So, today was my first full day with Dad in the hospital. The doctor said that today showed some improvement, and he did great in physical therapy. Praise God for these blessings! By His grace, we will continue to see improvement throughout the week.
One of the ways they are currently treating him is to do a plasma exchange. Basically, they remove his blood from his body, take out his plasma, and replace it with an alternative fluid and then replace his blood back into his body. They are doing this exchange because his plasma contains antibodies which are attacking his transplanted lung. The staff called this “antibody rejection.” They are removing the plasma in order to remove these hostile antibodies, and then replace his blood antibody-free. They will have to continue to do this until his body realizes that it does not need to attack the new lung.
As I was watching this procedure take place, it got me thinking about Christ’s work in us. Every one of us is born with a sinful nature, the flesh, which lives in opposition to God. Romans 8 tells us that the flesh is hostile to God and cannot please him. It goes into attack mode when confronted with the things of God. It’s a little bit like those antibodies in my dad’s blood. The flesh recognizes something foreign and goes on the offensive. And much like my dad’s body, our spiritual condition needs an outside source to overcome the hostile agent within us. That is what Christ does in us. Through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit that is a result of Christ’s work on the cross, we are no longer slaves to sin. We no longer have to walk in the flesh, but can abide in the Spirit.
Yet, for many of us, we still live like we are in the flesh. We continue to walk in sins that have plagued us for years. But, much like the daily exchange they must do for my dad, Christ continues to work in us every day, to remove the hostile flesh and fill us with His Spirit. As I watched them doing the exchange for my dad’s blood, I was so thankful for the heart exchange that occurs through Christ’s blood. I pray that we will all rest in Christ’s work, and seek to abide in the Spirit in order to live dead to the flesh.
[8:1] There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
(Romans 8:1-8 ESV)