Faith, Justification, The New Man

Do not give place to the devil

Neither give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:27

Are you giving place to the devil? Maybe we do not understand how this can happen, but the apostle Paul talks about how a believer as a new man in Christ is not to walk in the vanity of their own minds. Paul conveys that a believer is to walk in the grace of God with righteousness and true holiness. The question arises if we as believers are walking as God’s dear children. We were all bought with a great price to become God’s children. The fact that the apostle Paul addresses the Ephesians in the 1st verse of chapter five as dear children is an endearment of love. Chapter four and five should be read carefully because we are witnessing how the days are evil. There is such bitterness, wrath, anger, uproar, and evil speaking which has brought about civil unrest. Violent crimes are happening across the US and in certain locations around the world. Since Covid-19 Burglary and Theft has hit number one worldwide.

It seems now that the phrase “new man in Christ” may have lost its meaning, or it has become vague in its meaning. Throughout the New Testament there is a clear change in the character of a person who has become a believer. Paul goes out of his way in explaining and distinguishing the difference between the old man and the new man. Have we as Christians missed this change. The body of Christ should be edifying itself in love and not in hate. Unless the method of salvation has changed, and I pray that is not the case we should be walking in the love of Christ. Did not Christ make us alive when we were dead in our sins? Paul mentioned that in times past those who are unbelievers “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience,” [Ephesians 2:2]. Those unbelievers were fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, [see Ephesians 2:3]. Salvation through faith begins on an individual basis and then it becomes the body in the church where Christ is the head.

The church is to be perfecting the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ, [see Ephesians4:12]. The church is to speak the truth in love until the unity of faith with the knowledge of the Son of God reaches the point of a perfect man in the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ, [see Ephesians 4:13]. Were we not blinded and ignorant before hearing about Christ as our savior? We were all past feeling of consciousness having given ourselves over to uncleanness and greediness.

Put off concerning the former manner of life the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”

Ephesians 4:22

Are you still carrying the old man that is corrupt with you? We need to take stock of our actions. We are not to follow or get carried away by every wind of doctrine by the craftiness of those who would deceive us from the truth of Christ. It is through faith in Christ that has reconciled us to God. We are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, [see Ephesians 2:20]. When Christ ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men, [see Ephesians 4:8]. As a believer we died to the old nature of man and became a new creation in Christ Jesus. This is done through prayer and faith in the work of Christ who became the power of God in reconciling us unto God. We have been made near to God through the blood of Christ. Christ work on the cross has taken the penalty for our sins and Christ has given us access to the Father by giving us the Holy Spirit. If we are walking in the flesh, then we are not walking in the indwelt Spirit of Christ in which we were sealed by an inheritance.

That inheritance is why Paul exclaimed to “not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed unto the day of redemption,” [Ephesians 4:30]. We are to be renewed in the spirit of our mind to that of Christ. Christ position is our position. Christ identity becomes our identity. Paul told the Corinthians that though “our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day,” [see 2 Corinthians 4:16]. We put to death all things that is unclean or the unfruitful works of darkness and ask God for forgiveness and to cleanse us from all works of darkness. Our identity is in Christ and not in this present world. We do not belong to the devil; we belong to Christ.

Submit yourselves, therefore, to God Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.”

James 4:7-8

We resist the devil and his evil works to the one who has given us the power to overcome him and that is Christ. We try every spirit to see if Jesus has come in the flesh, and we know what the spirit of truth is, and the spirit of error. Whatever is not of faith in Christ Jesus is sin. We do not grieve the Holy Spirit who is our comforter. We put away all lying, stealing, evil speaking, anger, malice, and covetousness and ask God to cleanse our heart and mind to that of Christ. We pray that the Holy Spirit would come and convict those who are not walking in the Spirit of Christ. We ask for the fruit of the Spirit to fill us with the love of Christ and change us from glory to glory into the person of Jesus Christ. We pray for the understanding what the will of the Lord is. We must speak truth and not lie. There are many forms of truth, but only one truth has given us the victory and that is through Jesus Christ.

Our doctrine is of Christ and not of any other. Beware of what doctrine you follow. I remember Smith Wigglesworth said to beware of any word that has “ist,” or “ism” at the end of a word. I though it funny at the time of hearing it, but there is some truth to what he said. There are those who follow a different teaching that is not of God. It may sound good, but their objective is not of the doctrine in Christ. The latest new word “Christian Nationalism,” is creating a divide all across America. This movement began in the late 50’s and has come to the forefront in recent years. Christian nationalists are defined as those seeking to preserve the status of a Christian state. Its focus is on national identity. As an American citizen the Bill of Rights gives people the right to the establishment of religion and free exercise thereof. It does not state that Congress should make a law of one Religion over another. History has proven that making a law upon religion has brought about expulsions such as what happen in Spain’s history. Any type of law for a religion has brought civil unrest upon a country or nation. Freedom of religion gives each individual a choice.

