Dead Men Don’t Care

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead…”(Romans 6:11)

Dean men are not interested in self advancement, self promotion and selfish interest.  They are dead!  They don’t care because they can’t care, they are dead.  It is impossible for a dead person to be selfish, they just don’t have that capability.  Only living people have it.  This is the fallen nature of the human condition.

We are all born with a sinful and selfish nature. We just can’t help but pursue selfish interest and we are “by nature children of wrath.” (Eph 2:3) We innately served and advanced the kingdom of darkness by advancing self. (1)  However, when we are born again (John 3:3) and become a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17) and a citizen of heaven. (Philippians 3:20)  We are spiritually quickened into the Kingdom of God.  Our spirit man has come alive and is given the power to kill the carnal man or the selfish, sinful, and fleshy nature.  We are to consider self as dead.  Dean men don’t grumble, they don’t complain and James tells us that when we strive and war with each other it is because self is not dead. (James 4:12)  Self must be killed.  We must become dead men that are alive to God.

Paul exhorts us to “reckon ourselves to be dead.” (Romans 6:11)  Having lived out in the country for some time now, the word “reckon” can take on various meanings depending upon who you ask.  However, Daniel Webster’s dictionary defines it as “to reason with oneself and conclude from argument.” (2)  So, if we are to do the reasoning with ourselves, this makes us the “reckoner” which Webster defines as, “the one who compares or reckons.” (3)  Paul is, therefore, urging us to consider if any self advancement, self promotion, or selfish interest if of any value in advancing God’s Kingdom.  The biblical conclusion is NO!  Selfish ambition always wars against the Spirit.  We must reckon self to be as dead.  This is the lifestyle of the apostle Paul who wrote; “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me, and the life I live now in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Death to self is an everyday event.  We must pick “up the cross daily” and join Christ in the fellowship of His sufferings.

No human that ever lived was more emptied of selfishness than Jesus Christ. (Philippians 2:5-11)  Christians are called to be imitators of Him (Eph 5:1)  We are now called to consider self as dead and to allow the Spirit to manifest in this world through us. Thus, when we empty ourselves we create space for Him.  The degree to which we are dead to self will be the degree to which we can flow in the Kingdom Power and Spiritual Authority.  Anything but this standard is pseudo-spirituality and counterfeit authority.  Spirituality to advance selfishness is Satanism. (see footnote 1)

“So death is working in us…” (2 Corinthians 4:12), this was Paul’s description of the spiritual life of the apostolic minister.  When the apostle would die to self life would be manifest in others.  The rest of the verse (2 Cor 2:4:12) says, “but life in you”.  Our sacrifice produces life in others.  The famous missionary teacher Watchman Nee once said, “We ought to do the same today. (referencing 2 Cor 4:12)  We must have the outward man broken that the inner life may flow out.  When a man’s outer shell is broken he is brought very near to others and life may easily flow forth.  Otherwise the life will remain enclosed, the spirit hard to come out, and thus the way to life for others blocked.  It is when the grain of wheat falls into the ground and has its shell broken that life begins to flow.  Hence, the Lord says, ‘Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt. 16:25).” (4 parenthetical note mine for clarification)  Let us reckon ourselves dead in order to minister life to the dead and dying world around us.

Endnotes

1.  Satanism as a religion is rooted in selfishness; one of the religions current leaders writes, “Satanists do not believe in the supernatural, in neither God nor the Devil. To the Satanist, he is his own God. Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaVeyan_Satanism. Satanism is the exact opposite of Christianity.  Undetected selfishness in the Christian life, advances the kingdom of darkness.

2.  Webster, Daniel, American Dictionary of the English Language, Foundation for American Christian Education, San Francisco, CA, 1995.  This dictionary first published in 1828 was written expressly for Christian educators and their pupils.  It’s definitions are rooted in the King James Translation.

3.  Ibid

4.  Nee, Watchman, Spiritual Authority, Christian Fellowship Publishers Inc., New York, New York, 1972, page 173.  This work is relevant as it was not written by Nee but transcribed from his teachings for missionaries.  In it, he was teaching missionaries spiritual truth to exhibit in the field to advance the gospel.  This is significant for the topic at hand.

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