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Friday, December 20, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 50

We Can Exercise Control Over the Natural Man (continued)

Many Christians who allow their fleshy lusts and passions control their lives want God, or someone God uses, to deliver them of this uncleanness. But if w are saved by His Grace, if we are redeemed by the Blood of Christ, we have already been delivered. Colossians 1:13 tells us that God has delivered us in and through Christ: "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son."

If we are saved, we have been delivered out of the power, out of the authority of the darkness - "the darkness," the realm which is under the rule of satan (Revelation 16:10); and we have been transferred into the Kingdom of His Beloved Son - God has transferred us into, God has set us in, the Kingdom which is Sovereignly Ruled by Christ Jesus our Lord. This is our God-given position from the instant we are saved. This is our God-given position during our sojourn on earth, this is our God-given position throughout all eternity.

Therefore, if our natural man habitually rules in our lives in any way, it is because we have allowed the natural man to rule. Many say, "I have tried, I just cannot control the lasciviousness of my natural man, God must deliver me"; while in fact, their only desire is self-satisfaction. Others may feel that since Christ has accomplished all things, "I do not have to control the habitual ways of my natural man, God will deal with them in His timing. God is with me, I can do as I want." Beware, Samson fell into the above traps and only the crushing of the mill stone could deal with his life. Many of us may be unaware that our natural man controls so much of our lives, this seemed to have been Abraham's and Sarah's problem; but, as we have seen, God knows just how to deal with this.

Dear friends, whatever is the habitual way of our natural man, whether it is lust in any form, or jealousy or bitterness or religiosity or the love of money or power or influence or that we must have our own way, etc., it all can be labeled the same way, selfishness. Self-interest, self-satisfaction, self-gratification, self-centeredness, self-importance, self-pity, self-indulgence, self-reliance, self-righteousness, self-love, self-sufficiency, self-seeking, self-willed. Self! Self! Self!

We have been transferred into the Kingdom of His dear Son, and if we do not deny our selves and allow the work of the Cross in our lives, it i because we are selfish: our way, our wants, our desires, our lusts, our interests are more important to us than the Lord's Way, which is always the way of the Cross, the way of self-denial. We have been set into the Kingdom of God's Beloved Son, we have been seated with Christ at the Right Hand of God, we have been given the power of the Holy Spirit - the power that Raised Christ from the dead, we have been "co-raised" with Christ (Colossians 3:1). And the result is that we have the power of the Throne in our lives. Therefore, we can exercise control over the natural man, we can deny our self, we can allow the work of the Cross in our lives.

We can "seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1).

We can "set our mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth" (Col. 3:2).

We can "put to death (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in [our] members - those animal impulses and all that is earthly in [us] that is employed in sin: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness ..." (Col. 3:5).

We can  "put off all of these: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from [our] mouth" (Col. 3:8).

We can "put off the old man," we can "lay aside the old self with its evil practices" (Col. 3:9).

We can "put on the new man, which is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the ONE Who created him" (Col. 3:10).

We can "put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other ... and if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another," we can forgive them "even as Christ forgave [us]" (Col. 3:12, 13).

We can "put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity" (Col. 3:14).

We can "let the Word of Christ richly dwell within us, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (Col. 3:16).

We can "whatever we do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father" (Col. 3:17).

We can "be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in our prayer [life], being both alert and intent in [our praying] with thanksgiving" (Col. 4:2).

Beloved, we can do all these things and much, much more because we have been delivered from the power of darkness,and we have been transferred into the Kingdom of God's Beloved Son.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 51 - "And Each Man Did That Which Was Right in His Own Eyes")

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