Fundamentals Of Victorious Christian Living Part 23

A Christian should feel bad when they commit an act of sin. Their nature has been changed but not their programming. Paul called the process of reprogramming “renewing of the mind” (Romans 12:1-2).

We feel bad when we sin as a result of acting on our old programming in a way that is opposite of our new nature. This new nature is identical to Jesus in this world (1 John 4:17) and so any unrighteous acts that we commit will cause us to feel bad.

Many Christians feel like they are on a rollercoaster. They struggle to break free of sin but seem to be unable. One day everything is  great and they are living for Jesus but the next they fall back into an old habit. This is a continuous cycle in many Christians lives that exists because they lack revelation of their position in Christ Jesus.

Our old sin nature is dead. This happened the moment we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We will not see resurrection power flowing in our lives as a result until our minds are renewed with the Word of God.

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Romans 6:9

I have never met a Christian who does not believe that death was unable to hold Jesus in its grips. We pretty much are in one hundred percent agreement that death does not have “dominion” over him. How many of us realize that the same is true for every Christian?

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:5

Paul exhorted his readers to have the same mindset as Jesus had. We are supposed to think just like He did. This will only be possible if we are spending time on a daily basis giving careful and considerate thought to God’s Word!

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.
1 Peter 4:1

Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection were for us to be restored to relationship with God. Everything He suffered then was for our benefit! He suffered for our sin to enable us to enjoy His righteousness!

Peter tells us that Jesus suffered for us and links this suffering to an exhortation for us to think like Jesus thinks. This is similar to Paul’s exhortation for us to have the mind of Christ.

…for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.

Religious tradition tells us that Peter was instructing us to suffer the same Jesus did. Some have even taken this to the extreme of allowing themselves to be nailed to a cross so they could suffer just like Jesus did! There are even whole denominations that teach sickness, poverty, and other forms of lack or pain in our lives provide the only door to holiness. These teachings are totally contrary to Scripture!

Jesus was the one who suffered in the flesh. He submitted Himself briefly to sin and experienced God’s wrath and resulting punishment. This resulted in our being made free from its bondages to walk in His righteousness!

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21

Paul and Peter’s exhortations to think like Jesus were an encouragement to see ourselves free from the sin nature just as Jesus is free from it! This will require us to develop in a revelation of our position in Him.

That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

1 Peter 4:2

Every human being has been made free from the bondages of the sin nature! This is equally true for the Christian and non-Christian. The benefit of this freedom though cannot be enjoyed outside of Christ.

When I look at Scripture I do not see a differentiation between sin and sickness or poverty. Most people do but those things are a result of sin. 

We should hate sickness as much as we hate adultery! Many Christians would bristle at the thought of ever committing adultery. Most of these same people will not blink an eye at the thought of submitting to sickness because they view it as God’s will.

Can you imagine Jesus accepting pain in His body? I do not believe He would! He is not sitting in heaven suffering with aches, pains, or poverty.

Let’s step back for a moment and consider a situation in my own life. Several years ago a lump developed on my forehead just above my right eye. God did not put it there. It grew but He did not make it grow. 

As the lump grew from a small bump to almost the size of a golf ball I had a choice to accept as something from God or to fight it. I chose to fight. This started with spending time spending time in prayer listening for direction.

The Holy Spirit reminded me of a saying I had heard years earlier. This said that the natural and supernatural working together make an explosive force for God. He directed me to see a doctor. 

I followed the Spirit’s direction and scheduled an appointment. This is where most people seem to miss it. They schedule the appointment and then ask for direction. We should always seek Him first. He is faithful and will lead us in the right direction if we will seek Him.

The doctor scheduled a biopsy. This was done and he asked for me to come to his office for a review of the results. They showed that the lump was a malignant melanoma. I was told that aggressive treatment would provide six months of life.

A choice had to be made. It was not an easy one. The doctor had spoken a death sentence over my life. Many have been in a similar situation but in no case is God the source of the diagnosis!

I went back to the prayer closet for direction. The Holy Spirit directed me to a series of messages on healing. There were twenty one messages. He directed me to listen to each one and spend time meditating on their truths. 

Over the next twelve I listened to each message at least one hundred times and hand wrote each word for word. This led to a revelation of healing that drove the cancer out of my body!

This is an example of the Christian fight. God did not put the melanoma on my head and it was never His will for it to be there. I did not go back to the doctor because the Holy Spirit directed me not to. 

There is a fine line between faith and foolishness in a situation like this. We must be clear of the Holy Spirit’s direction. This requires us to spend time listening when our lives are not on the line. He will direct us in matters as simple as choosing which shirt to wear if we will look to Him.

We are supposed to arm ourselves with the same mind that Jesus had. Do you think He would have accepted a malignant melanoma on His head? Absolutely not! He would have fought just as I did. 

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
John 5:19

Satan will attack us with sickness and disease. Many good people have died. It would be easy to say they did not have faith but this is not always the case. 

It is never God’s will for any person to die early from sickness. When they do we must not try and figure out why. The Spirit may show us but if He doesn’t then it may not be our business to know. 

In my experience most Christian suffering is a result of us not understanding righteousness. This is the reason God’s grace is not reigning and producing the desired result in their lives.

Most of us are unable to see beyond our physical nature. We “see” the lack or symptoms because our vision is focused on our bodies. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old and as strong as ever (Deuteronomy 34:7). He lived in a covenant that was inferior to the covenant we live in!

Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
Deuteronomy 33:25

We should not lose our strength as we age. This will require us to develop a revelation of righteousness and our position in Christ Jesus!

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