Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Living by the Spirit

Knowing Our New Self
God is love. Christ fulfilled the law. So love truly is the fulfilling of the law. We love because He first loved us.

"God condemned sin in the body of Jesus in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us who do not live according to the flesh but according to the spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the spirit have their minds set on what the spirit desires" (Romans 8:3-5).

Our spirits are our true identity. Our spirits (our new man/new creation) are created in such a way that they not only have righteousness in the sense that they are "right with God" but they also are credited with the perfect obedience of Jesus. They are righteous in the sense that they've already kept the whole law. Our spirits always "live by the spirit." Jesus obeyed on our behalf so to God it is as if we have always obeyed. Disobedience is sin and God remembers our sins no more, He took them away at the cross, so all we have left for Him to remember is good. Because of Jesus' death the righteous requirement of the law is fully met in our spirits.

Therefore if we live according to the spirit by putting our minds on God, His spiritual blessings, and the favor He has for all His children our outward lives will reflect the loving nature He has born into us. If we live knowing the goodness of the nature we inherited from God & live in relationship with the life giving Spirit of Christ within us we will love others like Jesus did and participate in the love He wants to display to those around us today.

Relating to God in the Spirit
While God does engage with us at times He seems to give us autonomy in our relationship with Him. He does not force Himself upon us. James 4:8 supports this idea, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."

Since we approach God through the spirit we have to think about Him to approach Him. Our relationship with God is very practical. If we don't take time to think about Him we usually don't get the benefits of the relationship.

I've been blessed with the opportunities to dwell on God a lot. I personally think about the amazing things He's done for us through the cross. That draws me near to Him and fills me with joy.

Remember, God is the source of all good so God is loving us in many areas where we just don't realize He is involved. God participates in bringing us all the joys of our life. He truly is in sunsets, smiles, laughter, and breezes. He loves us in far more ways than we know. God participates in all the non-destructive pleasures of life.

"You make known to me the path of life; In Your presence I am filled with joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever."
(Psalm 16:11)


  1. Michael, I agree with you up to a point. You wrote:

    //They are righteous in the sense that they've already kept the whole law.//

    Nobody ever became righteous by keeping the Law.

    Rom. 3:20 - Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    Jesus wasn't justified because He kept the Law. Jesus was justified the same way we are justified - by believing the promises of God. As it is written, "The just shall live by faith".

    When we focus on the promises of God (and not simply "focus on God") then God imputes His righteousness to us.

    Rom. 4:20-22 - He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

  2. Well I didn't say they "became righteous" by keeping the law nor did I say Jesus was. He wasn't justified by the law but He still kept it all.

    God's righteousness is imputed to us at salvation. We don't have to "focus" to become righteous. We get the righteousness that Christ has. He earned it for us.

  3. (NKJV)Matthew 22:37-40
    Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' [40] On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

    The commandments can not be followed without help from Holy Spirit - which is proven by all the disobedience by the Israelites.

    If one was to ask "well if God knew that they couldn't obey then why did God make the law?" It was to show us that we can't save ourselves, we can't self deciplin ourselves to obey and attain justification.

    B/c of the Holy Spirit dwells inside us we have the grace - divine ability - to obey. We don't try to obey the law, instead its our new nature - provided through Jesus.