Redeemed by Faith, Living by Faith

If you have read up to this point, and think that I am advocating that a Christian’s actions don’t matter to God, you are mistaken. The way a Believer conducts their behavior matters! But, The Truth is, our actions can’t make us acceptable and in right standing with God, before or after we are saved. And they can’t help us access the benefits of our redemption! This Divinely Designed System isn’t so we can sin that grace may abound! Only this Divinely ordered system can provide enablement NOT TO sin, and grace when we do sin. Your actions will be determined by what object your Faith is in, whether it is in Christ and The Cross or something else. But, I am not promoting sinful behavior! If you think I have said that, that is because I AM proclaiming the true gospel! Not because I am not proclaiming it. The true gospel had to battle this misunderstanding from the first moment it was preached by the apostle Paul. If you have witnessed for Jesus Christ, or are a minister of the gospel, and haven’t ever had someone think you are telling them how they live doesn’t matter, then I question whether or not you have been proclaiming the True Gospel (Rom. 3:8)! Paul addresses some form of this misunderstanding three times in his letter to the Roman Believers. Romans 3:31, 6:1 and 6:15 all confront this misunderstanding. His answer, is my answer, “God forbid” that we should continue to live with the sin dominating us! (Rom. 6:2). This Message is so that we can no longer be slaves to our sinful passions and compulsions! No amount of trying to abstain from sin, practicing spiritual disciplines or following step programs can overcome the law of sin and death. Only maintaining our exclusive Faith in Christ can bring about this internal liberation. Spiritual freedom, and life, is only given according to what we BELIEVE (grace through Faith), not what we DO (law and works). Your sinful behavior is not the root of your problems, the sin nature within you is. And the only law that can “put down” this awful beast, is the law found in Romans 8:2.

“For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death”, (Rom. 8:2).

Why does Paul refer to the Holy Spirit in the language that he uses? Why didn’t he just say the Holy Spirit can set Believers free from sin? He says this is a law. He refers to the Holy Spirit as the”Spirit of Life”. He says this “Spirit of Life” is “in Christ Jesus”. And Paul says all of this is what had made him free “from the law of sin and death”. The “law” word is used again, but this time in regards to sin AND death.

The term “Law” is a legal term that declares there are specific boundaries in which this freedom will function. These parameters are according to the Divine Design. A believer can function within these parameters and experience the benefits this law was designed for, or they can function outside of these parameters and not experience the benefits of this law. This law was definitely designed for our benefit!

Notice that this law is to bring to a Believer “Life”. A life connected with the Spirit. And the life a Believer is to live, is a life free from the sin nature’s rule. This is the only law given to us in the New Covenant that is stronger than the law of sin and death. There is no freedom from sin without the Spirit of Life. This Spirit redeemed, enabled, empowered and sin conquering life is connected to and in “Christ Jesus”. The word Christ being used before the word Jesus, indicated the act of Jesus dying on The Cross being the emphasis. Spirit enabled Life only comes to us because of The Cross. Spirit empowered Life is linked with The Cross of our Lord Jesus. And the Cross of our Lord Jesus is linked with Spirit empowered Life. That is why we have to continue, after initial conversion, to keep our Faith in Jesus’ work at Calvary. This Faith is what allows the Holy Spirit the latitude within our hearts and minds to accomplish what only He can. We are not mystics looking for a supernatural experience. We are christians, who depend on the Spirit of God to enable our life to be free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:3 states, “For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His Own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” The Law only identified sin. The only resource of power we had to keep the Law, was our own. The Law, or any type of law, never enables freedom from the sin nature. But God’s Solution for this problem was through Jesus His Own Son, taking flesh (a body) and offering it as the supreme perfect Sacrifice to bear the sin penalty of the whole world. Jesus’ death destroyed the penalty and power of sin. This allows all who will Believe to be justified and sanctified by our Heavenly Father. Unless you understand the role of the Spirit of Life is to be your Life, you will live by your own strength by means of law. Will more preachers please start preaching this! God’s people need to be set free from the Law of Sin and Death, by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus!

