A Collection of Topical Articles

I love to write through chapters of the Bible or spend time on thinking and writing through Biblical topics. Here is that collection, arranged easily to be able to find what you are looking for. Here is the list of things I have written on.


Most Recent Blog Articles


Life and Peace—Romans 8:6

"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6)

This verse is a barometer to how one is fairing in life. Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" ( John 16:33 ). He meant exactly that, this world is full of trouble, heartache and persecution at the hands of the world, but in the midst of these things it is possible to have peace. James said something similar when he said, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds" ( James 1:2 ). He was saying don't be surprised at it when you become the worlds target because of Christ and don't be caught off guard when you experience pain in life. These verses are meant to encourage us and give us hope. And today we learn how to have life and peace in the midst of the world in which we live.

The Amplified Bible puts it best, "Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]" ( Romans 8:6 Amp ). If we are living out of our new nature as born again believers, then it doesn't matter what comes our way, because we will experience soul peace.

Soul peace is a marvelous thing. It is experiencing the kind of peace that only the Holy Spirit can give you. It is the calm in the midst of the storm and it dwells inside of you. It makes no logical sense to the world around you and it is something that cannot be understood without having the Holy Spirit inside you. Jesus is called the prince of peace, he came not to bring peace on earth but peace between you and God. Now that we have been reconciled with the Father we are not at war with Him but we are in a state of peace with him. That peace lives within us as born again believers. It is the quiet tranquility that exists in our very nature. When we live according to the Holy Spirit and let Him live through us then are continually abiding in this peace. And if we are abiding in it, then it is only natural that this peace will spill over into the natural realm as well.

We have this incredible life and peace within our born again spirit. However to experience it, we must renew our minds to it. Paul said, "the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace" ( Romans 8:6 ). Getting this peace out into the natural realm seems like a mystery, but he just said we will experience this when we let our soulish realm, which is our mind, our thoughts, our personalities and consciousness be ruled by the Holy Spirit. This is a choice. Paul said in Colossians, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts..." ( Colossians 3:15 ). What he literally meant is let Christ's peace call the shots in your life. Let it play umpire in your mind deciding how you will react. "And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]" ( Colossians 3:15 Amp ). This is how to experience the life and peace that Jesus purchased for you.

Is your life full of turmoil? Is your head swimming in negativity, anxiety and death? If it is then you are not living according to the Spirit of God. Life and peace is your new nature, but the choice is yours. Will you let peace rule in your heart today? Will you experience rest and calm in the midst of the worlds confusion? Today may you be blessed by knowing that soul peace was provided for you. May you decide to let this incredible gift overflow into every area of your life. Amen!


Previous: Romans 8:5  Next: Romans 8:7

Spiritual Minded, Spiritual Results—Romans 8:5

"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires" (Romans 8:5)

Did you know this verse was written for believers? It comes upon the heels of an amazing revelation of grace. Paul said in the previous verses that God sent his son Jesus to be our perfect sin sacrifice so that the laws requirements could be completely fulfill in us who live according to the Spirit ( Romans 8:3-4 ). But this verse tells us that believers have a choice in how they live after they are born again. We can set our minds on what we see, taste, touch and feel, or we can set our minds in agreement with the Holy Spirit and live according to God's will. If we live according to the flesh then we are subjected to it's whims. But if we live according to the spirit then we will experience the freedom that was purchased for us.

Paul is describing the dichotomy of living the Christian life apart from how you received the Lord. Modern day Christians are notorious for starting out in faith and ending up in works because they do not know any better nor are they taught any better. However, real freedom comes from living a life directed by the Holy Spirit within us as our guide not from following rules and regulations. Paul said in Colossians, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him..." ( Colossians 2:6 ). Did you receive the Lord by observing the Law or by faith? You received him by faith, for it is the only way to obtain the righteousness Jesus provided for you.

As Christians we have been freed from the sin nature once for all ( Romans 6:6-7 ). But when we are living according to the flesh, then the left over remnant of that old man becomes visible in our lives ( Romans 7:23 ). The key to overcoming these leftover effects is to live according to the Holy Spirit. When you do this then you put to death the body of sin, the leftover remains of your previous nature. Trouble arises when we don't understand how to live this way, because then we will revert back to what we know... rules, regulations and condemnation. If we live in the flesh then we are not living in the freedom that was purchase for us. Through Christ Jesus, we were designed to be completely free of everything that holds us in chains. This manifest freedom happens by heart change, through aligning ourselves with the Lord and being submissive to his will for our lives. What is his will? We find that in his word.

