1 Cor. 1:29 π 2 Cor. 7:1
A preacher recently said, “I don’t believe in heredity. After the new birth we are all new creatures.” True, we have received the spirit of God within: if we haven’t we are none of His. However, this experience doesn’t eliminate all the unholiness dropped on the human race from the initial fall of man in the beginning, nor the accumulation of evil since that time. We are told men will wax worse and worse, and that is rapidly being fulfilled. By nature we are children of wrath, and without the Spirit of God within us we walk according to the powers of this world, and God isn’t our Father. The evil of the prince of the air, Satan is.
To say the new birth makes us instantaneously holy or righteous is unholy and erroneous. When the Spirit of God enters us via the new birth, He who is the Spirit of truth starts housecleaning, and the purifying process is a lifetime process.
An inner warfare starts in the newborn Christian as the Holy Spirit comes against our pride, rebellion, unbelief, fear, anger, lusts, self-will, envy, etc. The ultimate question is: are we willing to totally cooperate with the Holy Spirit within, so He can eliminate these inner evils, inherited from the original fall and further falls of evil men? The flesh wars against the spirit; the self-righteousness of the old self in us uses the new birth experience to convince itself that, now that we are a container of the Holy Spirit, we are better than others, especially the sinners. If we fail to see the futility of this self-righteousness, the Lord will let it go on for years, until we are ready to totally give up the self-righteousness.
If we fail to cooperate with the Holy Spirit within us – say, against anger – God will allow us to reproduce this unholy attribute continually until we see it is destroying us – and of course hurting others, of whom we are not too concerned about because we are determined selfishly to let anger express itself. We are even told by some Christian counselors that this expression is a way to get rid of anger. More fornication doesn’t eliminate fornication.
Many born-again, Spirit-baptized Christian may have numerous undesirable fleshly traits handed down from the original fall of man, plus others inherited via family circumstances – even Christian families. These fleshly traits God desires to help us eliminate or be delivered of. However, if we have inherited a goodly amount of pride, we may not ever want to admit or expose this to the Lord. As a result, they may stay with us until we get to our deathbed.
To really be useful to the Lord entails being willing to expose ourselves to His workmanship and to be purged so we can be partakers of His divine nature. Unless we are exhibiting every fruit of the Spirit, as Jesus did, we need a further cleansing of our inner household.
“…Let us cleanse ourselves from all the filthiness of the flesh.” ( 2 Cor. 7:1; top )
“That no flesh should glory in His presence.” ( 1 Cor. 1:29; top )
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