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Living Free in the World's System

Growing in Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
October 24, 2022 2:00 am

Living Free in the World's System

Growing in Grace / Doug Agnew

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October 24, 2022 2:00 am

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Let me turn to Romans chapter 8. We're going to read verses 1 through 11. Remember, this follows after the passage of Scripture that Paul has been discussing the struggles that Christians have with sin and how he declares himself to be a wretched man who will deliver him from this body of death. And then he declares in 725 that thanks be to God through the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord Jesus Christ, we are delivered.

So now he goes further and he's going to go deeper and re-emphasize what we have in Christ in this world and in preparation for the next world. Romans 8 verse 1 through 11. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did, sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh. For those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death. But the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.

Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God, for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so. And those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit. If indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you, but if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Let's pray. Father, we thank you for this great passage of this scripture, this great message of reassurance and of confirmation of all that you have done for us and are still doing for us. We pray, Father, now that you would use these scriptures, help us meditate on them as we read through them and talk about them. Lord, may you fill me with your Spirit and help us stay on track and think through what Christ is actually teaching us here. We ask this in Jesus' name.

Amen. Years ago, like a couple hundred years ago, people used to, pastors had the practice of telling you telling you their texts, reading their texts, then they'd tell you the proposition first before they started the sermon. So I'm going to tell you the proposition and, you know, propositions can be changed because you're trying to discern, well, what is the main message of this text? And you go back and look at it later on. You may change your mind.

You may re-emphasize something else. The proposition I see here at this point in time is that the believer lives freely from the world's systems by the redeeming power of Jesus Christ and the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit. That's how we live.

Okay, think about this. We certainly live in a broken world. We certainly live in a world that disturbs us at times and maybe a lot of times, but it seems that we are constantly in a change. You know, there was the industrial age and then there's what I would call the combustible age. You know, when you have the automobile and it's still with us and we like it, but some people don't, but they might like to get to an EV instead, but then there was the age of electricity and how many appliances do we have a setting in our kitchen with the age of electricity and then there was a dot-com age and it's still going on, but there's another age now that exists. It's called, some people are calling this the attention age. That means that you give your attention to your cell phone and you don't talk to people. You give your attention to whatever media is out there and you live in this virtual world and that's your world.

It's not the real world. It's an attention world where you focus on things. Well, that is a problem because then you say, well, what is shaping my thought?

What is shaping your thought? What are we hearing? Is the information accurate? Is it true? Well, even if it's 90% true but 10% off, well, I'm in trouble if I'm believing that because, well, so you know my opinions can be wrong because I may be only hearing to, you know, 80% or 95%, but it can be very wrong and we could be misdirected very easily.

Martha and I were listening to a guy about three years ago from England and he was talking all about America and American's life and politics and economics and everything and he gave us all these things. I thought, how does he know that? How does he know that? Well, it all was a spoof. He did not know any of that. It wasn't true at all.

And so you could be spoofed on the left, you could be spoofed on the right, you'd be spoofed in the middle. So how do you know what is the truth? And that's why we go to the Word of God.

He always tells us the truth that is really necessary for our daily life and faith in Christ. And in this passage of Scripture, we are given an insight into what God thinks is important. Now, why would we be talking about the assurance that you're not condemned in your sins?

Why would we be talking about the assurance that you have the right Christian mindset or that Christ is with you or the Holy Spirit is with you? Why is that important? Because the real problem in the world is sin. It's our sin. It's the world's sin. The world is lost. It was devastated by sin from the early days of our first parents.

And that's why we need this assurance. This is the starting point of freedom and living in freedom in this world. So if you'll notice there in verse one, there's this tremendous declaration that Paul makes. And he says that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Christ has freed us and he's revealing how he has done that in these first four verses.

He goes down through that. And so in this thing, he says, yeah, we've had struggles like in chapter seven. He talked about the struggles you have with sin. But yet he says that those have been overcome and it's because you are in Christ. You belong to him.

You have a new identity. You have a new nature in Jesus Christ. And God has promised this all through the scriptures. In Micah, for example, for example, after they've been in Babylon in slavery, after they'd fallen and sinned again and again, and some people were returning to the Lord and returning back to Israel, the prophet Micah said things, you will cast all their sins into the depth of the sea. The grace of God is declared. And we know what Jesus said when Jesus said in 3 16, that whoever believes in him will not perish.

