Living in a Higher Law

October 15, 2012

Romans 7:21-25
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Living in a Higher Law

This passage in Romans 7 is sometimes confusing and controversial. It is one that we can relate with because we struggled with the law that operates out of the sin nature. Paul speaks of the law that in my mind or inner man delights in God, but then he speaks of another law that wages war with this higher law that is in Christ.
Quite honestly, we have all dealt with these inner conflicts and most of us still do. What we find, is that in ourselves, we may always seem to be losing the battle even though our inner man desires the higher way.
Paul expresses here the frustration that we feel in our being, “Wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
Then answers by saying, “Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
It is really essential that we read Romans 7 in conjunction with Romans 8 if we really want to see and understand the problem and the solution.
The problem is that, we, operating out of the law of sin and the law written against sin, will never overcome it. Our only solution to rising above self and our propensity to sin is coming into the higher law that Christ has established for us through the cross.
Paul is ending chapter 7 by making the proclamation that our only solution is Christ Jesus, our Lord. Lord means that self and sin no longer have the dominion. That lordship, dominion, headship, rulership has been given over to Christ.
Now Romans 8 begins by enlightening us to the higher law that we are now to be living out of that has set us free from the law of sin and death. It is a law where sin has no dominion, place or power to condemn. It is place of no shame, no blame and no embarrassment, because it is the law of Christ’s righteousness that now abides, lives and should hold lordship in our being.
Romans 8 starts out by declaring the two laws that work in us. ” 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.”
Do we want to be free from sin and have the righteous requirements of the law met in us? Then we have to live in a different place than we did before; not geographically, but spiritually. We know that the same laws that govern us on earth are different once we enter into outer space. When we are still on earth and in its atmosphere, we are subject to the law of gravity. It is always pulling us back to the earth. It is like the power of sin that was always pulling us back from righteousness. Christ broke the bounds and bondage of earth and set us free from the gravity of sin. He brought us up into a higher law. The law of life in Christ Jesus. The law that is not subject to sin and death.
What is required for us to experience this higher law of living?
We have to live in a different place by faith. The natural man we reckoned dead with Jesus on the cross. It was crucified there with Him and in Him and buried in the earth. That former man we used to identify with ourselves, is no longer. He’s dead.
If we become identified with Christ in His death and burial we have also become identified with Him in His resurrection and ascension. We have been raised up a new creation, new creatures in Christ, no longer identified with the old self man that was subject to the law of sin and death and lived in the condemnation of it. Now we have been set free to live in the dimension of Spirit. Our location has changed. Ephesians 2:4-6 says, ” But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…” We are heavenly kids, living out of a heavenly realm because we walk by the Spirit of God and no longer after the dependency and reliance upon the flesh. Outwardly, nothing may look different, but inwardly we have just gone to whole other dimension and place. Romans 8 is teaching us that out of this place we have victory over sin and death, because “by the Spirit” we put to death the deeds and the motions of sin that still want to operate in the body. As we abide in that place of Spirit we operate out of that higher law of Christ.
The enemy is always trying to rob that reality and truth from us. He is always working to steal back the identity you have in Christ Jesus. This is why it is imperative that you live each day in the Spirit, with your eyes fixed upon Jesus. Always look into the likeness of what you are becoming, not what you came from. We can’t look back. We can only look forward, pressing into Him who is our life, our liberty and freedom from sin and death.

Blessings,
kent

Heaven’s Ascent

October 8, 2012

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.

Heaven’s Ascent

My spirit lays hold,
the hand of God in Christ.
Though earthly bands restrain,
my heavenly enterprise.
“Don’t let go,” He speaks,
“As I loose the bands of natural law.
Look upon My presence ,
in wonder and in awe.
See that for liberty,
Christ has set you free.
Earthen self has died with Christ,
there on the cross of Calvary.
You, though buried in sin,
have been risen with Christ again.
You have resurrected in His life,
Your spirit to ascend.
Now My Spirit in yours,
Now identified with Me.
The law of the Spirit of Life,
Has come in to set you free.”

