A New Way To Live

Born a sinnerThe Bible also talks about a problem that all human beings have – namely the sin nature. This condition has been true ever since the fall, when Adam and Eve sinned. When they fell — they acquired the sin nature — and they passed it on to all their descendants. David acknowledged this in Psalm 51:5. He said.

“For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.”

Imagine that! At the moment of conception, he was a sinner – which means he immediately had a sin nature. That’s not only true of David, but it’s true of all human beings. As a result, in Romans 3:23 Paul said,

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”

God’s glorious standard is perfection, and nobody is perfect. Consequently, everyone is under God’s condemnation. That’s because God cannot accept imperfection. Instead He demands compensating payment for it. That’s because God is perfect, and His system of justice is perfect. His scales of justice have to be in

Now, man is not simply influenced by his sin nature – he is OVERPOWERED by his sin nature. This is a condition from which he cannot escape. That’s very important to understand. Sin is ever present. It becomes a defiling disease which corrupts and degrades each individual. Sin is grievous, because it steals peace and joy from the heart – and puts trouble and pain in their place.

BUT – even worse than that — sin produces a curse on the sinner’s soul. Hebrews 10:26-27 paints a terrifying picture of what awaits sinners.

“Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth (gospel), there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.”

In Mark 16:16 Jesus said,

“Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.”

So, the conclusion is unregenerate sinners have no future — except eternal damnation in hell. Hell is often called the second death in a place called the lake of fire. I know this is harsh, but this is what God says is the fate of unrepentant sinners. I think He is being graphic, because He wants everyone to understand and repent.

OK, that’s the bad news. However, there is some good news. Paul wrote about it in Romans 8:1-4. Let’s look at what he said.
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins (sin’s control is condemnation).
4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

Prior to these verses Paul talked about his problem with sin in Romans 7:15-25. He said,

15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.
17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.
22 I love God’s law with all my heart.
23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. (Paul is talking about the influence of his sin nature)
24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin (sin nature) and death.
25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

Paul knew that he would continue sinning – EVEN AFTER HE WAS SAVED. He still had a sin nature, which he couldn’t get away from. That’s what he meant when he said he was a slave to sin. Just like slaves couldn’t get away from their masters – Paul couldn’t get away from his sin nature.

In verse 24 we see how upset he was. He said, “Oh, what a miserable person I am!” But then in verse 25 he exalted when he realized the answer to his dilemma. He said, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Paul realized that even though he was going to continue sinning, he was not going to hell. He was not condemned.

So, what does this mean for Christians? Well, Christians ARE FORGIVEN for their sins. There is nothing left FOR God to judge. THAT’S GOOD NEWS!

In Romans 8:1-4 we see that Christians have the power of the Holy Spirit, and they are forever released from the power of sin — which is condemnation. Christians are completely exonerated from the penalty of their sins, because Jesus paid their penalties. BOTTOM LINE – CHRISTIANS WILL NEVER GO TO HELL.

This opens the door for a new way to live. Christians have some tools to fight sin in their lives. Whenever the temptation to sin shows up, they can say “no” to the suggestion to sin and then ask the Holy Spirit for power to make that “no” stick. That’s it! The Holy Spirit will respond.

Well, you might say that sounds like a mind game. But it’s not. It’s very real and practical.

It simply requires believing that it’s true and will work. Doing that requires faith. Remember faith is BELIEVING what God says is true and ACTING on it.

See you next time …

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