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The trouble with thinking that you need to get your life in order is that you can neglect the fact the you are already dead. It is not a day-by-day process. Paul didn’t die to his flesh daily; yes, he was persecuted unto death daily, but he died once when Jesus died. You don’t slowly die for 50 years. When Jesus died, you died too. When Jesus was raised, you were raised too.
You might not fully realize your new life in a single moment. It might take you time to comprehend that you are already seated in heavenly places; that you are already a new creation; that you already have the mind of Christ. But make no mistake, Jesus doesn’t need your help to save you. After all, it was he who said “It is finished.” We start at the finish line. We go from glory to glory. Not born sinner to trouble maker to addict to recovering addict to barely-hanging-in-there middle aged adult to only-waiting-for-heaven old man. We get to enjoy our new lives as soon as we follow Jesus. We don’t worry about sin, because, as Paul points out, we are no longer slaves to sin but we are under grace. Grace doesn’t mean freedom to sin but freedom from sin.
When we make a mess, it’s because we are still giving power to the dead man. But the fix for that is easy, just enter through the narrow gate – Jesus. Fix your eyes on him. Love him with all your heart, mind, and strength and then trust that your problems will go away – because they will. When you love him with all that you have, the things that previously led you astray will begin to look filthy and you will loose your interest in them and then you will no longer pursue them.
Instead of punishing yourself for making a mess, clean up the mess, and then go back to worshiping Jesus. When you recognize the enormous wealth of love, peace, joy, and pleasure that is waiting for you, the things of this earth will grow strangely dim.
Renewing of our mind? Sure, whatever is good, lovely, etc… But we don’t need to renew our minds, because the bible says that we have been given the mind of Christ. Taking our thoughts captive isn’t a battle that “we” need to fight. We have been given the Spirit of God not the spirit of this world. When we encounter icky thoughts or emotions, our dead flesh won’t help us one bit. All we must do is hand the thoughts and emotions over to Holy Spirit – the mind of Christ. Jesus will sort them out for us. And remember, all power to judge has been given from the Father to Jesus and Jesus didn’t come to judge us but to give us an amazing life. We give him our yucky and he gives us an amazing life. Does that sound too good to be true?
Let’s not make the devil bigger than YHWH. Let’s not get sucked into the rat race of self help and religious striving. Instead let’s rest in the finished work of the cross. Let’s love God with all we got and trust that he will lead us not unto temptation but beside cool waters.
It’s mystical. It doesn’t make sense. It’s foolish. The world will hate you for it. But know that right now, no matter what has happened, you are a good boy. You no longer have a sin nature. Because Jesus.
January 14th, 2020