"I Know Me!"
Many years ago, I spoke to a young man, a believer, about the indwelling power of Christ that enables born again believers to walk in faith and faithfulness. The young man listened intently, nodded his head in agreement, but finally hung his head in exasperation. "I know that what you're saying is true, Sir," he said. "But I also know me!"
No, he didn't. I appreciated the man's honesty, and we've all felt the same sense of frustration he expressed. However, the believing young man really didn't know himself. He rather knew his flesh.
"Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9).
"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).
Salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ births a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). The essence of our identity changes from fleshly to spiritual when we believe. "With the mind, I myself serve the law of God" declared the Apostle Paul (Romans 7:25). We are not who we used to be. We retain our fleshly members and faculties, which can lead us to walk in ways contrary to God's will. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). However, as Paul directly states, we are no longer "in the flesh." We are rather enlivened spiritual beings inhabited by the Spirit of Christ. "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). Our earthly members and faculties, inherited from Adam, remain a part of our being and can control us through ignorance and unbelief. However, they can no longer be the "me" whom Scripture identifies as the essence of our being. This "new creature" bears the nature of Christ because the Spirit of Christ dwells with and within our hearts. This is who God sees us as being, and who He commands that we affirm as our "me." "Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).
Without realizing it, the young man had succumbed to a devilish lie that inevitably paralyzes consistency in walking with the Lord. Just as salvation does not occur until we believe the truth about Christ and our sinful selves, so do the abundant fruits of salvation await our faith in Christ and His union with our redeemed and resurrected selves. If we are not that "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness," we have no hope for faithfulness to God. Moreover, we provide ourselves with excuses for sin and failure. "I know me!" bemoaned the young man. No, he didn't. I hope he does now, and I surely sought to help him know himself, as God declares in His Word. Many years later, I also find myself needing further growth in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and the awareness of myself as united to Him. May the Lord illuminate us all in the glory of so great a Savior, both in the new birth, and in the "new man" born thereby.
"Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."
Weekly Memory Verse
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
(II Corinthians 3:18)