Paul said in Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will" ( Romans 12:2 ). Through renewing our mind to God's will we will experience effortless change in life. It won't be works based, but it comes out of the overflow of our hearts. Proverbs 23 says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..." ( Proverbs 23:7 KJV ). And Jesus said in Luke 6, "For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks..." ( Luke 6:45 ). If we truly believe that we have been set free from the sin nature we will not live according to it. If we truly believe that we have a completely new nature in Christ Jesus then we will live that way. But this knowledge must come from a renewed mind directed by the Holy Spirit.

We have a choice, we have the answer. The answer is to live according to the Holy Spirit. When we do this we will be directed by him in everything we do. Our lives will never be ordinary, they will be extraordinary. This freedom comes from understanding this amazing truth that Christ has redeemed you from a empty way of life full of rules and regulations. You are free and called to live a life worthy of your calling. Today may you start renewing your mind to this monumental truth, and may you see it operating in your life. Amen.


Previous: Romans 8:4  Next: Romans 8:6

The Righteous Requirements of the Law Are Fulfilled In You—Romans 8:4

"...in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:4)

Are you righteous? If I was standing in front of you today and asked you this question, what would your answer be? Would it be yes? Would it be no? Would you know how to respond to this question? In order to live forever in the presence of God we must be righteous. We must be in right standing with him. Many believe to do this, we must follow the guidelines of the law. Religion has always taught us this principal, but Jesus told the religious in Matthew chapter 5, "that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven" ( Matthew 5:20 ). The teachers of the law were undoubtedly well on their way to righteousness by the standards of men. But Jesus condemned them by saying they completely lacked the necessary righteousness to find salvation. In other words they could not live up to God's holy standard by obeying the law.

The beginning of yesterday's verse said the same thing, "... the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature..." ( Romans 8:3 ). The law was powerless to save anyone because the law demanded a righteousness that mankind defeated by the sin nature was incapable of. Paul has already gone over in detail throughout the book of Romans the purpose of the law. In Romans 3 he completely annihilates the argument that we could be justified by observing the law. "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin" ( Romans 3:19-20 ). First we see that the law silences us before God by taking away every defense we could make on our own behalf. Secondly we see that through the law we become conscious of sin . Lastly we see that we will never be declare righteous before God by observing the law because the law is powerless to save us.

If the law could never bring us into fellowship with God and yet to be in fellowship with God we need the righteousness that the law prescribes, is there hope? Yes, there is hope because Jesus fulfilled the law by living perfectly under it. He came in human form to fulfill the letter of the law. He accomplished everything that the law dictated. Because he accomplished it, the key to eternal life was his. He earned the righteousness that the law described, because he lived perfectly under it and sins power never broke him. He came with that purpose in mind ( Matthew 5:17-18 ). So our hope rests in him alone. Paul said in Romans 3, "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" ( Romans 3:21-24 ). What the law could not provide us, Jesus did. He took our sin, our shame upon himself and gave us his righteousness and his holiness as a free gift. This is called the law of substitution. II Corinthians 5 says, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" ( II Corinthians 5:21 ). So through faith in Jesus, we obtain the righteousness that the law prescribed that we were incapable of acquiring on our own through works of the law.

In other words we are justified by faith in Jesus alone. "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit" ( Romans 8:3-4 ). Paul finished up a glorious thought that even thought we were defeated and powerless by sin, God provide a way. Through Jesus we are righteous and justified before God. God sent Jesus so that we also could fulfilled the entire law by the righteousness that Jesus provided for us. Removing any barrier that sin and the sin nature put in our way. The only requirement is faith in Jesus. He provide the way and offered the gift of grace and when we respond to that gift is when the law is completely fulfilled in us. We are justified apart from works by faith alone ( Romans 3:28 ).

Faith dwells by the spirit not by the sinful nature. No longer are we subjected to our previous nature, it has been defeated and removed from us ( Romans 6:6-7 ). If we continue to walk the way of spirit there is no condemnation because we are not accused by the law. Our lives are not governed by the standards and dictates of the flesh but now we are controlled by and regenerated by the Holy Spirit. We are fashioned after Jesus in true righteousness and holiness ( Ephesians 4:24 )

So, if I stood before you today and asked you if you were righteous, you would know how to respond. As a born again believer your answer is a resounding yes! Jesus gave you His righteousness in order to fulfill the law that always accused you. Now since you are free from accusation before God, it is my prayer that you find boldness to fellowship with him in an intimate personal way. May you be blessed today by this revelation of grace and may you live your life worthy of your calling. Amen!


