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How to Really Live as a Christian

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How to Really Live as a Christian


Romans 8:13


As a Christian the effectiveness of our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ can be measured in direct relationship to our daily sanctification.

What is sanctification? It is the work of God in us. It is specifically the work of the controlling and directing Holy Spirit.

As a called out people we are united to Christ in virtue of His life, death and the power of His resurrection; we are dead to sin, the old man has been crucified, the body of sin has been destroyed, sin no longer has dominion over us;

Romans 6:2-6,14

This freedom from the dominion of sin, this victory over the power of sin is not achieved by a process nore by our striving or working to the end.

It was achieved once for all by our union with Christ and the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

Concluding then that we are to be putting to death the deeds of the body. How are we to daily be sanctified or holy

Firstly it is worked out in our daily experience by fulfilling the;

Divine Condition -  “But if you …”

“But if….” Verse 13a.

This applies to our heads;

Look at verse 5

“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”   Verse 5

This divine condition; “But if you,” begins in our minds. Are our minds continually concerned about the things of the flesh? Cf. Gal 5:19-21

If we are to have any hope of fulfilling this divine condition as a people who are of the Spirit we must constantly have our minds on the things of the Spirit. Cf. Gal 5:22-25

But you say I have every day responsibilities; I have to work or look after my children. How can I constantly have my mind on the things of the Spirit.

The Psalmist in Psalm 1:2 tells us that the person who would be truly happy has a “delight in God’s law and mediate on it day and night.”

So practically we need to spend quality in the Bible applying our minds to understanding it and allowing it to challenge us and change our attitudes and desires. So even though we are busy at work or washing the nappies instead of coveting or lusting or being bitter we have my mind on the things of the Spirit.

So say we have been in Romans 6 that morning we have the weightiest things in the universe constantly on our minds;

Sin, grace, death, life, resurrection, righteousness, being a slave for obedience, sanctification, eternal life and Jesus Christ our Lord.

But this divine condition not only applies to our minds,

But secondly notice the;

Divine Command -  “ You are putting to death the deeds of the body…”

This is to be obeyed daily by putting to death the sins we commit with our bodies.
What does this mean? John Owen the famous Puritan said; “Be killing sin or it will kill you.” The old word for this is mortification; literally putting to death.

How are we to obey this divine command?

These things will help us;

1. Firstly we must be led by the Spirit of God v14

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. “ v14

2. Secondly we must pray for God’s Help

Look at verse 15

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which you cry out, “Abba Father!”

As Christians we are no longer slaves who fear a cruel master. No, Paul reminds us of the new relationship we have with God. We are adopted into God’s family. He calls us sons and with the title comes the awesome privilege of prayer.

It is only as we cry out to God reminding Him we are His sons and calling Him Daddy, a Daddy who loves to respond to the voice of His child who desperately needs their Father’s help.

Next there is the help of the;

Divine Comforter -   “By the Spirit…”

To help us put to death the deeds of our body and so are sanctified or holy the divine comforter, the Holy Spirit is the agent to enables us to succeed in putting to death our sins.

This divine comforter; the Holy Spirit has done three wonderful things so we can know success in putting sin to death.

He as cancelled the power of sin;

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, has set you free from the power of sin and of death. “ Romans 8:2  

He lives within us;

“But in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.”  V9b

He confirms our position with God;

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” V14

Divine Conclusion

Finally there is a promise for all those who are by the Spirit putting to death all the deeds of their bodies;

“You shall live…” v13

Living enjoying the benefits of eternal life now. We can by entering into the divine conditions which involve our heads, hands and feet fulfill the divine command to put to death the deeds of the body by being daily lead by the Spirit and praying for the Spirit’s help.

The union we have by virtue of Christ’s life death and resurrection, God divine has cancelled the power of sin. The divine comforter the Holy Spirit has come into our hearts by regenerating them, giving us faith and giving us sonship  as children of God so we can see worked out in our daily experience “the deeds of our body being put to death by the Spirit.”

Paul Thompson - Queensland - 1981




 

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