Thursday, January 11, 2018

"A New Creature"

"A New Creature"

    Many unbelievers contend that human beings are nothing more than advanced animals, controlled and determined by instinct, urge, and environment.  The Bible, conversely, declares a "fearfully and wonderfully made" humanity possessed of the potential for godliness, as made possible by the presence of God Himself in those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Psalm 139:14).

    "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16).

    We can certainly act like animals.  This includes even born again believers.  We still reside in earthly vessels subject to devilish and worldly temptations  to act as if we are nothing more than flesh.  This is why the Holy Spirit, through the words of Paul, commands us to "reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).  The Apostle's writings call us to view ourselves in terms of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, as opposed to the mastery of sin that once characterized our person, life, and being.

    "But God be thanked, that 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).

   If I believe myself to be a mere animal, I will frequently act like it.  If I believe myself to little more than a Christian animal, as it were, I will still frequently walk in the darkness of unbelief.  Again, believers possess the capacity to walk after the flesh, to live as if nothing happened to us when we trusted the Lord Jesus.  However, something did happen, something grand and glorious, something "fearfully and wonderfully made."  The Spirit of God entered the deepest part of us, the very heart of us.  Therein His redeeming and enlivening presence changed who and what we most deeply are.  "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit… If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.  Old things are passed away.  Behold, all things are become new" (John 3:6; II Corinthians 5:17).  Do we actually "behold" the miracle that occurred within us when we believed?  Or do we perceive ourselves as the same servant of sin dominated by instinct, urge, and environment?  How we answer these questions in the light of the Lord Jesus'  redeeming work, as plainly declared by the Scriptures, will go far in determining whether we "walk as men," or whether we "walk, even as He walked" (I Corinthians 3:3; I John 2:6).  Did the living Word actually accomplish in us the transformative spiritual birthing proclaimed by the written Word?  Are we merely human at best, or animals at worst?  Or are we human temples of the living God, led, motivated, and empowered by the indwelling Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ?  Yes indeed, how we answer these questions…

"Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection."
(Romans 6:4-5)
"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
(Romans 8:2-4)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple." 
(Psalm 27:4)

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