Abiding in Christ — Chapter 03

Chapter 3

Let Not Sin Reign

 

Scripture for Meditation: Romans 6:12

God gives us a simple command in Romans 6:12. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body.”  I suppose we could loosely paraphrase this command as don’t sin! It sounds so easy!

In the very next chapter, Paul makes another statement, and I am sure this is true of every single one of us.  We do not want to sin.  If we are born again, God has given us a new heart.  God has really changed us.  Paul says in Romans 7:18, “for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”  Now, I am sure that we all could say amen to that.  We do not want to sin.  If we are born again, there is a genuine desire not to sin.  But, our trouble is this– how to perform it.  Notice once again the command in Romans 6:12, “Let not sin therefore reign.”  That little word, therefore, connects this command with the immediate context, and that is what we want to see.  God has told us not to sin, and not only has he given us the command, He has also told us how it can take place in our day to day lives.

Too often in Christian circles and Bible believing churches, this is the scene.  Men are told that Jesus died for them and that He rose again. They believe those truths and are genuinely saved.  God has changed their hearts and they want to do what is right.  To will is present with them.  Yet, from many pulpits, the only message they ever hear is how to be saved. Week after week after week, all they hear is John 3:16 and truths that deal with justification and the new birth. They hear much about the fact that Jesus died for me.  Then week after week the appeal is made to come on forward after the service.  They are begged and pleaded with to come forward after a service and consecrate themselves to the Lord that they might stop sinning.  Many are made to feel guilty.  Jesus died for you!  The least you could do is live for Him.  The result is often the kind of frustration that Paul describes in Romans 7.  To will is present, but how to perform is not known.  Very often we discover in these services, where people are pleaded with to come forward, you see the same folks coming forward to consecrate themselves, and re-consecrate and re-re-consecrate themselves.  It is a very frustrating kind of existence.  It is nothing more than self attempting to avoid the death penalty.  The Bible tells us that the fruitful, victorious life of a believer comes through death – reckoning self to be dead indeed unto sin. This is God’s plan: life, growth, and fruit take place after the seed dies, is planted in the ground and is buried. That is the principle of Christian living.  First and foremost we need to reckon that we died with Christ.  Yes, He died for me, but I died with Him.  God wants us as believers to move beyond those truths that deal simply with how to get saved and to go on to truths that deal with how to live.  Getting saved is wonderful.  I do not want to minimize the new birth, but it is only the first step in a life of faith.  The new birth introduces us into a whole life of walking in that very same kind of faith.  “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Col. 2:6).  How did we receive the Lord Jesus?  We received Christ by faith!  How are we to walk in our Christian life?  The very same way – by faith.  The believer needs to go beyond those birth truths.  Regeneration, reconciliation, redemption, and all those wonderful truths stem from the fact of Christ’s death for us. However, we need to mature and to go on to those truths that relate to the fact that I died and rose with Him.

Victory is through faith.  If we are not reckoning ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God, then we are doomed to a life of fruitlessness and frustration.  God’s method of victory is by faith.  As we look at the study of spiritual growth, there are two extremes we want to avoid.  These were mentioned earlier, but they are worth repeating.  On the one hand, we want to avoid the extreme of the Charismatic Movement, which basically encourages the believer to let go of all of his faculties and the Holy Spirit will “zap” you and instantly you will be mature and fruitful. On the other hand, we have the teaching of Reformed theology in which the believer is commanded to crucify himself daily, to discipline himself and practice godliness.  They claim that as you practice it, you discipline yourself, deny yourself, and you work on self-control, striving and struggling day after day, that eventually this kind of self discipline will result in godliness.  The Bible tells us that the opposite is true.  Self-discipline, temperance, or self-control is not the root from which sanctification comes.  Rather the Bible tells us that temperance or self-control or self-discipline is the fruit of a sanctified life.  Self-control is the fruit of the Spirit.  God’s method is to avoid these two extremes.  There is on the one hand the Charismatic extreme where I just let go of everything and God will take over.  And on the other hand, there is the other extreme of legalism in the Reformed circles in which they claim that it is my responsibility to discipline self…  I have got to change myself… I have to struggle under the law.

In the Bible we discover that in one sense, spiritual growth is passive.  It is God working in me both to will and do of His good pleasure.  It is His work.  On the other hand we discover that we have a responsibility and we must never let go of our faculties.  I am responsible to control my mind and my heart, my intellect, my emotion, and my will.  I need to be actively engaged in the process.  Here is the key that links the two together.  It is no longer I, the old I, but it is that new man that has been raised from the dead.

