Summary: Walking in Newness of life? Is it rules, or relationship, list or life, acheiving or receiving? Striving or Ariving?
Joshua: where the Promise became a Reality
A new series at Midway Community Church Nov. 28th 1999
Overview and Introduction:
In Romans 5:5-6 we read…’raised to walk in a newness of life’.
What does this mean? Does it mean a believer has an improved life? Could it mean this newness of life is something I can achieve? Or perhaps that I will be doing better at life. In other words I want be using profanity as much, or I will be reading my Bible more, praying more, or even being a better husband etc. Is it something I have to work at or is it something I will be WALKING IN?
Just what is this “walking in newness of life”? In a word it is dependence, total dependence upon God, a life of faith. Gal.2:20: “……. the life I now live I live by faith (dependence) in the Son of God……” When we became His by new birth, we were not just reconciled to God by the death of Jesus, but we were saved by His life. Saved from what? His blood, (death) saved me from my sins, my death with Him saved me from myself. Now I can depend upon Him to live His life in me and through me to meet the circumstances of life for me. This ‘walking in newness of life’ could be termed the ‘saving life of Christ’.
I have discovered that God is committed to taking me from this ‘independent self life’ to the ‘dependent’ Christ life. In other words, God will spend the rest of my life taking me from the natural man, who had habits and patterns of making life work through my own natural strength, wisdom, intellect, ability, to complete dependence upon Him for all of these. Just like Jesus said about His Father, “I can do nothing without Him”, I now can say about Jesus and myself. Jesus had a tremendous amount of natural ability but failed to depend upon it for one moment. God wants us to ‘posses’ our relationship with Him. He has pursued us for a relationship, and now He wants us to ‘posses’ that relationship, to walk in the newness of life that is ours IN Christ. Only when we are actually walking in dependence upon Him for life, can we say we possess our possession.
Many are still trying to ‘achieve’ Christianity rather than ‘receiving’ Christ as life. I see this as ‘trying to get somewhere I already am’. I cannot be any more in Christ than I am currently. I cannot be a “better” Christian. I can mature but I can’t get anymore saved, anymore forgiven, anymore a son, anymore a believer than I am currently. As a believer ALL I HAVE TO ‘DO’ IS TO POSSES WHAT IS ALREDY MINE. For the promises to become a reality I have to posses them.
This means I will have to give up on the self-life and posses the Christ life that is mine by the new birth.
This is what Joshua is all about, the promise becoming a reality. This is an account of a people who had been wandering in a wilderness for many years while the promise, that was theirs, laid waiting to be possessed. One day they got the word, they would go in and posses what had been theirs all along. What an exciting time for them. Why did they not go in and posses what was theirs? In a few words: Joshua 5:6…they did not listen to God…. How tragic, to be given something and never receive it! What was it they did not hear? That they could depend upon Him to cross the Jordan, to face the giants, to conquer the land; He wanted to prove Himself to His beloved but all but two refused; They did not hear Him say in essence that there was no obstacle that would stand in the way of the promise becoming a reality. So they made a choice to stay in the dessert. It was forty years of STRIVING but never ARRIVING, of FEAR instead of FAITH.
Here is an outline of the ‘promise becoming a reality’;
Chapter 1-5: Entering the Land (application: we must receive the promises not achieve them)
Chapter 6-21: The Conquest of the Land: (it will take believing God in order to take the possession that is theirs)
Chapter 22-24: Remaining in the Land; (Resting in what is theirs/ours)
Possession, Possesses, Possessed; at least 20 times in 24 Chapters; this took about seven years, it was a journey not a jog;
Presence or some form of this word: God said He would be with them, it was not only promised it was experienced because they took Him at His word;
Power: They were a consistent display of His power as He went before them and dispossesses the Canaanites.