Resting in the finished work of Christ is the key to walking in victory. Regardless of how much we apply Biblical principles to our life, unless we have this main key to the kingdom of God, we will find failure at the end sooner or later.
What is resting in Christ’s complete work? It is a spiritual principle that is set right out in scriptures but missed by many of us.
One sure way to know that we are not resting in Christ is striving. That is to make great effort to achieve something.
When we find ourselves in this state we know right away that we are not resting. Then we must get immediately back to the cross.
Does resting in Christ equate to passivity? No indeed it does not! What resting in Christ does is to set our eyes on the victor for the victory and not on ourselves.
To rest in Christ is to set the Lord always before us. That is to acknowledge Jesus as our Captain. Our leader and victor over all difficulties that may come our way.
Paul knew this resting in Christ. He said that the life he now lived he lived by the faith of Jesus Christ. Paul knew that he was accepted in the beloved. How could Christ who loved us enough to give his very life for us not also supply us with all the things we need to live victorious in this life?
To rest in Christ is to rest in his finished work. He beat the devil! He conquered sin! Jesus rose victorious!
What is our part? To rest in this fact! When we do we can be assured that Christ who lives in us will complete all the work that is needed in our lives.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Resting in Christ is to abide in Christ. To accept what Christ says as true. To remain fixed in. To continue to dwell in. To remain in.
“If you abide in me,” Jesus said and his words or his teachings abide in you then you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)
In other words all the things that we need will be given to us as we rest in Christ. To rest is to have complete faith in the Lord’s ability to perform his word. It is to nestle in his bosom with absolute confidence. Does the Lord not know what is best for each of us? Is his plan not the best plan?
Have faith in God!
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith in the finished work of Christ gives us hope. We never have to be worried that Jesus will not come through. He has promised! If he loved us enough to give his life for us how much more would he not freely meet our needs? We have only to patiently wait. (Romans 8:32)
Resting in Christ is to set our eyes on Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith. He will prefect that which concerns us as we trust in him!
It is Christ who lives! Christ who has conquered! Christ who is Lord of all! We rest in these facts and abide in his love.
Jesus is all our righteousness! He is working all things out for our good as scriptures tell us. (Romans 8:28)
We are complete in him!
“And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:” Colossians 2:10
To be complete is to have all things without lacking. It is to be full and entirely in Christ! Can you see this by faith? IN CHRIST!
Jesus is the head of all principality and power. That means that because we are seated with him in heavenly places we are also positioned with him high above the rulers of this dark world. We are more than conquerors because we are in him! Let us rest in this knowledge!
Jesus is the name above every name. His victory is our victory. His completed work is our completed work because we are in him! Can you see this by faith? Then you are resting! Resting in assurity that Jesus Christ is the head. The chief and principle power of all in this life. If you are in him then you are secure. Rest in this reality.
It is finished Jesus said. Whether we are wrestling in prayer, serving, teaching or ministering we are always resting in Christ. Always confident that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us and gave himself for us.
Are you resting in Christ today? If not won’t you get back to the cross? The place of your victory is there! The work has already been done! (Romans 8: 37)
Romans Chapter 8 says that those who are in Jesus Christ, (that is those born again and, in his salvation,) are not condemned by God if they are not walking after the carnal nature but are walking in the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to be condemned? In English it means to have disproval. To criticize something or someone strongly.
The Greek word is katakrima which means to come under penalty. To pass judgement against.
Romans Chapter 8 goes on to tell us that if we are minding carnal things rather than spiritual things then we are in enmity with God. In other words, if we are living for the flesh (the body, which is living for the passions and sensual appetites) temporal, worldly, or secular things then we are in a hostile opposing position with God. This makes us under condemnation. God disproves of us and our life styles!
Living in the flesh or carnal nature has grave consequences for the Christian. Romans 8 tells us that it produces death in us.
Jesus died to set us free from sin, but we must cooperate with that spiritual position that he has provided. Living by the carnal nature brings only death. What is death? Failure, sickness, poverty, demonic oppression, depression. Any thing contrary to the abundant life which Jesus died to purchase for us.
Romans Chapter 8 tells us that if we live under the law in order to gain God’s approval then we will fail miserably in our lives. Also, we will still be in enmity with God anyway because the law has no power to conquer sin. All the law does is expose our sin. “You lied. Bad you!”
Jesus came to give a better way. He said to his disciples that when he went away, he would send the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. The flesh is weak and cannot keep the law. Only God can keep the law.
Did you know that if you are born again that God lives in you? Yes, he does but many Christians who are ignorant of this reality are living still under the law. They don’t understand that the same power that lived in Jesus Christ, that performed miracles and raised Jesus from the dead, actually lives in them!
Romans 8 tells us to walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the desires of the sinful body. Which is going to be thrown into the trash heap one day and we will get a new one that is not subject to sin!
