My third and final reason why a spirit filled believer will obey without the fear of losing his or her salvation.
God’s grace does not lead to a life of sin because
1. We are dead to sin (part 3)
2. We are alive to God in Christ (part 4)
3. We live by the Spirit
I now move to Romans chapter 8. Paul in chapters’ 6 & 7 outlined both theologically and practically how we can have victory over sin and be alive to God. His focus was on what we can do. Now in chapter 8 we are going to see how God helps us in this process. Romans 8:10“If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. “Christ in you” is theologically equal to saying the Holy Spirit dwells in you. Both physical death (body is dead) and spiritual death is the result of sin. Our spirit is alive when we are right with God. Only the person with the spirit of Christ is spiritually alive. Therefore, it is ONLY through the power of the Holy Spirit do we have the power to overcome the desires of the flesh or some say the desires of the sinful nature. “Nature” in this context means patterns of behavior. Everyone is in need of God’s grace, the gift of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit only comes to those who commit to following Jesus. Paul says in Romans 8:5 (NIV) “Those who live according to the sinful nature [flesh] have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Paul is saying we either live by our sinful desires or we live by the desires of the Spirit.
In Galatians 5:19-21 (NIV) he writes concerning the sinful nature, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” That’s an incredible list and he could have kept going! Paul says if you are slaves to sin you will do these acts and will not enter heaven. However, for believers in Jesus Christ, we have a new nature. We have become alive to God. The sinful voice is still there but now it is background noise. We now listen to a new voice; a new conscience that is telling us to do right.
Paul writes about what that new voice says in Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” The Holy Spirit helps us become more like Jesus. We know we are following the Spirit when our actions show love, joy, peace, patience, etc. There is a good reason Paul listed love first. It is to be the center of the life of a believer. And we can only keep love at the center, through our cooperation with the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit we become alive to God and sin no longer is our master. We are now slaves to righteousness, slaves to doing good.
God does His part in sending us His Spirit to indwell in us and influence us for the good and we do our part in cooperating with the Holy Spirit to live like Christ. This idea it is all of God and none of me is baloney. Remember Paul wrote in Romans 6:11, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” To consider is an act of the will. It is up to us to listen to the voice of God and consider ourselves dead to sin. We do that by submitting our minds and our wills to Him. We do our part and God does His if Christ is in you.
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