KB Biola Broadcaster - 1971-02

say, “Christianity will not work for the average man.” My answer is, “You are exactly right. The average man does not have the power with­ in himself. Only the Spirit of God through His indwelling presence can give him that strength and victory!” The moment you become a Chris­ tian you have three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. They are all very real and seek constantly to attack the believer. There is an answer for each one in Scripture. The world’s best combat is Romans 12:1,2. The word against the devil comes from such passages as James 4:7. When it comes to the flesh, God tells you to run (II Timothy 2:22). The world works primarily in the realm of the spirit. The flesh works primarily in the realm of the emo­ tions. Now, not only do we have four levels of living and three enemies, we also have two pulls in the Chris­ tian life. There is the pull on the one hand of legalism, trying to become spiritual by a list of rules and regu­ lations, and going to the other ex­ treme of complete license. Legalism is wrong! God does not want your promises. He rather wants you to be­ lieve His promises. License is also wrong because in addition to new life in Christ you still have your old nature. There is still that warfare of flesh against spirit (Galatians 5:17). Grace and liberty do not exclude certain rules and regulations. There is no such thing as absolute freedom. This is true of God Himself who can only act in accordance with His own character. By way of illustration, I am per­ fectly free to walk down the street swinging my arms. There is no law that says I cannot do that. But my freedom ends where your nose may begin. You see, there are limits to all of our liberties. As far as the believer is concerned, love limits our liberty. There is no real freedom in life until you are running on the track of God’s

Liberty or License Paul has taken the props from un­ der the boasting Judaizers who were proud of being Abraham’s seed, ob­ serving the Mosaic law, and thereby thinking to merit salvation. In the latter part of chapter four he illus­ trates this using Abraham’s two sons: Ishmael born of the bondwoman, Hagar; and Isaac from the free wo­ man, Sarah. The conclusion is force­ fully seen in verse 31. We are not bound by the law, but are of Christ. He points out that the two systems of law and grace cannot co-exist (5 :4 ). If a person attempts to win the favor of God by keeping the law, then Christ becomes of no effect or value. He may as well not have died. In chapters five and six Paul teaches that we are not justified by the law, and also we cannot be made spir­ itual by the law. Spirituality is not a matter of practicing certain “do’s and don’ts.” Asceticism holds that anything which is enjoyable is wrong. This does not bring spirituality any more than emotionalism. The prob­ lem Paul faced, and it is true today, that as one moves away from the law he may drift into an equally dan­ gerous extreme of license. Man is controlled on one of four levels of living. The first is instinct. This is, at times, almost animal—doing what comes naturally. The second is cus­ tom— following the accepted pattern of the majority. This is the life style of most individuals. We fail to real­ ize that just because something is normal does not make it right. The third is the level of conscience. Scripture is quick to remind us that it is never safe to follow this as our infallible guide. It cannot be trusted always to tell us what is right. It must be controlled by the mind of Christ, in obedience to the Word of God. The fourth is the Christian level of living which is far above instinct, custom or conscience. It is the super­ natural way o f life. People sometimes Page 14

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