Thursday, January 27, 2011

God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you

Rom. 7:24--8:11 NLT
   7:24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. 
  8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. 
   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. 
   9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

So, we left off last time with Paul saying "Oh what a miserable person I am. . ." because of his bondage to the sin nature and inability to escape its grasp by his own volition. One of my favorite passages in the New Testament follows as we open Chapter 8 of the letter to believers at Rome. It says "So now there is no condemnation---" let's pause right there. Did you hear it? NO CONDEMNATION. Let me say it once more-- "No condemnation!!!"  When we belong to Christ all condemnation is removed. We do not have to be held to account for our sin, Christ has already removed all condemnation. It is gone. Other passages throughout the Bible also clarify and amplify this passage speaking to how far Christ removes sin from us (see Psalms 103:12).

Continuing in vs 2 we see that the Spirit of God has now freed us-- released us from the grasp of-- the power of sin or death. That is shouting ground and we are only on verse 2. We ought to be hopping up and down, singing praises and shouting hallelujahs to God by the time we get to verse 11 today!  Verses 3 to 4 explain the justice of the atonement that Christ has purchased for us. It is sufficient in and of itself and needs no further explanation other than to realize we have been forgiven!

If we choose to remain with our old ways and in our sin nature then it will dominate us. However, if we choose to ask God to remove it, then we are controlled by God's Holy Spirit and we tend to think about the things that please God instead of ourselves (vv 7-9). Yes, even Christ, being one with The Spirit of God, lives in us and gives us his mind and heart. That means that even though our sin nature is dead-- crucified with Christ-- our new nature is raised up with Christ to new life in a new status. So we have The Spirit in us, Jesus Christ, The Son, in us, and God in us. Is there anything at all that could put a damper on the joy of that truth? I think not. Rejoice today.

Your servant in Christ's love

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