Life in the Spirit
My message tonight deals with the heart and how feel about ourselves. I find that in the church today, there are many who carry burdens of the past that they should not carry. The weight of a past life that they allow to weigh them down and causes them to not live out the life that Christ intended. I have carried things, and I know some of you have too. But if we have a life “now” in Christ, we shouldn’t be held captive to the past, we should believe the Apostle Paul’s words in:
Romans 8:1, “There is therefore “now” no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Emphasis on the word, now.
Condemnation is judgement, a sentence given that someone is declared unfit and guilty. It is a heavy word, and heavy to bear on oneself. A weight of judgement for past sin, decisions we have made in the past that either hurt us or others, or we have been hurt by others, and guilt has been placed on us when it shouldn’t have.
It could be guilt of unforgiveness that we did not reconcile because of death, or people have been removed from our lives, and we are left hanging with a weight on our minds of something we should have dealt with maybe a long time ago.
We hold guilt that our enemy the devil uses to keep us in bondage. Lies, and we know our enemy is all about lies. Satan is all always condemning us, and that spirit of condemnation is always ready to be thrown on a someone at ever turn. We have had the thoughts; it can be like a weighted terror on the mind, or a squeezing feeling in our hearts.
The enemy may speak to us saying things:
“Look at what you’ve done. Or look at what you have done again. You can’t be free. Your always causing trouble. You can’t hold your tongue can you. Lier.
Looking at porn again, huh? You’re perverted. Your disgusting. You can never stop that. You should just give up. This has total control over you. You’ll never be free.
It’s your fault that happened. Your worthless. God will never forgive you for that. You know, you should be dead for all you have done. You’re such a loser.
No one could love you the way you are. “
The list goes on and on what we can hear in our heads, and it is all lies, every bit of it, and many of the Bride of Christ, are held captive by it.
And probably the heaviest guilt that weighs on us is the sinful nature of the past, and the past could be yesterday.
Yes, we have been born into sin. Romans 8:3, says we have sinful flesh. We have a sin nature; it is something in us at birth. We strive not to sin, but our humanity fails us, and we continue in it in some way or another.
Romans 3:23 says, “we all have sinned” and fallen short of the glory of God. We can’t escape it seems. We were born under a curse.
Romans 6:23, “Wages of sin is death, for the unbeliever yes it will be, but for the confessed believer, that sin, if not forgiven in our own hearts, will bring spiritual dullness.
Colossians 3:5 says that the sinful flesh needs to be put to death, and it does.
But thanks be to God, our loving Father, He gave us a way out from death because of our sin. He gave us a way that our sin could be removed. Disposed of, and a way for our guilt to be removed. All through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:24, says ‘We have been justified”, we have been declared righteous by grace through the unmerited favor of God, through redemption, the action of being saved from our sin by the shedding of the blood of Jesus on the Cross.
All because, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world...”
Our Father in Heaven wanted His creation to repent and know Him. He wanted us to believe so we could live in comfort, have a comfort of the heart.
Isaiah 40:1, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” A passage that spoke of the coming of the future messiah.
God wants us to be free, and one of the hardest things to be free from is ourselves.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Our Father in Heaven through Jesus His Son opened the door for us to be free from ourselves, and the sin nature that is within us. John 8:36, “He who the Son sets free is free indeed.
But we need to look at verse 4 of Romans 8, to look at a key to freedom.
“in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. “
The Spirit is a key.
When we are filled with the Spirit, and walk in the Spirit and live in the Spirit, our minds are not given chance to be consumed with the things not of the spirit. Our minds are planted into the things of heaven. Our Spiritual thoughts are those imparted by God through His Spirit into us. He is putting His wisdom into us as well as His character. We’re being downloaded into from heaven, and the downloads change us.
Speaking of spiritual wisdom that changes us, the Apostle Paul speaks about that in 1 Corinthians 2.
The Apostle Paul says that the wisdom we receive is not from the age, this age, from a worldly standpoint. It is a secret, hidden supernatural wisdom that only comes from God to the believer. People who do not know God or those not open to the spirit, they don’t receive anything. Only those who are open to the Spirit and listen, hear.
And Paul I believe emphatically says, in 1Corinthians 2:12, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
It’s a supernatural spirit impartation.
The wisdom of God through His Spirit changes us and allows us to see things differently. We see the truth. We see the truth that, like I did, that I was not bound by my past, I was not ruled by my past, nor was my past able to keep me from the destiny of my calling.
We may think, well I really screwed up in my past and I ruined what I thought my calling was. You may have altered your vocation, or maybe you have restrictions for whatever reason, that has nothing to do with God’s will and direction for your life. You don’t think that God knows your outcome in life?
