We are currently studying the inner man, focusing on the human spirit.
The believer is made a new creature, meaning his inner man is made new, his inner flesh crucified, and this while the body remains for a while, until it is raised a spiritual body (spiritual meaning the life of God, not immaterial).
Being made new, baptized into Christ, we are to be like Him. Our inner man is to be just like His in obedience, character, and virtue.
The key to our success at being Christlike is the Holy Spirit within. We’ve read ISA 11:2 a number of times. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon Him and produced a spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord.
We are baptized into Christ at the moment of salvation, and this immersion in Christ opens the door for our spirit to be like His. When we learn of Him and do as He did we are supernaturally infected and fully influenced by Him.
It is being in contact with Him that makes us like Him. This contact is made fully accessible by being baptized into Him. When we learn of Him and act on that knowledge we are in contact with His inner man and it infects us. To get wet you have to come in contact with the water, just looking will not do it.
God has designed it so that this contact is not possible without the Holy Spirit within. The power of the Spirit to teach, guide, and empower are connected to our obedience.
Christ condemned the Pharisees, not for their learning of the scripture, but for their not doing what it said. They hated Christ because He openly exposed their hypocrisy and He diminished their sphere of influence.
Now, when we become born again we were baptized into union with Christ, meaning that we were immersed in Christ, and so, immersed in His life.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Baptized: in Christ, clothed with Christ, belong to Him, heirs, old self crucified, walk in newness of His life, and all of us are together in Him.
What does this mean for us to whom this has happened? And according to the Bible, it all happened the moment you believed in Christ Jesus as your Savior. It means that my life has been absorbed into His.
If He were a created being that I would be immersed into something better than my old station. But, He is a begotten Son, being very God, the eternal Son of God who became a Man to enable men to become sons of God. I am not immersed in a great creature, but God. Therefore, the life of God, all that is good and right in life, the life from its very source, has infected me to a great degree. And, through learning, wisdom, living, applying, praying, striving, etc., I am invited to see more and more of that life, in other words, to have it continually touch me and infect me.
I have to constantly, daily renew my pursuit of His life, for the sin nature, the flesh within, though it has been executed and made powerless, it still is in me trying to enforce its own passions and desires over my inner man. The infection of sin and evil within me is a permanent resident until I die.
I heard a fine scholar of racism in America state that systematic racism no longer exists in this country. But he did say this; that he is at heart a racist, and that it turns out that everyone is. (He is black by the way) He said, we have to tell that part of us that it will have no voice, no life. Whether he knew it or not, he was speaking of the inner flesh that every man has, and all the redeemed also continue to have. We are to tell it where it gets off. We are to tell it that it will not rule over us, for Christ has rendered it powerless.
The good things of life; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are not prizes that God hands out to whomever He wills, but are Him. They are the fruit of the Spirit of God. They are the outworking of Him, His life, and for them to be produced in my life, I’ve got to become immersed and infected by Him. So Paul tells us to walk by the Spirit, meaning to live by faith in His ministry within you, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. In essence Paul warns us against walking by the flesh. The Paul reveals the fruit of the Spirit. It grows within us as we walk with Him; live by means of Him. No matter what is happening around you, when the world who mock what they cannot understand persecutes you for it, you must live by the Holy Spirit and enjoy the fruit of Him growing within you.
So, you see, the filling of the Spirit, the fulness of God, and the fulness of Christ cannot be prizes that God hands out to people, but the definite result that must happen to those who move into Their sphere.
These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Why is knowing the Father and the Son equated with eternal life? Being baptized or immersed in the life of God you would become infected with the knowledge of Him. And during our life in time, we are invited to personally explore the Father and the Son, which is the same as exploring their lives.
Teach me Thy way, O Lord;
I will walk in Thy truth;
Unite my heart to fear Thy name.
Yet, we are not alone or isolated in this walk. God is very clear about this.
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
We are to live out this life of God’s fullness together, in union with one another, not forsaking our assembling together, considering how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, having the same mind, spirit, love, and purpose. We are a collective. No member of the body can say to another that I have no need of you. We are to lay down our lives for one another and serve one another.
The body of Christ is so composed that each member is necessary is the only one who can do what they do. Yet, each member is meaningless without the rest of the body, and so we are one.