Previous: Romans 8:3  Next: Romans 8:5

The Perfect Sin Offering—Romans 8:3

"For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man" (Romans 8:3)

The law could never make us right with God because sin weakened it's power making it incapable of saving us. Our sin nature defeated us from the get go, so we never stood a chance of being able to fulfill the law by doing what it says. The entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit was vulnerable and held in captivity to sin under the control of darkness, we were powerless to help ourselves. In that sense, the law was never able to us to bring us salvation and yet it held the key to breaking the bondage of captivity that we were held in.

However, while we were weak and powerless, God sent Jesus to come in the flesh and utterly destroy the power of darkness. It is important to realize that Jesus came into the world and was just as much human as he was God. He was born under the same captivity that you and I were born into and yet he never sinned. He lived a perfect life and so he was able to fulfill the entire law because sin never defeated him. He came as our representative before God to stand in the gap that sin created. Just as Adam plunged the world into sin, Jesus rescued the world from sin.

Now to do this, Jesus became a sin offering for us. This is amazing, because Jesus is holy, he abhors sin, so this was no small sacrifice becoming the very thing that he hated and despised. But according to the law a sin offering was required. There were instructions for many sacrifices according to the Old Testament law. Leviticus 7:37 records six of them. However, a constant throughout all instructions for these different offerings was that a substitution was made for the individual making the offering. Something was sacrificed and the atonement was imputed to the individual making the sacrifice.

The interesting thing about the guidelines for the sin offering was that it had to made whether or not the sin committed was intentional or unintentional. The party for whom the sacrifice was made would lay their hands upon the offering to symbolically transfer guilt to the animal. Then the blood was sprinkled over everything because the covering of blood brought atonement and the forgiveness of sins. The sin offering was offered over and over because it was only a temporary solution to the problem. Hebrews chapter 10 says, "those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." (Hebrews 10:3-4). So there was a need for the sin offering to be made, but it was apparent that the law was not able to accomplish the reconciliation and removal of guilt, because the sin consciousness was still there afterwards.

Concerning the law and sacrifices, Hebrews say this, "This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings-external regulations applying until the time of the new order" (Hebrews 9:9-10). That is because we were so defeated by sin that the blood covering of animals would never do. So, what it could not do, 'God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering' (Romans 8:3). This is an amazing truth because Hebrews 8 goes on to tell us that Christ did not enter a manmade tabernacle nor did he enter with bulls and goats, but he enter a heavenly tabernacle with his own blood obtaining eternal redemption for us. This blood so pure and so holy, unblemished before God, was able to save completely and cleanse our consciences from any guilt remaining (Hebrews 9:12-14). And so he completely defeated death and overcame sin in one redemptive act.

Because Jesus only died to sin once, sin has been completely taken care of. He condemned it in the flesh when he died upon the cross. He subdued it, he overcame it, he deprived it of all it's power over us. The law was never able to do that for us, but what the law could not do, Christ did!

For those of us who have accepted this payment, We have traded our sin and our sin nature and have been given the righteousness of God. This righteousness fulfills the law which was always God's intent. It wasn't on our own account, but it was a gift. Through Christ we have become the righteousness of God. "For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness]" (2 Corinthians 5:21 AMP).

The blood of Christ was able to cleanse us for all guilt. When we understand this, then we should no longer have a sin consciousness. That sin sensitivity will keep us from enjoying all the benefits of an intimate relationship with the Lord. But if we can overcome this notion of guilt then we will have boldness before the God. Hebrews 10 says, "let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22). Meaning that we should continually be approaching God this way, in boldness. We should have no consciousness of guilt because we are so totally forgiven through Christ. His blood was able to completely wipe away all condemnation that sin held over us.

Today, I am so thankful that Jesus did for us, what the law was incapable of doing. It is my prayer that you start approaching God in full assurance of faith, with boldness before him. Start living like you've been redeemed, fully purchased by precious blood, reveling in grace. God bless you!


Previous: Romans 8:2  Next: Romans 8:4

Living According to the Spirit—Romans 8:2

"because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2)

Did you know that Christ has set you free! This is a hard concept for humans to understand. We look at everything around us and determine our world view based on what we see. Then we read something as wonderful as this passage and can't understand it, because we are so used to thinking with our brain instead of understanding these truths with our spirit. Jesus said, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life" ( John 6:63 ). He had just offended his followers by saying something they could not understand in the physical realm and instead of apologizing to them, he said, 'The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life' The Bible is full of spiritual words, so to understand them we must discern them by the Holy Spirit.

