The Book of Romans – The Holy Spirit Has You

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“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 8:12-14 It is not enough for you to have the Holy Spirit; the Spirit must have you. Only then can He share with us the abundant, victorious life that is provided by Jesus Christ. We have no obligation to the flesh, because the flesh has only brought trouble into our lives. We do have an obligation to the Holy Spirit, for it is the Spirit who convicted us, revealed Jesus Christ to us, and imparts eternal life to us when we trust in Jesus Christ. He is the Spirit of life; He can empower us to obey Christ and He can enable us to be more like Christ. “Abide in the presence of the power of God, where victory is assured. If we remain in the right place with God. He can do anything with our lives. He can work through us. There was a power and majesty that fell on Jesus when He received the Holy Spirit.” (Smith Wiggleworth) After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (Matthew 3:16-17) We can have that same power in our lives.

The Book of Romans – You have the Holy Spirit

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“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.” Romans 8:9-11 The evidence of conversion is the presence of the Holy Spirit within, witnessing that you are a child of God. Your body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So, you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) The body will eventually die, but the Holy Spirit gives life to the body so that you may serve God. What a difference it makes in your body when the Holy Spirit lives within. You experience new life, and even physical faculties take on a new dimension. The sun shines brighter and the birds sing sweeter. Life in Christ is the more abundant life. “The Holy Spirit coming upon an individual, changes him and fertilizes his spiritual life. What things are possible if we reach this place and remain in it, that is abide in Him. Only one thing is going to accomplish the purpose of God, […]

The Book of Romans – Freedom from Defeat

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“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.” Romans 8:5-8 Defeat is the opposite of victory. When you lose, you suffer defeat. When you win, you defeat your enemy. This is a word that’s all about losing. If we follow Jesus and live in the Spirit, we are not defeated. We have victory over our sin nature. If we walk in the flesh, we think about things of the flesh. Our mind is on things of the world. I know that Satan at times wants me to think that God has left me and does not care about me. When I get in one of those moods, I am defeated. At those times I start talking to Jesus or reading the Bible and then I get back in the spirit where we must live always. I know living in the spirit sounds strange. How in the world do we live in the spirit? We live in the spirit by walking with Jesus. It is all about obedience. God wants obedience from His children and with obedience come the life more abundant. With obedience comes peace with God. When we have peace with God, we have peace with the world. “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. […]

The Book of Romans – Freedom from Judgement

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“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.” Romans 8:1-4 Paul is now getting in to the good stuff. He has been writing about our sin and how bad we are now he tells us how we can live a wonderful life. If we are to live this wonderful life with Jesus, we must live in the spirit. This chapter talks about freedom; the freedom from judgement, the freedom from defeat, the freedom from discouragement and the freedom from fear. We will write about all of these subjects as we study this wonderful chapter on life in the spirit. The first one is the freedom from judgement. There is no condemnation if we belong to Jesus Christ. In this verse, condemnation means judgement. We are not judged for our sins because Jesus Christ took our sin on the cross. When God looks at us when Jesus lives in our life all He sees is Jesus not our sins. In Adam, we were condemned. In Christ there is no condemnation. This verse does not say no mistakes or no failure […]

The Book of Romans – Jesus Won

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“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  I love God’s law with all my heart.  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 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.” Romans 7:21-25 This scripture describes a man that is trying to be good and holy by their own efforts. Every time they lose the battle because they do not have any power over sin. Paul knows this well; he had tried for years to be good according to the law, but he always failed. Then on the road to Damascus a wonderful thing happened to Paul, Jesus Christ came into his life. He found where the power would come from for the victory over sin and death. “He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. and the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!  Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:4-6) Paul answered the call to follow Jesus and his life changed after that moment. The legalist says, “Obey the law and you will do good and live a good life.” But the law only reveals and arouses sin, showing how sinful […]

The Book of Romans – We are Sinners

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“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7:18-20 When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, we all became sinners. We blame them sometimes for their sin and disobedience, but if it had not been them it would have been someone else. This was God’s plan for His creation. He knew that Adam and Eve were going to sin. God has a plan. There are no surprises with God. He knows the future. Paul was a sinner just like we all are. Paul’s problem was not the lack of desire; he wanted to do what was right. His problem was not lack of knowledge; he knew what the right thing to do was. His problem was the lack of power. He lacked power because the law provides no power. The law says, here are the rules and you better keep them. But it gives us no power for keeping them. Paul is not denying his responsibility as a sinner. He recognizes that as a he sins; he acts against his nature as a new man in Jesus Christ. A Christian must own up to his sin, yet realize that the impulse to sin does not come from who we really are in Jesus Christ. Anyone who tries to do good is aware of this struggle. We never know how hard it is to stop sinning until we try. No […]

