Flesh gives birth to flesh [our old selves in Adam], but the Spirit gives birth to spirit [our regenerated selves in Christ]. (John 3:6) The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. (John 6:63a) We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. (1 Cor. 2:12) So I say, live by the Spirit [the new self], and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature [the old self]. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other so that you [the old self] do not do what you [the new self] want. (Gal. 5:16-17)
These words of God via Jesus and Paul are profound! I pray the Lord grant us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to apprehend them as we set ourselves apart from distractions and meditate on them now, so that we may KNOW and BELIEVE them, put off the sinful nature, and LIVE by the Spirit flowing forth from within! Amen.
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If you are reading from this point forward, you are acknowledging that you have truly apprehended God’s glorious words above. Hallelujah! (If you have not, I strongly recommend you do so; it is most assuredly worth your while!) You will now understand and apprehend powerful Scriptures such as these from First John without your heart condemning you, for you will KNOW them with a renewed mind – the mind of Christ:
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:8b-9) No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. (v. 6) We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. (5:18)
Praise God for such astounding and powerful truths about who He has made us in Christ! Hallelujah! Our new selves ARE perfect, for they are one with Christ, members of His Body!
Now, realize THESE words from First John – which may at first appear to be contradictory – refer not to our new selves, but to our old selves, the sinful nature:
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness… whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him. (1 John 2:9, 11)
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9) This is how we pass from the sinful nature to the new self at any given moment; know and apply this daily! It parallels this proverb: He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Prov. 28:13)
This verse from First John 3:10 puts it simply: This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. Jesus expressed it this way in His Sermon on the Mount: A good tree [new self in Christ] cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree [old self, sinful nature] cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruits you will recognize them. (Matt. 7:18-20)
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[To be continued… Please read Romans chapters 6-8 in preparation. The Lord blesses those who dig into His word: our minds are renewed by the washing with the water of His word…]
Rejoicing with you as we continue pressing on to apprehend that for which Christ Jesus has apprehended us, your sister deanna