Reign in life-Niyi Olaleye
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17(KJV)
By natural decent man possess the nature of sin and death but faith in Christ exchange that nature of death to the nature of life which is grace and righteousness. No man struggles to sin for it is natural for him just like as in the case of a fish swimming in the river or a goat eating grass. All you need to sin is to be a man with the seed of Adam that is by natural birth and all you need to reign in life is to have the seed of God( grace and righteousness) which is through faith in Christ Jesus. Anyone who receives abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by Jesus Christ. If it is real that by one man Adam sin entered into the world, how true and real it is that life came by Jesus Christ. The gateway to death is the natural birth but faith in Christ is the gateway to life.
You will remember when we were children, there are characters we exhibited then by our natural instincts without been thought by anyone. How I remember some were either lying or stealing but they had never seen anyone lied or stole before, it is just natural to do that, it is death that had entered into man by Adam and so man become its subject or slave. If any man believes in Christ, the nature of sin and death is exchange for life, grace and righteousness. By one man’s offence death reigned by one but we reign in life through Christ Jesus, what a big difference! Under sin, death reign over man but under grace man reign in life… Since life rules over death then those who reign in life have overcome death and they rule over it. There is a transfer or translation from death to life for everyone who believe in Christ that’s why Christ came to be manifested so that He can destroy the works of the devil-death and that was fulfilled through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. It takes death to deal with death just as negative multiply by negative in mathematics becomes positive so it was necessary for Him to die so as to nullify death and its power on man. The cross of Christ is the means by which any man can cross from death to life, law to grace, sin to righteousness.
It is imperative that we check properly Death and how it entered into the world, also understanding grace and gift of righteousness is necessary to reign in life.
*GENESIS OF DEATH
The origin of death was from the Garden of Eden where Satan tempted Adam and Eve so that death can be transfuse into Man. Death came into man through disobedience and it will take the obedience of one man to annul death or put an end to it. As we were in the loins of Adam when he sinned through disobedience, so we all were in the loins of Christ when He died on the cross.
The devil is the origin of death so through deception he attempt infusing death into man through his deception. The enemy of God knew if you can make a man to doubt God (through unbelief), you would have caused him to disobey God. Oh what a weapon the enemy still uses till today. Deception led man to unbelief that resulted into disobedience. The reason why anyone may go to hell is because they did not obey the Gospel through unbelief and that is the reason for the first fall and that remains the reason for anyone to fall under eternal judgments.
*EFFECTS OF DEATH
Death did not just entered into man with no consequence. Man had to become enslaved to death and its bye products. Death seems to be like a seed with different fruits. Sometimes it appear to be good and another time evil but whatever ways it is manifested death is death and it came from the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. When the bible call it the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it seems God is saying if they eat of that tree, they will die and it will manifest as good and evil. That is why a man may be good naturally and it is still death that is operating in him. It does not matter if it is good or evil once it is of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil then the condemnation of death is upon it. The warning was clearly spelt out in Genesis 2: 7
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”
Death was the consequence of the disobedience of the first Adam so life is the consequence of the second Adam – Jesus Christ. So, any man born of a woman has death active in him but whosoever is born of God has the life of God active in him. Therefore whatever that was true for man through the first Adam after the fall the reverse is also true for them who are born of God. Death became a must for all men before redemption. Since then it begin to appear as sin, sickness, poverty, Disease, lawlessness and so on.
According to Romans 3: 23, death is the wages of sin. That is why Paul cried out again in 1Corinthians 15: 56 “The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law”
Sting means poison and it could as well be said, the poison of death is sin and that is why if death abides in a person he must surely sin. If you are living in sin, it is because death is living in you. Death is always link with corruption, decay, destruction etc. if death resides in a person no matter the appearance of such (it may be good or evil), he is corrupt. What makes a person a corrupt individual is in the person and not just in his practices. He practices corruption because he is corrupt. Even when he seems to be good, so far death is in him, he is corrupt and sinful. Wherever you find corruption and sinfulness know that death is in charge.
Brother Paul cried again Romans 5: 24, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Until deliverance come through Jesus Christ, all Adam’s seed were doomed to death. Death makes a life wretched. Have you ever seen a life so wretched, it is because he is still under the influence and power of death through ignorance that his deliverance has been secured through Jesus Christ. Death makes a man wretched, wherever you see wretchedness know that death is at work and only death can annul the effect of this death and it is only the death of His son. When you say something is deadly you are simply saying that it is destructive. The weapon the devil uses against man since the fall is the power of death and victory came through the power of Christ’s death and resurrection. No man can overcome death without the victory by Christ Jesus.
It is possible that a man is carrying out a ministry of death and a lot of such men have risen and will still rise in these last days. The ministry of the New Testament is what we are called into. We are called into the ministry of the spirit and not of letter for letter killeth but the spirit giveth life. There are people who have been under ministries of letter and that is why such are under the influence of death, they keep struggling under the grip of sin, sickness, poverty and a lot of evil.
You feel condemn under the ministry of death. It can only condemn people but cannot save them but Christ came that we might be saved. Death brings condemnation, corruption, sickness, poverty, disease, wretchedness and others to any life, society and church. Until death came into man there was never prevalence of evil on man, the only deliverance from all evil is redemption from death and its power.
