Grace, law

The Jurisdiction of the Law

The law was not designed to catch someone who has not turned their (evil) intentions into actions. It has to wait. So, it was possible to escape the law. David wanted to kill Uriah (you know the story). He didn’t have to do it directly. He arranged for those who will do it on his behalf. Left to the law, David didn’t kill Uriah; Joab and his men did by withdrawing from him at the heat of the battle. (Even that can be contested by shrewd lawyers in multiple ways).
But that was not the end of the story. What the law could not do, the Owner of the law did. God spoke through Nathan, the seer, not by invoking the law, but by dealing with a matter that the law was not equipped to address: His heart. Killing Uriah was a rather climactic action based on a series of previously activated set of actions. The following is a suggested detail of the beginning and progress of David’s action:
  1. David neglected his responsibility as the King to go to war at the time of war.
  2. He saw another man’s wife unclad in the bath while he was “killing” time.
  3. He continued to look on at that which was not meant for his eyes.
  4. He conceived intercourse with her in his heart.
  5. He sent his men to get her for him.
  6. He went in unto her.
  7. He then realizes that it was another man’s wife (not as if he didn’t know but lust had blinded him and dulled his spiritual sensitivity).
  8. He became worried of being caught as an offender by the law.
  9. He withdrew Uriah from the ongoing battle to conceal his sin. To his chagrin, Uriah turned him down, showing himself a better man than he.
  10. He sent him away with his death warrant because Uriah was too loyal to fear for his life.
  11. Uriah was killed.
These were the 11 likely chain of reactions. Using this calculations, he had done 10 evil things already before the law could find something to prosecute. Until the 11th action (which is even shrouded in mystery, except that God revealed it through the prophet), the law could not tangibly identify David’s offense. There was no evidence, as they say in law, except the letter sent to Joab, which would have been burnt, leaving the “forensic experts” with nothing to do.
When David was confronted with his sin, I can imagine all these 10 prior actions before the final 11th punching him in his heart, and he broke down before the LORD in repentance. It was not the law that did that job, it was the LORD of the law. The LORD dealt with the heart of the matter. But left to the law, it would have only pronounced him guilty of murder and he would have find a way to win the case, being the king, with the best of religious scholars and lawyers at his disposal, who can interpret the law in his favour.
The law is not bad, it is good; yet it is limited as an external document, which it is, when God wrote on the tablets of stones (Exodus 31:

18, 34:1).

However, God promised in the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:7-13, 10:16-17) to write the law inside the heart of men. This is possible because God came in human flesh to obey the law and was never caught as an offender (John 14:30, Hebrews 4:15). As He died on the cross, the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom, signaling the softening and opening of the heart of man for the King of glory to come in. To those who come to Him and believe, He comes into their heart to seat as King over their desires and High Priest over their weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).
As King, He rules our passions; and as High Priest, He writes the law of His faithful LIFE on our hearts. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4)

Photo Credit: Children’s Church on WordPress

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Also, materials used from other sources does not necessarily imply endorsement. However, we are “endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” with ALL believers (Ephesians 4:3).

