Monday, December 16, 2013

Victory in Christ - Part 18

This is the next installment of a series I am writing concerning what Romans 6-8 teaches about our sin problem and God's plan for victory. To find previous installments do a search for the title: Victory In Christ. You can find the first installment here.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
So we have found that the important thing in our battle against sin is to yield to the Spirit. It means to stop setting our minds on earthly or fleshly things but rather on God and spiritual things. The last thing the previous verse said was that if we through the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body we will live. Now, beginning with the word "for" He explains the deeper truth involved. The sons of God are those who are led by the Spirit. We've seen several expressions involving flesh and spirit. There's the phrase, “mind the flesh”, or “mind the spirit”. This has to do with where we set the focus of our minds. We've seen the phrase “in the flesh” or “in the Spirit”. This has to do with our nature. A Christian is in the Spirit. He doesn't go in and out. He is in the Spirit. And finally we see the phrase in this verse that speaks of being “led by the Spirit.” Here too a person who is truly a Christian is led by the Spirit. So a Christian is led by the Spirit, is in the Spirit, and therefore is expected to mind the things of the Spirit.

So if you've trusted Christ as savior you are led by the Spirit of God. Being led by the Spirit means you have the power of the Spirit available to you and the Spirit is working in you to give you the motivation and power to do the right thing. Remember from previous discussions that under the new covenant, God's Spirit is given to us to provide the internal motivation and change of heart needed to live out the law of God from inside without needing the outside rules and regulations. As you live the Christian life then you need to yield to the Spirit that is within you. Through the power of the Spirit you then put to death the deeds of the body. It's not a matter of just using your self effort. It is a matter of submitting to the Spirit within you and through His power putting to death the deeds of the flesh. It's a matter of reckoning the old nature to be dead to sin. It's a conscious thing, a moment by moment thing.

15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

The Spirit we have received is not the spirit of bondage and fear. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Hebrews 2:14, 15 - 14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

The fear of death is a strong fear. People are in bondage to it. But the gospel frees us from those fears. This is indeed good news. When we go to God, we go to Him not as our judge, but as our Father, or if we may respectfully say so, our Dad.

This Spirit who indwells us is not a spirit to be feared. He loves us and is at work to make us all God would have us to be. This is encouraging because we can go to God and trust that He is not against us but for us.

Principle 26: Remember that as a Christian you've been adopted into God's family and are a son of God and brother to Jesus Christ.

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