Living by the Flesh or living by the Spirit.

Is it possible that the majority of believers who believe they are walking and living by the Spirit, are living and walking in the flesh?

People who are trying to be obedient to religious laws and rules and are having some measure of success at it assume they are walking by the Spirit because their obedience is affirmed by the religious hierarchy as being so.

God righteousness can never be achieved or owned by us, by our doing. True righteousness is wholly and solely a work of God that He imputes to us, it is His gift and He does not remove it from us when we make mistakes.

To try to gain or maintain the righteousness of God by being obedient to what we deem to be Bible demands,` results in self-righteousness because we are called by the people we associate with a "good Christian" and a member in good standing. Self gained righteousness negates the fact that it is a gift of God's Grace of which man can do nothing to gain or maintain. While it is Biblical to live in obedience we must understand that it is the fruit of Christ's righteousness and a work of His Spirit...solely.

Many people put the "cart before the horse" in that they believe the journey of obedience begins with our doing to be obedient. But, the path to obedience that produces His righteousness does not begin with our doing, for our doing produces self-righteousness in us that stinks like "filthy rags" in the site of God. This path of righteousness is a result of knowing that there is nothing that is required on our part, we must come to the end of ourself and give ourself to Himself to work His righteousness in us.

We misunderstand the Gospel of Grace if we separate salvation from sanctification. Paul said in I Corinthians 1:30 that Jesus is our everything. "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption," We must believe for ourselves what Jesus said about Himself, "I can do nothing of my own initiative".

Jesus said, "unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies it remains alone; but if it dies it bears much fruit"; and also, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. There are two ways to understand this. One way is to feel that I must deny myself; I must crucify myself; and I must exert my will to be obedient. This is a work of the flesh. The other way is to recognize that I am unable to bring life to myself any because Himself has given grace for all that is needed to be in relationship with Him and to recognize that I do not have the ability to be holy by keeping the law. I have to recognize my will and abilities as crucified (I no longer depend on human will power); I have to keep my egotistic flesh of its self-righteousness in the grave. The cross brought about the death of myself with regards to being able to make myself holy enough to create life and obedience in myself.

There is only one solution to this human mess and that is to do as Paul says, "But I say Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh". This walking by the Spirit is simply to walk in God and His power within. My human power is crucified, now my only hope is in His power. This "walking by the Spirit" is not to be confused with the pursuit of "spiritual" phenomena, tongue talking, genuine spiritual experiences or weird experiences considered spiritual. This "walking" is a rock solid belief that the life that is lived is lived in dependence on the Grace of God alone. Then and only then can we "glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh".

Flesh free spiritual living is GRACE LIVING!

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