THE TWO CONDITIONS
How then can we enter into this blessing? There are two very important matters. The first is mentioned in verse 11: "So also you, reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but living to God in Christ Jesus." This is faith. God says that our old man has been crucified with Christ, and we believe His Word. Thus we reckon ourselves to be dead. How do we die? "Reckon yourselves to be dead to sin." God says that we have been resurrected with Christ, and we believe His Word and reckon ourselves to be living. How do we live? "Reckon yourselves to be...living to God."
This kind of reckoning is nothing other than believing God according to His Word. God says that the old man has been crucified, so we reckon that the old man has already died. God says that we are living, so we reckon ourselves to be living. The failure of many is that they want to feel, to see, and to experience, but they do not believe the Word of God. They want to wait until they themselves have felt something, seen something, and experienced something; then they will believe that what God has said concerning their old man being crucified is real. They do not know that what God has done is already done in Christ. As long as we believe His Word and reckon that what He has done is real, His Holy Spirit will give us the experience. His Spirit will cause what is in Christ to flow into us.
Another matter is mentioned in verse 13: "Neither present your members as weapons of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as alive from the dead, and your members as weapons of righteousness to God." This is consecration. This is also a very important part. If we have something we are not willing to part with, anything which God wants us to give up, yet we are not willing, sin will still have power over us; our "reckoning" will be of no effect. If God wants us to do something, to go somewhere for Him, and to speak something for Him, yet we are not willing to yield our members as weapons of righteousness to God, we will be perplexed and wonder why we cannot be freed from sin. As long as we are not willing to give up something and if we have any resistance, it is still possible that sin might return to rule. Naturally, under such a condition, we will not have the power to reckon, to believe the Word of God. If we do not reckon and our faith stops, although we are in Christ positionally, our living is not in Christ—we do not have the abiding in the Lord mentioned in John 15—we will not have the fact which is only possible in Christ, that is, the fact that we have been crucified already.
This reckoning and this consecration must both be specific. They must be as specific as our receiving of the Lord Jesus as our Savior. If there is merely a mental understanding without the specific believing and the specific consecration, then it is not possible to have this kind of living.
Whenever we are defeated, we can definitely say that it is because we have failed either in our faith or in our obedience. Besides these, there is no other reason. If there is failure, the problem is either in one of these or in both. We should learn to live by faith in Christ, never looking at ourselves, thinking about ourselves, or employing ourselves outside of Christ. We must learn daily to believe that we are in Christ and that all the facts in Christ are real. At the same time, we must keep our own consecration by the power of God. We need to count all things as dung. There is nothing on the earth which we cannot give up for the Lord. There is nothing we want to reserve for ourselves. Whatever God asks of me, no matter how difficult it is, no matter how much it is contrary to the flesh, my heart is always willing. There is no price too great to pay if it is for God. I will not care for any sacrifice as long as I can please God. Daily I will learn to be an obedient child.
If we have such a reckoning and such a consecration, what will be the consequence? The Word of God is very clear. Verse 14 tells us, "For sin will not lord it over you."
(Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), Chapter 10, by Watchman Nee)