Old nature

Tuesday Devotional: Romans 6

bibleRead Romans 6:1-14

A new creation is not the same thing as a new chance.  A new life is not an enhanced or slightly modified version of your old life.  New is completely new.  To be a new creation is to carry within you the spirit of Jesus Christ.  His nature confronts and aggressively opposes the sinful nature of your old self.  A new creation does not seek justification for sin nor does it seek to provide refuge for it.  The new creation hates sin!  Do you hate sin? Are you ready and willing to fight the recurring temptations of the sinful nature of your old self?  Or, are you apathetic and quick to celebrate the benefits of Christ’s grace and forgiveness for you before lifting a finger to oppose what you naturally should, if indeed you are a new creation?  The new creation is not subtle.  The new creation is of Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit and therefore is one of power.  Do you feel the power of the Holy Spirit warring with your old self?  Do you feel the power of the Holy Spirit lifting your weak and feeble spiritual arms in order for the battle to carry on, allowing victory to be proclaimed for you and for Christ?  Is there power in your faith?  A new creation cannot be without it.  The lack of power in your walk with Jesus Christ begs the question, “Do you know that your savior liveth?”  To know that Jesus has saved is to know that your sinful nature has been uncovered and pronounced guilty, but by the grace of God has fallen on the head of the savior, Jesus Christ.  To know that Jesus lives is to know that the nature of your old self has no more power over you.  You no longer serve the flesh but Jesus.  You are no longer mastered by sinful desires, for your Master has liberated you from the oppression of the old self, inaugurating the way of righteousness, truth and holiness in the name of Jesus Christ.  Cry out to God for newness!

Tuesday Devotional: 1 Timothy 6

Read 1 Timothy 6:11-21bible

The life of a Christian is a fight.

This is neither hyperbole nor exaggeration.  The life of a Christian is a fight.  It is a continual and never-ending fight to defend not only against outside influence and attack, but also against the enemy within.  In many ways, the most potent opposition to the spirit of Christ being revealed in us is the sinful nature, which, firmly rooted, we have nurtured day after day, year after year.  While many Christians spend a disproportionate amount of time keeping watch for external attacks and influence, it is often not these external attacks that produce the most devastating results.  For a Christian, the external attack is ineffective, unless it replaces a once firmly held truth; that is, unless it switches places with something that preceded it.  To allow an external influence to carry us into disobedience or unfaithfulness we must allow it to occupy the position of the truth of the righteousness of God that at one point or another was rooted, deeply or superficially, in our hearts and minds.  The messages and temptations of this world are so contradictory to the messages of the Gospel that to follow this world requires that something be lost and forgotten.  Protecting oneself from the external influences of this world has as much to do with preventing oneself from forgetting, as it does preventing oneself from believing.  Belief in the lies of the enemy demands room in the human heart that cannot be occupied so long as the truth of the Gospel remains present.  In the presence of Gospel truth the ploys of Satan are of no significance.  In the presence of the Gospel truth the temptations of this world are utterly laughable.  They are an infomercial that cannot deliver on what it promises.  The gift of the Holy Spirit enables us to view the realities of this world with uncompromising clarity.  It gives us a clear view of God’s reality: what is hidden, what is false, and what is real. In the presence of the Holy Spirit the promises of this world cannot be believed.  In order to believe them one must remove the involvement of the Holy Spirit entirely.  In the same way one must lose one’s life to gain it back again, one must also discard those blessed truths in order to rediscover the life that revolves around oneself.  The life lived daily trying to please self cannot exist alongside the life lived for Christ.  The life of a Christian is consistently under attack and must consistently be protected and fought for.  However, while this fight requires relentless attention and steadfast alertness against attacks inside and out, Christ has come to fight on our behalf, and has won.  This fight is not easy but with Christ victory is guaranteed, so long as his truth occupies the throne of our hearts and the center of our minds.  We must fight forgetfulness before we fight temptation.