Scripture reveals that a believer is a new creation in Christ Jesus -- that is far more than outward characteristics. In fact, at the moment of salvation the individual physically is the same person, but spiritually, that inner man, is new.  The challenge of the Christ-life is to learn the skills of living the spiritual life so that the inward qualities of one’s spiritual transformation become evident personally.  Unfortunately, the emphasis placed on the spiritual life is too often in the areas of outward behavior.  True, one’s life style is a manifestation of that which is within, but spiritual growth is not instantaneous nor based on observing a set of man-made rules that supposedly reflect the new creation in Christ.  Paul wrote… “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2).  The key to living the spiritual life is given here -- the renewing of the mind, a new way of thinking based upon knowledge of the Word of God under the mentorship of the Holy Spirit. There is no greater example of the Christ-life than that lived by the One who demonstrated and lived it to the fullest.  Two gospels, Matthew and Luke record for us the spiritual skills needed to effectively live as Christians in the domain of Satan.  Every effort by Satan to thwart the plan of God in bringing Messiah into the world had failed.  His doom had been pronounced in the Garden and now Jesus Christ was on earth, ready to go to the Cross and crush the power of Satan over humanity, redeem mankind from the slavery and bondage of sin and reconcile man back to God by paying in full man’s debt of sin to a righteous God.  Though Satan had failed repeatedly, his purpose and ambition remained the same… 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High' (Is 14:13-14).  Perhaps the Son of God would succumb to temptation and give Satan the worship that he so insatiably desired. The scene was the temptation of Christ by the Adversary.  Luke’s record is given in the fourth chapter of his gospel and it is in this passage that we see four spiritual skills that are essential in imitating the Christ-life.  The first two skills are quickly identified in verse one – being filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit. “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Luke 4:1).  Remaining in the Father’s will, the humanity of Christ was filled with the Spirit.  That is, no sin found in Him.  As for us, there is sin in our lives, but God has provided the grace remedy of confession of sin so that we too can be filled with the Spirit. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NIV). Thus, fellowship is restored, and with the filling of the Spirit, comes the opportunity for the Christian to participate with God in what He is doing.  Luke always records the second spiritual skill -- “Jesus …was led by the Spirit in the desert.” There is great security and confidence of one’s position in Christ “for all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom 8:14). Proper application of the Word of God is seen in Jesus’ use of a third spiritual skill – He responded by using Scripture … "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (v.4), … it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve' (v.8)  and“It has been said, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God” (v.12). Finally, the fourth skill demonstrated that the humanity of Christ consistently lived in the power of the Spirit. “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee” (vs. 14) “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13). God’s challenge to us: master these skills.

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