DAILY DISCIPLINE #190
By Colleen Donahue
OUR POSITION "IN CHRIST"- PART 2
Getting Back What We Lost
God created marriage and family as an environment to enable all of us to grow up in a safe place. He planned that we would have a mom and a dad who would love us, and then provide us with food, shelter, and clothing. They would also be there to teach us right from wrong, and show us how to live -- all before we were old enough to head out on our own. This was the physical ideal that God wanted for every child on earth.
But God also envisioned a whole life for everyone of us that would be walked out in partnership with himself for the development of His ever expanding universe. It was never God's plan that Adam and Eve would sin and birth an entire race bent on living independent from Him. Yet God knew that possibility was always there, because He made man with free will.
And so, before anything was even created, God purposed to create us IN HIS SON so that we could all be part of his great family (as well as being inside of a physical family on earth). He wants all of us to have fullness of life, although He knows that some will never take it. Jesus was sent to earth to restore us to God's original intention by dealing with the old sinful nature we are born with in Adam, and then providing us with a new nature fit to house the Spirit of God. Let's study now how all this happened.
THE INGENIOUS PLAN OF GOD
1. Since God is all-knowing, He knew that Adam and Eve would be deceived by Satan and eat from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" -- the only food that was off limits in the Garden of Eden. Eating from this tree was a decision to live life by their own knowledge rather than in partnership with God. It was the start of a whole race born in Adam and bent on "doing their own thing" apart from God. According to this verse, what was the progression of Adam and Eve's decision?
To get us back on track for our purpose in the universe, God devised a plan for our redemption that would be for all of us and yet not violate our free will. We could choose it -- or not -- and yet would be in place our entire lifetime on earth for the taking. We can partake of this plan because God made us in Christ -- in his family. God's plan was and is ingenious -- but then He is God!
2. We should not think this far-fetched because man does this all the time. An example for me personally was scholarship programs in college. There was money just "laying on the table" for students like me needing financial assistance. But I didn't know it was there, and no counselor ever mentioned it. And so I worked my way through college without ever taking one penny. Now, if man can set up programs to help others, surely the God of the universe can too!
2 Samuel 14:14
The NLT translation records 2 Samuel 14:14 as follows:
"All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him."
3. God's program for restoring us was centered in the person of His Son Jesus. By creating us "IN JESUS" in the first place, it put all of us inside of God's family so that we could partake of His Son -- if we wanted to.
When Adam and Eve first sinned they lost four things:
A- They lost their right-standing (righteousness) with God.
B- This led to their loss of relationship with God.
C- Without relationship they no longer had their rights as children of God.
D- Finally, they lost their dominion (or rulership) over the earth to Satan who had usurped their authority.
Now Jesus came to get all this back for us and being "IN HIM" is the key to all of it.
GETTING BACK OUR RIGHT-STANDING WITH GOD - Part 1 - The Blood of Jesus
4. As mentioned earlier, the consequences of Adam's sin rippled down the centuries so that everyone of us was and is born "IN ADAM" -- in Adam's family. This means we are born with Adam's nature that is bent on sinning or living life independent from God.
Reread: Romans 5:12
5. And that's why Paul writes these strong verses:
Romans 3:10-18, 23
Notice the phrases: "no one is righteous, not even one" and "all have sinned".
6. All of us instinctively feel the truth of this. We see man's behavior -- including our own -- and we don't understand it. We really want to be good and do the right things towards others. But time and again we fall short leaving in our wake broken friendships, marriages, homes, and often a broken self. That is what Paul meant when he wrote these words:
Romans 7:15, 18-19
7. Have you noticed that we men and women like to try doing things on their own? It gives us satisfaction, and the feeling of power over our circumstances. God knew this about us and so He gave the Law of Moses to his people to keep so they could get right with Him. And how they tried --century after century. No sooner had they succeeded in keeping one law when they failed at another. In the end, what did the law show them that is also true for us today?
Romans 3:20 / Galatians 3:10
8. Today we may not be trying to keep the Law of Moses, but we are nonetheless TRYING to be good or humble, TRYING to do or say the right things. Whenever we are focused on changing our behavior, then we are focused on obeying some law that we think will please God and others. And God tells us that it will never work. Our getting right with Him will all be HIS DOING with no taint of our help.
9. God has chosen to do all the work of getting us back in right-standing with Himself by PUTTING US IN HIS SON. And when did He do this?
Ephesians 2:1, 4-5
10. Do you remember the first Passover? Moses had been trying to free God's people (the Israelites) from Pharaoh's evil rule. Pharaoh would promise to let them go, but then go back on his promise. Plague after plague would come upon the Egyptian people, but it would never touch the Israelites. Finally, God told Moses that He would put one more plague on the Egyptians and this time Pharaoh would let them go. At midnight the angel of death would go throughout the land killing every first-born son. In order for the Israelites to escape this terrible judgment they needed to sacrifice a perfect lamb, take some of the blood, and paint it with leafy branches (hyssop) over the top and sides of their door.
11. Then, with all the Israelite families safely inside their homes, what would happen around midnight?
Exodus 12:12-13, 23
"When I see the blood I will pass over you!"
12. And this is still how we are saved and made right with God today. Jesus is like that perfect lamb that was slain.
1 Peter 1: 18-19
WE are not slain because we are "IN HIM" and His blood is all over us. According to this verse, what did Christ's blood make possible?
13. This is how Jesus deals with our PAST. All of us have thought, said, and done things that are against God and other men. As the final atoning sacrifice, Christ's blood covers us so that when God sees us, He sees His Son's blood and He "passes over us". The blood of Jesus is primarily for God. We need forgiveness for our sins so we don't come under God's judgment. God forgives us not because He overlooks what we have done but because He sees the blood. It is because of God's holiness and righteousness that a sinless life must be given. And so, when God sees Christ's blood over us, He is fully satisfied. It's not something we feel. We just need to accept God's valuation of Christ's blood and when we do, we find our salvation. If Jesus hadn't shed his blood for us what would be our situation?
14. And while it's a relief to know our past sins have all been forgiven, Jesus doesn't stop there. He knows we suffer from guilt, shame, and condemnation. So what else does his blood effect?
Hebrews 9:14 / Hebrews 10:22
With our sins forgiven and a conscience cleansed of its guilt and shame, we can go boldly before God at any time. It's true whether we've had a good day or a bad one. It's true whether we have consciously sinned or not.
15. It's a fact that as we walk in the light with God the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from every sin. This includes conscious or unconscious sins, remembered or forgotten sins.
1 John 1:9
Now Satan will not easily give us up. The blood restores us to God, but Satan can still go before God to accuse us and he does. But what does God do when he hears Satan accusing us? He just points to his Son's blood over our lives and that is the end of the story!
16. Satan doesn't stop with accusing us before God. He comes to us with accusations directed to our conscience. We are then tempted to answer him with something good we have done -- but this is a terrible mistake. Like God, we must point to the blood of Jesus Christ covering our life and Satan's charges will be silenced.
GETTING BACK OUR RIGHT-STANDING WITH GOD - Part 2 - The Cross
Knowing the truth that Christ's blood has enabled the forgiveness of our sins is called justification by faith -- but it's only part of the story. Jesus knows that because are are "born in Adam" we have Adam's old nature that keeps us sinning in the present. This old nature is like a factory that keeps producing sins. So having our past sins forgiven isn't enough.
"Therefore, while the blood procures pardon for what we have done ------ the cross procures deliverance from what we are!" Watchman Nee
17. One of the reasons God put us all in Christ is stated in this verse.
18. This is how God deals with our PRESENT. He put us in Jesus so that when Jesus died our old nature (that we inherited from Adam) died with Him. This makes it possible for us NOT to keep sinning. Our death with Christ frees us from being a slave to sin and having no choice but to sin. Our co-death with Christ made it possible to have real life.
