We have things happen in our lives, we have negative things happen in our lives as believers, but the same negative things happen to non-believers. There is no testing, no temptation taking place today such as is not common to all the human race.
Forgiveness is all upfront, it covers all and you stand in the eyes of God having trusted in what our Savior accomplished on our behalf. You stand more than forgiven, you stand JUST in God’s eyes. Too many people are trying to Christianize the flesh, we are suppose to change our thinking, it all starts with our thinking.
Love, the behavioral glue that binds together the believer to other members of the Body of Christ, that is how God designed the new creation in Christ to operate. Love is the attitudinal adhesive God intends to keep the Body of Christ functionally smoothly and operating efficiently and effectively. Love is the bond that both unifies and edifies the members of the Body of Christ.
Satan would have you think your salvation is not complete. Satan would have you believe, Yes, Jesus died for your sins. Yes, he was buried. Yes, he was raised from among the dead, but your justification was not complete. So Satan would have you believe there is still forgiveness that must be obtained from time to time on the installment plan.
That is Satan’s gospel. Some people go weekly to get absolution for their sin, some groups do that nightly. Some people wear that forgiveness belt around them all day long, less they cross that imaginary line they have got in their mind, where they might cross that line and God changed his mind and cast them away. You are justified because of Paul’s good news, but what gospel have you believed? God would say, “You are already forgiven, why you coming for forgiveness?”
Maturity is all about the degree to which you participate in the increase of the Body of Christ unto the deifying of its self in love. The degree to which you participate in that which brings unity to the Body of Christ and edifies the believer to that degree you can consider yourself to be mature.
It is much more than taking in knowledge, it is a renewed mind, it is taking in that knowledge, that knowledge might be put to use. Doctrine governs the intellect; the intellect governs the will; the will governs the emotions. There is one basic principle we can apply to every situation in our life, will Christ be magnified in my choice.
Give up serving self and that will be the best service to self you could ever give yourself, you will find true freedom and joy to be the ultimate result. We serve others today motivated by appreciation in the fact that God loves them, we are intricately joined to them, just as we are joined to Christ.
The law had apprehension as a motivation factor. Our labor of love under the Age of Grace has had the apprehension aspect removed entirely. We are to serve others today based on how God expressed his love to others through Christ and what he accomplished for them, who he made them and us to be in our savior by joining us to our savior.
Self is that which stands in the way of growth completeness, the idolatrous mind-set of people. Every believer has a part to play when it comes to that which edifies and unifies the Body of Christ, but attitude is that which instigates action. When it comes to maturity, Paul begins with the inter thought life, never with the outward action.
There is a difference in what the Bible calls the flesh and what it calls the old man, these are not the same terms. The flesh, we all have that bent towards satisfying the lust of our flesh toward serving ourselves. We all have the flesh to contend with, it is alive and functioning in everyone us, none excluded.
Paul would have us understand while we still contend with our flesh, our sin bent, God eradicated our identity with it as far as our righteous standing before him is concerned and our identity in the Bible calls that the old man, that is gone, crucified.
So, while we continue to have and will continue to have to contend with the flesh, God no longer sees us in our identity with the flesh. God’s sentence on the flesh was not reformation, it was total eradication. That sentence was carried out when we died with Christ. God had no intention of repairing the old man.
Christ had to crucify our identity with the flesh, the old man. Paul wants us to agree with God to reckon our identity with our flesh as dead and gone. God has no plan to clean the old man up and make the old man more presentable, his intention was to kill the old man.
Every believer is standing in the gift degree of righteousness, the very perfect righteousness as God’s perfectly righteous son. If your life is hid with God in Christ then how does God view you? God views you in his son. If God’s energizing power from on high resides in every believer, no believer out of the loop, then how many believers are in the flesh? None!