Power Within- Romans 8
When I am going through hard times I find myself reminiscing, especially back on conversations I have had with my nan because she was such an encouraging person. This week I was looking through some old papers and I found this one! It is a hand written sermon that my nan wrote back in the 60’s talking about life in the spirit. Which was very fitting for what we are going to talk about today.
Often after Easter there are so many things we can talk about but one I think we need to look at is the power that raised Christ from the dead. I often struggle to remember that the very same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me. What a grace and yet what responsibility! But when life is tough and I am going through a hard time it is hard to remember that the power that raised Christ From the dead lives in me, because I feel pretty weak
But if I were to guess, I would say that you know what I am talking about, maybe I am preaching to the choir, anyone else find it hard to remember that the power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you? Think about the hardest situation you ever faced, was it easy then?
Well I am thankful for God’s word because it helps set the record straight
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 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. 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. 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. 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. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
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. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
This power is transformational power, the power that brought creation into being, the power that took Jesus who was beaten beyond recognition and placed in a sealed tomb and raised him from the dead. From this power comes healing, comes new life, come strength, come hope and courage to face each day.
It is this power that helps us lay down our sins and take up right living, it is what helps us to die with Christ and start living for him, there is no better life then living for Him. To know His power, to experience his grace and his love and his care for his children.
In the sermon my nan wrote back in the 60’s she reminds us that the power is like dynamite, it is explosive, it is impactful. And to look at it as anything less would limit it’s power after all this power was there as Christ took on the sin of the world on the cross, it was there to comfort the mourners, it was there to roll away the stone, it was there to raise Christ and it was there when the resurrected Jesus showed forgiveness to those who had denied him and ran from him when he needed them most.
We often try to run from God, don’t worry if you do you fit right in with the rest of the saints look at jonah, moses and all the rest of the crew.
We try to make it on our own just to find out that we will never be a peace until our hearts return to the one who created them. Abba Father, we are his Children and we are called to live not in sin but in the spirit.
You may be thinking yeah that's okay to say, but Life is often hard and our nature is to dwell, worry, fear, and often become caught in the difficulties of live, I feel we have all been there and many of us are there today. We allow our troubles to define us and define our lives, and we often cannot see past what we are facing in a moment.
When life feels like it down right stinks we must remember that at some point the sun has to shine. We must remember that perspective is absolutely necessary, and we must remember that greater is He that is in us. When faced with life’s hardships scripture has some advise to offer us who have decided to follow Jesus.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Sometimes these words hurt when we are hurting because how can we rejoice in suffering and yet Paul writes here that through suffering it is the power of the Holy Spirit within us that will fill our hearts and help us endure
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
It is in our weakness that we find strength because in knowing what many of you have been through and the faith you have today encourages me and tells me that Paul was right … in the moments that we are weak, God is our strength and we hope in him.
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
1 john: 4
God’s Spirit in us is power and it is greater any thing we may come up against.
So often we live as a discouraged people and let me be the first to say I have been there and often find myself there even in these weeks and yet this week I was reminded that the Battle is not mine it belongs to the Lord, and no matter the sorrow, no matter what this world brings the power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us and we ought to tap into that power and live life and face life in light of the resurrection power.
Let me be the first to acknowledge that it is easier said than done but when we claim the Resurrection power over any situation there is a peace that comes and a hope that resurfaces from the ashes. ,
When I close my eyes I can see the Jesus with nail scared hands, arms open, brightly shining standing before me saying This is the power which is inside you because of my love. This is the power that will get you through what you are facing, this is the power that takes your sins and makes you a Child of the King!
This is the power that embraces you when you get diagnosed with cancer, this is the power that helps you lie in peace when life don’t make sense, this is the power that embraces the mourning mother, the power with the dying loved one, the healing power with the survivors of mass shootings, the power with those who suffer, the power to save... this is the power that raised Christ from the dead and it is inside of you!
How life would be more bearable, how we would live in so much more hope if we could just remember that this power is ours, how we would face our circumstances with peace knowing that God is in control. I know I need to spend more time focusing on the power of the one in me than that what I am facing, because the battles belongs to the Lord and too often we try to fight his battles. Is it easy NO, but can we work together and encourage one another to live in that power, Yes!
How do we know if we live in the spirit
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
I also feel that we would more engaged when we come to worship together we would have a greater longing to worship God the one who provides that power, we would come with expectation and anticipation because when all of us who live for Christ gather together with this power inside of us, how great an explosion of encouragement and worship if we released our spirit in worship to the life giving God, If we surrendered the very breathe he placed in our lungs to praise Him … Imagine how different our lives and the Church would look.
This morning I want us to take a moment to look at our lives, have we lived in the spirit’s power? have we faced our trials and suffering with the spirits power? Have we allowed him in his power to carry us? in our own strength we would not survive but in his power we are victorious! Today I want to make a surrender that I will look to the power inside me that raised Christ from the dead to face each day and be sure to enter worship with a spirit that is ready praise God, after all it is him who placed this power in side of us! Who will join me?