Part 10 of 10

Standing On and Walking In the Truth

Paul said he laid “the foundation” of our faith, which is Christ (1Cor 3:10-11). “Truth” is what is real and eternal. The eternal Christ is the “Spirit of Truth.” The verses discussed in this series reveal the foundational facts of the truth of the Pauline “gospel of Christ” for us today. It is “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Paul explains the key gospel facts we “stand” upon; the Lord’s sovereignty and love, “the foundation” of Christ’s all-sufficient substitutionary work at the cross on our behalf, and then also of the truth of Christ’s resurrection life now indwelling us as our new life - “all things are made new…”

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ he is A NEW CREATION (a NEW CREATURE ALTOGETHER); the OLD [PREVIOUS MORAL AND SPIRITUAL CONDITION] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and NEW has come!” 2 Cor 5:17 (AMP)

Every believer’s position and relationship with God has forever changed from what it was before they were saved. Once I was lost in sin and dead toward God, destined to be eternally lost. Now I am eternally alive “in Christ.” We have a new life and a new identity “in Christ”; I’m now a “Christ person.” Having died with Christ at the Cross we now have no past except His past experience, which was victorious over sin and death – this is now our past experience; we died with him and we are now alive “in Christ.”

As discussed in the last installment, many Christians still have scars from the past that they have never let go of. When we keep replaying past hurts in our mind we keep picking the scab and it never heals. We may erroneously think we can’t let of the past go because we can still recall it – so we keep bringing up the hurt, replaying the scenes in our mind. This keeps us from truly acknowledging Christ who is our (new) life” ( Col 3:4). We shouldn’t be occupied with our past or allow it to affect our living today.

The truth is this, if we want a happy and fulfilled life, then we need to give up the past and allow God to bring us into our present, secure, unshakable, status as His loved child, based upon Christ’s cross and His unconditional love for us. But this “truth” will never become effective for us if we keep wallowing in what once was. We don’t need to go back there in our minds, trying to “figure it out,” or to ask “why,” or to redo or fix the past. We may have been hurt deeply, but the “old us” is now dead and buried with Christ. If you are to enjoy the abundant life in Christ then you can’t bring what is dead with you –you must leave it behind where it belongs, buried. Our new found life and our liberty from the past of our “Old Man” will then yield rest and peace to our souls. We will sleep better and live better in body and soul. Jesus said, Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest… and you will find rest for your souls.  (Matthew 11:28-29a). We must turn from the past to the Lord now within us. Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Sometimes it can be difficult to let go of and “cast down” the thoughts and emotional pangs of the past, but without moving away from it, we remain stunted spiritually. We must replace our illegitimate notions of the past with the truth of God’s word as to our present loved, eternally secure, status “in Christ.” We must live in “the faith,” knowing who we really are as Christ persons. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in “THE FAITH”… Do you not realize that CHRIST JESUS IS IN YOU…” (2 Cor 13:5)

We must let go of the past and the future. They belong to our Eternal Heavenly Father who watches over us. Let your mindset be renewed with Christ’s Spirit and mindset (Philippians 2:5), to be transformed (Rom 12:2). We need to eat, be nourished, and grow by the words of the “truth” in Paul’s epistles, many of which we’ve recounted in this series. God wants you to be renewed, recreated as a new person in Christ. God heals our wounds when we truly let Him into our hearts and minds, allowing Him to take over in our whole life.

To BE MADE NEW IN THE ATTITUDE OF YOUR MINDS, AND TO PUT ON (Grk, enduo, be clothed in) THE NEW SELF, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Ephesians 4:23

Only when we decide to let go of the past and future to believe the “truth” will we be able to live and soar to our potential in the Lord. Put your trust solely in the Lord and He will lift you up.

He (The Lord) gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope (have this expectation) in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isa 40:29-31

When we think on the past we may become chronically depressed, lonely, and angry, addicted, or live a life of bitterness. These then become “strongholds” that control and limit who we are in Christ. They literally keep us from becoming the person that God created us and freed us to be. These things are symptoms of the pain that Christians may have not yet chosen to not give up, they allow the past to dictate their life today.

Some are tempted to ease the hurt of the past by remaining in their own little world where no one else can come in and hurt them. They can’t be emotionally close or available to anyone. The truth is that living a walled off life, without the Lord’s light, life, and truth working in us, we are more vulnerable to secret sin. The “spirit of error” (1John 4:6) likes to keep us wrapped up in our self, our sins, our depressions and our addictions. These devices then keep us from having a living relationship with “Christ who is our life,” but that need not be because we as His children have been forgiven of “all trespasses (sins),” past present and future. Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;  We can turn to the Light of Christ

As long we remain spiritually stunted we won’t enjoy the fruit of our salvation because our mindset and way of living are literally starving us of spiritual light, insight, and Christ’s wisdom. This is what living in our past does to us. We must let go of the past; that is we must “cast down” the images and imaginations we might still carry concerning the past that distract us from living according to our new identity “in Christ.” Paul uses the two words “in Christ” 75 times in 74 verses of His 13 epistles. The fact is that we as believers already are a “new creature… in Christ Jesus,”, thus now we are “as He is in this world.” (1 John 4:17b).

If we are vigilant, knowing our enemies few devices, and recognizing them, we can overcome them. Actually, God can use “all” these temptations “for the good” (Rom 8:28). Upon recognizing and understanding the temptation at hand, it should provoke us to turn our heart to the Lord who has saved us from judgment and now will save us moment by moment from whatever evil is at hand.

Believers must learn to broaden their faith; that is to adopt a new “mindset,” a mind that is set upon and relies upon “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”  Christ within us as our new life will guide our “walk.” God has given us Christ’s life as the way of victory over “the flesh.” As we abide in an intimate thoughtful union with the Lord, we enjoy His “life and peace” and our “walk” then reflects this new way of living. A man’s conduct, in Scripture, is called his “walk.” The Bible has much to say about how we “walk,” morally and spiritually. Many walk after their own lusts” (2 Pet. 3:3) and walk in darkness” (John 12:35). Some even walk in craftiness” (2 Cor. 4:2) trying to lead others astray. Indeed, even Christian believers are sometimes careless about their “walk” and so cause others to stumble. They are walking in concert with the “Sin” spirit that indwells their “flesh” (Rom 7:17, 18, and 20).

Every true child of God should be very mindful of his walk or conduct. Yet, we are saved and walk by God’ grace. Our fixed and sure salvation came “by grace through faith, not of works” (Eph 2:8-10).Yet, we’re savedunto good works.” God’s grace is the root of our salvation, and good works are the fruit of our union with “Christ who is our life.” That fruit is seen in our “walk.” Sincere believers in Christ are “one spirit” with Him (1Cor 6:17) and so it is expected of us that “as Christ was raised up from the dead” after having died for our sins, “even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).

Christians are exhorted to “walk worthy of the Lord, unto all pleasing” (Col. 1:10), to walk in (accord with) the spirit that they might not “fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). They are exhorted to “walk worthy of (their) calling(Eph. 4:1), to “walk as children of the light” (Eph. 5:8). They are exhorted to “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise” (Eph. 5:15), to “walk honestly(Rom. 13:13), to “walk in love” (Eph. 5:2) and to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).

Much more is said about the believer’s “walk” in the Bible, but never are we told that it is our “walk,” or conduct, that makes us acceptable or qualifies us to be saved. Our failing, stumbling ways could never earn salvation for us (Titus 3:5). On the contrary, having seen and received the Lord’s love, we are exhorted by Paul to “walk” pleasing to the Lord out of sheer gratitude to Him.