Uncontained: Life in the Spirit
ME: A few weeks ago I was watching the news and I came across the parol hearing of O.J Simpson. Now when I was growing up his murder case was huge. It was the story of the decade. This star football player who was accused of murdering his wife and all the evidence pointed toward him being found guilty but the jury found him innocent.
Now I see him here in a total different situation after being convicted of robbery and is now out on parole. This just got me thinking how some people no matter how many chances they get just cant seem to stay out of trouble. They have the natural ability of just not being able to obey authority and laws. They have this inward tendacy and struggle.
WE:Can you relate? Take our relationship with God and the struggle we have with sin. We all have battles that we are facing. Temptations that we are trying to overcome. How come it seems like some win these battles so easily while others seem like it takes everything they have to overcome it?
God gives us an answer to this in how to experience true freedom from our sin and how to move from spiritual death to spiritual life in Him through His Spirit.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
The book of Romans provides the fullest expression of Paul’s theology. One of it’s main themes is rightousness by faith in Christ. Paul shares his struggles with his own sinful nature. Paul says in
15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
1. Freedom from condemnation
Paul struggled the same way we do and here in chapter 8 Paul says “therefore” or since then we are Christians who are justified by our faith in Christ and have this legal standing before God and are in a right relationship with him…We have no condemnation we are declared not guilty by God. Our sin is tossed as far as the east is from the west. We have redemption and salvation.
Now even though God declares us not guilty doesnt mean that is what others will think or say about us. We have an accuser of the brethen Satan who is seeking to kill, steal, and destroy. He will remind you of your faults, your failures, he will tell you your not pretty enough, your a bad father, a bad mother, a bad husband or a bad wife but, God says you are a child of the king of kings and the Lord of Lords. Your sins are washed in the blood of Jesus and you have been forgiven!
Now the Holy Spirit will convict us of our sins but he wont condemn us. Condemnation is a guilt that causes us to remain the same but conviction is a confrontation that causes transformation.
This is what I learned in my own life. I remember getting saved and asking Jesus to live inside my heart but, I brought a lot of baggage to the table of grace. One of my biggest struggles was smoking. I use to smoke 3 packs of cigeretes a day but, my smoking was only the fruit of the problem. They say the sacraments are outward signs of inward grace but I seen my addiction as an outward sign of inward pride. I mean I was really struggling. My struggle wasnt though to give it up but it was to allow it to stay down because i gave it up multiple times only to go back to it. The guilt always remained but it wasnt until the pain of staying the same outweighed the pain of changing that I was able to keep it down. You see God says its not his judgment that leads to a transformed life but it’s his kindness that leads us to repentance.
It wasn’t until that resonated with my soul and I was captured by his grace that I was able to lay down my addiction and leave it there!
Freedom to be “In Christ”
Here’s the kicker: In order to experience that breakthrough, in order to experience that deliverance, in order to experience that freedom we need to be in Christ… Now im not just talking about one addiction but I am talking about sin and the condemnation that comes with it and the power it holds over us that just seems so unescapable....It says in our text that “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who give life has set you free from the law of sin and death”
God has set up free from the power and grip of sin. It no longer has a stranglehold on the believer. We are FREE!
Now we all know who Abraham Lincoln is right? He is said to have “freed the slaves” with the emancipation proclamation” This legal document declared all slaves are free! Imagine this news spreading and the slaves heard it? Some of them couldn’t believe it so they would continue to serve their master others we’re sadly simply lied to by their owners who told them that this rumor of freedom simply isn’t true. One by one though the slaves in bondage would see the slaves that were free and would realize it wasn’t a lie, it wasn’t a hoax, that it was true, that they were free indeed!
The Bible says, "...he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe we shall also live with him" (). What that means is simply this: Since the matter of your slavery to sin is a dead issue, seeing that Christ has already declared you emancipated, you are now free to live as a new person in Christ by thinking of yourself as unchained. Christ can't make you do right, and Satan can't make you do wrong. Christ declares we are free by faith, but we must act as a free person.
The law of the Spirit vs. The law of sin and death
Now we see Paul mention two laws. The law of the spirit and the law of sin.
What It is Not.—The "law of sin and death" is not the 10 commandments. It is true that the 10 commandments defines sin () and that the wages of sin is death (), but the law that defines sin is not the law of sin and death. Paul says, "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." . Here in the same verse two laws are mentioned,—"the law of God" and "the law of sin." Paul further says: "I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." , . Note that "the law of sin" is declared to be another law, not the law of God.
Freedom to be who God created us to be
God through His son Jesus Christ made us free to be who he created us to be and condemned sin in the flesh through his death on the cross. Jesus broke the power of death on the cross so in Him we can experience life.
The law of the Spirit
What the law of the Spirit does
What the law of sin and death do
God condemned sin in the flesh by the sending of his son
Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirment of the law
Characteristics of someone dying?(compare to a dying church)
We are created for so much more. God wants us to experience an abundant life. One where we don’t just survive but we thrive. One where we dont feel worry but peace, hope, and joy! It can get tiring carrying around chains and striving in our own strength but, we dont have to. We can be free today.
How does healing and forgiveness tie into this?
Maybe you’re here today and you are just tired and have a heavy heart. Whatever your burden, whatever your chain God wants you to act in faith and just lay it down at the foot of the cross today for today is the day of salvation.