Over the last few weeks, we have looked at the topic of revival and the need for believers in Christ to walk closely to the Holy Spirit, being sensitive to His leading and guidance. We looked at Paul the apostle’s thoughts on how to keep in step with the Spirit of God and gain victory over sin, self, and Satan. In his letter to the Romans, chapter six, Paul wrote that three things would help us in that endeavor: 1) Something we must know, 2) Something we must consider, and 3) Something we must present. Yesterday, we looked at Something we must know, so let's dive in on the other two:
2) Something We Must Consider or Count on
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires (Romans 6:11-12).
The word “consider or count,” depending on your English translation, is an accounting term that means calculating or counting on something. To count yourself dead is a very deliberate phrase to indicate the truth that believers are dead to sin's mastery over us. We are no longer slaves to sin since we have been bought with a price, the precious redeeming blood of Christ.
After a person becomes a Christian, there is still a battle that we go through. There is an inner war between our lower nature, which the Bible calls the flesh, and between the renewed inner life of our spirit that puts Christ and His Word first. The more you listen to and obey the spontaneous inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the more you will put to death the dictates of your lower nature. It all depends on who you have chosen to listen to and obey. Scripture tells us that God has called us to live an empowered life in step with the Spirit. “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25 NIV). The ESV translation puts the same Scripture in terms of keeping in step with the Spirit: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” The picture is of an army marching or fighting in unison together. To maintain rank, each person needs to keep in step with the one to his right, and the man on the right keeps in step with the one in front. In that way, the whole regiment marches or fights without breaking ranks. We are to be in unison with the Holy Spirit, to say yes to the inner thoughts of the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will remind us what the Lord Jesus has spoken. In this way, God’s power will flow through the body of Christ as we maintain the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3). We no longer give obedience to the dictates of our lower nature.
3) Something We Must Present
13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:13-14).
Paul writes that we are to be conscious of what we say and do and bring our actions in line with the Holy Spirit. We are not to present our body as an instrument of unrighteousness but present ourselves to God. Our mind is the battlefield where the enemy meets us. It is there that he chooses first to wage his war, and it is there that we need to be ready for him. We present to God all we are, our mind, will, emotions, and physical being. However, it is in the mind where the battle is won or lost. Everything else will be affected by what we allow our thoughts to dwell on and the choices we make. That is why we are first to know, then consider, and present. When we are obedient to the Spirit, God will powerfully use us. Keith Thomas.
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