The amazing thing about today's verse is that it explains yesterday's scripture as well. So looking at both passages will help bring understanding to both verses. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death" ( Romans 8:1-2 ). One of the first things Jesus did when he redeemed you was set you free from everything that held you captive. Sin, shame, guilt, rules, regulations, fear, doubt, worthlessness... the list goes on and on. He loved you so much, that he choose to be a sin offering, the very thing he hated and despised, in order to redeem you from the curse of the law. The Law says you will never be good enough. The law says you are unworthy. The law shows you how sinful you are. The law condemns you to death. And the Law could never make you right with God. So, Christ did what the law could not do.

The law prescribed both blessings and curses. Blessings for those who lived by the law and curses for those who disobeyed it ( Deuteronomy 28 ). Through Jesus we have all of the benefits and blessings of fulfilling the Old Testament Law. We were completely powerless to do it on our own so we remained under it's curse. But what could not be done by human effort was done by Jesus. Because of this, when we are born again He gave us a new nature. He also gave us the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us in everything. The law brought condemnation, the law brought a curse. But now we have been freed from this curse in order to live in a new way, by the Holy Spirit.

There is a difference between living according to the Spirit and living under the law subjected to our flesh. Because we live by the Spirit and because we are free from sin and death, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. ( Romans 8:1 ) If we choose to live by our new nature then we will experience this freedom from the old nature in our physical world. The bible teaches that we are free. The Bible teaches that we are forgiven. The Bible teaches that there is no condemnation towards us by God. But if we look at the world around us to understand this, then we will fail. Because these words are Spiritual words. We have to live according to our new nature, by the Spirit otherwise we are subjecting ourselves back under the law which we've been freed from. The trick in life is not to live governed by the law which brings condemnation, but to live by the Spirit which brings life!

Today, I am so blessed to be able to write and explain such wonderful truths. I rejoice is seeing people free. May God bless you abundantly according to his riches and impart understanding to you so that you will see this freedom in everything you are. Amen!


Previous: Romans 8:1  Next: Romans 8:3

No Condemnation in Christ Jesus—Romans 8:1

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1)

Guilt, shame and remorse are debilitating. These like a cancer will keep you motionless, defeated and unworthy of your calling. If you are unable to move pass what you have done in life, you will never fully grasp God's grace and loving kindness towards you. God loves you, He sent Jesus to die for you and He has completely forgiven you. So any condemning feelings you have toward yourself are not from God. His desire for you is that you free and moving forward in life fulfilling His destiny for you. Not only so, but He wants you to experience this freedom daily, fully and completely. That is why the Apostle Paul penned these words... "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" ( Romans 8:1 ).

What a glorious verse! Paul has just unequivocally given us the answer posed in Romans 7... Who will rescue us from the left over effects of the sin nature that trips us up in life? Praise be to God, it happens by Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we live according to the Spirit of God, he gives us the power to escape all the condemnation and guilt that life throws our way. Because of Jesus, there is no condemnation unless we void this amazing gift by condemning ourselves. Understanding this grace is the key to living free, pursuing the life that the Lord has set you apart for.

This is one of the incredible foundations of Christianity. We are freed from the effects of guilt and shame because of the blood of Jesus, but sadly many do not know this wonderful truth. God does not, nor will not condemn us. We will never face judgment or punishment for our sins because Jesus has paid for each and every one of them upon the cross. God placed all judgment and all sin upon his Son once for all in order that we would never have to bear it. By faith in his blood, we are completely forgiven. He has reconciled us to God the father and brought us incredible peace in the process. We, as believers should experience this right here and right now and not let guilt or unworthiness hinder us. ( John 3:16-18, Romans 5:1, II Corinthians 5:21, Colossians 2:13-15, Hebrews 10:12, Hebrews 10:18, Hebrews 10:22, I John 2:2, I John 3:5, I John 3:16, I John 3:19-20 )

God provided everything with your redemption to enable you to live a life worthy of your calling. He wants you to live a victorious life by the Spirit of God. You are worthy on the basis of the value that Jesus assigns you. He died for you to bring you into fellowship with the Father, who are we to disagree with such a wonderful gift. Today, it is my prayer that you will drop whatever burdens you are carrying at the feet of Jesus. He has already bore them so you should not have to. May you understand this incredible grace to which you were called, sanctified and set apart. Amen!