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Grace, law

The Complementariness of the Two Covenants

We must admit our limitations in understanding and appropriating the New Covenant, apart from the grace of God. What Grace is to the New Covenant is what Law is to the Old Covenant. The principles and purposes of God did not change because of the change in covenant. The Law God gave Israel is still the will of God in a general sense for mankind.
The Law (mainly the ten commandments) under the Old Covenant was resolved into one application with two expressions shortly before the New Covenant commenced: Love God and Love your neighbour (Matthew 22:37-40). “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (v.40). This is the heart of the entire law which becomes the focus of the human heart after that heart has been transformed – changed from a hard heart to a soft heart. And since this transformation was not available under the provisions of the Old Covenant, except for information about our sinful condition, God made a New Covenant that simply resolves the problem – God puts the law inside the heart so that there will be both a willingness and ability to obey.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Hebrews 8:7-8, 10
What then changed when God inaugurated the New Covenant?
Among other things, one keynote of the New Covenant is the change of priesthood that administers the Covenant. The priesthood itself represents the “life” that accompanies the Covenant. The sons of Levi were the priests under the Old Covenant, and the keynote of their lives is weakness. They themselves were not free from sin, which is the common problem of man. Therefore, as good as the Law of God, and the Covenant that brought it into effect was, the weakness of the priests themselves and the repeated sacrifice for sin became the common feature of life under the Old Covenant (Hebrews 10:1-4,11).
19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did (which is the New Covenant); by the which we draw nigh unto God.
23 And they truly were many priests (in the Old Covenant), because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death (lack of life that triumphs over sin and doesn’t die): Hebrews 7:19, 23 (emphasis & explanations mine)
The Law diagnoses the human condition
Let us bear in mind that the Law itself was given to reveal our problem. It was a sentence and confirmation of sin upon the entire human race. “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (Galatians 3:22). The law is to confirm heaven’s position over the condition of man. There is no doubt here, all are concluded under sin. Everyone is found guilty of sin (Romans 3:19). This is done so that man can realize the reason for his predicaments.
After exhausting the options of psychiatry and psychotherapy, the very hidden cause, the first cause, behind all the wickedness, evil, lust, greed, avarice, corruption, jealousy, hypocrisy et al is sin. Unless we admit our sinfulness, we cannot make use of the divine remedy for our malady. This is the goal of the Old Covenant: to reveal the problem so that we can apply the appropriate solution.
The doctor diagnoses the patient first and then proffers the appropriate solution. Not knowing the cause of an illness is in itself a greater problem that can lead the sufferer to an earlier grave. Hence, the Law reveals our common problem as humans. Regardless of our diversities – racially, educationally, positionally, financially – all our peculiar ways of (mis-) behaviours come from one thing – sin.
The Law gives concrete evidence of our inherent sinfulness
Even though that is already self-evident in the Scriptures before the advent of the Law, God being just still fulfilled all righteousness by turning His principles into a legal document and allowed an entire dispensation for mankind to discover for itself its own depravity. So that man will be inexcusable before God, He showed man what to do (i.e. how to live), and it was soon clear that eating of that old tree of knowledge of good and evil, knowing right from wrong, is not the answer to the problem of evil.

The Law exposes the secret wickedness of our hearts

In fact, this knowledge has only made man selective and calculative such that we can behave ourselves when it is to our own advantage, and if otherwise, we can easily change our acts altogether. Hence, we realize that the tree of knowledge is not as helpful as we had imagined. It is a tree of options to the heart that is yet hard and untouched by the grace of God.
We can even use good things and good actions for questionable purposes, since the intention is hidden away in our hearts. For instance, as good as it is to give to those in need, there are all manner of premeditated evil that could accompany such “generosity”, anything between mildly controlling people’s choices to outright purchase of their conscience. A noble deed indeed, but corrupted by a well-concealed vice.
All of these, although exposed by the Law, remain unrestrained, not necessarily because man loves it so (although that is a very high possibility), but because he doesn’t know what to do to end it. This is the dilemma of everyman who has experienced the Old Covenant. (NOTE: There is a sense in which everyone goes through the Old Covenant (Law) first before entering into the New Covenant (Grace), because unless we experience (not just read about) the weakness of our human nature to obey God, we cannot have a proper valuation of the Grace of God).
Grace is the cure
And this is the very thing the Grace of God has been given for in the New Covenant to resolve in our lives. Therefore, that which is lacking in the Old Covenant is what is supplied in the New. Whereas the Law informs us only the Grace of God transforms us. Although, the Law offers an accurate diagnoses, that in itself does not treat the problem.
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
Those are two separate Covenants and Dispensations. However, we notice that what was the Law with Moses became Truth with our LORD Jesus Christ. Which means when we embrace the New Covenant, the Grace of God begins to work in us and the Law which alone can only bring us death (Romans 7:9) is converted to Truth which quickens us, makes us alive and keeps us from (spiritual) death. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1) Hallelujah!

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Also, materials used from other sources does not imply endorsement. However, we are “endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” with ALL believers (Ephesians 4:3).

