A.W. Tozer: The devil makes it his business to keep Christians in bondage, bound and gagged, actually imprisoned by their own grave clothes.
Unfortunately most modern Christians never take off their grave clothes and live their entire lives in these rotting, smelly clothes that represent the deadness and corruption of our old sin nature. Jesus Christ has provided through his finished work on the cross and his resurrection a new set of clothes with the label “righteousness” and “holiness” that are glorious, pure, and beautiful and reflect the very heart of God. Which clothes are you going to put on today?
The Bible tells us that every person born in this world is spiritually dead because of sin.
Romans 5:12 (Amplified);
Therefore, as sin came into the world through
one man, and death as the result of sin, so
death spread to all men, [no one being able
to stop it or to escape its power] because all
Adam introduced sin into God’s creation in the Garden of Eden, and it corrupted all forms of life. The curse of sin and death passed on to all of Adam’s progeny. No human could stop the infiltration of the sin nature or escape its power. Death, which had not existed in any form before, became the strong ally of sin, as every human born on this earth was subject to death. This was not only physical death, but spiritual death also.
Sin and spiritual death brought enormous consequences upon the human race. Every type of suffering, pain, misery, sickness, affliction, torment, and anguish began to grow and flourish upon the earth because of sin and spiritual death. A great separation and barrier now existed between God and men, women, and children. The human race’s relationship with God was thrown into chaos and confusion. It was like a thick, iron door was shut on a person’s access, communion, and fellowship with God. Adam and Eve had become alienated from the life and presence of God, and their understanding became darkened. They were like blindfolded people wandering aimless in a fog of darkness. The light and spiritual life within them was extinguished, and it left a great void of hunger and need for their loving Creator. Adam had sealed the fate of the human race, and now the great cry was for a Redeemer, a Savior, and a Liberator. No matter how smart, how talented, how strong, how powerful, or how rich a person may be, no one could free themselves from the bondage of their birth nature of sin and their condition of spiritual death.
But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin poured into their nature, causing them to miss the purpose and goal that God had designed for their lives. Their entire relationship with God was defiled and disturbed as bitterness, hostility, separation, and enmity against God flowed into their nature like raw sewage or muddy contaminated waters. Adam and Eve now had a sin nature that was against God and His will having the dominant characteristic of continuously missing the standard of God, like a reckless archer who can never hit the target. The affections, desires, motives, reasoning, and thoughts coming from the sin nature were in rebellion against God and His authority. The sin nature is inherently grounded in hostility against walking with God, trusting God and relying on God as its only sufficiency.
A.W. Tozer: The modern day Christian is not Christ-like. He is quick to defend his flaws, his weaknesses and defeats in fiery red-faced indignation…
Why do we put on the brakes to a holy life?
A.W. Tozer: God is not honored by our arrested development. The New Testament teaches that we should go on to full maturity, that mediocrity is not the highest that Jesus offers…The word “mediocre” comes from two Latin words with mean “halfway to the peak” You cant be a baby all your life!
There is a limitless potential as a Christian in the new birth. God can take you to heights you never thought possible or dreamed of but you first must take off those grave clothes.
Christianity is an endless frontier so never pitch your tent. Take that step into the endless frontier and never stop moving forward with God. Pursue God more and more; pant after God; seek God with your whole heart. Go far more than what is normal for most Christians. Go more than average. Go more than mediocre. God expects us to grow up into full maturity of God in us. God gives us a choice to be in the intimate center of God, and to be his mighty men and heroes or to wallow aimlessly in our grave clothes. Never be satisfied to simply pitch your tent. It is an absolute endless frontier with God. Press on into God. Today is an opportunity to grow. Who has ever explored the end of what is possible in knowing Jesus Christ? What could a person really be like if he or she was orchestrated by the living God that their life decreased everyday for an increase of God Almighty in them? Our mentality should be based on the bounds of God rather than the bounds of man. God I am yours! You do with me as you see fit! I have no agenda! Suddenly the world is turned upside down because God now has His man or woman and He can work thru them and they can become Him in their words, works and actions in the world. There is no limit to where God can take you, but you must take off your grave clothes. Grave clothes keep us entrenched in mediocrity in our Christian lives.
