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Oct 30 2022 Getting Victory over Sin

Dick: There has never been a time in my life where I didn’t believe in a benevolent God. But playing into this, I always believed I was a good guy. There are always people worse!

Back when we were first married, a college kid came to our house and shared the 4 spiritual absolutes. He literally read the pamphlet to us. Sue got saved that night – which was kinda’ good…

Then he pulled out a crumpled paper out of his pocket… - The first few words were goals in my life – Love, Joy, Peace – and so it started to resonate.

Like in google maps, that little blue dot turned on… - I started to know where I was.

We started going to a Bible study.

What is the wage of sin? The answer is death. But deep questions!

Read Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short

How many have sinned? All. I contemplated that for a time. This says that I’m a sinner – but I’m one of the good guys – how does that work out.

Then I contemplated – what is sin?

The glory of God – Can be translated the character of God. If God’s character is the standard – everyone has sinned. So that kind of opened my eyes – and I had already read Romans 3:23 – so I knew that was coming.

Then he read John 3:16 – and I went home and smacked my parents with that one…

I knew I was a sinner and the wages was death – And God loved us so much he gave His son…

I started on the path – the blue dot started moving.

Then along the way – I ran across a verse that rang a bell – the one that guy quoted to us, - Galatians 5:23 – Love, Joy, Peace patience – the fruit of the Spirit –

If you have a tree outside, and there is an apple tree – what type of fruit will it grow? Apples!

As we meditate on these things – that will be who we become.

The fruit just comes out of us.

The fruit of the Spirit – This is God’s character. I knew that was to be the standard – and I have spent years meditating on these words. These are the essence of Who God is.

He doesn’t wake up – how can I show love today? His essence is love.

I got a broader picture of who God is and where I fit.

This next verse – a bible memory verse – Mike has talked about this one too – Philippians had some issues in their church – relational things – how to deal with it and the consequences –

Phil. 4:8 Whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellence – dwell on these things.

It is our choice – to dwell on something bad or to dwell on these things. It is a simple choice – not simple, but it is a choice.

What is true? What is honorable? What is worthy of praise – I can always see something good – and it is important to dwell on these things – His character –

Colossians – this is kind of – in the building code – the official has the right to liberally construe the code to apply to each situation – I say liberally misconstrue…

3:12 - 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Put on/Put off

Put on love – love is the answer.

That is the start

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Encouraging, challenging – loving one another.

I was – years ago – I took my 5-year old daughter to see Chariots of Fire – the music was beautiful – I stood up and clapped at the end!

We got done, went home – and when she was an adult – the song from Chariots of Fire was playing and she said – Is someone chewing bubble gum? That song triggered a memory.

I try to use my music to bring memories with people and build times that are true/honorable/right – to build an atmosphere – a fragrance of truth, honor, and rightness.

I challenge you to think about God’s character – we have been talking about it a lot – how intricate our bodies are – if I wave my hand – there are bones, muscles, etc – that enable me to do that. If a bone breaks – it can regenerate! And how many brain signals are being sent to make it happen? That is an amazing creator – in one body – billions of times…

That’s all for now… but think of the greatness of God.

Mike: Let’s Pray

Last week we started this “Thought life” – Put off the bad, put on the good

For this put on/put off principle to work – and to contribute to our spiritual growth and transformation – we need to gain a fuller understanding of what God has done for us – and that is found in the gospels – How He lived, and His sacrifice for us.

This all relates to our understanding – our thoughts – especially anxiety, fear, and anger.

Victory over sin – on the cross, Jesus won victory over sin:

We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. (Romans 6:6-7)

He won the victory over sin – not, although He HAS done this – but it does not say the victory over SINS. When we say that, we focus on the specific sins we suffer with. Jesus defeated SIN as an entity.

What I have discovered, we cannot get victory over sins unless we understand that Jesus defeated SIN itself once and for all.

We were enslaved to sin. That is why we do specific sins – because sin itself had us in its power. But in Christ, we were crucified with Him -and now sin’s power in our lives is gone.