Romans 8:4 says, “That the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” This has a two fold application. First, we know that none of us have, or ever will be able to keep all the requirements of the law perfectly. And without maintaining perfection, we cannot be in fellowship with our Heavenly Father (Heb. 10:14-23). So by us excercising Faith in Christ’s work at The Cross (Rom. 8:3), we have the imputed righteousness rendered to our account on a continual basis. Secondly, this allows God’s Spirit to not only dwell with us, but to enable us to live a good, righteous life while still not actually being righteous. The word “walk” refers to our lifestyle, mindset and system of ordering our behavior. By directing our focus on the finished work of Calvary instead of our works done by the power of our flesh (intellect, willpower, personal strength and ability or religious efforts to overcome sin), results in the Spirit’s enablement. We can finally experience freedom from sin, that all of our own efforts had never been able to accomplish (despite our good motives). Walking after the flesh is when Believers who love God and hate sin, begin to practice any system of law to gain freedom from sin. Any system of law get’s your focus on what you have to do, instead of focusing on what Jesus Christ has already done. Believers are to walk after the Spirit instead of after devised religious systems and methods to access a benefit of redemption that Jesus has made freely available to anyone. Gaining Access Is By Faith Alone! It had to be by Faith and Grace or some Believers would be left out of receiving these benefits. Walking after the Spirit is simply no longer living dependant on your flesh, but instead depending on God’s power to enable you to be free from sin. This allows the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus to take effect (Rom. 8:2). The Holy Spirit then has the latitude to “unplug” your sin nature and produce the fruit of His Divine nature (2 Pet. 1:1-4). This fruit of His Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) will display itself in your actions. This is the only process which enables righteous living.

Please, I urge you to read and consider these Scriptures! There is no other conclusion you can come to once you understand the primary purpose for the Law being given and what the definition of flesh is. Many believers I have encountered, had been taught the flesh was the sin nature, and that it was evil. But that cannot be true because 1 John 4:2 tells us Jesus Christ came in the flesh. And there was nothing evil in or about our Lord. There is nothing evil about your mortal body. We all have an evil nature (a propensity to sin) due to Adam’s rebellion against God (Rom. 5:12-19). What is evil is what dwells within these bodies (Rom. 7:18). This evil nature leads us to commit wrong actions and thoughts with our mortal body. Once you realize that flesh is neutral, and that it can be yielded either to the sin nature or God, you realize He is telling us to quit trying to deliver ourselves from sin! Jesus already delivered us from the power of sin! At the resurrection, we will get glorified bodies that have no sin nature (1 John 3:2, 1 Cor. 15:45-57). But, until then the sin nature remains with us. And this is for a definite purpose. He allows it to remain in order to test our Faith and dependence on Him. He wants to know if we will depend on Him for our redemption and it’s benefits, or if we will pridefully try to be our own deliverers. How we address our sin is to be according to His Way, or it is sin. You have to yield yourself to God’s Way. And, by Faith, Believe and allow His Spirit to impart the deliverance that Jesus already won and paid for. “Walk” (rely, trust and depend) after the Spirit, not the flesh, and you will begin to live a “right”eous life (Gal. 5:16). It is that simple. Yet, is the biggest struggle in every Christian’s life.

Romans 8:5 says, “For they who are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they who are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit”. If a Believer tries to live an overcoming life by means of the flesh, their minds won’t be filled with the Spirit’s desires and they will lack His “fruit” (Gal. 5:22-23). Instead, their minds will be dominated to some degree (not complete domination) by the sin nature. Their focus will be on self. And, when they do try to live a victorious life, they will be thinking of ways and means of “law”, empowered by their own ability to do so.

Romans 8:6-7 explains, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be Spiritually minded is Life and Peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be.” Without having the Spirit’s enablement, a Believer will have their mind on sin. They can try not to, but it will happen. Selfish ambition will end up taking over. And death is the result of sin. They go hand in hand. “For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death” (Rom. 8:2). This is why unless a Christian understands and lives within this Divine Design for victorious living, they cannot even force their own mind to think righteously. The only way to have a right mind is to yield it to God and His Spirit.

