Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath set you free!
How well we all know that the flesh is easily enticed! Without Christ in us, we have no hope. But I have been reading Romans 6-8, Second Corinthians 5 and the entire book of Galatians and over and over God is showing that we are new creations, and the flesh no longer has a grip on our souls. Satan has succeeded in lying to us and we have bought it, hook, line and sinker. The salvation our Lord has purchased for us, the glorious liberty of the children of God, has been turned into a place of defeat and holding on, rather that one of joy unspeakable and full of glory.
But in these last days, God is revealing the truth of the new covenant that applies to all who love him in truth. No more are Gods children to labor under the bondage that the old covenant, the law, generates in our souls.
Let us finally accept the pronouncement of guilty the law has for any who breaks even one of the commandments. And what do we deserve as the penalty? Death. But listen, saints of God! When Jesus died, becoming sin for us, He paid our penalty! We died with him! And as Christ arose from the dead, we have too.
We are now new creatures, and we cannot be declared sinners any longer. Why? Because the law has no more hold on us, as it only have a hold on a man as long as he lives, and we died with Christ.
The law can no more tell us we are sinners, for it does not any longer apply to us, we who have Christ inside. Do we still have character flaws that need to be infused with the character of the one living inside us? YES! ((and some, like me, more than others!) But it is so very important that we see ourselves as Christ sees us. We are justified, thoroughly cleansed of the old nature, from where the lusts of the flesh are born.
The law has no more sway on us. We have escaped it, not by ignoring it, but by having submitted to it in Christ! We accepted its punishment- death. We that have accepted Christ were baptized into His death. Why? So that like as Christ rose to live ever more to God, so should we!
I have found it is only as I stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made me free (IT IS FINISHED!) that I find the power to defeat the flesh's wishes. I have found that what is hard now(...no...impossible!) becomes easier and easier as we walk in our new nature by faith, and the things that tripped us up before so very easily, lose their power over us.
But if I allow myself to listen to the accuser of the brethren, and agree once again that I remain a sinner with an old nature still intact, I am placing myself back under the law. I am saying to God "No, I am not clean. No, I am not justified. I am still a sinner!" and the strength of the flesh remains and thus the sins that follow it.
Oh, how I wish I could crawl into the hearts and minds of all of God's children and rip out the lie satan has had us all buy into. We were sinners. As Paul says so beautifully:
"And 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."
1 Corinthians 6:11
For us who are in Christ, the law pronounced its sentence. We received it....death when we accepted Jesus, for His death became ours. Once dead, we are out from under the law's grip, and we can be pronounced sinners no more.
Who are we then? We are the righteousness of God in Christ! We are justified, pronounced thoroughly clean! There is therefore now no condemnation on us, if we slip as we walk towards Jesus.
And if we slip, what then? Do we run back under the law and accepts its judgement and the condemnation it brings? NO! We aerve now in a new and living way. We repent, we confess our failure and we receive cleansing...full cleansing.
What is the state of our souls? Sinners? No! Justified, thoroughly cleansed children of God! Thus we walk on again with Him, all the while understanding we have been justified, and as we are now children of God, then His blood, the blood of the new covenant, continually cleanses us. It is a fountain that never runs dry, continually keeping us pure before our God. Amazing God that we serve!
Without this shield of faith, and if we buy into the lie that we are once again just sinners saved by grace, trying the best we can to become new for Him, we inadvertently are placing ourselves back under the authority of the law, and guilt follows, as does separation from God. Understand, dear brother.Let it sink in deep, sister in the Lord, We cannot walk in grace and law at the same time. It is serving two master and it is impossible.
Why? Because in our minds and hearts, we have laid down the truth of our FULL justification and accepted as fact from the mouth of our enemy that the blood of Christ does NOT cleanse us from ALL sin and thus, the condemnation that comes with the law comes back upon us. The battle now is not between God and satan. It is the battle in our minds and hearts, and we are urged to fight the good fight of faith. Shall we not believe our God?
"for as a man thinketh in His heart, so is he."
But praise God! Why should we who are dead to sin and guilt and condemnation give place for one minute more to the devil, the ultimate liar? There is therefore now NO condemnation in God's judgement. Shall we not cling to Him with broken thankful justified hearts?
I have found this in my own walk towards the glorious light of God. If I walk with a clean heart towards Him, holding fast my profession of faith in what my Lord has already accomplished, I do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. But if I allow myself to be blinded to who I am in Christ, or begin to think I can stand on my own, then I lower my shield, the accusations of the enemy find their mark once again, and I am brought back under guilt as I make myself a sinner. It is guaranteed that condemnation is sure to follow. So does more sin.
At the end of Galatians Paul says this:
"For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."
We are new...NOW! We are not trying to become new. We are not to die to the old nature a little at a time. The old nature is a never ceasing cesspool of selfishness and lusts of the flesh. The only way to finally defeat the lusts of the flesh is to walk with our minds and hearts agreeing with God on the matter.
And what is that truth, the truth that really does set us free? Listen to God! Believe his amazing words! We are not in the flesh, we are told, but in the spirit. We are not the old man trying with all our might to be good. It is impossible! We are now new creatures in Christ. Old things are passed away...gone! The old man is dead! Long live the new man!
Therefore we do not let satan get an advantage over us any longer. If we fall, we confess to God, repent and IMMEDIATELY get up and again hold up our shield of faith, knowing this to be true, for our God hath declaried it.
I am the righteousness of God in Christ.
This is truth, and if we continue in it? The truth SHALL set us free indeed. And the sins we have found impossible to defeat will fall away from our lives like withered leaves from a tree that has had the ax laid to its roots.
How I wish that my words could open up eyes to see the truths of the full glory of our new covenant, and that the hold that the old covenant, the law, is been broken forever. The law, and the guilt it brings, is past. It has no more hold on us as children of God.
But my words cannot do the work. This is the job of the spirit inside us that must illuminate and draws all men to Him. I just pray right now that the spirit illuminate the truths of what Christ really accomplished for us on the cross. Forgiveness of old sins? Absolutely. But oh, if we could but understand and accept willingly, hungrily, the gift of the new nature He has freely given to us!
In Him we are free. Stand fast!