Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. Romans 8:12-13
Every single thing that God created has a purpose. If you do not believe me, let me prove it to you: even the fly has a purpose. Flies help to decompose and consume garbage and waste. Some are even important in the process of pollination. If that little, annoying fly that lands on your food and drives you crazy has a purpose, everything on earth must have a purpose. That includes you.
Over the past few weeks, we have been talking about something we're calling "the gap." The gap is the space we feel between where we currently are in our lives and where we wish were. This can lead to disappointment and frustration, causing us to wonder why our lives have turned out the way that they are. Sometimes we feel this gap because we are living as if we do not have a purpose or because we are living for the wrong purpose.
In Romans 8, the apostle Paul encouraged believers in Rome to live like they were created with a purpose. He encouraged them that God had worked and moved in their lives, and their purpose was to live like people who had been saved by Him. They were to stop living like they did not belong and start living like children of God. Their purpose was to live for Him.
The same is true for us today. Sometimes we feel a gap because we are living for ourselves. We are not living as children of God who have been saved by Him. We are consumed with ourselves and our desires rather than God and His desires. When we reorient our way of thinking, and we live like children of God with a purpose, we will begin to focus on Him rather than the gap.
What can you do to redirect your attention off of yourself and back to God? Maybe you can wake up earlier to ensure quality time praying and reading your Bible, spend time with a godly friend who can encourage to live as if you were created by God for a purpose, or help someone in need. Pick one thing this week to do so that you can redirect your attention off of yourself and back to the Lord.
Read Romans 8:1-17 (NLT)
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
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