2007-12-31 Embrace The Spirit

Romans 3:23

23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 7:21-8:11

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Romans 8
Life Through the Spirit
1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And 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 through his Spirit, who lives in you.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

All of us have sinned.
all of us have fallen short of the glory of God, and we all know it.
Each time we sin or fall short, our dignity (our sense of worth, value, esteem) is degraded.
As we embark on a New Year, we begin to reflect on past failures and renew our self-effort/resolve to do better in the future. Most fail to keep their resolutions and their dignity is even more degraded. Paul shares with us this same struggle- he desires to do good, he longs to restore his dignity. Yet, every time he decides to do good, sin is there to trip him up.
Paul explains that greater effort to do good or follow the law is merely a Band-aid for our sin, rather than the deep healing of it.

How does Paul say we find true change and restored dignity in our lives (v3-4)?

Rather than falling prey again to resolutions of renewed self-effort, what steps can you take in the New Year to simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in your life?

[written by Kelly Guy]

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