Thursday August 20, 2020
We have learned the response of God to Adam’s sin and the subsequent condemnation of the human race in ROM 5:12-21. And now in chapter 6, our old man, all we were from Adam, is brought back into the picture since its effect upon us who are in Christ is not yet eradicated.
It is brought into view because though it is dead, it can still act upon us if we allow it to, like a decaying dead animal can make us sick.
Our foundation for overcoming the passions and desires of the flesh that remains within us is the Holy Spirit within. His power is released by faith and obedience.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Thy presence,
And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation,
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Very often Hebrew writing in the Bible has a centered theme and it is surrounded by supporting themes. We have that here. In the middle, the central theme is the Holy Spirit upon David, and on either side we find a “steadfast spirit” and a “willing spirit.” This is done on purpose, showing us the truth that the human spirit can only be renewed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. This revelation is brought to fruition in the New Testament.
David understood that his spiritual nature could only be made to love righteousness and hate iniquity by the power of God “breathing” on it, metaphorically, or by the power of the Holy Spirit influencing it.
Steadfast spirit: resistant to sin and surges of passion, not shaken by fear, but calm, tenacious in the path of holiness, immovable in good.
The steadfast spirit is a right spirit, strong to resist, not swept away by surges of passion, nor shaken by terrors of remorse, but calm, tenacious, and resolved, pressing on in the path of holiness, and immovable with the immobility of those who are rooted in God and goodness.
Willing spirit: free in the joy of service, grateful for all things, delights to do God’s will.
A willing spirit is a free spirit, not in the hippie sense, but one ready for all joyful service of thankfulness, and so penetrated with the love of his God that he will delight to do His will, and carry the law charactered in the spontaneous impulses of his renewed nature.
In our age, having the first-fruits within, we pray the same as David, knowing that Christ has already done the work to make us the type of men whose spirit is like this: steadfast and willing. We pray for the eyes of our heart to see the working power of the Spirit within us.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit [if we do we will not “carry out the desire of the flesh” vs. 16]. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Walk by the Spirit - live the Christ-life by the Spirit. Faith in who God has made us to be and obedience to that life (freedom), and steadfast against the quenchers of that life (flesh, world, devil).
The Holy Spirit will empower and guide that attitude and devotion supernaturally from within.
You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
Joy is revealed as a fruit of the Spirit. The Thessalonians by persevering in the word despite tribulation from others and the Spirit’s joy filled them.
Joy is a response to something. We cannot will it or conjure it. We do God’s will and we will experience the joy of the Spirit.
But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men. 15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men. 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
Quench (sbennumi - put out like a fire) the Spirit - not following the commands.
The Holy Spirit empowers us like an inner furnace when we obey by faith.
Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,