Reflection on Romans 10:5-15

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+10.5-15

Scripture

If you confess with your lips that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Observation

The word of God is on our lips and in our hearts, and so anyone who confesses that Jesus is Lord and believes that God raised Him from the dead will be saved.

Our confession with the lips and our heart belief will save us. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Who will hear if there is no preaching? Who will call on His name if they do not know there is a name to be believed? This means that we must go out from the church and preach the message of salvation.

Application

The Good News is remarkably simple. To be saved I must speak out with my lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that He is risen.

We have a Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He must be the one I follow and obey in everything I do.

Jesus’ lordship is not a religious phrase with no meaning. It rests on a historical fact- Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. He was dead and now He is alive.

There is salvation in the name of Jesus.

There is forgiveness in the name of Jesus.

There is healing in the name of Jesus.

There is power in the name of Jesus.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, today I declare you are my Lord. I say this not from empty religion but from the deep conviction of my heart. I thank you for dying for my sin and for rising to eternal life. Amen.

Reflection on Romans 8:1-11

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8.1-11

Scripture

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.

Observation

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the spirit of death and sin.

Those who live by the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are in the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

If the Spirit of God dwells in us, then we have the Spirit of the one who raised Christ from the dead and we can be confident that this same Spirit will raise us to life in Christ.

Application

The mark of the true disciple is that we have the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is not in a person then they are not born again.

The Holy Spirit shows Himself in a variety of ways, primarily in the manifestation gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 and the fruit of the Spirit of Galatians 5.

My life must be a journey of becoming ever more like Jesus. If I do not show evidence of this then the Holy Spirit is not in me, and I do not belong to Christ.

If the Spirit of God is in me, then I have the responsibility to set my mind on the things of the Spirit rather than the things of the flesh.. The Spirit brings life, but the flesh brings death.

As always in the mystery of spiritual life, there is a paradox. On the one hand, the Spirit comes as a free gift at salvation and is released in power when we are baptised in the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, I must pursue the ways of the Spirit and set my mind on the Spirit.

For those who have tasted the joy of the indwelling peace of God, this is not burdensome. I change the direction of my thinking and desiring from self to God, and He meets me with such joy and love, far greater then anything the old fleshly nature could ever provide.

Prayer

Thank you Lord for the gift of life in your Spirit. Lord it is so true that the flesh leads to death but your Spirit brings life. May I always pursue you and not be swayed by the lures and temptations of the flesh. Amen.

Reflection on Romans 7:15-25

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+7.15-25

Scripture

I love God’s law with all my heart, but there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.

Observation

Paul shares a dilemma that we all have. We know what is right, but we don’t do it. In fact often when we try to act God’s way, we end up sinning.

Nothing good lives in our sinful nature, and so the good we want to do we cannot do. It is as if a power called sin dominates our mind and body.

Who can set me free from this state of warfare? Only our Lord Jesus Christ.

Application

A person is only a christian in theory, or a person who said “Yes” to Christ only in his mind, is going to struggle with this law of sin and death.

We know what we should do in order to please God, but the unredeemed nature gets in the way over and over again.

The answer is in Christ, but not just as a theory.

Jesus told us that to follow Him we must take up our cross and die to ourselves. That means all of our desires, ambitions and dreams need to be put to death. Every sentence that starts with “I” must die.

The christian life, the way of salvation, is not about changing our lifestyle. It is about letting Christ change us from the inside out.

The problem with sin is in our mind. This is where the war takes place. We must surrender ourselves entirely to Christ, especially our way of thinking.

This process of dying to ourselves does not take place instantly when we get saved. It is a life-long process of letting go of everything that stands between us and the Lord.

Every day we have an opportunity to die again. The refiner of our hearts brings the flames to purify us. The true follower of Jesus embraces the flames rather than running away from them.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the answer to the war with sin. You are the victory. I lay my life at your feet. Take all of me and let my mind be transformed by your refining fire. Amen.

Reflection on Romans 6:12-23

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+6.12-23

Scripture

Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead but now you have new life.

Observation

We have new life in Christ and so we must not allow sin to control our bodies. Sin is no longer our master.

God gives us freedom, so we have a choice. We can be a slave to sin or we can choose to obey God. Now that we are set free from sin, we can receive God’s gift of righteousness and eternal life. The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Application

Following Jesus is not about following a set of rules, We have been raised to new life in Christ. Our life is now about burying ourselves in Him so that His life is expressed in us.

We do not do good things to gain eternal life. The good we do flows from the life that is now in us through Christ.

When a person dies, the whole body dies. It is not as if the stomach keeps running independently of the rest of the body. The whole body dies.

When we come to Christ, we die to our old nature- the whole body is put to death, so to speak. We are raised to new life, so we cannot allow any part of our body to be remain committed to sin. That thing died with the rest of the old nature.

