Tuesday, August 6, 2013
I WONDER AS I WANDER ~ PART 3 The Exuberance of Victory
Victory is not in ourselves, but in the Holy Spirit. Note the change of emphasis between Romans Chapter 7 and chapter 8. Note that the personal pronouns which were so prominent in chapter 7 largely disappear in chapter 8 where Paul’s heart is now controlled by the Holy Spirit. “ There is, therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (v.1). Hallelujah!!!! We are justified by God’s overwhelming grace through Christ’s sacrificial blood that was shed on the cross at Calvary. Christ is our substitute. We, with our sin, should have been nailed on that cross. “Nothing in my hands I bring; simply to Thy cross I cling.”
The believing woman is free from the law of sin and death (v.2). She is now identified with Christ who is her All and in All. Grace has succeeded so that she is no longer under the bondage that overcame her in Romans 7. She is identified with Christ; free from the law of sin ad death.
Keeping a set of laws will not change us no matter how hard we try. Jesus Christ has set us free! He has done the perfect work. Why then do we think we can perfect ourselves? If we believe in the work of Christ in our stead, then we are under a new covenant. That covenant gives us the Spirit of God who lives within us. Why would we put ourselves under bondage again? There is no condemnation because God through Christ is at work.
“Free from the law -- oh happy condition! Jesus has bled and there is remission; Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall, Grace hath redeemed us once for all” (P.P.Bliss). Praise the Lord!
Since the law could not save us, why do we expect it to sustain us once we have received the righteousness of Jesus Christ? When we received Christ as our Savior, the Holy spirit came to dwell within us. He is the One Who can and will control our life. He “groans” to develop Christlikeness in us. Oh, yes, we are vitally involved. We don’t sit on our lees.
Keeping a set of laws cannot change us nor give us an inner sense of being right with God. “The law is a court of justice, but the Gospel a throne of grace” (George Swinnock). We must not disparage the law. It had its function. “It was added because of transgression, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made” (Gal. 3:19). The Seed (Christ) has come and we are in the dispensation of grace. Jesus Christ won the victory at Calvary.
“Many truly converted persons are more occupied with themselves, and in trying to improve their own condition, than in seeking to learn the grace of God” (C.A. Coates). God tells us that if we walk by the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of our flesh. That is step-by-step victory! Our Father does not expect us to be perfect, but He does expect us to grow in Christlikeness.
We are in Christ and Christ is in us constantly performing His perfect work and fulfilling His immutable promises. As we believe His Word and cooperate with Him, we have victory.
“...and thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”(1 Cor15:57). Praise Him with exuberance. HE IS WORTHY!
(to be continued)