NOT I BUT…

Have you ever done something and afterwards thought, “Why did I do that? that’s not who I am.” If that wasn’t you who was it?

The Apostle Paul discovered it was sin in him but not the real “him.” He said, “If I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me” (Romans 7:20). Once Paul discovered this he cried out for deliverance saying, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). Then it’s as if he remembered he was already free in Christ, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25).

After seeing that it was not really “he” but “sin” in him, he remembered Christ had already set him free. Now, Paul says, “It is no longer I but Christ who lives” (Galatians 2:20). Either way it’s not only “I” ever, because we are always joined to another. We are either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness (Romans 6:18). We are either producing fruit for death or fruit for God (Romans 7:4-5). We are joined to the True Vine or another but we are always a branch (John 15:1-5). We are operating according to “the spirit of truth” or “the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

We were not created to operate independently. We humans are built for union with God. In the fall, that union was severed but it doesn’t mean we are independent, it means we were deceived. The Satanic lie is, “You can be like God.” In other words, you can be independent like God. This is what Satan wanted all along (Isaiah 14:12-15) so he tricks man into being in union with him but he can’t do it openly for fear of being discovered. So, the father of lies, lies! He deceives us into thinking we’re in charge of ourselves when the reality is we are simply doing his bidding all along. He speaks to us in the first person so we think it’s our ideas when the truth is we “are doing the lusts of our father the devil” (John 8:44).

We are his slave, producing his fruit and getting to share in the consequences. Once we hear the Good news that Jesus Christ became “sin” so we can become the “righteousness” of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21), we are freed! We by faith claim we have died to sin! (Romans 6:7) We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness! (Colossians 1:13) We have been forgiven, freed from Satan’s dominion and have received an inheritance among those who have bee sanctified by faith in Christ (Acts 26:18).

The Cross worked!!

Louie

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BEING HUMAN

So many say things like “nobody’s perfect, I’m only human“ as if being human is their problem or maybe being human is a bad thing. God created us to be human in His image and said “It is good.” Being human is not a bad thing at all. What’s “bad” or “wrong” is that the fall found us a slave to sin. So being born again doesn’t really change our fundamental humanity rather it frees us from being a slave to sin. Now, our humanity is in it’s correct place by being joined to Christ and we are now a “slave to righteousness.” We were one with “the spirit of error” , now we‘re one with “the spirit of truth.”

When someone says, “I’m only human” I think to myself, what is really underneath that statement? Are they saying, “I should be more than human?” I wonder if this comes from the root lie of “The day you eat of this you will be as god?” Could it be that God’s plan all along has been to live within, and joined to humanity? Maybe it really is true that God’s “power is perfected in our human weakness.” What do you think would happen if we simply learned to rest in our being weak, limited men? The Apostle Paul not only rested in it, he gloried in it! He said, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Louie

WE HUMANS HAVE NO NATURE

We humans are symbolized in the Scriptures as being containers, expressor, developers, but not originators. We have our “being” in Him (Acts 17:28)—the quantity, the potential (much like a computer). But then also, the quality of what is expressed by our being is not we, but He in His nature (like the programmer of the computer). Thus He is named “All in all”—not just the One being invisible, but having derived created beings by whom He can express His Allness. Not just the “All,” but also “in all,” which is why the coming of His Son taking flesh, and now, in the resurrection, still being “the man Christ Jesus,” confirms the eternal truth as being the Person in the persons, and not some vague dissolution of essence into essence as in a religion without an incarnate Christ.

These symbols used to describe us humans are all those which express no nature of their own but the nature of that to which they are attached Vessels contain the liquid, but are not the liquid; the cup is not the coffee. We don’t speak of a cup and coffee. So we are branches, but the branch is not the nature. Rather the nature is that of the vine which reproduces itself in leaf and fruit form on the branch. Thus in Romans 6:20-22, we were bearing fruit for which we are now ashamed, but now the same branch (no difference in that) is bearing “fruit unto holiness”—solely vine-nature expressed by the branch, which has no separate nature of its own.

We are called temples. In the Old Covenant days that could have been the tabernacle by which God manifested Himself in Shekinah Glory, or alternatively a temple of Baal. The emphasis is not the nature of the temple, but of the deity who manifests himself by it. And now in the New Covenant, our bodies are the temple of the Spirit, and God is spoken of as “dwelling in us and walking in us” (2 Corinthians 6:16). We are called “slaves” (mistranslated in the King James Version as “servants”). But a slave has no operating nature of his own in relation to his owner, and solely reproduces the activities of his owner, whether of Satan (sin) or Christ (righteousness) (Romans 6:16). We are the wives reproducing the nature (seed) of the husband and in that sense with only the husband’s nature (Romans 7:4, 5).

“It’s as simple as this”
Norman Grubb