Principles of the World

September 4, 2012

Galatians 4:8-11
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

Principles of the World


Paul says here that formerly, when we did not know God or rather were known by God, we “were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.”  What are these things to which he refers?
In verse 3 Paul clues us in, “So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world.”  It means that we came under the law of Moses which showed us our sin and condemnation, but only the promise and shadow of our salvation.  These principles of the world could only keep and maintain us in the bondage of sin and condemnation.  At there best they were only shadows and types of that truth which Paul brought to them in the reality and fulfillment of Christ.  That divine sacrifice of Calvary was the doorway through which we step from the kingdom and the principles of this world into the kingdom and principles of God and life.
Paul says in Romans 8:1-3, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”  That tells us that never, by returning to former law of Moses, will we be set free from sin.  It, along with all the principles that pertain to this world, were superceded and annulled by the cross of Christ.  He is now the higher law of life and liberty.
There is no more condemnation to the those who are in Christ Jesus.  Take note of the preposition used here.  It not spoken to those who know about Christ, to those who believe on Him or through Him.  The place of no more condemnation is “IN HIM”  That means we live out of Him, not just the knowledge of Him.
Many of us as Christians have struggled with sin all of our lives and still feel the wretched condemnation of it because we still haven’t had a true revelation of who we are IN Christ.  We don’t fully grasp that we have reckoned the old man dead and are alive unto Christ.  It is no longer out of self effort that was governed by this former principle of the world that we live.  We live out of the principle and law of the Spirit of Life that is IN Christ Jesus alone.  He was the law fulfilled IN us.   Now we are dead to the former as we live into the present.  We don’t overcome sin and the principles of this world by trying to be like Jesus.  That is self-effort and self can only perpetuate self.  It can never perpetuate Spirit.  Only Spirit can perpetuate Spirit.  Paul tells us that this is now what we live out of, the Spirit, no longer the flesh.  Romans 8:5-11 goes on to say, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives IN you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is IN you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living IN you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives IN you.”  The mind of the Spirit, is the mind of Christ IN us.  It is His Spirit abiding IN us, bringing us into ONENESS and PARTICIPATION IN Him.  We no longer are to operate out of the former us, no matter how good the intent.   We are dead unto self, but alive unto Christ, even as Paul tells the Galatians in Galatians 2:20,  “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives IN me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Only as you live out of who you are IN Christ as a son can you overcome the life you formerly lived as a slave under the principles of this world.

Blessings,
kent

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