I want to take the time to explain my thoughts on the “What In the World” series, and take a look at what this particular series is to me, personally. After the last post, I thought maybe I should not continue the series. I prayed for guidance. As I said in the first post, I have changed in many ways over the years. As I gathered with family and friends to worship, a couple of Sundays ago, the sermon gave me the answer I was seeking. I want to take a look at the scripture text and other references in God’s Word.
The changes in me were not done, by me. My sin nature (selfishness and pride) justified why I participated in the things I did. I know that I deserve hell. I know that the only thing within me that makes me desire to be righteous is Christ. That Spirit within me, and God’s Word, also show me that being a Christian, the desire to sin has been defeated. Just one example of being given the power over sin is found in Romans 8:12-13:
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
All of the changes in my life have come from Christ. I boast only in Him.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31: For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Galatians 6:14: But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Romans 15:17-18: Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting inthings pertaining to God. For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed
Now for the scripture from last Sunday, found in Ephesians 4:17-19:
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
While I don’t want to regurgitate the sermon given, I do want to look at points in this text that spoke to me.
The scripture, speaking to Christians, says “you walk no longer as the Gentiles also walk.” If we go back to Ephesians 2:1-3, we can see how we USED to walk, as the Gentiles:
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
So we were dead in our sin, according to Romans 6:23, we have earned (the wages) of sin, which is death. We walked according to the world’s standards, and according to the “prince of the power of the air,” which is Satan. This prince of the power of the air works in the sons of disobedience. We lived in the lust of our flesh. Living in the lust of the flesh is not just living in our bodies. It is the thoughts of our mind, our will, and our emotions, which are subject to sin.
Furthermore, in Ephesians 4:22-24, we see that,
in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you berenewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
What is the difference in your “former manner of life” and your life now? Is there a difference. Have we come to a place where we live the way the world says is acceptable and we have just attached Christ Jesus to that life so that we can say we belong to Him, a life that doesn’t look any different than the old. The old self is to be put aside, to the point of dying to self.
Romans 6:12-14: Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin asinstruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members asinstruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
The selection from Ephesians 4 goes on to describe other aspects of the way the Gentiles live: in the futility of their mind, darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, hardness of their heart, callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
Verse 20: “But you did not learn Christ in this way.”
To actually “learn Christ,” we must be IN CHRIST. There has to be a relationship. You may learn “about” someone, but until you have a close relationship with that person, you can not learn that person. The same is true for Christ. You may know about Christ, but to LEARN CHRIST, you must have a close relationship. You must KNOW HIM, not just know “about” Him.
1 John 2:3-6: By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, andthe truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
Psalm 40:2-3: He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the Lord.
Do you have a new song in your heart? Has your song changed? Does your song look like the rest of the world? Does your song, your life, praise God? Do others recognize that new song?
My blog is for the purpose of showing how God has done a work in me, the lowliest of sinners. This blog is not for the purpose of glorifying the life I once lived. It is a celebration of victory and a praise and thanksgiving to God for what He has done, and is doing, in me.