What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? Well to walk is to take a journey. Our life in this world is a journey towards eternity! We are called to walk with God! Not walking in our own ways but walking in God’s way.
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do judgment and the love of mercy, and to humble thyself by walking with thy God? (Micah 6:8)
Holy Spirit who lives in us is our helper and teacher. We need to acknowledge Holy Spirit and depend on him for everything. Did you know that the Holy Spirit wants to help you? Yes, he does but you have got to ask him. He won’t impose on you.
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Luke 11:9
Romans Chapter 8 tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. Don’t know how to pray effectively? Ask Holy Spirit. He will show you. Need comfort? Need revelation? Need wisdom? Need strength? Need provision? Just ask Holy Spirit and he will help you!
Jesus Christ provided for us a new covenant with a new and better way of living. The law can never conquer the sinful nature. The way to have victory over sin and the devil is life in the Holy Spirit!
If we walk with God on our journey to eternity we will not be under condemnation because we will not be fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Rather we will be living our life under the control of the Holy Spirit!
Walking with God by the Holy Spirit is the abundant life promised to us by Jesus Christ.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24
Part of our spiritual warfare armor is the gospel boots. Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say concerning this part of our armor.
Ephesians Chapter 6 vs 15
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
The KJV uses the Greek word hetoimasia which means preparation.
To be in a constant state of readiness or make ready for use.
In other words we must always be prepared to minister the gospel at all times.
How do we prepare? Scriptures tell us it is by studying the Bible.
2 Timothy 2 : 15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We need to know the Bible in order to answer people who ask us questions about our faith. Now we don’t have to go to theological school in order to do this. In fact, many times people just end up being indoctrinated with denominational interpretations that omit or add their own take or lean on scriptures anyway.
It is best according to any lawyer, good journalist, writer or historian to research all angles of interpretation in order to get a balanced view. Bias always resides in the mindsets of men.
Even God says that out of two or three witnesses is truth established. (1 Corinthians 13:1)
Our doctrinal lean should always line up with the Bible and not any man made versions of a scriptural doctrine.
We must know the truth in order to share the truth. How can we minister to an unsaved person Bible truth if we don’t know Bible truth?
The Bible tells us to be prepared at all times in order to present the gospel of peace to others. What is this peace? Peace with God through Jesus Christ the Savior.
The Gospel boots not only prepare us to present the gospel message but they are also used to wage war against the devil.
During Roman times the soldier wore a sandal called a Caligae. This sandal actually had nail like studs embedded in the sole. These boots or sandals were deigned to march for long periods of time but they were also used as deadly weapons. A solder could take off his shoe and club the enemy to death with it.
That is what the gospel boots do too. They take us into all the world to preach the gospel of peace and they are also used to clobber the devil with. Every time we minister the word of God to someone we are beating the day lights out of that old devil.
Put on those gospel boots today! Be prepared and ready to preach the good news! At all times, in all places and every where you go!
ROMANS 15: 29
And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
David walked wise before the Lord and he was blessed with God’s favor.
And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them. 1 Samuel 18:14-23
That was until David fell into temptation.
And it came to pass in an evening, that David arose from off his bed, and walked on the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look on. 2 Samuel 11:2
What happened to cause this change? Lets take a look at what it means to walk wisely with the Lord.
Wisely in Hebrew is ώâkal and it means to make or act circumspectly with intelligence, prudence and understanding, skillfully, considerately and self controlled.
What triggered David to sin and fall away from the Lord? What caused him to behave so foolishly?
Was it really his lust for Bathsheba or was it something even deeper?
The manifestation of our sin is only a symptom of a deeper heart problem that we have. So we need to take a closer look at our heart. Lets look at David’s sin a little deeper.
When David had all the women he could ever ask for why did he want this one? Being beautiful is not really why David was tempted. He was surrounded with beautiful women. He could have any virgin in the land and even in another land.
Was David’s sin really a pride issue? After all why should a Hittite have something that he didn’t? That guy is only a Hittite not a King like me! He doesn’t deserve a beautiful woman like that! I’m the king of Israel for goodness sake! That woman ought to be mine!
Wasn’t there someone else who said that?
Blinded by his gifting. Wanting more than he was given? Jealous because a mere mortal was given stewardship over the garden of God? Wanting to change the order of things? Who was God to tell him that he didn’t deserve a higher place?
I will ascend up high! I will walk on the mountain of God! I’m just as gifted as that guy! Why look at how beautiful I am?
Yes, I’m inclined to think that it was really pride that caused David to fall.
Pride comes in many forms but if there is one thing that will make us fall flat on our backsides its self exaltation.
Thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think! (Romans 12:3, Proverbs 3:7)
Envy is the rottenness of the bones. It will eat away at the heart like a cancer. (Proverbs 14:30)
Godliness with contentment is great gain the Bible tells us. (1 Timothy 6:6)
But I am so gifted! You might be inclined to say. I have a theology degree after all and not to mention a powerful anointing!
