Setting the Prisoners Free

December 31, 2014

Setting the Prisoners Free

Zechariah 9:11-12
As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
12 Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

This passage of scripture deals with the ushering in of the spiritual kingship and lordship of Jesus. His was not the outward kingdom that so many looked for, but His kingdom was one that was established in the hearts and souls of the men and women that would believe upon Him. Through the blood of His covenant Christ has come into our hearts to be our Lord, our salvation and our fortress.
While we have experienced the liberation of our spirits, our souls have remained the battleground of our will and desires coming into conformity and submission to the lordship of Christ. All through the Old Testament and into the New we see the warring of flesh and spirit in the midst of God’s people. We see the dealings of God when the flesh went unchecked and how it led to perversity and sin. God would warn, but the will of the flesh made for deaf ears and a hardened heart. So often it took the severity of God to bring His people back to repentance. We are no different today. We all have struggled with sin and its strongholds in our lives. No doubt we have often cried out to God to deliver us from our ungodly and impure ways. We have experienced being the prisoner of that waterless pit which is like a well without water. Instead of drinking from the wells of salvation we are experiencing the parched emptiness and life void we experience in that place where we have been a prisoner to our sin. How many times have we cried out in our weakness as we have sought to climb out of the slimy pit of our despairing ways only to slide back down again? In our spirits we know it is not what we want to be, we know it is not God’s highest or best for us and we know that it is void of the Spirit and Life of God and yet we still feel a prisoner to it.
The good news that the Lord is speaking here is don’t give up and don’t despair; the Lord has not given up on you and me. He will not forever leave us to our prison, but He says, “Return to the fortress”. You are not a prisoner of hopelessness and despair, but a prisoner of hope. Paul makes this cry in 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.”
Doesn’t Paul describe himself as a prisoner in this passage? And we can all relate with where he is coming from. Yet he is a prisoner of hope in the midst of his despair. He sees, as we must, our hope, our anchor and our fortress in Christ.
Joseph was thrown into a waterless pit by his jealous brothers and then sold into slavery. Joseph had nothing but the dream, the destiny and the hope that God had placed inside of him. How many times he must have longed for and cried out to God for his deliverance and freedom, yet things didn’t get better they only got worst. Joseph may have been a prisoner outwardly, but inwardly through faithfulness and a right spirit he was the Lord’s freeman. He remained a prisoner of hope until one day the Lord brought him forth out of the prison and into the palace. It was a day of double portion blessing. He not only gained his freedom, but he came out of prison to reign.
If we have become discouraged by the state of our life, our growth and seeming immaturity in Christ, never be a prisoner without hope. We keep returning to our fortress, which is Christ in us, our hope of glory. His blood covenant has made a promise to deliver us from this body of sin and death. ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ Never succumb to your sin and fleshly weaknesses even though you may stumble in them. Never depart from the hope you have in Christ to bring you out of the waterless pit of your sin struggles. Continually turn to your fortress, identify with who you are in Christ and know that His blood covenant will bring you through and bring you out. Hold fast that you my see your double portion blessing.

Blessings,
#kent

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

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