In John 8, Jesus said: "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."Yesterday I wrote about driving nails; about replacing old habit/thoughts with new habit/thoughts. Throughout the day I kept thinking about another set of nails...the ones that were driven into the hands and feet of Jesus. I believe His testimony. He bore much more than a set of nails in my stead, but bore He did...He drank down the cup of God's wrath that I was due. And not just for me, but for many, many others. And He is risen! Risen indeed! We do not need to wait for Easter to celebrate that, right?
Anyone, believer or unbeliever alike, can replace old habit with new...but that is not really the full point I wanted to make. What I want to be doing when I drive nails is to celebrate the victory I have in Christ who took nails into His flesh for me; to live out a life of praise to Him. As He brings it to my attention that I am thinking thoughts or doing deeds that in effect deny Him or are displeasing to Him, it is time to get out the hammer and nails.
We are told in Phil 2:12b-13 to "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Work out? Yes. We sing of His amazing grace...a grace that saves us, sanctifies us. He didn't just give us a ticket to heaven, He gives us the grace to overcome our hellish hearts and practices. He gives us the grace to bear Spirit-filled fruits in our lives for His glory of "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal. 5:22-24).
His crucifixion involved nails and ours do too. Daily we drive in nails of truth so that our lives become more and more like the One who bore nails for us. Daily we work out our salvation. Daily we put off the old man and put on the new.
Eph 4:20-24 But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
To God be all glory!