I deserve to be promoted! I worked hard to be where I’m at! Why should that guy have a higher position than me?
That’s just the point! Our gifts can blind us to our real position in the Kingdom of God. One of being a servant to the most high God!
Do you really think God needs us to get his work done? Do we see our importance as being essential in the big scheme of things?
When David walked wisely before the Lord he was blessed. When he submitted to doing God’s work God’s way he prospered.
That’s where the blessing lies! Being small in our own eyes and great in faith towards the one who deserves all the glory and the honor! Pride will always lead to a fall! (Proverbs 16:18)
Pride is the root of discontentment. Not being joyful in where we are at!
Sometimes it takes a fall like David had to make us see our foolishness. God is gracious however because when we recognize our sin and confess our pride to him, he will restore us. (1 John 1:9)
The Lord restored David and he wants to restore us too.
Then like David we can be content and say. “The Lord is my portion says my soul and my cup.” Psalms 16:5
Be content and walk wise before the Lord then you will be blessed in all you do!
To walk with God in Hebrew is halak. This is an action word which means to live life in a manner that keeps pace with, follows, goes forth, continues on, moves along, travels, goes to and fro with and turns with in a form of weakness or dependence.
According to Scriptures, God was walking in the garden of Eden in the cool of the day. Adam heard God walking in the garden but he was not walking with him.
In fact scriptures do not say that Adam and Eve walked as in halak with God. What scriptures do say is that Adam was alone and God saw that it was not good so he created Eve to be a helper to him.
What did he need help with? In doing what he was created to do. Which was to be a care taker and watchman of the Garden. (Genesis 2:15)
Adam did hear God’s voice. He heard the instructions given to him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
However he did not listen. Why?
Could it be because Adam was not walking with God? As in halak.
Eve obviously was not walking with God or she would not have been deceived by the devil.
Eve wanted to be wise. She lacked guidance. Hebrew saw-kal’ for wise means to be instructed in prudence, to be skillful, have good success, to understand, to be guided.
Doesn’t sound like some one walking with God. Those are the things God does for us!
Even after Adam and Eve sinned Adam still could hear God’s voice.
And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. Genesis 3:8-10
When Eve was deceived by the serpent it was because she did not listen to her husband. Adam was the one God told not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God gave Adam that instruction before Eve was even created.
Eve did not get the information from God directly. She heard her husband’s commandment which was given to him by the Lord.
Why did Adam then listen to Eve instead of God? Could it be that although Adam could hear God’s voice he was not walking with him in halak ?
Adam knew God and heard his voice but he did not obey God. His relationship with God was not a surrendered one.
Let’s take a look at those who did walk with God.
According to the Bible, Enoch walked with God in perfect step by faith and this pleased God so much that Enoch walked straight into the spiritual realm. (HEBREWS 11:5, Genesis 5:24)
Noah walked with God. Noah heard God’s voice telling him to prepare for judgment that was to come and by faith he obeyed. (Genesis 6:9)
How many times do we hear God’s voice speaking to us from scriptures and yet do not listen? Is it because we are not really walking with God? (James 1:23)
Scriptures tell us that those who walk after the Holy Spirit will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Romans 8:1)
If we are having struggles with sin and our life is not blessed is it because we hear God’s voice and yet do not obey his commands?
Adam heard God directly. Eve heard God’s commands indirectly but still they disobeyed.
Since scriptures give no reference that Adam walked with God like Enoch or Noah did in halak we can only assume that Adam knew God, heard his voice but did not walk in halak with him.
He could have chosen to eat from the tree of life had he wanted halak but for some reason he did not. (Genesis 2:8,9)
After Adam and Eve sinned they still heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. All Creation speaks of God’s existence. Even the unsaved hear God’s voice.
Adam and his wife then hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)
Sin separated God’s creation from himself. When the Lord found Adam he was hiding in guilt and condemnation from God. God then had to sacrifice a sheep and cloth them with a temporary covering to atone for their sin.
After Adam and Eve sinned they were cast out from the presence of the Lord. No more could they live in a perfect sinless life.
This act never did restore Adam to sinless perfection but what it did do was make a covering to appease God’s wrath for disobedience so that he did not destroy Adam and Eve and the whole earth, by his righteous judgment.
In conclusion we can see that it is not enough to just hear God’s voice. We must obey God’s voice. We must walk by his Holy Spirit completely dependent upon him.
This comes by becoming born of God and given new life, being made alive unto God.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
If you do not yet know God then ask Jesus the Savior to save you from wrath as you turn away from your sins.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Roman 5:9
Ask God to make you born of his Holy Spirit and fill you with his Holy Spirit.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Ephesians 5:18-20
Then walk with God as he leads you in halak, relationship.
Obey his word the Bible as the Lord helps you every day!
Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. Deuteronomy 13:4
Jesus revealed that the words he spoke into the natural realm originated from the spiritual realm. He said that his words quicken or make alive. Jesus was in fact God’s word made flesh. He personified in human form the very life giving words of God to humanity. (John 3:34)
The flesh according to Jesus gives no profit. That means that the natural man cannot bring life. It is only the Holy Spirit that can give life!
Human ability, human resources and human words cannot bring any one life giving benefit. This is because of the sin nature residing in the hearts of the unsaved. Sin can only bring about corruption.
Humans can have a form of knowledge and a form of life but corruption will ultimately in the end be the final outcome of all human endeavors.
Jesus was trying to tell us the way to life. Not only eternal life but abundant life while we are in the earth. HIS words alone have the power ability to create life.
“My words are Spirit and they are life. ” John 3:23
Jesus wants us to have abundant life. This abundant life comes from HIS word. God creates his life in our lives by his word.
When we mediate on God’s word, pray God’s word, declare God’s word and sing God’s word life will be produced. That is why Satan twists God’s word, lies about God’s word and denies the power of God’s word.
Satan knows that if we get a hold of this revelation his deception will be shattered and we will become over comers! (John 10:10)
Jesus said MY WORDS ARE SPIRIT And THEY ARE AND LIFE. Now if the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in us then the same Spirit living in us can quicken our mortal body and make it alive unto God! Alive eternally and alive now! Alive with God’s life and liberty in Christ Jesus.
According to Proverbs 18:21 Our words can bring life or death. Words that are negative, filled with unbelief, and cursing bring non life or corruption but God’s word in our heart and in our mouth will produce life and life abundantly.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight O Lord my strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Jesus said in scriptures that, “if my words abide in you then you shall have whatever you ask for. ” John 15:7
God’s word alone can bless us in this life.
How does this life giving process come about? Jesus said FIRST the seed. God’s word is described as a seed. It can even be as small as a mustard seed which is very small. Seeds take time to germinate. They need sufficient water and an appropriate environment.
Then the blade grows. Sprouting occurs! Small miracles start to take place. Then with constant care the word will flower! Every one will see the evidence of God’s word in your life!
Lastly, the fruit appears. Small and green at first but again with proper care it will ripen! When the fruit from God’s word appears in our life then that is when others can partake of the goodness of the Lord through our testimony!
“He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32
God’s word has life giving power to produce abundant fruit and keep us from corruption!
When we put God’s word in our heart, mediate on it, pray it and declare it then it will produce life and that more abundantly.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11
In order to live a victorious life in Jesus Christ we must not only watch what we say but we must be watchman over our hearts.
This means being careful what we look at with our eyes and what we listen to with our ears. Unless we need to know information for the purpose of prayer, scriptures tell us to be innocent concerning evil. In other words we don’t (unless specifically called to) fill our minds with specifics of demonic worldly activity.
The Bible says that as a man thinks in his heart so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)
The word for “think” in this scripture is translated as Shawar which means to split open or be a gatekeeper.
Paraphrased: as a man being a gate keeper over his mind so he is in his thinking and being.
The Bible tells us about gate keepers who were watchman that kept a look out for wolves and enemy attacks. Allegorically speaking this verse implies that whatever we let into our heart that is mind, will, emotions or feelings is what will be the out come of our actions and the destiny of our life.
So, if we watch and listen to worldly entertainment then we will act and behave like what we are letting into our mind . We will be worldly. No different than the unsaved. This is not God’s will for our lives. The Holy Spirit in his word has given us all the information that we need to live a holy life well pleasing to God.
The Bible tells Christians to be separate from the world. We are called to think on things that are good, godly and worthy of our Lord. The reason the Lord told us to meditate on his word day and night was so that we would be conformed to the word and not the world. (Philippians 4:8 Romans 12:2,3)
Putting on Christ is putting on the word of God for Jesus is the living word made flesh. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh.” Romans 13:14
If we meditate on God’s word written in the Bible then we will think and act the way God wants us to think and act.
Worldly thoughts or worldly ideas are seeds that will grow into tares and choke out the word of God planted in our heart. We must be careful gatekeepers so that we can cast down all high and lofty thoughts exalting themselves against the knowledge of God.
The Bible tells us to cast down all contrary ideas exalting themselves against the word of God. Misconceptions and distortions in our mind that do not agree with the Bible need to be cast down (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Christians who watch and listen to worldly ideas become indoctrinated with the world system. This is why many Christians live defeated lives. Listening to Satan’s worldly system keeps many bound to the world so that they become filled with unbelief and start to explain away the Bible.
Satan always comes with his lies. Has God really said this? Are you sure he really meant that? Didn’t he really mean this instead? (John 8:44, 2 Timothy 3:13)
If God said it in his word then it’s TRUE. Any voice disagreeing with the Bible is satan’s voice and we need to cast down those demonic thoughts!
