Thursday, 27 October 2016

Flesh or Spirit

Scripture: Romans 8 v 7 - 10: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness."

The carnal mind is enmity against God and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  In this passage of the Bible Paul is drawing the line very clearly so that we can understand truth and error.

In many churches today this line has become blurred, and in bad cases, eliminated altogether.  The Lord wants to bring us back to reality, and remind us of things we would rather gloss over.

If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then His Word is just as valid.  He changes not and neither does the Bible.  So we need to examine our minds to see where we are carnal or fleshly, and make some changes.

The evidence of a carnal mind is swearing and cursing; gossip and slander; sexual thoughts, fantasy lust, pornography, and perversion; drunkenness; drug addiction; occult involvement with witches, vampires, wizards, eastern religions, cults; fraud, theft, murder, hypocrisy, rituals, lies, anger, hatred, violence, spite and malice.

The manifestation of the above comes from roots of pride, bitterness, rebellion, fear, rejection and lust.  These comprise the nature of Satan who is the enemy of God and every human being.  He gave us his sinful nature before we were even conceived in our mother's womb.  That is why we are born in sin.

The only person who was free of original sin is Jesus Christ.  It makes Him the only eligible person who could save us from eternal damnation.  God the Father sent Him to take on the sin of the world and die in our place.  The Cross is our tomb.  When we acknowledge what He did for us, our dead spirit comes alive in Heaven.

When we are baptised by subversion in water, we are enacting our burial.  Under the water an exchange is made. Our sinful nature is exchanged for the righteous nature of Jesus.  Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, self-control, this is what we receive.  Satan fights harder to prevent water baptism than salvation.  If he can keep his evil nature intact within us, he still pulls the strings and will do so.

So we need to thoroughly audit our lives to see on which side of the line we are truly living.  God hates the nature of Satan whenever it appears in us.  The Holy Spirit will convict us - bother our conscience - to show us that all is not well.  If we are determined enough to please God we will listen to the Holy Spirit and repent.  We will sorrow for the wrong we have done knowing that it has hurt our Heavenly Father, and ourselves.

To keep our names written in the Lamb's Book of Life we must overcome our carnal nature.  As much as we despair when our children go wrong in life, we also do everything we can to restore them onto the right track.  Eventually, if they keep refusing help, we give them tough love.  We get this from our Father in Heaven.  He does this too.  So before we get into the tough love from God, a very painful experience, start a new page right now.

Make two columns headed Carnal and Spiritual.  Survey your reality and put your negative nature under Carnal.  Your spiritual nature of love, joy and peace will manifest in enjoyment of fellowship, prayer, worship, praise and obedience.  So work out how much time you devote to spiritual growth outside of church meetings.  

This may put some of you into shock!  But help is at hand..... confess your errors and omissions to the Lord who will abundantly pardon you.  Make the necessary changes starting immediately.  Continue in peace and love until Jesus comes.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, You saved us to live an abundant life with You.  Somewhere along the way we compromised with our old carnal nature and justified it with this is now, that was then.  Please forgive us and clearly show us where we are wrong and help us make the changes. In Jesus' name. Amen.