Summary: Every Christian should understand the particulars truths involved in a Life with the Spirit. Why should every Christian understand the particulars in a Life with the Spirit? Because until you understand the particulars in a life with the Spirit you coul
Every Christian should understand the particulars truths involved in a Life with the Spirit.
Why should every Christian understand the particulars in a Life with the Spirit?
Because until you understand the particulars in a life with the Spirit you could live a frustrated life unnecessarily.
You will live the same life that Paul explains at the end of chapter 7:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” This leads the man up to the infamous statement and question in Romans “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
Paul gives the answer to the man’s question through Jesus Christ our Lord! And that answer which is explained in chapter eight is why every Christian should understand the Life that is possible through the Spirit—a life that many have come to explain as the Victorious Christian Life. Because it is not a life that is frustrated as this man’s life was. Its not a life that is characterized by discouragement and defeat. But, it is a life that is victorious and it’s a life every Christian has the ability to experience, a life every Christian should experience. But unfortunately, not every Christian does experience.
[I think that many times we put the cart before the horse when we disciple people. We assume that the concept of the Holy Spirit is a doctrine that a new believer is not ready for. So we begin instructing them in the disciplines of prayer, devotions, obedience, evangelism, etc. All the action oriented aspects of the Christian faith.
From my experience, these people who are discipled this way have a high failure rate, or a high discouragement rate. They have a hard time being consistent in prayer and devotions… they are continually failing in their ability to obey (and this becomes a major frustration), and evangelism is tough as well.
Its hard to sell something that is defeating you. When a Christian is a babe they desire to share the good news of Jesus Christ… there is a passion there that is refreshing. But something happens… they lose the passion. Could it be that they are discipled in what “they” should do and find it next to impossible to maintain their duties in their own strivings and thereby become discouraged. I think if we would put the horse back out in front of the cart, if we would learn where our power comes from prior to attempting to go it alone, our joy and the joy and passions of those who come after us would be more attainable.]
When we understand the life that is possible with the Spirit we will be free to experience that joy and victory that the Christian life is supposed to be characterized by according to: John 15:11 which says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” How do you attain that joy that Christ talks about? If you back up to John 15:10 it would seem that you have this joy through obedience, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” But obedience is only part of it. Because I know from experience and from the end of Romans 7 that to do the right thing in my own strivings is impossible… sooner or later it ends in failure. So it is not only obedience, but it is obedience that is enabled because of what John 15:5 explains, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Our dependence must be in the Lord if we are to experience the joy and victory of the Victorious Christian Life.
Let’s begin our understanding of this life that is possible with the Spirit by first looking at the particular truth of God’s word found in our Romans Passage. Until we understand the particulars of a life with the Spirit, as laid out for us here in Romans, we will live a frustrated life. The first TRUTH: