October 20, 2010 § 6 Comments
Apostle Paul had a dilemma that I had experienced for a long time:
“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another powerwithin me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.” (Romans 7:21-23)
Christ died for two things in our life. For the Consequences of our sin and the Power of sin. I put it this way: if you are a Shopaholic (Come down ladies, shopping is not a sin. Addicted to shopping is), the consequences will be your credit card debts. But the Power of sin is your urges to shop. I am talking about the second one here. The power that makes you want to touch the wet painted wall when there is a sign saying: “Don’t touch”
Even though Paul realized that Christ had redeemed him, he was still enslaved by “The power of sin.” By the end of Romans 7 he screamed out of frustration: “Oh what a miserable person I am! who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death.” — That’s exactly how I felt before this revelation: STUCK.
Romans 8 – Life in the Spirit
I never really passed romans 7. I understand what it means to be forgiven, but I never truly understand what it means to live in true freedom from the power of sin. But one graceful day, God revealed Romans 8 to me. Even though I have read it before, I never really got the “EUREKA” for it (you know that feeling).
Notice that Romans 5-8 were not written for Unbelievers but for Believers (Read it carefully, it’s life after Christ). Romans 8 is the answer to Paul’s struggles in the chapters before:
“And because you belong to him (Christ), the power of the life-giving Spirit (Christ) has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 8:2)
This statement blew my mind away. Let me paraphrase: If you belong to Christ = you are free from the power of sin.
“Wait God, you’re telling me that the key to my freedom from the power of sin is in my status? You’re saying that the key to be free is realizing that I’ve been set free? That sounds too simple God. And If I’m already free like you said, then how come in reality I still lose to the power of sin?”
Let me tell you a story to help you understand how “knowing that we’re free is the key to our freedom”:
Indonesia was conquered for 350 years. After a series of struggles for independence, on August 17, 1945 Indonesia declared their independence. Indonesia is made up of many islands separated by a couple of oceans. Due to its geographical form, the news of the independence was slow to spread. The conquerors did not want to give back control, so they isolated the remote areas from any means of communication. The people in those areas were still oppressed even though in nature they were already free (Any Indonesian was automatically free, once the declaration of independence was read). Until one day some people tried to tap in to the underground radio station. They were surprised to hear the news that they were already free from the oppression. Once they learned about their freedom, they gathered strength and fought for control.
EUREKA! We are already free from the power of sin. The reason why we are still control by the power of sin is because we do not understand that we’re already free. The enemy tries to isolate our life from hearing the declaration of independence – which is Christ. He still wants to oppress us, and we’ve played along.
Don’t get fooled when the enemy tells you that you need to fight the temptation and stay holy for God. It does not work this way. Remember what Paul said: the more you try to do what is right, inevitably you will do what is wrong. This is our sinful nature. The only answer to this is to yield to Christ’s life inside of you. Declared your independence from sin by surrendering to His life inside of you.
Next time you get tempted, admit your disability to God and acknowledge that you have been set free from the power of sin through His life inside of you. Understand your status in Him and come to your brothers & sisters in Christ for prayer and encouragement.
Read my other post about grace: CLICK HERE