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The Daily Word of Righteousness
You Must Be Born Again, #9
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. (Luke 9:24—NIV)
It is impossible, apart from the direct assistance of the Spirit of God, for the soul to conform to the Words of the Lord Jesus. But if the soul sets itself to diligently and consistently do what is written in the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit will give assistance (which is His role) and the new man will be formed in the soul.
The new man serves God by nature. He cannot sin. That which the godly soul longs for, the ability to serve God in holiness and righteousness, is made possible by the Substance and Virtue of Christ that have been formed in it.
Peter speaks of the soul adhering to the Scriptures until Christ is brought forth:
We have also a more sure word of prophecy [the Scriptures]; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (II Peter 1:19)
At some point in our experience the old man, the Adamic nature, may decide to attempt to preserve his life. He may desire to serve God and be blessed of God. But the concept of setting aside his appetites and desires so the newly conceived man may come to full term may prove to be offensive to him. He may rebel at the deaths that are coming upon him from the Lord and decide to enjoy himself in an outward show of religion, or to abandon Christ altogether.
This soul-centeredness, the desire of the old man to make Christianity into a religion that saves and blesses him, is the motivation behind the current emphasis on serving the needs of the human being, the welfare and fulfillment of the person being central. Jesus will help me do this, that, and the other thing.
The concept that Jesus has assigned our first personality to the cross, to death, and that a new man has been conceived in us and is coming to the day of birth, must be brought into prominence in Christian thinking if people are to enter eternal life, into the Kingdom of God.
The difference between Christ being conceived in us, and bringing to birth a new son of God, is revealed in Paul's admonition to the church in Galatia:
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)
The Galatians had been saved. The Galatians had received the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:2). Christ had been conceived in them. But Christ had not been formed in them. Here we can observe plainly the difference between Christ being conceived in us and Christ coming to the level of maturity required for the full achievement of God's plan for us.
Jewish teachers had followed Paul into Galatia and were demanding that the Christian converts adhere to the Law of Moses, particularly to the rite of circumcision. Paul knew once the new creation had been formed in the Galatians they would understand why neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is essential to the Kingdom of God; that only the new creation is of eternal significance.
For in Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature [creation]. (Galatians 6:15)
To be continued.