Throughout my series of commentaries it has been my intention to challenge you to examine your life in order to facilitate your spiritual growth. My goal is to help you judge how much your life reflects the life of Jesus Christ. I would like to continue the discussion looking at a subject that we have talked about previously, choosing between flesh and Spirit. In looking at this topic again, I would to use a different scripture than I have used to this point. Romans 8:1-6:
1.So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2.And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3.The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4.He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. 5.Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6.So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. (New Living Translation)
The text needs very little explanation. I would like to point out something that may seem obvious to some but can never be overstated. The central tenet of Christianity is belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God; living, dying, and risen from the dead. In so doing Jesus not only takes the punishment for the sins of the world he also gains victory over death. According to Romans 6:23 death is the result of sin. It is my mission to share the Gospel to all who will hear it that the Spirit of Christ might continually be visible in the earth.
Whether we know it or not our connection to Christ does not end with our profession of faith. The profession of faith begins a transforming journey of our consciousness from what we know ourselves to be, flesh, to who God created us to be before the foundations of the world, spirit. The Apostle Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
God does not see us in the same way that we see ourselves. When we describe ourselves, we use the physical characteristics, occupation, and even our place in society. When God looks at us He sees a reflection of Himself. The challenge comes when we have to fight between how our flesh may define us and how Spirit (God) defines us. If we are to live victorious Christian lives we can no longer govern ourselves by what flesh wants. When talking about “flesh,” we do no minimize its definition to just sex. The works of the flesh are outlined in Galatians 5:19-21. We are all guilty of the sin outlined in this passage. The benefits of the kingdom here on earth are righteousness, peach and joy in the Holy Ghost. You “inherit” these benefits when you live a life that transcends flesh and operates fully in the Spirit. This is the ultimate goal of salvation.
You can never have life, peace and joy as God intended as long as your life is defined by carnal things. Life in the Spirit is so much bigger than what we can see with our natural eye. As I have said before, we are the expression of God in the earth. Without transforming our thinking from carnal to spiritual, we are destined to live well beneath our privilege. The goal of the Christian life is not simply to go to heaven. The goal is to have heaven on earth. The first step to heaven on earth is to choose: flesh or Spirit. Which do you choose?
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