Seeking Jesus First - June 1, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - June 1, 2023
Photo by Pisit Heng / Unsplash

Who are you? What are you? Is your identity found in what your body looks like? Is the real you a collection of your physical capabilities and characteristics? How do your natural talents and gifting play into the real you?…

As we have stated in the past, a believer is a spiritual being first and a physical being last. A believer receives an eternal river of life flowing through his inner man. Holy Spirit, who dwells with us and in us, facilitates this everlasting flow of life by becoming one with our born again spirit. By depending on this Helper, we are able to overcome all inadequacies of the flesh. All of our shortcomings are replaced by The LORD’s strengths. We get to develop each of these strengths through our faith relationship with Our Heavenly Father.

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:5–23, NKJV)

As we read through this passage, retain the understanding that our members belong to us. We can either yield them to righteousness or unrighteousness. Romans 12:1 says to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. We see a similar charge in this passage: “Do not present your members as slaves to unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as alive (being raised) from the dead.”

As we do this, sin does not reign over us because we see ourselves as dead to it. “Sin comes knocking”, or temptation shows up and because we reckon the flesh dead, it can not lead us around by the nose.

I’ve been trying to state this case for believers: Saying no to the flesh is not being religious. Far from it. Saying no to the flesh is walking in the righteousness of your inner man. Our inner man has been made righteous through the blood of Christ Jesus. It has been crucified with Christ Jesus and raised with Him from the dead.

We can live in the righteousness of the inner man. We have been given the gift of God - eternal life in Christ Jesus The LORD. This is the gift of righteousness through faith.

The devil never gave us a choice. We were slaves of sin and could not live free. Even if we lived morally, our inner man was not whole, holy or righteous. This made it impossible to be truly righteous in God’s sight. Men look on the outward things while God looks at the heart (See 1 Sam. 16:7).

God gives us the choice that allows us to walk in righteousness. We are righteous in Christ so we can follow up that truth with righteous living. We are empowered by our righteous inner man to walk out righteousness. This is why the Scripture tells us to put off the old man with its passions and lusts and put-on the new man which is fashioned according to or like God in righteousness and true holiness.

When we see ourselves as righteous, we will live righteously. Convinced? “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (See Rom. 12:2). Begin to meditate on His righteousness with has become your righteousness. Begin to decree your righteousness in Christ. Say no to the flesh and be led by The Spirit.