But in 3 18, he makes this statement. He says, he who believes in him is not judged. Oh, you're not condemned. Paul is simply mirroring what Jesus has taught him, that if we're in Christ, we are not condemned. We belong to him. And that's the starting point of our freedom. There is absolutely no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ. Now, Satan attacks us.

He attacks us because he wants to cause doubt. He said, oh, you could not do that. You couldn't.

You couldn't be forgiven. How is that possible? Well, you know, when you come to faith in Jesus Christ, you are then led by a new master. You have a new one who directs your life. You're not listening just to the echoes of the world and the leaders of the world or your local leaders or just the other voices around you. You are listening to Christ. And there are many men in this world who want to be little Caesars or big Caesars. And Caesar, you know, wanted you to bow down to him. But Christ, we bow down to Jesus Christ.

We live independently of the world's systems in which we live because we have an eternal master who originated life and gives us life. So as we look at the life that God has given us, we realize he's done several things for us. He has taken our debt away.

All the debt that we owe, that we could not pay, that we could not earn, we could not do anything, we could not be a publican and get rid of it. No, we would have to be like the man who cried out to Christ and said, be merciful to me a sinner. He took away that sin.

That's what he did. And therefore that pardon is real and God's judgment is taken away. In fact, this is taken away. In fact, we call it forensic forgiveness.

Forensic means it's judicial. God has determined it in his court. You are not judged. You are not condemned.

And that is good news. Now, maybe you struggle with the assurance of forgiveness. Maybe you struggle with, well, I had that sin back then, or I had that sinful thought.

Now, what about that? Well, Paul's struggling with that. But remember, if there's anybody who should maybe have flashbacks of saying, well, can God forgive me? What about the apostle? What about Saul of Tarsus? He's standing there holding the coats of thieving saying, yes, stone him, stone him. He's standing there, can I go to Damascus and get some orders so I can arrest more Christians, break up more Christian homes so children have to find a place to live? Is that, can he be forgiven?

Why didn't he flash back to that? No, he knows by the work of the Holy Spirit, as God has taught him, as Jesus taught him in Arabia, as he's instructed him, there is no condemnation to you, Paul. And there's no condemnation to every one of you who are in Jesus Christ.

That is a tremendous assurance. And so because of that, we are spiritually under the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. His Spirit is working in us and changing us as we go through life. So when you look at verse two, it says, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. Now, if you look at that and you think, wait a minute, what is the law of the Spirit of life?

That's a new law, right? No, no, no. Okay, let's go this way. Who is the Spirit of truth? Ah, the Holy Spirit.

Well, who is the Spirit of life? The Holy Spirit and his law, his rule. The Holy Spirit rules in your life. The Spirit of life rules in your life. The Spirit of truth rules in your life. That is the good news that God has given us here.

So the Holy Spirit who inspired the Old and the New Testaments is the one who lives in you and illuminates the scriptures to you when you read it. And your heart is warm. You say, yes, I see that truth. I see that grace of Christ again and again and again.

And your heart is excited about it. You know what God has done. So it is the Holy Spirit who is the one who's mentioned here. And then it mentions the law of sin and death.

What is that? Well, that is the condemnation that comes because of our sinful nature violating God's holy law. So we know the Ten Commandments are good.

We know the Ten Commandments are spiritual. And we know that we were originally made in the image of God, but now that image is messed up. We are in sin. But our problem is now we reject the law of God. We don't want to talk about it if we're outside of Christ. We don't want to think about it because we know that it points to sin in our lives. And we need a Savior.

We need a Redeemer. So the law cannot supply the basis of our salvation. It never was, never able to. And none of us can keep the law. But God accomplished that. Christ accomplished that by sending his son, Jesus Christ. And so when we talk about being rooted and grounded in freedom or finding spiritual freedom, it is when Jesus Christ is our Lord and Redeemer. It's when he is our master. Now, if you say that Jesus is your master and he is your final authority, the tyrants of the world are always threatened. You go to any large country where there's a totalitarian state or there is an atheistic state, they don't want people around who say, no, my Lord and King is Jesus Christ. That's why there's a conflict there.

It's everywhere. So you are independent, living independent in Christ of the worldly masters. And you listen to the original and to the divine master who is the Lord Jesus himself. So how did this come about?

Why is this? It's because Jesus has loved us with an everlasting love. That's why he has come. That's why he has sent the Holy Spirit to sanctify us. It's because of his great love for us. Remember when it says in Romans 8 32, God did not spare his own son, but gave him up. He gave him up for who? He gave him up for believers. He gave him up for you. And he gave up his glory.