God still calls us to live Holy which we can do, and He still calls us to be a light in darkness, and we can still heal the sick in Jesus name, and cast out demons, and prophecy over people, and work in miracles, and love people into a relationship with Jesus.
I titled this message, “Life in the Spirit”, and I meant that our lives should be a free and purposeful life. An overcoming life lived in a spirit of encouragement, positivity, and moving forward in a fulfilled life in Christ, in the Spirit. That is how we were meant to live, even when we run into bumps in the road. Having confidence that we can do all things, and confidence that God is for us and not against us and want us to prosper.
Yes, to prosper in mind and heart too, and when it comes to guilt, and self-condemnation, and regret, we should understand that those things are something that we were never intended to carry after following Christ.
The word is very clear about that. That is why the word Grace is used for our salvation.
Grace, unmerited favor. It is a free gift from God. So if we freely receive salvation from God through Jesus Christ, receiving free unmerited favor, not having to work for it, why do continue to live by the law concerning ourselves and remain in guilt, or have regrets?
2 Corinthians 5:17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
The old life and mind is gone. And since the old is gone, we do not have to qualify ourselves anymore against any standard we may place in our lives, or by some other human standard, but our standard is now God’s standard, our qualification comes from Him.
2 Corinthians chapter 3, speaks loudly here concerning who are now.
The Apostle Paul says:
4 We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.
(We are not trusting in ourselves by human standards)
5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 6 He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant.
(Yes, by grace, He has enabled us. Not by us striving, or attempting to do things ourselves. Us trying to work it out.)
This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.
The Spirit gives life not condemnation. We are to live having life. Abundant life, because that is what our father in heaven wants us to have. Continuing in verse 7:
7 The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face.
(reminding us of Moses’ encounter in the presence of God)
For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. 8 Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?
(should we expect greater glory because now God is in us?)
9 If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! 10 In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. 11 So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever.
12 Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.
The Holy Spirit gives us life, and the Apostle Paul says “shouldn’t we expect greater glory since we do not live by the law, but by the Holy Spirit?” He calls the new glory overwhelming. Overwhelming in such a way that it gives us confidence where we can be “very” bold.
So why do we think on things of the past when they have disappeared in the eyes of God? There is no condemnation in the newness of the Holy Spirit. Even those things of yesterday that we may have done. When we confess and ask to be renewed by God, it is done. So there is now no condemnation. We are free. We are free to exercise the power in the Holy Spirit with confidence that has been freely given to us. We have the freedom to drop all past chains of the burden of judgement placed on us by ourselves or others. Will live in the new way in exceeding glory.
Condemnation and guilt on someone who is in Christ is a curse. A curse placed on them, not by God, but by other people or even by our own words and thoughts. We need to break the curse. If we do not, that condemning spirit can spread onto others like a plague, and even be ancestral, passed down to generations. We need to break that spirit in Jesus name.
Rom 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Rom 8:33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
God is the one who declares us righteous.
Rom 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Rom 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
We are more than conquerors. We are not the condemned. Jesus is there for us. No one has the right to condemn.
Rom 8:39, “Nothing in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Nothing that we have done.
The Lord as I have said numerous times, “Do you believe me?” “Do you believe me?”
I ask you the same question. “Do you believe Him?” Do you believe His Word?” “Do you believe what He has spoken over you?”
Hurting dying utterly lost people all around us need us to believe Him. They need us to drop the chains of self unforgiveness that we hold, that have been broken from us already, so we can be focused on the things of the Spirit to save them.
Freely we have received, freely we must give. I say that all the time too, but it is true.
We cannot have anything holding us back from what God has called us to do in His Kingdom. We are Kingdom people. We are not of this world. This world is dead. We are alive. Our words are life to the dying, because our words come from the Spirit of God.
What a testimony of forgiveness and freedom we have to share with people when we forgive ourselves like we have already been forgiven by our Father in heaven. Those words bring life.
So my prayer for the Church of Jesus Christ is to be free. Because we are free indeed. We have been bought with a price, and we have been set free by the grace and mercy of God, and we must walk in that freedom so the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit within us can flow freely to a lost generation. They are counting in us.
I can look at Pastor Milt sitting there at someone who I am yoked in the Spirit with, and he as well as I know that a harvest is coming that will be so huge that we will be astonished at what our God does. The door is going to be opened soon. Will we be ready. Because when it does, we will need to operate in a totally renewed mind in the Spirit to be used to set these lost people on a path of redemptive glory just like the path we are on.
Let’s walk in freedom, and believe. We are forgiven. We are a new creation. There is nothing that binds us anymore.