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Series: Do we Really Believe?
Message – The Spirit’s Law of Life in Christ
Life in Christ
Over the past six weeks we’ve had the following messages illustrating and enforcing these truths and their implications:
- In our Midst
- Why do we Gather?
- The Purpose of the Gospel is Life and Peace
- Worship is how you walk
- The heart of true worship
- The LAW of Freedom – Okay, this was mostly rewording the past messages to get it deeper into your hearts and then I tagged onto the end the fact that the Law of Freedom IS the Spirit’s law of LIFE in Christ. – James 1:25; 2 Cor. 3:15-18; Romans 8:1-3.
This week we are continuing in our series on Do we really believe by talking about Life in Jesus.
You will recall that James told us to be QUICK to hear the words of Jesus. We need to be eager to hear, prepared to hear, ready to hear, prompt and intentional in hearing!
“(22) But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (23) Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror; (24) for he looks at himself, goes away, and right away forgets what kind of man he was. (25) But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts–this person will be blessed in what he does.”
Last week we learned that The Perfect law of Freedom is the Spirit’s law of Life in Jesus!
The word we are to be doers of is the same as in the law of Moses. Only, under the Old Covenant, it was a “to do” list based upon a comparison between ‘Who God is’ as Our Creator and ‘who we were’ as creatures fallen from His image.
NOW, that same word is not in letter, but in Spirit! “The letter of the Law kills but the Spirit of the Law gives LIFE!”
Remember how we have seen this in times past. The legalistic heard the law as a command from the outside which condemned. Paul heard it this way according to his own admission.
Paul ~ “(9) Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life (10) and I died. The commandment that was meant for life resulted in death for me. (11) For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. (12) So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. (13) Therefore, did what is good cause my death? Absolutely not! On the contrary, sin, in order to be recognized as sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin might become sinful beyond measure.” – Romans 7:9-13.
But how did King David hear it?
Psalm 119:165, “Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.”
Psalm 119:97, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.”
or Jesus, how did He hear the Law?
Matthew 5:21-24, “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. (22) But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire. (23) So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, (24) leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
That last one may strike you as an odd example, but the reason I gave it was to cause you to see that Jesus was not bound by the letter because He was not like Israel only knowing what God did, but not knowing WHY He did it. Jesus knew God’s WAYS! He was intimate with God and so understood the spirit of the law rather than just the letter of it! Remember the law was not broken… we were! Something which is Established by the New Covenant and is called Holy, Just and God CANNOT at the same time be contrary to God. No, it was contrary to us! God did not take the law away, He took handwritten list away and then wrote it upon our new and softened hearts.
Now, back to why I just offered you those examples – Paul tells us that it is the letter than kills, but the Spirit gives LIFE!
LIFE is revelation of a PERSON, not a recitation of facts!
This is why LOVE of the TRUTH is a LOVE of a person and that person is Jesus!
IF WE LOVE the Lord our God with ALL of our hearts – we would find ourselves being doers NOT just hearers! Which is to say, we’d really believe Him!
And THAT is possible now because our spirits are alive to God. We are spiritually ONE with Him, even though our bodies still resist His influence. Our flesh resists because it sees His words as commands – and obedience as a loss of freedom. Fallen flesh hates authority!
To the degree that we side with our flesh we are looking at the Word of Liberty as a Law of Condemnation. We’ve placed the veil (that is to say the flesh) back over our eyes and it obscures the true image of God and the New Covenant.
Now, as we progress HOLD ONTO these simple points we’ve already made:
- IF we truly believe – we will live like it!
- James tells us to be diligent in listening to Jesus’ words.
- James tells us Jesus’ words are a mirror to those who believe, reflecting back HIS glory.
- James tells us to remember who you see when you read Jesus’ words.
- James tells us to receive the ENGRAFTED word of God which is ABLE to save our souls.
- Paul tells us that we are being changed into the image (being glorified) we see by the working of the Holy Spirit.
- Paul tells us that there is NO MORE condemnation for those IN Christ BECAUSE the SPIRIT’S LAW of union & intimacy with God in Jesus HAS MADE US FREE from sin and death!
We are to REMEMBER who we see in that mirror and who we see is who we ARE as spirits – not our bodies…and there is a PROFOUND difference!
Remember the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh and these are CONTRARY to one another – HOSTILE even – so that you do not do the things you wished you did.
Paul said the same thing of himself in Romans 7, speaking about the sin in his flesh and it’s constant influence towards evil> He said that when he sinned it was no longer HE who was sinning. It was not his true ‘I’ – the spirit, but the law of sin which still remained in high rebellion within his flesh. He ends with this frustrated and yet, victorious statement
Romans 7:24-8:17, ” (24) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.”
Then he begins declaring his freedom from the law of sin and death by the reality of another law, called the Law of Life…resident within his spirit. The seed of Jesus is in us (1Jn. 3:9), both planted, germinated and growing by the power of the Holy Spirit within!
“(1) Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, (2) because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
The Spirit’s LAW of Life in Jesus!
Remember, Jesus came in flesh but NOT sinful flesh! He was the light of the world. “In Him was LIFE, and that LIFE was the revelation to man.”
As His children,Who is it we have received from God? The Holy Spirit
Who has the Holy Spirit been sent to us to reveal? Jesus!
We will have to leave this here and pick up here next week.
I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.
We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.
You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!
If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.
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