Matthew 5:17-20
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The Law: To Abolish or Fulfill

Often times many us think of the Old Testament as being a former dispensation of God that applied to the Jewish people, gave the Law, the history, the Psalms, Proverbs and a lot of good stories. Many might think that because we are a New Testament people that the Old Testament doesn’t have real application and promise to us. After all we are no longer under the Law. While there is truth to this we might be overlooking what Jesus is saying here. Jesus declares that His mission and purpose isn’t to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. The Old Testament and the Law provided the foundation and groundwork for the fulfillment of that Law through Christ. What has changed for us is that it is no longer the works of the Law that we are trying to keep through the efforts of the flesh, but it is the Spirit of that Law now written upon the tablets of our heart. The nature of God has not changed or His Laws, but He has taken them from the outward to the inward through the power of the Holy Spirit and His nature that now resides in us. Romans 8:3-4 tells us, “For 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.” Christ fulfilled what we could not in that He fulfilled all of the requirements of the Law, but more than that, He became the sin offering to take upon Himself all of the penalty of sin for us. His faith in us embraces and appropriates that finished work of Christ that fulfilled the Law. It is that faith in His finished work that is now reckoned unto us for righteousness. The Law is fulfilled in us only through Christ. As we now live in Christ it is His nature within us that fulfills and keeps the Law. As we walk by the Spirit we no longer fulfill the lusts of our flesh. Romans 8:10-11 declares this truth by saying, “You, 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.” In Christ, in this New Testament man, we do not abolish the Old, but we become the fulfillment of it. We have the power, authority and life of Christ to walk into what the Old Testament saints dreamed about. They were our examples and mentors to help us walk into a greater dimension of faith and faithfulness to the Lord. We walk into it by the power of Christ in us and the identification that we have died to the weakness of the Law, which is our sinful flesh. We have the Holy Spirit living in us. We have the finished work of Christ behind us. We have a commission of Christ to bring Him into our entire world. The Law and the Prophets live on. They along with the apostles have become the foundation of our faith. What is it that God is building? Ephesians 2:19-22 declares, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” We are God’s lively stones built upon this foundation to be the holy temple of the Lord. This is that place where God chooses to make His abode. Christ didn’t come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them and we a part of that fulfillment as we abide in Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
#kent

A Heart of Vigilance

October 9, 2012

1 John 5:18-21
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

21Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

A Heart of Vigilance

I love this scripture, because it tells us the truth about who we are and where we are. It lets me know that “in Christ” I have been delivered and set free from that state of sin that I used to live in. That it is no my residence or state anymore as a believer in Christ. We all really need to know and acknowledge that in our hearts. We are not sinners any longer we are saints. We don’t continue, as we used too, in sin. We are in the safety of Christ, and in Him there is no sin. We now abide in the life and the vine of Christ. He is the tree of Life. Sin, which has its fruit in death, cannot abide there. We are still surrounded and living in the midst of a world that is enveloped and living in the evil one. Sin and temptation do surround us, but that is not where we live and that is no longer who we are.
Romans 8 tells us, that in Christ we have been delivered from the lower law of sin and death, which resulted in condemnation and fear of judgement and have come into the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. What that tells us is that His Spirit has come to indwell our beings. In the light of that truth we are no longer subject to the lower law of sin and death if we abide in the law of life in Christ Jesus. When we said “yes” to Jesus coming into our hearts, we said “yes” to his Lordship and His control of our life, but understand that His Lordship and Life working within us, He has still made subject to our will and choice. We understand that we were saved that day in our spirit, but the process of salvation is an ongoing work of grace that is transforming us spirit, soul and body into His will and likeness. Our residence, as believers, is now living out of His Spirit within us, but every day we make choices to yield to His spirit when our soul may still experience that drawing of the darkness and world that surrounds us. Every day we need to be solidified in our identity “in Christ”, because the devices of the enemy is to pervert and rob that identity from us to bring us again under that former identity of the flesh.
Let’s refresh ourselves again on who we are as spiritual beings in Christ and no longer that former person of the flesh. Romans 8:5-17 draws a contrast of this picture for us. “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.
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
You may notice that a lot of what is being said here deals with th state of mind, what spirit controls it and where we set it. What we all, as believers, need to be mindful that the Spirit of God is there with us to help us abide in Him, but we still have the choices and the will to open our hearts to other influences.
It is like when someone comes to your home and it is secure and locked, but someone rings the bell and through a compelling plea, you unlock the door and let them in. That is temptation. They seem nice and friendly enough, but once they gain access they begin to steal from you and take your mind and heart from Christ. They begin to refocus you on to their agenda, which, secretly and deceptively, is to rob you of the peace and security of your home. They steal your identity in Christ as they give you there’s. Oh, did I mention the friends they brought in with them. When we open a door to the enemy he wants to come in like a flood. He is always looking for the those avenues of access to distract and appeal to our former affections.
This is why we walk daily in the Spirit, maintaining vigilance as we keep our eyes on Christ who now is our life and identity. We are the instruments of His glory and righteousness and each day we submit ourselves afresh, not being conformed to the world, but transformed through the renewing of our minds. Our minds are the gateways of life and death. It is where our hearts are.
“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21) Those things and affections that would turn hearts from Christ. T
True repentance and the blood of Jesus allows us the access to return if and when we stumble in sin. Father is never there to condemn you, that is the doing of the accuser, He is always there to restore you to wholeness and right relationship.
Guard your hearts.

Blessings,
kent

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