“Man of Sorrows,” what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
He is reclaiming us, in the present tense, every day. Ruined sinners. We cannot fix ourselves, or become “better Christians.” In ourselves, that is in our flesh, dwells no good thing.
To desire to be a good Christian is in us, but how to perform that desire, we are incapable. Our old man is still our old man… and it is crucified with Christ once for all on that Cross. Rendered inoperative. It has no more hold upon us. It needs to stay on that Cross.
God does not enable our old self, our “old man,” our flesh, to live His righteousness. Only Christ living in us and through us, by faith, can “live the Christian life.”
So how then do we live?
By faith in the completed work of Christ. Faith that our “old man” was crucified with him. We live by faith that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we have also been raised to new life with Him. Faith that the Holy Spirit is doing the work of making us progressively into the image of our Holy Savior. Faith that what he began, he will complete. Faith that it is a finished thing in the mind of God that this is so. Faith.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.” How did we receive Him? As helpless creatures, receiving His life by faith. So we must continue to live in Him… as helpless, needy, dependent ones, who draw our literal breath, both physical and emotional, from Him.
Let us not be foolish… we began with the Spirit doing it all… regenerating us, making us alive, making us judicially clean… making us precious children of God. Having begun in the Spirit, will we now try to attain our goal by our human efforts? May it not be so.
Holy Spirit… break our addiction to self effort. May we draw every breath from you.