Picture Credit: kcm.org

Life Mastery, Mystery

Vanity of Vanities

“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.” Viktor E. Frankl, Austrian Neurologist, Survivor of the Holocaust & Author of Man’s Search for Meaning.
After years of much learning through observation, research and experimentation, the wisest king who ever lived made a simple yet troubling conclusion on life: “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12:8). Unlike Frankl, this is not the musings of a suffering sage, this is the wisdom of a pleasure-seeking monarch. Solomon lived in a time of peace and he gave expression to whatever desire he had. Apart from being the king of Israel, he built such an impeccable organization that drew the attention of distant civilizations, that came en masse to witness the rarity of his intelligence, and his palace became a museum of sort for political excursions.
Hence, it is neither poverty nor fatality that made Solomon to pen this brutally candid treatise on the meaninglessness that chokes all of life and sucks out any kind of enduring pleasure or fulfilment in it. This was a man in his right senses. Fully engaged in the business of steering a kingdom and perhaps producing blueprints for political advancement, yet his innermost being could not dismiss a deep-seated dissatisfaction he had with life.
Vanity or meaninglessness is an inescapable reality that challenges your experience of life, regardless of your position, status, education, religion, race, culture etc. It seems to me that once you are born into this world, the question of meaning begins to confront you at some point in life and it never leaves you until you settle it. Usually, when this inner craving for meaning begins, we misrepresent it as a desire for something we don’t have like a job, house, car, spouse, children, vacation, wealth, position, education, status and so on.
Your experience of life by now, should have proven you wrong except that you will not learn that lesson with one or a few instances in your own experience. You will maintain that you are feeling like that because there is something else that you don’t have. And when you get that thing, you will be excited! Your dream is coming to pass. But “…oh no, the feeling is back!” The dream becomes a nightmare. “Why am I feeling like this in spite of having ‘this and that’?
You feel like that because you think the things you get in life (as listed previously) are the producers of joy and fulfilment (the two key indicators of meaning/purpose). Even as beautiful as positive relationships can be (which happens to be more satisfactory than personal achievements), that in themselves cannot clear the dark cloud of vanity that rests forcefully on the human spirit. There is something beyond this cloud, beyond this darkness that has the answer to the persistent tugging upon your heart, the struggle to understand life, even your own life, and perhaps to reconcile the paradoxes of life.
What is that thing?
Light. Not just enlightenment but divine illumination. The human soul has great potentialities and it does get some glimmers of light every once in a while. But the problem with that is, this light is not sufficient to clear the cloud of uncertainty and vanity off of your spirit. These kinds of lights are lights that helps you to make sense of life within the status quo or larger context of darkness. That’s like having a lit candle or torchlight to see your way in the house at night when there is no electricity. If there is power supply, then in the context of the house, there is no darkness, but what about outside the house? Even with the streetlights and all the lighting systems of modern and postmodern civilization, they do not deal with the larger darkness. They only take care of the immediate need for sight (vision) but does not change the night to day.
Philosophers, psychologists and scientists generally have some good things to say and have made great contributions to the experience of life but you must know that this is offering a little light in the larger context of darkness. Although, with these great disciplines, man has discovered a lot about himself and his environment, yet he has not resolved the mystery of his reason for being. The questions of “Who am I?” (identity), “Why am I here?” (purpose), “Where am I going?” (destiny) are questions that require a penetrating illumination from above the cloud of vanity that buffets man. When this illumination occurs, there is a link between heaven and earth, and a privileged “trafficking” will commence that totally shorts out the “vanity of vanities” that afflict mankind. The only thing that has penetrated this globalized sense of meaninglessness, and has pierced the unfortunate cloud of vanity upon humanity is the cross.
The cross of Jesus Christ, creating a permanent vertical link between you and heaven, that horizontally (instantly) goes into your past to deal with the hurts, painful memories, sufferings and adversity, removing its sting and poison from afflicting you in the present, and charts a course of destiny ahead of you that does not only meet your expectations but exceeds your longing for joy, fulfilment and purposefulness.

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.

