Thursday, November 6, 2014

“The Challenge, the Conflict"

     Boil born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ down to our essence (ouch!), and you have the Spirit of our Savior and our own spirits united in holy and loving union.

    "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17).
    "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).
    "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).

    We face the challenge, however, that we are more than merely our essence.  We dwell in souls and bodies that await glorification.  Our earthly members and capacities inherited from Adam still possess a bent toward unrighteousness referred to by the Apostle Paul as "the law of sin" (Romans 7:23-25).  Thus, left to themselves, our human faculties ever move in opposition to the aforementioned essence of the Holy Spirit and His working in our innermost spiritual being "to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).  "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" declared Paul, who also confessed that even in our best times, we may feel contrary impulses to the glory and will of God: "when I would do good, evil is present with me" (Romans 7:21).

    We must know who we most deeply are in Christ, a gift given to us freely by God's grace.  "Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).  We must also acknowledge "the law of sin in my members" that fosters our susceptibility to unbelief and disobedience to our Heavenly Father (Romans 7:22).  Again, in the essence of our personhood in Christ, the Spirit of God motivates and empowers joyful enthusiasm for the will of God - "I delight in the law of God after the inward man… so then with the mind, I myself serve the law of God" (Romans 7:22; 25).  We may not always feel such truth to be true, and our thoughts often flow contrary to this grace-provided reality.  We may rather feel and think according to the far more boisterous and easily sensed law of sin - "I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind" admitted God's choice and faithful servant, Paul.  How easy it is indeed to "see" this law!  Faith is required, conversely, to know and experience the fact that our truest desire, as wrought by the Spirit of God, involves literal delight for the will of God.

   Our Heavenly Father calls us to know Him and His Word, and to know ourselves in the blessed illumination thereof  - "in Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).  Only thereby can we begin to understand the nature of the internal conflict we face between spirit and flesh, empowering a far more consistent walk according to the former rather than the latter.  As is so often the case, our brother Paul provides the clearest light regarding the matter of our spiritual essence in Christ, and our fleshly faculties and members that make for much challenge in our walk with God…

"I delight in the law of God after the inward man.  But I seen another law warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched  (miserable) man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from this body of death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind, I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin."
(Romans 7:22-25)

Weekly Memory Verse
   And this is love, that we walk after His commandments.  This is the commandment, that as ye have heard from the beginning, so ye should walk in it."
(II John 1:6).

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