My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Walking according to the Spirit
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
(Romans 8:1 NASB)
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
(Romans 8:2 NASB)
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
(Romans 8:3 NASB)
so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
(Romans 8:4 NASB)
Jesus Christ had come to change the paradigm for those who were
wanting to walk with God. Christ also knew that he would have to leave
so that he could send the Holy Spirit. By sending the Holy Spirit it
became possible for people to be united with Christ, to be "in" him.
This meant that by being united with Christ there would be an internal
desire to follow the law. No longer would the laws be external, or
simply a set of rules to which we tried to conform, but rather with
Christ "in" us, and us "in" Christ we are set free from the bondage of
the rules. The law became a bondage to those who tried to follow it to
the very letter -- along with all the additional rules that had been
established through the years. The good news is that today we celebrate
the coming of the Holy Spirit who can dwell within us and now we can
walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh.
The opening line of this scripture is so very powerful as we are
reminded that there is now no condemnation for those who are "in" Christ
Jesus! I'm wondering if we truly understand the implications of this
simple sentence. The most important feature of the sentence is that we
are "in" Christ. This had never been possible previously. By simply
trying to follow the Law, humanity had never grasped what it meant to
truly understand the nature and character of God. It had been God's
desire that humanity would know him, but instead of seeing the Law as
something relational -- that is, something that brought humanity into a
deeper daily relationship with God, humanity distorted the Law and made
it into a barrier. The Law became a barrier to relationships with God
and with the rest of humanity. Jesus tried to point out this absurdity
when he healed on the Sabbath. Following the law by not healing on the
Sabbath had become more important to the religious leaders than the
relational aspect of healing the neighbor. This is why Jesus could
declare that the whole law was summed up in love of God and and love of
neighbor. That was God's original intent and it was humanity which
distorted the intent.
Therefore the intent of sending Christ was to restore the relational
aspect of the law, and this could only be done through personal
relationship. How could humanity participate in a relationship with
God? Only by having God become man, and therefore, by way of the
incarnation, preparing a way for humanity to follow which would lead
them to fellowship with the Holy Trinity. This is what Christ did for
all of us. He came to earth as a human so that it might be possible for
us to have an intimate relationship with God. It is by way of this
intimate relationship with God that we know the very heart and passion
of God. When we know the very heart and passion of God, we are "in"
him and his desires become our desires. Now we are privileged to walk
in the power of the Holy Spirit day in and day out. We breathe him in
and then breathe him out to the world around us. As we stay in this
relationship with the Holy Spirit, we are in a continuous state of loving God and
loving the world walk that is transformational to ourselves and the
world around us. No longer do we have to check off to see if we're
following the rules, for living by the desires of God becomes a part of
our nature. The result is that the law is fulfilled, but only fulfilled
when the focus is not the law, but God himself.
Lord, thank you for your self-sacrifice of coming to earth, and for
the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which sets us free. We give you
praise and glory this day. Amen.