So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to -him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2 (NLT)
Am I free from sin? I have been meditating on this passage since I listened to a sermon online yesterday. It’s been some time since I’ve been able to attend worship services and I have appreciated the opportunities to worship through the music and sermons I can access throughout the country. This week I was listening to an Anglican bishop in Gainesville, The Rt. Rev’d Ronald Dent Kuykendall, who began his sermon with this passage. He brought up some points that I had not thought about.
If I look at this passage in context, Romans 7 has a rather “infamous” passage that never fails to make me smile as Paul is lamenting that the very things he does not want to do are the things he does. I can so identify with what Paul is saying. When I come to Jesus and confess my sins, it is the same sins over and over that I am confessing! I cannot seem to break the habits. And there is the problem.
I have read this passage frequently and rejoiced with the words “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Jesus.” I weep when I take my sins to Jesus and ask His forgiveness. There is no condemnation from my Savior who died for me. It is because of Him I can ask for forgiveness when I surely do not deserve it. It is because of Him that forgiveness is given and I am restored to walk into the presence of God again. But now there is more!
I cannot break my sinful habits. I can’t. I am not strong enough. And here is Paul telling me he cannot stop committing the same sin over and over. And he shares the revelation – the Spirit is there to make it possible to truly repent, change directions.
God made me. God knows my strengths and weaknesses. God knew I would need help after I accepted my need for a savior. He knew the importance of what I would need the day after I accepted and received the life-saving, eternal gift of Jesus in my life. He rejoiced with me as I came up out of that water baptism feeling so clean and new. And within 24 hours I was in this struggle like Paul, trying not to do the things I was doing – sin. Jesus brought the message that when He left to return to the Father, the Spirit would come and remind us, His disciples, of all He has taught us (John 14:15-25). And the Spirit of God is faithful to do that. When I call out to Him in the morning, “This is the day You made, LORD. Help me to walk in Your footsteps. Keep me from temptation. Remind me of Your promises today. Remind me of Your great love and mercy. Keep me close to You today, LORD.”
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NLT)
And so I walk today with my LORD because He is here to show me how. Father God provided the Way to Him through Jesus Christ and also gave me His Spirit to continue to lead and teach me until I join Him forever in heaven. Freedom – another priceless gift from my Father.
Holy Spirit Rain Down written by Russell Fragar and sung by Hillsong