In the last two chapters we looked at two important truths that relate to the cross.  The cross is the center of it all.  We saw in Romans 6, that Jesus died, and I died with Him. Because of the fact that my old man was crucified with Him, we should no longer serve sin.  I died with Christ, my old man is dead, therefore, I am no longer a slave to sin.  I am free.  On the other hand we saw that I was also raised from the dead with Jesus Christ.  That means I am not only free from the bondage to sin, but now, because of the resurrected life of Christ, I am able to walk in newness of life.  What we want to see here is that sanctification or spiritual growth is not based on what “I” do.  It is not how hard I struggle.  Sanctification is based on what Jesus did on the cross.  Christ’s work on the cross and my identification with His death and resurrection, means the cross not only saved me from wrath (justification), but it makes me pure (sanctification).

Paul tells us in these chapters that we need to KNOW these truths.  We need to reckon them to be true in our lives.  In other words, we need to really believe it even when it does not feel that I am free from sin.  It does not seem like I am able to walk in newness of life, nevertheless, God says something happened when I put my faith in Christ.  He simply wants me to walk by faith, with my faith resting upon His Word.  What He said is true and I need to act as if it really were true in my life.

When our faith rests upon these facts in God’s Word, we are able to walk because the resurrection power of God is unleashed in our lives and the indwelling life of Christ will manifest His fruit.  I suppose we could liken this to Peter walking on the water.  Peter was in the midst of a storm and he said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water” (Mt. 14:28).  Do you know what Jesus’ response was?  He said, “Come” (Mt. 14:29).  Peter acted in obedience to an impossible command. (And that is what Christianity is all about. God has given sinners the impossible command to be holy!)  In response to an impossible command, with his eyes on the Lord, trusting in Jesus, believing that what Jesus said He was able to perform, Peter took a step of faith and he walked on the water.  A miracle took place, something Peter was incapable of doing on his own.  The flesh has no power to do that.  But as his eyes were on the Lord, and he was trusting Him, Peter placed his faith on what Jesus said, and took a step of faith.  And God’s power held him up until his eyes turned to the storm.  In a very real sense, that principle of faith is how we are to live day by day.

 

Let Not Sin Reign in Your Members (Rom. 6:12)

Paul said in Romans 6:12, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body.”  This phrase, “let not sin reign” is one word in the original and it is the verb form of the word for king.  And Paul is telling the Romans (and us as we read this), that we are not to allow sin to reign in our body.  Before we came to Christ as our Savior, sin did reign.  Look at Romans 5:21, where Paul says, “sin hath reigned unto death…”  That is the life of an unsaved man, and if you are reading this, and are not born again, you are a slave to sin.  You are  subject (enslaved) to the sin nature within your breast, which is corrupt, and you are totally at its mercy – but it has no mercy.  Our identification with Christ in His death and also in His resurrection changes all that for those who are born again.  In Romans 6:14, Paul states, “sin shall not have dominion over you.”  We are free from sin. Romans 6:7 says,  “he that is dead is freed from sin.”  Now, these are wonderful truths, but we do not always experience that in our day to day lives.  Let us be honest.  Sometimes we do submit to sin.  Sometimes we do cave into the evil monarch, the sin nature.  The principle of sin that reigns in our mortal bodies speaks and we bow before it and sin.  What Romans 6 tells us is that we do not have to sin any more.  There was a time before we came to Christ as Savior we had to do sin’s bidding.  We are free now!  Now Paul says, do not allow sin to reign any more!  We really ARE free because God made us that way through salvation.  Our new heart’s desire is to obey God, “for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Rom. 7:18).

 

Neither Yield Ye Your Members (Rom. 6:13a)

