The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Every born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ exists as something and someone other than who and what we once were.
"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).
"Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).
"Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8).
"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 6:11; note that Paul writes these words to believers he indicted for walking in carnality - I Corinthians 3:3).
"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" (Romans 6:4).
"That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6).
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).
How important is it for believers to know who we are in the innermost depths of our Christ-inhabited spiritual being? How vital that we consider ourselves as "alive unto God?" The Apostle Paul answers in his brief, but incredibly rich epistle to Philemon:
"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 of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus" (Philemon 1:4-6).
The Lord Jesus Christ was tortured to death and forsaken by God and man to change the very heart and essence of who we are. That change has already taken place in our spirits, where the Holy Spirit lives in the "new creature" we are. Paul plainly told Philemon that "effectual" faithfulness would flow through his recognition and affirmation of Christ's living and active internal presence. Important to know this? No, absolutely vital and necessary. Indeed, to borrow from Hans Christian Anderson, if we believe we are still ugly ducklings when the Lord Jesus has transformed our spiritual essence into swans, we will inevitably live as who we were rather than who we are. We will unintentionally fail to avail ourselves of the "newness of life" our Savior purchased by a price we will never fully comprehend. This constitutes a tragedy of a magnitude we also cannot comprehend.
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16).
We are far from glorified in the fullness of our being in this present lifetime. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). However, a place exists within us, a place of grace wherein the Lord of grace has birthed a new creature by His living presence. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). This union of His Spirit with ours exists within the deepest essence of our redeemed selfhood in Christ. Therein, we "delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Romans 7:22). This is who we most deeply are. And this is the gift our Lord purchased for us by becoming who He was not:
"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).
Our Lord triumphed over sin, hell, and the grave to save us from the tragedy of eternal condemnation and perdition. His triumph also freely provided newness of life and the new creature He birthed in us when we believed. May we acknowledge and affirm so great a gift, purchased by so high and holy a cost. It would be tragedy indeed to ignore or neglect the wonder of such "effectual" grace whereby who we were is not who we are. Let us then arise to "walk in newness of life" by affirming "every good thing" in us provided by so great a Savior and so glorious a salvation. Thereby, we will far better "fight the good fight of faith" and effectually overcome fleshly and devilish challenges of this present life...
"Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
"if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."
"So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."
Weekly Memory Verse
Pray without ceasing.
(I Thessalonians 5:17)