My whole being- body, soul, spirit- is alive in Christ, and so my whole being needs to express that righteous, holy life.

I am not under a law that says “Thou shalt not do xyz.” I am in a life where doing xyz is foreign to me.

Sin is no longer a violation of a law. It is a violation of life, a cancer in my resurrected life.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you for your gift of life. Please help me to live as a person of eternity no longer slave to sin. Let my whole body be submitted to you. Amen

Reflection on Romans 6:1-11

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans 6:1-11

Scripture

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Observation

We cannot live in sin under the excuse that God’s grace ignores it. We were baptised into Christ, into His death and into His resurrection. We have died with Him, and so our sinful nature has died, setting us free from sin.

Therefore we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God.

Application

We struggle with sin in any different ways. People all have their own particular weak spot that satan zeroes in to target with temptations.

I cannot withstand temptation on my own will power. It is not in me to be perfect in my own strength. But God has the strength. In fact He has planted that strength in me in the person of the Holy Spirit.

I cannot be perfect. But He can be perfect in me.

We focus on being born again, but Paul says that we must die before we can be born again. Death must come before the resurrection.

In Christ I have died to sin. In Him my old nature was put to death and buried. Now I am alive in God.

This means my old sinful nature no longer has control over me. I have been set free from sin and death.

Of course satan is always there, denying that I am new, whispering lies of the attractiveness of sin, trying to draw me back to the old ways.

Paul says, Consider yourselves dead to sin.” This sin belongs to the old me, the one that is buried. It is no longer a part of who I am.

This is not mind over matter. It is not will power. It is me agreeing with God. The power of the Holy Spirit brings strength to my spirit to stand firm in the new reality in which I now live.

Yes, I will continue to fall. Yes there are some parts of my life that are still stained by sin. By the grace of God the old me is dead and I am free from the power of sin to hold me in bondage.

Prayer

Hallelujah Jesus my Saviour! You are working your perfect will in my new nature. Help me to stand firm in you, considering myself dead to sin and alive in you. Amen.

Reflection on Romans 5:1-8

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+5.1-8

Scripture

Therefore, since we have been made right with God by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

Observation

We are justified, or made right with God, though faith in Christ. Christ has brought us into this place of grace so we can look forward to sharing God’s glory.

When things go wrong we can rejoice because these things develop our strength of character and our hope in salvation.

Christ chose to die for us while we were still sinners, showing God’s great love for us.

Application

Jesus died on the cross for me. His death was the perfect sacrifice that takes away the sin of the whole world. His death makes me right with God. My sins were many, but He forgives them all.

Some people imagine that if your good deeds outweigh the bad deeds you will be OK. Muslims believe this. The problem is that I can never be sure. What is the standard? How many good deeds of what type do I need to do to make up for that particular sin?

There is no confidence and no peace without Christ.

The crucifixion is an historical fact. Nobody can take that away or deny it. When I doubt my salvation, I just look to the cross and remember that this is how much God loves me.

God is not a distant deity looking to punish every sin. He is a loving Father. I relate to Him as my Father. It is personal. We aren’t working out what I have to do to get into His good books. That is all sorted. I enter into His presence as a beloved son.

So I have peace with God. The barrier of my sin has been broken down and there is noting left to separate me from Him. I don’t have to worry about my salvation. It’s all dealt with in Christ.

Prayer

Lord I thank you for your unfailing love. Thank you for the peace that comes from knowing my sins are forgiven in Christ.

Reflection on Romans 8:6-11

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8.6-11

Scripture

To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Observation

If we set our mind on the flesh we will die, but if we set our mind on the Spirit we will have life and peace. If our mind is set on the flesh, we will be hostile to God and cannot please Him.

If we are following Jesus, we have the Spirit. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ. If the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us then the same spirit will give us eternal life also.

Application

What I set my mind on- that is, what I think about, desire or imagine- determines the course of my life.

I can choose to set my mind on the things of God, or I can choose to set my mind on self-centred things.

If I pursue the Lord, His Spirit will give me life through Christ. If I pursue the fleshly things- the things I want- then I will die.

The choice is simple and stark. Choose life or death, Spirit or flesh.

From time to time I hear people complain that church is “boring” or that following Jesus is “not fun.” These statements reveal the heart of the speaker. The person is speaking from flesh, not the Spirit.

I can choose to set my mind on the Spirit or on the flesh

I can also choose the people whose opinions I listen to. I will only let people who have themselves set their minds on the Spirit speak into my life. I ignore the opinions of those who are fleshly.

That is not to suggest that some people are perfectly tuned into God’s will. No, we are all human. I want to be led by people who know the Lord, not by people who do not know Him.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, I thank you for the assurance that you are in me. Help me to bring my mind into agreement with you and to desire only the things that come from you. Amen.