If God says that he is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or can even imagine then that’s exactly what is true. If we are not living up to that standard then we need to examine ourselves as scriptures say. Are we really in the faith? Are we trusting and relying on God for everything or are we swaying like a reed in the wind? Tossed to and fro with a double mind. Limiting God so that he cannot do any mighty works in our life?
God’s word says that I am righteous because of Jesus Christ. God’s word says that I am more than a conquer through Christ who loves me. God’s word says I am the head and not the tail. God’s word says he will lead me in his ways and into his paths as I put my trust in him. God’s word says he came to give me an abundant life.
So who are we going to believe? Mr. Devil and his lies or the word of the living God?
Victory is sure to those who have their minds transformed by God’s word for as we think in our hearts so shall we be. As we renew our minds with God’s word so shall we be conformed to the image of Christ.
Be a gatekeeper of your heart! Guard your heart with all diligence for out of your heart or spirit proceeds life. Don’t let the thief steal, kill and destroy !
Put the word in your heart and then you will think like God wants you to think and act like God wants you to act and be what God wants you to be !
Cain was Adam and Eve’s first born son. Cain symbolically represents the law. The law was given by Moses to show men that they are sinners in need of a Savior because no one can keep the law perfectly. Under the Old Testament animal sacrifice was required to cover sin but could not take away sin.
The law was given before Jesus became the sacrifice for sin once and for all. The law was a temporary restrainer of sin but has no power to defeat sin.
CAIN MEANS SPEAR, or a possession. A spear pierces the flesh. It cuts through the heart.
The sting or piercing of sin under the law brings death. The law does not bring life because no one can keep the law in its entirety. All are condemned to eternal separation from God who try to keep the law for justification. (right relationship with God)
ABEL was born after Cain. ABEL means breath of the Spirit. ABEL represents life in the Holy Spirit. Jesus brought life through his atonement for sin and his resurrection.
CAIN was a tiller of the ground. Tiller in Hebrew is abad. It means to work or serve like a bondsman. The ground represents earth or of this natural world.
ABEL was a keeper of sheep. Grace keeps God’s sheep justified from sin through Jesus Christ the Savior. ABEL represents God’s grace. (undeserved mercy)
CAIN brought before the Lord his offering. An offering symbolizes atonement for sin. In other words, Cain brought the works of his hands which he produced from the earth or the rudiments of this world, as an offering for sin.
ABEL brought a blood offering from an innocent lamb to atone for his sin.
The first offering given was made by God to atone for Adam and Eve’s sin by slaying a lamb and clothing them in its skin. CAIN was aware of this. However, he felt that he could earn forgiveness from sin by the works of his hand but God rejected CAIN’S offering.
God accepted Abel’s offering because it was God’s prerequisite for forgiveness of sin. The law says that the soul that sins shall die. Blood must be shed to atone for sin. An eye for an eye. A life for a life.
CAIN became jealous of his brother. Why? We know from the law that obedience to God’s word brings blessings but disobedience brings God’s curse. God refused to bless the work of Cain’s hands but he blessed Abel because he received the lamb sacrifice for atonement of sin.
The struggle between the flesh and the Spirit begin here. Those in the flesh or of the earth cannot please God but those in Jesus Christ are blessed in him and through him.
Often times this will cause jealousy and persecution from the religious mindset (those trying to keep the law for justification) towards the true Christian. These religious ones will attack the children of the Spirit because they want God’s blessings but they want it on their terms. They want God to accept them based on their deeds which they deem to be righteous in and of themselves.
To be rejected by God caused Cain’s countenance to fall or in modern English Cain felt inferior. This is what caused anger and jealousy to rise up in Cain.
After that the Bible says that Cain went and talked to his brother. That conversation is not recorded but I think that Abel tried to explain to Cain the way of salvation. They were talking in a field. Jesus said the fields are ready for harvest. The field represents bringing the salvation message.
Unfortunately, Cain did not receive the message of salvation because what he did was to rise up against his brother and kill him. This is significant because the flesh ( world minded ) always wants to rise up against the Spirit (God’s ways) all the time. The flesh wars against the Spirit on a continual basis according to scripture. The works of the flesh (human deeds outside Jesus Christ) do not please God and so the flesh resists the Holy Spirit all the time.
God asked Cain, “Where is your brother?” Cain replies, “How should I know ? Am I my brothers keeper? (Or in other words), Should I be guarding and protecting him? “
Cain lied to God when asked where his brother was. Cain rejected his responsibility as the oldest. In effect what Cain did was reject his inheritance just like Esau did. Then Cain became upset and cried about how he could not bear his punishment. Interesting to note, the Bible doesn’t mention his punishment right away, but Cain knew.
The Bible says that the soul that sins will die spiritually. CAIN was to face the worst punishment anyone could get. Separation from God. Notice how there was no repentance on his part. No lamb sacrificed. CAIN still rejected salvation by the blood atonement.