Ephesians 2:1-6: And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
At one time we were spiritually dead in trespasses and sins and conducted our lives according to the pattern of the world, following Satan the great broadcaster (prince of the power of the air) and lived in our grave clothes serving the passions of our flesh and the desires of our minds and bodies because by nature we were dead to God and alive to our grave clothes-our sin nature. God came along and made us alive in Christ and seated us in the heavenlies right beside Jesus Christ.
What a frightening sight if we saw people from this true spiritual perspective. It would look like some horror movie, dead people wandering about with vacant stares, covered in rotting clothes as they do their wicked deeds. This is the spiritual reality that without Christ you are as good as dead because of this sin nature.
Dead in – “In” is locative of sphere, which indicates the sphere or realm, in which we lived before we were born in (the sphere of) Christ. We were not dead because we had committed sin but because we were in the sphere of sin. That’s why we committed sin. We were born with the penchant as it were to commit sins. As a fish lives in an aquarium, we were born in the “aquarium” of sin.
When God looks down from heaven, in a sense, the whole world looks like a cemetery to Him. All God sees are spiritually dead people. Above every corpse (both those “walking” as well as those “lying” in the grave) is a three-word epitaph “DEAD IN SIN.” The world without Christ always makes me think of the 1968 horror spoof “Night of the Living Dead”!
Dead (nekros from which we get English “necropsy”) denotes the body derived of life, and refers literally to the physical condition of being deceased. Lost men are spiritually, eternally dead, not merely weakened, incapacitated, disabled, or sick. Spiritual death is the state of separation from God and His life. Death itself is a separation, whether physical, the separation of the person from his body, or spiritual, the separation of the person from God. Two other marks of a dead person are corruption and impotence, both relevant to the spiritual condition of unregenerate men and women.
Spiritual death is probably the most difficult truth in all of Scripture for human beings to believe (or accept). The unsaved think we as believers have lost our mind talking about the “walking dead”!
In Genesis 2 before Eve had been created, God warned Adam…
but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die. (Genesis 2:17)
Adam and Eve were originally a threefold being of body, soul and spirit. When they sinned, they died spiritually that instant and they lost the spirit of God as part of their being. They became body and soul and cursed with death and passed this sentence down to their children. Only Jesus Christ broke this curse through his death and resurrection. Mohammed, Buddha, Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, the triple goddess of Wicca, Krishna, Deepak Chopra, Dali Lama, and Shinto or any other religious god or figure can never deliver a person from spiritual and physical death and sin. Only Jesus Christ made available eternal life and the ability to take off our grave clothes.
Dead—A dead person has eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear, lips but cannot speak, feet but cannot move. The spiritually dead have within them no ability to respond to God. Unless someone raises them to life, they can never know the God who made them.
As Christians we have passed from this state of spiritual death to life.
I John 3:14a: We know that we have passed from death to life
John 5:24: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
I John 5:11-13: And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Only by Jesus Christ can you pass from death to life. Without Jesus Christ you have no true life only existence that will eventually end in death.
Early in my Christian life I was taught about the New Birth and becoming a new creation in Christ. The great news about the New Birth is that the Christian literally acquires a new, holy nature, a righteous standing in the sight of God, and is guaranteed everlasting life. What God has done for Christians is so great, so magnificent, and so glorious that He tells us that what He did for Israel under the Law is not glorious in comparison.
2 Corinthians 3:7-10 (abridged)
(7) Now if the ministry that brought death [the Law], came with glory,
(8) will not the ministry of the Spirit [the Administration of Grace] be even more glorious?
(9) If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
(10) For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.
Praise God for His magnificent gifts! How thankful and awed we should be. There is no way that the Church deserves a glory that is so great it makes the glory of Israel “no glory,” but God gave us that “surpassing glory” for His reasons and to fulfill His purposes. God deserves all of our thanks and praise, and what God has done in us and for us should be the subject of great focus in our lives. However, even though we are now “holy” children of God, we still have a body of flesh. What do we do about that?
