“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Day of Reckoning, by Randall D. Kittle

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While I was praying, the room was suddenly filled with a powerful presence of the Lord. Then I heard the Lord make the following strong proclamation, “I am declaring that a day of reckoning is coming to My Church. It is time they reckon their lives dead to sin.” The power of this declaration caused my whole body to shake, and I was then reminded of Romans 6:11–14, which says: “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

What a powerful declaration from the Lord. He is announcing a day of reckoning for the Church, and calling us to reckon our lives dead to sin. Unfortunately for most of us, the word “reckon” is little used and poorly understood in our day. Since it is important to understand what the Lord means when He declares this day of reckoning, let us look at what this word “reckonî means in the Bible so we can better understand what the Lord is doing in the Church in our day.

Romans 6:11 says,
“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Greek word “logizomai” translated here as “reckon” literally means “to take an inventory.” So this verse could mean, “stop and take an inventory of yourself, and make certain you are dead to sin and alive to Christ.” Elsewhere in the Bible this same Greek word is translated: “to take into account, to judge, to impute, or to conclude.” If this was the intent of the word, it would render the verse, “take into account Christ’s finished work, and conclude that you are dead to sin, then act like you believe you are dead to sin and alive in Christ.”

However, the key to understanding this verse is not just how we render the word “reckon.” The key to understanding its meaning is found at the beginning of the verse with the word “likewise.” When a Scripture starts with “likewise,” the verse is reflective, referring back to the verse or verses just before it.

Finished With Sin
So what does the preceding verse, Romans 6:10, say? “For the death that Jesus died, He died to sin once for all. But the life that He lives He lives to God.” What Romans 6:11 is really telling us is this: “make certain that you die as truly to sin as Jesus died for sin, and then live as truly unto God as He lives with God.” To reckon ourselves dead to sin means that we die as decisively and definitively to sin as Christ died for sin. Jesus died completely and finally for your sins. When He declared from the Cross “It is finished!” that is exactly what He meant. The forgiveness for all sins had been made. The power of sin had been broken. Nothing had to be done again. Nothing else needed to be added.

Are you finished with sin? Is sin over, done with, and cancelled in your life? Jesus is calling His Church to once and for all die to sin, just as He once and for all died for sin. As believers, we are called to reckon our old lives as dead, to examine our hearts to see if we are truly dead to sin, for only then can we truly be alive in Christ.

While the Lord has called us to die to our sin, much of the Church today is as sin-filled as the world. Holiness, righteousness, purity, and godly virtues are no longer lifted up as the standard by which we must walk. The truth is that these godly characteristics are more than neglected by many Christians, they are often belittled, ridiculed, or even mocked in our day. Many believers have grown to tolerate what should be cast out. We often excuse what the Holy Spirit would excise. Sin is not only tolerated; it is being practiced by many “saints.” When this is confronted, it is promptly dismissed with a quick “well, we all sin” — as if that is in the Bible. Don’t forget the Word of God says,
“All have sinned …” (Romans 3:23). It doesn’t say, “we all sin,” or “we all just keep on sinning.” This verse is written in the past tense! Yes, all of us were sinners. But since we have now been born-again, sin is no longer to rule us. In fact, it is no longer to be given any room in us! “For sin shall not have dominion over you …” (Romans 6:14).

More Than “Converted” Sinners
One of the problems we have in the Church in America is we have been busy taking in new members instead of making disciples. We have been so quick to “sell” conversion that we are not really getting anyone converted. When most people are “converted” they are simply asked to lift up their hands and acknowledge that they would like to “receive Jesus.” It is like asking “Whose in favor of Jesus?” and the crowd eagerly raises their hand to “vote for Jesus.” Every year thousands of Americans lift their hands to take Jesus as a special additive to improve their lives. The preacher paints for them a beautiful picture of how all of their problems will disappear when they add Jesus to their lives, making them “new and improved!” Lost sinners across our land have been trying to put the cloak of Jesus Christ on over their old sinful nature, but the old person isn’t dead. Why are we surprised when they end up with a duel personality — the new man and the old man both alive and active?

Jesus’ life was never intended as an add-on to our lives. It is meant to replace our lives! Becoming born-again isn’t about “self-improvement.” It’s about “self-removement.” Sometimes we miss this because we look at the foreshadowing of John the Baptist who said,
“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). The reality in the kingdom of God is that He must increase, and I must decease … not just decrease, but die! We keep trying to become a little less so a little more of the light of Christ can shine through. Well, the Lord has an instrument to help us get less of us. It is called the cross. The kingdom of God is not less of me, it is none of me — my old life nailed to the cross.

