Saturday, February 2, 2019

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In this blog, I provide encouragement and biblical teaching on seeking the Lord with all your heart, loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and living a life of holiness, righteousness, and truth.

As the Scripture says:

'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)

And "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Mat 7:13-14)

Some of the topics covered include seeking the Lord, prayer, worship, tithing, inquiring of the Lord, hearing His voice, obedience, grace, godly attire and adornment, sanctification, consecration, backsliding, repentance, brokenness, suffering, humility, the fear of the Lord, the role of the commandments for the disciple of Christ, and the conditions of the New Covenant.  I hope this will be an edifying and encouraging experience for you that will help you to grow in your walk with the Lord.

Seeking the Lord Striving to Enter the Kingdom of God Holy Fire Baptism
Lifting Your Face in Prayer Lifting Hands in Prayer Crying Out to God Loudly
Pressing on Toward the Goal Taking Heaven by Force God Exalts the Humble and Brings Down the Proud
Whom Are You Seeking? Should you fear the Lord? Is a Woman's Hair Her Head Covering?
Aim for Perfection Obedience by the Spirit Is Obedience Optional?
Salvation with Fear and Trembling Holy Living in a Perverted World Drifting Away
The Cost of Discipleship Deleted Scriptures in the Bible? Is Tithing Required?
Where Should You Give Your Tithe? Walking in the Perfect Will of God Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian
The Obedience of Faith Did Jesus Nail the Law to the Cross? Law of Love in the New Testament
The New Covenant Law of Love in the New Testament The Law Fulfilled in Us
The Law Established Through Faith Costly Grace The Law of Christ
The Eyes of the Lord Garments of Godliness The Three Elijahs
The Burning Ones The End Has Come Now, But Not Yet
The Happy Hunters on Fire You're Better Off Following Jesus God Chooses the Weak Things 
The Beauty of Brokenness Seeing Jesus, Loving Him, Character and Glory Hearing the Lord's Voice
Hearing the Lord's Voice Inquiring of the Lord Praise the Lord!
The Loving God Who Bids Us to Come One thing Righteousness, Peace, and Joy
Is the the Self-Help and Actualization Movement a Sham? From Self-confidence to Confidence in the Lord The Self-Help Gospel
Checklist for Revival God Has Not Rejected His Jewish People, Has He? The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer
The Flaming Sword Clean Hands and a Pure Heart The Spirit of the Law
Keeping Your Body Pure and Holy An Open Mind that Loves the Truth Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?
Is Practical Righteousness a Lost Truth? The Apostasy Parables

The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught
The Disciples’ Prayer Is Tolerance a Virtue? Righteousness by Faith not Law
Life is Short. Eternity is Not. Noah's Ark a Type of Christ Grace, Mercy, and Peace
Ultimate Accountability Separation from the World The Knowledge of the Holy
The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness Ask for the Ancient Paths Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven
The Straight and Narrow Path Unhealthy Competition A Peculiar People
Listen to Jesus, Who Upholds Moses and the Prophets Hope for You

Beware of Philosophy and Empty Deception
The Love of Jesus The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer Having a Servant's Heart
Avoiding Worldly Worship Purge the Evil from Among You Who is God?
Living a Life Worthy of the Lord Praying for the Lord Jesus Who is God? - Part II
The Way, Will, and Word of God Overcomers in This Life The Afflictions of the Righteous
Saints Alive in Jesus Bowing Low in Worship Repentance That Leads to Life
Keeping a Good Conscience Remember Lot’s Wife Called to be Blameless
If -- A Picture Paints a Thousand Words The Lord Will Rejoice Over You The Nature of Persecution
The Wardrobe of the Saints Filled Up to All the Fullness of God Loving Deeply
Seeking Glory from God Amazing Grace God's Sovereign Plans and Purposes
Abominations in the Sight of God Identification with Christ Alabaster Jar
Running from God Forgetting the Past Was Jesus Seeker Friendly?
God's View of Public Bathing Is Secular Music for Christians? Ignorance is Not Bliss
In the Yolk of Christianity Songs of the Holy Fire Known by God
Modern Day Idols Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Walking in Truth, Righteousness, and Holiness
Escaping from Dead Religion Living Sacrifices in Consuming Fire God's Amazing Plan for Your Life
Your Identity in Christ Having the Love of God in Your Heart Knowing the Lord
Following in His Steps Our God is an Awesome God! Hide and Seek with God
Belonging to the Lord No Turning Back David, A Man After God's Own Heart
Living on Earth as They Do in Heaven Chosen for Obedience The Ironies Between Jesus and Barabbas
Dedication to God Keep Your Lamp Burning The Holy Fire Series
The Active Nature of Faith Why God Hides His Face Only What's Done for Christ Will Last

Our gift of these articles by Len Lacroix is made possible in part by your gracious support of the ministry. Partner with us online.  You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "Seek My Face" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist. 

