Do you still find yourself failing at times as a Christian? Do you desire that your life as a Christian would be free from the dominion of the fallen sin nature that still dwells in your flesh, the nature that leads to our failures? Would you like your life to display the fruits of the Spirit of goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, faithfulness and gentleness that will supernaturally overwhelm your flesh and failures? Then you need to live like the work is finished because it is finished. Completely finished and this is exactly how God sees it. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, a place of rest and we are seated in Him. What God says is done, is done, no question, no doubt, no worry and no fear. Stop struggling.
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30 NAS
I think we all want to see the fruits of the Spirit in our life as believers. We want to be an example of Christ, be a light on the hill and lead others to believe. But I have often struggled and if I am honest, I am often not the light I would like to be. The light God wants us to be to lead others to the faith. As a Christian, I have never been looking to walk in the fallen sin nature that still dwells in my flesh. But at times, I have found myself operating from my flesh and fallen Sin nature, unable to escape as my fallen nature did what it does best – commit outward acts of sin, just as Paul tells us was his experience.
But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Rom 7:20 NAS
…So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Rom 7:25b NAS
When I look around the many churches I have visited, I do not see people looking for a way to walk in their Sin nature, I see people looking for a way out of their Sin natures dominion even though they may feel trapped in it at times. How about you?
In the past, I have even compared myself to other believers who seem to have it all together and felt less than. I questioned my own salvation and felt guilty and condemned by this comparison. Does anyone hear me? I tried to be patient, kind and loving with limited success and often much frustration. I laid down the law for myself, telling myself I will be patient today, I will be loving, I will be long-suffering, I will be kind. But this often led to failure and condemnation.
Then one day, I learned that God’s way is different than man’s ways. That God’s ways are higher and God’s ways work where man’s ways fail. Jesus is the ultimate example of God’s higher way, salvation not by works but by grace through faith alone, so no man can boast in the flesh. As a believer, Paul tells us that he realized that there is nothing good in the flesh to boast about. Paul knew that his Sin nature had been condemned in the flesh on the cross with Christ. He knew that God did not redeem his flesh, nor can we.
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Rom 7:18 NAS
I discovered that the key I needed to produce the fruits I desire in my life was not through human effort as Romans 6:14 so clearly tells us.
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:14 NAS
Romans 6:14 is telling us that our Sin nature will have dominion in our lives when we incorrectly view ourselves as still being under the law. The letter of law has nothing to do with faith - Gal 3:12 - and is all about flesh. This is why God so clearly tells us we are no longer under the law, we are under grace. We are saved by grace through faith and we are transformed by grace through faith - Gal 3:5. By placing us under grace, God set us free from the dominion of the Sin nature that still dwells in our flesh, because the law is specifically what gives Satan and our Sin nature the power to condemn and kill us - 1 Cor 15:56. Jesus set us free from the curse of the law - Gal 3:13. To benefit personally, you must believe God in Romans 6:14 and live like it is true.
The key to producing the fruit of the Spirit that overwhelms and replaces acts of sin in our life is to live solely by faith in God’s promises, put on and walk in the New Creation we are in Christ, put on the finished work in the New Covenant.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20 NAS
Trust and believe God, believe with all of your heart in the promises of God and rest in Christ’s finished work. Stop trying to earn a right standing with God when Jesus has made you as right with God as you will ever be. Believe you are right now a New Creation in Christ. This is exactly how God sees you. He is looking for your faith in His promises not for perfection in your unredeemed and unredeemable flesh.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor 5:17 NAS
For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Gal 6:15 NAS
and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—Col 3:10 NAS
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. Rom 13:14
God is not counting the sins of your flesh that He sees as crucified and dead on the cross with Christ.
"FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE." Heb 8:12 NAS
God is looking for your faith in His promises. In this faith, you will find the rest and the peace with God that Jesus completely provided for you. The rest and peace that is ready and waiting for you.