“Though you may feel at times,
through your body that earthly pull.
I am the Lord that sits on the throne,
You now live in My power and rule.
You reign on high with Me,
in Christ your king,
From that position in heaven,
His authority you bring,
To have authority over that former man,
To live in Christ and carry forth His plan.
By His grace, a new creation be,
To bring to creation His liberty.
You are a son through that second birth;
Heaven born, now acknowledge your worth.
Be in Christ, who you are called to be,
A royal priesthood born to set men free.”

Kent Stuck

Blessings,
kent

Spiritual

October 4, 2012

Romans 8:5-17
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.g 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.

Spiritual

Being spiritual is not how mystical, religious or how much you know about God. It is living out in the earth the relationship you have with God in heaven. It is His kingdom come and His will being done in these earthen vessels as it is in heaven through the power of the love and relationship we have with Him. It is when we have lost our identity in His and our desire is only to express Him.
We know that through the Word we are a three-part being, a trichotomy of body, soul and spirit. Before Adam’s fall, he lived out of his spirit where he lived in relationship and communion with God. In the center of that garden was the tree of life. That tree of life we know today as Christ Jesus. As we abide in Him, living in spiritual communion and relationship with Him we are partaking of the Tree if Life, we are living both into and out of Christ. In that place we live out of the direction of the Holy Spirit as we are identified with the new creation man, which is a spiritual man abiding in that original state of communion and relationship with God.
The soul speaks to our mind, will and emotion and our spirit is in the deepest part of our soul. If our soul makes the decision to live independent and self-sufficient of the spirit that has been quickened and made alive in Christ, then we are in effect partaking of that other tree in the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Romans 8 is making the distinction here about which identity we are living out of. The soul woman in us, apart from and unsubmitted to the spirit husband, that is subject to Christ in us, is the sinful nature. It is the soul expressing itself apart from subjection to the Spirit which now abides in our spirit.
The body becomes the vehicle and the instrument of expression to whichever is guiding and ruling it. It has its own cravings and appetites, but these are under the control of the soul, and the soul either is or is not under the control of the spirit. The spirit in us is our connection to the spiritual realm. It is what is made in the likeness of God who is Spirit (John 4:24).
The sinful nature is the soul out of God’s Spirit control. Its ways are death and without the Life that can be imparted into it through our spirit, that is given and submitted to God, it will die.
The Spirit of Christ in us is life. A life that is yielded, receptive and submitted to His Spirit will receive His life into its being. The soul then finds its identity no longer in self -expression, living to it own desires, but it reckons itself dead, nailed to the Cross of Christ. As the soul experiences this death and burial, it also experiences His like resurrection, being quickened and made alive by the Spirit of God. No longer to live in its former identity, subject to the law of sin and death, but made alive in Christ, its new identity, that is might live out of the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. It is no longer subject to its own or old ways, it is now only subject to Christ. Through the power of that Life, the old life of sin and death is swallowed up in Life through Christ Jesus, that came to abide in us, as we abide in Him. We begin living out of that Tree of Life, which He is, and our soul begins to be like a garden transformed from the one that was overgrown and inhabited by weeds to one that is daily weeded, tended and cared for by the spirit, the renewed Adam in us. We are led by His Spirit as by that same Spirit we put to death the weeds or the former deeds of the flesh. We no longer live in the terror or fear of judgement, but we cry, “Abba, Father” because now that we are led by the Spirit of God in the identity with Christ, we are the sons of God, because we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. If we are willing lose out former self and walk in the same way of suffering that He walked then we also will share in His glory.
A spiritual life then is a life that lives out of the Vine of Christ to whom it is intimately and intricately interwoven into. They are two lives made one. Our identity is now to be the expression, both through the soul and the body of Him who indwells our spirit. We are spiritual because we live by the Spirit and our obligation is no longer to that former state of the soul, but only in obedience and reliance on Him who is our Life. We are now His expression, living for His glory and not our own.

Blessings,
kent

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