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"Therefore we are buried with him [Jesus] 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" (Rom. 6:4).

Twenty-five years ago, a story appearing in the news shocked people throughout the nation. A seventy-one-year-old woman, who weighed only fifty pounds and had begged door to door for food, died of malnutrition in a nursing home after spending the last few days of her life there.

When the authorities investigated her case they discovered that she had left behind a fortune. There was more than $1 million of assets in two safety deposit boxes - $800,000 of the sum was in cash, and the remaining worth was in valuable shares of stock. She had such wealth at her fingertips, and she probably had enough money in that safety deposit box to buy the best restaurant in the whole city, yet she died because she didn't have enough to eat.

Some people might say, "She was a fool," but today, sitting in churches all over this nation and around the world, there are Christians who are just as foolish as she was. What do I mean by that? I mean that there are Christians who are living in spiritual poverty even though Christ has made them rich!

You see, whatever the Bible says belongs to us is ours - we're heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:17)! Yet not all Christians avail themselves of the riches of Heaven that have already been put into their accounts through Jesus. The riches are available to them - all they have to do is open the safety deposit box, so to speak, pull out what they need, and start using it.

Yet there are many Christians today who are wasting away. And if they're not careful, they will die in a condition of spiritual, physical, mental, or emotional poverty.

But it isn't God's fault if they live and die in that condition. It's their own fault, because they didn't use what God had already made available to them through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the case of the lady who starved to death, no one but her had anything to do with her dying in that condition. And just like her, if people today don't enjoy the new life that Christ Jesus provides, it's not anyone's fault but their own.

When you received new life in Christ, you were given a new position in Him. You were made a new creature, a child of God, and a joint-heir with Jesus Himself (2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 5:1; Rom. 8:17)! You need to learn to live in this new position and to receive all the benefits that go along with it.

Unfortunately, many Christians don't live at the level that they should, and many times it's because of guilt. They may realize that God in Christ has forgiven them for mistakes they made, but they have a hard time forgiving themselves. So they carry guilt around, not because God is laying it on them, but because they are laying it on themselves.

Our new position in life through Christ Jesus doesn't include any guilt. Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Remember, once you're born again, you have a new life and new position in Christ. All things have become new - the old things have passed away and don't exist anymore (2 Cor. 5:17)!

Sometimes, you may fight the memories of the past in your mind. The devil may keep bringing up the past - what you've done, how bad you've been, or how much you've messed up. Just stand on God's Word, and tell the devil, "I'm in Christ and I have a new position in Him; therefore, I have no condemnation or guilt. Go peddle your goods elsewhere, because you're not going to accomplish anything here!"

It's not your own spirit bringing those condemning thoughts, because your spirit is pure and free. And it certainly isn't God condemning you. It's just the enemy sitting on your shoulder, so to speak, whispering in your ear, and reminding you of past mistakes. But if you'll renew your mind with the Word of God, you'll get rid of any guilt or feelings of condemnation (Rom. 12:2).

Let's live this new life in Christ knowing that no outside force can separate us from God or keep us from receiving God's best (Rom. 8:35-39). The only thing that can keep us from receiving God's best is the person who stands in our own shoes. And once we have brought ourselves under control and are being led by the Holy Spirit, then there isn't anything that can keep us from living a victorious life in Christ!

Source: From a Pastor's Heart by Kenneth E. Hagin. Jr.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth W. Hagin
Web site: Kenneth Hagin Ministries
Kenneth W. Hagin, President of Kenneth Hagin Ministries and pastor of RHEMA Bible Church, ministers around the world. Known for calling the Body of Christ to steadfast faith, he seizes every ministry opportunity to impart an attitude of “I cannot be defeated, and I will not quit.”

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