Thursday, May 29, 2014

"Swans" Part 6

    Many years ago, I shared the truths of this series with a gentlemen who struggled with a number of attitudinal and behavioral challenges regarding his walk with the Lord.  He responded, honestly, but in forlorn despair, "That all sounds good, Glen.  But I know me!"

   Actually, he didn't.  The gentleman rather knew his flesh.  He did not, however, know the new person birthed and spiritually constituted when he trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The New Testament loses all meaning if we fail to see that salvation accomplishes far more than merely providing forgiveness and the promise of eternal life.

   "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature" (Galatians 615).

   As the Apostle Paul taught that our earthly members and faculties present an ongoing challenge in our walk with the Lord - "in my flesh dwelleth no good thing"  (Romans 7:18).  A very good thing, however, dwells in the "new creature" of our born again spirits - "ye are the temple of God... the Spirit of God dwelleth in you" (I Corinthians 3:16).  Moreover, this spiritual life and being in Christ constitutes the holy essence of who we most deeply are as God's trusting sons and daughters - "ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you" (Romans 8:9).  To know our "me" therefore demands that we view ourselves in Biblical terms rather than the historical, emotional, and apparent realities that may define many of our doings, but which often do not reflect our being.

   Faith in the Lord Jesus births a spiritual "me" - "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6).  United to the Holy Spirit, the person we most deeply are exists as a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).  This is the "me" we must know, as commanded by Scripture.  In our present earthly lives, we do not always think, feel, speak, act, and relate accordingly.  However, nothing changes the grace-given new and spiritual person that constitutes now and forevermore who we are in Christ.  "Ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18).

    Until the swan gazed into the mirrored waters, he perceived himself as the ugly duckling of his past.  He thus lived accordingly.  In similar manner, if we fail to look into God's glass, we will not see the new creature He birthed when we trusted in Christ.  We will thus live as we did.  We must know our me, as united to the Spirit of the Lord Jesus.  Thereby are we equipped to more consistently overcome the law of sin that remains in our flesh.  Yes, "I know me!" must become a joyful affirmation of Biblical truth rather than a mournful confession of carnal feeling and failure.  The glory and will of God are at stake in this vital matter of truth, and of the grace that freely grants the "newness of life" in Christ that changes the very essence of who we are (Romans 6:4).

"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."

(II Corinthians 5:21)

Weekly Memory Verse

    Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus."

(Philemon 1:5-6)

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