Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P32 (01-21-19)
As we read in Romans 8, there is life in the Spirit. Formerly, the mind of the lost person was hostile to God. We do not naturally think of ourselves as hostile to God, but we are. The law is set against us and so we would rather plead ignorance. Then we can at least plead ignorance. But if we are properly trained by the law to lead us to Christ, then the law served its purpose to convince us that we are dead and in need of life.
We used to live according to the flesh, when we were lost, because that is all we had. But then when we were born again, the Spirit of God came to indwell us. We were set free from the law of sin and death because in our weak state we were never able to live up to the demands of the law. The Spirit of life came to live in us to produce love in and through us, as we learn to trust God.
But how many people have understood what it means to walk in accordance with the Spirit. Jesus told us that His people will worship Him in Spirit and in truth. People often cannot worship in truth because they have believed error. They believed what a denominational persuasion taught them to be true. They were told that worship is when you show up on Sunday to sing worship songs or when you raise your hands. You do not have to be spiritual to do any of those things. You can be lost doing those things. But you cannot be lost letting Jesus live His life in you and through you.
True worship is to make your body available to God to let him live in you and through you. Others think that you get a second filling, or a second Spirit, when you speak in tongues. That too is error because there is only one Spirit, and He was sealed in you. Others think that you can lose fellowship with God when you sin. But the Spirit will be with you forever and God has said He will remember your sins no more. How can you let the love of God to live in you and through you if you think you are under condemnation for sin? That is not trusting what God accomplished for you in Christ Jesus. When you walk in grace, you are free from the law of sin and death, to walk in the newness of life.
The goal of walking in the Spirit is not to stop sinning but to trust Jesus. When you trust Jesus, then you will be loving others and therefore not sinning. Love does its neighbor no wrong. That is the work of ministry, to teach people to trust Jesus. For when you trust Jesus, then you are letting Jesus live His life in you and through you. When you abide in Jesus, the work of the ministry is being performed through you. Love is the fulfillment of the law. Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law by loving God and people. When this righteousness of God is in you, then when you choose to participate in the divine nature, this love of God is produced in you and through you. The goal of this instruction is to love God and one another. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
We are going to pick up on Romans 8. But we will briefly share from Romans 12.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.
What we have done, because we do not understand the truth of Jesus Christ in us, as we talked about, we stopped at the cross for our salvation. Basically, there are many people who think the goal of the Christian life is to stop sinning. That is not the goal of the Christian life. The goal of the Christian life is to start trusting. If you have a goal of stop sinning, you have a bad goal. Because the only time you can stop sinning is the day you die. The goal of Christian life is to walk in newness of life. The goal of the Christian life is trusting Christ Jesus, for what He came to do for us that we can put our trust in Him.
That is why worship is making your body available to God to live His life in and through you. He gave his life for you to give his life to you to live His life through you. We have to understand the truth of that. Too many times today, like so many other things in Christianity, either because we do not know that or we do not know how to put that in action, we call other things as worship. We have worship services as if that is only time of week you are to worship God. We have worship services and, what we believe that is, is sitting there and worshiping God by singing songs, and while doing that you are making your body available to Jesus Christ, holy and acceptable in His sight, is worship. But singing of songs is not worship.
Some think worship is holding your hands in the air or putting your hands in your lap. But how important would that be if you did not have hands. Some people think that worship is speaking in tongues. How important would that be if you did not have a tongue or you had Parkinson’s disease or something else where you could not speak anything. People get hung up on that and all they talk about is tongues. Other people put so much emphasis on hands raised. But that is not worship. That may sound harsh to people, but it is true. That is not worship. Anybody can do that. You can be an actor to do that. But you cannot be an actor, letting Jesus live His life in you and through you. You have to be saved to do that. You have to be born again to allow Jesus to live in you and live his life through you. All that other stuff you can mimic. You can do, and play, and coerce, and do all kinds of stuff with that. You do not have to be spiritual to do any of those things. You can be lost doing those things. But you cannot be lost letting Jesus live His life in you and through you.
All these other things we call worship is not worship. We substitute these other things for the true worship. True worship is waking up in the morning and making your body available to the living Christ to live His life in and through you. It is saying, “if you need lips to speak, use mine. If you need eyes to see with, use mine. If you need hands to touch with, use mine. If you need hearts to love with, use mine. I am available to you. That is what worship is, and nothing less.
Now, we have prayer services, where we come together and praise Jesus, and nothing wrong with that. You can have praise songs you sing to Jesus, and there is nothing wrong with that. That is not worship. We call that worship but it is not worship. Worship is making your body available to the living God to live His life in and through you. What does He want us to do when He is living His life in us and through us. It is what we talked about. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
So what is His goal for you and me? To love one another. He came to this earth to love you and to love me. The message that was given to the apostles was to go into the world and love one another and the world will know you are my disciples by your love one another. They will not know your love for one another by your bumper sticker or tithing record. So when we see what God wants for you and me, to be available to how to let Him live His life in and through us, that is what true worship is.
