Summary: Many of us, after we have accepted Jesus Christ into our lives expect to live without sin and are disappointed in the result. This sermon helps to explain the addition of the Holy Spirit into our life and show us the power that is brought by the
The Bible is a book offering the good news of salvation from sin. It is also a book that presents the bad news of condemnation for sin. No single book or collection of writings on earth proclaims so completely and vividly the totally desperate situation of people who are apart from God. This is God’s Word.
The Bible reveals that, since the Fall of Man, every human being has been born into the world with a sin nature. We have talked about that before. What David said of himself can be said of everyone: “Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Earlier in his letter to the Romans, Paul declared, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (there is that term again – ‘ the glory of God’, which we now know to be the presence of God).
Because of that universal and inborn sinfulness, all unbelievers are under God’s condemnation. Man is not simply influenced by sin but is completely overpowered by it, and no one can escape that dominance by his or her own efforts. Sin is a defiling disease that corrupts every person, degrades every individual, disquiets every soul, and steals the peace and joy from the heart.
Sin, that thing we allow to be a part of our life, places us under the power of Satan, the ruler of the present world system. What Paul is telling us in Chapter 8 is that although we are ‘born into the slavery of sin’ we have an alternative in God’s plan for us.
This is our condition. This is how we are ‘delivered from the factory.’ Every person in the world is born sinful – hard to believe that a baby is sinful, but be patient, they will get to sin soon enough!
What is perplexing to me is the wonderful truth about those who, by the grace of God, working through faith, belong to Christ. God proclaims to all people that belief in Jesus Christ is the thrilling promise that fills the heart with comfort, joy and hope. It is that belief that fuels our desire to do better. It is bewildering that any thinking mind or searching soul would not run with eagerness to receive such divine assurance. But perhaps the greatest tragedy of sin is that it blinds the sinner to the life-giving promises of God and predisposes people to trust in the false promises of the world, the promises of Satan.
This is the high water mark of Romans – this 8th chapter; it is really about ‘sanctification’, living a life ‘in Christ’ and not being ‘separated’ from God. This chapter in Romans gives most ministers some trouble because it speaks such profound truths that it makes those who are genuinely interested in the meaning of the words and phrases contained here; it makes you feel like Moses standing in front of the burning bush. These words are so powerful that it sends the most respected theologians back to the library seeking definition. In spite of that I want to push through it because at every level there is a message here that we all must come to understand.
One of the great clerics of the past century said of Romans 8, “We enter this chapter with no condemnation (blame); we close with no separation and in between all things work together for good to those who love God.”
To distil the language from this chapter is to say this: We find that there is to be given to the child of God in this life, peace and joy. He is to live for God in the very presence of sin. Clearly the choice is ours. We either live as God wants us to or we live in spiralling sin. Yes, we will still sin, but the huge difference is; we will fight against it. There are two things that we have to think about.
One: We either let sin dictate our life and our program here as we live out our years, or;
Two: We decide to make consistent attempts to live not separated from God or in other words we live a sanctified life.
There is one fundamental rule of existence that holds us all back. It is this: It has been told to us and I think we all understand that there is nothing in this world that will allow us to be in a perfect state with God. We have inherited a sinful nature and it is there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to move us OFF the path we should be on. The other disturbing thing to consider is that even after we accept Christ into our life and have this ‘new nature’ we do not receive any ‘power’ with this new nature. We are still the broken and sinful people that we naturally are. But here we learn a fundamental truth. And that is: There is no good in our old nature. There is not one speck of good to be found. So, here we are, with a new nature, having no ‘power.’ How will we live like God wants us to live? How will we be able to display this ‘new improved nature’ we have been given through belief in Christ?