Romans 8:1-4 NIV
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 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, 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.”
Too many people today have this erroneous notion that Jesus died on that cross merely to forgive us our sins so that we will escape punishment and hell and so that we will go to heaven when we die, as though that is all there is to it, and that nothing is required of us at all.
And they often quote the Apostle Paul, out of context, to give support to their beliefs and practices. They see him as their hero and as their power horse behind their erroneous beliefs, while they ignore the other half of what he taught about our salvation from sin.
Yes, it is true that by grace we are saved, through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any of us should boast that we somehow earned or deserved our own salvation. But our salvation is not absent of works (Eph 2:8-10).
What it really all comes down to is understanding exactly what we are saved from and to. If our idea is that we are merely saved from the punishment of sin so we can go to heaven when we die, then we have missed it. That is only half the truth. We need the other half, though.
For, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would now be God’s possession and so we would now honor God with our lives and with our bodies (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).
We need to understand God’s grace, too. For his grace, which brings salvation, instructs (teaches, trains) us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return (Tit 2:11-14; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
So, we don’t live righteously or walk in obedience to our Lord in order to earn or to deserve our salvation, but we are able to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to the Lord, because of our salvation from sin, i.e., because of what Jesus accomplished for us on that cross.
But this isn’t optional. It isn’t that we are saved and now we are good to go and heaven is guaranteed us no matter how we live. NO!
If we are truly saved by God’s grace, through genuine faith in Jesus Christ, we died with Christ to sin, and we were resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We were reborn of the Spirit of God to now walk in holiness and righteousness, not so we could continue living in sin (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
For, if we continue living in sin, and we obey sin and not God, then we don’t have salvation from sin. We don’t have eternal life with God. Heaven is not our eternal destiny. Hell is! (Rom 6:15-23; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10).
So, the bottom line here is that those who are in Christ Jesus, who are no longer under condemnation, are those who have died with Christ to sin and who are living to Christ and to his righteousness according to and by the Spirit, and who are no longer walking in agreement with their flesh.
They are the ones who have the hope of eternal life with God. But this is not a one-time experience and then they are good to go. This is a lifestyle. This is a daily walk with Jesus. It doesn’t mean we will never sin again, but it does mean daily by the Spirit that we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh and we are walking in holiness and in obedience to his commands.
Romans 8:5-8, 12-14 NIV
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”
So, if you are living according to your flesh, doing what you want to do, entertaining yourself, indulging yourself in what you know is sinful, and in what is of the flesh, and is immoral, wicked, perverse, and hateful to others, then know this. If you continue in this, it will end in death, not life.
But you know what? This isn’t just about people who do really horrible stuff. This is about forsaking or ignoring or resisting Jesus as Lord of your life. This is about you being the one running your own life and you not letting Jesus truly be Lord over your life.
You may give him a cursory nod here and there, saying grace at mealtime, or you may daily read the Scriptures and even meditate on them, and you may even teach them, and you may even be a pastor. But if your life is still being controlled by you and your flesh and not by the Spirit of God, you don’t have God. You don’t have eternal life with God. You are not his.
For, it is those who are being led (directed) by God’s Spirit who are the children of God. This means they are listening to the Lord and they are doing what he says. They are not perfect people, but they don’t use lack of perfection as an excuse to continue living in sin. They are, by the Spirit, walking according to the Spirit and they are dying to sin daily.
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.