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Light in the Darkness


Chapter 5

Light in the Darkness, book by David W. Dyer

A "Grain Of Wheat" Ministries publication

Written by David W. Dyer






Chapter 5: THE SOUL-LIFE (Current Chapter)




Chapter 5: THE SOUL-LIFE

Yes, it is true that people can and do have their own evil thoughts. These thoughts do not come from evil spirits but from themselves. So what can be done about this? What is the solution to this problem?

The source of such thoughts is our old life which we inherited from Adam and Eve. It is called in the Bible, the “soul-life” which is PSUCHÊ in the Greek language. This might surprise you, but the only solution – the one and only solution to this problem – is death.

You see, only the dead don’t sin. Only those who are dead don’t think evil thoughts. Since our soul-life is contaminated by sin, as long as it is alive, it will produce evil thoughts.

But how is it possible for our own life to die? Wouldn’t that mean the end of us? Wouldn’t we cease to exist? By the grace of God, the answer is no. There is a way in which we ourselves can die and yet not cease to be.

Do you remember how, earlier in this writing, we spoke about having God’s life born inside of us? We spoke about meeting Jesus and being “born from above,” which means that the life of another being – an eternal, holy being – has germinated inside of us. This new life is the solution. It is a real life. In fact, it is “more real” than our own, since it is uncreated and therefore eternal.

Due to this new life in us, we can face the death of our own life, knowing that we will not cease to exist. We can lose the old soul-life with which we were born without fear because we now possess a superior, endless life which comes from God. As our life is put to death, this new life takes its place.

People who don’t know God don’t have this option. They are kept in bondage to sin throughout their whole lives because of the fear of dying (Heb 2:15). But we need have no fear. We can deliver ourselves to death believing that the One in us, who rose victoriously from the grave, will raise us up also together with Himself (Eph 2:6).

How then is it possible for us to die? We certainly can’t commit suicide. If only the dead don’t sin, where does that leave us? Well, God has done a miracle. When Jesus died on the cross, humanity died with Him. In God’s eyes, the race of Adam was finished. He was the “last Adam” (1 Cor 15:45). When we believe into Jesus and receive His life inside of us, this death becomes a possibility for us.

Almost all Christians believe in their co-death with Christ. Yet for most this is just an imaginary idea. It is not real to them. It is not their experience. But this should not be our case! All that Jesus purchased for us on the cross should become real to us. We must all experience it! And this includes our death, the end of ourselves.

How then is this possible? First we must discuss an important aspect of this process which we already talked about to some degree. That is that God will not push past our resistances. He will not force His will on anyone.

This is very important! God will not do anything inside of us which we are not completely willing for Him to do. Therefore, we must be one hundred percent willing for this death to occur or it will not. But, with our complete permission, God can apply the death of Jesus to our old life and nature. In this way, we become free from sin.

Not surprisingly, the first step in this death to sin is light. First God exposes who and what we are. Then, and only then, can we have the wonderful opportunity to repent. Repentance means to change our mind. It means that we agree with God’s sentence of death on sinners such as ourselves. We agree that people who think and practice such things should not populate the earth.

We are taught: “When we agree with God’s judgment concerning our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all immorality of character” (1 Jn 1:9).

Notice that God will do two separate things when we “agree with God’s judgment” (literally “speak together,” Gk) concerning our sins. First, he will forgive us. Then, he will “cleanse” us, which means he will work to clean up our lives so that we no longer sin.

This cleansing means dying. The Holy Spirit can apply the death of Christ to us. This can really happen! It can and should be our experience. In some supernatural way which we cannot fully understand or explain, God, through His son Jesus, can put our old life to death. It can really cease to exist. In this way, we will no longer sin.


It doesn’t matter who or what we are when we come to Jesus. We may be greedy. We may be full of lust. We may be liars. We may have a strong attraction to members of our own sex. We may be very selfish and self-centered. These and endless other conditions are where members of the human race find themselves.

But God knows all this. When He sent His Son to earth, He already knew all about every human condition. Therefore, His provision for us is adequate to treat any and every human situation. There is no one, there is no human problem, from which He cannot rescue us.

It is written: “Therefore, he is also able to save completely {to perfect} those who are continually drawing near to God through him because he is always alive to intercede for them” (Heb 7:25).

Also, we can again remember the words of the angel who announced Jesus’ birth to Joseph. He stated: “Joseph, you son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son and you shall call his name JESUS, for it is he who will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:20,21).

We must never believe that our case is too difficult. We must never think that the problem is too deep or has gone on for too long a time. We must believe in the promises of God! He can save us completely from who and what we are. He can deliver everyone and anyone from their sin. This is really true! Believe it!

As already mentioned in chapter three, we must believe that there really is a Savior! He has the power and the authority to do what we cannot and never could do ourselves.

