Text: "There is therefore, no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (i.e. born gain), who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Romans 8:1.Good morning, Spirit-led Christian! For you, sin is exceptional, not acceptable! Many professors might try to excuse sin in their lives by putting it down to human fallibility - but not you. Being led by the Spirit to walk in the Spirit, you see sin clearly for what it is, and strive therefore to confess it and forsake it. Basically, this is what is meant by walking after the Spirit as opposed to walking after the flesh. (Galatians 5:16-25)
To strive to walk after the Spirit does not mean that the Christian thus striving is free from sin. There has only ever been, and unfortunately ever shall be, one Man who has lived a completely sinless life. That Person is, of course, God the Son - the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! Praise His Holy Name! Amen. (Hebrew 4:15) (1 Peter 2:21-22) (Romans 3:10)
Thus, everybody else, no matter how well respected; no matter how high a position in the church; no matter how seemingly righteous that person may be - have sinned; sin; and shall sin all the days of their earthly lives. We are all natural born sinners. (Psalm 51:5) (Isaiah 64:6)
However, although we are indeed NATURALLY born sinners, we can walk SUPERNATURALLY in the Spirit, because we are born again of God Himself, according to His own perfect will. (John 15:16)
Only the Lord God Himself can look into our human hearts and examine our hidden motivations for deeds done. Only He can tell at times whether or not we do ‘good deeds’ for His glory, or just to glorify ourselves in the sight of other people. Oh yes, beloved Christian, we each sin daily in some personal manner. (1 Samuel 16:7) (1 John 1:8)
The difference therefore, between someone walking after the flesh, and someone walking after the Spirit is the fact that sin for the Spiritual person becomes the EXCEPTION rather than the natural daily PRACTICE!
On the other hand, the carnal (unsaved) person sins with impunity as a natural daily practice. As our passage for today reveals, there is a terrible difference between the carnal person and the Spiritual. It is the difference between being, in metaphorical terms, a pig or a sheep. Both will wander wilfully into the mud, but while the pig will wallow in it with impunity, the sheep will always bleat to be pulled out and washed afresh.
Whatever a person is - at the calling away of the soul in death, or the appearing of the Lord when He returns - this is what determines where the eternal soul/spirit of that person shall eventually reside - Heaven or Hell. That’s the Gospel truth! (John 8:32)
The above seemingly harsh truth is verified by our selected Bible passage for this evening - there is NO CONDEMNATION to them who are in Christ Jesus. How do we KNOW we are in Christ Jesus? Our Bibles tell us so! And, our daily experience of life proves the fact of our Salvation to us when we walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, to the very best of our God-empowered abilities. (Acts 1:8)
It is the difference between knowing we have passed from CONDEMNATION to COMMENDATION when we, daily, as a normal practice, endeavour to walk in obedience to God the Spirit’s instructions - as found in our precious Bibles. (John 17:17)
If, however, we find we have no desire to walk in Spiritual newness of life, then we prove to ourselves that we are yet in our sins, unsaved, unregenerate, and as a direct consequence, still utterly LOST.
Thus we see that sin for the truly saved person, (when personal Salvation occurs) is forever after the exceptional failing, and not the normal practice. What, therefore, does YOUR sin mean to you?
Thought: Make sin the rare exception, not a self-deception!