Page 8 - February 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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area of the believer’s walk, and nowhere   be  spent working  for my  new  master.
        is the change more evident than in the   The flesh responds but the spiritual mind
        mind. Various metaphors are employed   turns away to be loyal to a new master and
        to describe this change of mind.     faithful in a new relationship. This conflict
        A Marriage Contract                  can stumble a new believer, shocked that
          According to Romans 6 the believer’s   he can still sin, but we must remember the
        mind is under a new master (6:17-18),   unchanging positional truth of Romans
        but in chapter 7 the metaphor is a new   8:1 beautifully captured in that hymn by
        marriage. No longer am I a slave to the   Charles Wesley:
        law and its  modus  operandi but I have    “No condemnation now I dread;
        entered the dominion of a new spiritual     Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
        relationship. Paul likens the change to a   Alive in Him, my living Head,
        marriage contract that legally comes to   and clothed in righteousness Divine.”
        an end when a woman’s husband dies,
        freeing her to marry again. When we are   As Paul realises he is powerless to
        saved, we die to the law and are no longer   overcome the flesh in his own strength,
        bound by that old contract because we   he cries out, “O wretched man that I am!
        are now “in Christ,” so that we might   Who shall deliver me from the body of
        “bring forth fruit unto God” (7:4). Our   this death?” (7:24). The answer is in 7:25
        mind, thoughts and affections are free to   – “Jesus Christ our Lord!” This conflict
        be taken up with Him – glorious thought!   will be with us until the Lord’s return,
        Well might we sing, “The longer I serve   but meanwhile, in Romans 8 we discover
        Him the sweeter He grows.” But why is my   a powerful compass for directing our
        mind still troubled with sinful thoughts at   mind: It is the Holy Spirit. Jesus spoke
        times? Paul captured this frustration (note   of this Person before leaving the upper
        the present tense in verses 14-25): “How   room – “He will guide you into all truth”
        to perform that which is good I find not”   (Joh 16:13).
        (7:18).                              A Magnetic Compass
        A Major Conflict                       Why has the world such a magnetic
          Before salvation, sin was habitual and   attraction for the unbeliever? The reason
        could not be resisted because no other   is the unbeliever has only the flesh to steer
        operating principle was present. We   him. The flesh is our fallen nature, and as
        were under contract to the law of sin   two magnets attract, Paul explains, “They
        and working for a master who only pays   that are after the flesh do mind the things
        the wages of sin, which is death (6:23).   of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit
        Although that contract of employment has   the things of the Spirit” (8:5). In context,
        been nailed to the cross, the old employer   it is the unbeliever in view who “walks
        is still around. He is called the flesh and   after the flesh,” but the flesh can also kill
        would still love to have us working for   the spiritual usefulness of a believer. The
        him, so he keeps knocking on our door,   believer’s mind can be pulled by the flesh
        trying to employ our mind in his wicked   toward the world with just one wrong
        work. As I surf the web he is lurking to   thought. For example, I may covet …”If
        ignite my fleshly desires through image   only I had her house or his phone people
        and word, or waste my time that should   would think more of me.” The Holy Spirit

        40   TRUTH kTidings   February  2020
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