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  By Pastor Dennis Smith

Please visit Pastor Smith’s Website.

 Be Enlightened 

In short, whatever attitudes or behavior the Lord asks us to exhibit He will manifest in and through us if we choose to let Him and believe He will.  This requires us to be aware of the attitudes and behaviors God wants us to exhibit.  We find this instruction in the Word of God. Such sections as Christ’s Sermon on the Mount clearly reveals to us God’s will for us in many situations of life.

The Sermon on the Mount sets the standard very high; impossibly high for us to attain by our own efforts no matter how hard we try.  This standard will be met only as Christ lives out this standard through us.  Paul actually points this out in his letter to the Romans.

 

“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, in 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.” Romans 8:3-4 NIV

 

In these verses Paul tells us that it is impossible for sinful man to fulfill the righteous requirements of God’s law.  However, because Christ came in the flesh, obeyed the law perfectly and fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law He condemned sin breaking its power.  Therefore, through Christ the “righteous requirements of the law” can be “fully met in us” who do not yield to our sinful nature, but allow the Spirit to manifest obedience in us.

 

New Covenant Promise

 

What I am presenting in this chapter is how God fulfills the new covenant promise.  In the new covenant God says He will write His law on our hearts and minds (Hebrews 8:8-10).  Our part is to choose to allow Him to do it.  God foretold through the prophet Ezekiel that He would do this.

 

“Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:25-27

 

The New Testament confirms this promise in such texts as the following:

 

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

 

Note that it is God who “performs” this work.  Paul presents this same truth in his first letter to the Thessalonians.

 

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1Thessalonians 5:23-24

 

Again Paul is clear; it is God who does the sanctifying.  Our part is to choose to allow Him to perform that work within our spirit, soul and body.

 

Lighten Up

 

Every Christian who is not experiencing deliverance from temptation through Christ, but is trying to do it through their own efforts asking God to add His power to their efforts is not experiencing the “light burden” Jesus is referring to in Matthew 11:28-29.  Instead, their life is weighed down with frustration, bewilderment, and feelings of defeat.  Jesus calls us to come to Him with this burden.  If you learn how to do that you will find “rest,” and your walk with the Lord will become much “easier” and “lighter.”  Why; because Jesus is giving you His victory and you are resting in Him.

Before I came to personally understand and experience the reality of abiding in Christ and allowing Him to manifest Himself in and through me I did not understand these words of Christ.  For me the Christian life was a burden and obedience was not easy.  Once I came to understand and experience Christ’s abiding presence then I found His words to be true – “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  He offers the same abiding experience to all who believe in Him.

 

Stay in Touch

 

This kind of victory in Christ requires us to be in moment-by-moment communion with Him.  Remember what David wrote, “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved” (Psalm 16:8).  David knew the necessity of the Lord being “always before him.”  We must not let our communion with Jesus be broken.

We can also see that the victory Jesus is offering requires a moment-by-moment surrender to Him.  Whenever a temptation comes we must surrender it to Him no matter how much we have enjoyed yielding to it in the past.  Complete 100 percent surrender is the only way to complete 100 percent victory.

We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

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