Summary: Christ gives us the freedom to be couragous and effective. All we have to do is take the walk. He did it for us.
Romans 8:1-10 (The Message)
The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms
1-2With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
3-4God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
5-8Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
9-11But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Let us pray.
We have been given certain enaliable rights, according to the Declaraiton of Independence. But are we entitle to those rights because we’re Americans, or are we entitle to the rights because we are children to the Most High God? On Calvary someone took at walk more than two thousand years ago that leads us to where we are now. More than two thousand years ago, somebody took that freedom walk. And with that freedom walk those that believe with their hearts and confess with their mouths… shall and will be saved. This is not a question, but a fact…. We obtain freedom when we accept Christ. Be even though we have Jesus, sometimes it’s just not the case with other people. We as a people know and understand that we were not always treated with entitlement. We were treated like second class citizens. And sometimes still treated that way when it comes to racial profiling and other things to that nature that are used to oppress minorities in this country.
But when I think about the freedom walk that Christ took…I can’t help but to think about the Freedom Riders….The Freedom Rides set out to challenge the status quo. The Riders consisted of African Americans and whites together riding various forms of public transportation in the South to challenge local laws or customs that enforced segregation. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement and called national attention to the violent disregard for law that was used to enforce segregation in the southern United States. Riders were arrested for trespassing, unlawful assembly, and violating state and local Jim Crow laws, along with other alleged offenses.
But the Freedom Riders’ rights were not enforced and were considered criminal acts throughout most of the South. For example, upon the Riders’ arrival in Mississippi, their journey ended with imprisonment for exercising their legal rights in interstate travel, and similar arrests took place in other southern cities. Freedom Riders knew that they faced arrest by authorities determined to stop their protests and possible mob violence and before starting they committed themselves to a strategy of non-violent resistance.