Live by the Spirit…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 8:1-11

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.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Believers who have said yes to what Christ taught and did for us are free of the desires of self.  They give ‘my will’ up and exchange it for ‘your will.’  One good reason to remain in the Word of God is the provision it gives for reminding us of that decision and what it involved.  Daily cares need not drive out the Spirit but are carried out in his Spirit with willing hearts that radiate his love for us and others.  Are we focused on Him and His will?  Is the Spirit active within us always?  Led by the Spirit involves wise time management and stress levels are decreased.  We are free to be, live in the moment whatever we do.  We cannot relive or redo the past and we cannot borrow from the future.  We only have the present and living it by the Spirit’s lead makes the present full enough, enjoyable enough, for we have hope by faith for the future.

Freedom is moving/living in the Spirit; no longer needing to curry the favor of man.

Advertisements

Sin has dominion? Not!

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 7:7-25

 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.

I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.

The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.

For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.

So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.

 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.

So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,

but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

——————————————————————————————————-

“…if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. …”

Tell a child not to touch and watch them; they are drawn to touch.  They have to see ‘why?’

 “…For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.

So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. …” 

Oooh, eating unhealthily is easier than to eat healthy and exercise and so we eat to our death; we kill the flesh!

“…For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. …” 

And so we say:  I can’t help myself!  True? 

“…So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. …” 

Oh yes, the tempting desserts or the snacks.  Just determine to forego snacks and watch how often chips and dip show up… 

“…For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,

but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. …” 

Aha!  And so we continue to eat the ‘wrong’ fruit, acting under self-driven desire!  Eating our way to death!

Now do we ‘get it’?

But it doesn’t end there!  There is freedom from this bondage through Christ.  Christ defeated death and sin; and in him we can do the same!

Sin is?…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 6:12-22

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Sin-anything anti-God?  Sometimes defined as missing the mark.  Often thought of as following the desires of self – an  ‘I want’ lifestyle.  All of these, perhaps, though some will hand us a list of trespasses to avoid we do well to avoid a man-made list and learn to listen to the voice of God; our spirit connecting with his Spirit.  So we do not follow our own desires, we listen to the voice of self; nor do we engage in anything that would be anti-God.  God is love.  The commands a believer has been given are to love God and to love our fellow-man, our neighbor.  Not a casual love; spoken with lips and tongue, but a complete love that denies self and gives all of self over to God.  How?  Begin by asking:  “What do you want , Lord?  What can I do for you?”  Shift focus from ‘me, myself and I’ to Him.  We can listen to our conversation; how often do we say “I want” or “my desire” or “my passion”.  Signals are given in our language as to where our heart truly is.  “Out of the heart the mouth speaks.” – Jesus

For sin will have no dominion over you,…isn’t this good to know?  We have been set free!

The new way of the Spirit

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 6:23 – 7:1-6

 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?

For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.

 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

The wages of sin is death.  Sin gives death; God’s righteousness gives life.  How can we not choose God’s righteousness?

Marriage is often used by the Spirit to illustrate our relationship to God.  We enter into a binding contract.  It calls for commitment and endurance.  It is not to be taken lightly.  We accept the gift of God found in Jesus Christ and with that acceptance we have died with Christ to the law.  Now we are alive to live for God.  It impacts every move we make, every word we speak.  We do not sin out of fear of the penalty of the law, we cease to sin out of love for our Lord and our fellow-man.  Can we say that?  Is it evident?  Learning to live in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of a written code can be done!  Walk with God and He walks with us. Our self ceases to be and the new self is created in Christ.  Faith teaches us that truth.  Faith allows us to walk in that way.  Faith leads us to living in love.

Choose life…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 6:12-22

 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.

 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

  Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,

and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

We have control.  When we say we couldn’t help ourselves…. we lie.

“… Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. …”

Who do we work for?  Who do we answer to?  It seems to take maturity to realize the true nature of our position with God.  We answer to Him.  If we are asked to participate in or be a part of something that is outside what we know is of God we are to decline.  When challenged we can agree with our adversary,

“… “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him,….-Matthew 5:25 NKJV “

take the fuel from their accusations and then go about our business as we know the Lord would want.  We choose, we have the power to choose and to deny the request to do what is unrighteous.  When we stand with God do we not know He stands with us and will defend us?  The three Jewish boys knew when they refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s statue.  They were delivered from the effects of a furnace that killed the ones who threw them in!   They stated:

” our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver [us] from your hand, O king.

“But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” –Daniel  3:17 -18 NKJV

Do we hear their commitment and loyalty?  Even if not…  Are we willing to make the same statement trusting by faith in the One who gave all for us?  Even if not…

We serve the same God they did.

“…but present yourselves to God …”  and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. …”

 

That would be all of us, our whole being…

Give us ears to hear and eyes to see; give us understanding and courage to stand…

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Choose life.

Alive in Christ…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 6:1-11

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?

By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

For one who has died has been set free from sin.

 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.

For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

What place does sin have in our life?  As believers we can say, none.  To get to that place we first understand what happens when we believe and then what continues to happen as we continue to live.

” all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death” 

Sin died, rather we died to sin.

“one who has died has been set free from sin.” 

Dead people cannot sin any longer!  Now we live; more than that, we live to God.  No longer living to our selves, deciding what we shall do, say, be; we learn to wake and ask, “What can I do for you? of God.  Then we listen, watch, see in the spirit what we are to do, how we are to act.  Our focus has changed, the change in the inner man/woman/child is evident for all to see and hear.  We are alive in Christ Jesus!

We have life…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 5:18-21

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Isn’t it good to know we have life.  We need not fear death because we are promised  life through Christ and that is now.  Death for the believer is only getting off one train and onto another.  Death is not an end;  it is continuation of the relationship through Christ with God and a beginning of a new life in Him.  We can live now, fully, gratefully, in response to His love and look forward as well.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.