January 14, 2017
Men often have a problem living what we say we believe. That's the problem about living the Christian life. However, there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus for the law of the spirit of life in Christ has made me free from the law of sin and death. Our challenge is to live according to the spirit of Christ in us instead according to the law of the flesh. There are two separate journeys in a Christian's life. The first is a journey to know Christ. The second journey is to learn to become just like him. The Christian's first journey is to know him. To know Christ is to realize the love that he had for us: for he who knew no sin became the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. Love begets love. Do you love Christ? To know him is to love him. We love him because he first loved us. Jesus said, "If you love me keep my commandments." If our identity is in Christ our foundation is built upon the rock: the foundation is Jesus Christ himself, the chief cornerstone.
A Christian's second journey is to become like him. A disciple is a disciplined follower of Christ. In this context, 2 Corinthians Chapter 3 talks about the hope we have in Christ. God did not call us to deliver the message. Rather, he called us to be the message: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared too be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
We can speak with boldness because we know him. We're not like Moses who had to put a veil over his face when he came down from mount Sinai after receiving the law of the Ten Commandments. Israel didn't know Christ because the vail still covered their hearts so they could not perceive God. However, we who have been born again of the spirit of the living God have the veil lifted. Those born again can see clearly from the spiritual perspective of the Holy Spirit. The old man has passed away and the new man is renewed in the spirit of Christ in us. We need to fellowship with others within the body of Christ. They will show us where we need to grow to become just like Jesus. If we live in denial and say "I've arrived and achieved perfection in the flesh," the Holy Spirit will convict and convince us to become more like Christ. A loving brother in Christ will show us where we fall short of the glory of God. The word of God is profitable for reproof and correction. God gave us his word so that we can walk in fellowship with him...so that we can turn from darkness and toward the light of the truth of the Word. When we by the freedom of our will turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. In my flesh dwells no good thing...however in the spirit of life in Christ, he has made me a new creation.
Now the Lord is that spirit and where the spirt of the Lord is there is liberty...there is freedom. The freedom is that we are no longer bound by the chains of sin and death. We have changed lords...I'm no longer lord of my selfish self. To be a man of God is to be God's man. Freedom is to be his possession, bound by his boundless love. Every moment is a moment of decision...to walk according to the flesh or according to the spirit. The challenge is to surrender my will to his will... To make his will my will.
Staying secure in the fellowship with the Lord is to live free without a guilty conscience. To live with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory God to change from the image of the flesh to the image of the spirit of God in Christ in us. The image of the Lord is the glory of the Lord reflected in us as we are transformed by God's spirit according to our new nature. When we set our affection on things above instead of the things of this world, we become transformed. Our challenge is to turn our eyes upon Jesus and to reflect his nature in our relationships with others. We progressively become more like the man he designed us to be. Sanctification is to be set apart, separated for the purpose intended by the Designer. We are progressively sanctified as we grow up into the purpose, the calling for which he designed us. For we are his workmanship, his masterpiece created in Christ Jesus unto good works which he has foreordained that we should walk in it.
The key to turning from sin is to turn to Him. Repentance starts with a broken and a contrite heart. The devil will tempt us to look at the things of the flesh instead of the things of the spirit. He is the deceiver and the accuser. His ploy is to distract our attention away from the things of the spirit of God in Christ in us. When we fall, God by his grace allows us to repent and return to fellowship with him. For if we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God expects us to be "fully lit" for him... Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.
Upon the journey of life, walking and stumbling is part of the journey. God understands that we are weak in the flesh so that our strength can be in his power alone. When troubles come our way, consider it an opportunity of great joy, for when trials arise, we can face those trials in the spirit of Christ...the spirit of faith and boldness in his strength as men of God. Adversity proves the power of God who infuses his strength into us so that we can overcome. For it is God who worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. The victory is not in our power but in his...we must decrease so that he may increase.
The adversary will attempt to divide the body of Christ. He does this with a critical spirit of judgement, criticism, and condemnation. For where there is strife and contention there is confusion and every evil work. The devil rejoices when brothers and sisters in Christ criticize and condemn each other. However Jesus Christ came to reconcile us back to fellowship with him. We must meet each other at the foot of the cross. Then we can respond to his calling to "let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying that it may minister grace unto the hearers." This is the way to defeat the critical spirt of judgement of and condemnation. God has called us to be salt and light in a world of darkness... Therefore do all things without murmurings and disputing so that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation among whom ye shine as lights in a world of darkness; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.
May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,