Paul tells us what the real problem is in this chapter.  Look at Romans 6:13.  Here is how, by God’s grace and mercy, we are able to NOT yield ourselves to sin, and we are able to yield ourselves unto God.  Notice the first part of the verse which states, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.”  Remember that sinhere (singular) is not the individual act of sin, but it is the principle of sin.  He likens it in this chapter to an evil king who used to have utter dominion over us. Paul says, we are not to yield to him the members of our body: our eyes, our ears, our tongues, our hands, our feet, our hearts, or our minds.  Here, Paul refers to the members of our bodies as potential instruments of sin.  Instruments are tools that our fallen, sinful, human nature is able to use for his evil purpose.  The principle of sin wants to use my body, (and your body!) to accomplish his evil deeds through us.  Paul says here, do not yield your members unto him.  Why?  His reign is over.  Death has separated us from that evil king.  We died with Christ.  We do not have to listen to his evil bidding any more.  Death changes everything – I died with Christ.  Yet, this old king does not want to go away.  This old king did not die.  We died to him, but he did not die.  The principle of sin still lives in our members and tries to convince us that we have to obey him.  We need to be reminded that he has no more authority over us because God said so.  I do not have to submit to him any more because God said so.  When I believe that and refuse to yield the members of my body unto the principle of sin, that evil king is utterly powerless.  He can do nothing through me unless I, through an act of my own will, voluntarily yield my tongue to him, or my eyes to him, or my heart to him, or my mind to him, or my hands.  His authority is ended.  He is utterly powerless unless we say yes to him and yield our members as instruments for him to use.

You see, everything really has changed since we came to know Christ.  Death changed everything.  We died with Christ and we rose again.  We are new creatures.  It is wonderful that Jesus died for me.  That is how we become born again, by believing those facts.  But, after that, God wants us to go on and mature by remembering, and believing, and reckoning that we died with Him.  Therefore, we are free.  The sin nature that still dwells in me is just as powerful as ever.  However, the chains have been cut asunder, and I do not have to render allegiance to him any more.  His dominion has been broken! Praise the Lord!

This puts us in the driver’s seat, so to speak.  You see the Christian now has two natures.  We have that old nature that delights in sin, and we have a new nature that delights in God.  Naturally there is going to be a desire for holiness.  The will is present with me to do what is right.  But there is also another nature, another principle warring in the members of my body dragging me into sin.  I need to be aware of what my constitution is as a believer–how I am made up.  We need to know that we are free.  Now we can, by God’s grace, have victory over our old nature.  We can render sin, (the principle of sin in our body) to be completely inoperative by an act of our will. That is what Christian freedom is all about–being free from bondage to self and sin.

Notice that these truths are in light of the fact that we died with Jesus Christ.  On the cross, Jesus not only died for my sins, but He died for sin.  Paul makes a big distinction in Romans 6 and 7 between sin in the singular, (which is my sinful nature, the root of all of my troubles) and sins, the fruit, the individual acts of sin–stealing, lying, swearing, cursing, adultery, and all the rest.  Those are acts of sin.  There is a big distinction between the root, (the sin nature) and the fruit, (the acts of sin).

Paul writes in Romans 8:3,  “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh.”   There is no point in struggling under the Law anymore, for “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”  God does not forgive sin, (the nature, the root).  The nature, the principle of sin, God did not forgive.  It is always corrupt.  It is always vile.  It is always opposed to God.  There is no good thing in that principle of sin, our sin nature.  He condemned it to death on the cross.  Just as God does not forgive Satan, but instead, He conquered him.  God conquered our sin nature when Jesus died, and we died with Him.  He condemned our old man (the kind of person we were when we were enslaved to that sin nature) to death on the cross. God did not forgive our old self-life –  He crucified him.  My old man was crucified with Christ. God does forgive my sins, the individual acts of sin.  He will forgive every one of them.  It does not matter if there are 10 trillion of them.  God’s grace is big enough to cover every act of sin I have ever committed.  And, this is the gospel, that Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He rose again.  We need to know that on the cross, God not only dealt with the fruit, but He dealt with the root of the problem.  The root of the problem was my sin nature and it was condemned on the cross with Jesus Christ.  The cross not only deals with my personal sins, it also dealt with me and my sin nature.  The sin nature was forever condemned on the cross.  It is always contrary to the Spirit.  In the flesh, there is no good thing.  There is nothing redeemable about it; it is incurably sick.  God says it was to be crucified.  Sin is condemned.  It has already been judged.  It is a defeated foe in very much the same way that Satan is a defeated foe.  When Jesus died on the cross, He defeated Satan and all the powers of darkness. He rose from the dead triumphing over them in it.  They are a defeated enemy.  Although defeated, our sin nature and Satan are very much alive and active today. The good news of the gospel is that we can have victory because of what Jesus did.  He has already provided victory over Satan. He has already provided victory over the world system.  He has already provided victory over my old nature.  And, that is good news.  Do you know why?  God has said that we are not to let sin reign any more (stop sinning).  Nothing could be more frustrating than trying to conquer or cure the sin nature when God says it is incurably sick.  We will never do it.  There is no good thing in it.  We will never reform it. It will never be “fixed.”  Therefore God says do not even bother trying.

Our old man was crucified.  The sin nature was condemned to death on the cross. Our responsibility as Christians is not to try to conquer the nature of sin.  Jesus already did that.  He condemned sin on the cross.  It is a defeated foe. My death with Jesus Christ separates me from that sin nature.  The chains have been torn asunder!  And, I no longer have to be a slave.  I no longer have to submit to this evil monarch.  God says in Romans 6:12, “Let not sin THEREFORE reign in your mortal body.” “Therefore” (in light of the fact that our sin nature has been judged and is now defeated), we do not have to allow sin to dominate our bodies any more. The context tells us exactly how that can take place.  In Romans 6:11, Paul says, “Likewise RECKON ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God.”  This is faith in God’s Word.  We are to know and believe what God said. He said that we died and that we rose again with Christ. We trust in what Jesus accomplished on the cross–that He really did victor over my sin nature. I am now free, and simple, childlike faith applies the cross to my daily walk. Faith applies the cross to my personal experience, to that temptation I am facing, or to that test I am facing. Faith enables me to appropriate this truth in my daily walk, moment by moment.

As time goes on and we mature in the Lord, faith has a transforming effect in our lives. It transforms the condition of my daily walk and it transforms it from glory to glory–closer and closer to my position in Christ.  That transformation is the result of God working in me by faith, and is not the result of self struggling in the flesh.  Faith is the victory.  Now, doubt still listens to that evil king, our sin nature.  Doubt still listens to him saying, you HAVE to obey me.  Doubt trembles before our sin nature. It causes me to remember all my past failures.  It causes me to see myself as a hopeless sinner totally enslaved to this sin nature.  It causes me to cave in.  It causes me to believe sin really does have dominion over me–even in spite of the fact that God says his dominion is over!  Faith enables me to believe God.  It is as simple as that.  Faith enables me to believe that I am free in Christ Jesus.  The truth shall set you free when your faith rests on the truth of God’s Word.  We are free indeed. When I face that temptation, when I face that trial, when I face that difficult situation, my knees may be knocking together.  It may not feel like I have any strength whatsoever.  But, if I take a step of faith, (however feeble it may seem) God’s power is right there to hold me up, as I obey Him and walk in faith.  (Like Peter walking on water!)

We need to understand that God always honors His Word.  That old man will be rendered inoperative by the principle of faith.  When he has no instrument to use, no member of my body yielded to him, he can do nothing through me.  He is powerless.  This is extremely practical truth.

Just say for example, your boss is having a bad day (again!). He starts yelling at you for no good reason.  What is your immediate reaction?  Get him back!  Strike back!  But, if we have been abiding in Christ, if we have been yielding to the Lord moment by moment, having communion and fellowship with God, if we have been reckoning ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God, we have the power of the resurrection available to us not to yield our tongue to sin.  We can say no to sin by God’s grace.  Without a yielded tongue, our sin nature is inoperative.  He can do nothing through us.  He is unable to say anything.

Just suppose a brother in the Lord has been stabbing you in the back.  That happens sometimes.  He is gossiping and spreading all kinds of dirt about you, and you just happen to have some pretty good dirt about that brother.  What do we do?  The old man will give us 1,001 excuses why it is OK to spread dirt about him.  But, if we have been abiding in Christ, if we have had a heart of submission to God, surrendered to Him, we can refuse to yield our tongue unto sin.  If our old nature has no tongue to use, then he is powerless.  The only thing that is going to be manifested is Christlikeness through our life.

That old king (sin nature) is telling you that you need to go on line and open up some pornographic web site, or open up a bottle of Jack Daniels, or perform some other evil habit.  What do you do?  Well, we could yield the members of our body unto sin.  Or, we could believe what God said.  God said that I do not have to submit to sin because my death with Christ has separated me from his former bondage. I am no longer under the authority of the old sin nature.  I have been raised into the heavenly spheres with Christ.  I am able to walk in newness of life.  My faith rests on these facts.  I take this weak and wobbly step of faith and God holds me up by His infinite power.  Things are different now that we are saved.  As we trust in the living God, the power of the Holy Spirit is unleashed in our lives. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to us now.

