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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NOT I BUT…

In Romans six we discover all people are slaves. We are either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness but either way we are still a slave. This means we are never acting independently as if we are just ourselves operating from our own supply or power source. Jesus said, “you are the branches.” Being a branch means we can’t live or produce fruit of any kind without another. In this case it’s Jesus who said he was the true vine. Could this imply the presence of a false one?

In the first few verses of Romans seven we discover we are likened unto a wife. Paul uses a wife and husband to illustrate this same thing. The wife can never produce children apart from her husband. Without a man a woman will not be able to become pregnant and give birth. Chapter seven is revealing to us that the first husband is impossible to please and this marriage will only bear fruit unto death. The problem is much deeper than that though because the only way for her to be removed from the marriage is if the husband dies. Guess what? He won’t die. The good news is God’s plan provided a way for the woman (we) to die with Christ, but thank God death didn’t have the final word. We rose again and now we are joined to our new husband, Jesus, and he will produce fruit for God through us. You see without Christ himself producing the life he wants from us it can never happen. Apart from him we can do nothing.

As we look a little further in Romans seven we read “But 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.” Here we discover “sin” is the real culprit not me. Of course this doesn’t mean we aren’t responsible if we commit sin, but it means once again we are a slave, branch and wife and not the originator. This works in the opposite way too. In Galatians two we read, “…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” So the truth is we are not the originator of sin or righteousness rather we are a slave, branch or wife of the one who is. Either we are a slave to sin (Satan) or a slave to righteousness (Christ). Either way we do not and cannot produce the fruit of either of them on our own.

Louie