Romans 8:8 states, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” No Believer on the planet can please God in and of themselves and their efforts. God doesn’t take pleasure in our deeds produced by flesh. He only takes pleasure in the willing Sacrifice His Son made on Golgotha’s hill! The only deeds that He can reward, are those that are Spirit initiated, Spirit led and Spirit enabled to their completion. Any other deeds produced by the flesh, God will not accept or be pleased with because they are not of Faith. These are offerings offered up with “strange fire”, fire that didn’t come from the brazen altar, the “type” of The Cross of Christ (Lev. 9:22-10:7). These offerings didn’t come by the WAY of Calvary. They were not produced as the result of Emmanuel’s blood that was shed on our behalf. God never accepts us on the basis of who we are (Rom. 2:11). He can only accept us on the basis of who His Son is and what The Son has done. That is why our life must be “hid with Christ in God” at all times (Ps. 27:4-5, Rom. 6:3-5, Col. 3:3). This is where the grace of God flows. We can never leave this Faith and think that because we have experienced initial redemption / salvation, that we have anything to offer God but a willing mind, obedient heart and a weak and corrupt body. And none of these things can produce anything in the kingdom of God. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches: he who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). Why doesn’t the modern church Believe this? Why do they think we are stronger than the law of sin and death, and can produce fruit that God will accept?

Romans 8:9-10 says, “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is Life because of righteousness.” Some think of being “in the Spirit” only as times they are doing something they feel is “spiritual” such as praying or worshiping the Lord. Being “in the Spirit” is the normal lifestyle for a christian. At least, it is supposed to be. It is simply living life with the help of “Parakletos”, The Helper. It is what Jesus said we would need in order to keep His commandments (John 14:15-18). “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit” tells us that no action or activity has to be performed for you to be in the Spirit. You just have to be a born-again Christian with the Spirit of God dwelling in you. This proves that ANY BELIEVER can immediately begin to live a victorious life, empowered by the Spirit. You don’t have to know enough about the Bible, be a member of a church or religious organization, perform so many hours in prayer or join a recovery group. That would be performing “works” to get a benefit of redemption that comes to us by unmerited favor. None of those things will grant us the victory. In fact, they are what keeps of from experiencing the freedom that Jesus died to give us. Paul is not saying a Believer couldn’t live by means of the flesh (it’s obvious we can, and this is the primary danger a Christian faces), but that the Spirit empowered life is freely and immediately available to anyone who is a Believer. The only thing that keeps God’s people from having the benefits of His redemptive plan is not knowing The Truth, or not Believing The Truth. You can’t Believe something that you haven’t heard. “So then Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17). “The Spirit is Life because of righteousness” is NOT saying that because of your righteousness, the Spirit can give you Life. We interpret the Bible by using the Bible. The Bible says, “But now the righteousness of God without the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them who will Believe” (Rom. 3:21-22). Christ’s righteousness imputed to us is what allows the Spirit to enable and become our source of Life.

Romans 8:11 says,

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He who raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit who dwells in you”

This is the Divine Designed way every Believer is to live everyday. The SAME Spirit and Power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us!!! And the Holy Spirit of God, will “quicken” our mortal bodies to live a victorious and “right”eous life. This is how much power God deemed necessary in order to overcome the Law of Sin and Death.

This is it! This is what the Lord wants for all of His children. He wants them to live daily in “newness of life”, and experience the freedom that they had when they were initially saved (Rom. 6:3-8). He wants to give them this Divinely empowered life everyday. He has made THE WAY, and desires that all would allow “the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” to set them “free from the Law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). And, He has put no obstacles in the way for any of His children to have this. He has given us the Divine Design of how to live a victorious life. Any Believer can access this victory by meeting the only requirement. The activity of Faith must be exercised in God’s Solution for sin. We must BELIEVE Jesus to be who the story of the Bible says He is, our REDEEMER. We must trust, rely and depend on Him and His finished work at Calvary exclusively.