 

Yield Yourselves Unto God

In Romans 6:13, Paul not only says that we should not yield our members unto sin, but he goes on in this verse to say, “but yield yourselves unto God.”  Here is the positive side of yielding.  The negative side is do not yield your members unto sin.  The positive side of yielding is yielding self unto God.  Notice the contrast here between the members in the negative side, and self on the positive side.  God wants more than just our body.  God wants me.  He wants all of me yielded to Him.  He wants my whole life.  We are to present ourselves unto God, and to yield ourselves unto God.  The very nature of this word, yield, means there is nothing held back.  There is no such thing as being 99% yielded.  If you are 99% yielded, you are not yielded.  If we hold back just one little smidgen of anything that we are unwilling to turn over to the Lord, then we are not yielded.  It has to be our all on the altar.  Only then will the peace and rest of God be manifested in our life. God deserves that.  He purchased us with His own blood.  He died for us. We belong to Him.  We are no longer our own.  It is our reasonable service to put our all on the altar. In Romans 12:1, Paul uses the very same word when he says, “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.”  There he is talking about yielding or presenting the members of our bodies as a priest would serve God by offering a sacrifice unto Him.  However, here in Romans 6:13, he is not just talking about service, he is talking about life.  My entire life belongs to God.  My life is to be hidden with Christ in God.  “I” died, remember?  Only when we have done that, (surrendered, yielded) will the power of the resurrection life in Jesus Christ be manifested in our life.

You see, all we are and all we have belongs to God, not just Sunday morning, not just Wednesday night.  All of us belongs to God all the time.  It is a new kind of life altogether.  It is a life in which it is no longer I, but Christ.  This can be observed in the lives of godly, mature saints, who serve faithfully and minister in the local church. God has given us examples of what it means to live for Him, and more importantly, Christ living in us! That is exactly what Paul was talking about here.

Notice also in Romans 6:13, Paul says we are not to yield ourselves unto sin, but we are to yield ourselves unto God.  Christ is everything now.  He is our new life.  He is our new authority.  He is our new King.  Whereas before, when we were unsaved, we yielded the members of our body unto the evil king, the principle of sin which dwelt in us.  But, now we are changed.  Now we are to yield our self, our life, and everything we are unto God.  He is our new King.  In II Corinthians 11:2 Paul likens himself to a father who is presenting his young daughter to her new husband to be married.  In that illustration, he speaks of the church at Corinth as his daughter.  He is presenting her to Christ.  He wants to hand over this church to Christ, the Groom. That is the same word as yield in Romans 6:13.  When a father yields his daughter over to her new husband, he is yielding his position of authority over that young girl to another.  Now she has a new authority.  That is exactly what Paul is talking about here. We are to do that with ourselves.  We are to yield ourselves unto God.  The old self-life no longer has any authority over my new life.  That is over.  We relinquish, we surrender our rights to another.  We acknowledge a change of authority in every area of our life.  We acknowledge that it is God who has authority over us now.  As we enter into this new relationship, it is a joyous, abundant life.

Granted, it is a fearful thing to turn over the entire authority of one’s life to Another.  We might do it with fear and trembling, because we like to maintain control, but God says yield unto Me.  When we come as Christians to the place where we are finally willing to yield ourselves, all that we are, and all that we have over to God (absolute surrender, holding nothing back), then and only then, will the power and life of Christ be manifested through us.  That is how sanctification takes place.

When we are fully surrendered and yielded to God, the abundant life begins to become our daily experience.  Then and only then (when we surrender everything unto God) are we able to walk in newness of life.  But if we hold back just a tiny little bit, then we are not yielded–we are not serious with God.  There is no such thing as reckoning yourself to be almost dead.  There are no degrees of death.  Either you are dead or you are alive.  Either we reckon ourselves to be dead, or we are just playing religious games.

Spiritual growth (the resurrection life of Christ) arises out of nothing short of death. When we are serious about wanting real spiritual fruit and growth, the first thing we need to do is to acknowledge that we died to sin and we are alive unto God.  Notice in Romans 6:13, Paul says that we are to “yield yourselves unto God.”  How?  “As those that are alive from the dead.”  God says stop sinning, and start yielding yourselves to God.  Why?  Because something happened, you are alive from the dead.  Salvation really did change us.  It broke our bondage to sin and it made us new creations in heavenly places.  Do not ever underestimate what God can do.  His power will work through us if we will let Him.  We have to yield.  It is wonderful that we can stop sinning.  But that is only half the good news–we do not have to yield our members unto sin.  The rest of the good news is that we can yield ourselves unto God.  That is a fact to be believed: God can even use a sinner like me to manifest the life of Christ to the world!