He gave up his life. And now he's given us eternal life. He's given us, he's declared us not condemned. We are not judged. And he assures us of that. We do not belong to a local Caesar, nor do we belong to an international Caesar. We belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. So what can set you free? Well, the law, you're trying to keep the law won't set you free.

That is fierce for sure. So if you look at verse three, he starts talking about that. For what the law could not do weak as it was through the flesh, God did sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh. And so the law of God is true, is pure, but the reason says, it says that God sent Christ in the likeness of flesh because he came sinlessly. He came, he was, his birth was caused by the coming of the Holy Spirit to, and Fred calls the conception of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

And so that is how that happened. And so he is sinless. He is the perfect human, and he lived that perfect human life on our behalf, living what we cannot live or never could live.

And that's what he's done. And Christ came to be that perfect sacrifice for sin for us, because he was a perfect sacrifice, and he covers everything. An imperfect sacrifice cannot cover sin. He had to be pure. He had to be holy.

He had to be blameless. And so he was in the likeness of human flesh, fully human, yet divine and sinless. And so God's requirements for pardon were all accomplished by Jesus Christ.

And that's the good news. So it says that he condemned sin in the flesh. Now that's an interesting statement. What that does demonstrate is that it demonstrates in one hand the hatred of God for sin, the problem of the human race, our sin. God hates sin. It's counter to his holiness.

It is rebellion. It is disobedience against him. And so we see many times like Achan stole some stuff in the Old Testament, and he paid for it with his life. He brought that first major sin into the children of Israel's community as they just had crossed the Jordan River, as they've seen the works of the mighty powers of God at work there, and yet he brought that in. So Christ shows us that he came to deliver us from the domineering power of sin. He condemned sin.

But there's another thing. He disarmed sin. He took away its power when he went to the cross and he died for us on the cross, and he defeated the devil's power.

Now when I was thinking about this, I thought, what? When I think about the cross sometimes, I'm not thinking about the devil's power, but I'm missing some of the context. Think about the context of what was happening there. Judas was at the meal, and what did Jesus say? He told him to go out and do what he had to do. Yes, but who filled Judas? Who was motivating Judas?

He was led by the devil. That spiritual battle that's going on right there. And when Jesus was talking to Peter, and Peter said that he was going to stand, but Jesus told him, he said, oh, the devil is going to sift you like wheat.

Oh, the spiritual battle is on then. And so yes, when Jesus was at the cross, he was hanging on that cross. What were those who had lined their hearts with the devil doing? They were sitting raging at him and spitting at him and angry at him and saying, come down from the cross.

You saved others, save yourself. That was in defiance of God. That was a demonstration of the anger of Satan against our Lord Jesus Christ.

That's the context of his death. And so he came to deliver us, and we do live in a broken world. And so ever since the time that Amity believed the lie of Satan in the garden, and Peter was warned of those things, that he would be sifted like wheat, we face the consequences of sin in this world, and we face the Satan's deceits. Now the true believer has the privilege of being set free from this in a different way. We trust in the righteousness of Christ.

Christ has paid for everything that is necessary for us to be free from the deceits of this world. It is the beginning of God's work in us and the continuing work in us of the Holy Spirit to conform us to the image of Christ. That's what's taking place here in these last few verses. For we do not walk according to the Spirit, we flesh, but we walk according to the Spirit. And he has placed his Holy Spirit in us so we can live for him in this world. It's not our power, it's the Spirit's power, it's the Spirit's operation in us. So Jesus has bought us, and he's bought us, and we now are owned by Christ and the Spirit reigns. Now there's another section, verses five through eight. And the second major point here is that basically there are only two spirits in this world.

You can say it that way. Or two mindsets in this world. One stops freedom, one gives you freedom. One mindset brings death, the other mindset brings life. And that's what we have here.

And the contrast is drastic. Verse five, let's look at that. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. He is now saying, okay, you're not condemned, but you live in a world where there are two mindsets, and you need to know that you're free from the domination of that other mindset. You have left that.

