Freedom in the Holy Spirit

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture references are taken from the NASB translation.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:1-8.

Many, many people think that they have been saved or born-again because they are members in good standing with a local church. “But, why do they incorrectly think this way and what is your proof?” My answer is simple, “Observation.”

The following portion of Scripture taken from Matthew 7:15-23 is rather long, but contains words of Jesus addressing the issue, “”Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.”

Often times people you and I know attempt to live in 2 cultures, 2 opposing worlds: light and darkness. The problems are simple enough and just as Jesus said, they will love one and hate the other because no one is able to serve two masters. “Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.” Plain enough.

Jesus Christ has set Believers free from sin and death

However, only those who walk/live in the Holy Spirit will experience the fullness of the abundant life that Christ provides for those who choose to follow Him. Everyone who is happy in this life do not experience the abundant life found in a personal relationship with Christ, but think they do only because they seem to be ‘happy.’ Just this morning I was watching a TV news program and a very well-known and successful ‘Country-Western’ singer who professes Jesus Christ as Savior was present. He was advertising a well-known whiskey brand along with his music. I know that many professing Christians are ‘okay’ with this, but this is mixing light with darkness any way one wants to think. Freedom in Christ is NOT a license to live any way that pleases the senses. Jesus asks this question, “Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” The answer is, “No.”

Paul writes, “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3-4. Jesus condemned sin in the flesh enabling us to fulfill the requirement of Law BECAUSE we then live according to the will of God by the indwelling Holy Spirit. A Believer will NOT/CANNOT live with one foot in darkness and fulfill the will of God Who is light. Again, one cannot please/obey two masters.

There is a vast difference between light and darkness

“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 5-8.

The reason that many people struggle with sin is that they have decided to follow a temptation to sin. Sin is present because of the willingness of people to accept what Satan has offered in temptation. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” James 1:12-15.

A professing ‘Christian’ once said to me, “Bob, I am a Christian, but you would not like my lifestyle.” My thinking is, “No, I would not, but worse, ‘God does not like your lifestyle.’” One does not have to please another person, but everyone must please God. For just as James writes, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”  This death is not temporal, this death is eternal.

The difference between light and darkness is life and death and both are eternal: life with Jesus or death without Him. Which choice do you make? The choice IS yours.

Jesus is Lord.

 

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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