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Flesh vs the Spirit

When you consider our life in Christ, it stands in stark contrast to life in the flesh as we once knew it. Living in the Spirit is drastically different than living under the Law. Let's see what the Scriptures says about this difference. In the following table, let's list on the left-hand side those things that pertain to the flesh, the Law, and the old life before Christ. Then on the right-hand side we'll contrast those things to the Spirit, and new life in Christ.



Flesh / Law / Old Christ / Spirit / New
"...you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ..." (Rom 7:4) "so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God." (Rom 7:4)
"For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death." (Rom 7:5) "But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter." (Rom 7:6)
We serve "not in oldness of the letter." (Ro 7:6) "We serve in newness of the Spirit." (Ro 7:6)
"I would not have come to know sin except through the Law" (Ro 7:7) "...apart from the Law sin is dead." (Ro 7:8) 
"when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died..." (Ro 7:9)

"...making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me." (Rom 7:23)
"...the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." (Rom 8:2)
"and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;" (Rom 7:10) "If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness." (Rom 8:10)
"So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good." (Rom 7:12) "...if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law." (Gal 5:18)
"through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful." (Rom 7:13) "...walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." (Gal 5:16)
"we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin." (Rom 7:14) "...the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (Rom 8:4)
"...nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh..." (Ro 7:18) "...those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Gal 5:24)
"For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did:" (Rom 8:3a) "...sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh [of Christ]" (Rom 8:3b)
"Those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh..." (Rom 8:5a) "...those who are according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit." (Rom 8:5b)
"the mind set on the flesh is death..." (Rom 8:6a) "the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace" (Rom 8:6)
"...the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so," (Rom 8:7)
"those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom 8:8) "...those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Gal 5:24)
"...the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit..." (Gal 5:17a) "...the Spirit [sets its desire] against the flesh...so that you may not do the things that you please." (Gal 5:17b)
"...if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." (Rom 8:9b) "...you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you." (Rom 8:9a)
"...if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Rom 8:11)
"...if you are living according to the flesh, you must die..." (Rom 8:13a) "...if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Rom 8:13b)
"Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal 5:19-21) "...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." (Gal 5:22-23)
“I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.” (Rom. 7:14) “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves.” (Rom. 8:15)
"...a spirit of slavery leading to fear..." (Rom 8:15a) "... a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'" (Rom 8:15b)
"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God," (Rom 8:16)

Compare and contrast each point in the left-hand column in relation to the point directly beside it in the right-hand column. Then consider each point in the left-hand column in relation to other points that are not located directly beside them in the right-hand column. As you do so prayerfully, open up and let the Holy Spirit teach you new things you hadn't understood before.

Putting it All Together
I hope you will take some time to meditate on the greatness and the wonder of what we have in Christ, as listed in the right-hand column above, compared to what we had in the flesh. They are as different as night and day, and what we have now is better by far than anything the flesh or living under the Law has to offer. We have exchanged death for life and bondage to sin for freedom in the Spirit. Instead of slavery to fear, we have adoption as sons of Abba, Father, and the Spirit testifies that we are children of God. Rather than being those who practice the misdeeds of the flesh, who will not inherit the kingdom of God, we bear the fruit of the Spirit, against which there is no law. In place of unrelenting condemnation under the Law, there is now no condemnation in Christ. Rather than the serving in the old way of the letter, we serve in the new way of the Spirit. Under the Law, sin became alive and we died, but apart from the Law sin is dead and we live. The Law could not reform us, since our flesh is weak and totally depraved, so the Law served to help us get to know sin. But now that we have died to the Law and to sin, the Spirit living in us is continually helping us get to know Christ better. Instead of being unable to please God, now the righteous requirement of the Law might be fully met in us.

Instead of walking the same old road for miles and miles, hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies, and trying to fill the same old holes inside, (as the lyrics go in the Chain Breaker song by Zach Williams), Jesus has made a way for us to be saved from sin and shame. He breaks every chain in our lives, opens every prison door, sets every captive free, and pours out His Holy Spirit upon us to fill all those empty holes inside. If you are still living in the flesh or under the Law, let me encourage you today -- there's a better life, and that is new life in Christ.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, copyright Lockman Foundation, used by permission. Flesh & Spirit image may be subject to copyright from 316Quotes. Used according to Fair Use Act for commentary and educational purposes only. Chain Breaker lyrics written by Jonathan Lindley Smith / Mia Fieldes / Zach Williams, copyright © Essential Music Publishing.

Author's note I encourage you to read the other articles I have written on this topic, especially the following ones, beginning with the first three articles in the left-hand column:

The Law of Christ 
Faith Works!
The Law Fulfilled in Us
The Law Established Through Faith
The New Covenant
Did Jesus Nail the Law to the Cross?
Righteousness by Faith Not Law
The Obedience of Faith
Righteous Deeds and White Robes
Doing What is Right
Partaking of the Divine Nature
Obedience by the Spirit
What Then Must We Observe?
The Law is Good if Used Lawfully

Also see You Must Be Born AgainThe Spirit's Law of Life, The Spirit of the Law, The Truth Set Me Free, and Baptized with the Spirit. You can access the Main Directory for Seeking the Lord, or my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."  Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.