Sermon for May 9, 2021

A Life of Peace or A Life Killing?

Romans 8:1-8

A CARNAL Mind leads to CARNAGE!  A CHRISTLIKE mind leads to LIFE!

Romans 8:1–8 (NLT): 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. 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.

5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

We read these verses, and, on the surface, they seem straight forward and simple.  That is true, but let’s go under the surface.  This is how life is to be lived out as a Christ follower.  This is direction how to live if we put our faith in Jesus.  There is the spirit within you.  We call that a soul.  But then we read about his Spirit.  We see this special Spirit because of the capital “S”.

πνεῦμα- Pi-Nu-Epsilon-Upsilon-Mu-Alpha…pneuma.  Every occurrence in these verses, the Greek word used is pneuma.  Sometimes it is lowercase, sometimes it is uppercase.  We, therefore, must know this information.  Why?  Because if we think that “S”pirit as being the “Holy Spirit”, the person of influence changes.  What I mean is God is doing the work through you, you are the middleman or woman.  However, this in NOT what Romans 8 is saying!  If this were the case the Greek would use Άγιο Πνεύμα! (Agio Pneuma) This is the proper title of God as the Holy Spirit…capital Alpha and capital Pi!  So, the spirit/Spirit must mean something else.

In this case, spirit/Spirit means an ATTITUDES or DESIRES or CHARACTER.

Is your ATTITUDE, your DESIRE, your CHARACTER strive to LIVE in peace? OR is your ATTITUDE, DESIRE, or CHARACTER tear people down, killing them with your words, your actions, or other forms of abuse?  This is what ROMANS 8:1-8 is talking about!  In fact, Paul had to remind the church in Ephesus…

Ephesians 4:17–24 (NLT): 17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

See, again, the ACTIONS and BEHAVIORS are YOURS!  The question is what (or who) influences them?  Is CARNAGE the result of your actions or is it PEACE?  WHAT SORT OF LIFE ARE YOU LIVING RIGHT NOW?  CARNAGE? OR PEACE?  WHAT SPIRIT (ATTITUDE, DESIRE, CHARACTER) CONTROLS YOUR LIFE?

  • Are you harboring unforgiveness?
  • Do you always either lead of follow the “angry mob”?  (Judas did that as well of some others, they nailed Jesus to a tree for it)
  • Do you always find problems and issues with everything with someone or something?
  • Do you plot, slander, or attack someone to get what “you” want?

If you answer yes to any of these, YOU DO NOT KNOW JESUS!  You promote the wrong spirit!

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