A. Ward Brandenstein

What Are We To Do? (Week Two)

Part 4 – What are we to do?

CHAPTER 5 – Living The Christian Life continued…

Our Conduct Or Behavior As Believers

 

In Ward Brandenstein’s introduction to chapter five he writes: “The Christian life is intended by God to be far more than simply a religious experience or the practicing of religion.  It is the living of life that is in balance, that is fulfilling, and that is free of regrets.  It is literally Christ living out His life through the individual.  That does not mean that the individual becomes passive and uninvolved.  Rather, it is an active participation of the person in a submissive dependency to Christ’s headship over himself.  To the extent that each believer willingly submits himself to Christ’s will and way, Christ’s righteousness will be a practical result and a benefit to that person.  This is not something that God demands of the Christian, but is something God has provided and leaves up to the individual to choose and follow willingly. In order to understand this principle of being willingly submissive to Christ, it would be well to consider several commands and admonitions that will clarify the part the believer will need to play to realize fulfilled life as a Christian.”

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The Christian life is
A WALK, A RACE, A WARFARE, FRUITFUL,
A LIFE OF PEACE, A REST, A LIFE OF PRAYER.

 

HOW TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT

In Romans, chapter 6, we have already seen that we were united together with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection by the identification with Christ brought to us by the Holy Spirit (v. 4,5).

(Please see the FIFTY MARVELOUS FACTS OF SALVATION – #3, Baptized in the Spirit, and #50, United with Christ in Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension [Identification].)

 

RECKON and YIELD

In verses 11-13 of Romans 6, Paul directs us in the steps by which we can experience the triumph over sin which Christ has provided for us. These verses give us understanding as to how the walk in the Spirit is made a reality.  It can be reduced to just two words: reckon in verse 11, and yield in verse 13.  Since walking occurs by a series of single steps, these two words, reckon and yield can be thought of as the two steps to use to walk in the Spirit!  When I reckon as in verse 11, it is likened to stepping with my left foot.  When I yield as in verse 13, it is likened to stepping with my right foot.

Consider now what occurs in the reckoning.

The word, reckon, means to consider or to account.  This is a mental action.  But it is much more than mere mental power or mental imaging.  This is a matter of realizing that our identification with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection are the means by which the believer is dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  This is a truth the believer needs to reaffirm in his or her mind each time a choice needs to be made to take action on any matter.  This is stepping out “with the left foot”.

Then follows the yielding.

This yielding is a volitional action, that is, an action of the will. The yielding means that the individual presents his members, such as his mind, his hands, eyes, feet, speech, etc., unto God as instruments for God to use for righteousnessThe yielding, to personalize it, is with the emphasis on my being alive unto God and by my asking moment by moment for Christ’s resurrected life to be lived out in me.

By the process of reckoning and yielding, the person is living as a servant of righteousness (Rom. 6:16,18) and a servant to God (Rom. 6:22).  This, then, is equated with the walk in the Spirit of Galatians 5:16,25.  The fruit of being a servant of righteousness is holiness (Rom. 6:19) and everlasting life in one’s experience (Rom. 6:22).

This principle of reckoning and yielding is the basis also of the believer’s presenting his body as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1,2), through which he will prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God, as he is being transformed with his mind being renewedThe mind is renewed as the believer sees life and its experiences from the heavenly viewpoint (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1-3; Matt. 6:33).

Next Week: Part Five continued: Walking depends on GROWING!

Copyright © 1996 A. Ward Brandenstein

Used with permission.


A. Ward Brandenstein

Pastor Ward earned an M.A. in Guidance and Counselling from Eastern Michigan University after taking special courses in psychology at Wayne State University, and earned a Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.) from Baptist Bible College and Seminary with Greek and Hebrew studies, and earned a diploma from Philadelphia Bible Institute (now Cairn U.), including New Testament Greek studies. His knowledge of the Bible and close walk with God are appreciated by all who know him and have sat under his teaching. Pastor Brandenstein and his wife Rose Ann reside in California, teaching college level singles and married couples, young professionals, and retired pastors and missionaries.