Comparing Apples and Oranges

apples and orangesLately, I’ve been revisiting the basics in my faith and relationship with Father. I’ve been amazed at how significantly different I’ve been seeing and understanding the simplest nuances of faith in Christ!

I’ve always been fascinated by the “unsearchable riches of Christ” concept. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you can’t search them out and come to know them but, rather, it means that His riches cannot be exhausted.   My, my, my,……the things Father has prepared for His children to enter into!

Over the years, by living in community with brothers/sisters and experiencing a corporate expression of His Grace and Love, I have come to experience and know Him in ways I could never have fathomed.

Now, in this particular season, as I return to re-evaluate the meaning of foundations in my own personal faith, such as “being born again”, I see Him going deeper in me. The more He is revealed to me, the more I desire He be revealed in me and that requires me to decrease so that He may increase.

It is becoming more apparent to me now what a wonderful thing Father has done in sending His Son and allowing us the privilege of believing in the finished work of Christ! What actually transpires within a believer at the born again experience is truly a miracle and truly serves as the basis of operation in this newness of life.

In his exposition of Romans 6, Kenneth S. Wuest explains:

Our condition is changed from that of a sinner to that of a saint. We were not only placed in Christ that we might share in his death and thus be separated from the evil nature, but we were placed in Him that we might share His resurrection and thus have divine life imparted to us.

The newness of life here does not refer to a new quality of experience or conduct but to a new quality of life imparted to the individual. Romans 6 does not deal with the Christian’s experience or behavior. The newness of  life, therefore refers, not to a new kind of life the believer is to live, but to a new source of ethical and spiritual energy imparted to him by God by which he is enabled to live the life to which Paul exhorts in Romans 12-16.

Dead to sin being separated from the evil nature.  Alive to God through our born again nature. That is the TRUE state of a born again believer. It was accomplished by Christ’s efficacious work.  Being so much more than just a sinner saved by grace is what our faith in Christ’s work has achieved in God’s economy.  Achieving “sainthood” is not a destination for a born again believer, it is where we begin and a present reality that we must learn to partake of and reveal.

Most believers have been taught that we are an apple.  The apple represents the sin nature.  We are trained to keep our sinful nature ever present before us and with all of our might and will power, resist the sin nature, curse the sin nature, die to the sin nature.  We look at the manner of life which we live and we try to do better and to be a good person, a Christian.  We even study the Bible and pray a lot, especially after we slip up and take a big ole bite of the apple flesh.

But, in reality, based upon Christ, we are an orange. We are a completely different type of thing!  In Christ, we exist as a new creature.  We are a born again spirit regenerated according to God’s nature which now resides in us.  Old (apple) things are passed away, and LOOK at what has happened, all things have become new (orangey).

holding apple and orange

The choice is yours!

Imagine what would happen if we focused all of our time, attention and energy toward the orange.  We’d have to put the apple down in order to begin to peel the orange and enjoy the fruit of the orange or born again nature. If we identified with the orange as we are supposed to do rather than the apple, we would quite NATURALLY dismiss the apple in pursuit of experiencing the orange.

My metaphor may seem a bit simplistic or just plain odd to some but I am trying to give you a simple mental image of what is transpiring in the life of a believer.  If you want to get biblical, I reckon I can go that route too”:

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  – Galatians 5:1,16-17 –

Here’s what I am saying.  Father deals with you as I have described above. He views you and deals with you “in Christ”…….. He sees you as dead to the sinful nature and ALIVE in relation to Him through your born again nature He imparted to you.  This is why our brother Paul encourages us to RECKON ourselves dead to sin and alive to God. He needs you to “reckon” as He “reckons” so that you two are on the same page and DO NOT DISCONNECT!  The major reason that most believers suffer frustrated Christian walks is because they deal with God in an inaccurate fashion.

Again, I will return to our Greek scholar, Kenneth S. Wuest:

The Christian who does not count upon the fact that the divine nature is implanted in his inner being, goes on living his Christian life as best he can more or less in the energy of his own strength with the result that he exhibits a mediocre  Christian experience.

But the believer who counts upon the fact that he is a possessor of the divine nature, ceases from his own struggles at living a Christian life and avails himself of the life of God supplied in the divine nature. So the first adjustment the christian should make is that of counting upon the fact that the power of the indwelling sinful nature is broken and the divine nature imparted, and order his life on that principle.

If we believe the Gospel at all, we must believe that sin no longer has dominion over us.  Being alive to God and having His life in us, our will is totally set free. We must no longer choose to resurrect the old, dead  sin nature and partake of its’ deadly fruit.  We must agree with Father and yield ourselves completely to the witness of the Holy Spirit with our born again spirit that we are indeed Father’s children.  Not only will His Spirit give you the desire and strength to pursue Him through your born again nature, He will lead and guide you into all truth and all that He has prepared for you!

Keep your peace!

 

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9 thoughts on “Comparing Apples and Oranges

  1. Wow – right on! I love the analogy of the apple/orange. This stuff is so essential for Christians to understand. I feel like I have barely peeled much off the orange, it is so awesome when God begins to reveal a new layer of revelation and understanding about our true identity in Christ, what a wonderful inheritance we have received! Blessings to you

  2. New Covenant joy, realized by few: Hebrews 10:2 – “that there might be no more consciousness of sin.” The OT was characterized by sin consciousness and sin centrality. We are supposed to have had a change of consciousness if we are new creation believers: Christ-conscisousness is now our center. The strength of sin is the law and focusing on it does nothing but energize it. Water in a hose laying in the sun in July tastes like “hose” when first sipped. The way that is fixed is not demanding that the water “stop tasting like hose.” No, the flow itself changes the flavor. Same in the new creation life. Focusing on our “hose” taste makes for pretty good guilt and shame based “holiness” (alleged) type of preaching and endless introspective altar calls. His increase takes care of our decrease. We must never switch the order (It is frequently switched in preaching.)

  3. Even when I find myself wiping off the apple juice that dripped down my chin, unconscious as to how it got there, Father is right there with a loving explanation and another offer to continue with the orange as He wipes away my tears.

  4. Pingback: When the Light Comes On! | Forerunner Perspective

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