Let's say you have been a slave to a master all your life. When he says jump, you jump. One day your master says, "Get up and bring me my breakfast!" He doesn't realize you have died. So he commands, but you don't move. By death you are now free from being his slave.
19. Now when we died in Jesus, we don't die physically. Just the old nature we inherited from Adam dies, (or more accurately was "rendered inoperative"). It's still there in us, but we don't need to heed its call. When you realize this fact, the next time your besetting sin calls your name you can say, "NO! My old nature has been destroyed in Jesus and I don't have to do that anymore! I am alive to God in Christ and I refuse to let this sin rule me any longer." This is the way we reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God.
20. Just by being "IN CHRIST" God has:
A. forgiven our sins by Christ's blood
B. cleansed our conscience from its guilt and shame by Christ's blood
C. Then, because we are all "IN CHRIST" God was able to destroy Adam's old nature in us (the one we inherited) making it possible for us not to be a slave of sin and self.
Jesus did this work only once, and he did it for everyone -- that includes you and I.
21. This is what it is to become righteous again -- to be back in right-standing with God. It all happens "IN JESUS". How does it become ours?
It has nothing to do with anything WE do -- only what Jesus had DONE.
GETTING BACK OUR RIGHT-STANDING WITH GOD - Part 3 - Receiving Our New Nature
22. It's wonderful to have our sins forgiven, our conscience cleansed, and our old nature destroyed in Jesus so that we don't have to be a slave to sin any more. But Jesus doesn't stop there and we shouldn't either. He knows that in our own human strength we don't have the power to overcome temptation and sin. He knows that we'll never have the power to fulfill God's purpose for us if we are just forgiven sinners. Jesus knows that our "old nature" crucified IN HIM must be replaced with a new nature. And that new nature Jesus offers us is His own Holy Spirit. That's why John the Baptist told the crowds.....
23. This is the importance of the Resurrection. When Jesus died and was buried, we died and were buried, because we are IN HIM.
What does this enable us to do?
24. This means that all of us that were "in Adam" died so that we could be made alive "IN CHRIST".
Romans 6:5 / 1 Corinthians 15:22
25. In these verses, Jesus is given three significant names. Can you pick them out?
1 Corinthians 15:45-49
First, Jesus is called "the last Adam" (see vs 45). Because God put all of Adam's race IN CHRIST, when Jesus died we all died in Him. This is how all of us are freed from being in Adam's dysfunctional family.
Second, Jesus is called "the second man" (see vs 47). Jesus came to earth from Heaven so that he could be the start of a new race of men. Because we are IN CHRIST, when He rose from the dead so did we.
Therefore, Jesus died as "the last Adam" and He rose as "the second Man". We died IN HIM and therefore we rose WITH HIM as a new race. All these are facts that we must believe --not feel.
Third, Jesus is called "the man from Heaven" (vs 48-49). The human race had become dysfunctional because of being in Adam's family. But now, we can all be part of Christ's new race of men and begin bearing His likeness instead of Adam's. And how do we do that?
26. We become part of Christ's new race of men by receiving Christ's Spirit into our own human spirit. This is the NEW NATURE we all need in order to live our lives in God's family. When we receive Christ's Spirit into our own spirit, this is the way that Jesus deals with our FUTURE. His Holy Spirt within us enables us to do everything that God will ask of us. That's why Paul could write:
27. After Jesus rose from the dead He appeared to His disciples several times. On the last meeting He gave them very specific instructions. What are they?
28. What was it that the Father had promised that they were to wait for?
John 7:37-39 (especially vs 39) / John 14:16-17 /John 16:7
29. The word "advocate" in John 16:7 means comforter, encourager, and counselor. Christ's Spirit -- also called The Holy Spirit -- was to dwell within our human spirit. And from that place within us, Christ continues to live His life on earth through us.
