Tuesday, September 10, 2019

"Ye Were... Ye Are... Walk" Part 2

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe… 

"Ye Were… Ye Are… Walk"      

Part 2

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

    Because born again Christians still sin, our spiritual enemies tempt us to believe we are nothing more than forgiven recipients of grace.  Certainly we are blessed with wondrous pardon in the Lord Jesus Christ.  "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His name's sake" (I John 2:12).  However, the New Testament plainly declares that salvation in the Lord Jesus provides far more than fire insurance, as it were, regarding "the wrath to come" (I Thessalonians 1:10).  The Lord Jesus Christ and the writers of Scripture rather declare the heart and life-changing Presence of the living God changes everything in our lives.

    "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.  Old things are passed way, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).

   In the light of such a strong affirmation regarding an already accomplished spiritual change, why do we still possess so much potential to experience fleshly unbelief, disobedience, and failure?  Why, for example, did the Apostle Paul chide the Corinthian believers as being "carnal" after  strongly affirming their salvation and assurance of God's working? (I Corinthians 1:1-8; 3:3).  The answer lies in our enemies, our environment, and our earthly humanity.

   Enemies (devilish influences).  "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).

   Environment (the world).  "The world knoweth us not because it knew Him not" (I John 3:1).

   Earthly humanity (the flesh).  "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17).

   Our Lord's involved presence and working in us far exceeds the power of devils, the world, and the flesh.  Our adversaries nevertheless tempt us with discouragement, distraction, and deception.  We can succumb to their enticements if we fail to remember and affirm that "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world" (I John 4:4).  If we do not know or if we disbelieve the Christ-inhabited and empowered "new creature" we are in Him, we can live according to old perspectives, impulses, and ways.  "Put off concerning the former conversation (way of life) the old man which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts" (Ephesians 4:22).  We can be new, but act old.  We can be swans, but live as if we remain ugly ducklings.  Therefore, we must know in the light of New Testament truth who God declares us to be in Christ.  We must also affirm the Truth as true, and thus fulfill the mandate of Paul: "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).

    One day we will be fully delivered from the influence of the devil, the world, and the flesh.  Until then, we face the challenge of believing the truth about God and ourselves.  Who is He?  Who are we in relationship to Him?  The more we discover the New Testament's triumphant declaration of a "new creature," the more likely we are to walk in accordance with truth and reality.  Godliness in our present life is not inevitable.  It is, however, attainable through Christ, and to be expected in every believer.  Regardless of past experience or how we feel in the present, born again believers must choose to believe that our Lord's indwelling presence fundamentally changed who and what we are when we believed.  It did, and to the degree we know, believe, and submit ourselves to this wondrous gift of grace will be the degree to which we walk accordingly.  The Apostle Paul brightly illuminated this truth in his epistle to Philemon, and we close with his affirmation that applies to every believer...

"I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints, that the communication (participation) of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus."
(Philemon 1:6)

Weekly Memory Verse

    "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Romans 8:9).



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