His deliverance means our death. When we have died, we no longer sin. We read: “We know this: that our ‘old man’ is being crucified with him so that sin in its entirety would be rendered inoperative, in order that we would no longer be in slavery to sin. For he who is dying is being freed from sin” (Rm 6:6,7).

This death is a crucifixion. It is a painful and prolonged death. It also involves suffering. We read: “Since the Anointed One suffered while in the body, prepare yourselves also with the same mindset, for he who is suffering in the flesh is made to desist from sin so that you no longer should live the rest of your time in this body following human lusts, but doing the will of God” (1 Pet 4:1,2).

Many Christians think that after receiving the Lord, they will stop suffering. They imagine that they will escape all emotional and physical pain. Unfortunately, this is not the truth. Anyone who wishes to be free from what they are will suffer and probably suffer intensely. Crucifixion is not a painless death.

Paul says: “I want to know him and the power of his resurrection – which comes through participating in his sufferings and becoming integrated into his death – so that in this way I may be experiencing the resurrection from the dead” (Ph 3:10,11).

Paul was: “...strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that it is necessary to go through many afflictions to enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

It is interesting to note that Paul’s teaching them to prepare for “afflictions” was considered to be “strengthening them.” 1 Peter 4:1,2 reads: “Since the Anointed One suffered while in the body, prepare yourselves also with the same mindset, for he who is suffering in the flesh is made to desist from sin so that you no longer should live the rest of your time in this body following human lusts, but doing the will of God.”

Jesus taught us that before we decide to follow Him, we should take a moment and count the cost (Lk 14:28). This is because there is a cost, in human terms. Of course this salvation from who and what we are is completely free. You cannot buy it with money. Yet, there is a “price” to pay, humanly speaking.

This price is the loss of our soul, which, if the truth be known, is no loss at all but a wonderful deliverance. However, we must be prepared for this cost. It is a real one. If we are not, it is easy to become offended with Jesus because of our suffering and turn away from following Him. No doubt this has happened with many.

Our co-crucifixion with Jesus needs to become our experience. An actual death needs to be applied to us. Although we don’t die physically, a genuine death can be applied to our Adamic life.

This is how we are really delivered from sin. There is no other way. There is no shortcut. As stated before, only the dead do not sin. Therefore, to escape sin, our old life must die. While it lives, it will always express its own nature which is sinful.

This death is applied to us in a mysterious way by the Holy Spirit. We cannot crucify ourselves. I am not speaking here about a great effort of self-denial. I am not advocating using our will power or determination to change ourselves. I am speaking about a miracle which God does in us by His grace and mercy.

Due to Jesus’ death and resurrection from among the dead, the Spirit of God can apply this death and resurrection to us. When we are ready and willing, He will do it in us. This is what actually does deliver us from sin.

However, perhaps the great majority of believers do not experience this deliverance. Far too many are still bound in sin and self. There are a couple possible reasons for this.

First, many are unwilling to die. They do not wish to lose “themselves” and/or they are not willing to go through the suffering which this deliverance involves. This can be an intense, prolonged suffering. Crucifixion is a kind of torture – a slow and painful death.

Second, many do not know this is possible. From the teachings they have received and the testimony and lives of the people around them, they have no idea that such a deliverance is possible. Or, if it were possible, they don’t see how it can become real to them.

Unfortunately, it is even true that there are so-called Bible teachers who insist that our sin is not important. They imagine that God doesn’t see it and doesn’t care about it.

How foolish this is! Such false teachers will be judged severely by God for depriving His people of their rightful heritage, which is actually to become holy by His power. This is the very reason Jesus came and died! He came to free us from sin. We read: “And you know that he was manifested to remove our sin” (1 Jn 3:5).

Therefore, those who don’t realize this wonderful possibility of being free from sin, don’t believe it. They don’t seek God for it and they don’t expect any drastic, genuine changes to occur in their lives. Without faith, God will not move in them.

It is important for us to realize here that the “cost” in terms of our suffering is nothing compared to the blessings it will produce. Paul boldly declares: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed in us (Rm 8:18).

Believers must learn to rejoice in their sufferings. They need to look beyond today and see the holy results which will come. They must have light from God to see how their suffering is producing an eternal weight of glory.

For this we need to prepare our mind. We should recognize the necessity of suffering and be ready for it. We read: “You should have the mindset which the Anointed One, Jesus had who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be retained.

“Instead, he emptied himself, taking on the form of a servant, even being made into the likeness of men. Then, being found in human form, he humbled himself even further and became obedient even to death, yes, the humiliating, painful death of the cross” (Ph 2:5-8). 

End of Chapter 5

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Chapter 5: THE SOUL-LIFE (Current Chapter)




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