30. What did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would be to us as we continue His work on earth?
THE POWER WE NEED IS A PERSON
Too many of us have a frustrated Christian life because we don't have the power to live above besetting sins and selfish desires. That "power" we are missing is actually a person. So often at the time of conversion we have little understanding of what happens. We "accept Jesus" and then go back to living our life the best we can with a little help from our new friend -- when we ask him for it. It's strange but we can find ourselves more miserable than before. Why? Before our commitment to Christ we could do "such and such" without feeling guilty. Now, we find we can't stop doing it, and we not only feel guilty but we feel powerless to stop.
This is the dilemma of the "modern" gospel. Most of us have been content to have our sins forgiven and our guilty conscience cleansed so we can go to Heaven when we die. A few more of us have discovered the truth that our old carnal nature (the one that keeps us sinning) has been destroyed in Jesus and therefore we don't have to be a slave to sin anymore.
But until we go on to receive Christ's offer of a NEW NATURE --- and learn to walk by that nature ----we will stay stuck in a frustrating cycle. Here is what it looks like:
We sin ---- We confess our sins ----We receive forgiveness --- We try to do better --- The cycle starts all over.
31. Remember, Christ's first command to his weary people is to "COME".
Matthew 11:28 / John 7:37-38
32. Christ's second command to us is to "ABIDE IN HIM". This word abide means to stay with Him, remain in Him, or live in Him.
John 15:4 / Colossians 2:6 / 1 John 2:28
33. And how do we know if we are truly abiding in Jesus?
John 6:56 / John 15:5 / 1 John 2:5-6
34. Abiding in Jesus is the way we come to know the Father. It's also the way we are to live our lives on earth while staying in the atmosphere of Heaven.
Acts 17:28 / 1 John 5:20
35. We can only do this if we accept Christ's offer of a new nature. That new nature is nothing less than God the Holy Spirit.
Notice that Romans 8:9 gives two names to the Holy Spirit:
First -- He is called the Spirit of God
Second -- He is called the Spirit of Christ
This means that our new nature is to be the same person who dwells in God and in Jesus!
Notice also in the same verse the clear message that those who don't have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them do not belong to Jesus at all!
36. Reread John 15:5
Who is it that will product much fruit for the Kingdom of God?
Do you see the two parts in this verse?
"He who abides in me" AND "I in Him" or depending on your translation, it might say:
"He who remains in me" AND "I in Him"
37. The reason man, out of all creation, was given a spirit was because that was to be God's home (or dwelling place) within each of us. In Old Testament times (before Jesus came to earth) the Holy Spirit would come "upon" someone to empower them to do a certain thing. But from the beginning, it had been God's plan for the Holy Spirit to make his home within our human spirit. The Holy Spirit was lost to us when Adam and Eve sinned -- because God's Spirit can't live in an unclean vessel.
That's why Christ's shed blood at the Cross is so vital to everyone of us. His shed blood brought pardon for what we have done. While our death with Christ on the cross brings deliverance from who we are. The blood and the cross together open the way for us to have a human spirit fit for the Holy Spirit to dwell in once again.
This is what Ezekiel prophesied so long ago.
38. It's the Holy Spirit dwelling within us that moves us to follow after God and obey Him. HE becomes the power within us that we need to live for God. So when Paul saw the Corinthian believers acting from their old carnal nature, he had one question to ask them.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Then, he gently scolded them.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Now it's the same question we must answer today. For if we don't have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, then we won't have the power to live a victorious life. We will always live a defeated life -- thinking we are truly saved, calling ourselves Christians, but missing the new nature Jesus died and rose to give us.
HOW DO WE RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AS OUR NEW NATURE?
39. IT'S THROUGH JESUS THAT WE RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit is His gift to us.
Jesus is the way (the one way) to the Father -- the one true God. He is the truth for us to follow. AND He is THE LIFE that all of us need within us to regain our dominion over the earth.
40. What did Jesus have from the Father?
Colossians 1:19 / Colossians 2:9
This means that He is one and the same with God.
