousness.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
So when He puts His finger on a part of your life that’s not working, He’s not bringing condemnation into that area because He knows it’s already dead. But the thing is we don’t have a sin nature anymore. We have a sin habit. There are some things that we’ve learned over the years, and now that we’re in Christ we’re learning how to stop doing those things because we’ve done them so long it’s almost second nature. And what God is doing is, He’s dealing with the residue. He’s dealing with the habit that we’ve had of always thinking this way, of always behaving this way, that when we’re under pressure or under threat we push back. We react, but we’re learning not to react. We’re learning to respond. So when He puts His finger on a part of your life that’s not working, what He’s actually saying to you is, “I have something for you, in this area.” When God looks at you He doesn’t see what’s wrong with you, He sees what’s missing from your relationship with Him. And He’s absolutely committed to giving you that. He’s dealing with your new nature. He’s establishing who you really are.
…put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore, when God puts His hand on a part of our life that’s not working, we’re really excited because God is saying to us, “I’ve got something for you in this area. I’m taking away from you something that you don’t like, and don’t want, and I’m going to give you something you’ve been crying out for. I’ve come to give you life.” Jesus didn’t say, “I have come that you might have meetings and have them more abundantly.” He said, “I have come that you might have life.” So when He puts His finger on a part of your life that’s not working, He’s got some life to give you because He’s already done the death thing. Now He’s giving you the life thing.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 1 Peter 1:1-4
There is a part of our walk with God that’s a finished work, but there’s a part of our life that’s an ongoing work, because we’re learning how to grow up in all things in Christ. Here’s the thing, when God puts His finger on a part of your life that’s not working, He doesn’t say, “Let’s fix this.” He says, “Lay it aside.” You lay aside the old nature. You don’t work on it.
that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, Ephesians 4:22
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, Colossians 2:11
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, Colossians 3:8-10
He doesn’t want to throw you a quick CD on five ways of dealing with your anger problem. He just looks at you and says, “You don’t have an anger problem, you’re dead. What you have is that you haven’t discovered yet how to be gentle.” When He’s dealing with your frustration, He doesn’t throw you a book: Fourteen Ways How Not to be Frustrated. He says to you, “You’re not frustrated. You’re dead. What I’m dealing with now is your patience. If you had patience, you wouldn’t be frustrated, so I don’t want to deal with your frustration. I want to give you some patience.” Always He’s dealing with our new nature: who we really are in Jesus. He’s dealing with your true self, your real self, in Christ. So the Holy Spirit is always energized when He talks to you because He’s only dealing with what is good. He’s looking at you thinking, “Brilliant, let’s deal with this next.” So when He puts His finger on something and says, “I want to deal with this,” You’re going, “That would be so cool!” It’s like somebody coming to your house and saying, “I want to remodel your kitchen for free.” Of course you’re going to sit there and say, “Well, I’m not really sure about that. A new cooker, brand new fridge? I don’t know. I don’t know. What? New countertops? A new floor? New everything? I don’t know. I’m going to have to pray about this.” In a pig’s eye you’ll think like that. You’ll be saying, “Here’re the keys to my house.” When God comes to your life and touches a part of your life, He’s saying, “I’m absolutely committed to remodeling this area and making it completely new. And no, we’re not just going to change out a few things.” God doesn’t want to fix you because you were too bad to be fixed. You had to be destroyed. You were too bad to cleanse; you had to be crucified. He ain’t trying to fix you. He’s already killed you. He’s not resurrecting your old man. So neither are you. This is where we become Christ-like.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 1 Corinthians 5:17
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. Galatians 6:14-15