Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Which dominates your mind--Sin or God's Spirit

Rom. 8:5-8 NLT
   5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.  6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.  7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.  8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

How did you think today? Was your mind filled with the joy of the Lord or was it filled with other stuff? Were you dominated by that other stuff? The Lord's inspired word here quotes Paul telling the church at Rome and us too, about how the old vs new natures work. The first several chapters of Romans lays out sin quite clearly. It points out how there is no one who is safe from the impact of sin's downward spiral until they surrender by faith to Jesus Christ. In Chapter eight, Paul began to make clear how God's Spirit in us changes our fallen nature and also how God's forgiveness totally and completely frees us from all condemnation. My favorite verse in the Bible is Romans 8:1-- "there is now NO condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." I love it-- NO condemnation. That means I must stop condemning myself as well. God has forgiven me, why shouldn't you? And, why shouldn't I forgive myself too?

However, the problem remains for persons who hold on to their old nature and old ways. They remain dominated by it and therefore they dwell upon it and all of its sins. Sin in our minds is like the water melting high in a mountain stream bed flowing to ward the sea. By the time that water reaches the ocean, it is a mighty water force filled with filth and debris. Sin grows in us that same way when we allow it to control our minds. The Bible here says it leads us "to death!"  When we yield self-will and permit God's Spirit to control our minds, the ultimate outcome is 'life and peace.' according to this passage. Where are your thoughts leading you-- toward self and death or toward life and peace?
Your Servant in Christ's Love
Dan Elliott

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