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Life Mastery, Personal Growth

The Search for Meaning

The issue of what we are born to do has become one of the most puzzling challenges confronting mankind today, especially millennials. Many have turned to philosophy and psychology to make sense of life generally and to discover the meaning of their own lives personally. Although, this endeavour has elevated the thinking of many seekers, due to the discoveries and teachings of many great minds, most remain lost in the rhetoric of such profound ideas.
While meaning is advocated by deep thinking philosophers and well-behaved psychologist, the actual experience of meaning is spiritual; and you will find out that meaning that will pass the test of time does not come merely by good, credible and empirical information but through a process of heart transformation.
Why?
Information versus Transformation
“…the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6
Information, even good information, only usually engages the mind (the reasoning faculty) but the place for real change is the heart (the meaning faculty). The mind is the place of knowledge and we can know without using what we know. This precedence has already been set by Adam’s eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And since then, the default setting of the mind is to have information without necessarily applying it, especially when it has to do with deciding between right and wrong.
It takes much more than merely knowing what is right in a situation; it takes a regeneration to have the heart to actually choose the right cause even when it is not convenient.
Regeneration is a change of the life principle in the heart that Adam (being the head of the human race) instituted into the stream of human consciousness, so that there can be a restoration to God’s original intention. This is replaced with a new life principle from the Godman, Jesus Christ, who is the head of the redeemed race.
“Eschatologically and spiritually speaking, regeneration is a restoration of things to their original, pristine conditions.”
The Supremacy of Truth
The capacity to know truth is not lacking in human nature but the capacity to love and obey what is true is in short supply. If we must experience meaning/purpose, we must embrace TRUTH. Since meaning is a definite experience, Truth must never be compromised.
“This truth is the basis for real transformation from what you are now to what you ought to be or what you were designed/created/made to be.”
Therefore, truth is the first component of meaning. This may be a bitter pill to swallow for some. Truth is not relative. If truth, the very foundation of meaning, is relative; how then can we ever know for certain what we know?
In science, there are measurements that helps the scientist to establish reality or at least a version of reality. But the point is, reality was not arrived at arbitrarily; it was based on a standard of measurement. Also, meaning cannot be established arbitrarily.
The search for meaning must be based on what is fixed, absolute and immutable or else meaning will never be certain. Such a pseudo experience will keep changing with the fads and fashions/emphasis of the times. The first progress in your search for meaning is your appreciation for Truth (not as relative, but as absolute).
“Your word is forever, LORD; it is firmly established in heaven.” Psalm 119:89

ISV

“…the word of the Lord lasts forever.” 1 Peter 1:25 ISV
The discovery of meaning is not a philosophical journey; it is, for all intents and purposes, a spiritual journey.

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

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law

Understanding the Law as God’s Ways (not just God’s rules)

“He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.” Psalm 103:7

The Law is righteous. It is God’s unchanging standard. The prophets were inspired speakers of God’s Laws. The Law itself can be understood as Principles, Programmes and Purposes of God. Principles are the fixed ideas guiding the divine nature of God and all His works. Programmes are the various dispensations with their specific goals. Purposes are the eternal, unchanging counsel of the Father.
When we talk about the Law, we are not particularly speaking of the 10 commandments in Exodus 20 and 603 more in Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy that was given to Israel as a nation. These were not only moral codes but constitutional rules for the new nation of Israel. In this sense, the Law is limitedly used.
And it is this understanding of the Law that underwent a change in the New Covenant. Since it is not correct to transfer a constitution of God’s particular dealings with a constituency, Israel, into a rule for the nations (Gentiles) who will enter into the kingdom of God. This does not in anyway discount the strategic place Israel occupies in God’s eternal programme.
However, the Law as Israel knew it was a mixture of moral codes and governmental procedures. But when we look at how the Law is variously described in Scriptures, it will be clear that it is not the Law in that limited sense as we come to know it through Moses, but it is the Law in its essential context of divine order and standard. Before we try to describe the Law further, let us look at how it is described in the Scriptures to make sense of it.

‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. [8] The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. [9] The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. [10] More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. [11] Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11

When you look at the very many things we don’t have to do again because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the overriding of the New Covenant over the Old (Hebrews 8 & 10), it will be immediately clear to our hearts, that the Law is not primarily the codes that Israel knew. Those were limited to their own national experience. The Law is simply God’s ways. And what is God’s ways? It is the essence of instructions that each portion of Scriptures contain for our growth and learning that brings us up to the level of His LIFE.

