Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:5-6 NKJV
We serve an awesome God. He is full of patience and comforts us along this journey that we walk with Him. We are called to walk in unity. As we grow in the character and nature of who Jesus is this will be a natural manifestation of our growth in Christ. We will view our fellow brothers and sisters as the Lord sees them. We will see those who are lost as the Lord sees them. The key to all things is growing in the character and nature of Christ. This happens as we daily abide in the Lord and spend time in prayer and the study of God’s word each day. We will simply find ourselves becoming more and more like Christ each day.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2 NIV
Through Jesus Christ we have been set free from the demands of the law. The law reveals the righteousness of God and reveals man’s need of a savior. Jesus said that He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Through faith in Christ we have received the Holy Spirit and the righteousness of Christ has been applied to our lives.
Condemnation only stands for those who have rejected Jesus Christ. The only answer we have for sin is the precious blood of Jesus. So to reject Jesus Christ is to reject the precious gift of salvation. If someone rejects salvation the only option they are left with is condemnation. This is why anyone who is in Christ is saved and anyone who rejects Jesus Christ is condemned.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Salvation is a result of declaring with one’s mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in one’s heart. Salvation is a gift from God and is to be received. It is not based upon works and it is not earned. But works are a result of true faith in Jesus Christ. Because if we have come to truly place our faith and trust in Jesus the Holy Spirit has come to live within us. It is the Holy Spirit who transforms us from the inside out.
As the Holy Spirit continually transforms our lives it impacts the way we live our lives. We begin to see the world around us as God sees it and we see the brokenness of humanity. We are surrounded daily by those who are broken and lost and as we have opportunity we must be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Through faith in Christ we are justified before God. Our sin debt was paid by Jesus as the cross and He took our sin upon Himself. The wrath and punishment that we deserved was poured out upon Jesus. Today we are free because what Christ has done at Calvary.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:8 NIV
We are told time and time again in God’s word to love one another. Jesus exemplified this in the way He lived His life and the way He laid down His life for us. He didn’t have to go to the cross, but He chose to because of His love for us. We are created in His image and the offer of salvation goes out to all people. Those who receive what Jesus has done and placed their faith and trust in Him will spend all eternity in God’s kingdom.
The apostle Paul had to defend the gospel throughout his ministry. Many tried to distort the grace of God; either treating it as a license to sin or falsely teaching that the gentiles had to keep the law. The grace of God does not divorce us from walking in obedience to the Lord. For before we come to Christ we are slaves of this world and the desires of the sinful nature. But when we come to Christ we have been bought at a precious price and become slaves of the Lord and His righteousness. Our lives no longer belong to us. They belong to the Lord.
In loving others we fulfill the law. When you examine the law it is God’s righteous standard and it is impossible for anyone except Jesus to keep the whole law. But through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to walk in love. For when we come to Christ it is the Holy Spirit who comes to live in our hearts and transforms us from the inside out. May everything we do on this earth be done in God’s love and done to glorify His name. For we are called to love God with our whole heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Salvation is a free gift from God. It is not earned but simply received. It is received by placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and living for the Lord each day. Placing our faith in Jesus is more than just simply believing in Jesus. To place our faith in Jesus means that our life is built upon Jesus, we have turned from our sins and turned fully to the Lord.
The only result of living in sin is destruction and death. Sin is deceptive and it would seem when we are living in sin and pursuing the desires of our sinful nature that we are truly living in freedom. But we are simply bound by sin and we are enslaved to the devil. But when our hearts are given to Christ we are set free from the bondage of sin and are no longer enslaved to the devil and this world. Each day as we abide in the Lord He leads and guides us one step at a time. It is the Holy Spirit who transforms us from the inside out. As we study God’s word each day our minds are renewed and as our minds are renewed our lives are transformed.
