Our moral conduct is determined by the condition of our heart. The lost are not alive unto God through the Spirit but are dead unto Christ. They are not lost because they reject Jesus but reject Jesus because they are lost. The ‘good’ things they do are not from a root of righteousness but a root of self righteousness and pride.
“10 For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He lives, He lives unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.“ Romans 6:10-12
The unredeemed are NOT dead unto sin and spiritually alive unto God because Jesus Christ is not their Lord. They may have indeed heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified but they have not accepted Jesus’ finished work on Calvary’s Cross as their Sacrifice for sin. If the truth be told, in their hearts they believe that if they do enough good works they can balance the scales of good and evil and make their way to Heaven. Not so. The devil’s hell is their eternal destination if they don’t give their heart to God and allow the finished work of Christ Jesus to afford them the power to be Redeemed, Born Again and alive unto God.
The darkness in the depth of their soul is what determines their moral conduct and their is no psychology in the world that can fill that void EXCEPT Jesus Christ. When the believing sinner comes to Christ and accepts Him as their Lord and Saviour, they do not instantly become a theologian but they are Born Again. The Holy Spirit isolates the sin nature which has ruled and reigned in their heart and He takes up residence. As we look unto the finished work of Jesus Christ for all that we need for life and living, we are alive unto God and the Holy Spirit superintends the work of God in our heart. Our moral conduct is still determined by the condition of our heart but our heart has now been circumcised. Old things pass away and all things become new. Those evil things that were once our desire has been removed and we are given the ability to choose in whom we are going to serve.
“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 6:13-14
Yes, the Born Again Believer still has to choose daily in whom they are going to serve. Alive unto God, we have the ability to serve God through Christ Jesus our Lord. We are under Grace, the Government of Grace, when our faith is placed in the finished work of Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit is then given latitude to do His mighty work in our heart. Submitted unto God’s Plan of Sanctification, which is Jesus Christ and Him crucified, we are able to resist the devil (James 4:7). We cannot follow Jesus until we deny ourselves. Our flesh is still bent toward the sin nature which ruled and reigned for so long. It wants to choose laws to overcome sin because then the sin nature would be quickened. These laws would place us back under the Government of Law and would make the Cross of Christ of no effect.
“For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death.” Romans 8:2
If we are not living daily IN Christ Jesus through faith in His finished work to break the power of sin in us and for us but choose instead to serve man made laws, we are under the Government of Law and Grace does not have dominion over us but sin. This is a choice we have made and allowed. It is not that the Holy Spirit can’t, God forbid – He is God and God can do anything He wants, but that we don’t give Him the legal right to rule in our hearts when we look unto anything other than Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Our moral conduct is not determined by our intellect but it is actually the result of the condition of their heart. You will know them by their fruit. Examine their fruit.
-Donna Clark Warren