ARE YOU A FOOLISH CHRISTIAN – Ray E Horton
Are you a foolish Christian? I was at one time, thinking that after being saved by grace, I could please God by doing good and trying really hard.
People in the church in Galatia were living that way, and Paul wrote to them: “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith Are you so foolish Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh” (Galatians 3:2-3). His obvious answer is “No.” We live and walk out our Christianity the same way we were saved. How is that?
Grace through faith for salvation and life
We have been transformed – made into whole new creations – our old life is gone – we have died to it – and we have a new life
God’s Word makes it clear, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). I was saved by nothing that I did, but by grace, what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. He died for us that we might have new life. And He did it all, as we see in John 19, He cried out from the cross, “It is finished.” What was finished? Our redemption?
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, … ‘It is finished’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:28-30).
It is more than the one-time Born-Again experience for us. We have been transformed – made into whole new creations – our old life is gone – we have died to it – and we have a new life. Therefore, we can live the new life day by day.
As 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Then we read in verse 21: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
How can this be? If this is true and we are no longer sinners but the righteousness of God in Christ, why do we still sin? Do we lose our salvation when we sin? Is life just a nightmare roller-coaster ride of sinning, repenting, rededicating, just to sin again?
Well, let us look at our salvation. The Word says I am perfected, a whole new creation, seated with Christ in heavenly places. It doesn’t feel that way, but God’s Word is true. So, there is an aspect of me that is complete in Him, and that is my spirit. And that is my identity, who I am, not my soul, which is my mind, will and emotions. My soul is still playing catch-up to my spirit as I renew my mind in God’s Word.
Spirit versus soul
Do not be discouraged when you miss it. The flesh is weak. We often act unloving, selfish, and not Christlike. But that is not the real you
But aren’t my spirit and soul the same? Not at all! Let us look in God’s Word:
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
So, when we fall, when our weak flesh brings us down, it is our souls. Our spirits, our true identity, didn’t fall, so we do not have to focus on our sin, but just repent and get up again and go forward, pressing on toward the mark of our high calling.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved, and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
So, do not be discouraged when you miss it. The flesh is weak. We often act unloving, selfish, and not Christlike. But that is not the real you. Be encouraged to renew your mind with the truth of God’s Word, and little by little, the old way of thinking will fall away, you will experience transformation, and grow strong in the Lord.
As a Christian I was always told that God would take His presence away from me whenever I sinned because fellowship was broken; but that is NOT biblical. Here is what Jesus and His Word has to say:
- I will never leave you
- I am with you always
- I do not condemn you
- You are forgiven
- Where sin abounds Grace abounds even more
- Your sins are not counted against you
- My love keeps no record of wrong doings
As Biblical truth is being re-emphasized, the Lord has been encouraging Christians to come out of complacency and into full consecration. The transition is taking place from the leaven of the Pharisees to the leaven of the Kingdom, from being puffed up doing things my way and in my strength, to puffing up and expanding God’s Kingdom.