This is the beginning of a series on fixing your eyes on Jesus. I feel this topic is very important and Christians must know this practically in their lives. This is the secret of a victorious Christian life, and if you can master this then you will be able to live the overcoming life that Jesus won for you.
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Gal 5:16-17).
"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom 8:6-8).
There in the Christian lies two realities; there is the carnal man, and then the indwelling Christ, or as Paul puts it, there is the flesh and the Spirit. We are to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh; to live by the indwelling Christ and not by the carnal man. So how do we live by the indwelling Christ (the divine nature of God in you)?
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." (John 15:1-5,8).
"For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." (Rom 7:5).
When you abide in Christ you will bear living fruits, fruit of the Spirit. But when you are in the flesh you bear fruit unto death — these are two realities. When you are in Iceland you will experience the cold life over there. You will have to dress in certain ways, and you will be forced to live certain lifestyle.
But when you are in tropical Africa it is a completely different reality, you will wear different clothes than that in Iceland, you will live in a different way. When you abide in Christ you are forced to experience a different life. It comes naturally, you will just find yourself acting in certain ways because of the reality in this Land (Christ).
"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him." (1John 3:5-6).
This Land (Christ) has not sin in it, so when you are in this Land you can't sin, it's not possible. You cannot be experiencing the scorching heat of Sahara when you are in Antarctica. Sin only exists in the flesh, the land of the carnal man, and when you abide in that land you will experience sin and all kinds of perversion. And the only way to stop experiencing it is to move to the other Land (the indwelling Christ).
As long as you are in the flesh sin will come hard after you. You can choose to stay there, fighting the sin and eventually be taken captive, or you can choose to escape to the Land where sin does not exist, the Land of your deliverance (or salvation). And you don't have to deny the reality in one land in order to experience the reality of the other land.
You don't have to deny that heat exists in order to experience the cold of Antarctica. If you want to experience the cold of Antarctica simply move over there. You can't be staying in the Sahara and hope that if you keep telling yourself, "heat does not exist", then suddenly you will stop feeling the scorching heat — it's just foolishness.
If you want to experience a different reality then move to a different land. I am saying all these because of those who are busy telling themselves that sin does not exist, hoping that if they say it long enough it will stop existing for them. Yes sin does not exist in Christ, but as long as you are in the flesh sin does exist and it will harm you.
We do not know how to abide in Christ, we find ourselves in the flesh and we don't know how to shift back to the Spirit and experience the reality there. As a result we have Christians who will remain in the flesh and be battle with sin, and they become boasted up with pride because of the seemingly success they have, not knowing that they are already defeated.
And we also have those who will remain in the flesh and be busy denying that sin exists; foolishly burying their head in the sand and living a pretence world. No, escape to the Land of your salvation and abide there. So how do we shift and move into the indwelling Christ, as opposed to the carnal man or the flesh?
This post has gotten longer than I expected, I will have to answer the question in the next post, you can search my page for it.