3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Last week we talked about how to fulfill your call in Christ. We showed that it is only through abiding in God’s word that God begins to speak to us, we showed that God tests his word in us to see if we will be faithful to it, and we also showed that without his word as a lens to look through we do not have the vision to understand, see, or walk in his will in order to find his purpose in our life. So we defined how God speaks to us in order to find out his will, but what about he walk itself? So I have named today’s message:
Every where I look there is a ho ho!
If anyone can’t tell I have been on a diet again. I say again because in my life I have probably lost the equivalent of a 100 pounds. But somehow someway I always manage to gain that poundage back. You see for a time I loose the weight, I like what I see in the mirror, and I let up a little bit in my diet. And every time I let up a little bit in my diet wham it hits me and in no time at all I have gained all my weight back!
Here is why!
I realized that in my life for health’s sake that the right thing to do is to is to loose excess weight. It makes me sluggish, I don’t feel good, and I find I become tied to my cravings. So what do I do? I have a conversation with myself. I say, “John, I am not going to eat… and I am not going to drink….” I begin to make a list of rules or laws in my life that I will abide by to reach my goal!
So a week goes by and I do pretty good, and I eat right, I drink right, I run at the gym, I even start lifting. But then the next week comes and my body is tired, which causes me to be a little mentally week, and I am tired from the shock to the muscles and my body begins craving all that I vowed I would not eat.
My flesh craves
Then something changes in me because I realize as bad as I want to loose the weight is as bad as I want the food I shouldn’t have! I now realize that as I begin to walk around everywhere I look I see ho ho’s!
Another side.. the one that think they won the battle
And even if I reached my goal of loosing the weight I have lost the battle because the real goal isn’t to loose the weight the real goal is to change my lifestyle so I will not crave the ho ho’s. I realize that I never win the diet battle because I didn’t really want to forsake the ho ho’s because I liked them!
Becoming a slave
So I become a slave to my cravings and I feed them and feed them until I become so unhappy I don’t want to be seen, I become so sluggish I don’t want to participate, and become so heavy I don’t want to move!
This is what it is like for those of us who are struggling with sin!
If we look at the box of ho ho’s you will notice some unique qualities!
· It looks nice and neat – its appealing to our eyes
· It smells really good – so we lust after it
· It appears to come at a small cost
As we seek out god’s will for our life we cannot allow the cravings that bound us to law rule in our spiritual lifes. Make no mistake that those of us not saved in this room are bound to law and those who are saved are free from the law and it’s cravings. Because he has overcome he as given us the ability to overcome! I want to review a scripture with you so you will understand!
20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
- We died to the principles of this world
- Death means the end of being alive, the extinction of something, to exist no more
- Principles means the law required in a system of thought, or the way some thing works
- If we have died through salvation the system of thought required in our world must be extinct from our lives. Meaning we don’t look through the mind of the world but the conformed mind of God in us, we see through his word.
* The laws we create to achieve are ridiculous and stupid no matter the intention. I would even say it is sinful because we are to walk in faith. The funny thing about these laws sometimes they work in this word, sometimes you’ll see results in the flesh! But that which comes from the flesh has no value in the spirit or in eternity!
We are to walk in faith constantly
2 Corinthians 13:5
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
If our walk is by faith then why to submit to the flesh and try to conquer cravings of the flesh by laws and regulations from the flesh, although it may seem wise it does nothing in us that is good.
LET”S PUT IT THIS WAY…STOP SINNING
We are not called to walk relying on grace. We are called to walk by his grace.
There is a fallacy among CHRISTIANS or so called Christians that they can continue to sin relying on God’s forgiveness. They have an attitude of it’s ok as long I sin because God forgives. It’s a justification for there cravings bu we must remember that we are called to finish the work, we are called to the promise land and not to die in the desert. It’s amazing to me that we how willing we are to trust in God’s forgiveness but how unwilling we are to heed his called. Forgiveness requires disobedience and heeding the call upon our lives requires obedience. Look what the scripture says concerning this type of walk.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Gods grace calls for us to put ot death the cravings of the flesh, not only that but to put on the mind of the Spirit! It is not good enough to stop at I believe this faith must be walked out!
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God
To be all that he wants us to be we must die on along the way, because as we die to the world he live in us.