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The Holy Spirit – Life Giver

The Holy Spirit – Life Giver

In my last post, I talked about what it takes to please God. That should be our number one desire.

We saw from Paul’s writings in Romans, that the flesh can never please God. The apostle continues with this thought. However, even though I normally use the NIV, for this verse I believe that the NKJV is the more accurate translation.

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Romans 8:9, NKJV

This verse simply states that everyone can access the Spirit of Christ if they’re saved. It’s not a special level of achievement only attained by a few highly spiritual people..

If you are His, then you have the Spirit of Christ.

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Romans 8:10

Here’s a statement of fact. There are two results of having the Spirit of Christ within you. The first is that if Christ is in you, then your body is dead through sin. Secondly, if Christ is in you, then your spirit is alive through righteousness.

What does Paul mean by saying that your spirit is alive? Furthermore, what does it mean to be spiritually dead? This is a concept that many people have no understanding of.

Remember back to the Garden of Eden. When God created Adam, He said that if you eat of this tree, you will surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17) Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, yet their bodies didn’t stop working at that point.

That’s because in God’s terminology, death is the loss of fellowship with Him. Because of sin, communication ceases between Adam and the Lord. Humanity lost the relationship that they were created for.

The fact is, I’m going to live eternally somewhere, so death doesn’t mean my body stops working. A good picture of this truth is found in the parable of the Prodigal Son.

The younger of two sons took his inheritance and left home. Father and son were no longer able to have fellowship. When the son came to his senses, he returned home. Look at the response of the father.

But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Luke 15:32

His return was a change from death to life. That’s the same with us when we’re saved.

Your flesh cannot fellowship with God. Your spirit, because you’re now in Christ, can live in relationship with God.

Even though your spirit existed before salvation, it couldn’t commune with God. That’s why believers now need to learn to communicate with God.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Romans 8:11

Every Christian has the Spirit of Christ living in them. Because of that fact, communication and fellowship with God is now possible. This means that the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead in you, and He will give life to your body that submits to death.

What did the Spirit do for Christ? He awakened Christ from the dead. What does He do for us? He will give life to our dying flesh.

That’s the bottom line. It’s the Spirit that works on our flesh, not the mind.

Question: Why is it better to rely on the Holy Spirit rather than will-power?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Spiritual Death

Spiritual Death

We’re continuing our walk through the book of Romans. We left off talking about how the law puts a spotlight on sin. Here’s the verse we were looking at.

Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

Romans 7:13

In my last post, I said that when death came to Adam and Eve, it caused them to lose their relationship with God. I want to talk about that in a little more detail.

Remember, Adam was perfect before he fell into sin. That means that he functioned perfectly according to God’s plan for him. What does that mean?

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

John 4:24

This is something that Jesus said to the woman He met with at a well. A question we don’t usually ask is; did Adam worship God perfectly? I believe that he did. Adam and Eve worshiped God in spirit and in truth before they lost their perfect state.

If they worshiped with the spirit, that means that they didn’t have to use physical words. They talked and communed with God on His level. That’s what God created them for.

Does Scripture bear this out? I believe that it does. Look at what happened immediately after they sinned.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Genesis 3:8-10

This is the very first time a sound is ever mentioned in the Bible. This is the first time they hear God with their physical ears. That’s why they were so afraid.

Now sin had a spotlight, and serving God was by rules and the law. Right and wrong was now the rule of righteousness. In that sense they died – they lost their spiritual relationship with God.

This is the relationship that’s restored in Christ.

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Romans 8:10

That’s the life we received in Christ. He renewed our relationship with God in the spirit. That brings us back to where we left off in Romans, chapter 7.

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

Romans 7:14

Paul is now explaining to us a new concept. He’s telling us that the law exists spiritually. We have to realize that there’s a spiritual law.

Yes, Adam served God in the spirit. But spiritual laws work differently than physical laws.

Paul wants to make it clear that even though there’s a spiritual law, he’s talking about the carnal, fleshly law. It’s because of this law that we’re sold into slavery to sin.

Wait a minute! What about Christians? In my next post we’ll see how this principle plays out in the lives of believers. It’s an important concept for us to understand.

Question: How do you cultivate your spiritual relationship with God?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2021 in Legalism, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel, Worship

 

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How the Law Brings Death

How the Law Brings Death

We’re continuing our walk through the book of Romans. We’ve seen Paul’s example of a marriage to show us how Christ set us free from the law, sin, and death. Now the apostle wants to show us how to apply these principles.

What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”

Romans 7:7

After all this, Paul comes up with another question. It seems like the law was a big problem. But is the law sin? No way!!!

Scripture says that I only have knowledge of sin through the law. It literally says that I never knew by experience what coveting was, except that the law said, “Don’t covet.”

This is an important point. Look at what happened back in the Garden of Eden.

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Genesis 2:16-17

Notice that by eating the tree, Adam and Eve would only be given the knowledge of good and evil. They wouldn’t have the experience.

What did the devil say?

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:5

That’s what eating the fruit of this the tree did. By giving us the knowledge of good and evil, it put the desire in us to want rules over relationship.

Before then, Adam and Eve didn’t know what good and evil was. All they knew was that God had said, “Don’t eat this.”

But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead.

Romans 7:8

Sin sees the law as a starting point. Beginning with the law, sin fully works all kinds of longing for what I shouldn’t have. That’s why sin without law is dead.

That’s a spiritual principle that overlaps in other areas. For instance, faith without works is dead. The body without the spirit is dead. That’s why Scripture says that the power of sin is the law.

Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.

Romans 7:9

This is a really good description of what happened in the garden. Adam and Eve were alive, both physically and spiritually. Then came the knowledge of good and evil. Along with that, sin came to life and they died.

Now they had to live by knowing good and evil. That means that they had to establish rules – the law.

I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

Romans 7:10

It turns out the commandments that I think are pointing to life actually are leading me to death. That’s why we need to go from a life of rules to a walk in the spirit. In my next post, I’ll share my personal confrontation with this truth.

Question: How has trying to follow the law impacted your life?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk

 

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