Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Can Walk on Water

You Can Walk on Water.
“No I can’t”, you may protest. “That’s impossible! OK, so Jesus walked on water… and Peter did when Jesus called him to, but we can’t.” But we are called to live an impossible life. Jesus said, “You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt 5:48). Are you perfect? “Of course not”, you reply. “No one is.” Well, what are we to do then? The modern church will just pat you on the back and say, “It’s ok, God will still accept you the way you are.” But is that true? Habakkuk 1:13 says of God, “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness”. We cannot come to God in our sin. “Well, yes,” you will agree, “But God’s grace covers all our sin”. Does it? Grace is not just God coming along side of us and accepting us, Grace is found in Jesus.  “Yes, in Christ we are forgiven” you respond. Indeed. It was while we were “yet sinner”s that Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8) but does coming to Christ mean only forgiveness? Are we just to accept that and sit back in the boat when we could be walking on water? “Christ walked on water so we didn’t have to” you may argue. But if that’s true than once we’re “saved” we can go back living the way we were before. “No… um… well...” you say while shifting uncomfortably, “of course there’s supposed to be a change, but there’s only so much we can do”. Much more so, without Christ we can do nothing. “So if it’s impossible,” you sigh, “then what are we arguing about?” Because, “if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:13-14). If we are indeed sons of God then we are called to live accordingly. We are called to live a life in accordance to the Spirit of God. “But how are we supposed to walk on water if it’s impossible?” you cry. The secret of imitation is impartation. We only have the power to imitate Christ by the fact that Christ lives in us. Paul said in Galatians 2, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). We are crucified to the flesh. While we still live and breathe, Christ is the one who is living through us. “But it doesn’t seem like Christ is living through me” you protest. Romans 6 says, “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7). “I know that that’s what the Bible says,” you cry, “but it doesn’t seem like I’m free”. That’s because knowing this is not enough; verse 11 says to “reckon yourself” as dead to sin. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”. This is truth and you must reckon it as such in your life. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63). It is only through the Spirit of God that we can have new life and victory over sin. “But if I’m saved don’t I already have the Spirit of God?” is the next question you ask. Yes, you do and He is changing you, but you do not have His power working in your life do you? “Well,” you say uneasily, “I have… I mean… isn’t the Christian life supposed to be struggling against sin? That’s what Romans 7 talks about.” Well, then, what about Romans 6? That comes first you know. And besides, at the end of chapter 7 when he cries out for deliverance he says, “I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 7:25). And that goes right into Romans 8 that is all about walking after the Spirit. Are you walking after the Spirit? “No,” you reply miserably, “I feel like I’m stuck in chapter 7.” It is the realization that Christ lives in you that will set you free. Ephesians 2 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:4-6). Not only are we made alive and raised up to new life, but we are seated together IN Christ. Paul talks about the mystery of God that now revealed which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). In this light, “if Christ is in you, [than] the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:10). You need to realize your position in Christ. God’s grace is not just forgiveness; it is the enabling power of God working in and through us. It is the grace of God that is teaching us that, “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
Now we can say with Paul, that although we were once slaves to sin “thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57)! 
And to that, I pray you will say, “Amen”.

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