*LAW OF SIN AND DEATH
Law means the principles and regulations established in a community by authority and binding on its people while Sin is the transgression of divine law and death is an act of dying, the end of life. How do we relate them together? Let us trust the divine wisdom to help us. Firstly we need to trace the origin of the law to the Israelite as principles to guide the people and any deviation from this is sin. Why then was the law given?
“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of mediator.”
The law was given because of transgressions till the redemption by Christ. The expiry date of the law was the death of Jesus. The heavens were waiting for the fullness of time when the seed with the promise would come to save man. Nothing but redemption would save man. Men were kept under the law until the revelation of faith. Law also was our schoolmaster or tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. After the arrival of faith we are no longer under a tutor. The end of the reign of law is faith (Grace).
“O DEATH, WHERE IS THY STING? O GRAVE, WHERE IS THY VICTORY?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law.”
1 Corinthians 15:56-57(KJV)
The power of sin is the law and as long as law reign then sin has gained influence and strength so it was difficult for man to obey the law. Sin became the slave master of man and rules over his entire being. What will deliver the man must first conquer law and death if not people will continue to struggle, so generation upon generation they kept struggling until Christ came. Since sin is when the law is transgressed so the battle began in the soul of man to fulfill the law but sin in him overpowers him, remember that sin gained access into man because death entered into him so any solution that does not destroy that death has not rescued the man. He kept resolving to keep the law but failure was too familiar to his nature that he cannot but fall so what will deliver this man is death but of a person that does not possess the same nature of death as him. Death came with a sting called sin so if he can succeed over death then his deliverance from sin is certain. The law had dominion over a man as long as he lives so for him to be delivered a death of a divine being in human form must occur that will include the man and that is what happened at Calvary.
“…Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? o grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:56-58(KJV)
Redemption means deliverance, atonement, repurchase, recovery by payment or conversion into a different person or thing. There was a need for deliverance from the power of death and sin; the law and it will be done by recovery of the likeness of God that man loss through the conversion of the nature of death in man to that of God. Through redemption death was swallowed up in victory.
Redemption was the only hope man had to be delivered from the grip of death but it will take the seed of the woman to bruise the serpent’s head until that prophecy by God was fulfilled there was no deliverance for man. Redemption took place on the cross to signify that man has crossed from death to life and so he must reign in the new life though held in bondage under the influence of death but now he rules and reign under the influence of life, the cross crushed out all that are of death and crowned the man with life and glory. What a mystery to the devil because what could have been the doom of man became the instrument of deliverance; the cross. The Lord did it all conquering death and the prince of death forever so that all those who believe in Him might be saved. Redemption was offered freely to all those who believe in Christ Jesus.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is Christ Jesus:”
Redemption opens the door of grace to us and we are justified by grace and grace alone. Since our salvation and justification is by grace then we can only live by grace, any other way to please God or attain His life except through the grace of God by redemption. The scripture declare in John 1:16-17 that of his fullness we all have received grace for grace and that the law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Christ marked the end of the law and the beginning of grace. Now a new era has begun, death is swallowed up in victory now grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ. Politically when a man’s tenure has ended in government then his power has ended. Since the power of sin is the law and grace has taken over the government over man now the law-power of sin has ended so you are no longer a subject to the law, a new influence now reign in your life through righteousness unto eternal life. It seems to me without grace there is no eternal life for we are saved by grace. Remember Grace originates from the person of Christ and only in him can we obtain grace. That is why any attempt to walk in His life or work for him must fail because it must be through grace-the outflow of His fullness, the essence of His personality. Jesus said HE IS THE WAY so there is no other way but the way of grace-the person of CHRIST who is the embodiment of grace. The old government has collapsed so you no longer live by its constitution but your life is guided by the new constitution called grace. The constitution of any kingdom is binding on its citizen so also your citizenship of the kingdom of God requires that you to live by its constitution-GRACE. There is only one passport to God and His life and it is grace.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
Grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men so nobody has any excuse not to live by this grace. The grace to salvation was freely given to all men, none was excluded from this grace, you can choose to deny yourself of this grace but it has appeared to all men. This grace does not just get us save and leave us there, it teaches that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Some had misunderstood or misinterpreted grace in different ways. But I am happy you discover here in the book of Titus that this grace of God bring us salvation and justification but it also enable us to live the life of GOD, in other word this grace live in us to deny all evil and live righteously, godly and soberly in this present world. It means no matter how changing the world system may be the grace of God never change and no matter the evil in this world the grace of God is all that is needed. I have seen some who profess they are under grace but are engrossed in ungodliness and worldly lusts believing the grace of GOD has covered it all for them yes by grace our sins were taken away but this person of grace come to indwell us and influence us unto godliness and righteousness. Because if I’m under grace then sin cannot have dominion on me again for I cannot serve two masters. Now that I am saved, it is grace that reign in/on me unto eternal life. In Romans 5:17, it is clearly written that we received abundance of grace by Jesus Christ so it never expire, God does not make available grace that grows weak or finishes, it is abundant for your daily life. You don’t need to fear whether it will die in the face of fierce temptation or opposition, grace reigns over all things and if grace abides in you then you will reign in life.
