Part 3 – His Work Within Us
The Lord is working in us, sanctifying us through His Spirit’s use of His Word to immerse us in His truth of the Cross.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13 (KJV)
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
As the Lord has worked in me, I’ve become more and more repulsed by the emptiness of ‘sin,’ uncomfortable with it in my life. I know I have a long way to go and won’t express His righteousness that is in me… until heaven. Still, I want to be a clean vessel, one that’s overflowing with His Spirit, shedding His love abroad in my heart… toward others.
Our foe is the “Sin (nature) in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3), that evil nature that is still ever-present within us as “sin” in our body “members” (Rom. 7:18). This will be so long as we live in these corruptible bodies of flesh. While we delight after the rightness of the the moral law of God, Sin is ever working trying to bring us into subjection to “the Law” of ‘religious performance’ and the failure it inevitably brings, if not utter ruin. Of course, you know, if you’ve read my writings at all, we are “not under the Law, but UNDER GRACE” (Rom. 6:14). How is that? Jesus was born under the Law (Gal. 4:4) and we in Him died under the Law with Him when He died as “us as” (cf. Gal 2:19). Therefore, Paul could say say we’ve died to “the Law” (Gal. 2:19) The “Law” does not apply to us during today’s age of “the dispensation of the grace of God.”
The Law issue is a key too of Satan as it ‘is the power of sin.’ “The sting of death is sin; and the strength [Gk. dunamis, dynamite power) of sin is the law.” (1 Cor. 15:56). Sin’s works by use of “the Law” is to prompt us to fail and sin … and bring condemnation upon us, driving a wedge between us and our true identity in Christ. Thus, Paul writes;
“sin shall not have dominion over you: for [because] ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk … after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1)
Thankfully, under God’s ‘pure grace,’ the Lord no longer takes account of our incidental falls to sinning, while we are learning truth and learning to walk by faith… trusting the Cross-work of Jesus and now having the indwelling “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” as our life.
“5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his Faith Is Counted for Righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God Imputeth Righteousness Without Works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute (count) sin.” Romans 4:5-8
The grace of God makes us “accepted in the beloved,” based solely upon faith in the Crosswork of Jesus for us.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Rom. 5:1
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Eph. 1:6
But the Devil still seeks to fill our hearts and minds with the evil thoughts of the “mind of the flesh.” The battlefield is in our “mind,” the very mind with which we are to serve Christ. It can be very difficult to cast down the imaginations that are presented unto us … but we can do this… when we learn of and rest in the grace truths that free us and thereby permits us to dismiss those tempting, fearful, and accusing thoughts as soon as they are recognized.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:12-15 (James wrote this to those of Israel “scattered abroad” (James 1:1)
Over the years I’ve become more sensitive to sin within me as I note that sin is always trying to lead me by the “mind the flesh.”
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit (mind) the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally (flesh) minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Rom. 8:5-6
We are not to be empty-headed, but to have our mind subliminally set in accord with Him. An unfilled mind is an easy target of the enemy. We must learn to deal with intrusive thoughts that come to us; outwardly provoked by sight or inwardly provoked by Sin’s “fiery darts” (Eph. 6:16), whereby I’ve been urged to look aside only to see a barely dressed woman who is alluring to the eye. I now respond by averting my eyes and turning my heart’s mind away by; bringing scripture to mind, or turning to and singing hymns unto our Lord, thanking Him that I am ‘forever sealed in Him’… instead of buying into of ‘Sin’s lying attractions.’ I now recognize this evil inner ‘instinct’ for what it really is; it is Sin working to bring me under Satan’s lying inducements. Paul tells us we can “mortify the deeds of the flesh” (Rom. 10:13) by the Spirit.
He is able to “deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24). I now try to listen to the Lord as my inner guide, often warning, ‘No, don’t go there’ in body, or with your eyes. I look to the day of my full deliverance from the presence of “Sin in the flesh,” exchanging my “corruptible body” for one that’s glorious; then not only able to stand in His presence, but also serve him unobstructed and effortlessly in “the heavenly places.”
All serious believers truly desire, more than anything in life, to submit their self-soul to union with “the Spirit of the Lord” within … having Him walk in us as we walk in union with Him.”
Paul prayed: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:” Eph. 1:17
I hope by now you see that we grow progressively as we are more and more taken by His great unconditional love… winning our hearts and minds. We grow to abide in His peace that fills our hearts and ‘minds.’ We press on as Paul once said; “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection” in the fuller ways that He has for me … as I die to self-serving… to be in the daily service of Him who died … that I might have His life.