God has given each individual a choice to believe or not believe. If you take away that choice and make it legal, it becomes a manmade law based upon legalism which promotes ritualism. Let us remember that ritualism did not save the Jewish nation. If man can not conform to God’s laws, how can they conform to their own laws? The law concluded that all are under sin.

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”

Galatians 3:24-25

Paul warns about legalism and how the two systems cannot co-exist, that of law and grace. We cannot work the good works through the law to receive salvation. If we are justified by the law, then Christ has become ineffective [see Galatians 5:4]. Paul goes on to say that those who are justified by the law have fallen from grace. “We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith,” [Galatians 5:5]. Therefore, we should walk carefully and not as fools but as the wise redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Make sure you are standing in the faith through Christ and no other doctrine. Do not allow or give place to the devil in not walking in the Spirit of Christ. Remember that God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son to reconcile the world from sin.

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The New Man

Are you a new Creation?

If any man be in Christ, he is a new Creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

“Behold, all things are become new.” We love to hear about new things, new technologies, new fashion, etc. We are fascinated about newness of an arena, stadium, and theaters, for entertainment. We as human beings desire to be amused and entertained in some way. It is what we call relaxation and relaxation can be in many forms. Something new will always be the height of our fasciation. Just look at all the new kitchen small appliances on the market and the biggest item is the Nespresso machines. Our coffee is no longer percolated. There are now so many ways to make coffee at home, one does not need to go to Starbucks to get expressos or lattes. Just think about it. I grew up with the percolator and now I have a small Nespresso machine that I got for Christmas. Talk about something new. . . we love to talk about it.

What about the old percolator? It still is around, and some believe it still makes the best coffee. We end up using it when the power goes out. Now you are probably wondering what all this talk about coffee is. Well, I thought it might be a good illustration for a new creation. A new coffee machine means that you let go of the old one. The old machine is put away in some cabinet and many never see the light of day again. All the glory is in the new coffee machine. Its appearance gives way to its being new and novel. In verse 12 of 2 Corinthians, Paul mentions this glory in appearance, and not in the heart. In last week post I mentioned the importance of having a clear conscience towards God and men. We need to be honest with ourselves in who we are as humans. God is not necessary concerned with your outward appearance, but with your heart. What is the point in getting saved and going back to the same old ways or as some would say to the slime that made you sick in body and soul? We need to be made new. We need to become a new creation in Christ. Our life is not to go back into the mire. We are to pray and go forward.

Something new has taken place within our heart when we have received the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That Christ died for all and if he died for all than all were dead [see verse 14 of 2 Corinthians]. We have missed it thinking that we can live with one foot in the world and another foot in Christ. You cannot serve two masters.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Matthew 6:24

The love and hate often happens between children wanting to serve either the mother or the father. Whoever gives out more treats. And this goes without saying when it comes to who is doing the abuse against the child. Christ died for all that all may have a new life. A new life that is not bound by the ways of this world or by fleshy desires. Do you want a new beginning? There are those who are thankful for the chance of having a new beginning in life. This is the power of God to change our heart and mind to become a new person in Christ. We ask God to do this because we cannot help ourselves. We may try but fail. Christ has already done it for us through the cross. Through His shed blood we are cleansed from all unrighteousness. When Christ arose from death, he took back what Satan took from man and that is death.

We were alienated from God through the sin of Adam. The law of the commandments and ordinances was the foreshadow of things to come. No matter how hard it was to keep in the past, today it is impossible to follow and keep. The law shows how weak man is. The law also points to Christ for the final sacrifice. Christ has abolished this enmity in order to make in himself one new man in that we would have peace with God. This new man is a new creation in Christ. The apostle Paul tells us that we are the temple of the living God and not of the dead. We are to “come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, [see 2 Corinthians 6:17]. I will receive you is based upon you coming out and separating yourself unto God. There is no compromise when it comes to being a Christian. Paul tells us to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit [see 2 Corinthians 7:1]. The works of the flesh is our selfish ambitions to consume something. This is where jealousy, anger, and envying stick out to the point of causing someone harm or to suffer. This is contrary to the will of God.

