“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:1-8.
There is nothing we can do in the flesh, no amount of good works, religious works, self effort or self will that can change the heart of man. The heart of man must be circumcised, changed into a new creature in Christ Jesus which is done exclusively through faith in Jesus and His finished work. Such is the reason that many, myself included, had to at one time or another repent of our “good works” as well. Regrettably, the majority of the church world does not realize the need to repent of the good works performed while we were minding the things of the flesh. The good works may have indeed been “good” but the problem is the place these good works held in the heart. Did these good works result in a changed heart or were they minding things of the flesh? Did they puff up or leaven the lump? The Gospel of Jesus Christ will humble the heart.
Many agree and understand the only way to God is through Jesus. It is because of what HE did on the Cross that we are reconciled unto God and our sin debt is paid in full. The Cross of Jesus is the exclusive way to our eternal Salvation. As a Child of God, we know this blessed Truth. However, as a Child of God, many do not understand it is that SAME faith in Jesus and Him crucified, that is the exclusive way to our Sanctification as well. The multiplicity of man’s schemes to overcome our sin nature will not change the heart of man, which in turn will not and does not sanctify man.
We are all born with a sin nature because of Adam’s fall. This sin nature is on the throne in our hearts before our Salvation. Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit comes in to our heart and dethrones the reigning monarch (sin nature). We do not have dominion over our sin nature before our Salvation, if we could there would have been no reason for Jesus to go to Calvary’s Cross. Our new life as a Child of God begins when the sin nature is isolated by the Holy Spirit upon our Salvation. The Holy Spirit is now on the throne of our heart. We are spiritually alive unto God (Romans 6:11) and no longer spiritually dead in our sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1). Then comes our day to day living with Jesus. In our zeal to learn, we are snared by the religious “good works” of others who are sincerely (but sincerely wrong) teaching us various ways and means of sanctification. 21 days, 40 days, 100 days of various religious activities should sanctify the religious…according to the religious.
Our Sanctification process is the same as our Salvation process, faith in Jesus’ finished work and His finished work alone…not our “good works”. Our “good works” performed in the flesh puffed us up, HIS Good Work will humble and comfort the heart.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2. It is only when our faith remains in Jesus (“law of the Spirit”) that the Holy Spirit is commissioned to free us from the law of sin and death. When our faith is in anything other than Jesus’ finished work, the Holy Spirit will not give us dominion over our sin nature. This includes faith in our good works, self effort and self will which is what the majority of the modern churches preach and teach today – motivational psychology.
This is why so many of God’s children are walking around in bondage. Their religious organizations have directed their faith to another, mainly themselves, for Sanctification. With their faith placed in their self efforts, their sin nature remains on the throne in their hearts because the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” has not made them “free from the law of sin and death”. Their faith is in Jesus’ finished work for Salvation, praise God and rightfully so, but for their Sanctification, their faith is in another source.
All of the rules and regulations religion places on the new Believer will in fact provoke their sin nature because their faith is placed on those rules and regulations to sanctify them. “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” Romans 7:8-11.
It is a change of heart that this world needs, not one world religion, not unity in compromise and not more religious rules and regulations. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. HIS righteousness does not come through works of the flesh but through faith in Jesus….seek Him first, Jesus and Jesus alone can change the heart of man.
-Donna Clark Warren