TO THEM WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS
READING: Romans 6:1-16
[a] I don’t need to tell you how society appears to be crumbling at the seams, and especially when so many of the young people in our society, appear to have totally lost the whole idea of any standards to live by.
[b] Someone said to me one day, “Why do you think it’s happening?”
[c] I explained that when you take away the whole idea of Sunday School, remove Christian assemblies from our schools, and leaving young people devoid of some sort of Bible basis to work on, then there is no structure, and life ends up built on a very shaky foundation, where the young person lives solely for themselves, and anything goes! If someone else does it - it must be all right!
[c] Someone said to me, I don’t want to force my children to go to church, I will leave the decision up to them.
IT’S A BIT LIKE PUTTING SMARTIES AND SUGAR COATED SLEEPING PILLS ON THE SAME PLATE IN FRONT OF A SMALL CHILD, AND THEN SAYING, “YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO EAT - IT WOULD BE WRONG OF ME TO TRY AND PERSUADE YOU IN ANY PARTICULAR DIRECTION!!”
NO WONDER THE WORLD’S IN SUCH A MESS!!
[d] Sin, today, has for the most part, lost it’s stigma! Because certain sins are ‘popular’ people take little notice now!
[e] But let me say that God’s opinion of sin has not changed one bit! “THE SOUL THAT SINNETH - IT SHALL DIE!” IS BANG UP TO DATE, AND AS APPLICABLE TODAY A EVER IT WAS!
“THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH!” STILL APPLIES AT THIS VERY MOMENT!
SELF-INDUCED IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE!
[*] Romans 8:1, says,
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”
[a] In our text, the Apostle is making the point that there is NO CONDEMNATION for us, because he tells us in verse 25
of chapter 7 that the Lord Jesus will rescue us from this predicament.
[b] However, as with all Bible promises, there is a condition, and that is that our INWARD SPIRITUAL LIVES are what they should be - that they are maintained, that the Lord means , as much to us as He should, and that we are seeking to follow His way in our lives.
[*] Remember, our Salvation Army doctrines state very clearly, that “CONTINUANCE IN A STATE OF SALVATION, DEPENDS UPON CONTINUED OBEDIENT FAITH IN CHRIST.”
[c] The question we must ask is (in the terminology of our text) “Am I walking after the Spirit, or after the flesh?”
Am I willing to fulfil God’s will in EVERY PART of my life?
[d] The danger is, that if our answer to that question is a negative one, then, we cannot claim the protection of this
[a] There are those who would suggest that this promise gives them licence to sin as they want - without condemnation!! THIS VERSE IN NO WAY GIVES LICENCE FOR WILFUL SIN!!
[b] The difference between wilful and non-wilful sin is shown in verse 6 of chapter 8,
“To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
[c] Verse 20 of chapter 7, speaks of being OVERCOME by sin
against our wishes,
“Now if I do that I WOULD NOT - WOULD NOT - WOULD NOT! It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
The original Greek is absolutely emphatic on this point!
[d] The Amplified Bible translates verse 8 of chapter 8 like this,
“So then, those who live the life of the flesh - catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature - cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.”
[a] Sometimes, after conversion, the devil makes a person look back into their past life, and become depressed about
the sins they committed before meeting the Lord! They sometimes feel that they are so terrible, God could never
forgive them - BUT HALLELUJAH! THIS VERSE SAYS, THAT NO MATTER HOW AWFUL THE SIN, THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION!
[b] May I remind you of a verse in 1 John 1:9, which says,
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
[c] If we fulfil the condition of true repentance, and confession - NOT TO A PRIEST OR MINISTER, BUT TO THE LORD HIMSELF, then His promise is that there is CLEANSING FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!!
[d] It means, there is NOTHING which He is not willing to forgive!!
[e] After all, do we need reminding that the Apostle Paul felt that before his conversion, he was the very chief of
sinners, and yet he, the murderer of Christians, found forgiveness and Salvation!
[f] No wonder he could preach the Gospel of Salvation for all men with such power and freedom!
[g] What more powerful message can there be than that which says, "He has done it for me, that’s the PROOF that He can do it for you."
Personal witness is all important when we stand for Christ!
[f] We must be honest with one another! Paul was saying in chapter 7 of Romans, “I am far from perfect! I still do things that are wrong, and the Lord forgives me!”
He did not put on airs and graces and pretend to be something he was not! He faced up to his faults, and was assured that
as he LIVED LIFE IN THE SPIRIT, in which REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION ARE A NATURAL PART, then THERE WAS NO CONDEMNATION! HALLELUJAH!!
[a] I wonder does the warmth of God’s Love and forgiveness flood over your soul, as we consider these things together.
[b] We are so unworthy, and yet one day the Bible says, HE WILL PRESENT US SPOTLESS BEFORE HIS FATHER’S FACE! SEEN IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PURITY - NOT OUR OWN!
[c] On one occasion I was speaking to someone who, although having asked the Lord into their hearts many years ago, had still been involved in what they could see to be wilful sin, and because of it they had lost their peace and assurance of Salvation.
[d] Sin is a destructive force, which, if it is not forgiven, will destroy YOU for time and for eternity!
WHERE DO YOU STAND TONIGHT? ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY SURE YOU ARE FORGIVEN?? IF NOT, IT’S TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!
[e] Let us live and walk daily IN THE SPIRIT, so that His forgiveness will still flow, and we will remain in the
sunshine of ‘NO CONDEMNATION’!