41. Jesus came to earth to bring back God's Spirit to mankind. But before He could pour our His Spirit to indwell man, man had to be given a NEW SPIRIT -- a clean spirit -- a spirit fit to house a king!
Reread Ezekiel 36:25-27
42. Man had become so corrupt that no self-improvement techniques could work to make him fit for God's Spirit. That was to be Christ's work and why He came at a point in history to make a final atoning sacrifice. He did it for all of us (even though He knew that some would refuse it).
Notice in Hebrews 9:26 Jesus comes to do away with SIN (singular) by the sacrifice of Himself. This SIN in the singular refers to the inherited sin nature in each of us. In a cosmic miracle, God put us all into Jesus and at the Cross that old nature was destroyed (or more accurately - rendered inoperative). Therefore when Jesus died, our old nature died with Him.
Then in Hebrews 9:28 we see that Jesus was sacrificed once to take away the SINS (plural). We can be forgiven of every sin manufactured by our sin nature because of Christ's shed blood. The Father accepts that sacrifice and therefore when He sees us, He now sees Jesus.
43. Christ' work puts us in a state of readiness. Jesus comes knocking at our door. It's a door that only we can open -- from the inside. He comes to all our doors and patiently knocks. What does He want to do if we open the door?
44. Those who won't answer Christ's knock are most likely ashamed of what He'll find inside. It's not a pretty picture. But if the time comes when we are tired of living in the dark, and tired of trying to make ourselves right with God, then we might just open that door. Deep down we know this truth:
1 John 1:8
But what we need to discover is this truth:
1 John 1:9
Once again we see SIN (singular) and SINS (Plural). In 1 John 1:8 it says, "If we claim to be without SIN (singular), we deceive ourselves." Man is not "basically good". He is corrupt through and through (Jeremiah 17:9). Our old nature does one thing very well ---- it produces many sins.
Then in 1 John 1:9 it says, "If we confess our SINS (plural)..." As we allow our conscience to do its job, it will bring to mind our sins against God and other men. And if we confess those to Jesus when you open your door to Him, WHAT will he do? And WHY will he do it? Those answers are found in this same verse: 1 John 1:9
So you see it's not our own cleaning efforts that make us ready for Jesus. It's what He has already done for us AND will continue to do throughout our lifetime.
OK, so you open the door to Jesus and He comes in. We saw earlier that inside of Jesus is the fullness of God in the person of the Holy Spirit. So now sitting in your home (in your spirit) is the Son of God full of the Spirit of God. You now have Jesus and the Holy Spirit indwelling you! When you open that door, the Spirit of Christ (Jesus who is full of God's Spirit) comes in and HE IS THE POWER you need to live a victorious life.
45. All this might seem a bit of a mystery right now. Paul called it that too.
Notice at the end of vs. 27, Paul clearly states what the mystery is. It is Jesus Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory.
46. As you read these verses notice in each one there is a coupling of phrases. John tries to explain it several times.
1 John 3:24 / 1 John 4:13, 15, 16
"We live in Him" AND "He lives in us"
This is the partnership that God had envisioned when He made us. Here's how it works:
WE are totally dependent upon God for his love, light, direction, wisdom, power etc. etc.
GOD is totally dependent on us to fulfill His purpose and will in the world. He has given man dominion over the earth and He is committed to working through us to get things done.
If we live without the Spirit of God within us, then our true purpose for living is never realized. AND, God's plan to use you for a definite purpose isn't realized either. It's a "lose-lose" situation instead of a "win-win".
Can you see how vital it is to learn to abide in Christ and let His Spirit abide in you?
HOW DO WE LEARN TO WALK BY THE SPIRIT?
47. Man is made up of three parts:
1 Thessalonians 5:23
48. OUR SPIRIT is the deepest part of us. It is where God dwells when we let Jesus through our door. With our spirit we can communicate with God and He with us.