Paul further tells us Christ died for all and those who have received him should not love unto themselves, but unto Christ who died for them, and rose again [see 2 Corinthians 5:15]. A new man is a new creation in Christ and has been reconciled to God. This is done through repentance. Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, but the sorrow of the world worketh death [2 Corinthians 7:10]. I pray that you have experienced this godly sorrow that moved you towards repentance to salvation. I pray that you are totally reconciled to God and separated unto God. I pray that you are a new creation in Christ and that His Spirit is residing in your heart to guide you in the path of righteousness as you are being changed from glory to glory. To have this experience of being changed into the image of Christ is done through the Holy Spirit.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Psalms 51:11-12

If David can ask God to clean his heart and renew his spirit, so can we. Do not allow any other thing to control you accept God. Let go of any other commitment that is contrary to the will of God. Serve God fully and ask Him to restore your joy of salvation. Let not your heart become heavy from the burden of sin. Repent, place it at the feet of Jesus and allow God to change you into a new creation in Christ Jesus. Hold your ground in Christ as ambassadors for Christ and rebuke the devil in the name of Jesus. He will flee when you stand against him [see James 4:7]. In all things “humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up,” [James 4:10]. Read the word to know His will. Be a new creation in Christ and let go of the old ways. Each day is a new day in Christ. Each day can bring new possibilities. Look forward to the promises of God in your life as ambassadors for Christ.

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Light, The New Man

The New Man

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Ephesians 4:23-24

The new man is a new beginning, or like a new growth from the bulb of a Tulip. In the New Testament of the Bible the Apostle Paul talks about the new man in Ephesians and Colossians. What does it mean to put on the new man? Each New Year many decide to have a New Year Resolution to change some undesirable trait or behavior. To accomplish a new personal goal such as losing weight or achieving a new skill on the job. The emphasis is on improving yourself to grow and become what some might say a new individual. It is challenging yourself to a new position by gaining what is necessary to achieving this new goal. No short cut here, for that does not count since the goal is to continue with good practices and not bad.

Paul states that we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works [see Ephesians 2:10]. In Colossians 3:10, Paul instructs us to “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him.” How do we put on the new man? I have always wondered about this process and how it could be achieved. So many humans work hard in their own way to achieve and accomplish and become the perfect new women or man. Today, we have so many new scientific ways of changing our bodies to be a more desirable form to look at that it is unrealistic for those who are not in a specific job that requires it, yet some would go to great feats to emulate their favorite icon that they wish to become. Sometimes after achieving such feats, one may find that they did not achieved the desired effect they thought would be the result. In the long run it did not produce satisfaction or happiness. How do we find peace with who we are as humans? Can we find satisfaction or true happiness?

A seed is planted, and growth takes place because it is watered and heated by the sun. There is the “wow” effect when a bud of a flower starts to open to reveal its wonderful design. As Christians there is to be a continuous growth into the image of Christ. What happens when there is no growth? No growth means you are dying. When a flower is dying it means that something is happening to cause the decay of death. There is a substance that is blocking the growth, and this is producing an early death of a flower. One needs to investigate to find the cause of the decay.

I remember reading about Smith Wigglesworth’s warning about a Christian not growing means death. He stated that one should immediately get right with God, for something has separated you from Christ. He was adamant in stating that at all cost to pray for forgiveness and remove what detoured you from growing in Christ. Watchman Nee comments on how Christ is life itself. Without Christ, everything is dead since Christ is the resurrection and life. We cannot achieve righteousness or holiness on our own. Becoming a new man is also not achieved in our own strength. Our mind is to be renewed by the spirit of God to see the unseen truth of Christ, for he is life. Christ is the resurrection and the life. Christ achieved what man could not do. Christ became the perfect sacrifice to create a new man making peace with God. Jesus is the gift of God.

As Christians we are to put on Christ. In other words, we are to put on the coat of Christ. We do this through prayer by asking God to help us surrender what it is that is holding us back from seeing the true image of Christ. Whatever undesirable character that we have, we must surrender it and lay it down so we can put on the image of Christ. If we do not have love, joy, forgiveness, or peace in our life then something is keeping us from receiving the full gift of Christ. We surrender whatever it is to God and allow the life of Christ to rule our heart and mind. We ask God to work the change within us since we cannot do it in our own strength.  Through Christ we can be reconciled back to God. We ask God to help us become what we are meant to become. Through Christ we become transparent, for we have nothing to hide. Transparency is the light that shines through the petal of a flower. There are no lies or secrets, for all is revealed in the glory of the light of Christ. Our path becomes the shining light as we put on Christ and become the new man.

the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Proverbs 4:18

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