Last week we declared that we are blessed by in Jesus’ name. Today, let’s declare our identity as children of God. “I am a child of God!” Let’s say it together as we declare across the realms and into the heavens, I am a child of God. The very essence of our faith flows in these types of declarations. Say it with me again, “I am a child of God!”
As God’s children our Father has called us to a life of faith in His spirit. As we become conscience of our sinful patters and our transgressions, we must surrender those things to God. Just in case you I didn’t make myself clear, this is a lifelong endeavor. Paul is demonstrating the life lived with God in Christ Jesus. The life in His spirt verses the manner of existing in the flesh that leads to death. This is our struggle. Its not just what happens here in church, but its at home and at work and on the ballfield. It doesn’t make a difference if you have been saved a day or 100 years each and every day, we make a choice. Are we choosing Christ or are we choosing self and the world? Are we choosing life or are we choosing death? Are we choosing an eternity with our Heavenly Father or are we choosing an eternal damnation in a place that was made for Satan and his fallen angels in total separation from God? Hopefully, you are making that choice for Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.
Last week we learned that Jesus miraculously rescued us from all condemnation. We read about how He intervened on our behalf. And how Jesus of Nazareth met the righteous requirement of the Law. Today we will continue to unpack a little more what is means to live life through the Spirit. Living this Spirit lead life is a life not of coincidence or happenstance, it’s not lived haphazardly, but without conscience effort, conviction, and courage.
My prayer today is that by hearing this message we will possess encouraged and embolden minds governed by the spirit, putting to death the desires of our flesh. While, demonstrating the conviction to make those hard choices to content for the things of God and believing in His ability to bring us through victoriously.
Let’s see what the word has for us today.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.Romans 8:5-13
Just like before I have broken up my thoughts into 3 sections or points in order to share them with you today. Let’s check out this first point.
Our Life Is In The Spirit
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.Romans 8:5-8
Remember Abraham believed that God could call into existence that which did not exist and call life out of death. Hear we see that the Holy Spirit living in all of those who believe in Jesus has been given the freedom to see life though spiritual eyes. We once looked through eyes of flesh but now can see spiritually.
The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.Romans 8:7-8
It is impossible to please God in a carnal state. As a result of this spiritual indwelling, we are no longer forced to live in a carnal manner. This is the point of which master do you choose.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.Matthew 7:13-14
In this passage we find Jesus saying there is a point of decision. Which road will you take? The wide leads to destruction/death. The narrow leads to life and few will find it. The pathway to life is found in Christ Jesus by way of the Holy Spirit. Our truest life is life in the spirit.
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.Matthew 12:30
You notice here that Jesus’ words leave us no real wiggle room. There’s no neutral space where one might hide in indecision. If you’re not with me you’re against me. Whoever doesn’t gather with me is scattered. We can move on to my second point.
Our Future Is In His Resurrection
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.Romans 8:9-11
Our future is in His resurrection. Paul is fortifying his ideas about living in the spirit verses living in the flesh. He is clarifying his point by indicating that the Life we have in the spirit is because we are in Christ. The are both mutually exclusive. They go together. It’s a packaged deal. If you are in Christ, you are no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit. Because of this mutual exclusivity, you can have confidence that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead will also raise you.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;John 11:25
For those who are in Christ are also in the spirit and marked for resurrection even though we still have a physical body of flesh and decay. When that body dies the soul is judged and if you are not found in Christ you will face that spiritual death, that is total, separation from God. However, if you are found in Christ Jesus, though your physical body dies, you will be resurrected in glory to a glorified body and spend eternity in God’s presence.
Can you imagine, spending your whole life not knowing if God is real? Refusing to make a decision for Christ because the idea of God was controversial, and you couldn’t wrap your head around it. Only to find out after you died that God is real, you have seen his glory and you’re your desire for Christ is unimaginable only to be sent away because it is too late. If you struggle today with unbelief in Jesus. I will tell you that It’s not because you don’t have faith. No, you have demonstrated your faith, because you have believed in something other than Christ already. You have believed in science You have believed that this present physical life is all there is. Or maybe you’ve believed in you own ability to do good. Either case you have already expressed your faith. So, it not a faith issue. Our only future is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Let’s keep moving, this is my final point.
Our Obligation Is To The Spirit And To Life
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.Romans 8:12-13
I love this part. Paul is saying because of everything we just read, do this! Because our obligation is to live by his spirit. To put to death the misdeeds/sin of our body/flesh. In doing this we will live.
The gift of salvation is free, but the cost of serving God is great. There is an obligation to the relationship. Although, we are under obligation now the reward far outweighs the cost. This speaks to covenant.
This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.Genesis 17:10-11
For Abram, God gave a conditional covenant. If you do this, I’ll do that. Our obligation is to the spirit and to life. In our case, God has saved us and transformed us. He has called us to partnership with us. And if we do our part, God has promised eternal life for all those who believe.
Christ has restored the covenants by his blood. He has purchased our redemption. Bought with a price and we belong to him. He has only asked us of one thing. To obey his commands. In our relationship with Christ we demonstrate our love for Him by putting to death the misdeeds of our flesh.
Friends, the Kingdom of God is now. Jesus is coming soon. There is now nothing left prophetically that needs to happen before he takes us home. No decision when it comes to Christ is a choice against Christ. Here’s the take-a-way: this world is condemned. The only way to escape this condemnation is through Jesus Christ. Jesus has blazed a transcended trail though his spirit. We must all come to a choice.
Will you open your hearts to Jesus, the Son of the living God, and receive what He has for you? Will you call on him today? Will you ask Him to help you discern what his word is revealing today?
Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of hindrance or bondage in your life or your relationships today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late. It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me. Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless you=and keep you;Numbers 6:24-26
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’