Stinking Old Adam

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5).

Happy Easter Monday!!!

Because of all that God has done for us in the life, death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ our status is forever changed. Those who receive God’s plan for salvation are forever changed from sinners into sons and daughters of the Kingdom of God.

While our status is changed, it takes the rest of our lives for us to become the people God saved us to become. This is called sanctification. And sanctification is hard work. We will have to work at it for the rest of our lives. But, we are not alone in this work. God has given us his Holy Spirit to help us.

The key word is “help.” The Holy Spirit will help us, remind us, and encourage us. However, the Holy Spirit will not force nor coerce us to change. We have to work with the Holy Spirit to become who God wants us to be.

The great reformer, Martin Luther, is credited with saying, “The old Adam is drowned in baptism but that jackass is a good swimmer!”

The old Adam – our status is changed. We are no longer sinners. We are sons and daughters of God.

But the old Adam is not dead. The old Adam lingers. Our personalities and character need to be developed. Unless we strive to work at becoming who God saved us to become, we will fall back to our default mode – old Adam. This work is sanctification, and this is hard work.

The Apostle Paul knew well this struggle. Read Romans 7. The Apostle Paul struggled with old Adam, just as we do.

The Apostle Paul gives us an insight in how we can work with the Holy Spirit. He tells us:

  • Those who live according to the flesh –> have their minds set on what the flesh desires
  • Those who live according to the Spirit –> have their minds on what the Spirit desires

What is your mind set on? The flesh? or the Spirit?

The Apostle Paul is talking about our pre-determined priorities. Spirit priorities are things we have to pre-determine before our priorities are challenged. We have to pre-determine to set our minds on the Spirit. Our default mode is old Adam. We know old Adam very well. We need to re-train our minds and hearts to be focused on the Spirit because, when we don’t, we will fall back to our default mode – the flesh.

The mind follows the will. Set your minds on the Spirit. This is about obedience. This is about allegiance. This is about alignment. The more we obey and the more we align ourselves with the Spirit, the more we become who God created us to be. This is sanctification. This is an on-going process. This work will continue until Christ completes the work he began in us.

The more we partner with the Holy Spirit, we will be able to look back and see that we are no longer who we used to be a year ago.

Max Dupree said, “We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”

Since we are recipients of such an amazing grace, let us join the Holy Spirit by pre-determining to set our minds on the Spirit.

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