That is behind you now. And you belong to Christ and the Holy Spirit, and his word, the Spirit's book, is going to guide you. So if you look at 1 John chapter four, verse four, that has sort of a setting for this, kind of prompts us to pay attention. John said to the believers, he said, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirit to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. He's saying there are deceitful spirits in the world, and then of course there is the Holy Spirit of God who guides the life of a believer. We are not condemned to the darkness of the world system. We are living in contrast to that darkness because we are changed by Christ as believers, and we are filled with his Spirit. The deceiver is exposed by the Word of God and by the Spirit of God, and that's how we detect truth from error. Verse five focuses on those two things, that you are blessed by what Christ has done, or you are troubled or cursed when you reject what Christ has done.

There's only those two ways, only those two outcomes. So what is our mindset? What kind of spirit is operating in us or in this person or that person? Matthew Henry says it this way, the man is as the mind is. The man is as the mind is, or as Proverb puts it, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

That's what Paul is saying. What mindset do we have now? We have this mind of the Spirit. So when Jesus was talking to Peter, and Peter was saying, no you're not going to go to the cross, no, no, no, that can't happen to you, Jesus said to him, you are setting your mind on God, not on God's interest, but man's interest.

So we can be off base, we can be focused on our interest on this earth, and we're not paying attention to maybe God has a greater purpose for something that's happening in this world. But anyway, who has the mind of the flesh? Well, who has the mind of the flesh?

Those who, Henderson puts it this way, he has a good definition here, description, he says, those who allow their lives to be determined by their sinful human nature, those are the people who have the mind of the flesh. And, you know, like I've made a mention of other people in the past in media, I thought, well, I thought that guy was sort of telling me the truth, and I realized, no, he's not telling me the truth. He was just gaining audiences at my expense. And then I realized, wait a minute, the media and the mediums of the world, they are full of people who deceive. Is that an announcer, a believer?

Are the owners of this company, do they have a Christian mindset? You have to filter what you hear. You have to say, what is God's word, how does God's word guide me through this world? And we will not say things perfectly, but God's word is perfect.

And that's our starting point. And so if you look at these two mindsets, you can describe them two ways. Philippians 3 19 gives us one mindset. It says this, talks about those whose end is destruction, whose God is their appetite, and his glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

That's the fleshly mindset. But then when we turn to Ephesians, Paul is talking about the believer there, as he describes him, and he says, the believer's desire is this, the believer's desire is to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. That is our mindset, should be our mindset, that we are focused on Christ and what he wants. So those who mind the things of the Spirit, who are under Christ's control, we have a different purpose, we have a different power operating in our lives. Another quote from a guy named William Henderson says, the one who submits to the Spirit's direction concentrates on what is dear to the Spirit. So we concentrate on the things of God, if that's our mindset. Or another way, he put it this way, the more you and I are under the Spirit's control, the more we will regret and fight against our remaining sinfulness.

Yes, if we are a Christian, we will regret sinning, even if it's just a thought for the moment, and we will fight against any remaining sin. That is the way a believer thinks. But we are assured of the presence of God. In a world of deceit, we are told that God's Spirit is in us and with us.

Isaiah says this, the steadfast mind, you Lord, you will keep in perfect peace because he trusts in you. There's another verse I wanted to share with you, it says similar things. Oh yeah, remember when Peter was walking on the water? He was invited to walk on the water before the Lord Jesus, and he was actually doing it.

He was looking at the Lord and then he took his eyes off the Lord and he faltered and started sinking. If our eyes are set on Christ, if mine are set on Christ, yours are set on Christ, when they are, then we're going to be walking in the Spirit. We're going to be stable in our lives and God's going to be steadfast with us. Ephesians 4 says similar things, and I'm going to kind of skip through these several verses. Ephesians 4, verse 20 and follow it says, but you did not learn this Christ this way, talking about the way of the world, if indeed you have heard him and he's been taught in him as truth is in Jesus, that in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self which is being corrupted according to the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the Spirit of your mind and put on the new self which is in the likeness of God and has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. So God is at work and wants us to be changed in the newness of our mind to focus on Christ and his word and absorb that more and more. So, but if you look at verse 6, it starts going over some of the consequences of the the mindset that you might have. So what are the two consequences? Well, the pursuit of the flesh obviously ends in death and the pursuit of Christ ends with life and peace.

Very clear and pointed here. The contrast is eternal and drastic. So if our soul is set on the flesh, we do have spiritual death, and it's a death of the soul.

We're living that. Paul was talking about a person in 1 Timothy chapter 5 who had made some vows to the Lord and committed themselves to the Lord, and then they went after sinful pleasures instead. And Paul said they were spiritually dead. They are dead because they've forsaken, appears to be, the Lord Jesus himself.

