Paul describes through four spiritual laws the dynamic of why and how we struggle and wrestle with sin and temptation in Romans 7:14-8:2 and the surrounding passages. Why do we struggle in our mind to do the right things we want to do? How has Jesus brought freedom to us? How do we co-operate with His Spirit of life?
Christian self-control is for the purpose of releasing us to love God and others. Our two greatest enemies to our self-control are our selfish orientation (flesh, sinful nature) and Satan. Both bring temptations prompting us to take short-cuts to what we see as good things. So how can we co-operate with God to stay on His course to His good?
Our Heavenly Father is loving, patient, forgiving, kind, a protector and a provider, but what does He want from us out of this amazing relationship?In this week's message we explore how it is God's desire for us to trust and obey Him, to use discernment and be vigilant in this life, and to be available to Him. Tune in as we look at these and other aspects that help grow our spiritual lives and our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Since how we live is irrelevant to our being loved by God or earning His rescue of us, why obey? That question may seem strange, but not if we have wrestled with or experienced the unconditional love (grace) of God. In this final message in the series on grace, we look at Paul’s response to this question. Since we have been rescued from not just an old life and identity that leads only to increasing brokenness, into a new life and identity that leads only to increasing healing and restoration, what possible reason could we have to live according to the old identity any more?
How can we learn to know what God is saying to us in the decisions we are looking to make? What can help us hear and be confident we are hearing clearly from God? Scripture, the Spirit and situations around us all can play a part to know the whole will of God for us. God wants us to hear Him clearly, so we can know His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Baptism has been practiced by the church from its very origin. Baptism is also something that some denominations argue over its meaning and practice. Today we look at Paul’s words to the church in Rome about the meaning of baptism. Baptism, Paul said, should remind them of an essential gospel truth. They are united with Christ, so when he died to sin… they died. When Jesus was raised… they too were raised to new life. Baptism is an outward ritual symbolizing an inward spiritual reality that has already taken place by grace through faith in Jesus. Baptism is a public testimony of a commitment to follow Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.
As a disciple, Judas was close to Jesus. The pattern of behavior was a spiral downward. Judas could have resisted Satan’s temptation, but he didn’t. We have choices to make. We can resist the Devil and he will flee and we can draw near to God and He will draw near to us. Application: In what ways can (do) you show love for your enemies?
God created you out of the abundance of His love and He desires to have a relationship with you; to adopt you as a child into his family. We then get to live out the rest of our lives as God’s children, connected to Him by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus came to save people from their sins. We often settle in thinking that Jesus came to save us of our sins. There is a big difference, and if we are settling, we are missing out on more of the abundant life Jesus came to bring to all who would follow Him.
We don’t often think about Christmas from God’s perspective. Why did God see becoming human as worthwhile doing? What is God looking to communicate to us through coming as an ‘infant lowly’? Why did God need Christmas to fulfill His plan for humanity?