In What About Spiritual Warfare? I wrote that it is important to realize that we as Christians are part in a spiritual war. This is really important indeed and we should we be watchful and pray, so we can resist the Enemy at the day of evil. I will explain another important aspect of resisting the Enemy using the following passage from the Bible.
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6,9-11 ~
What the Apostle Paul writes in this passage is really strong. Paul writes about two groups. One group will inherit the Kingdom of God and the other will not. The latter consist of people who are sinners. The other group consist of people who are washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God. This is important to understand. The people in the group who is ready to inherit the Kingdom of God is not able to do so in its own strength, but through the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In short, that is to be baptized in Jesus’ name. The following passages support this.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. ~ Colossians 2,9-15 ~
A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is a circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. ~ Romans 2,28-29 ~
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. ~ Romans 6,3-4 ~
These passages make clear to us that baptism into Jesus is the circumcision of our heart by the Spirit. The significance of the step of baptism can not be overstated. It is the way to become into Christ and start a new life by laying down the old life and being raised up in Jesus to live a life for the glory of the Father. This does not mean that after baptism a person will live a perfect life, although this is possible. However, next to being set free from the power of sin, the power of baptism is that we have a new identity. We are no longer sinners, but we are washed, sanctified and justified. When we realize who we really are in Christ this will help us to live holy and for the glory of God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. ~ Romans 6,11-14 ~
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing, and perfect will. ~ Romans 12,1-2 ~
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here! ~ 2 Corinthians 5,17 ~
I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in this world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10,2-5 ~
These passages show us how we should stand strong in our new identity in Christ. For example, when we make a mistake and sin, this can make us feel guilty and take away our willingness to live holy and serve God. Or when we are reminded of some old sin we used to do and feel guilty again this can have the same effect, even though we have confessed this sin and asked and received forgiveness. When we do not handle such situations properly, we can be drawn away from God into sin and lose our service to God. This is where it comes to spiritual battling. We have to apply what Paul writes, that we count ourselves free from sin. This is part of renewing our mind and walking by faith in our new identity, the new creation we are in Christ. We can even proclaim all the promises in the Bible of who we are in Christ in such situations. Instead that such a situation will bring us down, it will build up our faith and that is a very good thing. Another way of dealing with such situations is to demolish and take captive any evil thought in the name of Jesus Christ. In this way we proclaim the finished work of Jesus on the cross that disarmed the authorities and powers who want to accuse us and bring us down and lead us away from God.
So, when we make a mistake and sin, we should remember that we are washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God. This means that we can thank God for forgiveness through the cross. We can also thank God that we are a new creation in Christ and that we are no longer bound to sin. Therefore, we should not feel guilty anymore and can continue serving God with a clean conscience. The Enemy does not want us to feel free and have a clean conscience. He wants to bring us down by accusing us of sin. That is why we have to remember the Truth: we are forgiven in Jesus’ Christ and the devil is a liar. Therefore we should also know that we can take captive evil thoughts which are inspired by the devil. That is why I want to remember you to stand strong in Jesus and be watchful!
Renewing our mind and bringing down evil thoughts are of vital importance if we want to resist the enemy. In all this we have to remember who we really are. We are no longer sinners when we are in Christ, but we are a new creation: holy and pleasing to God. When we are born again and know who we are in Christ, while being watchful, we will be able to bring glory to God in whatever circumstance.
But you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ~ 1 Peter 2,9 ~
God bless you,
Founder of Experience Jesus