Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! - Romans 7:25 [NASB]
In Chapters 6-8 of Romans, the two areas of the struggle faced by most people are dealt with. Some people mistakenly believe that their freedom in Christ allows them to ignore divine laws, ie. they use it as a license to sin and others believe that being legalistic (ie. keeping the law) gives them merit before God. Paul himself explains his struggle in keeping the Law in Chapter 7. A believer in Christ is free from sin and law, but he must keep his life under check so that he will serve in newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter (Romans 7:6).
At the end of Chapter 7, Paul declares his victory through Christ Jesus and affirmatively states in Chapter 8:1-3 that those who are in Christ Jesus and walk according to the Spirit lives in freedom and are out of condemnation!
Most of the believers face this dilemma when they feel the struggle in their flesh! It is futile to ignore the pull in the flesh – but it is beneficial to identify it and deal with it. As Paul himself explains in Romans 7:8, the greatest struggle he faced (and even we all face) is covetousness (greediness, materialism, envy). Even after knowing all the fundamentals of salvation and victorious Christian life, many live under the slavery of covetousness. The entire chapter of Romans 7 is dedicated to explaining the intense struggle in the flesh and the ensuing victory through Christ Jesus. It should encourage each one who reads this message that even if there is a very intense struggle in your flesh that you sometimes feel incapable of overcoming, you can win over it through Christ! Paul went through it and records his testimony for our encouragement and edification.
The path of victory explained by Paul in Chapter 7 is the path of victory for us too.
Know your purpose & work for it: You are joined with Jesus to bear fruit
Rom.7:4 – Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
The concept of joining otherwise means marriage. Just as an outcome of a marriage, children are born, our joining with Christ will produce the fruit of Christ-likeness. The Christian character has been undermined largely by many believers and they would like to give priority to mere financial prosperity, ignoring prosperity in the core areas of Christian life – ie. Christ-like character.
As explained in Romans 8:29, the purpose of Christian life is to be Christ like. We can end up in doing a lot of things and wasting our time and resources, if we are not focused and understood our purpose.
Be very clear today that by virtue of our union with Christ, we are to produce the fruit of Christlikeness in us. Just as the intimate physical union of spouses results in the fruit of the womb, an intimate relationship with Christ will start producing the fruit of Christ-like character in you.
Know your guide & obey Him: Walk according to the Spirit
Romans 8:2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
As in every new endeavour (may it be a marriage or a job), there needs to be a counsellor who would guide and instruct, there is the perfect guide and instructor given to us – Holy Spirit. Never ignore Him, belittle His instructions – which many tempt to do. The Spirit of God is a priceless companion for every believer – let us rely on Him, learn from Him and submit to His instructions and corrections.
As evident from the above verse, the Spirit of God will always function in such a way that He will give us freedom from sin. He is a Spirit of Life!
Quote for the Day: “In my daily walk with Him, He gives me victory as He teaches me how to abide.” - Judy Harrell