LIVING BY THE SPIRIT

Posted by izonprize


http://www.pb.org/pbdocs/works.html

This is a very well written article.  After taking it to heart (not as to salvation, which we have received already by grace alone), but as to living out the Christian life now, as pertains to whatever besetting sin or struggle or trial we face.  As Paul said, in Galatians 3:1-3, Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Believing faith is an assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another and if mixed with any act of our own, nullifies faith alone.  It is an assent of the mind, a change of thought.
As the article states, can a DEAD MAN do ANYTHING or ANY ACT to receive life? No.
Even the free gift of eternal life is not something a dead person can tangibly open.  It is just to be received by mental assent.  When you are dead, you can't move.  You can't act. 
It is trusting totally in another to do the opening for you.  To pour the gift of eternal life into the new heart that God provides to the person.  It is all from God.  Our mind, thoughts, turn to truth, trust, belief, faith as a mental assent.  God does ALL the action.  When we move to do ANYTHING in an ACTION, we have removed the all of grace clause from the Scripture Ephesians 2:8-9 For you have been saved by grace, through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  A dead person (dead in their sins) cannot move at all.  He is dead.  Period.  Does this mean that after salvation a man will not "work" or "act" on his mental assent? No.  In fact, once alive, he can't help but move and act and work.  It will be in his new nature to do so.  But, that body does not move or act or work from flesh, because the flesh is still dead.  IT is the SPIRIT that lives and acts and works and moves in the new creature.  Any act, work, activity done in the flesh is not a work of the spirit.  The flesh meaning the mind that is not renewed (Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect).  When I received the work of Christ on the cross, it was a mental assent.  I did no work at all.  I mentally agreed with Ephesians 2:8-9.  I was DEAD.  My mind was alive.  We are eternal creatures.  When I had a near-death experience in a hospital in Anchorage in 1991, I had absolutely no feeling in my flesh or body.  But my mind was still thinking and praying.  Although my mind was alive, my body was dead.  This is the same with salvation.  We consider our flesh as dead but our mind can still think.  We mentally agree, assent, believe, trust, have faith, that what Christ did, His work, was totally sufficient.  When I was near-death, my body could do NOTHING to move itself to life.  Only Christ could bring me to life again.  As I mentally prayed, and believed, He quickened me back to life in my mortal body.  It was all His action and none of my own.  I just mentally agreed with Him that I can do nothing and He would need to do all.  That was it.  After salvation, now I must live in the same way. (Romans 7:4-6 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.  For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.  But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.) Mentally assenting that I, in my flesh, in my own strength, can do nothing.  He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).  As He increases, I live, I move, I act, but it is not me.  It is Him in me moving, acting, living. Ezekiel 36:25-27  I pray your mind clicks like mine has in this way.  It is such freedom.  Jesus said, Greater works will you do than these (that I have done in your presence), because I go to the Father and will send back the Holy Spirit to live within each of you.  It is not by might, nor by power nor by any act of my own flesh, but by the SPIRIT of the living God that lives within us that does life through us.  God bless you.

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