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)

Reckon yourself dead to sin – recognizing and believing the truth of this statement. Believe it is true! I am dead to sin! But our experience says – that can’t be true. We each have specific sins we keep doing. We think – how in the world will this work. I’m dead to sin, but it sure doesn’t seem that way.

Paul has a similar experience and talks about it in Romans 7.

I was talking with Tony Abrusci – He said – Romans 7 is my favorite chaper. I want to do what is right – but I don’t do what I want to do and I do what I don’t want to do! Miserable man that I am!

There IS a theological conflict around Romans 7. Some say there are two sides to this argument. We live in the country of 2 sides…

First side – Paul is talking about his pre-Christian self

Other side – Paul is talking about his post conversion experience.

And there are a multitude of books written on this.

Which is correct? I’ll answer in one word. No.

That is not what Paul is talking about – but tells us in Romans 7:1 - 7 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives?

The entire chapter is about THE LAW. And Paul is using himself as an example of the Law…

I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, "You must not covet." 8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. (Romans 7:7-8)

Wow!

So what Paul is talking about here is how sin uses the law to enslave us! To get us to do exactly what we do not want to do. Sin takes the Law and uses it to get us to disobey the Law. Anyone who is living under the condemnation of the Law – whether Jews, Christians – anyone living under that will do the opposite of what it says.

If we try to live under the Law – we will do exactly what the Law tells us not to do. And then He says this:

I have discovered this principle of life-- that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. (Romans 7:21)

What is the solution – that is what Paul lays out:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

There is the solution!

Condemnation – when we condemn ourselves or allow someone or something else to condemn us (often, the commandments) when we allow the commandments to condemn us – we keep sinning! That is why SHAME and condemnation as a parenting philosophy fails! It just encourages your children to keep doing what you don’t want them to do. He continues:

2 For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.

You are free from the old law because of Christ.

… For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, (Romans 8:1-3 NET)

So, sin is condemned – not you! On the cross He condemned sin. So, we are not to compare ourselves or make the law our standard! Our standard is not the Ten commandments – those are pretty good – but if that is your standard – you will break them – but now Jesus is our standard. Does that mean we compare ourselves to Him and then condemn ourselves again? Don’t turn Jesus into the Law.

Corinthians – we all, with unveiled faces behold the glory of the Lord – so we are to be transformed. We are to behold His glory and goodness.

He gives us victory over evil:

In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), (Hebrews 2:14 NET)

Jesus defeated the enemy on the cross.

When we talk about put on/put off – this is more than behavioral management. When it comes to spiritual growth and transformation – it is a spiritual battle and we need to enter into that battle – the spiritual weapons and strategies that Ephesians 6 gives us. We spend too much time applying human strategies. We need to partner with the Holy Spirit when we endeavor to engage in this battle.

There is an election in 9 days. Have you seen any ads? Most of them are SCARY – which is using fear and anger. Elections are always around Halloween! Scary!

We are way too concerned about human evil and its impact in our lives -and I think it causes a tremendous amount of anxiety, fear, and anger. It just does not have that much impact on our lives.

No matter what happens in the election or the economy – or the superpowers of this world, the victory over all the evils of this world have been won on the cross.

I had this next verse for last week -

Romans 8:31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?

From chapter 1-8 – God has given us a grand tour of the gospel – the beauty and power and majesty of it – and then He says:

If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

God is for you! Not because your cause is right or your beliefs or behaviors are right… No, it is like the Fred Rogers song – “It’s you I like”

God is for you! Every part of you!

If God is for us, who can be against us? He is not saying that no one is against us – but that they are inconsequential. We get so concerned – but those against us are inconsequential and irrelevant because God is for you!

32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else?

Our grandsons are at that age to be into cars now…

Rolls Royce has released an Electric Vehicle and it retails for a mere 450,000 – but that is not what is meant by ‘everything else’

Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one-- for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one-- for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us.

No one has the right to condemn you. NO one can.

Romans 8:35

Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?

37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

Overwhelming victory! A landslide victory!

Romans 8:38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.

No recession, war, election, or climate change - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love!

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below-- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.


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