Don’t Step Out Of The Plane

If you were in an airplane that was flying 30,000 feet in the air, would you step out of the plane?  Of course not!  Why?  Because you would expect to die.  This is common sense to most of us with natural things, but we often miss this logic with spiritual things.  What do I mean?  Look at this passage out of Romans 8:

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

This passage reveals to spiritual laws.  They are the law of sin and death and the law of Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.  The law of sin and death is alway in effect.  It is like the law of gravity that says what goes up must come down.  

The same way the law of gravity keeps me from jumping from my house in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Colorado Springs, Colorado, the law of sin and death makes it impossible for me to live a holy life in my own strength.  Think about it, no matter how hard I train or how much willpower I have, I cannot jump the 1,800 miles to Colorado Springs.  It’s not an effort issue, commitment issue, or anything else other than I lack the capacity. The same way we lack natural capacity to fly, we lack the spiritual capacity to live holy in our strength.  

The only way for me to fly to Colorado Springs from North Carolina is to go to the airport and get on an airplane.  The plane can fly me from North Carolina to Colorado Springs because planes fly due to the law of aerodynamics, which is greater than the law of gravity.  

The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is like the law of aerodynamics.  It is greater than the law of sin and death.  Most of us understand this in terms of the initial salvation experience, however, we often lose sight of this truth when it comes to living out the Christian life.  We are raised to new life in Christ Jesus by the spirit of God, but then try to maintain our altitude by our performance, commitment, and striving.  This is comparable to stepping out of the plane in midair and trying to fly the rest of the way to our destination.  It’s impossible and leads to frustration.  The Apostle Paul communicated this frustration to the church in Galatia in Galatians 3:

This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

The point of all this is to realize that the same way we were saved by the spirit, we must be sustained by the spirit.  Our dependency must be on the finished work of the cross in Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit who now resides in us.  This is how we do the impossible and live like Jesus.  

Here are two practical steps to stay dependent on the Holy Spirit so you don’t try to live in your strength:

  1. Listen to grace filled new covenant preaching and teaching that emphasizes the finished work of the cross and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  Faith comes by hearing so we must continually hear truths about the power of the spirit filled life to have faith for it.
  2. Pray!  I can’t tell you the number of times I have tried and tried again only to fail, that finally I cry out to God for His strength and then I’m able to do that which was impossible in my strength.  

I hope this article has strengthened and encouraged you!  If you’d like to find out more, check out this message I taught at Grace Life church about “The Spirit of Life in Christ.”

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