Friday, December 16, 2011

"His Delight... Our Delight" Conclusion

From the moment of our new birth, our spiritual enemies seek to hinder awareness and application of the incredible work of grace accomplished in our innermost being by the indwelling Holy Spirit. In that holy place, we are not at all who we were before we believed, nor will we ever again become "the servant of sin" dominated by the world, the devil and the flesh. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).

The New Testament confirms this truth in the Apostle Paul's indictment of the "carnal" Corinthians (I Corinthians 3:3). Mired in division, tolerance of immorality, disrespect of the Lord's supper, and childlike emphasis on gifts rather than the Giver, Paul nonetheless affirmed the miracle of grace accomplished in their born again hearts.

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

Carnal - but nevertheless "washed... sanctified... justified." The fleshly walk of the Corinthians did not change or affect the truth of who and what they most deeply were in Christ. Their walk, or lack thereof, gravely affected their shared lives and ministries, and would lead to God's loving chastening if not changed. Nevertheless, our brethren of old were who they were, as spiritually united to the Spirit of the Lord Jesus. They were "new creatures." They were "temples of God." And as born again believers, their inward delight was to glorify God and do His will. Sadly, however, their ignorance and unbelief led to a walk after the flesh which kept them from experiencing and expressing the wonder of who Christ was in them, and who they were in Christ.

As a free gift of grace, the Holy Spirit works in believers "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Such blessing results in genuine desire for godliness in our innermost being. "I delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Romans 7:22). If, however, we do not know and believe such truth to be true, we will fail to realize our delight, and we will fail to walk accordingly. "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind" (Romans 7:23). Our spiritual enemies are well aware of this, and seek to discourage our confidence in the work God perpetually performs in our spirits, the work of God's delight being our delight. We must therefore arise to discover the New Testament's affirmation of our truest yearning and desire. We must believe in the face of all contrary evidence, emotion and notion that "with the mind, I myself serve the law of God." And we must expect countless challenges that are in fact opportunities to affirm with Paul, "I delight in the law of God after the inward man." Yes, in the wonder of our Savior's great salvation, purchased by so great a sacrifice, His delight is now our delight.

"Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you."
(Romans 8:9)

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