What truly concerns me, as I stated in Part 1, is the care-free attitude we saints have toward the exhibition of our sinful nature (Flesh) overriding the empowerment of our new nature (New Creature in Christ). We are to manifest the character of Christ to this world – every day! Jesus is NOT known for His sinfulness; but, rather the opposite! So should the Body of Christ be known! There is a direct correlation between character and works (deeds). Simply stated – “We DO what we ARE!”
In the last three weekly blogs I presented the basis for the fact that the true disciple of Christ is NOT a sinner saved by grace – he/she is a saint who has been saved for heaven by being saved from sin!
In order to effectively proceed with our study, we must refer to the Scripture that began this discussion…
1 John 3:1 – 10 (KJV) “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
I want to remind you that John was saying that those who are truly abiding in Christ neither sin habitually/repeatedly nor abide in a sinful lifestyle. Before coming to Christ sin was our life (lifestyle) and we did by nature that which was sinful and contrary to all God is and stands for. However, after we became members of the Body of Christ through spiritual birth, we were given a new nature (that which is after the nature of Christ) and we now have the power (authority, ability) to overcome our sinful nature by submitting our will to the Will of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord Who lives in us!
Let us review what we have discussed thus far…
- We can live above sin and please God through Christ Jesus, our Lord.
- Jesus knew that life comes from the Word of God. His weapon against the enemy’s attack and attraction was living by “…every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” After all, we are what we eat!
- We are to manifest the character of Christ to this world – every day! Jesus is NOT known for His sinfulness; but, rather the opposite! So should the Body of Christ be known! There is a direct correlation between character and works. After all, we DO what we ARE!
Once again, to reinforce the last point, Jesus said, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake” John 14:11 (KJV). As you can see, Jesus was saying that everything He did evidenced Who He was. He did righteous acts because He was righteous. His actions did not speak louder than His Words – they verified His identity! His Words and actions were in harmony with, and, exhibited His character.
You will recall that Jesus taught the principle of a man’s words revealing the true character of a man and his actions…
Matthew 12:33 – 37 (KJV) “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
In order to exemplify to a lost a dying world, and to the “…great cloud of witnesses…”, that we are saints who have been saved from sin we must take heed what seizes our heart’s desire. Jesus taught us that our hearts would always be in the place that our treasure is. Our words and our actions do exhibit our true character.
Jesus Christ, Who is holy, harmless, and separate from sinners, was clothed in righteousness because He was the expressed image of His Father. Everything He was and everything He did portrayed the Father for all to see. He was not turned aside by the distractions of the world and ways of the enemy. He knew He had a determined amount of time to fulfill His destiny. His Father had determined all this and expected Him to be obedient. We too must have the same mindset. This is what Paul was referring to in the following Scriptures.
Romans 13:11 – 14 (KJV) “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Emphasis Mine).
The disciples were fully aware of Jesus’ practice of prayer and fellowship with His Father. They watched Him go apart from them to seek the face of His Father. Oftentimes, He would bring His “inner circle” of disciples to gather in prayer. He was known for daily prayer! Why? Because He knew it was necessary to be “clothed” with His Father’s protection, power, and presence every day. We too must do the same! Did you notice verse 14? It says to “…put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ…”
The Greek word for “put” is ἐνδύω-enduō-en-doo’-o which means, in the sense of sinking into a garment, to invest with clothing (literally or figuratively):—array, clothe (with), endue, have (put) on.
We must “get dressed” in Jesus Christ every day! We have to do it deliberately – just like we get dressed every day before we leave the house and face our daily work. Pay attention to the Message version of Romans 13:14.
Romans 13:14 (TMSG) “Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!” (Emphasis Mine)
I want to call your attention to the meaning of the Greek word enduō. It does not take much imagination to see that if we were to add exchange the “ō” with an “e,” the word would be endue! Now, let us reflect on this together…
Jesus said He was believable because of the works that He had done. His deeds matched His speech and vice versa. As God, He was perfect – faultless. As Man, He was enabled to maintain His sinless character and to do good by the anointing of the Holy Ghost – Acts 10:38 (KJV) “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Emphasis Mine).
Jesus’ true nature was divine – He always was, is, and will be God. When He became man by the intervention of the Holy Spirit and became the Word incarnate, He needed the “clothing” of the Holy Spirit to enable His humanity to reflect what His character was determined to be by His inner nature.
Jesus knew that we would also need the same anointing that He received in order to live above the world’s ways and will while being enshrouded with a fleshly body. This is why He spoke the following, Luke 24:49 (KJV) “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Emphasis Mine).
Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus told the disciples that they would receive power “…after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…” (Acts 1:8b), and that this “enduing” would enable them (us) to BE witnesses of Him to every part of the earth that He would send us. Without being endued with this ability and authority, we would not be able to effectively reflect Christ’s character.
We still need the enduement with power today! I am thankful that outpouring of the Holy Spirit was not a one-time event, set for a specific day. This “promise” is for all believers who were once sinners in need of a Savior, but have become Saints in need of the Savior’s abiding presence and power to live as He did – to reflect the Father and to “work the works of Him that sends us!”
Our goal should be that of Paul’s…
Philippians 3:9 – 14 (KJV) “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Emphasis Mine).
Ah, yes! Saints are those who have been saved from the penalty of their sins, their propensity to sin, and their personality of sinfulness. They have a deep desire to be like Jesus because the Father has placed that desire into their hearts and He has provided His Holy Spirit to enable them to be clothed in Christ just as Christ was clothed in His Father.