4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
The scriptures were written long ago by those inspired by the Holy Spirit. All that we have in the bible today is the inspired word of God. Transformation takes place in our lives as we study the scriptures and meditate upon the scriptures. We are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Some will claim that the bible is outdated or simply a book filled with fairy tales. But it isn’t until we come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ that we come to understand the power of God’s word. The more we study God’s word the more we are encouraged. This journey can be very difficult sometimes and it is easy to become discouraged. But when our lives are spent daily in the study of God’s word our hearts and minds will be fixed upon Jesus Christ.
Understanding God’s word comes as we fellowship with the Holy Spirit. As we seek the Lord in prayer and draw near it is the Holy Spirit who opens our hearts and minds to understand the word of God. It doesn’t require a bible degree to understand the word of God. It simply requires a heart that is hungry to know the heart of God.
12 And again, Isaiah says:
“There shall be a root of Jesse;
And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:12-13
It is in the Lord that we hope. Jesus is our hope. He has come and fulfilled the Father’s plan and purpose. It is through His death and resurrection that He has proved that He is indeed the Son of God. All who place their hope and trust in Jesus Christ will be set free from the curse of sin and death. All who trust in Jesus will spend all eternity in God’s kingdom.
No matter what we are facing on this earth we know that our hope is in Jesus. He is fulfilling His plans and purposes in our lives on a daily basis by His power and His grace. He has simply called us to abide in Him each and every day. He has called us to fix our eyes upon Him.
As we draw near to the Lord each day His leading and His guidance become crystal clear. We come to know and discern His voice and His leading. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that all things are accomplished. It is not through our own strength or our own power. May we surrender our hearts daily unto Him and keep our eyes and heart focused on the one where our hope is found.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
God works all things together for our good. But the key to this verse is that it is for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. We must walk in deep intimacy with Christ in a close personal relationship. As we follow the Lord we will face many challenges on a daily basis. But through everything we face the Lord will work all things together for our good. We have nothing to fear or worry about. But we simply need to trust the Lord each day and seek Him in all things.
2 Do not conform 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
We are called to not conform to the pattern of this world. The world we live in is build upon the lies and deceptions of Satan. The culture we live in today becomes more anti-God by the moment. The spirit of the anti-Christ is continually working in the hearts and minds of people, hardening their hearts to the Lord and preparing them for the judgement and wrath of Almighty God.
But we who are in Christ are not called to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Our minds are renewed by the word of God. As we spend time in God’s word each day reading and meditating upon His word, our lives are transformed by the power and might of the Holy Spirit.
As our minds are transformed we will be able to test and approve what God’s will is. As we abide in the Lord we come to know Him in a more intimate way. We come to understand His heart and His plans and purposes. The more we draw near the more we come to know Him. But besides prayer, the word of God is the most powerful weapon we have on the earth today for advancing God’s kingdom. When God’s word is preached without compromise under the anointing of the Holy Spirit it has the ability to change and transform the hearts and lives of people.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. The apostle Paul as he writes these words truly communicates that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Many today have a false perception of the love of God because for most of their lives they have been hurt by people they thought were suppose to love and support them.
Many believe that God’s love is based upon our performance or our behavior. But God’s love is eternal and unconditional. He desires to lavish His love upon us and when we rightly understand God’s love we will grow in intimacy with Jesus. The reason many struggle in their relationship with God is because they have a wrong understanding of God’s love.
Some because of legalism believe that God’s love has to be earned and that somehow God’s love changes based upon our obedience. But if God’s love changed based upon our behavior it wouldn’t be love. If our love was based upon our behavior then we would constantly live in fear of God believing that somehow He would take His love from us.
But the truth is that He has chosen to love us. He understands our every weakness and He still chooses to love us. He loves us because He is love. Love is His very nature and when we have a right understanding of His love we will draw near daily, growing in His love.
As we grow in His love, we are filled with His love. As we are filled with His love we will naturally desire to lavish His love upon others. The world is filled with broken and lost people and the Lord is simply looking for those who will be vessels of His love. The only way to be filled with His love is to draw near to Him and spend time alone with Him in His presence. Day by day we are transformed into His nature and character by the power of the Holy Spirit.