Friday, February 16, 2024

Orange Moon Friday, February 16, 2024 "Paul and the Atheist"

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

"Paul and the Atheist"



   After his conversion through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul confessed to living with an atheist.

       "In my flesh dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18).    

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

   Every believer must contend with the members and faculties we inherited from Adam, wherein dwells a "law of sin" (Romans 7:23; 25).  God has not yet glorified our earthly frames.  According to His wisdom, He birthed our spirits as a "new creature" and "new man," alive in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24).  "Christ is our life" (Colossians 3:4).  For now, however, our Heavenly Father allows our flesh to remain in its state of spiritual death, thus requiring ongoing enlivening by the Holy Spirit if we are to live in a manner pleasing and honoring to the Lord Jesus.

    "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (enliven) your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:10-11).

   The death to which Paul refers involves the truth that, unlike our  born again spirits, our bodies do not yet dwell in God's direct presence.  We are spirits alive in Christ, presently abiding in natural (soulical) bodies "dead because of sin," meaning they posses no natural capacity or inclination to do the will of God.  Paul frankly acknowledged the personal challenge this atheist presented, and with which he contended daily - "I find then a law (of sin) that when I would do good, evil is present with me" (Romans 7:22).  

   Our brother of old was not alone.  His challenge confronts us all.  We all live with an atheist - our flesh.  However, we are spirits, that is, in the very heart of who we are in Christ, we are vibrant, joyful theists.  

   "I delight in the law of God after the inward man… with the mind, I myself serve the law of God" (Romans 7:22; 25).

    "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9).  

    "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6).

    In our best moments of faith and faithfulness, we may nevertheless find ourselves challenged by temptations to doubt and fleshly inclinations.  Like Paul, we are theists who live with an atheist.  We are redeemed spirits, united to the Holy Spirit, confronted by fleshly members and faculties that, left to themselves, will always lead us into unbelief and disobedience to God.  "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die" (Romans 8:13).  Recognizing this challenging truth about our challenging flesh will help to better realize the conflict we face within our own being.  No less than the most important Christian of his era discovered the atheist with whom he lived, his own flesh wherein dwelled "no good thing."  A good and great and glorious Christ dwelled in Paul's spirit, however, serving as the Life of his life.  Thereby, God enabled Paul to consistently face and overcome the challenge of the atheist with whom he lived.  The same will be true in us as we better understand the nature of conflict we all experience as we seek to… 

"Walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."

(Galatians 5:16)

"The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."

(Romans 8:16)

Weekly Memory Verse

      If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 

(Galatians 5:25)


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