We need an external power source to restore life where death once ruled.
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.
This is good news for all of us. We need to shed the guilt once and for all. Do you see the words in the first verse of chapter 8 above? There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set us free. We’ve been talking about the law in the past few lessons. We know the law itself was not bad. In fact, the law was holy and pure because it came directly from God and anything that comes from God has to be holy and pure.
The problem is not with what we do – the problem is with who we are!
We are sons of Adam; therefore, we all have a sinful nature. No amount of works that we do on our own can change our inner nature. The law shows us what is right and what is wrong. But our sinful nature cannot obey the law. We are not capable without help. I heard this analogy and connected with it so I’m sharing it with you:
Think of your inner self as a dead car battery. On your own, you can do nothing to that car battery to restore life. Cleaning the outside with soap and water doesn’t change the inner, dead part of the batttery. The only thing that can change the inner part of the battery is an external power source.
Our inner self is the same as this dead car battery. Nothing we do externally will change our inner self.
We need an external power source to bring new life to our inner man.
That external power source is the Holy Spirit! Paul confirms this in verse 2. “And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” When we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, He sends His Holy Spirit to dwell in us. He is our Comforter and our Guide but it is not instantaneous. Let me clarify. The very minute we accept Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in us – this is instantaneous. What does not happen so quickly is learning to walk in the Spirit.
How do we do this?
Paul tells us in these verses above that we can either let the sinful nature control our minds or we can let the Holy Spirit control our minds. One leads to death and the other to life and peace. The battle is in our minds. In Romans 12:2, Paul tells us:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
So knowing that the battle is in our minds, we must let the Holy Spirit control our thinking. We need to turn from the ways of the world toward the ways of God. This raises another question.
How do we let God transform our thinking?
We let God in our minds and our thoughts by developing a close relationship with Him. We develop a close relationship with Him when we spend quiet time with Him and get in His Word. These are the two primary ways that we will know who God is and hear from Him. His Word is His Voice. When we get in the Word – studying, meditating, praying – we will draw closer to God. His Word is alive and breathing. It is Life. The Word is Jesus Christ.
The Word of God will bring about an amazing transformation of our minds, souls and spirits.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,