Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Walking In The Spirit Is A Choice

 Ephesians 4:22-24, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Salvation is a free gift from God, received through faith in His only begotten Son, Jesus. You did nothing to deserve God's forgiveness, and His gift of eternal life is accompanied by another gift—the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit (who is the Godhead living in each believer). The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who enables you and me to live the Christian life. John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” The Holy Spirit helps you in resisting temptation and making wiser decisions. He gives us knowledge through searching the inspired Word of God, to help us make daily decisions.

The FLESH (our human sinful nature) is diabolical and always ready to separate us from the spiritual things of God. Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Every saint of God struggles between the flesh and the spirit. I have heard some preachers teach that when a person gets saved, the old nature is forever gone, and only the new nature in Christ remains. However, it cannot be denied that even with the new nature (which is Christ in us, united with our spirit), we still have the sinful FLESH to contend with. So call it what you will, every Christian still has the old sinful flesh which is contrary to the Holy Spirit in us. The old nature may be gone, but the flesh is still here!

Our old nature is when our spirit was dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1), and we did not know God; but then we trusted in Jesus Christ, and we became a new creature (2nd Corinthians 5:17). God gives us a new spiritual understanding of the things of God (i.e., now we have the indwelling Holy Spirit to teach and guide us into all truth. John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. Even though we have a new nature, in which the indwelling Spirit of God convicts us about the sins in our life, it is possible for us to CHOOSE to continue walking in the flesh, and not walk in the Spirit, so that we will still fulfill the sinful lusts of the flesh.

This does not mean we are not born-again, it just means that we are not obeying our heavenly Father to walk in the Spirit. If saved, always saved! At the moment of salvation, God regenerates our spirit that was dead, giving us life in His Holy Spirit. The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ.” Romans 8:9, 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.” That is precious! The Holy Spirit is Jesus' Spirit in us as believers. We also have the Spirit of God the Father in us as believers. That is, we have the Godhead living inside of our spirit, soul and body as redeemed saints of God.

What a magnificent God, who loves us so much that He wanted to make His abode inside our very being. Wow, what amazing love and grace!!! What saith the Scripture? John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” The man who loves God will keep His Words. We find those words in John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Our born-again spirit is sinless by virtue of the Cross! But should we continue to sin? God forbid! With Grace on our minds, the last thing we want to do is grieve the Holy Spirit. Remember, as believers we FALL IN GRACE, but never FROM GRACE! Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” When we choose to sin as God's children, even committing the most despicable of crimes, God's grace always abounds, so that we could NEVER lose His free gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The reason why is because we didn't earn it. We did not pay for it, Jesus did, with His precious blood that He shed on the cross, and sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in Heaven (1st Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 9:12, 22-24; 12:24).

True perfection will not come until the Rapture of the church when we rise to meet Jesus in the air. (1st Thessalonians 4:17). We will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to follow (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11), where our works (the good and bad done in our body) will be judged and rewards will be given (1st Corinthians 3:6-15). Tears will flow for most saints, who wasted their time here on earth (1st Corinthians 3:11-15); while a few soulwinning saints will shine as the brightness of the stars forever (Daniel 12:3). They will shine because they will be a hero to all the people whom they led to Jesus Christ back on earth.

In salvation, Christ redeemed our soul, but our body won't be redeemed until Christ returns. Our redemption will be complete at the Rapture (which I humbly think will happen BEFORE the 7-year Tribulation period), and we will live and reign with Christ throughout the 1,000-year Millennium, in our glorified bodies in sinless perfection (Revelation 20:6; Philippians 3:21; 1st Corinthians 15:51-58).

As believers, God's Spirit lives in us and renews us every day. Walking in the Spirit is a choice. We can ignore God and make the wrong choices, indulging in sin, losing our calm and peace of soul; or we can choose to walk in the Spirit, by bringing every thought into captivity unto obedience to Christ. ...
2nd Corinthians 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
At any given moment we can choose to walk in the Spirit, but we won't always make that right choice because we are still tied to the sinful flesh (which is where the word “carnal comes from, fleshly; as in Carna Asada steak, which means flesh roasted). Psalms 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?  by taking heed thereto according to thy wordWith my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. The Bible will keep us from sin; or sin will keep us from the Bible.

The Holy Spirit ALWAYS guides us with the inspired Word of God. If you ever hear Oprah Winfrey or anybody else, talking about spiritual things and they are not including the Holy Bible, run away as fast as you can; because any spirit that is not the Holy Spirit is a familiar spirit (a demon). The Holy Spirit always leads a child of God in accordance with the written Word of God, and never contrary to it. People do a lot of crazy things, claiming that God's Spirit led them to do it, but don't you believe them for a moment.

One of my favorite sermons by Pastor Jack Hyles is titled: "Your Salvation Did Not Change You A Bit." The only thing you automatically receive at salvation (besides forgiveness of all sins and eternal life) is the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who seals every believer (Ephesians 1:13-14). Our life does not change until we begin to grow in the Word of God (1st Peter 2:2), and in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 2nd Peter 3:18, But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

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