Monday, February 9, 2015

"The Executioner"

     God calls His trusting sons and daughters in the Lord Jesus Christ to serve as executioners in our overcoming temptation.

    "Mortify (put to death) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (Colossians 3:5).

    The new birth reconstitutes our innermost being from fleshly to spiritual through the enlivening entrance of the Holy Spirit into our spirits.  "Ye are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you… If any man be in Christ, He is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (Romans 8:9; II Corinthians 5:17).  However, we retain our earthly faculties and members inherited from Adam, referred to Biblically as "the flesh."  Thereby we remain susceptible to temptation and sin despite the newness of life that resides in our innermost being through the presence of the Spirit of Christ.  We can still walk after the flesh, that is, our spiritual enemies tempt us to think, believe, speak, act, and relate as if we are nothing more than our earthly humanity.  This is not true, as nothing can change the fact of our life in Christ.  We can live, however, as if we are still dead in our trespasses and sins.

    Thus, our Lord calls us to live as those who are alive, but to administer death to any fleshly uprising whereby our enemies tempt us to walk unworthily of our calling to faith and obedience.  Our Heavenly Father passed a death sentence on the law of sin in our members that will be fully executed when we are glorified at the return of the Lord Jesus for His church (I Thessalonians 4:16-17; I Corinthians 15:50-53).  Presently, we carry out specific foreshadowings of this sentence through the power of the Holy Spirit as we trust and submit to God during times of temptation.  "If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Romans 8:13).  When tempted to think, speak, act, or relate in a fleshly manner, our Father calls us to serve as the executioners of fleshly lusts, affirming our innermost yearning for obedience - "I delight in the law of God after the inward man" - and asserting in our hearts that walking after the flesh leads not to benefit, but to the grave harm of inclinations that "war against the soul" (Romans 7:22; I Peter 2:11).

   We look forward to the day when our Lord will have fully executed the death sentence decreed against the law of sin in our members.  This is not that day.  No, in this day, our Lord calls us to "awake to righteousness and sin not" (I Corinthians 15:34).  Alive in Christ, and inhabited by the Holy Spirit, we go forth in the power of God to serve as the executioners of fleshly impulses and predilections.  Through Christ, this is who we presently are, and this is what we presently must do in order to live in the Life that teems within our redeemed spiritual being and personhood…

"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
(I John 5:3-4)
"Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh."
(Galatians 5:24)

Weekly Memory Verse
   And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son."
(I John 5:11)

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