Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate.  Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.  For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.

 
 
 

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Thought for the Evening
3-01

YOU ARE DEAD!

"Set your affection on things above, not on things of the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
Colossians 3:2-3
From a question sent in by Brother Brad Crooker

As part of a response to a question from Brother Brad, I wrote, "The flesh will never learn or change, even if you do." Brad replied, "Really? I thought the flesh was supposed to die out, eventually, thoroughly, by the renewing of the holy Spirit. Paul said , 'I die daily [referring to the 'old man']'. Please explain more." The following was my response to that comment, and it is information that we all should not be without.

The nature that is in our flesh will always be there, as long as the flesh is there. The flesh will never surrender to Christ; it must be made to do God's will. Paul said "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, for these things are contrary to each other" (Gal. 5:17). The blood of Christ (the Spirit) does not cleanse and change the nature of our flesh but purges our hearts and gives us strength to overcome that corrupt nature. The strength of the Lord makes it so that we can keep our bodies under our control so that our fleshly nature no longer has reign over us. That nature will always be there in our flesh, opposing our walk in the Spirit, but for us who are in Christ, it does not have to be in control of our behavior or thoughts. Because that old nature is "us", Paul said he "died daily". He meant by that phrase that he was dead daily to what his fleshly nature would have had him to do and to say. He chose to die to sin and live to God, and if we live to God, we, too, will die to sin. That kind of death, to self and to the world, is good news! Paul rejoiced with the Colossian believers that they were dead and that their lives were now "hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3).

I sincerely hope that you who read this are dead. If not, just humble yourself and keep seeking God; it may be that Jesus, in love and mercy, will come and kill you. That's the gospel, and it is the only hope any man has.

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