Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: To Be Truly Converted--What It Means (and Does Not Mean)

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

If you follow Jesus truly, shouldn't your old sinful nature you received from Adam be annihilated? If you are faithful, shouldn't God now give you a sinless nature so you won't be tempted any more?

To be truly converted does not mean that God puts new flesh upon the old spirit; He gives you a new Spirit within the old flesh. He does not propose to bring new flesh to the old mind, but a new mind to the old flesh.

Victory over sin is not gained by having the human nature taken away, but by receiving the divine nature to subdue and have dominion over the sinful nature. It's not by taking away the sinful flesh, but by His sending in the sinless Spirit to conquer and condemn sin in the flesh. It's the grace of God teaching us to say "No!" to the flesh, just as Jesus did in His life on earth (Titus 2:11, New International Version).

The Bible doesn't say, Let this flesh be upon you which was also upon Christ, but it does say, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). It does not say, Be transformed by the renewing of your flesh, but it does say, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Rom. 12:2). God's people will at last be translated by the renewing of the flesh when Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven; but for now they are transformed by the renewing of their minds.

The Lord Jesus took the same flesh and blood, the same human nature, that we all have, flesh just like our sinful flesh; He was sent "in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3). And therein is our deliverance, our victory "in Christ."

Good News: the closer you come to Jesus, the more you will be tempted by the flesh, but the more the "grace of God" will teach you to say "No!" to the flesh, and so you will "overcome" even as Christ overcame (Rev. 3:21).

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 5, 2001.
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