To reign in real life
Roman 5:17 “For if by one man’s offense (Adam’s sin), death reigned by one;
much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”
But how to reign in real life?
We know that Christ reigns as Sovereign over all….
….and that in Him we reign as “a royal priesthood” 1 Peter 2:9….spiritually.
But how do we get that into our real life?….the life I live at home, at work, with friends,…
….in real life.
Paul wrote about his experience, after his conversion on the road to Damascus….
…..the battle Paul had with himself.
He said he saw in the Law, that he was covetous….
Paul had been a Pharisee, a very religious man…..knowing the scriptures well…but when he was born again….the Holy Spirit used that knowledge of the law….
….to “slay” (Romans 7:9, 11) in Paul some part of himself….his desire for self-glory.
He saw that no matter how he willed to do good in the things he was doing for God….that self sin was there….making his good works and obediences…..corrupt.
For it is our attitude toward the things we do that gives them value…..do we do them out of love for Christ….or out of love for Christ and myself (even a little)?
Romans 7:18-19 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”
This has been my experience….I will to be different….
….but how to do what is good, I find not.
I will to do Your Will, O Lord…..but every time I begin, I seem to trip over myself…
Lord, I am weary of all this covetousness…
…my mind looks for another way of doing Your will…
…my heart yearns for some praise for myself.
Paul cries out for deliverance from himself!….from his “body of death”
Romans 7:24 “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
If there is anything that can be done about it….I want to do it!
The first step in deliverance from “the body of this death”…..is to admit complete defeat.
We could not defeat our sin…..Christ’s cross and sacrificial death does that.
And we can not defeat ourselves….Christ’s life through the Holy Spirit in us, does that.
Romans 7:25 “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind (my determination) I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh (my old nature) the law of sin.”
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
(You will notice, that in Romans 7:7-25, which is Paul’s own testimony……”I” is mentioned thirty-one times.
But in Romans 8, the Spirit is mentioned nineteen times….and “I”, only twice.
It is interesting to note….that the Holy Spirit is only once named before this ….Romans 5:5 “….because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
There Paul talks of conversion….being “justified by faith”…”though our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1-5.
But in Romans 7 and 8, Paul is speaking about the battle with self sins….the battle to bring everything we are, into subjection to Christ…..through the Spirit.
That is why “I” is prominent in Romans 7;…..and “the Spirit” is prominent in Romans 8…
….and why the connection between the two is Romans 7:25-8:1.
It is through Christ Jesus’ merit that the Holy Spirit is given! Praise God for His wonderful works!)
So how do we reign in “real life”?
We continue…..to receive the grace given….and yield to the Holy Spirit in our life.
But how do we cease or hinder this abundance of grace?
We quench the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 “Quench not the Spirit”
Paul’s self-sin was quenching the Spirit….he was being defeated, because the power of Christ’s life, was being overshadowed by his desire for glory.
What are our self-sins? Well, the Spirit can have the victory over us, and them…and give us grace to live…abundant grace.
John 15:7 “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
If we are born again,…then we are abiding in Him….we are “in Christ Jesus”
And My words abide in you…..are we being obedient to the light we have received?
Are we doing His Words to us? Doing what we are told?
Then His Words should be abiding in us….
Then we can ask what we will,….this covers a lot….
…and it shall be done…
Not unto others, not unto circumstances,…..but unto us!
This is the life of the Vine entering into the branches…..peace in trouble….hope in times of darkness…joy in the face of anger….order in chaos….love to Christ in the face of persecution.
These are not from ourselves….
Where do we get these? From the overflow….the abundance of grace by the Holy Spirit! To abide….to live….in the Spirit of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:18-19 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.”
This gets right down into today….with all those I live with, work with, talk to, go to school with, or drive around….
Are you letting the Spirit reign in you?
Are you letting Christ’s Words abide….be worked out by obedience in you?
Later, Paul wrote to the Galatians
Galatians 2:20-21a “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: for the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
I do not frustrate the grace of God:…”
Paul learned that he had to…..with all his learning, speech, direction, everything….he had to yield this day….this time to the Holy Spirit….and keep receiving His abundant grace.