We see David, a Prophet of God, gaining insight into the nature of the Law. He saw that the Law is perfect and it converts the soul, that is, it transforms into a life pleasing to the LORD. He described the Law in five other ways:
1. The Testimony of the Lord: it testifies of the Lord. That is, it bears the very nature of God. Wherever you find the Law, you have found a representation of the Lord. Which means each law testifies and expresses God. When the law is seen in a life as a lifestyle, it serves as a testimony of God’s presence, involvement and investment in that life.
2. The Statutes of the Lord: it shows the fixed nature of God and His ways. It is a governing decree divinely issued to establish God’s will in a matter. It is knowing God’s Will in a previously unclear matter.
3. The Commandment of the Lord: Specific directives given for our benefit. They are not advices. They are absolutes. They cannot be broken. You can only break yourself upon it.
4. The Fear of the Lord: God’s Word produces a genuine reverence for God in a life that is unmistakably sensed by others.
5. The Judgment of the Lord: It is God’s verdict. It should be your decision. No one can ever escape it. If you do not know the Law (God’s Will and Ways) as a way of life in this life, you will know it as a sentence in the next.
These are dimensions of the Law.
If you have understood the Law the way it was expressed in God’s Word, you will see that it is not amendable. Yet, it is so high that human ability by itself cannot reach it or fulfill it.
Hence, the first thing it achieves is to reveal our INABILITY to please God. The dwarfing, unsurpassable height of God’s Law puts all human efforts and ability to where they belong. No amount of reaching and struggling can reach it. The only result of striving by human effort is FAILING and FALLING.
Now, the fact that we are falling is not the fault of the Law. It is the fault of our inherited nature from Adam. The human nature that prides itself on its abilities and capacities must be disgraced before man can appreciate his need for help. Which is where grace comes in. Grace comes to those who realize their weaknesses and inability to please God (Romans 8:3, 8).
This does not nullify the Law; it actually serves the Law because it equips man to reach that previously unsurpassable height of God’s standard.

The Law is a revelation of God’s Ways that we are required to walk in, but we cannot walk in it unless we receive/accept the offer of God’s Grace in the New Covenant.

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” Hebrews 8:10

The Law is God’s expectations; Grace is God’s provision to help us meet His own expectations.

How do we receive this provision?

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

This grace is in Christ Jesus. Stop struggling to be good, righteous and obedient. Come to the LORD Jesus and He will take the struggle off of you. His Grace will take over from your agonizing labours and instantly transform you to a saint. It is “…Not by might, nor by power…” It is by the Spirit of Grace (Zechariah 4:6-7).

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Disclaimer: Using a quote or picture that mostly or fully represents what we have in mind does not imply agreement with or approval of a person’s general philosophy of life.

Picture Credit: Monergism

Grace, Life Mastery, Spirituality

Put on the New Man

“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:24
God has not done more for any man than others. He has offered Himself in the same abundant measure to all those who seek Him (John 10:10). Whenever it looks like a believer is struggling to grow, to express the New Life and to shun the old ways, it can only be one thing: Wanting to live the New Life while retaining their freedom of choice, i.e. the classical case of “spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”.
What is Freewill?
Freedom of choice is not necessarily bad. God gave it to us. It is the freedom to decide whom to serve and follow, what will be our fate in this life and eternity, as well as everything in between. Without this freewill, God cannot have children/sons; He can only have robots. Hence, freewill, in its original, uncontaminated state, is the freedom to choose what God wills. Adam lived in what we can call a duration of probation until he violated his freewill and it became freedom to sin rather than freedom to please God.
He would have been perfected if he had used his freewill to shun the tree of knowledge of good and evil and eat of the tree of Life that was not forbidden. Perfection, in this case, is a state of being beyond the possibility of sin because freewill has chosen the ultimate gift, the LIFE of God; therefore, the Life that is chosen becomes permanent. This is exactly the same way sin became permanent in human experience because of the wrong choice of life by the first Adam, until redemption brought a way of escape to humanity through the last Adam, Jesus Christ. Please read Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7, Romans 5:17, 1 Corinthians 15:45)

Freewill is not freedom to sin, because sin was not yet a possibility for man when God made him; rather, it is the freedom to please God.

