“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil.”
(Pro 1:32-33 NASB)
The soul of every sinner is the same. Yes, I’m talking about everyone, including we who have found Jesus Christ as our own Lord and Savior. We were sinners by nature and by birth.
We walked in the ways of the world. We lived in the ways of the world. Our life was flesh driven and self-centered. We sought pleasures to our own making. And we were locked in chains of darkness and did not even realize it.
This is why Paul said,
“Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Eph2:3
The apostle is saying that it doesn’t matter if we were of a Jewish or a Gentile background. We all had the same kind of souls, the soul of sinners.
David understood this issue. He said,
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” Psa51:5
David was speaking of his natural life.
Paul takes it further;
“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” Rom7:25
Both David and Paul knew the answer. David looked ahead and saw the resurrection of Christ. This is why he said,
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; who shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?” Psa27:1
David had seen the beauty of the Lord. He saw Jesus of the cross. He saw Jesus of resurrected glory.
What of the Christian soul?
There is a certain wonder that takes place when a person is born of heaven. It is almost too wondrous for words. Peter said that it is joy, inexpressible, and full of glory.
When a person is born again a number of things happens. First the Christian is given a Christ like nature. The Christian becomes a spiritual being. Where there was darkness, there is now light. Where there was endless searching for fulfillment, the fulfillment has arrived. Jesus completes our life. That missing part is no longer missing. The search is over.
The Psalmist said it this way -
“The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.” Psalm16:5,6
Reshaped for life.
When a new believer first enters the realm of salvation, there is a burst of spiritual life. There is joy! There is peace! There is wonderment! Grace flows like a river. Then somewhere along the way something happens and this feeling of joy begins to wane. Some of the old sinful patterns try to reappear. What is happening!
It could be a number of things. Very often it is self-assertion. We are replacing the Spirit with the flesh.
Then there is the issue of truth. In the Scriptures, the term ‘truth’ does not refer simply to a doctrine. The Greek term is used in the new covenant for our experiencing the realities of Christ. Sometimes a Christian gets bogged down in legalism and letterism. Paul said the letter kills whereas the Spirit gives life.
What did Paul mean? It would seem that we need all the laws we can get! Not really. Paul understood the new covenant as well as it can be understood. He knew that every person who is truly born again is under the life supervision of the Holy Spirit. If we try to live for the Lord in our own strength we will surely find ourselves weakening.
The apostle said that he had found the secret to living a full life of victory. Listen:
“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil4:12,13)
The lesson is simple – It is the Spirit of God who births us, seals us, tutors us, educates us, places us where we need to be, refreshes us, turns our trials into victories, helps us escape bad teachings, keeps the glory of Jesus before us, and many such things. Our final presentation in heaven is a thing of the Spirit.
In the new covenant this all centers on sonship. Paul said,
“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” Gal4:6
Our relationship with the Father is not that of a servant. We are sons and daughters of the living God. Angels know the Divine seal upon God’s children. And so our inward life is being reshaped by the Spirit of God.
Living Out Our Life in Christ
Yes, the believer can very well find himself drifting back into old life styles. This does not mean that he isn’t saved. What it means is that ‘the’ lesson is yet to be learned. This lesson will be taught to the believer under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It often comes through necessary trials in the believer’s life. (Trials are not punishments from God. They are designed to give true purpose in our walk with Him.)
The point is that the life that Jesus came to give us is unlike anything the world has ever known. We are heavenly born people in earthly bodies. This is why we often struggle within ourselves. This is also why true believer’s carry in themselves a longing for their final transformation. And this is why we can only be happy when we are living a Spirit-filled life.
Paul speaks to this in saying,
“As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have born the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1Co15:48,49)
The second lesson to learn is that we actually carry in us the life and power of Jesus. We can draw on His life and on His power. We reaffirm our life on a daily basis by remembering our unique role on planet earth. We also affirm our life in Christ when we learn our need to gather as the people of God. It is in our gatherings we share a very unique promise of God’s presence.
And so the question remains, ‘Are we having fun yet?’ You can decide this for yourself. It really depends on whose camp you are in.
Here is a song that will bless you – ‘I Can’t Even Walk,’ by Jessy Dixon, David Phelps, and Guy Penrod.
Love you in Christ,