First Posted: 1/15/2009
There's no doubt about it. Christians live with heaven-sent privileges, and one of those privileges is freedom from the condemnation that comes from sin.
Because of our sinful nature we deserve God's condemnation, but with Christ Jesus as our Lord we do not live as condemned people. Jesus is called our Intercessor, and one of the reasons He is called this is because He stands between us and the condemnation that we deserve.
Christ's act of love and mercy on the cross is not one we take lightly if we truly know Him as our Lord. Genuine faith means we no longer walk after, or follow, the world. Paul uses the word “Spirit” to indicate Christ's constant presence with His followers. Living in His presence affects our walk and gives a testimony to the world that Jesus is our Lord.
Forgiveness in Christ gives us freedom from the penalty and guilt of sin. Not only do Christians enjoy this freedom, there is also the release from the control that death had over our lives before accepting Christ as Lord and Savior.
The Apostle Paul wrote there is a “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” Our Father extends the offer of a law, or covenant, of grace to mankind.
God sent His only Son to the world. He had the same appearance as a sinful man, but because He was holy His death is sufficient for all of our sins. The Old Testament law condemns us because we cannot perfectly obey it. The law points the way to our need for a Savior who has made it possible for us to be righteous in the sight of God.
When you consider God's grace and privileges as evidence of His love toward us, has Jesus made a difference in your attitudes and the way you think? What is your greatest desire? Do you yearn for worldly things, or is your mind on Christ Jesus and His will for your life?
If the world is what you favor, then it will dominate your thoughts, command your time and capture your heart. If Jesus is foremost in your thoughts, you will seek His presence, or Spirit, and He will come first in your life.
A worldly mind and life make us enemies of God because it is then that we live in rebellion to our Father and everything He wills for our lives. It is impossible to please God and at the same time follow the world.
Christians live in the Spirit and God's Spirit lives in us. Our hearts are filled with the presence of Christ Jesus.
Paul said, “the Spirit is life,” and what a precious honor that is to every believer. Our bodies are dying because of sin, but if the Spirit that raised Jesus lives in us, then we will have eternal life.
He is why it is so important to live in the Spirit. If our desire is only for the world, we will strive for things that fade away and we will lose eternal life. Following the Spirit leads us to put away the things of the world and to commit our lives to Christ Jesus.
A Christian can know that he or she has a relationship with God. Paul said the Spirit lets us know we are children of God, and as children we become heirs of eternal things with our Savior.
The result of a life lived for Christ is the glory we will have one day in His precious presence. Whatever we give up in this life is more than made up for in the eternity prepared for people who walk after the Spirit.
– The Sunday school lesson is written by Ed Wilcox, pastor of Centerville Baptist Church.