Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 3, 2018

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Your Dichotomy of Being, Concluded

We Exist in Two Realities

Last time we considered the two entities of our existence, the spiritual and the carnal; whereas our spiritual part was created in God’s image and breathed into bodies of the earth, our physical bodies were created from the materials of this earth and fashioned by God into temporary abodes we could use while living out our mortal lives.

To further complicate matters, our physical bodies were cursed at the fall of Adam and inhabited by a sin nature while our spirits died in Adam. Although our spirits were restored to life when we were born again by faith in Jesus Christ; our salvation did not remove the fallen sin nature which still plagues us.

We are faced with two distinctly different spheres of being, a redeemed eternal, spirit, created in the image of God, and a condemned body inhabited by a fallen, sin nature. Life presents us with the challenge of reconciling those two diametrically opposed kinds of existence; but by God’s grace we have been given a user manual for figuring it all out and making it work as it should; it is called the Bible, God’s guide to your success as a dichotomous being.

How to Achieve Success as a Dichotomous Being

I think we’ll all agree being a dichotomous person presents its challenges. God knew from eternity past you would face those challenges and has provided all the resources you need to function effectively in your dichotomy. God is, in fact, using those struggles to help conform you to the image of his Son, Jesus. As Christians we have been given a spectacularly precious gift to help us; God, the Holy Spirit has come into us to be our teacher and our guide.

It is only as the Holy Spirit controls in our lives that we have any hope of accomplishing the objectives we have been given by God. While the Holy Spirit will never leave us, it can be quenched by unconfessed sin in our lives. We know our old sin nature was counted as crucified with Christ at the time of our new birth, but we must also acknowledge that the sin nature has been left in us and must be controlled by the confession of sin to God; the verses in 1 John 1:8-10 make that very clear indeed. I have written more on this in “Is There One Unforgivable Sin.”

Our situation is complicated by God’s definition of what constitutes sin; in Romans 14:23b we are told; “everything that is not of faith is sin.” What may appear an innocent thought can be sin if it is not based on our faith in God. I’m almost 86 years old, retired and living at home yet I confess my sins to God many times each day; as a result, I live a life of peace and joy in the power of God, the Holy Spirit; this is God’s gift to all his children who choose obedience to his word.

How are You Doing?

The Bible provides a simple benchmark for success in our lives as Christians; in Galatians 5:13-26 it is written:

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Based on these verses, what percentage of the time do you believe you are living a Spirit controlled life?

Next time we will examine the impact of your spiritual death in more detail.


Responses

  1. This is my biggest question. Is it enough in the New Covenant to love and obey? Are the old laws set aside? I get multiple conflicting answers. Paul and John are a bit different with Paul seeming to retain some of the old. I’m no expert, it’s deep so I have no answer but to abide by the new and old.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are born-again by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior; not by obeying the Mosaic Law. Paul speaks to this question in the Book of Galatians and tells us the Mosaic Law had only one purpose and that was to show the utter necessity of a Savior. No one was able to keep all of the Law and if you failed in one part you failed in the entire Law.

      In Galatians 2:15-16 Paul explains:

      15 “You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”

      I encourage you to carefully consider the first three chapters of Galatians; Paul makes a powerful case for justification before God by faith in Jesus Christ alone! Much of the Mosaic Law required a Temple and there has been no Temple since 71 A.D. The Ten Commandments are, however, a timeless standard for Godly living but were never able to provide justification before God; only our Kinsman/Redeemer, Jesus Christ, could do that for us.

      This is again made clear in Ephesians 2:8-10 where it is written:

      “8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

      Please let me know if you would like more information on this.

      David

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The presence of the Holy Spirit in my life is so precious – my comfort and my joy!

    Liked by 1 person


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