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"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:1-10).
All Christians once lived under the wrath of God. But that is now no longer the case. “Therefore there is no now condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

Those who are under the wrath of God, that is, those who indulge the desires of the flesh and of the mind, are “sinners in the hands of an angry God” who will justly and rightly judge all according to their deeds. These sinners, as Jonathan Edwards puts it, are held over the fire by a spider’s web, held back only by the grace of God from the biting flames below. They have the arrow of God’s justice pointed directly at them, yet the twang does not sound because God’s grace holds the line taut. Sinners are objects of His wrath by their very nature, and will be as a worm stepped on and ground into the dirt continuously. Such is the terrible, holy wrath of almighty God against all who practice iniquity. Against Him there is no deliverance!

Such is not the case of the Christian. The Christian is not a vile spider or a clump of dirt. The Christian is not a wriggling worm or an object of wrath. Once the Christian was these things, but no longer! For once dead in sins, now alive in Christ! Once indulging the flesh, now desiring the Spirit! Once God-hating, now God-loving!

But you say, “I still sin.” Of course, but not as someone who indulges the flesh and desires more wickedness, but someone who grieves for their sin and hates it. The Christian is dead to sin, and merely carries deadweight around until the day of deliverance! The Christian is like a tree, which, full of leaves and life, is cut through at the trunk. Though the tree has been severed from the root, it takes time for the leaves to shrivel and fall off. So it is with the members of the body (i.e. hands, feet, minds, habits); they have been severed from the old man, yet their deadweight remains until, by and by, the Christian is sanctified by the loving work of the Spirit.

Therefore, the Christian ought never to pray with a mind like a sinner: “Oh God, I am a vile creature, worthy only of destruction; a wriggly worm and a piece of dirt, at Your mercy. Please help me serve You today. Amen.” This kind of talk is to heap contempt on the very grace of God which saved you! He has loved you with a great love! He has made you alive together with Christ! All that Christ has is yours also! All that the Father does for the Son, He does for you also! For it is not by your merit that God loves you, but it is by Christ’s merit! And He is enough! The Lord desires not vile, wicked servants, dirty and abused. Do not offer a wretch to serve the King of kings! The Lord, who has angels and seraphim serving Him day and night, desires the best be given to Him as servants, not the worst. Indeed, Christian, you are the best servant for God because Christ has made you new. You are not part old man and part new man. “The old has gone and the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:21). You can never return to the old man, for he has been crucified with Christ and it is longer that old man that lives, but Christ that lives in the new man (Galatians 2:20)! Do not think, Christian, that there is a good nature and a bad nature at work within you, and that you must feed the good one more than the bad one. No! Your old man has been crucified with Christ and no longer lives! You have been washed with His baptism! There is no going back!

Therefore, the Christian ought to pray like this: “Father God, you have loved me with an everlasting love and for that I am grateful. You have redeemed my soul and given me a new heart that loves You, and a new mind that knows You, and new passions to serve You. You are awesome and holy, and I am a new creation according to Your Spirit of grace. Help me today to shake off the deadweight of my old man, and to live in the newness of life You have blessed me with on account of Christ, my Savior. I offer myself to Your service, my King. Amen.” There is a great difference in the prayer of the Christian who knows the gospel of God and the Christian who does not know the love of Christ given for them. Do not presume on the riches of God’s kindness and think you need to offer atonement for sins along with Christ. Christ has died once for all sins; therefore, be thankful and full of gratitude! You do not possess a heart that is deceitful and wicked and desperately sick; that heart of stone has been removed and now you have a heart of flesh which cries, “Abba Father!” Do not mistake the Bible’s diagnosis of the sinner for your own, oh Christian! For although that once was you, it is you no longer! You once were an object of wrath, BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, loved you with a great love! You are a servant of the King because He has made you a servant. Indeed, no servant of His will be dirty or abused; all will be shining and glorified by the blood of Jesus!

"For I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within 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" (Galatians 2:20).