Monday, January 15, 2018

New Life

Man is a spirit, with a soul, which dwell in a physical body. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) His spirit enables him to contact spiritual things. His soul is composed of his reasoning faculties in which he contacts mental things. His body enables him to contact physical or material things. Before one is born again, a new creation, due to the fall, his spirit is dominated by spiritual death which has opened the door to his soul, that is, his mind, will, emotions and intellect to have dominion. This makes it impossible for him to understand the Bible, that is, revelation of Truth. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)

However, one of the wonderful Old Testament prophecies spoken to Ezekiel by the Holy Spirit says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." (Ezekiel 36:26-27) He is speaking of the new creation. He will give them a new heart and put a new spirit in them. Not only will their spirit be recreated but this suggests that He is going to take away selfishness from their heart and replace it with a new kind of love that will make them one as a body of people. Jesus reveals this during His final instructions to His disciples, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” and "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 13:35, 17:21)

The old human spirit, the real man, the real person, is to be recreated with the nature and life of God. Again he says, 'I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." This is speaking of the New Covenant person by new birth not the Old Covenant person by circumcision. The Apostle Paul tells us, "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ." (Colossians 2:11) The Old Covenant made them servants, whereas the New Covenant makes us sons and daughters.  "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1) As we can see, our circumcision is not physical but spiritual. It is God taking away not a portion of the physical body, but putting off the body of the senses or the flesh.

This means He is taking away the dominion of the physical body over the human spirit which gained control when man sinned. He says he is "putting off the body of the sins of the flesh." That is, "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." (Romans 6:6) Here the Holy Spirit is trying to make clear the same truth. When a man is recreated, the physical body loses its dominion. The reason why men could not love God and love one another under the first covenant was because the heart was selfish, dominated by spiritual death. The only love that he had was "phileo" which is based upon selfishness. Now we can understand what Jesus meant when He said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." (John 13:34)

The natural man, due to his fallen nature, cannot do this, only those who have become new creation have the ability to love as God loves. Can you see how absurd it would be to tell the people of the world that they must love? They cannot do so until they receive the nature of love, the one who is love (1 John 4:7-8) in the new birth. Jesus, again in His final instruction to the disciples, tells them, "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love." (John 15:9-10) The word abide comes from the Greek word that means "to settle down," "to remain." This can be worded this way, "I want you to settle down in my love just as I have settled down in my Father's love. I have remained in my Father's love. I want you to remain in my love."

Love, the God kind of love, becomes beautiful and very attractive as we continue to abide in love and let love abide in us. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle John helps us to understand this, "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." (1 John 4:16) In the natural, people are valued according to their financial or political standing in a community. However, in the final analysis, the people who love as God loves, are the people who truly help the community, because the former is birthed from selfishness whereas the latter is born of the spirit and yet, to operate in the God kind of love, is a choice to give up the old things and live in the newness of life that comes by-way-of life in the Spirit. 

We can train ourselves to operate in the God kind of love by declaring from the moment we rise in the morning and throughout the day, "I have God, the love God, the God of love inside of me today. It is going to be easy to do my work because the Greater One is going to move through me, act through me, love through me and speak through me today. I will not be left alone to meet any crisis. He
will be there to make me a success." We say this not as a mantra, but knowing that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. We simply open our hearts and minds to this truth and let the vine feed us, pour Himself into us, keeping in mind, love is God in action. There is no love without action, "For God so loved the world that He gave..." (John 3:16) "
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

Every day will be a great day in our lives as we let the God kind of love loose in us, to flow out of us. In doing so, His grace would be without limitation. If we think about it from this perspective, grace is love manifested. So, every morning when we awaken, let us say, "Today, I am walking in love because I have God's ability and God's nature at work in me." Amen...

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