The grace movement that is on fire across the globe is not a new fad, a passing fancy, a new twist on Scripture. It is actually very old – but wonderfully good – news. The message of our new identity in Christ and the power of living into our new righteous self has been around for a long time. I believe when we let the Bible speak for itself, the grace message we preach is the message of the New Testament; as attested to by many throughout the history of the church.
The passage below is from the book He That is Spiritual. It was written in 1918 by Lewis Sperry Chafer, founder of Dallas Theological Seminary. If you take the time to process through the English of that day, the excerpt reads like it came straight from your favorite grace teacher today. Listen to Chafer’s explanation, written over 100 years ago, of our freedom from the PENALTY and the POWER of sin.
The theme under consideration is concerned with the death of Christ as that death is related to the divine judgment of the sin nature in the child of God. The necessity of such judgments and the sublime revelation that these judgments are now fully accomplished for us is unfolded in Romans 6:1-10. This passage is the foundation as well as the key to the possibility of a “walk by the Spirit.” By the death of Christ, the penalty for sins committed was paid for all men, and the power of sin was judged and broken for the children of God.
Herein it is declared that Christians need not “continue in sin,” but may “walk in newness of life.” “Sin shall not have dominion over you,” and we need no longer to be “slaves to sin.” This was all brought about through the cross. How important in His eyes, then, is the quality of our daily life; for His death not only procured our eternal blessedness in glory, but empowers our present “walk” as well.
The old nature was judged in order that God may be free to work in the believer’s daily life and apart from all judgments. How great is His mercy! He has already taken up the sin question and solved it for all men in the death of Christ, our Substitute. Because of this, He can now save from the penalty of sin. Even so, to what lengths His mercy has gone since He has also entered into righteous judgment of our “old man”! And because of this, He is now able to deliver His child from the power of sin.
The “old man” is said to have been “crucified with Him,” and we are “dead with Him,” “buried with Him” and are partaking in His resurrection life. All this, it is revealed, was to one great purpose, that “we should walk in newness of life,” even as Christ “was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father.”
What a deliverance and walk may be experienced since it is according to the power and glory of the resurrection! Resurrection, it may be added, is not the mere reversal of death; it is the introduction into the power and limitless boundaries of eternal life. In that new sphere and by that new power the Christian may now “walk.”
Excerpt from He That is Spiritual by Lewis Sperry Chafer