Indwelling Sin

We are born with sin as our master. We serve sin, doing those things that are contrary to God and His character. The Bible speaks of this as walking in the flesh and in the darkness. When the Spirit begins His work in our lives, He brings us into the light where Christ is revealed as the One Who alone can redeem us from such lawless living. If we repent before God and put our trust in Christ, we receive a new life from above and are placed into God’s kingdom – Titus 3:5. This is described in the Bible as a new birth – John 3:1- 8. It is a birth of the Spirit. Now, within us, the conflict begins between the flesh and the Spirit – Galatians 5:16-24. Sadly, we often attempt to win this battle by simply seeking to keep God’s laws.

The intent may be good, but the failures involved in such an attitude often lead us into despairing as to whether or not we are truly delivered from sin’s penalty. But what is involved here is not sin’s penalty but sin’s power in our lives.

When Jesus died at Calvary, He once and for all put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Therefore, those who believe in Jesus will never be brought into judgment for their sins – John 5:24; Romans 8:1.

Yet, the power of sin in our lives does not simply end the moment we believe in Jesus. Sin still resides within us, although it no longer needs to control us as it once did when we did not know God.

Still, here is where many fail. At this point, in the hope of pleasing God, many attempt to obey God in themselves without learning to cooperate with the Holy Spirit Who dwells within. Many say, “I will now keep the law of God because I want to do right.” Although this desire to obey God is good, the ability to obey God apart from His Spirit is still lacking. Thus, if we put ourselves under law in order to live a godly life, we invariably fail. This is what Paul speaks of in Romans 7. First, he explains that we have died in Christ to the law in order to live to Christ in resurrection power, thus bearing fruit to God. We are now in union with Christ through the Spirit.

If, in this new state, we attempt to return to the law as the authority in our lives, we still find that our flesh is unwilling to cooperate. It invariably returns to its subjection to sin. The law simply reinforces this depravity within us. We fail miserably.

So, what then is the answer? It is found in chapter 8 of Romans. The power of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed us from the law of sin and death. Sin no longer is our master. Christ is! Through His Spirit dwelling within, we can now live the life that is pleasing to God. Such a life is supernatural and depends upon us believing that God is at work in us to will and do according to His good pleasure – Philippians 2:12-13. By His Spirit we now are putting to death the deeds of the body – Romans 8:13. By His Spirit we are made aware of our new relationship to God as sons and fellow-heirs with Christ – Romans 8:14-17. By this same Spirit we live in hope of the resurrection and redemption of our bodies – Romans 8:18-25. By His Spirit we are helped in our prayers – Romans 8:26-27. By His Spirit we know that our salvation is secure forever, for God is at work for our good – Romans 8:28-39.

Now nothing can separate us from His love in Christ. Our lives now have meaning and purpose in Christ. Our lives are now safe in Christ. His Spirit now produces through us the fruit that God is looking for from our lives – Romans 7:4-6. So relax! Sin is no longer your primary master. God is. The law is no longer your primary motivator to do good. God is.

His grace is sufficient to accomplish for and in you what you could never accomplish for or in yourself.

By Christ’s death and your death to self in Christ, you have been raised in Christ to a new life that is under the control of God’s Spirit.

Cooperate with the One Who now lives within you. Know this to be true. Consider it to be true. Act upon it as true. Present yourself to God as one who is alive from the dead in Christ.

You have the amazing ability now to do what is right and resist what is wrong. Listen to what God has to teach you and obey Him. Do not listen to yourself or Satan or the world system that seeks to reject God and His Christ. You are a free man in Christ…free from sin to serve God – 2Corinthians 5:14-15. You have been given a new life by His grace, a life of light and love consistent to the true character of God. Let your light shine! Love never fails! God now is to be ruling in your life by grace.

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Indwelling Sin

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