God, however, still offered to Cain his mercy. He tells him that if someone would want to hurt him in the future he would be punished 7 times. 7 is God’s number of perfection. God marked Cain with a reminder to all who would reject God’s plan of salvation for their own. God put a sign on him. CAIN was an example to others. All who saw him knew who he was and what he did. Scriptures tell us that sin will always be found out.
CAIN went out from God’s presence and dwelt in the land of Nod which means vagrancey. The flesh cannot dwell with God. CAIN was homeless.
1 John 3 :2 says that Cain was of the wicked one. The flesh is of the devil. The works of one’s hands or one’s own recognizance for justification is an abomination to God. It is of the devil’s nature; selfish, prideful, jealous and murderous.
Jude 1 : 11 says that apostates or false brethren go the way of Cain. They go after the way of the flesh and run after money. Baalam was a prophet for hire. He went the way of Cain. He prophesied nice things people wanted to hear for money. Korah another apostate was rebellious. He wanted his way instead of going God’s way.
The way of Cain is man’s way; greedy, rebellious and wanting the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
The flesh fights the Spirit and that is why God said the flesh must be put to death or denied. The flesh or world desires cannot inherit the Kingdom of God! A Cain mindset cannot inherit eternal life!
We can not rely on our works, good deeds or any thing else for salvation and acceptance by God except the blood of Jesus.
Trying to attain God’s approval by good deeds or law keeping results in separation from God in this life and also eternally.
Trying to keep the law (deeds of righteousness) for God’s approval is going the way of Cain. What is acceptable for salvation is receiving God’s free gift of eternal life through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. His blood alone can redeem from sin and make you a child of God.
Then when you are born of God all deeds done by the Holy Spirit are acceptable to him. God blesses his works not man’s works. Jesus Christ alone, by faith alone saves and justifies . Jesus said, I AM THE WAY. I AM THE TRUTH. I AM THE LIFE.
Romans Chapter 7 is a chapter in which the struggle between the man under the law has with the sinful nature.
Paul who was a Pharisee under the law is revealing the battle a person under the law has with the carnal nature.
Right at the beginning of the chapter Paul makes it clear that he is speaking to those under the law. In other words those who are battling the carnal nature from a legalistic mindset.
Paul says that when we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord we are no longer bound to the law. Those under the law were and are constantly battling the nature of sin at work in the non saved person and the law of God.
While with the intellect a person can agree that the law is good they are if not saved powerless to perform it.
Paul points out that true Christians have been delivered from the law. Not from the truths set forth in the law but the law as a letter or theological theory abstract from the non redeemed nature.
While the law reveals sin it has no power to deliver from sin. The law is only a road map but cannot actually get us to our destination. What we need is a vehicle to get us there.
The law in and of itself is good Paul says but because the non redeemed have a carnal nature the no redeemed cannot obey the law in its entirety. That is why under the law God set up the sacrificial system of the blood covering of animals.
The person under the law is not quite the same as a full blown sinner. While the law keeper is a sinner the law keeper tries to obey the law of God in the non redeemed state.
Herein lies the problem. It is rather easy to detect a full blown sinner but not so easy to distinguish a person under the law from a true Christian.
A law keeper may even sometimes look to be more holy than the true Christian. This is because the law keeper is working relentlessly to serve the law while a Christian is looking to God’s grace and mercy for salvation.
There is according to scripture an intense struggle going on between the carnal nature of the law keeper and the law.
The law keeper actually hates the bondage that they are in. They want to serve God in their minds but cannot perform the law good enough to get God’s approval. It’s very tormenting to be a law keeper.
Is there deliverance for this struggle between the carnal nature and the law of God? Paul tells us that there is!
He tells us that through Jesus Christ we can have deliverance.
If we continue on to Romans Chapter 8 we find that those in Jesus Christ no longer have to be in torment battling the law of God and the sin nature. Paul says that there is now no condemnation of the law towards those who walk after the Holy Spirit.
In other words those born of God who are baptized into Jesus Christ and are in the Holy Spirit (because he is living in them) are now called to walk in the Holy Spirit.
Here is where some Christians get mixed up. Just because we are born again and have the Holy Spirit living in us does not mean we have achieved victory over sin. There is a part for us to play and it’s called walking after or yielding to the Holy Spirit. That is being obedient to the inner working of the Holy Spirit in us.
The difference between a law keeper and a true born again person is that the law keeper cannot perform the works of the law for justification while the born again person is justified by grace through faith and can be empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey God.
God’s righteous is fulfilled in those who walk after the Holy Spirit Paul says. To walk after is translated in the Greek as; to be occupied with, to live with and to follow after.
Paul goes on to say that those who live after the flesh or earthly minded things will produce death that is a non productive spiritual life but those who live after the Holy Spirit will produce life abundantly.