It is important to note also that righteousness is a gift and that shows you that you don’t earn righteousness. Righteousness is not a reward for a work well done but a gift to unworthy fellows. There are two kinds of righteousness according Philippians 3:9:
-Your own righteousness which is of the law
-The righteousness which is of God by faith
No righteousness according to the law is acceptable before GOD; the righteousness of God is imputed to us through faith.
“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
Righteousness by the law is a frustration of the grace of God and if righteousness come by the law then the death of Christ is in vain but God forbid. How can you frustrate the grace of God? The death of Christ is not in vain; in him we have life and life abundant.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Redemption made us to be the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus; he became sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God. HE knew no sin so he did not die for his own sin but that of the world. Jesus came to save us from sin for the result of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.
“For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness”
The old story of the Redeemed is that when he was enslaved with sin, he was free from righteousness but now he is not just bounded with righteousness but made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The obedience of Jesus was what made us righteous just as the disobedience of Adam made many sinners.
Created, Redeemed, Called and chosen to Reign in life
From the beginning the command of God for man is to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue it and have dominion over all things but until redemption the mandate did not become a reality. This is what the death and resurrection of Christ has redeemed for us. It is a reality that we shall reign with Christ in the future but we are to live in that reality here on earth. What an exciting life we are called to explore as a result of redemption. To reign and rule over all things is the order of the new life you have received. Now you are in charge of all things, nothing should rule you again, the Kingdom has been given to you so you must reign in the gift of eternal life offered to us. All through ages God has been waiting for a time when the man will begin to reign in life, He gave Adam the access to eat of the Tree of life but it was lost. Jesus came to offer us the Kingdom that was lost, He leased out the dynasty unto us to rule and reign on his behalf. To reign in life in this present world is to live in the fullness of the redemption package. Fruitfulness in life, ministry, marriage, career and others is part of your reigning in life, you have no reason for any part of your life to be barren, and you must bud, blossom and yield fruits in all areas. There must be increase in your life and activities. It is part of your reigning to subdue places, when you are in a place that darkness has been ruling then you subdue the place for the King of kings to reign. Your reigning include subduing kingdoms for the Lord, it may be the kingdom of business, sports, darkness and others. You have dominion over sin, sickness, poverty, failure, demons, devil, the world, the flesh and all things. You have not been given dominion over man so struggling with other men is not His purpose but victory over all things, forces, situations and powers.
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, as we are one:” John 17:21-22 (KJV)
How glorious to know that Jesus has made us one with himself and the Father, our abode is now in Jesus and the Father. The most secure and peaceful place to be is in the Lord, a man who is in the Father ought not to fear any evil. Through redemption God now indwell man and man live inside God so whatever happens to you happens also to God. God is your all and you have become his forever remember He said “Ye are bought with a price” Also it is important to note from this scripture that the glory which GOD gave to Jesus has been given to us so I am now walking in the same glory which Jesus posses. In reality I carry the same glory with Jesus and I must express the same glory in Christ-No difference, he made us to be one with Him in all things including his glory. That is why He said in one place “I am the light of the world” and in another place He said “You are the light of the world”…What does it mean? As we behold him daily with unveiled face we are transforming into his likeness from glory to glory. What He is we have become through redemption and only by the light through the Spirit of God can we understand this mystery.
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,” Hebrews 2:11
What a privilege we have in Christ that the sanctifier and the sanctified are one! Meditate on the implications of this scripture. Does it occur to you that oneness with Christ was part of the redemption work. You are sanctified to be one with Christ in all things. We are to reign with him in the world to come but it is the will of God that we begin to reign with Christ from here on earth. Jesus is Lord of lords because he has made us lords over all things and HE is the King of kings because we are kings over all things. He want us to replicate his glory, power, authority, nature, rule/reign upon the earth. HE has left us on earth as proofs of His divinity and personality. God reveals His glory on earth through men who are one with Him. The earth is of the Lord and the fullness thereof…Since it is God that owns the earth and everything upon the earth then He has ordained us to rule above them, nothing of this earth should rule over you else you are not living in the reality of your redemption. You have been given power and authority over all things so all contradictions of whom truly you are is an indication of darkness of unbelief in you. You need the revelation by the Spirit of God for you to walk in the reality of what Christ has done for you. The devil does not have power over you since you are in Christ; it is not possible for you to be subject to the devil if you are one with Christ. Sin shall have no dominion over you again because you now have a fresh mandate to reign in life over all things. You are to reign in the life eternal that is now in you.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3
The knowledge of God and Jesus Christ is eternal life so it means you can only reign in life if and as you know God and Christ Jesus. The knowledge of God comes through the word of God as revealed by the Spirit of God so you seek to know God to continually reign in life. It is as if the scripture is saying if you know God, eternal life is in you and you shall reign in that eternal life( via knowledge of God), the eternal life that is now in you cannot be attacked by the devil, oppressed by demons or sickness or poverty, it is a life that rules over all things.