Since the introduction of sin into the world, freewill exercises and expresses itself as a liberty to do “anything”, especially that which is forbidden. Nobody is able to master that tendency except they have come to New Life in Christ and have submitted that freewill to God as a living sacrifice. Only those who are yielding to the “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” can experience freewill as a freedom to please God, rather than pleasing oneself.
The spirit of the mind is the place of change
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind” Ephesians 4:22-23
We put off the former way of life by knowing that sin can no longer have dominion over us (Romans 6:11) and using our freewill to turn down every emotional appeal to report or return back to our favourite sins. Something must happen to the mind for the victory to hold in our practical experiences. “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind” Both in putting off the old and putting on the new, there must be a transformation in the mind. The mind has been used to a certain way of life and by the repetition of certain behaviours, we have taught ourselves to act and react in a very predictable way.
One of the meaning of the word “spirit” in that scripture is “mental disposition”. The spirit of the mind, therefore, is the behavioural direction of a person’s mind in any given situation. This is understandably set as a principle, a fixed way of working that our mind has been accustomed to. To change that, we must know that we already have comprehensive victory in Christ Jesus, and because of this, we can choose to live above sin, in newness of life. The next thing will be to change the patterns of our behaviours or the settings of our mind.

The spirit of the mind must be renewed or else every effort to live out the New Life will be sabotaged by the accustomed thoughts, feelings, attitudes and habits of your mind. This is what makes a person to know the Scriptures, quote it, pray and fast, and still end up falling into sin again.

Resetting the mind
Another scripture that speaks about the renewing of the mind is Romans 12:1-2, and it gives us a proper understanding of how this resetting can be done.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
The only way to deal with the old man is to present your bodies a living sacrifice. The old man is the man of sin that you received at birth from Adam (Psalm 51:5). This man can only sin. It cannot be improved or rehabilitated. That was why it was crucified with Jesus on the cross (Romans 6:6). You will understand that if you know that Jesus was not on the cross for Himself, but for us, because He was never a sinner (John 14:30, Hebrews 4:15).
Let’s look at Romans 6:6 briefly: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Once you know this, that the man that sins, that produces sin in you have been crucified with Jesus, then you need to know the reason why it was crucified. There are two “that”s in that scripture and we can summarize our conclusions thus: You must know that the reason why the “old man” was crucified is to (1) destroy the “body of sin” and (2) to take you out of the “civil service of sin”.
What is the body of sin?
It is the entire history you have with sin that has become a psychological complex. It is the recollection and memory of sin. This body of sin makes you to think that you are still enslaved to your peculiar sins. Meanwhile, it is just a memory but it can force itself into your thinking until you believe the lie that, that is still who you are. Remember, the old man is the sinner, and it has been finished on the cross. And it was so dealt with such that you can be armed to destroy the body of sin, and then live a life that is no longer subservient to sin in any way.
How do you destroy the body of sin?
That’s what the second part of Romans 12 is dealing with (in verse 2). The renewing of the mind is the resetting of the lifestyle of the redeemed man. It is the deliberate removal of ALL memory of sin from your mind until they are no longer the active agents of your behaviour. However, we remove these memories of sin by replacing them with promises of righteousness. This is a work of faith because the just (-ified) shall live by faith. You need to locate ALL that God says about you in Christ and let them dwell richly in you. Knowing and praying the promises of God is what makes you partake of the divine nature (righteousness) and elevate you above the corruptions that is in this world (2 Peter 1:4)

It is also a life time work that is focused on ONE kind of life, the LIFE of Jesus. The New Man we are putting on is created like God, that is, it is the very life of God installed into the created being called man (Genesis 1:27, 2:7, Romans 6:4-5). (NOTE: Always remember that God is the uncreated Creator)

How will you know that your mind is being renewed?
When you begin to prove the practicability of the will of God in your own life. When the will of God is no longer a demand you are seeing in the pages of Scriptures, but a living experience in your own life. So, what happens to your own freewill? It has been offered with your bodies (“bodies” meaning every part of your being) to God as a living sacrifice. Which means ,it has undergone death, the death of the experience of freewill as freedom to sin. And then it has been resurrected, the resurrection of freewill as freedom to please God.
“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” Romans 6:5
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

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