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Archive for April 30th, 2015

Seek the Spirtual Renewal of Our Minds

Finding our True Self

Finding Our True Self

“Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us …

that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.

The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 Jn. 3:1-2)

therefore …

…Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life [your true self] is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.… (Col. 3:2-4)

And, so that …

“… you [may] be renewed in the spirit of your mind, …put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Eph. 4:23-24)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the human realm an inferiority complex is defined by some as:

“An inferiority complex is a lack of self-worth, a doubt and uncertainty, and feelings of not measuring up to standards. It is often subconscious, and is thought to drive afflicted individuals to overcompensate, resulting either in spectacular achievement or extreme asocial behavior. The term was coined to indicate a lack of covert self-esteem.[ For many, it is developed through a combination of genetic personality characteristics and personal experiences.”                   (as excerpted from Wikipedia)

In the natural world an inferiority complex derives from a form of the sin of pride. That is, when this problem is manifest in us, it is because we are focusing our attempt to assess “who we are” on what we think that others think of us. We normally react to this deviant self-centered form of self-analysis by overcompensating in our response to others in a social or worldly activity or venue. It also usually results in a self-demeaning valuation of ourselves, usually resulting in a depressive attitude which further complicates our own well being.

If we fall into such a situation in our lives we definitely need spiritual or psychological counsel.

However, what I wish to discuss with you today is NOT this type of inferiority assessment that come from determining our own adequacy by comparing ourselves with our peers, but rather an inferiority that comes by comparing ourselves with the Holiness of God to the point that it deters our being able to enter into an intimate personal relationship with Him because we feel we are NOT “holy enough” to approach the Divine.

In this discussion it is my intent to demonstrate to you from the Word of God that our true self-worth is in Christ and that the only way to find our true self, our spiritual self, is to “die to our natural self” and yield ourselves to Him for as the scripture says…. “our lives are hidden in Christ and when Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.…” (Col. 3:3-4)

When we begin to truly “live” in the “spiritual” realm we have a tendency to bring our “natural” baggage with us – we assume that our natural reaction to worldly events are applicable responses to events in the spiritual realm.

Nothing could be father from the truth! That is why, in order to be truly active in spiritual things our mind and soul must undergo a transformation. The Father, Himself tells us that ” His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts.” So, if our desire is to grow closer and closer to the Father through Christ, we must permit the Holy Spirit to renew our minds through His Word so that we may understand the Father and his calling and purposes for us!

In the world we strive for acceptance by others based on our own performance or traits that we deem to be acceptable by our peers. Likewise, we think that in order to be loved by others we need to “do something” or have standing as “someone” in order to earn their love.

We incorrectly bring this mentality into the spiritual realm by incorrectly thinking that, in order for God to love us, we need to “earn” His Love through our “good works”. And, extending that attitude, we also think that we cannot approach God’s throne through prayer because we are not “holy ” enough and therefore we look for a “holy” intercessor to pray for us to be able to access God with our petitions.

What we forget, is that, we who are truly converted and baptized Christians are the Father’s Children in Christ and, that in Him, we are New Creation and co-inheritors with Christ of the Father’s Kingdom. We approach His Throne, not in our own righteousness but with the righteousness of His Son, whose Spirit dwells in us. When we are in Jesus, the Father does not see our old “carnal’ self, for that self was crucified with Jesus. What the Father sees is the Glorified Jesus that dwells in us – and it is in His Righteousness that we present ourselves before His throne!

However, in order for us to be able to act in Jesus’ Righteousness we must deny our “old” self and yield our “new”self to His Spirit by presenting ourselves as a “living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1-2) to Him and His Will for us. When we thus surrender our will to Him, His Holy Spirit begins His work in us to conform us the image of His Son through the renewing of our minds and the purification of our spirits and thus transform us to Jesus’ image.

As our transformation progresses, our renewed mind begins to understand God’s ways so that, in understanding, we can, by being obedient to His Word, act in accordance to His purposes in our lives for His Glory, and His Glory alone! Praised be His Holy Name!

