Sermon Illustrations

Christians have Obligations

Romans 8:12-14, "Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." The Apostle Paul wrote about struggling with the flesh, "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but 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." (Rom. 7:21-23)

In Romans chapter 8, verse 12, the apostle moves from instruction to exhortation, from what God has done through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to what is expected of the child of God in way of response. There is a strong emphasis on human responsibility in regard to what is truly the reflection of a repentant heart renewed by the Holy Spirit.

The key word in our text today is "obligation" (opheiletes) meaning to be bound by a duty. It is important to note that this is not an ambition, it is a duty. The application is this. With the position that the child of God has in Jesus Christ comes an obligation to live a life worthy of the gospel.

To whom do Christians have an obligation? The obligation is to God, who created man's body, mind and spirit. He gave His one and only Son for the redemption of sinful mankind. (John 3:16) The obligation is to Jesus Christ who purchased God's chosen with His own blood. (1 Peter 1:1-2) Because of the price that Christ paid for the Christian's soul the child of God is obligated to surrender his mind, heart, tongue and literally every part of His body to the will of God.

All great armies that are victorious in battle are made up of soldiers who know that they have an obligation to fight with all their mind, heart and strength. The first step to living victoriously over the flesh is to accept Christ a personal Savior and Lord and to do your duty, surrender to the leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit of Christ!

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