How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
The psalmist said the righteous “will flourish like the palm tree” (92:12). What does it mean to flourish as a Christian? John Ortberg said it this way: “God made you to flourish–to receive life from outside yourself, creating vitality within yourself and producing blessing beyond yourself. . . . When you flourish, you become more you. You don’t just become holier. You become you-ier. . . . God wants to redeem you, not exchange you.” Isn’t that a great thought? God wants you to flourish so you can become the person God created you to be.
“Flourishing” is just another word for being filled with the Holy Spirit of God. When you choose to surrender your life to the filling of the Holy Spirit, God does some marvelous things for you. This week, we are going to look at four things the Holy Spirit wants to provide for you.
First of all, He gives you power in times of temptation. Dwight Edwards gave a great illustration of how most Christians see their relationship to sin. He wrote, “Many Christians view their conversion as something like a car wash: You go in a filthy clunker; you come out with your sins washed away–a cleansed clunker.” Most Christians think sin still reigns over their lives. No, the Bible says when you become a Christian, God gives you a brand-new power, and that power is the Holy Spirit of God. Edwards put it this way: “Right there between the power wash and power rinse cycles, a brand new engine was dropped into the car, plus entirely new wiring. Of course the old engine is temporarily left in, and we can choose (foolishly) to operate by it and to live like the clunker we were. But we don’t have to.”
To live according to our old sin nature, our old engine, was unthinkable to the apostle Paul. Look at Romans 6:2-4: “How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
Baptism is a picture of the new life we have in Christ, not after we die but the moment we are saved. If you are a Christian, God does not want the rest of your life to be characterized by defeat and sin. The fact that we have this new engine, this new power inside us, means our lives can be characterized by victory and holiness. The Holy Spirit gives us power in times of temptation.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “What The Holy Spirit Can Do For You” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
John Ortberg, “The Me I Want to Be” (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 14, 16; Dwight Edwards, “Revolution Within: A Fresh Look at Supernatural Living” (Colorado Springs: WaterBrook, 2001), 5.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.