In the Christian the world, in many instances, have perverted what worship is, and made it be something we do on Saturday or Sunday, that whatever you do is worship. So you only worship an hour a week, at the most. Does that make any sense that the only time you worship is coming to a service and worshiping? That is what we think worshiping is.
Let us now turn to Romans 8.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. This is part of the good news. The reason there is no condemnation of those in Christ Jesus is because the condemnation of God for sin is death. The condemnation of God is not paddling or going to a woodshed, as some people teach. The condemnation for God for sin is death. The wages of sin is death. It is not out of fellowship. Most of the time you hear that you are out of fellowship. In the bible, there is no in and out of fellowship. We talk about that every time you sin, that you are out of fellowship. So then the only time you are in fellowship is when you are asleep, unless you have a bad dream. Fellowship in the bible is two fellows in the same ship. It means you have been called into fellowship with Christ Jesus. That means you are saved. When you are not saved, you are out of fellowship. You are out of fellowship of believers. When you are in Christ, you are in the fellowship of believers. That is another one we get all messed up with. Satan gets down and waters something down to take away true meaning of the fellowship from Christian church.
So you are bounding back and forth like a yo yo, in and out of fellowship. That is not true. The scripture tells us very clearly that you are in fellowship when saved and out of fellowship when lost. When you and I have been saved from the consequence of sin. The consequence of sin is death. That is what we have been saved from. We have been saved by the law of life. We have been saved from the law of sin and death. Is that a phenomenal deal? Do you realize if he had not done that all of us would be dead. Do we realize the trust of this? It is not how bad you are. It is how dead you are. Again, we have perverted the Christian message. We have not taught people that you are dead. We just taught them you are sinners. Some people then wonder where it goes from there.
When your premise is off, your findings are going to be off. The findings of experimentation are no more accurate than the original premise. If your premise is off, everything is off. If you are a doctor, and you go to somebody, I think you have tuberculosis and here is medicine. If you do not have tuberculosis, then the medicine might kill you. The issue is your premise is off and everything is going to be off. That is what takes place.
The wages of sins has been watered down. That is the premise that we are dead. You and I are saved by the consequences of sin, called death, by the gift of God, which is life. That is what we have been saved from. That is the dynamic of the Christian life. That is why the apostle Paul, said without the resurrection, we are to be pitied of all people and are still in our sins. What do we concentrate on? The cross. What did Paul concentrate on? The resurrection.
Thank God for the cross. That is what cleared the deck in order to give us eternal life. Thank God for it. But it what the cleansing of our unrighteousness that enabled Him to give you righteousness. All we have concentration on is being cleansed of unrighteousness. So you have the Catholics going to the priests to get cleansed and get forgiven. You got the evangelical walking down aisles every Sunday to get forgiven. If you do not want to walk the aisle, you quote 1 John 1:9 to get your sins forgiven. How many have you been taught that you have to keep short accounts with God? So try that one on for size, keeping short accounts with God, when you realize what sins is.
Sin is more than the nasty nine, dirty dozen and the terrible twelve. Sin is unbelief. That which is not of faith is sin. We are too dumb to even know when we do not exercise faith. That is why we are called sheep, the dumbest animal on the face of the earth. Is that complimentary? He called us sheep. We do not know. How can you keep short accounts with God when you do not even know when you sinned. That short accounts with God keeps the emphasis on what you are doing instead of what He is doing. Whether speaking in tongues or speaking in English, it puts the emphasis on what I am doing instead of what He is doing. Some people talk about knocking you over, called slaying in the Spirit. The bible does not talk about that. The Spirit does not come to slay people but to put life in people. You are putting the emphasis on what you are doing instead of what He is doing. All of that is nonsense, taught by puffed up teachers, whose minds are distorted and who cannot see the truth of things. We have to understand the truth of that. We have to understand that this bible is what truth is.
I talked to a man on the radio about Catholicism. He talked about all the blessed things, the traditions. What is blessed about traditions? What is blessed about what the church says? The church could be lying to you. It is the bible. It is not my traditions. It is the bible.
I have been telling you for years and years and years that I could be lying out of my teeth to you. Just because I am on the radio, that does not make me smart. You can be an idiot and be on the radio. It has nothing at all to do with spirituality. A man does not know the Lord from an apple tree can get on the radio, if he has right connections or the right money. You do not have to know the Lord to be a pastor. I know so many pastors that did not know the Lord at all. All the pastors I knew growing up did not know the Lord. You do not have to be a Christian to graduate from seminary. You just have to go to school. You just go to school because you are not going to learn much of the bible anyhow. You will learn counseling, tradition, and how to give the Lord’s supper. You will not learn much bible. They do not teach it at most seminaries. I am very serious about this. There are some denominations that are bible oriented. Thank God for them. But the vast majority of your denominations, you get very little bible in seminary. So we have to understand the truth of this. In the final analysis, what you and I are doing with is the Spirit of God living in us, who has promised to reveal the meaning of this word to you and me. Do you understand that? God has said I am living in you and my Spirit does not conflict with my Spirit. Since it is the Spirit who wrote this bible, and He is living in you, then depend upon the Spirit to reveal what it means.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” –
the things God has prepared for those who love him –
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
You can sit and study your little eye balls into the ground and you can become a student of the bible and never ever have a clue as to what it means because the Spirit has to reveal it to you. I do not care what your education background is, whether you had any or whether you had a bunch. The Spirit of God still has to reveal the meaning of the word of God to you. The person who has a bunch, you will probably have to be more dependent than the one who has little. The one who has little cannot depend on his education because he has not had any so he just depends on the Lord.
