The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
Part III - "Newness of Life"
God's capabilities always accord with His character. Who He is perfectly and forever determines what He does. The same holiness is meant to characterize the lives of born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. "Be ye holy, for I am holy" (I Peter 1:16). How do walk in accordance with who we are in Him? How do we, like our Lord, live in the holiness of being in practice who we are in our person?
"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).
Believers do, in fact, live in the Spirit. The Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul unite to definitively confirm our spiritual essence, being, and personhood in Christ:
"That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6).
"Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9).
As a free gift of grace, God changed our innermost being when we trusted in Christ. "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). Paul clearly references our spirit in this declaration. Indeed, our bodies have not become new in their substance and constitution. They have not yet "put on immortality" (I Corinthians 15:53). However, in a part of us, Paul plainly states "all things are become new." This part is our spirit, united to the Spirit of Christ (I Corinthians 6:17). Therein we are not who we were. Therein we are "created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). Therein we "delight in the law of God" (Romans 7:22). And therein the Spirit of Christ is the Life of our lives (Galatians 2:20).
Do we know this? We must, because the first answer regarding how we more consistently live as who we are in Christ involves the knowledge that this part of us, the very heart of us, serves forevermore as His spiritual dwelling place. Regarding this "new creature," Paul commands, "Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11). We must know and consider such truth to be true if we are to have hope of more consistently living in accordance with truth. Moreover, such knowledge and affirmation greatly strengthens us to deal with our fleshly bodies, which have not yet passed through death and resurrection as have our spirits. "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin… Mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body" (Romans 8:10; 13).
If we are to walk in increasing holiness, being in practice who we are in person, we must know the freely given grace of a "new man… new creature… newness of life." Hans Christian Andersen's swan did not live as a swan until he realized he was no longer an ugly duckling. In far greater measure and significance, believers who fail to obey the New Testament commands to see ourselves in accordance with truth will be unnecessarily stunted in a walk that reflects our being in Christ. Thus, we begin with "the obedience of faith" by believing that the Savior who died for us now lives in us, and that His presence changed our very essence when we believed (Romans 16:26). The knowledge and affirmation of such grace establishes a powerful basis whereby we live as the swans we are rather than the ugly ducklings we were.
"But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit."
Tomorrow: The price that made possible our newness of life.
Weekly Memory Verse
"That which is born of the Spirit is spirit."