Monday, 8 October 2018

The Spirit of Christ

Scripture:  Romans 8 v 7 - 11: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 
 8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
 9  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.
 10  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
 11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

Having the Spirit of Christ determines whether we belong to God or not, so it's a very important part of our life.  When the Spirit of Christ is absent it means our carnal minds and fleshly behaviour are more dominant than He is.

The carnal, fleshly mind is seen as enmity against God.  A mind that dwells on sinful pleasures and incites others to participate in them qualifies for God's displeasure.  A mind controlled by games on our devices is a mind distracted from reality.

Being born again and forgiven all sin is not a licence to go back into bad habits and wrong behaviour.  If the Spirit of Christ within us does not bring about a radical change or conversion of heart, then we are deceived and have only made mental assent to the knowledge of Jesus without knowing Him who is our life.

Galatians 5 lists the works of the flesh.  Galatians 5 v 19 - 21: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
 20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
 21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

It starts with sexual sin.  Fornication is any sexual act with someone you are not married to.  Uncleanness starts with a dirty mind full of sexual images enhanced by anything pornographic.  Lasciviousness covers every kind of sexual lust.

Idolatry is when an object, statue, person or animal is esteemed and worshipped more highly than our Creator, Jesus Christ.  Variance is argumentative.  Emulations are slavishly copying the latest fad or celeb in lifestyle, clothing and hairstyles.

Murders include abortion.  Before we know we are pregnant there is a living human with a beating heart within us.  How can we deny life to a person we made by accident.  What we do to others will be done to us.  

If we have the Spirit of Christ it is seen in Galatians 5 v 22 - 24: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
 23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
 24  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

Long-suffering is patience, and temperance is self-control.  All nine fruits equal the nature of Jesus when the Spirit of Christ is growing within us.  There is no law of Moses or in any part of the Bible that can be used against love, peace, joy and kindness.

The way of salvation is a strait and narrow one.  It is a pathway to life and Matthew 7 says there are few that find it.  Are we willing to work with God to change from fleshly, carnal, difficult, lustful, envious, drunken people into the image of His Son?  Do we want to live the life He lived, and desires to live, in and through us?  A sacrificial life, given selflessly to put the needs of others before our own?

That is what having the Spirit of Christ means and some may regret agreeing to it as they are not willing to have the extreme makeover that is needed to walk this walk.  Jesus died the most horrible death to buy our souls back out of Satan's control.  What are we willing to do to ensure it was not in vain?

 11  "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

If we have chosen the way less travelled then the same Spirit that resurrected Jesus dwells in us and brings divine life, divine healing, an absence of death, an abundance of life lived to its fullest expression in Him.

Acts 17 v 28 says In Him we live, and move, and have our being.  The converse of that would say outside of the Spirit of Christ we are dead, lifeless, lame, and non-existent.  It's the choice that defines us and destines us to where we spend eternity.  If we buy into the Devil's lying version that the hereafter with him will be one long party, remember that he will be in the Lake of Fire and those that cling to him will join him there.
Revelation 20 v 10: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

Do the math.  Audit your life today.  Make a list of carnal life and spiritual life.  Weigh them up and see if you are really ready for Heaven.  We came from there, we want to go home to there but are we willing to do it in the Spirit of Christ?

Prayer: Father God, we play games with our eternal future because we are lost in games here on Earth.  Games are a way of life that render the Cross almost unimaginable.  We are distracted from the life of the Spirit of Christ and should be ashamed of such neglect.  Change us O Lord to put aside the carnal for the spiritual truth.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.