Job 32:8 / Proverbs 20:27 / 1 Corinthians 2:10-13
49. Notice in 1 Corinthians 2:11B it says, ".....in the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." When Jesus, full of God's Spirit, moves into our human spirit then God can begin to communicate his thoughts to us. But until Jesus is allowed through the door of our lives, our human spirit is spiritually dead. We'll hear or read the truth from God and it will all seem like utter foolishness.
1 Corinthians 2:14
50. But when we are full of God's Spirit, we become alive spiritually. It's then that we can receive words from God and make sense of them. What does Paul say that we have?
1 Corinthians 2:15-16 (especially vs. 16B)
51. OUR SOUL is the second part of us and is different from our spirit. We know this because it can be divided from the spirit by the Word of God. If this is the case then they cannot be the same.
Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. With the soul, we can communicate with other people and ourselves. The spirit and soul are housed in OUR PHYSICAL BODY -- or "earth suit". It enables us to live on the earth and interact with the physical realm.
52. At the cross, man's old nature died with Christ, and when we open the door to Jesus -- full of God's Spirit -- He brings into us a new nature. This is how we become a "new creation in Christ."
2 Corinthians 5:17
Once our spirit is "born again" then God begins to transform us from the inside out. Prior to this, we have spent our lives educating our mind and keeping our body fit. Now, God in us, desires to communicate from within. When he does, then we can receive that intuition and use our soul (mind, will and emotions) to work out how we'll do what God wants. Then, we use our body to make it happen in the outside world.
53. When we are "born again", our spirit is completely made new. BUT -- we still have the same soul and body. For all of us, the body is usually what dominates our thinking and actions. We have to learn to let the spirit inside of us dominate instead. For God directs us through our spirit -- out through our soul --- and then our body comes in line with that. God does the work of recreating our spirit but now we have a part to play in reversing the order of our life. What is the first thing we must do?
YOU are the one who must present your body to God. And who is YOU? It's that new person inside you full of Christ that has become a new creation. Our body needs to be brought into subjection to our inner man.
Romans 6:12 / 1 Corinthians 9:27
54. Then our soul -- our old ways of thinking -- needs to be renewed. We've had a lifetime of thinking according to how man thinks. Some of that thinking has been based on lies we have believed about ourselves and others. It has created patterns of thinking that are wrong and even destructive. The Bible calls these "strongholds". Those need to be broken and exposed for what they are.
55. Learning to live by God's nature within us requires that WE set our minds in a new direction. As you read these verses, list for yourself what you should set your mind on --- or not.
Romans 12:3 / Romans 13:14 / Philippians 4:8 / Colossians 3:1-3
56. When Moses died, Joshua was the next leader in line. He had big shoes to fill and no doubt felt far from adequate. Knowing this, God chose to speak directly to Joshua. Here is part of what He told Him.
God had directed Moses to write the first five books of our Bible. Now, He is charging Joshua to follow what was written. Joshua 1:8 tells us how Joshua was to get that word internalized. Let's list what God told him.
A. Don't let this book depart from your mouth. In other words, we are to speak God's word over our own life to ourselves.
B. Meditate on it day and night. We are meant to "chew on God's word" much like a cow chews his cud. We keep chewing over what we have already chewed and each time gain new and fresh insights. This is the eternal word of God and therefore what we can learn is inexhaustible.
C. Be careful to DO what is written in it. (James 1:22) Christ's Spirit within us will help us to "do the word"
In other words, Joshua was to give God's word first place in his life!
And if Joshua did this, notice what the results would be Joshua 1:7-8 and Proverbs 4:22:
"that you may be successful wherever you go" -- Joshua 1:7B
"Then you will be prosperous AND successful." -- Joshua 1:8B
"For they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body." -- Proverbs 4:22
What God told Joshua is the same as what He wants you and I to take hold of today with one exception.
A. Put Jesus first as your King and Lord. Then, since Jesus made the Word His priority, we should too.
B. Read the word, study the word, meditate on the word, and speak the word.
C. Then DO the word. God never asks us to do anything we can't do. The Holy Spirit is there to help us do what God asks of us.
