PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under Grace.” Romans 6:12-14

God’s Grace is a product of what Jesus Christ did on Calvary’s Cross for whosoever will believe.   God’s Grace afforded those who believe through Jesus Christ and His finished work separates us from our sin nature through baptism into Christ’s Death.   We are all born with a sin nature due to Adam’s fall.  At Salvation, the Holy Spirit comes in to our heart, dethrones our sin nature and isolates it.  Under Grace, the product of the Cross of Christ, our sin nature no longer has dominion.  This is the work of the Holy Spirit; a work that we cannot do…no matter our strong will.  To be sure, our will power is not strengthened after we are Saved.

Inevitably, mankind (myself included), will always attempt to rely on our own power to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil.  Our abilities, talent, intellect, etc. is our first source of defense against the wiles of the devil.

Why?

Being dead to our sin nature through the Baptism into Jesus Death at Salvation, we are now born again and spiritually alive unto God…but we still live in this mortal tent called ‘flesh’.  This flesh of which we now inhabit has been submitted unto our sin nature and ruled by unrighteousness; it is bent toward evil.

Is this an excuse to sin? God forbid, NO!

The Cross of Christ Jesus gives the Believer the ability to be separated from sin if we so choose…but we must choose to accept this separation and once we do accept it, it will be gone.  Our flesh, which is bent toward evil, wants to be a member of unrighteousness and not righteousness.  So do we please our flesh or do we please God?

What is it that separates us from sin?  Simply put, Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Again, the ‘product’ of the Cross of Christ is God’s Grace and it is Grace which gives us dominion over our sin nature (Romans 6:14).  For it is by Grace that we are Saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)  and it is be Grace that we are separated unto God; a new creature in Christ Jesus.

22 For I delight in the Law of God after the inward man:

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

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:22-24

In our mind, we delight after the Law of God but our flesh, our ‘members’, we see another law working all manner of evil.  This flesh, bent toward evil, we cannot deny. It’s lusts are too great.  We perform many rituals and ceremonies; distract ourselves from these lusts which so easily beset us…but when they are all over, we submit; we yield our members too unrighteousness.

O wretched man that I am!

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death.” Romans 8:1-2

When we find ourselves at the valley of decision to whom we are going to yield our members; in our mind we want to please God but our flesh lusts after it’s own evil desires, remember from whence our separation came – the Cross of Christ and CHOOSE to believe it is indeed sufficient to break the power of sin. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). The problem with most Believers is we neglect to submit unto God’s plan for dominion over sin, Jesus Christ and Him crucified,  and our faith is placed in our ability to resist the devil.

Let me tell you something friend, we do no have the power to resist the devil in our own strength but through the Cross of Christ Jesus, we have the power to submit unto God.  Before Salvation, the unbeliever is not able to willingly submit unto God.

11 But you, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto you are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:11-12.

This IS the fight of faith that we fight daily, faith placed solely and exclusively in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, so that we may be afforded God’s Grace to yield our members unto righteousness for without It, we are not separated from sin by the power of the Holy Spirit but by the power of self which is no power at all.

And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23

We cannot follow Jesus, until our own abilities are denied and our faith is placed solely and exclusively in the Cross of Christ.  Our cross becomes too heavy; it’s yoke a bondage of religious fetters.  The Cross of Christ Jesus was a place of great suffering for our Lord but for those who believe, His Cross is a place of great blessing; a place to find God’s Grace and Mercy…a place where we are separated from the sin which so easily besets us.

THIS is the cross of which we bear, a cross of God’s Grace and Mercy which follows us all the days of our lives as we follow Jesus…but it starts with denying ourselves daily; fighting this good fight of faith, faith in Who He is and what He has done is totally and completely sufficient for all that we need for life and living.

Sufficient for this day is God’s Grace.  Deny yourself.  Walk in His Mercy and Grace.  Be determined to know nothing else among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

-Donna Clark Warren

 

 

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