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Below are Some of the basic scriptural precepts of the “Good News” that underlie our transformation and help us to understand these truths, not just as a theological concepts but more importantly as elements of a “spiritually” experienced awareness.

<>       In Christ we are a “New Creation”

“…Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,…” (2 Cor. 5: 16-18)

<>       In Christ, we are the Father’s Children

We who repent and believe in Him, become the Father’s Adopted Children and have become joint heirs with Christ … “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Rom 8: 14-17)

 <>       In Christ, we receive His strength and are transferred into His Kingdom …

Empowering us to “… walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,…” (Col. 1:11-13)

 <>        In Christ, God’s Love works patiently with us and in us,

… regardless of our current state. And if we maintain a continuous state of repentance for our daily failings, the Holy Spirit will continue His work of molding us to the image of Jesus, whose spirit dwells in us, for the Glory of His Name! –“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom. 8:35). The answer is that Nothing and no one can separate us from His Love! Praised be His Holy Name!

<>        As His Children, we are His partners in bringing forth His Kingdom

… we are not only inheritors of eternal life in Heaven with Christ, but are also given the opportunity to be partners with the Father in bringing forth His Kingdom in this world so that His will may be accomplish here as it is in Heaven.

“Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5))

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 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.…” (Col.3:1-2)

“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Phil. 4″13)

<>        As His Children, we may approach His Throne without Fear

“…For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4: 15-16)

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As His Children we must come to an awareness that He desires nothing more than, through intimate and personal dialogue, to maintain an active, living relationship with us in every aspect of our lives. Yes, brothers and sisters it is time we understood what it really means to be “Adopted” Children of the Father so that we can also come to understand who we are in Christ and thus become aware of our NEW SELF IN HIM! praised be His Holy Name!

First of all we must realize that without the sacrifice of the Father’s Son we would be spiritual orphans, without a spiritual parent, without a spiritual inheritance, destined to Hades for eternity to serve, Satan , and live a life of despair an torture without end.

Secondly, we must realize that just as pride brought Satan’s downfall, so also the human original sin of pride will bring us to our downfall unless we die our self-willed human tendencies and turn to God salvation. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, the Father offers us, eternal life with Him as our Father, as well as deliverance from the sin and its consequences – a deliverance only for those who believe in Him and accept the Gift of Redemption from sin and its consequences. But if we persist in thinking that our salvation depends on our own works and performance, are we not still simmering in the filthy trap of human pride and rejecting God’s sacrifice of His Son for us?

Think now, if we live our lives as self-centered narcissists – living only for ourselves – and spitting in the face of our Savior and Lord, are we not glorifying Satan and dishonoring Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross? If our lives our lives are centered only on ourselves and a not on God our Creator are we not only idolaters but also blasphemers of the Holy Spirit who presents us the Word of Eternal Love that delivers us from the consequences of our blasphemy? (see Heb.10:29)

As a third consideration, is it not, then, time to lay aside that carnal form of thinking, that leads us to all sorts of pride-filled attitudes, including that of spiritual inferiority, and humbly accept the infinite and merciful gift of redemption that is being freely offered, by putting aside that old nature and putting on our new nature as that of adopted children of the Father? A nature so overcome by the Father’s Love that our only focus is on Him and Him alone. A focus that transforms us so that His Love and His Love alone rules over our hearts so much so that we lose any awareness of our old selves and desire only to fulfill the Father’s purposes in our lives.

How are we then to response to this message of love? Listen to what the Apostle Paul proposes to us: “…the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Rom. 13:12-14)

Putting On the Lord Jesus Christ – our New and Spiritual Self

I conclude my exhortations by presenting you the message that the Apostle Paul gave to the Philippians regarding emptying themselves as Christ emptied Himself, so that the Holy Spirit may being His Work in them and thus begin placing the conformance of their “self” to that of their Savior and Lord …

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.

 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” (Phil. 2:1-16)

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May the Lord Bless you and empower you as you come into your true “self” in Him! Praised be His Holy Name!

Your Brother In Christ … Bartimaeus

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2015])

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