Chapter 4 – Fruit for God
Romans 8:9 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if it so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. “
Christ now dwells in your heart through faith – you have the Spirit of Christ. God now lives in you.
“[..]so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3:17)
Really close to God!
How close do you want to be to God? The fact is that as believers we are now so close to Jesus that there is not a hair’s breadth between the Lord and us! No longer do you have to go to Jerusalem to a physical temple to pray. You can talk to the Lord just where you are. There is no distance between your spirit and God’s. Nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 6:17: “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit!”
Our spirit is alive and righteous
Consequently, because it is Christ’s Spirit that lives in us, even though our bodies and souls are still affected and damaged by sin and death, our spirit is alive, righteous and holy just like Jesus!
Romans 8:10 “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
Ephesians 4:28 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Hebrews 12:23 “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect”
A new nature
In fact, new birth means your nature has been completely changed. Previously it had been natural to sin because you were of Adam’s fallen spirit: the Old Man. Now you have the New Man Christ Jesus inside and you have a new nature, a divine nature just like Jesus’. What is God’s nature? It is love.
2 Peter 1:4 “Wherebye are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Laws written on the heart
This new nature wants to do what’s right. Through new birth God has written or programmed His laws (not the ‘Ten Commandments’ but rather the commandments of God), and His desires on our hearts. This is the law of Christ, the royal law, the law of liberty.
This means that new birth also affects our will, mind and emotions – our whole person.
Hebrews 8:10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people;”
It affects everything
So then, this new creation miracle is not restricted to just the spirit. This new life, eternal life and resurrection power works from the inside out, affecting and transforming both our emotions, mind, heart and also our physical body:
Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
The new nature does not sin
What’s more, this born-again Christ-like and righteous nature cannot sin!
1 John 3:9 “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.”
Of course, as a believer this doesn’t mean you don’t sin but that Christ in you cannot sin! There has been an identity change and ‘you’, the real ‘you’, is who you are in Christ:
Romans 7:7 “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
Therefore, you have a new identity, a new name. Saul became Paul. You are no longer called a ‘sinner’ you are called a ‘holy one’ or a ‘saint’.
A new identity
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I (the old identity) but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh (the physical existence) I live by faith in the Son of God; who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Lastly, the real proof of whether you are a Christian and in the faith at all, is that Christ is in you. If Christ is indeed in you, then outwardly you may not look like Jesus but your spirit is identical. You are like Christ!
2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
Questions for discussion
1) How do we know we are born-again and have the Spirit of Christ? – Romans 8:9
2) What sort of nature do we now have? – 2 Peter 1:4
3) What has God written on our hearts? – Hebrews 8:10
4) How can the physical body be affected by new birth? – Romans 8:11
5) Can the new nature sin? – 1 John 3:9
6) How do we know we are in the faith? – 2 Corinthians 13:5
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