Paul also says that one is proven to be a true Christian with the indwelling Holy Spirit by their putting to death the deeds of the body through the power of the Holy Spirit that is indwelling them and walking after the Holy Spirit which is indwelling them.
In other words when the body which is still subject to earthly senses is put under subjection or control of the Holy Spirit then life and liberty in Jesus Christ is the fruit produced.
Paul also says that suffering in the flesh or not giving in to its dictates will produce a far better eternal weight of glory for us.
One day the Christian’s body will be redeemed and the earthly part will be gone but at this time rather that keeping the sin nature contained by the law, those born of God have the Holy Spirit to control sin and produce fruits of holiness.
Christians are more than conquerors in this life Paul says because we belong to Jesus Christ. A conqueror is not a defeated in bondage to sinful desires and lifestyles person nor is a conqueror a twisted tormented law keeper trying to keep the law in the sinful nature.
A conqueror lives victorious in the Holy Spirit. Nothing can separate the true Christian from the love of God if we really belong to God.
Sin has no more dominion over those who walk after the Holy Spirit because Jesus defeated the power of sin at the cross. Scripture tell us that “He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteous of God in Christ Jesus the Lord.”
(2 cor. 5:21)
Therefore brethren we are under no obligation or compulsion to obey sinful desires for that leads to death but we are under grace and grace leads us through Holy Spirit power to live a life of holiness.
The greatest remedy for our sins, failures, bad choices, and mistakes is God’s unfailing love in which he demonstrated to us through the gift of the Savior Jesus Christ.
This love undeserved is called grace but did you know that grace and salvation stem from God’s heart of compassion in which he releases to the undeserved his mercy.
Mercy called chânan in the Hebrew means to bend in kindness to an inferior; to bestow favor upon. To have pity. Eleeō in the Greek means mercy is the divine grace of almighty God. Mercy is in effect the Lord’s compassion.
Mercy according to the Bible triumphs or is victorious over judgment. All sin is judged by God whose throne is established in justice and righteousness.
Legally speaking God’s laws when broken must be judged. That judgment always leads to death. Christians many times want to blame the devil for every thing but it is not the devil who activates God’s judgment upon us when we sin. It is in fact our own doing.
What the devil does is take advantage of a legal precedent. Sin is an open invitation for Satan to have access to a person’s life. That is why Paul said. Don’t give Satan any place!
Satan is always looking for some one to devour. He wants to kill, steal and destroy in any way he can. So what can we do against this formidable foe who is a merciless devourer that takes advantage of our weakness?
Scriptures give us the answer! Yes, it is God’s mercy! When we confess our sins and ask for help in our weakness the Lord has a legal precedent that triumphs over the law of judgment.
Symptoms of emotional and physical distress often stem from sin and are projected through Satanic attacks. When we suffer from these symptoms we need to look into our hearts and find out how we let Satan get an advantage of us. Then we need to repent.
Whether personal or generational sin has a penalty. That penalty is death. Not just eternal death but non life or dark consequences both material and spiritual. These consequences are manifest through various kinds of torments, afflictions and lack.
Mercy does not need a price for it to bring the remedy for our sins. Mercy is bestowed freely to the contrite and broken heart of repentance from a loving God. Mercy is not given to the proud or self righteous but to the humble who recognize their weakness and desire help from an all powerful God.
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Mercy from the Lord comes also when we are persecuted, misunderstood, and attacked by unscrupulous people.
Let me show you from scriptures how the mercy of God can be applied to our lives.
In our distress or trouble we can call on the Lord for his mercy and he will hear us and deliver us.
When we are weak and suffering with affliction we can call on the Lord for his mercy. When we are hated and persecuted we can ask for God to pour out his mercy. When we are poor, depressed and alone we can also appeal to God for his mercy for God’s mercy endures forever.
God’s mercy will bring us forgiveness and deliverance. His mercy sent from the throne of Grace will gives us strength and empowers us to live a life that pleases him.
God’s mercy will protect us and defend us from our enemies. God’s mercy will preserve us from trouble and keep us from the power of the wicked one.
God’s mercy will make us stand and be strong in his mighty power.
God’s mercy will teach us Biblical truth and cause us to walk in his ways.
Are you in need of God’s mercy today? Call upon him in your brokenness for he will bend his ear down to hear your cry. He will come to your rescue and save you out of all your trouble for whoever calls on the name of the Lord in sincerity shall be saved!
Psalm 4:1 When I was in distress have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
Psalm 6:2 Have mercy on me in my weakness and suffering and heal me.
