Walk in the Spirit

As Christians, it seems as if one of the most daunting duties is to be utterly and completely obedient to all of God’s commands without excuses. Especially in the case of the baby Christian still maturing in his Christian walk, the idea presented in 1 John 3:9 that “whosever is born of God doth not commit sin” seems to be an impossibility, as he stumbles and continues to fall time after time. Oh the numerous times resolutions are made to not compromise the faith. Oh the constant dread of failing before one even begins. It reaches a point in our Christian lives that we throw our hands up in frustration and buy into the lie that it is impossible to live a holy life in a society where evil beckons and entices at every corner. We might even argue that John and Jesus alike issued such commands at a time when society was more favorable for a holy life. I do not argue that the acreage of society by and large has grown far more unfertile for the seeds of a holy life. But what I would like to submit to my readers today is that as Christians we need not accept the LIE that a life, holy, and acceptable to God is unreasonable. Indeed does not Romans 12:1 assure us that the sacrifice of a holy life is a reasonable service? Speaking from my personal experiences and my struggles and constant stumbles in my walk with Christ, I believe that the main mistake I made when I still struggled with sin was that I attempted to live a holy life by my own steam. I was like the Galatians to whom Paul says in Galatians 3:3: “How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” See the root of the problem is that sin has been passed down from our parents (Adam & Eve) — and is embedded into our spiritual DNA. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot by our own moral efforts rid ourselves of the sin in us. We must be born again of the Spirit. And thus having been born of the Spirit, we are instructed in Galatians 5:16 to walk in the Spirit, and we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Likewise the first half of 1 John 3:6 reads “whosoever abideth in Him sinnet not”. The first thing to note about living a Christian life is expressed in the words of Paul when he says “it is not I that liveth, but Christ liveth in me”. In making resolutions to live a better life, in living morally by our own efforts we are quite literally attempting to be our own saviors. We are still holding on to our lives and are living our lives as we see fit. We have become our own Gods and it is no longer Christ living in us. Pride or the sin of wanting to be God has been defined as “being full of yourself”. The virtue of humility on the hand has been defined as “being empty of yourself”. Without emptying ourselves, we cannot make room for Christ to fill us. Without losing our lives, Christ cannot gain our hearts. Which is why he instructs that if any man wants to come after me, to walk the Christ walk, he must FIRST lose his life. It is true that the odds in our society are stacked against us, that everything in this world is tailored to bring the Christian down. But we are not of this world, and we need not buy into that lie that we must live like the world. Having begun by the Spirit, we must continue to walk in the Spirit, and we will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

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