"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." - Romans 12:2 KJV
What's nice about the Word of God is that it is a word that we can constantly keep coming back to. As the verse states, we are reminded not to be conformed to this world, not to think as the flesh would want us to think, but to be 'transformed by the renewing of (our) mind'. Tullian Tchividjian gives excellent advice, saying that we would do well to preach the Gospel to ourselves every day. This, according to him, is how we ought to 'work out our salvation'; not that we work to earn salvation but that we work to understand the salvation we have in Christ, every day.
I've learned from Joseph Prince that this is where it is important for us to understand the meaning behind what the Psalmist says when he wrote that God's mercies are 'new every morning'. As we are in this world and its troubles that do not cease, we ought to understand in our minds and especially in our hearts that we receive a fresh wave of God's mercy every day. Sin may abound, but where it does abound, the truth is that God's amazing grace super abounds.
Now this does not mean that we can be licentious, that we can sin so that grace abounds. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul anticipates that the thought of licentiousness would arise, and to those who would ask if they can sin in the name of grace, he responds, 'God forbid!'. No, we should not sin... in fact, I dare say, we cannot sin! Sin no longer has the same power it used to have over us! How could we, who have died with Christ, and have risen again in Christ, remain in sin?
Friend, remember that it is no longer we who live, but Christ lives within us (Galatians 2:20)... and greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world! (1 John 4:4) This is the one and only Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God... it is He that declared that in this world, indeed we will have troubles (sin and its consequences being part of these troubles); but friend, take heart - for Christ has already overcome the world! (John 16:33)
As Christ is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). And as Christ has overcome, we can also boldly declare that not only have we overcome, not only have we been raised back to life and brought back on our feet in Christ, but we have been made more than conquerors, more than overcomers (Romans 8:37)! Not only have we been saved from the penalty of sin, we have been made new creations in Christ, fully liberated from its curse and power (2 Corinthians 5;17)! We are no longer dead in sin, but by grace we have been saved, and made alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:5)!
I'll end with this:
"But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;" - 1 Peter 2:9 NASB
Friend, this is a message to myself today as much as it is for you. It is my prayer that by the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the name of Jesus, that which has been mentioned today would not only dwell in your minds, but be set alight in our hearts.
Soli Deo Gloria.
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26