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The Legacy

September 23, 2012

“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” – Rom. 5:17

 

I think we can all acknowledge that one of our most difficult struggles is the battle between the two natural states: the natural state of our flesh to yearn towards worldly sin and death as our inherited legacy from our forefather, Adam…and the natural state of our souls to yearn towards righteousness and life, as the legacy we must embrace from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I find it ironic that, while we’re born with the first and it seems given to us for free, we end up paying the ultimate price for it; and while the second may seem costly, it’s actually a price that has already been paid by our Redeemer and given to us freely. The only thing we have to give up for the legacy of Christ’s righteousness…is the legacy of Adam’s sin.

 

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Gal. 5:17) Simply put, we have two options but one choice: to choose the one means to sacrifice the other. We have to accept that the works of the flesh are contrary to the fruit of the Spirit: that we cannot live straddling a fence, or with one foot in the water and one on land. There is no ‘best of both worlds’ here, because there is only one world that offers the best: and that’s the one that Jesus Christ gives us. We are told quite plainly what happens to those who try to live ‘lukewarm’ lives…we get spat out. This is exactly why, I believe, Paul says we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice: because a sacrifice, by definition, is something that must be offered up to God – given wholly and completely unto Him. We either deny the world, and flesh, and sin…or we deny God. For those who seek the things of the world and manifest the works of the flesh, “they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:21)

 

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16) How do we ‘walk in the Spirit’, then? Faith. Obedience. Fellowship. Prayer. Meditation. We have to be grounded in His Word and open to His Spirit in the first place if we would walk in it. We cannot indulge our every want, desire and lust, and then still expect to find fulfillment and peace. It says that, “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Gal. 5:24) Because, as Christians, our fleshly ‘affections and lusts’ should – as sin – be nailed to the Cross; His precious blood was shed upon them to cover them, erase them, and eradicate them: we can’t say we’re forgiven of them and still haul them around in our back pocket to pull out on occasion. Christ doesn’t give us partial freedom: His freedom is complete and all-consuming…but we have to choose to embrace that freedom, and walk in it. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)

 

In the end, that’s what it comes down to for all of us: a choice. Do we choose the legacy of this sinful world, or the legacy which Christ offers us? In whose footsteps would we rather walk: in those of Adam’s…or in Christ’s? I’d think it was a simple answer. But remember, we forsake the one when we choose the other. This does not mean that we will not falter, or fall, or fail; inevitably, we all come short of His glory – but nevertheless we must all still make that conscious decision to do our best to be free from sin so that we might prosper in salvation. So today, choose Jesus, and His legacy: it is one of love, grace, mercy, and freedom…the wonderful gift in which – through Him – we are able to find righteousness.

 

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous…That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ.” – Rom. 5:19&21

Be blessed,

Joshua

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