When you go back to the history of this country, and go back to the worst atrocity, the days of slavery. When you find slave owners going to nice churches, sitting there singing their songs and having announcements and a ten minute message. Then you have the slaves. Do you know who learned about Jesus? The slaves. They had a relationship with Jesus that would make the owners sick. Why? They did not have anything to count on except that. The only one they had to rely upon was Jesus. That is why there is a strong base in the black community even today. Especially black mothers, who see that children go to church and hear about Jesus. A lot of that came because they had nothing else to offer. They had no other place to go except the Lord Jesus. Whereas the others have their social life and nice things to do and left a little money in the offering plate, and then came home and get involved in the important things of life. But the important things to the slaves was Jesus. So you have the spirituals. So that is what you see continually going on today, a real true relationship with the living God.
Now He says that this is what we have been saved from. We have been saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, by this marvelous gift of life in Christ Jesus. Why did He have to do that?
3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
He did not condemn the man. He condemned the sin in sinful man.
4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Those who live according to the sinful nature are the lost people. When you are a lost person, you have your mind set on what your flesh desires, do you not? That is all you have it set on. That can spell itself out in all kinds of ways and habits, can it not? There are all kinds of things we get hung up in. It can be alcohol, drugs, promiscuity. It can be anything. It can be all things that your flesh is going to tell you to do. It says that you have your mind set on those things, and therefore, because your mind is set on them, that is what you are going to do and that is how you are going to live. How many of you remember when you were in that condition?
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
On the other hand, those who live according to the Spirit, those who are born again of the Spirit of God, they have their mind set on what the Spirit desires. Guys, do you remember when you were lost? How many of you remember when you were lost? Outside of maybe going to church on Sunday, or being dragged to church on Sunday, did you ever give thought to God? You might be thinking of God every now and then, but you were not thinking about pleasing God were you? Who were you thinking about pleasing? Yourself. If you are worried about what other people are thinking about you, they are not? They are thinking of themselves. If you do not believe that, take a group picture, and get it back and see who you look for. We are self centered, aren’t we? We have to understand the truth of that, where your mind is put on. As a man thinks, so is he. So this mind of ours, as a lost person, is placed on what the flesh desires. And when you are saved, it begins to focus on what the Spirit desires.
6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
The mind of the flesh, the sinful man, is death. The man without the Spirit living in Him is dead. It does not mean he cannot receive life. But at that moment he is dead. That is why his mind is on there. But the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.
7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God;
Now, you might have thought that you were hostile to God. I would not have thought I was hostile to God. I thought I was indifferent to God, but I never thought of myself as hostile to God. I just probably thought God graded on the curve until I grew to the age when I knew I would live to a hundred and fifty and that equation would come on my side. I just thought I was indifferent. Those are the two attitudes of the heart, passive indifference or active rebellion. But it says the mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
When I studied in grade school, back in the day you had to learn the ten commandments, I learned what they were, but I forgot about them, and I wanted to forget them so I can plead ignorance. It was like W. C. Fields, that old crusty comedian, and atheist. He was on his death bed and someone came into the hospital and saw him reading the bible. He asked him what he was doing and he replied that he was looking for loopholes. Maybe if I do not know what the law is, then I cannot be held accountable for that. And do not think people do not think that way. So there is hostility to God.
8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
How many people who are lost will think they are pleasing God? “Well, I go to church. I sing in a choir. I bet He is thrilled to death with me.” No. No one who is lost is pleasing to God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
So you cannot be born again apart from being indwelt by the Spirit. That is why it is an absolute impossibility, as taught in some circles of Christianity, that you are born again today and then receive the Spirit tomorrow. That is an impossibility and is false teaching. You cannot be born again unless the Spirit of God indwells you. That is what it means to be born again of the Spirit. There is no way to get the Spirit today and get it again tomorrow. There are not two Spirits. There is just one. The moment you are born again, you are indwelt in the Spirit. Then the Spirit places you into the body of Christ. First, Christ is in you, and then you are in Christ. He comes to live in your Spirit and then makes you His body.
10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin,
In other words, this body is going to die. In your body is death. Do we realize that? Something called death reigns in your body. Do you all understand that? What does that mean? Every one of us is not going to be here some day and some sooner than others. You are not going to be here. Amy said she read about the last survivor of World War I just recently died. We are all going to go sooner or later. There is nobody left from the civil war. All of us are going to go. In our bodies is something called death. Your body is dead because of sin but your Spirit is alive because of righteousness.
the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
But the Spirit we have is alive because of righteousness. What does that mean? This body we have is only a temporary house. It is a tent. Look what we do to it. We blow it up. We manipulate it. We operate on it. We paint it up. We dress it up. We exercise it up or down, whichever one. We are preoccupied with this house, not what is inside, but the house.