The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Friends: this is a repeat from last year. I am sending it again today because I've had numerous discussions with fellow believers this week about the subject. Glen)
"Ye Were… Ye Are… Walk"
God's pardon in the Lord Jesus Christ is accompanied by the heart changing gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. When a sinner receives the Savior, not only are sins forgiven and Heaven assured. The living God Himself, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, inhabits and changes the very essence of our personhood.
"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).
"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. Walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8).
From old to new. From darkness to light. From alienation to acceptance. From bondage to freedom. From servant of sin to son and daughter of God. From death to life. The list could go on and on of the changes that occurred in our innermost being when we trusted the Lord Jesus. We presently retain our flesh, that is, our humanity inherited from Adam. Thus, the swan we are in Christ can still think, speak, act, and relate as the ugly duckling we once were. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). However, nothing changes the "new creature" birthed and enlivened by the Holy Spirit in the moment of our new birth. As Paul wrote in the Ephesian passage above, "Ye were… Ye are… Walk."
The very essence of life, eternal life, involves the knowledge of God. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3). However, the New Testament also frequently addresses the truth of knowing ourselves in the light of Christ's redeeming work and presence. "Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11). When we think of ourselves, do we consider the matter according to God's perspective, as declared in Scripture? Or do we perceive the flesh as the heart of who and what we are? The Lord Jesus and Paul provide the answer, in unequivocal terms:
"That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6).
"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).
We still have flesh as believers. But we are spirits, united to the Spirit of the Lord Jesus in our innermost being. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). Thus, the Christian life involves our living in accordance with who we actually are, as opposed to walking after the fleshly remnants that remain with us in our earthly lifetime. "Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). We must grow in the knowledge of our Lord. Again, "this is life eternal." We must also know ourselves, as united to our Lord. Again, "Ye were… ye are." Nothing changes the swan we became when we believed in the Lord Jesus. But everything in our walk changes when we believe the truth that in the innermost essence of our being, the saving grace of the Lord Jesus birthed a "new man... created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).
"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man… So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."
(Romans 7:22; 25)
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
(I Corinthians 6:9-11)
Weekly Memory Verse
The Lord looketh on the heart.
(I Samuel 16:7)