Saturday, October 10, 2015

Can't Run? Walk. Can't Walk ? Hobble. Can't Hobble? Crawl In The Right Direction

The grandstands are full of heavenly angels, departed saints and a world of needy, seeking  souls. The race of Christian Faith and Calling is in progress. 
Young or old, you, as a Christian, are on the track ... running, walking, hobbling or crawling with the pack or turning back. So lay aside every weight of fleshly lust, besetting sin, and never quit until you cross the finish line.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily  beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..." Heb.12:1.

Few people have the sincere humility, of an honest appraisal, to judge themselves, objectively. Nobody likes to admit the whole truth about themselves ... even to themselves. And when we have lived and struggled with our own human faults, failures and "besetting sin", and grow weary, and give up, over the years we begin to take those things for granted. It becomes easier and easier to ignore them... and our hearts begin to harden. Repentance is a daily spiritual bath, a way of life, a constancy in God's presence. None of us are immune to sin."For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Rom.3:23. So sin is a human condition which plagues us all. None of us is perfect, spiritually, mentally or physically. Since we are not perfect spiritually, we are compelled to daily repentance of our sins, to relinquish our sins and only then, rest in Christ. But sin, especially "besetting sins", never cease to seek new entrance into our lives and have to be dealt with and rejected each time they return to tempt us.  Mentally, we are also imperfect. The greatest intellects and geniuses who ever lived, had flaws, failures and misconceptions mentally. In fact, I am of the opinion that we are all, mentally rather strange, peculiar and even a little crazy to some degree. I have often said to myself, "Why would you say or do such a dumb or crazy thing". Physically, I need not point out the obvious imperfections of human bodies. They are hard to miss, right there in plain sight. From hair, face, neck down to the toes, fleshly imperfection is undeniable. We can't see the spirit or mind but the body is all too visible and seldom pleasant to see.

So how do I qualify to judge all of the human race as "imperfect"? Well, first, I am one of us. I have lived the experience. I know enough about my own basic human nature to know that no one but Jesus has ever been or will ever be perfect, in this fleshly body."For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Rom.3:23. Jesus Christ was the only person who ever lived in a fleshly body who did no sin. "And Jesus said unto him .... there is none good but onethat is, God." Mk.10:18. "NONE" means none. Yes, you too... and me.

Since there are no sinless humans, we are all, therefore, imperfect, faulty and sinful, in the flesh ... which is not the "born again" part of us. Our flesh requires constant washing to avoid foul odors. That's not born again. It thinks bad thoughts, has pimples, pus, weakness and never ceases to deteriorate. That's not born again. It has built in humilities, gets sick, throws up and dies. THAT is not a born again body. It is the inner man, the spirit of the person, the soul, which lives in the body of flesh, that is "Born Again". The inner spirit person is the real person. To get Bible doctrine straight, we must understand the two fold nature of man. The inner, spiritual part of man and the outer, physical part of man."That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man." Eph.3:16. No scripture defines the two fold nature of man like Romans 7. You must read this chapter to be able to comprehend the two-fold nature of man. I will print it at the end of this blog.

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." 1 Jn.3:9. Not the body of flesh is born again, but the spirit person who lives in that body gets born again. That is the true person, the eternal person, born again and "cannot sin". It doesn't say "can but shouldn't", It says, "CANNOT SIN". That is not in reference to the corruptible, dying body of flesh. It is in reference to the "inner man", the born again spirit person.

I repeat, our flesh is not yet born again.... glorified. When Christians die, their spirit simply leaves the body and goes into the presence of God to await the resurrection of their dead body, molding into dust, in a grave somewhere on earth. At the initial second coming of Christ, "in the air", all of the born again spirits of all believers will return to earth with him and be rejoined to their newly resurrected, glorified, perfect bodies."Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together  with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thess.4:17.  And then there is this verse for those who are still alive on earth. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him So, finally, our bodies will be glorified, "like Jesus" and rejoined with our born again spirit souls.

God knows the truth about us even if we delude ourselves and put on a self-righteous front ... we are still very faulty. It isn't easy to be that objective about one's self, but until we admit it to ourselves, we will never confess it to God and ask His forgiveness. We might as well be honest with God ... He already knows the truth of us anyway. That is why His word says ..."Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...." Titus 3:5.

Old age brings its baggage with it when it comes to visit. Though youthful lusts are diminished or gone, the lust of the flesh and of the eyes is mostly replaced by a whole new set of sins which come to tempt us oldsters. I won't mention what they are lest you watch for them in us old people... but then, you will guess at it and probably make it worse than it is. The third type of sin, the pride of life, stays just about as strong as it was in youth and follows us all the way to the casket ... where we have the mortician dress us up in our best, including jewelry, and even have a barber or beautician put every hair in place so we will look like we are going to a wedding..... Wellll, I guess we are.... the marriage of the Lamb.

1 John 2:16   For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 

So, if you can't run the race, walk it. If you can't walk it, hobble it. If you can't hobble it, crawl it. Just be sure you are going in the right direction.

Galatians 5:16   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. But constant repentance is still essential. RB

Here is the last half of Romans 7...

 Romans 7:14   For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 

  Romans 7:15   For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (The conflict between my flesh and spirit)

  Romans 7:16   If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (It taught me what sin is)

  Romans 7:17   Now then it is no more I (My spirit) that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (In my flesh)

  Romans 7:18   For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (I constantly seek the good way)

  Romans 7:19   For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 

  Romans 7:20   Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (My spirit tells me sin is wrong, but sin dwells in my fleshly body)

  Romans 7:21   I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (Constant conflict between the my spirit and my body).

  Romans 7:22   For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 

  Romans 7:23   But I see another law in my members (body), warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 

  Romans 7:24   O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 

 Romans 7:25   I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (The life-long conflict between the inner man and the outer man, the spirit and the body). The two fold nature of every human.