WHY DO WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO WEAR OUR OLD GRAVE CLOTHES? WHY DO WE WANT TO LIVE ANOTHER MOMENT IN THESE GRAVE CLOTHES? THEY STINK LIKE DEATH, THEY ARE ROTTING, THE ARE POLLUTED, THEY ARE DIRTY, AND THEY ARE THE APPAREL OF THE SPIRITUALLY DEAD. WHY WOULD A CHRISTIAN EVEN THINK OF LIVING ONE DAY IN THESE GRAVE CLOTHES? THERE IS NOTHING GLORIFYING TO GOD WHEN WE CONTINUE TO LIVE AND THINK AND ACT IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE WORLD. THERE IS NO GLORY TO GOD WHEN WE ALLOW OUR SIN NATURE TO DOMINATE OUR WORDS, DEEDS, EMOTIONS, THOUGHTS AND CHARACTER. THE GRAVE CLOTHES MUST COME OFF. WHEN LAZARUS WAS MADE ALIVE BY JESUS CHRIST, DO YOU THINK WHEN HE CAME OUT OF THE TOMB, HE KEPT HIS GRAVE CLOTHES ON? WE HAVE BEEN MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST BY THE NEW BIRTH AND WHY SHOULD WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO WALK AROUND IN OUR OLD GRAVE CLOTHES?
Grave clothes represent the things we used to do when we were spiritually dead. Grave clothes represent addictions and worldly things that we hold on to. Grave clothes represent things in your past that you keep holding on too. Grave clothes represent patterns of thinking and living that are rooted in the sin old man nature all of us inherited from Adam. Grave clothes represent all our old worldly habits before we were born again. Grave clothes represent our limited beliefs in what GOD can do in our live. One problem is that some of our grave clothes are so comfortable we don’t want to take them off.
As John MacArthur reminds us:
“You can tell a lot about people in our society by the way they dress. From baseball players to bus drivers, from postal carriers to policemen, people wear the uniform of their profession. Who we are determines what we wear, and failing to “dress the part” can sometimes have embarrassing consequences. Many years ago a very wealthy man in a Southern California town was found wandering around the local country club wearing shabby clothes. He was promptly seized by security guards and charged with vagrancy—even though he owned the country club. He had failed to dress consistent with who he was…Christians must dress themselves spiritually in accordance with their new identity. They have died with Christ and risen to new life. Salvation thus produces a two-sided obligation for believers. Negatively, they must throw off the garment of the old, sinful lifestyle, as Paul pointed out in Col 3:5-9a. Positively, they must put on the lifestyle of the new man.” (MacArthur, J. Colossians. Chicago: Moody Press).
What does Romans, the Magna Carta of Christianity say about putting off your grave clothes?
Romans 6:1-18 (NIV):
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 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. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Our new life is not something simply to be enjoyed in the future as we have an obligation RIGHT NOW to live in a manner consistent with our new nature. We have a duty before God to take off our grave clothes and put own the new nature given to us by God. We are once again body, soul and spirit by the new birth, and when we are saved have birthed within us the very nature of God. I am sure one of the first things Lazarus did when he was raised from the dead by Jesus Christ was to take off his grave clothes. In the Bible times they would prepare the body for burial by wrapping it with spices in linen strips.
John 11:38-44 (NKJV): 38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Can I ask you a question? What garment do you have on? Have you put the old back on? You know, some people enjoy the rags of the old. It is kind of like Lazarus when he came out of the grave. They said,
“Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11:44)
In other words “Loose him and set him free. Take those grave clothes off of him.” He can’t walk. He can’t witness. He can’t worship. Everything about him is all bound up. But you know, some people like to take some of those rags and stick them in their pockets and say,
“You know, I kind of like some of that old stuff. I’d rather wear this garment than the garment of Christ in my life. I don’t want to bow. I kind of enjoy my self-pity. I kind of enjoy my bitterness. I kind of enjoy my lust. I don’t want to bow. I enjoy being covetous. I enjoy dividing people. I would rather wear the old.”