We need to know this.  We need to believe that God can manifest His love, His grace, His mercy, His compassion through me and to others. And it is all because we were raised with Christ.  I am identified with the cross (death) and the resurrection.  I really was raised from the dead.  I really am different, even if it does not seem like it to me. Sin has already been judged and defeated, condemned at the cross, and there is new life.  I can live by the power and grace of God.  It has nothing to do with me struggling under the Law.  It has to do with me yielding my members unto God.  Then the power of the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit in my life.  Victory has already been provided.  All God wants us to do is believe it and to appropriate it by faith.  That is how we came to Christ.  As Paul says in Colossians 2:6  “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.”  We receive Christ by appropriating Him by faith.  But receiving Him is just the first step of our new life.  It is not the end of the road.  We are to walk in the very same way by appropriating Christ, by identifying ourselves with Him, in His death and in His resurrection.  He is life to us.  He is new life to us.  Believe that we are able to walk in newness of life.  By faith the power of the resurrection is released in our life, and as we yield, we can experience victorious Christian living.  This truth is the foundation of it all.  Our faith is to rest on the truth of what God says.  God says He will be working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.  God’s Word says that we are not the same old sinner, but are changed now.  We have a new nature! God’s Word says that Christ lives in me.  God’s Word says that by faith all things are possible.  This is how God wants us to live.  Just like Peter stepping out of the boat.  The Lord said, “Come.”  I am asking you to do something that is impossible in the flesh, but if you will take a step of faith, with your eyes upon Me, believing in Me, trusting in Me, resting your faith on what I said, then I will hold you up by MY POWER.  That is exactly what happened to Peter when he stepped out of the boat.  And, in a sense, that is how we are to walk.

We will fail as Peter also failed, when we take our eyes off the Lord. When we begin to look at the storm, obeying God seems so impossible, and we begin to sink.  God has to reach down and pull us up again… and again.  The kind of walk Paul is talking about, the kind of victory we ought to be experiencing in our lives day to day, has already been provided for us on the cross.  Sin (the nature) has already been condemned on the cross of Jesus Christ and is a defeated foe.  All God wants us to do is believe it, to yield our members in light of that fact, and to be conscious of the fact that we do not have to sin and that we are able to walk in newness of life.  And so, we yield our tongue to God.  Do you know what God can do with a yielded tongue?  He can use someone as insignificant as me or you to praise Him.  He can use our tongue to share the gospel message and tell someone how they can be saved and go to Heaven!  He can use our hearts to love and to forgive and to restore.  He can use our hands to serve.  He can use our wallets to give.  He can use our ears to listen. And when people see us, they will see Christ in us.  For me to live is Christ!  In other words, when we (the new man in Christ) are yielded to God, the end result is fruit.  Fruit of the Spirit, a Christ like character is being formed in us and we are changed from glory to glory.  Others are seeing a supernatural life, something that is totally foreign to them.  This will attract people to Jesus Christ.

Our yielding self to God is an attitude of faith that unleashes the power of the Holy Spirit and it enables the indwelling life of Christ to be manifested and magnified in our mortal body.  That is what it is all about.  That ought to be our highest goal and purpose in life: to manifest Christ in the way that we live to the glory of God.  And it is not something we do; rather, it is based on something He did.  Just believe it. Reckon it to be so and yield our members unto God.  Trust Him and He will do wonderful things in our lives far beyond what we could have ever dreamed.  Unto Him be glory!

If you are not a born again Christian, then you are still a slave to sin.  You are the unwilling subject of an evil king, the sin nature that dwells within.  The Bible tells us that there is only one way to be delivered from bondage.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6).  And God’s answer for your problem (both your sin nature and all of the sins you have committed) is the cross.  Jesus died for you and He has already paid for all the sins you have committed.  If you will put your faith in Christ, God will GIVE you eternal life.  And fear not, He will enable you to live that life.  You do not have to worry about coming to Christ saying, Oh, I could never live the Christian life.  Of course you cannot. No one can on their own!  It is impossible to live the Christian life without Christ!  Before you can ever live the Christian life, you first need to enter into it.  Jesus said, “I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved…” (Jn. 10:9).  You need to take that very first step of faith in coming to Christ as your Savior.  You must enter into life.  Jesus says you must be born again.  If you will take that simple step of childlike faith, God will give you eternal life, (new life, abundant life) and as you grow and mature and develop, God will give you all that you need to have a victorious Christian life.  You will never break the chain–the power of sin–the bondage to your own sin nature on your own. You need a Savior.  Jesus said just believe on me and I will give you life.  “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be SAVED!” (Acts 16:31).