Previous: Romans 7:24-25  Next: Romans 8:2

Escaping the Desires of the Flesh—Romans 7:24-25

"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin" (Romans 7:24-25)

Realizing what you have in Christ puts you much closer to victory. Unless you know who you are and what has been provided for you, you will never experience the freedom that the Bible teaches. Paul is going over in detail this freedom so that we will understand how we have been freed and how to live out of that freedom instead of living out of bondage. Paul gives us the means whereby we experience this freedom... it is through Christ.

Notice that Paul is talking about his flesh when he says that nothing good lives in him. He was recognizing that nothing within his flesh could save him. It was utterly wretched and pitiful. He knew that living in the flesh made him a slave to what he had previously been freed from, the sin nature. He is stressing that this is no way to live. If we live according to it then we are allowing the lingering effects of the old nature influences us. An unrenewed mind will allow the sin nature to operate in our lives. Our thoughts, attitudes and emotions still pose problems, so how do we overcome the flesh?

"Thanks be to God..." God has provisioned a way for us to be free and to live free. It is through Jesus Christ, he is the only way to be free. Once we have accepted his payment for our sin and believed in him by faith then we are free in every sense of the word. After that, the key to living free is by walking in the spirit, when we do this we will escape the effects and left over desires of our previous nature. The battle takes place in our mind, but we can weaken the flesh by renewing our mind to the Word of God and living by the Spirit. The Amplified Bible puts it this way, "...with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin" ( Romans 7:25 Amp ). So by renewing our minds we are cutting off the desires and dictates of the flesh... this is the key to living a victorious Christian life and escaping the flesh. Join us as we embark on an adventure in how to live by the Spirit of God.


Previous: Romans 7:21-23  Next: Romans 8:1

Original article published November 17, 2009.

The Leftover Effects of the Sin Nature—Romans 7:21-23

"So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members" (Romans 7:21-23)

Can you relate to what Paul is saying? Do you find yourself struggling between the old and the new? Do you desire to live a holy life only to fail and succumb to the mandates of the world around you? Paul lived the victorious life that you and I desire, because he knew the key to that life, the key is found in the Word, Paul is setting the stage for hope in today's passage of scripture.

In the last two chapters of Romans, Paul has masterfully written that we were freed from the sin nature when we accepted Christ Jesus as our savior. When we were born again we received a new spirit and now we belong to another. Because of this, we have no obligation to that old nature, instead we are free to live according to our new nature and to live free before God.

However, Paul starts summarizing at the end of Romans 7, pointing out the struggle that still exists between the old and the new. At first glance this dichotomy doesn't make sense, we are freed from the old nature but it is apparent that it still has effect upon us. How can this be? Paul explains that it is the body of sin left over from the old nature that has died that still wages war against us. He says in today's passage that this battlefield is ever present in our being. We want to do what is right and good, but evil is present and we are subjected to it's insistent demands. Our new nature delights in the Lord, but the left over residue of the old nature makes us sensitive to the appetites and wills of the flesh. This fight goes on and on unless we do something about it.

Paul is stressing the important of living by the spirit as opposed to living by the desire of the flesh. When we live out of our flesh, we are living contrary to our nature and the battle is severe. He adds further clarity to this in Galatians 5, "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." ( Galatians 5:16-17 ). Paul is giving us the answer to the question? The question is, how do we escape the leftover effects of our previous nature? The answer is to live by the spirit of God. When we do this, the demand of the old nature will have no effect upon us. We will see them pass away in the same manner as the sin nature.

So how do we live by the Spirit in order to live contrary to the flesh? This is the million dollar question, but Paul is merely setting the stage in order to answer this question once for all. He will spend the entire chapter of Romans 8 talking about how to live by the Spirit. We have been given everything necessary to live a victorious Christian life by Jesus. And when we renew our mind through the Word we will understand how to live. Today my prayer is that you will join me on this journey of faith!


Previous: Romans 7:18-20  Next: Romans 7:24-25

Original article published November 15, 2009.

Living in Victory Over the Flesh—Romans 7:18-20

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it" (Romans 7:18-20)

What Paul is describing here is the difference between living in the flesh as oppose to living by the Spirit of God. Paul is warning against trying to live a good holy life on our own accord. When we do this, we are setting ourselves up for failure because the same principal of the previous sin nature and condemnation of the law applies. We give that which we are dead to control over our lives because we are not living out of faith but out of works.