The Scripture says,
“No, you put on the new. You have no option. Wear that garment you got when you received Christ.”
Romans 13:11-14 (NIV): And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Our flesh is like a little baby or bird constantly crying to be fed and to be gratified. Will you answer its call or the call of God to be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ?
Titus 2:11-13: For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach.
God wants us to teach that the grace of God is not a license to sin and live any way we choose whether it glorifies God or not, but rather grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, thrusting off our old grave clothes, and living in a self-controlled, upright and godly manner.
Ephesians 4:22-32 (NASB): 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Put on (enduo from en = in + dúo = to sink, go in or under, to put on) means to put on as a garment, to cause to get into a garment, to clothe or to dress.
In the middle voice as in this verse enduo means to clothe oneself. The aorist tense conveys the sense of “Do this now!” . The aorist tense can also convey the sense that in each new situation we encounter, we are presented with an opportunity to put the new man on ourselves. What does this look like practically? It’s a new conduct in accord with righteousness (“right conduct before God and men”) and holiness (a conduct set apart from what the fallen world typically pursues resulting in its being continually corrupted by the lust of deceit –
Alan Carr explains it this way…
The believer has received a change of life that results in a change in his walk. We are called upon to “put off”, once for all, the ways of the old man who is just growing worse day by day. (Note: The words “is corrupt” are present tense and speak of a corpse that lies rotting in the sun. Each day brings with it more evidence that the corpse is dead!) We are called upon to “put on”, once for all, the new man, who had been created in righteousness and holiness. When the new believer comes to faith in Jesus, he learns a new way of life, Eph 4:19, Ep 4:20! He has experienced a change of heart that results in a profound change of mind, Ep 4:23! God puts a new desire within His children that makes them want to live differently than they used to live! The bottom line is this: the maturing believer looks different, acts different, walks different and thinks different than he did before!
Paul is trying to show you how rotten the old man is. It is the picture of something that is very putrid and is in the process of rotting. The idea of this word is of a dead corpse or cadaver that is now rotting and decaying and stinks and it is getting worse all the time. If you want to go back and put the old garment on, help yourself. But I want to tell you, when you do, you are going to smell up relationships. There is going to be an odor about you that is going to be putrid and rotten. If you take a barrel of apples and throw a rotten one in it, you’ve got exactly the picture right here. People who won’t put on the new garment are the people who are causing all the rot in the body of Christ. Don’t think for a second that there is anything there for you when you go back and put on that old garment.
Let’s look at some of these old grave clothes and see how the Word defines these grave-like characteristics. There is a listing of many of the traits of the old nature in Ephesians 4, Colossians 3 and Galatians 5. We will just take a look at a few of them.
Bitterness reflects a smoldering resentment, a brooding grudge–filled attitude, an unwillingness to forgive or a harsh feeling. Bitterness is the opposite of sweetness and kindness (cf. husbands toward wives in Col 3:19 where we see the “antidote” in context is to love them unconditionally!). The bitter person harbors resentment and even “keeps score” of wrongs (1Cor 13:5).. Don’t be like the man who literally kept a book in which he recorded the wrongs done against him – needless to say he was miserable! Love doesn’t keep score because love has a bad memory. Love finds a way to cover a multitude of sins. 1Pe 4:8.
Wiersbe has this practical comment on “bitterness” to which even believers can fall prey…
An unforgiving spirit is the devil’s playground and before long it becomes the Christian’s battleground. If somebody hurts us, either deliberately or unintentionally, and we do not forgive him, then we begin to develop bitterness within, which hardens the heart (Mt 6:12, 14, 15). We should be tenderhearted and kind, but instead we are hardhearted and bitter. Actually, we are not hurting the person who hurt us; we are only hurting ourselves. Bitterness in the heart makes us treat others the way Satan treats them, when we should treat others the way God has treated us. In His gracious kindness, God has forgiven us, and we should forgive others. We do not forgive for our sake (though we do get a blessing from it) or even for their sake, but for Jesus’ sake. Learning how to forgive and forget is one of the secrets of a happy Christian life.
