In order for victory to be manifest in our lives it must first be defined. How we define victory is going to go a long way in defining our Christian life, if we see victory as successfully living according to the worlds system, ie: having enough money to do what we want. If victory is defined by us as having a better life in this world, in any way, if that is the case then we don’t need Jesus, and are strangers to the life of GOD.

Victory in Christ is walking with God in holiness and righteousness all the days of our lives. This life by nature goes against the grain, it is enmity with the world, the 13ht chapter of Hebrews is to whatever degree our life.

One question we all must ask ourselves at some point after becoming a Christian is, What is more important, my life, or the life of Jesus, because for the most part those two lives will not live congruently in me, one or the other must rule. The life of Christ will not rule in me if I am concerned for my own life “and they overcame by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony and the fact that they did not consider their lives something to be held onto”. The life that I was born into in Adam, the life that by it’s very nature falls short of the glory of God, is an easy life to live. It’s natural, as natural as breathing. I have lived enough in this life to know that I can never be perfect, I can never reach the full potential that God has created me for. Learning and trying harder is simply a continuation of that old . If there is to be complete victory it must be found in another direction.

What you have here is the 7th Chapter of Romans where Paul learned what the good that God required was and set out to live that good out. He found the same thing we all find that there is a law in me that serves sin and no matter how hard I try I fail. At the end he begins to see the truth, and it comes as two thing come together, his total inability to walk in complete righteousness and at the same time God’s call in Christ to “be perfect as my father in heaven is perfect.” Paul beats his head against the wall to find an answer to that conundrum. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our LORD! So then, I myself serve the law of GOD with my mind but with my flesh I serve the law of sin”.

As a side note please don’t be under the mistaken impression that here Paul is referring to “flesh” as simply your physical body. Many Christians operate under the assumption that sin lives in the physical body and so perfection comes with the death of this body. If that were true then the wages of sin, death, would be the victory over sin and only Jesus has that power. Bodily death does not have the power to sanctify. There is a death that sanctifies, but it is the death of Jesus and not the death of this mortal frame.

You have been given the power to live according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. In order to live according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, you must actually do it. First believe that it is possible, that the death of Jesus reconciled you to God, and than that the life of Jesus works in you to make you free from the law of sin and death. In believing that, you will begin to live according to the life giving spirit.

Born Again?

We seem to have a whole class of Christians in the U.S. who believe that being born again is simply a matter of choosing GOD. None of us have the power to birth ourselves once, let alone a second time, there must be more than just choosing or believing. It is true that choosing and believing play a part in being born again, or regeneration whatever you want to call it, but the power that makes it manifest is from GOD, so as you believe and choose you must also trust into and until it is manifest by the living GOD. Please, please don’t be under the mistaken impression that you are born again if the life of Christ is not being manifest in you.  The life of Jesus being if nothing else, a living hope, a hope that passes understanding, so that whatever situation you may be in no matter how bad or how depressed you believe that it will not last forever. That Jesus is lord and He is working all things out for the good, that is the hope in which we live, and that hope is greater than anything that may come against us.
We are not saved because we trust that we are born again, we are born again because we trust that Jesus is LORD, as opposed to ourselves as lord which is the way we lived as children of Adam born of the flesh. Being born of the Spirit and living by the Spirit is to live according to the life of Jesus in us. The new life that rules in us is the life Of Jesus that is what it means to be Born Again, to no longer live according to the life of Adam, but according to the new life of Christ. In summary to be born again is not so much to believe that you are born again as it is to have a new life (the life of Christ Jesus) living and ruling in you. It is that life that gives us hope, not the confession or the conversion..

A Labor of Love!

I write this to Christians that you may come to a deeper understanding of who you are in Christ and what is the hope of your calling. This word is intended by the grace of God to build up the faith of the born again believer and in no way intended to speak peace where there is no peace. If, in reading this you become convicted about your relationship (or lack of) with  God through Jesus Christ, don’t get mad, don’t feel bad and quit reading, don’t throw up your hands and give up, simply repent, go to God in Christ and get right. It is my desire and the desire of your maker that none would perish but that all would come to repentance and the knowledge of Jesus.  Please understand as we go through this that we all fall short of the glory of GOD and that knowledge should neither cause us to despair and try harder nor should it cause us to feel better about ourselves and not enter in.  The revelation of our own failure, juxtaposed against His righteousness should serve, not so much to make us feel bad or cause us to hate the one we feel may be judging us but  to drive us out of ourselves and into Him.

He who knew no sin became sin for us that we may become the righteousness of God in Christ.

First let us look at what Paul had to say in the book of Romans ;

For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ! (Romans 5:17, NETtext)

You may find this difficult to believe but what Paul is saying here is that the righteousnesses of GOD through faith in Jesus actually works righteousness in us in the same way that the transgression of Adam served to work unrighteousness in us before we knew the truth.  OK so the way this works out in reality (or at least the way it could) is this when you look at yourself and your history you have to notice a principal that has always worked in you, causing you to whatever degree to fall short of the glory of GOD.  Now if you could believe it, we being reconciled to GOD by his death are also being saved by His life, so that the life of Christ works in us now just as the death of Adam worked in us then.

I will be the first to admit this is a little hard to swallow because when we look at ourselves…no matter how advanced we may become in Christian doctrine we still see some one who falls short (to whatever degree). This requires a whole new way of thinking..

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, NETtext)

Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service.Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:1,2, NETtext)