Romans 6-8 has me really contemplating my walk with Jesus.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 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. 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. 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. 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. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. 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.) 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. 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. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (Romans 8:1-14 NLT)
A few things jump out and just shock my heart with electrifying words of truth that have somehow bypassed my mind and have thus darkened areas of my heart from the light of Truth.
If I belong to Jesus, the power of His very own Spirit has *freed* me from the power of sin.
Paul goes on to explain that in Christ who was sacrificed for us, God declared an end to sin’s control over our lives, and that we are no longer obligated to do what our sinful nature urges us to do.
This got me thinking: if the all-powerful Spirit of Christ lives in me, why am I still “struggling” with selfishness, impatience, and rudeness?
Then the Truth of God’s Word dawned: once you’re in Christ, sin is a choice. Every time I’m rude to my husband or impatient, it’s because I am choosing to be rather than choosing to take a moment when I’m tested to pray for strength to overcome and be led by the Spirit. As a Christian, because of what Jesus did, my, “old sinful self was crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in my life,” and I am, “no longer a slave to sin.” For when I, “died with Christ I was set free from the power of sin. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God.” So I, “also should consider myself to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.”(Romans 6:6, 7, 10, 11 NLT)
I literally should not be sinning, or “struggling” with sin. If anything, I should be battling temptation through the Spirit’s power, but by no means should I be giving in to it, and based on Scripture, even as believers, there are sins that “lead to death.” I am not merely saved by grace so I can keep on doing what I please. I am commanded to please God and that means to stop sinning. If I “spit upon His cross” and abuse His grace, I forfeit His sacrifice for me and I will go to hell.
This revelation caused me to receive another answered prayer: God, help me fear You more.
Holiness is not to be taken lightly. As a Christian, I have no excuse to sin. My only excuse is literally, I chose to do it rather than depend on God and obey His will.
I’m sharing this with my brothers and sisters because I know of others who are in sin and yet claim to be a Christian. They, like me, probably don’t realize they are on a path to hell and are not tapping into the power Christ provides to defeat sin. They also probably focus on the second part of what Christ’s death and resurrection accomplished for them which is salvation from hell, but they are forgetting of unaware of the first part which is salvation from sin.
God’s Word has an extremely high standard for Christians. So let us stop compromising and take our sanctification seriously. God gives us the power to conquer sin, so let us begin walking in that truth. If you desire sin more than holiness before our Lord, then choose sin and know that it will result in your spiritual death, your eternal destruction. I pray you please choose rightly.
“For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.” (Titus 2:11-15)
“And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.”(Hebrews 10:24-27)