Just as it is futile to try to work your way into heaven, it is futile to work your way through the Christian life. When Paul said that nothing good lives within him, he was referring to the fact that without Christ and apart from his born again spirit there was nothing of good in him. When we operate apart from Christ and apart from our born again spirit then we will experience the dichotomy that Paul is describing in this passage. The innate desire to do what is right is in us, but the ability to carry it out is not. The Amplified Bible puts it this way, "I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out." ( Romans 7:18 Amp )

Does this mean that the Apostle Paul continually struggled with sin? Does this mean that we are bound to continue to struggle with it as well? No, absolutely not! Paul is using this illustration to contrast the different between faith and works, between living in out of the flesh verses living out of the Spirit of God. I believe the Apostle Paul understood this and lived a victorious Christian life. Christ lived through him in every way imaginable that is why he said in Philippians, "For me to live is Christ..." ( Philippians 1:21 ). Paul did not struggle with sin because Paul lived by the Spirit of God. Again, Paul is using this to illustrate what life is like when we live by our own means. We will struggle constantly. We will desire to do what is right but will not be able to do it. Paul is setting the stage for chapter 8 by showing us how futile it is to live a life of works. When we do, we will fail.

Understanding this is huge! This is the difference between living a victorious Christian live and living a life of failure and disappointment. Today, I pray that in the same way you accepted Christ, by faith, you will continue to walk in him. I pray that you remove any efforts or works to please him and find out what pleases him by fellowshipping with him! In this, you will find freedom and experience victory!


Previous: Romans 7:15-17  Next: Romans 7:21-23

Original article published November 14, 2009.

Who Controls You?—Romans 7:15-17

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me" (Romans 7:15-17)

For most people this is a confusing passage of scripture, after all Paul sounds a little bit confused. At first glance it sounds as if the apostle Paul was struggling with sin. It sounds as if he is going back and forth trying to live holy and succumbing to the flesh. A lot of times we read this and conclude that if the Apostle Paul struggled daily with sin, then we are bound to struggle also ? Is this a fair assessment or was Paul really saying something entirely different?

If you remember back to Romans chapter 6, Paul made it very clear that our old self, or our sin nature was crucified with Christ upon the cross. "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin" ( Romans 6:6-7 ). Paul made it very clear that this was a one time event, dying to self is not something that we need to continue to do. When we are born again, we have died to the old nature. He spends the entire chapter talking about how we are freed of the sin nature so that we may live a new life in Christ. Even chapter 7 starts off using an illustration from marriage so that we will understand that we cannot have two nature, since we have died to the first, we are free to be joined to another.

It is important to understand, that we are freed from the old nature once for all. So, it doesn't make much sense to look at today's passage of scripture in light of the being bound to the old nature. Now evidence of the previous sin nature is still in operation in our lives when we are controlled by our fleshly desires. This nature will still try to influence and deceive us into believing it still has control over us. But this is just an illusion because Paul clearly teaches in Romans that we are freed from the sin nature in order to live according to the Spirit. When we are living by the spirit, then the previous sin nature has no influence on our being because we are not control by the dictates of the flesh.

So in light of this, what Paul is really saying in this passage, is that if we live out of the flesh or our desires and selfishness then the influence of the old nature is right there condemning us. Paul is saying that the sin principal will take over and rule even though we are completely free from it. Paul is using this as a contrast between living in the flesh as oppose to living by the Spirit. He is saying that when we try to live by the flesh then we are set up to fail. We will struggle with sin and be defeated by it even thought Jesus meant us to be completely free of it.

Many people use this passage of scripture to teach that we need to continually die to self in order to live a holy life. That is the opposite of what Paul is saying. Paul is saying that we need to live by the spirit and we will not struggle with sin. He is using this illustration to prove that without God it is impossible to live that way. However, in the next chapter he will teach in detail how to live in by the Spirit of God and how that manifests the holiness and righteousness that we currently possess in our born again spirits into the natural realm. "Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" ( Romans 8:12-14 ). When we try to do it on our own, we fail. However when we do it through Jesus we succeed. Today, may you understand that you are free through the blood of Jesus. May you stop struggling with sin and start living by the Spirit of God, through whom you have access to unlimited grace, peace and love.


Previous: Romans 7:14  Next: Romans 7:18-20

Original article published November 12, 2009.

Juli Camarin

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