Can you accept that you are a new creation in Christ now that you belong to Him?
It is often difficult to believe isn’t it? We read lists of things like the fruit of the Spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
against such things there is no law.
or the command:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
We read these and we say, “That’s not me!”But if you are a child of GOD, do you know what? That is exactly you! Click To Tweet
But if you are a child of GOD, do you know what? That is exactly you! You may not see all of that playing out at all times, but that is what GOD is working in you, to develop in your life. At your core, that is you.
Is that exciting or what? It doesn’t say you have to try harder to make this happen, it says that this is the fruit of the Holy Spirit living in you! stop
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin
and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
I’m being reminded of this in a study we’re working through this Fall. Yes, it gives the bad news too. Naturally, we are born as depraved as they come. But once we are in Christ, the story is different. We read the words of Paul in Romans 7:15-24. He describes the gap we live in now. It’s the space between where we are and where GOD has called us to be. He also describes how we feel at times as we live there. He used the word “wretched.” We are living in the in-between. We live in a fallen world where sin exists and often seems to be winning out.
But hearts have been changed. We live in the already-not yet. Our sin has been dealt with judicially. Satan was defeated at the cross…and he knows it. But he is trying to take down as many as he can until the day comes when the not yet happens. That is when the full redemption of not only those who are in Christ, but all of creation will occur. There will be new heavens and a new earth. There will be no more sickness and death. There will be no more sin and evil either.
Trying harder to be good Christians, resolving to do better or even giving up won’t help us.
Is the answer trying harder to live the life we know we need to live? NO! We already know that trying harder doesn’t work. Resolve is not the answer. More human effort does not help.
Getting more information at conferences or seminars doesn’t help either. It is just another form of human effort and trying to do better through my own resources. Most of us already know that doesn’t work.
Giving up doesn’t work either. We need to go somewhere else for help. That is through the process of belief. I’m not talking about initial belief that we had to trust in Christ alone for our salvation. I’m talking about the belief we need to have that GOD is not holding out on us.
Do you realize GOD isn’t holding out on you, just as He wasn’t holding out on Adam and Eve? He loved them, just as He loves us.
Do you remember how Adam and Eve believed the Serpent when he questioned GOD’s motives? At the heart of their sin and disobedience was their unbelief that GOD’s will for them was based in His good and loving character. It was that He wanted the very best for them. On some level they didn’t believe He did.
He had made this beautiful, perfect place for them to live. He had provided everything they could possibly want for their eating, life, and visual pleasure and had only one tree that was off limits. There was only one fruit of all the fruits, that was off limits. But somehow, they felt He was holding out on them.GOD placed them in this beautiful place-Eden. But somehow, they felt He was holding out on them. Click To Tweet
And we do the same thing. He cares for us, protects us, provides for us…yet we fail to believe that He will continue to do so. I am embarrassed to say that I am one of those people too!
When difficulty comes, I rush to figure out and use my own resources very often. Then, when they don’t pan out, I remember…Oh yes, I need to trust GOD to meet this need first!
Accepting good gifts from GOD and turning to Him when we fail to believe? These don’t come easily to us do they?
Learning to live by faith takes acceptance of and repentance for the fact that I often live in unbelief, but in Christ, I have lavish resources available to live the life He has called me to. I just need to understand where I need to run when I need to be rescued.Learning to live by faith takes acceptance of... the fact that I often live in unbelief. Click To Tweet
**Our study is the book idolAddiction by Julie Sparkman, Birmingham, AL of www.Restore-Ministries.org. She has books, videos, and downloads available from her website. Her book Unhitching From the Crazy Train: Finding Rest in a World You Can’t Control, has come out. It is a continuation of the one we are studying. I highly recommend her material. (updated 1/2021)