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Fit For Engagement Chapter 2 continued

I grew up in a historical church denomination. I remember as a teenager reading in the Bible about water baptism. I knew I had been baptized as an infant and had been told that I only needed to confirm my baptism through a public declaration of my faith. I did this at age 11, but I never felt fully confirmed. As I read my Bible my attention was drawn to biblical baptism, in other words, being immersed in water. Some friends of mine attended a church that baptized through full immersion in water. At first Pastor Lewis was hesitant because he did not want to make trouble between the two denominations. I assumed he came to believe that my conviction and desire to be baptized was more important than a difference between the two churches regarding baptism. In the middle of the week he called and asked if I still wanted to be baptized. I told him I did, so the following Sunday evening I was immersed in water with the congregation looking on as witnesses. As Peter writes:There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.1 Peter 3:21 KJVSomething had changed in me; I just was not sure what it was. All I knew was I began to have more assurance of my son-ship in Christ and a deeper longing for the Lord and His Word.Through baptism our identity switches from Adam and the fleshly realm to Christ who gives us His life-giving Spirit. The Spirit of God begins to empower us daily and a whole new mindset begins to form as the transformation out of the kingdom of darkness into His wonderful light takes place. God intends that the mind of Christ becomes our way of thinking. Paul gave clear instruction in Philippians when he wrote:Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.Philippians 2:5–9 NKJVDoes that not say it all? Here we have the heart of our success over the kingdom of darkness. It is called conformity to the person of Christ. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can this transpire and become reality on earth. That is why Paul declared:“Christ in you the hope of glory.”  Colossians 1:27b NKJV

Fit For Engagement Chapter 2 continued

Sin is no longer to have dominion over us. We have power and authority over temptation. Our prayers are powerful in all matters such as: praying for the souls of the unsaved, healing, deliverance, relationships, and changing the pervading cultural atmosphere around us.I remember years ago when I was just beginning to learn about the authority in Christ that I have as a believer. God gave me many opportunities to learn how to walk in faith in my new-found life in Christ. I remember praying for things like a parking space downtown, weather conditions, and the mood at work. I am grateful for the many opportunities that God gave to me to pray for the healing and deliverance in the lives of both saved and unsaved individuals. I learned to trust God for resources and in my day-by-day activities. I learned that I was responsible to pray for the souls of unsaved relatives, friends, and strangers that I would meet every day. I also learned to forgive those that hurt or mistreated me. Over time all these areas became a life style in my life which still continues to this day.Our authority over the world, the flesh, and the devil is found in Christ’s overcoming life and His indwelling power. The biblical way of entering into His kingdom purpose is found through identity with His death, burial, and resurrection as we join Him in the waters of baptism. We come to enjoy our heavenly identity in the power of His resurrected life through the power of the Holy Spirit that He promised to every believer.What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. Romans 6:1–9 NKJV

Fit For Engagement Chapter 2 continued

Sin is no longer to have dominion over us. We have power and authority over temptation. Our prayers are powerful in all matters such as: praying for the souls of the unsaved, healing, deliverance, relationships, and changing the pervading cultural atmosphere around us.I remember years ago when I was just beginning to learn about the authority in Christ that I have as a believer. God gave me many opportunities to learn how to walk in faith in my new-found life in Christ. I remember praying for things like a parking space downtown, weather conditions, and the mood at work. I am grateful for the many opportunities that God gave to me to pray for the healing and deliverance in the lives of both saved and unsaved individuals. I learned to trust God for resources and in my day-by-day activities. I learned that I was responsible to pray for the souls of unsaved relatives, friends, and strangers that I would meet every day. I also learned to forgive those that hurt or mistreated me. Over time all these areas became a life style in my life which still continues to this day.Our authority over the world, the flesh, and the devil is found in Christ’s overcoming life and His indwelling power. The biblical way of entering into His kingdom purpose is found through identity with His death, burial, and resurrection as we join Him in the waters of baptism. We come to enjoy our heavenly identity in the power of His resurrected life through the power of the Holy Spirit that He promised to every believer.What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. Romans 6:1–9 NKJV

Fit For Engagement Chapter 2 The Life of Christ in You

Paul, in his letter to the Colossians reveals that the life of Christ in the believer was a “mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.” (Colossians 1:26 NKJV). He calls this mystery “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27b NKJV). Only in Christ can we stand against the devil and his kingdom of darkness. Our natural man has no ability to take on the devil’s kingdom with its principalities and demons.The Holy SpiritTo begin with, we must be born of the Spirit of God. Jesus clarifies this need when He says to Nicodemus, a religious leader of Israel, “Most assuredly, I say unto you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” (John 3:3–6 NKJV). There is a flesh birth through our parents, but there must be a spiritual birth as well in order to enter into the life of Christ as a new creation and overcome the evil one. Paul wrote about this new creation:Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJVThe new birth that is addressed in John 3 and the new creation spoken of in 2 Corinthians 5 is the process of being translated from one kingdom to another: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Colossians 1:13 KJVAs the Holy Spirit gives life to our human spirit, we are placed into an eternal state through Him dwelling in us. We become part of the new creation which the Spirit of God is creating in the midst of the chaos of sin throughout humanity. Spiritually, He has placed us into heavenly realms where Christ Jesus is seated and reigns:But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4–7 NKJVThe work which the Father has done for us in Christ has an eternal purpose which He wants manifested in the here and now as well as in the ages to come. This work was established and completed for us even though we were dead in sin. The new creation that we became took place when we were born again and raised up in Christ. God seated us in heavenly places together in Christ. Therefore, our authority in spiritual warfare is found in our placement in heavenly places in Christ. As a new creation (because of our heavenly position in Christ), we are empowered to live our earthly life in victory for the Father.

Fit For Engagement Chapter 1 Conclusion

Other verses to consider, which we should study and memorize include:·       The devil oppresses:“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Acts 10:38 NASB·       Deceit and fraud are evidence of being a son of the devil:“and said, ‘You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?’” Acts 13:10 NASB·       The devil takes opportunity:“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Ephesians 4:7 NASB·       The devil is a schemer:“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 NASB·       The reproach and snare of the devil:“And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:7 NASB“and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”2 Timothy 2:26 NASB·       The devil is rendered powerless:“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,” Hebrews 2:14 NASB·       The devil will flee:“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 NASB·       The devil is like a lion:“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”1 Peter 5:8 NASB·       The devil has sinned from the beginning:“The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 NASBConclusionWe must remember that Jesus warns us of the battle for which we have been fitted to fight: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV).The world includes the devil and his kingdom of darkness. He controls the systems of the world. Our flesh is affected by those systems. Our challenge is to say, “No,” to our flesh and, “Yes,” to the Word of God by being empowered by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. He is the intended overcoming life of Christ within us. It is God’s plan for His will and heaven’s kingdom to be lived out through His people whom make up His holy apostolic nation on earth.