57. Start with just one verse and I suggest it be:
This verse tells us what we are to think about and we can start practicing it.
58. A big part in training the spirit to be our director (rather than our bodies) is to instantly obey the voice of your spirit- which is your conscience. Sometimes we call it intuition or an inner voice. We all have it -- whether we are saved or unsaved.
According to Romans 2:15 God has put his law into man's heart. When man violates that law, his conscience and thoughts accuse him. It's a universal truth across the entire world, meaning that everyone can know it. Take for example betraying a friend, or your country. It's looked upon as a despicable act any where you go in the world.
59. When your conscience sounds an alarm bell inside, then the Holy Spirit within us will confirm the truth of it. Sometimes we can be accused of something by Satan or another person but our conscience is clear about the issue and the Holy Spirit also confirms that.
Romans 9:1 / 1 Peter 3:16
In this way our thoughts, conscience, and the Holy Spirit all work together to become a true guide in your life. The quicker you obey the voice of your conscience the stronger it becomes God's compass in your life.
60. How did Paul strive to live his life after his conversion to Christ?
And what did he advise his young disciple Timothy?
1 Timothy 1:18-19 (especially verse 19)
The New Living Translation expresses 1 Timothy 1:19 like this:
"Cling to your faith in Christ and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked."
If you are a believer and deliberately override the voice of your conscience, then eventually it will shipwreck your faith.
If you are an unbeliever and do the same, you will eventually have a "seared conscience" --- permanently muted and unable to be heard.
If you are an unbeliever and you obey your conscience, it will eventually lead you to God.
In part 3 of this study we'll look at what we have in life because of our unique position of being IN CHRIST.
1. When Adam and Eve sinned, man lost four things:
A. Their righteousness or right-standing with God
B. Their relationship with God
C. Their rights as His children
D. Their dominion (or rulership) over the earth
2. Jesus came to earth to get all this back for us. His shed blood on the cross enables our sins to be forgiven and our conscience cleansed from guilt and shame.
3. God is the one who put us all into Christ at the cross. It's a cosmic miracle that enabled our old carnal nature to die with Christ. When HE died, WE died. The cross procures our deliverance from what we are: sinners that can't do anything but sin. This miracle makes it possible for us NOT to keep on sinning.
4. We are all "born in Adam" -- into Adam's dysfunctional family. The only way out is through our death with Jesus on the cross. When Jesus died he was the "last Adam".
5. When Jesus rose from the dead he was called "the second man" -- the start of a new race. Because we are "in Him", when HE rose, WE rose. We can now be out of Adam's family for good and part of Christ's family where everyday we become more like Him.
6. The resurrection enabled Jesus to give His Spirit to anyone who would receive Him. Christ's Spirit filling our own human spirit is the new nature that enables us to live as Jesus here on earth. Christ within us is the power we need to fulfill our purpose on earth and to do it victoriously.
7. The new nature of Christ's Spirit within us is a gift -- but a gift that WE ASK FOR! We become a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST when our old sinful nature is replaced with Christ's Holy Spirit.
8. When we become new creations in Christ we still have the same soul (mind, will and emotions) and body. These parts of us need to be retrained to think and act as God does. The Holy Spirit within us begins our transformation from the inside out.
9. God communicates with us only through our spirit. Therefore we must learn to be guided by our spirit -- rather than the world directing us. Once we "hear" from God, then we put our mind and will into action to work it out and finally use our body to materialize it in this world.
10. To retrain our soul and body we must:
A. Present our body to God,
B. Renew our minds by the Word of God, and
C. Obey the voice of the Holy Spirit which comes through our intuition and conscience.
11. Christ's work to restore our right-standing with God, + His giving and our receiving a new nature, + retraining our soul and body = a restored person operating from their spirit to fulfill God's purpose in this world in partnership with God Himself.
In Part 3 of our study we'll look at what we have as believers because we are "in Christ".
|Daily Discipline Table of Contents