"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Galatians 5:24
Jesus was sentenced to die in the place of a condemned man Barabbas. Barabbas was a flagrant sinner, (who represents every man without God), Jesus called his death "his baptism", Paul states that, "as many who are baptized into Christ are baptized into His death." We are also likened to have risen with Him, a figurative picture portrayed in the coming forth out of the water in immersion baptism. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? - Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:3,4 kjv)
"Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole." (Acts 4:10) "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;" "But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:23,24 kjv)
is an act of faith which has been performed
as a religious act for a very long time and
sacramentally as an even longer time. Churches
practice baptism in various forms. Some sprinkle
while others immerse. In some denominations
it is performed upon children. In new testament
application it was only administered to those
who professed Christ as savior and Lord.
Jesus asks us to take up our own cross in following him. Though we are not expected to die on a cross we are expected to know that it is a powerful force to initiate a Spiritual life in the Kingdom of God and that "by faith" we can access all of its promise and potential. We come forth from the water, resurrected. We come forth from the water, in the power of the Christ life within. We come forth from the water, separated from the old nature with its lusts. We have symbolically put the old "me" to death. The Ethiopian eunuch who Phillip ministered to in Gaza was taught only the essentials of Christ crucified and risen and as Messiach who fulfilled all prophetic scripture a subsitutionary sacrafice for each sinner. Phillip also taught the essentials of Baptism to him. It just so happened that they found a place with enough water at this juncture of the journey through Gaza. Phillip baptized the man and immediately sent him on his way to Ethiopia in the power of the Spirit. This was the extent of his discipling but we can be assured that it was enough and fully empowered by the Holy Spirit. It was this man who carried the Gospel in power and simplicity to hundreds in his own land, who provided a tradition of apostolic Christianity which lasted hundreds of years.
Infants who have not yet reached the age of reason may be dedicated or blessed, in a special act of faith, but this is not Biblical baptism which is a dedicatory act of a believer. Baptism is to submerse in water to come up out of the water symbolizing the crucifixion of the old man and the the entry into a new resurrected life.
of Losing One's Life
Life and life more abundant are what Jesus promises his disciples. But this abundant spiritual life lies in an entirely different sort of configuration than that which worldly persons value or seek. As we grow spiritually, God causes us to feel alienated from the world, distinct and apart from it, owning different values and treasuring other kinds of treasures than the world treasures. We can not simple "will" to despise worldliness it is something which the Spirit begins to grow in us as a fruit of righteousness.
We eventually begin to hate both the ways of the world and its impact on our own lives (in its pettiness, shallowness and spiritual blindness).
the beginning of our spiritual walk, that which
some describe as spiritual infancy, we tend
to migrate back to life as we had known it.
We had a familiar lifestyle and a pattern of
thinking, speaking and reacting to others.
Our old nature included our habitual excesses,
our reputations for good or evil, our self
pride, our name, our looks, our offices, our
talents, our careers and educations. These
things do not impress God nor did they ever
impress him. Until we regard them as "dung,"
as Paul stated in his letter to the Phillipians
Chapter 3 and verse 8. We do not yet have a
heavenly perspective. Our old vanities were
forged in the semblance of this world and its
vain idolatries and will pass as the fog in
the morning."- if a man think himself
to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth
himself." (Galatians 6:3)
Our bodies and our lives were once the property of Satan! You may personally have a higher view of your own present or past lifestyle than this, but nonetheless it is the scripturally correct viewpoint which we must adopt. A life without redemption through Jesus Christ was a life lived in Satan's domain. The 'God of this world' wants desperately to continue in it.
The following list describes attributes of the natural man man or woman, carnal, that is to say the unredeemed and souish, self-centered personality
the works of the flesh are manifest, which
are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
lasciviousness," "Idolatry, witchcraft,
hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife,
seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness,
revellings, and such like: of the which I tell
you before, as I have also told you in time
past, that they which do such things shall
not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians
Scriptural proof passages describe the serious limitation of the human soul in its natural state. The natural man can not know God. Now, we know that many people are marvelously gifted with natural virtues and abilities. Some intellectual, some physical, some musical, some poetical, some marvelous organizers, etc. These natural abilities are still inadequate to do what the Lord wishes to do through us. We need to have some insights on how we can go beyond natural abilities or natural limitations. How does God instruct us to overcome these natural abilities or limitations? By walking in the Spirit. The natural man (Gk. psuchikos) is also translated the man without the spirit. It denotes a human being whose life centers around his or her own soulish nature. The soulish being is personality centered, comprised of natural intellect, will, feelings and emotion. (1Corinthians 2:14) states that such soulish persons can not receive things which are of the Spirit of God, such things are foolishness to him.
Walking in the Spirit is more than having knowledge about God or the Bible. It is even more than renewed attitudes and beliefs, it is walking in (a present-moment awareness) of the life of God within us; to be aware that we are enshrouded and encompassed by Christ's life and Spirit.
Walking in the Spirit is a state of Spiritual consciousness of actually partaking of the mind of God. There is a way of entering in to this state, through an act of faith of yielding and entering. Preparing the heart may take some attention, we must turn from many things which have us bound up; cares, fears, other voices inside have to be stilled; we give place to God, both through will and word. Walking in the Spirit means letting go of our own self-life, personality and all of life's lusts and idols.
One can not partake of this life with hatred or unforgiveness in your heart. One can not partake of this life with rage or jealousy in your heart. One can not partake of this life with unforgiveness or bitterness in your heart. We must unload all burdens, set aside all anger and filthiness of the flesh. Then we enter in, as follows.
The things we do and the things we think regulate spiritual life. David the psalmist king of Israel knew this and dealt with the whole issue saying, "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto you O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."(Psalm 19:4)
The purity and integrity of our spiritual lives is based upon the meditation(s) of our hearts, those things which occupy our thought life when no one is around and no one else influences your behavior.
Jesus taught that it is in the heart where man's treasure lies. As we value and treasure things we give thought and meditation to these things. After thinking and meditating on the matters of greatest interest to us we are likely to respond with words and actions which will map our treasures.
Jesus spoke of good treasures and evil treasures and said that we speak as an overflow from the abundance of our hearts, thus we may bring forth either good or evil. Evil meditations will ultimately bring forth corrupted worship. It is the thing which we worship most highly which occupies the meditation of our hearts.
effort to Change our Worship - Meditation
Cleanse me, make me pure. Remember me TODAY
in your kingdom. Give me your spirit now so
that I become a child of God. Release me in
the Spirit of worship and praise. Father, I
thank you for receiving me into your presence.
Saying these things with your mouth will activate
your faith and God's response. in Jesus name
I pray this. "Say it! And say it only
if you mean it!
Allow this token of cleansing to do its work, It is part of the seed dying and the vessel being broken so it can give forth a new incense out of your life, an incense of praise unto God.
Press into the Holy place which is that secret place of the most high, revealed in your spirit. This process may take minutes, hours or even days. Wait upon the Lord for Him to complete you. Give praise to God. Speak to Him and listen to Him respond to you. Begin to walk in the Spirit.
"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." (Galatians 5:25) "Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." (Galatians 5:26) "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2) "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Galatians 6:14)
Mysteries, Chapter 5
Understanding Home Fellowships