Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 5, 2016

You, as a Born Again Christian, have been Transformed, concluded

God’s Relentless Determination

Last time we considered the impact of the new birth, the transformation that is taking place in all who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; God, the Holy Spirit, is joining with all who are born again in an eternal union. God is truly conforming His adopted children to the image of His Son!

In my essay on “Freedom in Christ, a Work in Progress” I wrote: “God is relentless in His determination that you be conformed to the image of His Son and will do what it takes to speed you on your journey.” Considering how the Doctrine of Kenosis has a direct application to each of us we should all be able to enthusiastically agree that our journey toward conformity to Christ is well underway!

This is why Paul can write with such enthusiasm in Romans 8:18-25:

“18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”

Just One, Not so Small, Problem

Although it pleased God that the Holy Spirit would indwell born again Christians; God, in His infinite wisdom, determined that the fallen nature of Adam would also remain but severely limited by crucifixion. Our old sin nature would still be with us but restrained by the fact it has been reckoned to have been crucified with Christ at the point of our new birth. There would be the opportunity to live by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, or live a fleshly life of sin controlled by the sin nature. Christians can live either way whereas those not born again can only live under the power of their sin nature. Paul speaks to this in Galatians 5:13-26 and shows the contrast between the two alternatives.

16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”

The solution to this quandary is given in 1 John 1:8-10 where it is written:

” 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

Confession of sin to God restores the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and makes possible a Spirit led life filled with the fruit of the Spirit!

While Christians have been blessed in their progress toward conformity with Christ, there remains a tormentor who is constantly seeking dominance in the Christian’s life, the sin nature. A tormentor who, in allegiance with the dark forces of this world, seeks to cripple and disable the Christian as a soldier of the Lord in the spiritual battle which continues to rage over the entire world. I have written on this in the four part series: “The Traitor Within.”

As Christians we must avail ourselves of the defenses God has provided and “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

Next time, full disclosure!


Responses

  1. Thank you Lord Jesus for your provisions.

    Like

  2. While I am behind in reading your blog, the week’s past events highlight or lowlight your timely statement “A tormentor who, in allegiance with the dark forces of this world, seeks to cripple and disable the Christian as a soldier of the Lord in the spiritual battle which continues to rage over the entire world.” My heavy spirit is reminded how true Ephesians 6:13 is. Christians just have to be Christians being led by the Spirit and not social media or news or politics. Sorry for my little rant.

    Like

    • Kathy,

      Current events give even greater significance to Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:4-9,

      “4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

      8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

      Adele and I try to focus on these thoughts!

      Your brother in Christ,

      David

      Like

  3. You are correct by focusing on God’s promises and truth, the joy returns.

    Like

    • Kathy,
      Isn’t it gratifying to discover how well God’s advice works in daily life?
      David

      Like


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