So what are the characteristics of these two mindsets? Why would a person resist looking at an ultrasound of the child that they just conceived? Because they resist the life that God has given.

That's why. Why would a person prefer a lifestyle and identity that is fleshly rather than the course of life that God has called you to? There are two passages of scripture I want to look at, a little bit longer ones. One is in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 9. I'm going to read several verses here.

You're familiar with them, but listen to them. Paul is writing to the church at Corinth. You know that if you were called a, oh, you can't be a Corinthian Christian if you're a Corinthian.

That's not a good name. Corinth was a terrible place. It's full of immorality and idol worship and everything else. So that's why he's writing this to those people.

He's writing to our world today, all various countries in the world. Or do you not know that the unrighteous unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor effeminate nor homosexuals nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor revilers nor swindlers nor will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the spirit of our God.

You're a different person. You've been redeemed and now he sent his spirit to sanctify you. That's what Paul is saying to these Christians who had lived a very decadent life. And so when we come to Christ, those, these are things of the past, but there are trends in today's world, even in parts of Christendom that are really awry. Why would you call yourself an adulterous Christian or an immoral Christian or a thieving Christian or a covetous Christian?

You would not identify with that whatsoever. Rather, you would identify with what you find in Galatians. In Galatians chapter 5, those two verses there, verse 22 and 23, but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Against such things, there is no law. That is the way a Christian's character should be changed. That is a loving Christian. That is a kind Christian. That is a kind, good Christian.

That is a gentle, self-control. Those are the descriptions. You don't, God's character says that he has certain attributes that are infinite and eternal and unchangeable, all-powerful, all-knowing.

We don't have those. But there are communicable attributes which really are what we see here described in Galatians as the fruit of the spirit. These God gives to us. He grows in us. He grows love in us. He grows joy in us and peace in us. These are the things that describe the believer and the fruit of the spirit in our lives.

So the fleshly mime is a person may seek a proper outward image. They may want to have a good image for their advertisements or for their own promotion, but yet inwardly they may be devoid of the spirit of Christ and may despise God's moral law. And so then later on in life, oh, they were corrupt all along.

I didn't know it. But the believer is different. It says here in Romans chapter 8, it says that it basically says that the carnal mind is enmity against God. And he says that it brings death. It is hostile to God. And so this means that there is this, the carnal mind shuns the things of God. It's like you're talking to a person and you would like them to know Christ and they said, sorry, I'm not interested. Where's their mind? What's their mindset?

Which one is it? You know at that point where it is. And that's why you pray more diligently. The fleshly mind is an opposition to God. There is no willingness to be subject to the rule and direction of God. So Matthew Henry put it this way, the fleshly mind can seek to undermine God's authority, God's designs, and God's interest.

They want nothing to do with the authority of God. Don't tell me that. I don't believe that. I don't want to hear that. Or I don't like God's designs. If the public figure says, well, oh, yeah, a man can have a baby.

Yeah, that's okay. Where is your mind? It's a fleshly mind. It's absurd. It's an opposition to God's created order. It's an opposition to God's interest.

So this is why it's sometimes when we listen to American media and certain social media, it's sometimes it's sometimes it's sometimes it's sometimes it's certain social settings. We know that the movement is to get God out of the public public's conversation, not to talk about him. Because why? Because he is holy. He is pure. He is righteous.

He says we need him as a redeemer. And some don't don't want to hear that. They don't want to be reminded of this reality of life. So the persons whose mind is set on the Spirit, however, seek something else. They seek to please God.

They have moved from self-centeredness because after they're converted to more and more Christ-centeredness. And the law is not grievous. You know that looking at the Ten Commandments, yeah, I can't keep those, but Jesus has kept all of them for me. And he's given me credit for them. He's given me righteousness that is not my own. He is gracious and I want to follow those laws more and more because I want to please him, not because I want to earn salvation.

It's a gift. Salvation is a gift. So the goal of the Christian is so different than the goal of the non-Christian. I Timothy 5 puts it this way. I Timothy 1 says, but the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Those are noble things. You know, no one ever comes to Christ by a sinful self-will. We only come to Christ by the amazing power of God's grace.