God is not pleased that religious men and women have placed other obstacles in His children’s way to access and live a victorious life. Victory over sin and the Devil has already been accomplished for us. Every Believer has abundant life freely available to them (John 10:10). The methods and traditions of men are what keeps God’s people from experiencing the abundant life! He is not pleased that these other ways of gaining “victory” get His people to focus on their works instead of THE WORK His Son did at Calvary. He is not pleased that many of His people have come to believe that going to a church building, practicing some sort of spiritual disciplines and trying to abstain from what the carnal mind calls sin, is what being a faithful Christian looks like. Being a faithful Christian is about remaining true to The Faith. It is about living everyday of your life as a servant to God. It is about allowing Him to put His Love within you so, it can be given out to help others. It is about losing your life, to find His (Luke 9:23-26). Attending a service or two each week and trying to practice morality are not the main focus of true Biblical Christianity. These activities shouldn’t be the main focus of your Christian life. Loving God with All of your heart, soul, mind and strength should be your primary focus (Mk. 12:30). Loving your neighbor AS you love YOURSELF is to be your second focus (Mk. 12:31). You are even supposed to love, bless and pray for your enemies (Matt. 5:43-44)! Does this describe the main focus of your Christian life? Do you feel any love or compassion for your enemies? This is selfLESS living. It is supposed to be normal to the Christian’s life. NONE of this can be accomplished without the enablement of the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to live this way on our own, and God doesn’t expect us to! We are to live CHRIST-DEPENDENT, Spirit empowered lives.

Normal Christianity is having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, by which you are led and empowered by the Spirit of God. Living a Spirit led and empowered life, will never lead you to contradict the moral Law of God. It will enable you to fulfill it! No, you will not be perfect when you are led by the Spirit. There was only One who ever was. Neither is this the means by which we can now justify ourselves before God. Having the help of the Holy Spirit is only available due to the fact that we have already been justified! It is the desire of the Spirit of God to deliver you from your sin and get you busy about your Father’s business! That is how you will know you are on the right path. As you keep The Faith, your desire for this world and the pleasing of yourself will be fading. Simultaneously, your love for God and concern for others eternal well being and redemption will become what consumes you. Are you living like this?

Jesus said “signs shall follow them who Believe” (Mark 16:17-18). What signs are following you?

The Bible says, that the “overcomer” will be “clothed in white raiment” and will be granted to sit with Christ on His throne! (Rev. 3:5,21). Do you know that you are an overcomer, and will reap the reward as such, because you are anchored by Faith in His overcoming work on The Cross?

Has your Faith in The Son of God gotten you entangled with, “wrapped up in”, “married to”, and deeply in love with JESUS, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I WILL come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with ME” (Rev. 3:20).

Is He moving in your heart and speaking to you right now?

I don’t want to know if you attend a church building. I don’t want to know if you are a member of a church. I don’t want to know how many sermons you have heard. I don’t want to know what religious activities you are involved with. That is all fine and well. There is nothing wrong with any of that! But, I want to know something more than that. Because, you don’t even HAVE to be saved to do that stuff.

I want to know if YOU have HEARD His voice speak to your heart? (literally)

I want to know if YOU have eaten with Jesus? (spiritually speaking)

Have YOU set at the table of His blessings? (spiritually speaking)

Do YOU know what it is to be Led by the Spirit of God? (literally)

How you answer these questions will help you know if you are living a religious life, or a relational life with God.

You can call out to God right now. He is listening. You don’t have to be in a church building to talk to God. You don’t have to have somebody pray to God for you. Jesus took the punishment for your sins so you can talk to Him anytime and anyplace. That is why we pray using Jesus’ name. He is the One who made access available for us directly to God. Whether you are a Believer or Unbeliever, if you haven’t been living for God His Way you need to repent. Confess your sins to Him and ask Him to change your life. He will. He will forgive you of all the things you have done wrong, and will remember them no more! He will also set you free from the dominance of your sin nature in an instant. What religion can only talk about, God can bring about. You will feel like a weight has been lifted off of you. Freedom. You will feel spiritual freedom! You will experience life in His Spirit. Please allow Him to do for you, what you cannot do for yourself. Allow redemption and it’s benefits to flow in your heart by Faith and grace.