Romans 6:12-13 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
The key to experiencing victory over sin lies within the concept of surrender. As Christians, we have power over the sin that used to rule our lives. The Bible teaches us that once we are saved, we become dead to sin and alive toward Christ. This means that it no longer has power over us and we have a new ruler. We have two choices, we are either going to serve a living Christ or we are going serve sin. This stings to say, but sin happens because we allow it to happen. We are the ones that surrender to it. Let us look for some key principles that will help us experience victory over sin.
- Surrender to God: The Principle here is that if you don’t surrender to God then you will surrender to sin. You are always faced with two decisions, as well as two directions. Choose God. Be honest, sin happens because we surrender to it.
- Serve God: The concept of service means that we devote all our members (our entire body) to the service of the Lord. If we are consumed with serving the Lord then we do not have a lot of time to serve sin.
- Sell out to God: Most people battle with sin because they are living on the fence. They are still trying to enjoy the glories of God while dabbling in the pleasures of sin. God does not play that way. Selling out to God, will keep you from serving sin.
Today’s Challenge: Quit making excuses for your sinful actions and start following the principles in these verses.
Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
This verse is more than just a part of the “Roman’s Road”. It is way more than just a quoted cliché that puts a person in position to say a prayer. This verse teaches us the depth of God’s Love toward the world. As a parent of four children and husband of a wonderful wife, I would find it very easy to give my life for them. I have friends and family that I would definitely consider dying in their place. However; if someone asked me to take the place of a pedophile, rapist, or sadistic murder I would respond with a blatant “NO”! I would go as far as to say they are getting what they deserve. Don’t think yourself too spiritual at this moment, because you are thinking the same thing. We see by this response how our love is limited to certain people. Now, we must look toward the love of Christ. We see that He died for all those above. We must understand that Christ did not die for us after we became righteous, but died for us before we were righteous in order for us to become righteous.
- The Love of God is Unrestricted: This means that it is not restricted to those we think deserve it. Reality check…none of us deserve it!
- The Love of God is Unlimited: There are no limits to God’s love. Just when we think there is no way God could someone like that, we see the vault of God’s mercy open up and pour itself out upon an undeserving sinner just like us. After all, Ephesians teaches us that God is “rich in mercy”.
- The Love of God is Unbiased: God is no respecter of persons. It is not a matter of merit, but it is matter of mercy. God’s love is not a matter of being good, but it is matter of grace. Christ died while we were still sinners.
Today’s Challenge: Worship God through the reality of His love. Compare God’s love to ours and see notice how much we lack in the attributes of God.
Romans 4:20-21 “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised he was able also to perform.”
This text is talking about Abraham and his promised child. The problem with this promised child is that it was promised during a time of impossibility. Abraham and his wife Sarah were very old. Abraham was 100 yrs old and Sarah was 99 yrs old. Yes….now you are starting to get the picture – Impossible for someone to have a child at that age. In other words, you can say the odds were stacked against them. As you already know that Abraham was given a son, and everything God promised him, God made it come to a reality. However; there were some things Abraham had to do on his in to beat the odds.
- He relied on the Power of God: If you were to read verse 17 you find that Abraham relied on three aspects of God’s power. First, is that he knew God had the power over dead situations. While age was a factor, he knew God could make dead things come alive again. Secondly, he knew God had the power over invisible situations. He realized that God can make things exist that never existed. Finally, he knew God had the power over impossible situations. He believed in hope when there was no hope.
- He rested on the Promise of God: The only way to beat the odds is to make sure you have obtained a promise. It is important that we stay strong in faith, and become fully persuaded that God will make the promise become a reality. If someone can talk you out of a promise then you do not have a promise from the Lord. Abraham was fully persuaded…are you?
- He remembered the Plan of God: God’s plan was do something great. God specializes in the impossible. So many times we come short of seeing God work because we shorten our goals. God size plans take God to make them come to a reality. If it was possible then you can give yourself or someone else credit. If it is impossible then you know it was the Lord.
Today’s Challenge: Beat the odds! The only way to beat the odds is to follow the example set by Abraham. Look in verse 24 of this chapter. The key phrase is “But for us also…” God did not just want Abraham to beat the odds, God wants us to beat the odds. We can do it too!
Acts 3:21-22 “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believed: for there is no difference.” These are some of the most exciting verses in the Bible. To get a better understanding of these verses we must realize that God’s wrath is totally against sin. This creates a problem for all of humanity. Because according to previous two and half chapters of Romans we are all very sinful creatures. There is not a person on this earth that cannot say they are not a sinner. We must realize that God demands righteousness, we cannot provide any righteousness, so therefore humanity is in trouble. However;
- God Provides a Righteousness: Rather than us trying to work our way to God through the works of the law, God provided a righteousness outside of the law. Jesus Christ is our way, truth, and life when there was no way, there was no truth, and there was no life. God loved us so much that He provided a way when there was no way.
- God Performs a Righteousness: There had to be someone perform the deeds of the law perfectly. There was no way a person can be deemed perfect without first proving they are perfect. Jesus Christ provided that performance. We often times get so focused on the vicarious death and the glorious resurrection that we forget the perfect, sinless life. All three had to happen in order for man to be saved.
- God Presented a Righteousness: Once the price was paid, and the Lord was satisfied he then turned and presented it to us. We could not earn it and we definitely did not deserve it. It was truly a work of Grace and Mercy. God presented unto us the gift (unto all) and then God provided us with the garment (upon all). A gift unwrapped and unused does us no good. We must receive Jesus, accept Jesus, and the put on Jesus. It is then that we find ourselves clothed in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ!
Today in God’s Word: Look to Jesus Christ. He is the only way, because before Jesus Christ there was no way!
Romans 2:21-23 “Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preaches a man should not steal, doest thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through tbreaking the law dishonourest thou God?
Hypocrisy is everywhere. When asked why folks don’t go to Church they respond “there are just too many hypocrites there”. The truth being told, there are hypocrites everywhere. Webster defines hypocrisy as “simulation; deceitful appearance; false pretence”. In other words we are pretending to be something we are not. Christians must do everything they can in order to avoid such a stereotype. These verses will teach us practical principles we can begin implementing, in order to avoid being labeled a hypocrite.
- Knowledge without Obedience: Information without implementation makes one a fool. So many times God gives us instructions and we don’t follow God’s instructions. Not only is that hypocrisy, it is also foolishness.
- Preaching without Practice: It is imperative that we practice what we preach. There is no reason we should talk about something without practicing it in our own life. We may fail, but people need to see that we are trying to be real.
- Profession without Possession: It is difficult to practice something you don’t possess. You can’t play baseball without a glove, you can’t play football without the football, and you can’t be a Christian without Christ. You must possess him before you can profess him.
Today’s Challenge: Are you a hypocrite? If so start implementing these principles into your life. Start today by being real!