"I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Heb 18:8 NAS
The first thing we must understand is that we are seeking the fruits of the Spirit. These are not the fruits of the flesh produced by human effort. God wants to produce these fruits in our life. We just need to get our flesh out of the way. The flesh is where doubt, fear, worry, struggle and Sin reside. The Spirit is where we are called to live, walk and breathe, above all circumstances safe and sound in Christ. Believe God and the fruit will come.
When by faith we see ourselves as God sees us, as God says is true and complete, guaranteed as our future, we are empowered and set free from the Sin nature that still dwells in our flesh. By faith we see through the eyes of God, we agree with God that our flesh was crucified on the cross with Christ, that we a born-again, a new creation in Christ. When we do, we walk in the power of God and overcome the dominion of the Sin nature that still dwells in our flesh, by faith, we set aside the flesh and its lusts, the flesh God has left our born again, holy, sanctified, perfected and complete Spirit in, to be an Ambassador for Christ in this world.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Gal 5:16 NAS
The transformation, metamorphosis, we seek is all about our faith in God’s promises and has nothing to do with works or law keeping of the flesh. Our faith does not make these things true; they are true according to God so we place our faith in what God states.
One of the key areas where faith is clearly required for our transformation to manifest outwardly in this world is revealed in 2 Peter 1:3-9. Here is God’s way, the only way that works, to produce these fruits with my comments in brackets. I am using the NIV version.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (His divine power has given us everything we need, we have it right now.) Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (We escape the corruption of this world, includes our fallen flesh, and participate in God’s divine nature, walk in the Spirit, by faith in His precious promises.)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. (This is part of the attributes we seek, that I tried to manifest through human effort.) For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (If we do not display these qualities for others to see, we will be less productive for Christ even though we know Jesus and are saved.)But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. (This is the key – It states that the sole reason a believer would lack these fruits in their life is because they have forgotten they have been cleansed, purified, forgiven of their former sins.) 2 Peter 1:3-9 NIV
Wow, is that even possible, to forget we have been cleansed, purified and forgiven of our sins? According to what we have just read it is possible to forget that Jesus sanctified us, cleansed us and set us apart, holy and blameless. It also means that if we want the fruits in our life we have been discussing, we hear what God is saying and refocus and renew our minds and thoughts to our complete forgiveness in Christ, on the love of God in Christ, on the finished work in Christ and on the New Creation we are in Christ.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify (make holy, set apart) her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. Eph 5:25-27 NAS
What God has cleansed is cleansed, set apart, sanctified and holy forever. What God has cleansed cannot be overcome.
Again a voice came to him a second time, "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy." Acts 10:15 NAS
No one can judge or call unholy those God has cleansed, no weapon shall prosper against those God has made righteous.
Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; Rom 8:33 NAS
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Isa 54:17 KJV
Could the fruits we desire to see and the transformation we seek be as simple as keeping our focus on our complete cleansing, purification and forgiveness in Christ, and on the fact that God’s word states we are right now sanctified, holy, righteous, perfected and complete in Him? Yes, this is God’s way not man’s way.
But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 2 Peter 1:9 NIV
This is what God’s word tells us works. If we want to walk by faith in God’s promises, we listen to what God is saying here and respond accordingly.
One last point to reinforce God’s truth. If you look at Paul’s warning to the Galatians, you can see that he is telling them that human effort, works of the flesh will not work to perfect ourselves as we have just discussed.
You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the 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? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Gal 3:1-5 NAS
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Gal 5:22-26 NIV
Only hearing by faith will accomplish what we seek. This means when we hear God’s promises and mix them with our faith, what God has promised us is true, finished, complete, ready and waiting for us will become visible to us in this world.
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest … Heb 4:2-3a KJV
The doorway to the promised land is still open to all who believe. The land of rest, peace and abundant life in Christ. Stop doubting and just believe God’s promise. You are completely right with the Father in Christ.
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20