Newness of Life

I have a dry-erase board in my bedroom closet that has this verse paraphrased:

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Galatians 5:25

The fifth chapter of Galatians gives a vivid word picture of one that walks in the Holy Spirit and one that walks in sinful flesh.  There is abundant and delicious fruit that sprouts from a life filled with the Holy Spirit---love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  The opposite picture is true for lives that are filled with self and fleshy desires and this path leads to destruction.  Those choosing this path will not inherit the kingdom of God.

For all who profess Jesus as Lord and Savior, there is an old way of living and a new way.  Our dead hearts led the old way; our resurrected hearts are the reason we can have a newness of life, one that walks step by step through the power of the Holy Spirit.

In Romans 6, the word picture is also a vivid one:

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

To walk in the Spirit, and no longer in our flesh, we must understand that our flesh is considered dead.  We are no longer that person; she is dead.  Dead to being led by my sinful desires, dead to being identified by those sins, dead to rejecting God's ways and following my own.

So...if our "old man" is dead, why do we still carry that stinky thing around?

How many times have we described ourselves, or heard other women describe themselves, by their sins?  "Oh, I'm just a worrier."  "My grandfather was quick-tempered, my father was quick-tempered, so am I.  It just runs in the family."  It's even considered compassionate and loving these days to call those who have same-sex desires but also profess Christ, as "gay Christians".  WHAT?!?!

And such WERE some of you.  But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6: 11

To walk in the newness of life that comes from the Holy Spirit who abides in us, may we never identify ourselves as that former, now dead, person who walked in the flesh.  Yes, we may struggle with those sinful fleshy desires.  Yes, we must fight them until the day we die.  But, may we never identify ourselves by those ever again.

After a morbid online search, I learned the fines and jail time associated with digging up a dead body.  It was gross enough to just search for that information, let alone imagine doing such a thing.  And, yet, don't we dig up our dead selves each time we choose to walk in our flesh?  Each time we identify ourselves as our former sin-driven, God-rejecting selves?

Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6: 11

Walk in the newness of life that has been given to us abundantly through Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.  Do not let sin have reign over you any longer.  Trust that God is at work in you conforming you more into the image of His Son, Jesus, and that your "old you" isn't even recognizable any longer.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!                           1 Corinthians 15: 57

Love, Wendy