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posted Mar 31, 2017, 10:28 AM by Linda Dickinson   [ updated Mar 31, 2017, 10:32 AM ]

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Resurrection,

How wonderful it is to know that our Lord Jesus Christ by His innocent suffering and death has truly conquered the old landlord.  This month we conclude this excellent teaching by Larry Christenson with a discussion of “The Principle Behind It.”  May the power of the resurrected Christ fill you with joy and expectation throughout this Holy Season.  How good it is to know that we serve a Risen Savior.  Christ is Risen!  Hallelujah!

Pastor Fred

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by Larry Christenson, from “The Renewed Mind”

“The Principle Behind It”

This encounter with the old landlord is based on sound biblical principles –

1. “Sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14)

Does this mean that our spiritual life becomes lawless and disorderly?  “God forbid!” says St. Paul.  To live under grace does not mean to live contrary to law.  It means that you are now operating under a different regime in the battle against sin.

One of the prime responsibilities of a government is to protect its citizens from coming under the dominion of any foreign power.  When you live under the regime of the law, and sin mounts a siege of temptation against you, you start a counter-barrage of “Thou shalts” and “Thou shalt nots.”  You hurl them with all your might, but after a time you become weary.  Sin outlasts you and gains dominion over you.

When God transfers you to the regime of grace, you no longer depend upon the law to defend you against an onslaught of temptation.  You are under a regime with much more sophisticated weapons.  Not the weapons of law, which you must wield in your own strength and determination, but the weapons of grace, which Christ himself puts into operation.  When you learn to call upon the power of Christ, sin will not gain dominion over you.

2. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2)

The mind that is conformed to this world pays endless tribute to the old landlord.  The renewed mind sets its faith and hope and trust and love upon Jesus.  It “leads every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).  “Take it to Jesus” and “Praise be to Thee, O Lord” become the obligato of one’s life.  And in this life of trust, we are transformed into the image of our Deliverer.

So if the old landlord comes and calls you a terrible sinner, you simply tell him, “Take it to Jesus.”  If he comes and stirs up feelings of hatred, resentment, or despair within you, you tell him once again, “Take it to Jesus.”  If he whispers in your ear that you did a marvelous job, and begins to inflate your ego, you tell him the same thing, “Take it to Jesus.”

If he comes to you with the whip of the law and says, “You have to be more loving! You have to be more patient! You have to be more honest!”  Remember, Christ is the end of the law, also.  You tell him, “Take that to Jesus.  Whatever good is to be worked in me will come through His Spirit, not through the law.”  And, with each encounter, you turn to Jesus in praise and adoration.

3. “As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him” (Colossians 2:6)

The faith that brought Jesus into your life is the faith by which you live.  He is all-sufficient.  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  You wake up in the morning.  The cares of the day begin to crowd in upon you.  You send them on to Jesus.  You go through the day facing the temptations and frustrations and problems of everyday life.  One by one you refer them to Jesus.  The life of inner warfare is transformed into a life of restful abiding in Christ.  He is your Deliverer.  He is, moment by moment, your ever sure defense.

Do you wonder whether such a life of faith and victory is possible?  Do you find a little corner of doubt in your mind that says, “Perhaps for some this might be true, but surely not for me”?  Send that doubt on to Jesus, and you will see!

Christensen, Larry (1974). The Renewed Mind. Minnesota: Bethany House Publisher