Summary: One of the greatest problems that follow conversion, as well as the process of coming to a relationship with Jesus, and even throughout our walk with the Lord is the problem of self-forgiveness. WE have all had those thoughts: Jesus can’t possibly forgi
Sermon Title: Decision Time
Text: Romans 8:1-9
Date: July 6, 2003 - EVENING
Context of Scripture:
As we prepare for what the Lord has for us in this section of the 8th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Roman church, the first nine verses, let me share the words of Charles Wesley in the Hymn “And Can it Be”. This was the song that came to my mind as I was studying this text.
And Can It Be
And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God shouldst die for me?
’Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies! Who can explore His strange design? In vain the First-born Seraph tries to sound the depths of love divine!
’Tis mercy all! Let Earth adore, let angel minds inquire no more.
He left His Father’s throne above, so free, so infinite His grace; emptied Himself of all but love and bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immence and free; for, O my God, it found out me,
Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and natures night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, my chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose went forth, and followed thee.
No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine! Alive in Him, my living head, and clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ My own.
Is this a hymn that we can sing with gladness or is it perhaps something that we have yet to attain or are we resisting the conviction of the Holy Spirit as He drives us closer to the ever loving arms of Jesus?
Scripture Reading: Romans 8:1-9
1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 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. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
One of the greatest problems that follow conversion, as well as the process of coming to a relationship with Jesus, and even throughout our walk with the Lord is the problem of self-forgiveness. WE have all had those thoughts: Jesus can’t possibly forgive me – I have led to evil of a life. I have turned my back on the Lord for too long, He will never accept me back. This is nonsense and is nothing less then a tool of the devil to derail us in our attempt to walk closer with God. The forgiveness of Jesus is complete! Who are we to put limitations on the scope of His forgiveness? Sadly there are some in the body of Christ that even add to that. Don’t make a new convert read the Old King James if he cannot fathom the language. I don’t think many of us were forced to read the Greek or Hebrew in our studies. Don’t stifle or extinguish the newly burning flame in a new believer by criticizing his attire, his hair, his jewelry. Let the Holy Spirit in the process of His deep internal cleaning of the new believer deal with issue in time.
We seem to get stuck in a rut that is caused by we can only move forward through the things that we can do for ourselves. We make a living. We provide food for our family. We are leaders in the community. We sometimes think that we can save ourselves. We can go to church each and every time the doors are open. We can pray the right prayers. We can give generously when it comes to offerings. We can support the different missionaries that pass our way. But what we don’t do is give Jesus our heart completely. We don’t give Jesus each and every corner of our lives. The forgiveness of Jesus is beyond what we can do, when are we going to surrender?