Emerald Christian Fellowship
Serving by the newness of the Spirit
For many of us, the issue the Lord is addressing is not whether or not we want to serve Him. Rather, the issue before us is whether we are serving Him in the newness of the Spirit or trying to serve Him according to the flesh. The apostle Paul was clear that ‘the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God’.
When we try to live as a Christian by the flesh, even though our fleshly motivations may be ‘good’, our mode and practices will always be controlling, and will attempt to overpower our fellow servants, both ‘for their good’ and ‘for our good’. We will define ‘love’ according to our assessment of what is ‘good’. We can be convinced that our motivations are ‘for another’s good’ and, therefore, are an expression of God’s love. Yet, we need to be illuminated to the reality that God does not love that way, and has never done so. The commandment from Christ to us is not merely that ‘we love one another’ but, rather, that we love one another as He loves us.
If we have set our mind on the things of the flesh, then we have returned to the weak and beggarly elements. The motivations of the flesh to ‘trade’ for a good outcome becomes the way by which we live, rather than by offering through the Spirit. In contrast, when we function according to the Spirit, we will understand what it means to daily put to death the flesh, so that we do not function that way. Once we have been released from our own law by dying with Christ, we are free to serve in the newness of the Spirit. We are able to learn what it means to be a minister of the New Covenant.