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When Jesus comes into your heart by faith, He dwells within you and from there He begins to transform you. The old things of the flesh start to fall off and you begin living a life after the Spirit.

That means that if you are truly a child of God, you can no longer live in sin. Oh, you might occasionally fall back into the mud, but you won’t lie there and wallow in it. The Spirit of Jesus within you convicts you and puts you back on the right path whenever you stumble and fall. He works from the inside to bring you back into a right relationship with the Lord. It’s God working within you, not you working hard on the outside to perfect your fallen flesh.

So Jude writes, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling” (v. 24). You see it, don’t you? Personal transformation doesn’t depend upon your ability. The first covenant given to Moses failed because sinful human beings couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain. But Jesus gave a new covenant, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” This second covenant will stand forever because of “Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen” (vv. 24-25).

It is God who enables you to love the Lord supremely as He works within you to transform your heart.

Some people hesitate to enter into the Christian life because they say, “I just cannot live up to Christian standards. I’d like to be a Christian, but I just cannot give up my booze.” Or they may say, “I’d like to be a Christian, but I just cannot give up my women.” Or “I’d like to be a Christian, but I like the excitement I get when I view pornography.” They list all sorts of things that they feel they just cannot give up.

Invariably, these things have captivated them and now hold them hostage. These individuals may really long for a pure, better life—they may even long to be freed from these things—but whenever they’ve tried to free themselves, they’ve failed. And thus they find themselves longing and fearing at the same time, because they know their own weaknesses. Now, it’s true that they cannot give up those old things on their own; but it’s also true that when they place their faith in Christ, it’s no longer their ability at issue, but God’s. These old things will just start falling off when they enter this new covenant with God. It isn’t a matter of driving out the darkness, as we are so prone to think.

When you go into a dark room, do you take a bat with you and swing at the darkness, hoping to drive it out? Of course not. You just flip the light switch. When the light comes on, it automatically dispels the darkness. To light a room you depend upon the dispelling force of the greater power. When the light of Jesus’ love turns on in your heart, the darkness has to go. It simply cannot coexist with the Light. So the idea isn’t to drive out the darkness, but to allow Jesus, the Light of the world, to come into your heart and lighten up everything within. His presence will automatically dispel the darkness.

And it even gets better. The Lord replaces that old, corrupted stuff with such a rich blessing and full experience that you don’t even miss it. The greater love, the greater joy, the greater excitement that you have in serving the Lord far exceeds the ungodly things that used to turn you on. You feel captivated and thrilled with the beauty of this new relationship you have with God. The music of Jesus in your heart is so much richer. This life in Christ is so much better than the old stuff, and soon you lose the desire for sinful things. God works from within to pour into you His love and His grace.

– excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith

continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton

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