When Jesus died on the Cross, He paid an excruciating price. The God of all creation did not come as man and die on the Cross so He could take over part of your life and help you be a little bit better. He died to take over all of your life, so you could get over yourself, so the new life of Jesus Christ could be within you, and you could be as He originally created you to be — a child of God. We were created in His image, because He wanted us to be like Him — and He is altogether sinless! That is His desire for us.

The Holy God of the universe longs to fellowship with us and so He calls out
“Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). The spotless Lamb of God yearns for us to come into perfect fellowship with Him and the Father and declares “… be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). It is not about God wanting us to make ourselves good enough for relationship with Him. The truth is that our loving God has already made a way for us to commune with Him, and we have settled for so much less than what He desires.

The Bible tells us that we are to pick up our crosses daily, but many of us think since we have done that once it is all done. Jesus did not say “deny yourself and pick up your cross
once and follow me.” He told us we must pick up our crosses daily. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Now notice that this is voluntary. It says, “if anyone desires … let.” This is a calling to those who want more than “fire-insurance,” who want to come into intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Secondly, note that we are called to deny ourselves. This is not some isolated act of self-resistance, but losing self-awareness for Christ-awareness! Remember, Christianity is not about finding yourself, it’s about getting over yourself!

Signs of the Crucified Life
So how can we tell if we have truly died to self, if we are living “the crucified life”? Let’s look at the signs of one who has been nailed to the cross.

A man who is crucified faces only one direction. When you are nailed to a cross, you are not going to turn around and look behind you. We will only be able to look forward to the things of the kingdom of God. If we have a crucified life we will be looking to our quiet time with the Lord, and looking toward reading His Word. We will be looking for opportunities to gathering together with saints to share what God is doing. We will be looking to tell others through our testimony what God has done and is doing in our lives. If we find that we are looking back a lot to things of the world, it is a sign that we have not been crucified with Christ. Remember, the Lord warned us, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”(Luke 9:62).

Once a person is nailed to the cross they are not going back. In fact, they would have said their final good-byes before they got there, because the cross always killed and killed completely. So if you find that you move forward a little but keep going back to the things in your old life, it is a sign your old life is not dead.

A man on a cross has no further plans of his own. When a man went to the cross, someone else’s plans replaced his, and those were the only plans that were going to affect his life. Our flesh, our old ways of doing things, all the ways of the world we have looked to — the goals, ambitions, desires, fulfillments of this world — must truly die, in order for the new life of Christ to come. If you have come to the place of a crucified life, your agenda will be God’s agenda. Your old plans will have been surrendered and passed away.

If you have a crucified life the old man will die. The effectivity rate of the cross is 100%. It always brought death. The cross doesn’t compromise. It doesn’t make concessions. The cross kills and kills completely every time. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Can we say the same? Can we truly proclaim that we no longer live; that it is Christ living in us? Jesus gives to every single disciple that same invitation to pick up our crosses daily and live the crucified life. Will we truly reckon our lives to be dead to sin? All true believers want the kingdom of God, they want the power of the kingdom, but not everyone is willing to go by the narrow way. But the way to the kingdom of God and the power of God is only through the narrow way of the cross. All of us have that calling, to pick up our cross and crucify our flesh daily. We must decide if we will embrace it or flee from it. There are only two choices. Every day when we wake up we need to choose either to walk in our flesh and try our best to follow the Spirit, or deny our flesh, embrace the cross, and walk in the new way of the Spirit.

The Lord is calling us to reckon our old lives as dead by picking up our crosses daily and dying to our sin — making no provision for our flesh. Only those who reckon Christ’s death fully as their own by embracing the cross and dying to their sin actually experience crucifixion power over their old life and resurrection power to release their new nature. We want the new life of Jesus Christ with us, the very hope of glory, to be released. But it is not going to happen as long as we coddle our flesh and keep our sinful nature. It must be crucified with Christ daily. It took Jesus’ death on the cross to put to death the power of sin so that sin, selfishness, self-worship, and love of this self-focused world could be removed. It takes us picking up our cross daily to lay hold of that power in our lives. If we really want self to be gone, sin to be removed, and the life of Christ to flow out from our lives and effect others, we need to die daily to sin. We need to examine our lives and ask ourselves, ìHave I died to sin? Am I so crucified with Christ that I don’t look back at worldly things, that I am not falling back into those things? Am I so crucified with Christ that my agenda is God’s agenda, because I am surrendered to Him? Am I so crucified with Christ that sin is gone and I have no desire for sin and make no provision for sin?" The invitation of Christ still awaits each of us.
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Let us surrender our lives afresh and say yes to the Lord each and every day.


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