The Key to Living in Victory - Part 2

After we have recognized what Paul wrote about in Romans 7 - that we are wretched and incapable of living holy lives in our own power - we are ready to find the key to living a victorious Christian life.

Paul continues in Romans 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. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 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, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1-4

This is one of my favorite Scriptures, because it gives incredible insight on how to live a victorious Christian life! Take this in and let the apostle Paul be your mentor, and learn what he learned about being a Christ-follower.

First, he talks about 3 laws. One is "the law" which is the commandments of the Old Testament - God's guidelines for living a holy life. The next law is the "law of sin and death"- this is what he was talking about in Romans 7. We have this thing called the "sin nature" or the "flesh" that is part of us, and still a part of us after the New Birth. We are wretched and incapable of following God's "the law", e.g., we keep sinning even though we don't want to and know it is not God's best for us.

But here Paul introduces another law - the "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus", which he further describes as walking "according to the Spirit". When we received Christ and His gift of salvation from sin, we also received the "Helper", the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Not for the first time we have a choice, and the power to act on that choice, by learning to listen to and obey the Holy Spirit instead of our sin nature.

Think of it like are mostly likely sitting down right now. It is the law of gravity that is causing you not to float away like you are in space. The earth's gravity is the law that is keeping you in place. But there is another law...the law of lift. With a little energy focused the right direction, you can overcome the law of gravity with the law of lift. You do this hundreds of times a day...when you use your legs to stand up, when you pick up an object, when you throw a ball.

One of my favorite birds is the bald eagle. Eagles are real experts on the law of lift!

Just as the law of lift overcomes the law of gravity, so the law of the Spirit overcomes the law of sin!

I have a newborn baby. He is still learning the law of lift. His neck muscles are getting stronger each day, and he is starting to lift his head up to look around. When we first receive Christ, we are like a newborn baby, and we are just learning the law of the Spirit. When we really learn it, we will be exercising it like an eagle - soaring to new heights!

Paul continues to describe the law of the Spirit...

"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."

The battleground is our mind. There is the flesh - the sin nature - which tempts us to do the wrong thing, and the voice of the Holy Spirit leading us to do the right thing. If we choose to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit, and set our mind and our will to "live according to the Spirit", then He will also give us the POWER to do it. That is why Jesus called the Holy Spirit our "Helper".

Paul talks about this again in Galatians 5 when he is instructing the Christ-followers there how to "not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." He says in verse 16, "Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh."

Learning to walk in the Spirit is a journey. Over the coming months, I will continue to share what I have learned on my journey, both from the Bible and from putting it into practice. Please join in the journey and share your experiences as well. Let's walk this journey together!