Wrath (thumos from thúo = move impetuously, particularly as the air or wind, a violent motion or passion of the mind; move violently, rush along) describes passion (as if breathing hard) and so speaks of an agitated, vehement anger that rushes along relentlessly. Thumos describes a tumultuous welling up of the whole spirit; a mighty emotion which seizes and moves the whole inner man.
Anger (orge from orgaô = to teem, to swell) refers to to an inner, deep resentment that seethes and smolders.
Slander (blasphemia from blapto = hinder, injure, hurt + pheme = report, rumor, fame from phemí = to speak; see study of verb form blasphemeo) refers to verbal abuse against someone which denotes the very worst type of slander. It is speech which seeks to wound someone’s reputation by evil reports, evil speaking. Abusive speech against someone by telling lies. It can be used for insulting and speaking evil against God or a person.
Malice (kakia)-describes a mean-spirited or vicious attitude or disposition. It is a wickedness as an evil habit of one’s mind, which includes a desire to harm other people and often hides behind apparently good actions (1Pet 2:16). This sin is not only a viciousness toward another person, but also results in a wrong attitude toward God.
ABUSIVE SPEECH: aischrologian:
The “new man” has (should manifest) a “new language”! =
Let no unwholesome word proceed (present imperative – With the negative = a command calling for cessation of this activity so characteristic of the “old man”) from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. (Eph 4:29)
Abusive speech (aischologia is from from aischrologéo = to be foul–mouthed, which in turn is derived from aischrós = filthy or improper + légo =to say) refers to speech of a kind that is generally considered in poor taste, obscene speech, filthy or dirty speech.
Colossians 3:5-13 (NIV)- Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Ephesians 5:13-18 (NIV): 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Galatians 5:13-25 (NIV): You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Look at the beauty of our new nature in Christ and its beautiful fruit! Love, joy, kindness, humility, tenderness, gentleness, self-control, faith, patience, compassion and forgiveness. As Ephesians admonishes us, we must be careful how we live and not be conformed to the world by walking around in our grave clothes, but be transformed by the renewing our mind and thoughts to God’s Word. Why would we ever want to be the same person with the same habits and same thought patterns and same words and same emotions that we had before we were born again? We need to shine as lights and can only shine as we throw off our grave clothes. We must walk every step in the spirit and not in the flesh. Only then will our life be like a beautiful flower to the world showing forth all the magnificent glory of a child of God.
When you take off your grave clothes and the napkin off your face, then you can see things that you didn’t see before. You can see spiritually with the eyes of God and have great faith and hope for we were blind but now we see. You are no longer blinded by the god of this world.
Now that you have taken off your grave clothes, you can walk by faith and not by your old dead man sight. You don’t have to see it in order to believe it. You don’t have to touch it in order to believe it.
Now that the napkin is moved from your mouth, you can speak to your mountains, be thou removed and cast into the sea.
Life and death are in the power of the tongue, now you can speak life into your situation. You can say I am going to make it, I am going to go against all odds, because I am more than a conqueror, I am a son or daughter of God Almighty, greater is he that is within me than he that is in the world, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and I always triumph in Christ. I praise you because I am awesomely and wonderfully made. With God all things are possible and nothing is too hard for you.
I love the Lord he heard my cry and pitied my every groan and as long as I live and troubles rise, I will hasten to come boldly to the throne of His grace to find help in the time of need.
If you go looking for me where I used to hang out and what I used to do in my old tomb somebody should walk up to you and give you some grave clothes that I left behind. He is not here anymore he is risen. Why are you seeking the living among the dead? We have a choice every day to put on our new clothes that we picked up from the cleaners or the ones we just bought with a fresh crease in them or put on the ones we are familiar with, the ones that are comfortable with from that pile in the middle of the floor, stinking, smelling and all wrinkled up. We have the choice to put on the beautiful and glorious clothes of our new nature or remain in the grave clothes of our sin nature. The choice is ours.