Tuesday September 28

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5 NKJV

The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Believer

No person ever becomes better or worse. A person’s state may become better or worse, but his nature remains precisely what it is. When one is saved, he does not become better. His sinful nature received from Adam remains as sinful as ever, but he receives from God a new nature that is itself absolute perfection. It is the nature seen in the Person of the Lord Jesus—a nature characterized by the living power of the Spirit of God and therefore called “the Spirit” in contrast to “the flesh.”

An unbeliever has only his fleshly nature, and therefore his mind is set on fleshly things, which are things of which he himself is the center. The believer, having the two natures, may give in to that which is fleshly and be unhappy, but his true character is to mind the things of the Spirit, of which Christ is the center. He is in Spirit, not in flesh, as we also find in verses 9-10: “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit … And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” The believer may have a struggle in choosing purposefully to judge and turn from the temptations of the flesh, but the power for overcoming is not in himself but in the Spirit of God, who dwells in him.

More than this, the Spirit of God does not draw attention to His own work in the heart of the believer to make him look inward at his own condition. Instead, the power of the Spirit at work in the soul will turn the eyes away from self to the blessed Person of the Lord Jesus Christ at the Father’s right hand. It is the great delight of the child of God to see Him in every perfection, every godly virtue, and every excellence that delights the Father’s heart. Fix your eyes upon Him!

L. M. Grant