Monday, March 12, 2018

"Being... Behavior"

"Being… Behavior"

     The Christian life involves our being in Christ leading to our behavior through Christ.

     "Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8).

     The new birth of spiritual salvation through the Lord Jesus not only provides forgiveness of sin and assurance of eternal life.  It also fundamentally changes who and what we are at the deepest level of our being.  "Therefore 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).  The entrance of the indwelling Holy Spirit reconstitutes who and what we are.  From darkness to light, death to life, sin to righteousness, and alienation to acceptance, believers become temples of the living God.  Grace freely provides such "newness of life," and then institutes a lifelong process of being resulting in behavior.  We are to act in accordance with fact.  "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Romans 6:4; Galatians 5:25).

    Our challenge lies in the members and faculties of our earthly humanity inherited from Adam.  Therein we still await the change that has already occurred in our spiritual depths.  "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body" (Romans 8:22-23).  We can still walk as if we are the same person we were before we trusted in Christ.  Being does not always lead to behavior in our present existence.  The Corinthians serve as a prime New Testament example of this potential that will remain with us until our Heavenly glorification:

    "Ye are the temple of the living God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you Ye are yet carnal and walk as men" (I Corinthians 3:16; 3).

    The Apostle Paul plainly affirms the Corinthians as genuine believers inhabited by the Holy Spirit.  Our brothers of old nevertheless walked in a fleshly manner that belied their spiritual being.  They did not act according to fact.  Again, this will remain a possibility throughout our lives in a fallen world.  It therefore behooves us to grow in the knowledge and awareness of the new birth miracle that occurred in us when we believed.  Indeed, the Lord Jesus became who He was not in order to make us who we are.  "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).  Herein the matter becomes devotional, that is, too much was sacrificed for the factual to not become more and more actual.  May our Lord lead us accordingly, and may we follow the "light in the Lord" that shines upon us - and within us as the Life of our lives.

"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him."
(Colossians 2:6)
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
(Romans 6:11)

Weekly Memory Verse
    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit"(Galatians 5:25).


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