Have mercy when I suffer from those who hate me. Lift me up out of death. Psalm 9: 13
Through the mercy of the Lord I shall not be moved. Psalm 21:7
For your mercy’s sake don’t remember my sins Psalm 25:7
Remember mercy because I am desolate. Left alone. Forsaken. And afflicted. Depressed, needy and poor. Psalm 25:16
Have mercy. Be my helper. Psalm 30:10
Have mercy for I am in trouble and sorrowful. Psalm 31:9
Those who trust the Lord will have mercy. Psalm 32:10
Send forth your mercy to me from heaven. Psalm 36:5 psalm 57:3
Gods mercy has been my defense and refuge in trouble. Psalm 59:16
Your mercy and truth preserve me. Psalm 61:7
Show mercy and bring deliverence psalm 85:7
In your mercy give me strength and save me Psalm 86 :16
Let your mercy keep me and your covenant stand for me Psalm 89:28
Extend your mercy to my children psalm 103:17
Let your mercy deliver me because you are good. Psalm 109:21
According to your mercy teach me your word. Psalm 119:24
Deliver me from my enemies in your mercy. Psalm 136:26
The scriptures tell us to Love the Lord with all our heart but also with all our mind.
Mind in the Greek is dianoia which means the imagination, deep thought, and the understanding.
Christians that live according to the dictates of the carnal nature do so because they have not submitted their minds to the Lord. As long as the mind does not love God completely then the bodily appetites and earthly concerns will dominate the person rather than the Holy Spirit.
Those of the flesh or those walking after the carnal nature have their mind (entertain opinions and interests and have affections and cares) on the concerns of this life. (Romans 8)
But those Christians that pursue after the Spirit of God set their affections on the things of God’s kingdom or pertaining to and exceeding to the Spirit of God.
The carnal or worldly mind which is basically the human nature is in enmity with or hostile to God the Bible tells us.
The carnal mind is not in subjection to the law or principles of God nor is it possible to be. To be carnal minded according to the Bible produces death. That means produces things that have no spiritual and eternal value.
To be spiritually minded produces life and peace. Gods’s life will live in and through us.
A carnal or human thinking mind cannot please God. (1 Corinthians 2:13)
All God’s ways are foreign to the human mind. God’s ways many times go against human reasoning. Faith is to believe what is not evident. Faith trusts in supernatural provision. Supernatural ability and supernatural intervention.
God says in his word that if you want financial success then you need to give some money away. That does not register to a carnal mind. A carnal mind will beg,borrow,steal, or whatever to get a financial need met when God says, give and then I will give back to you. (2 Corinthians 9:7, Proverbs 3:9, Luke 6:30-38 Mark 12:41-44, )
The Bible says that if you want wisdom then ask God and he will give it to you. The world says to study philosophy and use secular reasoning to be wise. Use your street smarts. Use common sense.
Those in the Spirit setting their mind on things above are led of the Spirit according to Romans 8 and they have put to death or refused to let operate their flesh or earthly understanding.
God is no respecter of persons. The person who obeys God’s word will produce abundant life and the person who lives by the world’s understanding will produce that which has not spiritual value.
Carnal desires come through minding carnal things. That is from thinking from a human perspective. Thinking on things contrary to the Bible will produce, things such as fear, anxiety, unbelief, sensuality. In the end that kind of thinking will be destructive both mentally and physically and may even produce spiritual death .
Romans 12:2 says not to be conformed or patterned after the world but be transformed or changed by renewing the mind.
How can we renew our mind? By thinking according to the Bible!
Human intellect, feelings and will that are submitted to the will of God will produce life. The word of God is the will of God.
Ephesians 4:2,3 says to put off the former conversation or speach of the old person. The person you were before salvation. God tells us to let no corrupt communication or speach come out of our mouth.
Whatever comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart and whatever is in the heart comes through the mind. The mind is the filter for the heart. (Mathew 15:18)
Putting destructive ungodly things into the mind will result in becoming worldly or carnal. God tells us in his word to be renewed in the soul or spirit of the mind which is the intellect, thoughts, emotional feelings, the understanding and the will.
We are called to put on the new born again person which has been created to be righteous and Holy. (Philllipians 4:8)
Scriptures tell us openly what to think on. “Whatever is true, honest, pure , lovely, good, virtuous and praise worthy.” (Philllipians 4:8)
These are values that are God’s way of thinking as set out in scriptures.
The Bible tells us that God’s word is the remedy for the carnal mind. If we think on the word of God we will be renewed in our minds.
Jesus said, “Why do you call me Lord when you don’t do what I say? ” (Luke 6:46)
Jesus is the word incarnate. The Bible is God’s word. When we put our mind on what God says then we start acting like God says to act. We become not only a hearer of the word but a doer of the word. (James 1:22)
According to Proverbs 23:7 Whatever we think in the mind we will become.
If we think God’s word then it will go into the heart. Then we will act according to God’s word. (Proverbs 4:23)
Loving The Lord with all our mind is the key to living a life that pleases God. A life that pleases God is a life that is blessed.
So let us line up our mind to God’s way of thinking by having it renewed by his word!
1 Corinthians 2:16
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.