Summary: We have Life and Peace when the Spirit of Christ lives in us!Life change occurs as we have the Holy Spirit in us.
I’m going to start today with something I’ve picked up in my daily readings by Max Lucado. Some of you may have read this.
God was with Adam and Eve, walking with them in the cool of the evening.
God was with Abraham, calling the patriarch his friend,
God was with Moses and the children of Israel…. He was with the apostles. Peter could touch God’s beard. John could watch God sleep. Multitudes could hear his voice. God was with them!
But he is in you…. He will do what you cannot. Imagine a million dollars being deposited into your cheque account. To an observer you look the same, except for the goofy smile, but are you? Not at all! With God in you, you have a million resources that you did not have before!
Can’t stop worrying? Christ can. And he lives in you.
Can’t forgive the Jerk, forget the past, or forsake your bad habits? Christ can and he lives in you.
Last week I started a series on Life in the Holy Spirit with a study of Romans 8:28. Now over the next few weeks to keep looking at what this life in the Spirit is about and how God travels with us on that journey. Last week I talked about how God works all things for our good as we take on the attributes of Jesus.
Starting back at the beginning of Romans 8.
Romans 8:1-14 is a discussion of where a believer stands with Jesus.
Paul points out from his own personal experience, that he has been liberated from “the law of sin and death”, “through Jesus Christ” and “the law of the Spirit of Life”. All who are followers of Jesus as the Christ are in the same boat. We have been set free from sin and death.
God did this by sending Jesus with a human nature in the likeness of our own sinful nature. Jesus then dealt with sin; he did this as a human.
This is a good point to stop and remember though that Jesus is both human and God, and that “He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:2) We have in the Salvation Army a doctrine, about the person of Jesus lets read it; “We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.” (Salvation Army, Doctrine 4)
Paul wrote that he was liberated from the law of sin and death, Paul was an expert in that law. He understood that the Law could show what sin is, and it could condemn sin, but the Law could not and cannot overcome sin.
Jesus did this, by breaking the power of sin, through never sinning and becoming a sin offering for the rest of us, for all who would accept this freedom, so that we too may be free, that all may be free. Jesus opened this door to life for us. He made it possible for us to take on his attributes, to be like him. He opened that door.
It is impossible to find an exact comparison, but this may be a way of seeing how one person can open a door for others.
Prior to Rodger Bannister running the mile in 3’59.4" in 1954 it was believed to be impossible, and that athletes would die in the attempt.
The ’four minute barrier’ has since been broken by many athletes, and is now the standard of all professional middle distance runners. In the last 50 years the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds. John Walker managed to run 135 sub-four-minute miles during his career, “Go Kiwi!” Now it’s even been run by High School students and an over forty year old.
Bannister broke four minutes and opened the doorway to others; Jesus broke the power of sin and death and opened the door way to life.
In comparing Jesus gift and miracle of freedom from condemnation and sin and death with Rodger Bannister’s four minute mile there is an interesting point.
By the way has anyone here run a four minute mile?
Not all of us are able to experience the thrill of running the mile at that speed, but we are all able to accept freedom in Christ!
We are now all able to have that right relationship with God as we are no longer bound to our old self but are directed by the Holy Spirit.
In the Holy Spirit we are now able to have life as God intended it, free from the burden of our old self, no longer set on our own desires, those things that appear to be freedom but end up a load that’s too hard to carry.