Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mature Christians

I thought this was good....


"We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. "Hebrews 5:11-14

What is it to be mature? What do you need to know to be considered mature? “… the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves ….” “Anyone who lives on milk … is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.” So, you need to know the teaching about righteousness to be a mature Christian. Otherwise, you will not be able “to distinguish good from evil.”

Paul tells us that there were those who “did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.” He also tells us “if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” But “if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
That is why the Gospel is “GOOD NEWS.” “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last” and “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe.”

So our righteousness is “from God” and is Jesus Christ, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins.” He is unto us righteousness: “of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

The purpose of Jesus dying was “that righteousness might be imputed unto them” because “he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.“ It is said to be “the gift of righteousness.”

In Christ you are a “new creation” or a “new man”. “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” We are not to try to attain this, but to understand this is who we ARE in Christ. We are to live in the knowledge of who we are in Christ. In our hearts we are assured and we have on “the breastplate of righteousness” as part of the “whole armor of God” that we may withstand the attacks of the accuser.

When we sin we are accused and condemned by the “accuser of the brethren.” Satan suggests that you are showing who you are by sinning, but Paul says, “If I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.” That is, when I “mind the things of the flesh” I am not being myself in Christ and the law of sin controls my flesh, but “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin.”

Thus, you should “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” because “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so“, “but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

In other words, BE WHO YOU REALLY ARE IN CHRIST. That doesn’t change when you sin. You sin when you “mind the things of the flesh”. When you do sin, understand the “teaching about righteousness”, that you are not acting in accordance with who you really are. Confess that it is a sin and move on in the truth of who you are in Christ Jesus, your RIGHTEOUSNESS.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.

Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” - the righteousness which was imputed to you when you were born again. Remember, you are “the righteousness of God in him”. That is who you really are.

Now BE WHO YOU ARE and you will be a MATURE Christian.

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