Yesterday we talked about how by the grace of God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we now have the power to overcome sin and Satan. Today, we will look at what exactly that power is and how we can activate it and use it in our daily life.
Let us begin with Romans 8 (NLT)
Life in the Spirit
8 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you[b] from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.[c] So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
This is kind of a summary of yesterday’s post. The law could not save us because we lacked the power to overcome our sinful nature. Therefore, God sent his son to earth, to live among us, and to not only pay the penalty for our sins, but end sin’s control over God’s people once and for all. In Christ Jesus alone, the law was fulfilled. This means we are no longer controlled by the law or sin. So where does that leave us? We are to be controlled by the Spirit, otherwise known as Holy Spirit or God’s Spirit. (Please refer back to part 1 for a brief introduction to the Holy Spirit if you are unfamiliar with him.)
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
Let me stop right here for a moment because, well, because I want to. [lol] What this is saying is that those who are controlled by their sinful desires think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the spirit think about Godly things. [I think this is very accurate and not much of a stretch. I have lived this out. Before I became surrendered to God, I went to church and I honestly believed in Jesus and everything that went along with Him. However, I was still holding on to many things of the world. I still watched inappropriate TV, read all the same books, said inappropriate words, etc. The more I partook in sinful desires, the more I thought about sinful things. On the other hand, once I became spirit filled, my thoughts naturally became more Godly minded.]
Thinking sinful thoughts leads to trouble. Let me be clear, if a sinful thought enters your mind but you are quick to recognize it and shut it down, you are doing right in the eyes of God. The trouble comes in when we think on or ponder these sinful thoughts and even more so when we act on them. Thinking and pondering on Godly thoughts will never get you in trouble. God hates sin and therefore you will never please God with sinful thoughts.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life[d] because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Wow, those few scriptures pack a wallop! When we accept Jesus Christ as our savior, God gives us Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is the power I’ve been talking about. Holy Spirit guides and strengthens us and is our direct connection to God. Holy Spirit is not a thing, he is the third part of the Holy Trinity. Now, there is much dispute about when we get it, how much we get, a second baptism, and on and on, but what I want us to know today is that Holy Spirit is real. The scripture is clear if you belong to God (if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior) than you have Holy Spirit.
[Now, it is my belief that once you are saved, you get the Holy Spirit in seed form and as you grow in knowledge, love, and relationship with God, then Holy Spirit grows or becomes more dominant in your life. I am going to be honest, I don’t have many answers about Holy Spirit. All I know 100% is what I have experienced. I had what some would call a second baptism. There was defining moment when the Holy Spirit made his presence known. My life has never and I pray will never be the same. I don’t know if this is the case for everyone, but I pray that it is.]
Verse 11 is the key to overcoming sin and Satan: “ The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.”
The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us? Yes!!! The exact same spirit, with the exact same power lives in us. Therefore, if that Spirit or power conquered death don’t you think it (he) will have no problem conquering our sins? God’s spirit conquered death through the great miracle of Christ’s resurrection. If God’s spirit can raise someone from the dead, I don’t think it is much of a stretch to say it can help me keep my mouth shut and to not say things I should not say or help me from disrespecting my husband.
Do you see where I am going with this? The Holy Spirit will give us the power to say no to our temptations if we allow him to. You see, once God gave me this revelation, I began to call out to Holy Spirit whenever I was tempted. I repeat to myself over and over again, “the same power that raised God from the dead lives in me; I have the power to overcome,” and surely enough the temptation dies. I have used this and called on the Spirit on many occasions, with many different kinds of temptations and he (Holy Spirit) works when I use him. Now there have been times when I am mad and want to stay mad, and choose not to call on Holy Spirit. Let me just say nothing good comes from those times. Apologies must be made when Holy Spirit finally breaks through and relationships are sometimes damaged. It is much better to get with Holy Spirit on the forefront than to have to make the apology lap at the end of the race.
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[l] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[m] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Once again we see that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. When we don’t know what to say or do, he will intervene; he will go to bat for us, but we have to let him.
Tomorrow I hope to conclude this series, “Do We Believe”, and show how all these beliefs work together.
Have a blessed day!