Welcome to our Partner Letters Archive . . .

Dear Partner,

Last month I shared how ridiculous it would have been for one of the Israelites to say, "Pharaoh made me do it!" when he had disobeyed God. Pharaoh's armies had been swallowed up in the Red Sea and the Israelites were completely delivered out of Pharaoh's dominion. Many Christians are still blaming their disobedience on demonic forces, when the truth of the matter is:

Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.

Just as Pharaoh lost his dominion over Israel once they had passed through the Red Sea, so Satan and his demonic forces lost all dominion over us when we were born again. We have (past tense) been delivered from the power of darkness. All of the demons put together cannot make us do anything that we choose not to do. That's shouting ground if I ever heard it! Hallelujah!

God desired to be Israel's Protector and Provider. He wanted them to possess the Promised Land. The problem was, fierce enemies inhabited the land. In order for God to be able to fight for Israel, He had to devise a way that would cause Israel to obey Him. If they continued to disobey His every command, their enemies would without doubt destroy them.

Since no man could be born again and receive a new nature until after Jesus rose from the dead, God had to find a way to bring these unregenerate Israelites into obedience. Since He could not deal with them internally directly in their spirit, He gave them the external commandments and ordinances of the Law. Attached to the Law were blessings and cursings. If they obeyed the Law, He could bless them and fight for them against their enemies. If they disobeyed the Law, there were penalties to be suffered in the flesh.

The important point to make is that He had no choice but to give them this written code of the Law externally because He could not deal with them directly, internally, in their spirit. For an Israelite to know "what to do" in virtually any given situation, all he had to do was look at the written Law that had been given.

But we live on this side of the cross. When we were born again, that old rebellious nature of "sin and death" died on the cross with Jesus. We were given a new spirit, one spawned from the loins of the Second Man, the Last Adam ... Jesus Christ. His nature in us is an obedient nature. Therefore, God does not need to give us a written code of "Do's and Don'ts" externally in written form. No, He has written His law on our reborn human spirit;

Paul was explaining this process to a group of Jewish people who lived in Rome. They were having a hard time understanding how it could be that "born again" Gentiles, who had never been given the written code of the Law in the first place, were now able to live such righteous lives after becoming Christians. How could they do that without the written Law? Paul explained;

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Rom 2:15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Rom 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

When Paul says that the Gentiles do "by nature" the things contained in the Law, he is speaking of the "new nature" they received from Jesus Christ when they were born again. Then he goes on to give more detail about how this works in the life of Christians in verse 15. How did God write the work of the law in their hearts? He did it by giving them a "new nature," and along with that new nature comes a sanctified conscience. A Christian doesn't need to have a written code to tell him it is wrong to steal, for example. If he even thinks about stealing something, his "new nature conscience" will immediately condemn that thought, letting him know instantly that stealing is not "right" for a child of God.

One of my very best friends, Pastor LaRue Adkinson, recently had a teaching vision concerning this while in a seeking time. In the vision, he saw a "path" laid out in front of him. It was a dry road with two streams flowing along either side of it. Somehow, in the vision, he "knew" that those two streams represented our "new nature" conscience. The path represented the "right" road to take in any given situation.

So lets say you are walking down the Lord's highway for your life and everything is going well. You are having sweet fellowship and communion with the Lord on a daily basis. Then, off to the right, you see something shiny and attractive in the field next to the highway you've been travelling. It looks so appealing. It looks so desirable. You stop and look at it longingly. You begin to reason with yourself saying, "Surely that would be a good thing for me to have." If you convince yourself to go and get it ... guess what ... you are going to have to leave the dry road and wade through one of the streams of the conscience.

One thing about water ... it's wet! There is no way that you are not going to notice the "wet" the instant you begin to step off of the dry road into the stream. You were dry, now you are wet. You cannot help but notice that! In the same way that the stream of water would alert you to the fact that you were stepping off of the Lord's path for your life, so our new nature conscience instantly causes a disturbance in our level of peace. You suddenly get that familiar "check" within you. Red lights are flashing within your spirit saying, "No, that is not on the Lord's path for your life." The conscience of a born again person is a safe guide. We should never point the finger anywhere else but at ourselves when we "miss it." Don't blame other people. Don't blame the devil. It's useless to even blame our circumstances. Let me tell you why.

Going back to LaRue's vision for a moment, let's say that a Christian stepped off the path, waded through the neck deep stream of water, walked across the field and picked up the shiny, desirable object (which is a type of sin in this analogy). Let's say, at that very moment, this man was suddenly translated to heaven and was standing before the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus asks the man, "Why did you leave the path I had set for you?"

Now think about this. Here is the man standing dripping wet from his neck down. Water is dripping all over the streets of heaven. It's obvious that he waded through the stream of the conscience in order to leave the dry road. What good would it do for him to say, "Lord, I didn't know it was wrong." He never told a bigger lie. In this analogy, he knew he was leaving the Lord's path the instant he stepped into the stream of water. He knew it! Nobody forced him to do it. He simply chose to do it. To point the finger of blame anywhere else disqualifies him from true repentance and restoration.

It will never do for us, as born again Christians, to say "I didn't know it was wrong." Yes we did! Along with our new nature came a sanctified conscience that lets us know, moment by moment, the right way of the Lord. How strong is this sanctified conscience? Look at Paul's conclusion again:

Rom 2:15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Rom 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

When we stand before our Lord on that day, we will not be judged by any sort of external code of written commandments and ordinances. No, we will be judged by how faithfully we obeyed the law written in our hearts when we were born again and received His nature. Thank God He also gave us a sanctified conscience to keep us from straying from His path for our life.

Thank you for your gift to GCM. Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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