The Book of Romans – The Law is Spiritual

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“So, the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.  But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So, I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7:14-17 The character of the law is described in four words, holy, just, good and spiritual. That the law is holy and just nobody can deny, because it came from a holy God who is perfectly just in all that He says and does. The law is good. It reveals God’s holiness to us and helps us see that we need a Savior. What does it mean that the law is spiritual? It means that the law deals with the inner man, the spiritual part of man. When we deal with the inner man, our actions change. The law cannot change the outer man unless we first change our inner man. Paul is telling us that we are under the bondage of sin and the law cannot help him out. He is like a man arrested for a crime and thrown in jail. The law will only help him if he is innocent, but Paul knows that he is guilty and that the law argues against him, not for him. Paul’s problem is not lack of desire; he wants to do what is right. Paul’s problem is not lack of knowledge, he has knowledge; he knows what the right thing is. His problem is he has no power. […]

The Book of Romans – Sin causes Death

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“But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So, we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.” Romans 7:13 The law exposes and magnifies sin.  Though the law provokes our sin nature, this can be used for good because it more dramatically exposes our deep sinfulness. After all, if sin can use something as good as the law to its advantage in promoting evil, it shows how evil sin is. We need sin to appear as sin, because it always wants to hide in us and conceal its true depths and strength. “This is one of the most deplorable results of sin. It injures us most by taking from us the capacity to know how much we are injured. It undermines the man’s constitution, and yet leads him to boast of unfailing health; it beggars him, and tells him he is rich; it strips him, and makes him glory in his fancied robes.” (Spurgeon) “The law, therefore, is the grand instrument in the hands of a faithful minister, to alarm and awaken sinners.” (Clarke) So that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful: Sin “becomes more sinful” in light of the law in two ways. First, sin becomes exceedingly sinful in contrast to the law. Second, sin becomes exceedingly sinful because the law provokes its evil nature. The law is not what causes death, it is sin that causes death. When we say that there is no sin and reject the law, we go further and further into the trap of sin and it leads to death not just physical death, but spiritual death. Then it leads to […]

The Book of Romans – The Law is Holy

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“At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.” Romans 7:9-12 In this verse we see Paul saying that he does not understand the law. This was a man that spent his time studying the law and at one time he just knew that the law was the only way to God. He was very zealous for the law. When Jesus touched his life, Paul started to understand the true nature of the law. He understood why God has the law and we need to understand this also. Sin corrupts the law and defeats its purpose of giving life, once the law is corrupted by sin, it brings death. It isn’t the law that deceives us, but it is sin that uses the law as an occasion for rebellion. This is why Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) The truth makes us free from the deception of sin. Sin when followed, leads to death, not life. One of Satan’s greatest deceptions is to get us to think of sin as something good that an unpleasant God wants to deprive us of. When God warns us away from sin, He warns us away from something that kills us. The law is holy. Paul understands how someone might take him as saying he is against the law, but he isn’t at […]

The Book of Romans – Coveting

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“Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.” Romans 7:7-8 The law is a mirror that shows us how sinful we are. Paul does not use murder, stealing, or adultery in his discussion, he used coveting. Coveting means to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another’s property. to wish for, especially eagerly. This is the last of the Ten Commandments, and it differs from the other nine in that this commandment is an inner attitude, not an outward action. Covetousness leads to breaking the other commandments. It is a sin that most of us never recognize in our own lives, but God’s law reveals it. Something in human nature wants to rebel whenever a law is given. Have you ever watched as someone passes by a sign that says, do not touch? Most people will touch. Instruct a child not to go near the water and just where do they go first, near the water. Why?  “For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.” (Romans 8:7) Believers who try to live by rules and regulations discover that their legalistic system only arouses more sin and creates problems. Legalism does not make people more spiritual; it makes them more sinful. Because the law arouses sin in our nature. “For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law […]