“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

In the beginning, the Lord God created Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him. “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7) In Genesis, breath is the word nesh-aw-maw, meaning the Lord God breathed a puff of His Divine breath into the soul of His created man. God’s Divine Spirit gave humanity an inspired intellect for their soul and spirit. Only humanity has this, and it separates humanity from all of the earth’s created living beings.

The Lord God had given Adam and Eve dominion over the earth, and they were to cultivate the ground and be fruitful. We know of only one restriction in the Garden of Eden: they were forbidden to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Lucifer, the evil fallen Arch Angel, came to Eve near the forbidden tree. He deceitfully tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. After a short argument where Satan told Eve she would not die, he gave his best argument to disobey God. “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5) Eve ate the fruit and then shared some with Adam.

The act of disobedience to God’s Word fracture the harmony between God and His creation. No longer could God and man walk and talk together. The first couple had misjudged the penalty of their sin. God had told Adam he would die if he ate the forbidden fruit, yet they were alive. Their physical death would come soon enough, but the actual death was spiritual. All of humanity will physically die on this earth. Even the righteous will, even if they are caught up, their bodies will remain in the dust, as it is corrupted. If any in humanity die without their spirit healed from the wage of sin, which is death, their spirits will face the second death in the pit of Hell.

In His love for His creation of humanity, the Lord God sent Himself in the likeness of a man named Jesus. Jesus was sent to be the perfect sacrifice for the sin indebtedness of humanity. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12) Many refuse to believe Jesus is the Son of God, and others do not believe there is a God. Most love their sinful nature more than living a righteous life dedicated to a Savior. It is heartbreaking, as my life before was much more complicated than the Lord living in me. It is not hard to find salvation from the wrath of God but impossible to endure His wrath. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

When God breathed His Divine Spirit into man, humanity became created in the spiritual image of God. Humanity lost that spiritual image at their fall to sin. If a person’s sin is not forgiven and the spirit justified at the judgment Seat of Christ, that person can never enter the gates to Heaven. That is terrible news, but the uncomfortable news is the forgiven are still spiritual beings living in corrupted bodies. There’s continuous battle between the desires of the flesh and the Spirit of God dwelling in the Christian. “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” (Galatians 5:17)

From the fall, humanity has a love affair with the magnificence of the world. The world’s beauty and its resources are treasures all want, and many have a lust for. The Bible gives a pretty complete picture of the desires humanity has that are displeasing to God. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

No one has escaped, and most are still trapped in a never-ending desire for their sinful nature. They not only displace their guilt but love to draw the naive into the same trap. The Christian believer knows once they were in the same downward spiral following the path of destruction. “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” (Ephesians 2:3)

With all the division we see in the world today, it still comes down to two groups of people, the children of wrath and the children of God. The Christians must never forget the state they were in when even they could not know the wickedness of their heart. “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Do not deceive yourselves and remain focused on the path the Lord has placed you on. “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” (Ephesians 2:3)

The battle between the flesh and the spirit will not end until we have escaped the corrupted flesh we are tented in. It is only a battle to be won, and only we can lose it. We must depart the way of the world and stay the course of the King’s Highway. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Once the world was perfect and Adam and Eve were created perfectly. That was long ago, and the righteous of our past have kept the fight, and today the battle is still to be fought. Our fore-parents fought the battle, and Jesus gave them the victory of spirit over the flesh. In Christ, we are equipped to persevere. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

By our repentant conversion, we have received the counsel of His Holy Spirit to guide us through each day of our journey through this world. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26) The worldly cannot know our council because they cannot receive what they do not believe. They search the world for truth and cannot find the truth, but the Spirit in the Christian is truth. “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17)

His Spirit within us is not a Spirit of fear nor defeat, and His Spirit is a perfect image for our spirit to abide in. The Spirit comes from the Kingdom of God and dwells with us each minute of our time here. The Spirit that gives us a vision of the eternal home we are bound for. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

The battle between our spirit and the flesh we carry rages on, but the ultimate victor is ours through Jesus, as He fought the same battle and overcame the world. Jesus took the sins of the world, He took our sins too, and nailed them with Him on the cross, and God accepted that as payment for our sins. Therefore the old sinful self has been crucified with Christ on the cross of Calvary. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) The greatest fear humanity has is not shared with the children of God. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57)

Jesus, our Savior, and friend, the role model of our life, is the essence of God the Father. To know Jesus is to know God, and He is the only way humanity can ever be with Him. Our spirit will be with Him in Heaven, and we will be as He is, for we will be perfected on the Day of Christ Jesus. The battle will be won, and peace will be everlasting. “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, June 10, 2021

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