Where’s Your Mind?

Have you ever been asked the question, “Have you lost your mind?”  I think I’ve been asked that at least once in my life.  Paul has a very good test for us to use as we consider where our  minds are and on what they are focused:  Here is verse 5 of Romans 8:  “5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”  There is a commercial that I remember growing up that advertised the United Negro College Fund.  The slogan was “A […]

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Not All Laws Are Created Equal

I’m working on Romans 8 in this blog while I’m also writing a series of sermons on Romans 8 so I’m going to try not to write sermon long blog posts.  Here are verses 2-4:   “2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not […]

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Condemned No More

Having just finished telling his reader that victory over sin is gained through Jesus Christ, we read these words in the beginning of Romans chapter 8: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”  Romans chapter 8 is in my opinion, one of the greatest chapters of the New Testament. Starting in June, I’ll be preaching a sermon series titled, “From Condemnation to Completion” which is based on Romans chapter 8.  What I want to highlight this morning is the phrase, “There is therefore now no […]

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The Real “LawMan”

I am not very much of a Western movie fan; however I do know that a very popular formula for the genre is when the bad guys ride into town and they are confronted by the “lawman”; a sheriff or a deputy or a marshal who represents what is right and good.  The lawman is often outnumbered and outgunned yet it is his responsibility to set things straight.  When I read Romans 7:21-25 I think that we see Jesus as the real “LawMan”. Here are the verses:  “21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who […]

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How Sin and the Law Work for Our Good

In Romans 7:7-12 the apostle Paul helps us to see how the law works to our advantage in relation to helping us to see the sin in our lives.  Here is what he writes:  “7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and […]

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Marriage Metaphor and the Law

In the first paragraph of Romans 7 Paul helps us to understand what happens in salvation by using a metaphor of marriage.  Here is what he writes:  “Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of herhusband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, […]

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Wages vs. Gift

Just one verse today and it is familiar to many of us:  Romans 6:23:  “23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  This is one of the verses on the “Roman’s Road”, a series of verses that helps to define our sin and the way to salvation in Jesus Christ.  What I want to focus on this morning is the contrast between the words “wages” and “gift”. Paul writes “the wages of sin is death”. Our sin “earns” a wage.  Our sin has a natural consequence and outcome. It is a little awkward to think that something […]

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Good Fruit/Bad Fruit

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that we are slaves either way, either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness.  Paul goes on to remind us that the outcomes of the two types of slavery are very different. Here is what he writes:  “20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.  The fruit produced […]

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A Slave Either Way

The New Testament writers routinely use the word “slave” to describe the relationship that a follower of Jesus has to Jesus Christ.  We have to move beyond the horror of American slavery and slavery around the world to process the way that the word applies in the New Testament.  A slave is someone who belongs to an owner, a master.  That’s a terrible thing in terms of humans owning other humans.  However, it’s not terrible at all when God is your owner or master.  In fact, what the New Testament clearly reveals is that human beings are either slaves to […]

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To Whom or What Do You Present?

After reminding us that in Christ we are dead to sin and alive to God, Paul then reminds us of the natural step that should be taken regarding sin and God in verses 12-14 of chapter 6:  “12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”  Paul counsels the believer to […]

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