Posts Tagged ‘Salvation’

In my daily reading I read Romans 8 again and thought it would be a good idea to repost this one. I think everyone Christian and church-goer needs to read and ponder this passage from time to time.

Romans 8:1-11

Free from Indwelling Sin

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

To sum up, in the last seven chapters we’ve learned that the unrepentant sinner is condemned by the law and that his sin is something that is a part of him and that he cannot be apart of that sin without dying to himself and being raised again into new life by the faith in Jesus Christ which is a gift of God by the grace of God alone. We’ve learned that the law itself is not sinful but that it brings a knowledge of our sinfulness as a mirror will not call you ugly or beautiful but it merely reflects the truth. We’ve also learned that man cannot “undo” past sins or pay for his own sins while here on earth and that we need someone who us much more righteous than us to grant His righteousness to us to pay for our sin debt.

That said, for those who are now saved by the work of Jesus Christ alone, through faith in God alone, by the grace of God alone, there is no condemnation from the law. We are eternally freed from our sins and from the consequence of our sins. Jesus has taken our punishment on our behalf. How then shall we live? Should we walk according to our old lives? Should we continue in our old sinful ways? Of course not! We should walk in the new life that God has granted us through the death and resurrection of His Son. We are to live our lives in constant repentance of our continued sins as the Holy Spirit of God works to transform the parts of us that are still tied to our old lives. We cannot continue to live in the way that we previously lived as that old life was a life that was in constant opposition to the God who has sacrificed so much to save us.

If you were on death row a $100 million dollar fine could get you out and you could not afford that on your own, if someone you didn’t know was so willing to save you that he liquidated all of his assets just to save you from your death – would you dishonor his sacrifice by going right back to the life that got you there? More than that, God has promised us that we’d have a new heart with new desires when we repent of our sins and turn the lordship of our lives over to Jesus. Many of the things that we previously desired are not important to us anymore. I lost the ability to be excited about my work. That may not sound like much but coming from someone who was a workaholic who was abandoning his family on the altar of promotions and career-based growth, this is a HUGE deal. Many of my personal changes happened overnight. Many more come as God shows me a new area in my life that He’s going to work on to conform me into the image of His Son. If that transformational change is not present in your life, then you are not a Christian.

You may belong to a Christian religion, sect, synod, or group. You may have been lifetime members of the same church and your last fifteen generations may have attended at that building or been part of that denomination, but if you have never surrendered control of your life to Jesus Christ, then you are not a Christian in the Biblical sense of the term. You are just as unsaved as the rest of the world. Take no comfort in that. All it will grant you is a free pass to Hell where you will burn for eternity as God and all the saints and angels stand applauding as the righteousness of God is unveiled for all to see – that God has done the just thing, the perfect thing, and cast you into the fires of Hell.

If you have been transformed, if you have that Spirit of God living inside you that tells you how to live and act and instructs you to go into the world and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, then you are eternally forgiven and immediately counted among the saints of God.

Rock of Ages

by Augustus Toplady

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

This is, by far, my favorite hymn. It reminds me of the heart of God who completed all the work necessary to save me from His own wrath. I am wholly bereft of any means by which I could atone for my sins. Even on my very best day I am already damned. If I were able, for even just a moment to be able to be “good enough” to enter Heaven (holding God first in all that I do, fully excluded from any pride or self-worth, not holding on to any past sin or desire and seeking only the glorification of God in all things), it would only bring me to the point at which God requires us all to be, and not any further. I would be unable to put myself into a position whereby I would be adding anything of any merit to my account. Even doing “good works” for others, if I am totally honest, isn’t about selflessly helping others, but instead it’s about my recognition for helping people, or what people believe when they think of me. This is why God had to provide salvation for us.

Suppose that there was a thief who lived in a wealthy mans’ mansion without his knowledge. One day he was discovered and, in an attempt to make restitution he broke into the man’s vault and stole valuable items, breaking them in the process. Could he then hand back these destroyed items in payment for his crime? No. The blood of a billion animals can only cover the sins of a man, never pay back in full. Who is responsible for the life of those animals? God. He is the one who created them, He is the one who feeds them, He is the one who brings their numbers and sustains them. Should I be the one to presume that stealing something from God and destroying it will somehow atone for my sins I’ve committed against Him? The salvation must come from the one that was wronged. God has provided that payment on our behalf in the person of Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

~ John 3:16-18

Jesus didn’t have to condemn the world – the law has already condemned us. Jesus asks us to repent of our sins and trust in the finished work He completed on the cross. Our debt before God has been paid in full and it is in this that we rest. This is the joy that is brought. I’m not always “happy” but I am secure and that’s the deepest joy you can ever appreciate. That my God is so just and holy that I could never be in His presence, and in order that His justice and holiness would be preserved, He provided a sacrifice that is wholly sufficient for all of my sins in His Son. Jesus lived a perfect life that I could never live and died the death that I deserved in my place so that I could spend eternity in His presence, worshipping the King of Kings to whom I could never bring enough glory and honor. God did this on my behalf, and it is in light of this that I stand with tears in my eyes, proclaiming His righteousness and singing aloud:

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

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(e.g., John 1 or God's love)