Friday, May 18, 2007

A Word of Encouragement

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature (literally: flesh). But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature (flesh) but instead follow the Spirit. ~ Romans 8:1-4; NLT

Every once in awhile it is important for us to be reminded of what God has done for us. It is so easy to get caught up in the everyday routines of life and to be weighed down by all the responsibilities and problems which come with it. Today I just want to offer some encouraging words to all of us who are down in the dumps. In Romans 8:1-4 we discover four great truths which should brighten our outlook.

1. Good News: So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (v. 1)

We live in a world of condemnation. It is easy for people to judge one another. We do it to others, and it has been done to us. Adam did it to Eve, "It was the woman!" Condemnation makes us feel like failutres.

The sad truth is we often condemn ourselves. We come up with standards and expectations and when we fail to live up to all that we inspire to be condemn ourselves as failures. This self-condemnation burdens us with needless guilt.

The Good News is that in Jesus we are no longer condemned. We are not going to be perfect; there will be times that we fail. Despite our failures Jesus will not point a finger at us and let the world know how we have messed up. In Jesus we find hope and grace. We do not have to worry about Jesus accussing us failing Him.

2. Great Freedom: For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. (v. 2)

Before trusting Jesus we were slaves of sin. Sin had us chained and was dragging us towards death. Many people are in this position. They are slaves to their whims and the whims of the people around them. They have been told that they are free, but in reality they are slaves to then sin which binds them.

As Christians we experience freedom. The promise of God is that we are free in Christ Jesus. We do not always experience this freedom because we have allowed the old life to continue to guide us. The freedom Jesus offers is found when we follow Him. Following Jesus allows us to realize that we are no longer chained by our old way of life.

3. Gracious Sacrifice: God destroyed sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. (v. 3)

We are unable to do anything about our sinful condition. Death is what awaits us. Not only physical death, but everlasting death, being separated from God. Death is our greatest enemy, and is something we cannot avoid. Ultimately what we are searching for is an answer to the problem of death. The answer is not found in anything that we do, but is discovered in what God has done.

When we could do nothing about our condition God sent Jesus to die for us. What is even more amazing is that God did this while we were His enemies. There was nothing about us worth saving, but God made it possible for us to be redeemed. He did this because of His love. We need to be constantly reminded of the great love of God that was demonstrated by Jesus Christ on the cross.

4. Generous Fulfillment: He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us. (v. 4)

It is impossible for us to fulfill the requirements of the law. Coming to this realization is part of the condemnation we experience. We get frustrated because we are unable to live up to the expectations God has for our lives. In the midst of this impossiblity God made it possible for us to meet the requirements of the Law through the life of Jesus.

This promise is for all those who have put their trust in Jesus and seek to live according to the Holy Spirit's guidance. Yes, Jesus has taken care of our sins, but there needs to be a change which occurs in our lives. By following the Holy Spirit we allow ourselves to be led away for sin to places where we can experience and do good.

Life has a way of getting us down. We will not always feel happy or loving. Other times we will feel overloaded with things and we will wonder if we can go any further. At times like these we need to be reminded of the simple truth of the Bible: Jesus loves me this I know.

1 comment:

Samantha said...

"every once in awhile"

I'd say, more like every second of everyday! :)

Our Identity

{Philippians 1:1-2; NLT}   This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. I am writing to all of God's holy people i...