Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7)

Don’t Be Fooled As Richard Foster And Dallas Willard Are Leading A Rebirth Of Pietism

Apprising Ministries reminds you of an important aspect of the Incarnation of Christ Jesus, our Lord. That being, as a Man on earth Jesus chose to set aside His “rights” to act as God and was willing to function pretty much the same as you and I do in our day to day lives. Of course, we are fallen; He was not.

So while Jesus is our model, we will always fall short because we have a sinful human nature where Christ Jesus has a divine nature. With this in perspective, the fact is the Bible quite plainly teaches that Jesus of Nazareth lived on earth as a Man indwelt by God through the Holy Spirit in great similarity to the way we are presently.

Let’s look at verse five of out text — Have this mind among yourselves—[you and me as Christians]—which is yours in Christ Jesus. As born again believers this is something we now possess. God the Holy Spirit also tells us through His same inspired Apostle Paul — we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

There are other ways that we can go here, but I want you to see the Bible unmistakably teaches that Jesus of Nazareth, verse 6 — was in the form of God; i.e. He has the very nature of God. The point being, His essence is deity. This is crucial to maintain as get to verse seven, which tells us Jesus was later born in the likeness of men.

In other words, in His incarnation—His Virgin Birth—God the Son, second Person of the Holy Trinity, voluntarily chose to “empty” Himself of His right to act as God and agreed to live on earth as a Human Being. As I just outlined above, this is greatly similar to the way you and I as Christians are living right now.

Like I said, Jesus didn’t have our sinful nature and His nature is also deity, but it’s important for you to keep in mind here that Christ Jesus was in actual fact a Man. As such then, the Master truly was the second Adam. This is what’s at the heart of the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of Christ Jesus. It can’t be compromised.

One outworking of this would be God the Father desires, because of the saving work of God the Son—His living the perfect life as a Man and then dying in our place—substituting His life for ours—to “recreate,” as it were, the life of the Son of God and the Son of Man in each of us by the power of God the Holy Spirit.

You need to know that this is all under attack right now. Yet Scripture says — Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17) and — [you] have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:10)

Now, God’s Word is not speaking of some abstract concept here; for the glorious truth that Satan does not want the Christian to understand is this: To the exact proportion that each of us will surrender control of our “old” lives to Christ Jesus, God the Holy Spirit will then fill that space in you. I’m not talking about pietistic “disciplines.”

More and more each day as we then let God transform us in our inner nature, which we refer to as our spirit, we will receive His power to live as the Master did while He was here on His earth. They key to remember is: Christ Jesus has done this for us; we don’t need Foster-Willardism, we need to simply let God guide us as He will.

There’s no pressure; there’s no so-called spiritual disciplines required, and there’s no need to “work yourself up.” As we read the Bible; pray, and allow God to help us do what it says—which we can do to a greater extent because Jesus already did it for us—we will find ourselves naturally comforting to the image of Christ in us. Make sense.

Soli Deo gloria; not trying to force people to be “Christ-followers” through some man-made traditions rooted in rotten Roman Catholicism. We don’t need to shy away from the doctrine of progressive sanctification just because the Foster-Willardites have largely captured contemporary evangelicalism with their reimagined Pietism.

But let me ask you a question: Do you seriously think you need a better purpose for your life than asking God to more and more conform your image to His Son? Sadly, this most basic of issues concerning the Christian faith has become so clouded in the bad teaching currently perforating the contemporary evangelical community.

Let me remind you of the Lord’s plan for His adopted children in Christ in our daily lives. Come with me to Romans, chapter 12, and verse 1. Many Bibles have a heading here: “Living Sacrifices.” Romans 12:1 — I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God — His mercy in saving you, which none of us deserve.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers — [and sisters] — I appeal to you —  [all of us who are Christians] — by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Can you see; this is spiritual worship. We bring glory to God in letting Him use us as His sacrifices.

This isn’t pietism; we do the presenting, but God does the sacrificing. Verses 2 + 3 — Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.  You may recall we have just seen this in Colossians 3:10 as well. Part of the way God transforms us is this renewing of our minds through our studying the Bible.

Why? So that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Now can you begin to see why the average professing evangelical “Christian” in this generation is so clueless? Foster-Willardism tells us go within to discover God’s will for our lives; but God tells us look without and into Scriputre.

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