It's always that way. So here is the assurance that we can live freely in the midst of a fleshly world and a distorted world. And that is in verses 9 through 11. It talks about because the freedom that we have in Christ is a freedom that exists because of the presence now and the power now of the Holy Spirit working and dwelling in us. Jesus provides the spirit power for us to live free, to live uncondemned. So because Christ's spirit is in you, because you are united to him, therefore you have a new mind in Christ and you have a new motivation and you have a new power and someone is with you all the time, the person of the Holy Spirit.

We are different in our disposition once we're converted than what we were before. You know, if a person is intellectually convinced of the truth of Christianity, but your heart is not, is void of the Holy Spirit, then you're probably not a Christian. If you're not interested in the things of God, then you're not a Christian.

If you're not a Christian, then you're not a Christian. And I'm not a Christian. I'm not a Christian. I'm not a Christian. I don't have a relationship with God. I don't have a relationship with God.

I don't have a relationship with God. Yeah, I know what Christ died for me. Yeah, I knew Christ did this.

I remember he was a young man. I made a real strong commitment to Christ and clear understanding, more clear understanding when I was in high school. But I remember going back and looking at some of my Christian camp experiences and I had this form and I filled it But apparently I was just copying out of the scriptures. So I had all the right answers, but it's still, I wasn't sure of my salvation in Christ.

It was until years later on. So you can know a lot of things, you could do a lot of things, but yet still not be in Christ. And so that's why the Holy Spirit is there to confirm. He motivates us, he influences our thoughts and our actions. He gives us a growing commitment to Christ.

It's not diminishing, it's growing. And so if you are united to Christ, then you belong to him and his spirit will dwell in you. So despite the brokenness of the world, the Holy Spirit is dynamically working in our lives.

He is. If you look at verse 10, it talks about physical death because of sin and the spiritual death because of righteousness, the spiritual life because of righteousness. And it's kind of a contrast. It says, if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. Well, what does that mean? That means, well, ever since Adam and Eve with the promises come true, we will all die. I am going to die. There'll be a time when I am not here and when you are not here, it is a fact, it's a consequence of the first sins.

It's done. And, but however, it says, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. The Holy Spirit lives in you.

Why? Because of the righteousness bought by Christ. It was bought for you and I by Christ, so the Holy Spirit now dwells in us. He counts us righteous, he lives in us, he's come to dwell in us. And we will never be separate from God, never.

That's done, it's complete. We will always be in communion with the triune God. And so, this was a tremendous sin, but we've been bought with a price, we've been set free, and we've been given the blessings of the Holy Spirit. And then, however, we get to the next verse in verse 11, and we realize that God is giving us some comfort, he's gonna give us strength, he's gonna give us assurance, and he assures us that declares that the Holy Spirit does live in the believer. The moment you believe, the Holy Spirit is at work in your heart, the Spirit of God is in you at the moment of regeneration. So, Ephesians 1, 14 says this about the Holy Spirit.

He was, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance with a view to the redemption of God's own possession to the praise of his glory. When you get to verse 11, it says, "'But if the Spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.'" When you become a believer, the Holy Spirit is a guarantor, he is a guarantee, he is a pledge, his presence with you is assuring you that you belong to Christ and yet you have an inheritance that is uncorrupted, that's in the heavens, and that it is eternal, it's with Jesus himself.

That is the assurance that you have. That's what Paul is talking about here. Yes, we're going to die, but yet then again, just like Jesus was raised by the power of God from the grave after three days, we, one day, if Christ doesn't come back, will be raised to have a new spiritual body similar to Christ in eternity. That is the promise here that he's referring to and it's through the Spirit who dwells in us that this is going to take place. So what does this say? This tells us that Jesus Christ completely saves.

He's assuring us of these things. Christ has set you free, there is no condemnation to you who are in Jesus Christ, none at all. You are assured a full pardon, that is a blessing. We live under the authority of a new master who is our Redeemer and our judge, and he's pardoned us. Christ has set you free, he has given you a new mindset.

You are led by the Spirit of life in your thinking and will bear fruit in your life. You are free to live by the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit, regardless of the direction of the world or the confusion in the world. We are free in Jesus Christ. We are free from death, we're free to serve Christ, we're free from the deceiver, and we're free to live in this world of sin, but in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, let's pray. Father in heaven, we thank you for your grace. We pray now that you would strengthen us with these words, help them sink into our hearts, help us meditate on these things and know these are your truths. And Lord, use these things to glorify yourself. We ask in Jesus' name, amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-13 17:28:02 / 2022-11-13 17:45:51 / 18

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