Are You Living in the Spirit

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

Paul writes in Romans 8:1-2, that those who are in Christ, no longer desire the flesh (anything in and of the world to include the lustful intentions of our bodies), and follow and live by Christ’s ways and means are truly free from condemnation. This is another way Scripture shares the difference in the sheep and a goat explanation that Matthew reports Jesus saying in Chapter 25:31-46.

Throughout Scripture it is recorded that Jesus spent more time discussing Hell than how to get into heaven. Why? Because there are more influences for the desires of the flesh than there are ways to get into heaven. Think about it. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24).

The way into heaven is a narrow path and the door is small. The material riches of the earth can in no way measure up to the richness of the spirit.  How many materialistic distractions do we have in order to not do God’s work here on earth?  Within the churches themselves people pay in to support other ministry opportunities and say they are good without any type of servanthood of their own. When opportunities arise there are some who desire to assist but because of other worldly commitments of their own choosing they cannot help. Sometimes it is a matter of the people who are doing the work and the feelings towards them that keep people away. This last statement can be taken two ways: the glory hounds who organize and do a little then take all the credit; and the people who just cannot stand being around another due to a personal problem which should be forgiven and overlooked while doing the Kingdom work.

Because Christ freed us from the bonds of sin and death we must not indulge in the things that keep us bound to them. Interestingly enough, the “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” portion of verse one is not found in certain texts. The removal of this portion would cause confusion and lead people to believe that all they have to do is place their faith in Christ. We know this not to be true as earlier texts include it. This leads some to believe they can still walk in the ways of the flesh because they “got Jesus” and they are good. We know that not to be true.

The opening Scripture reference here can be seen in Christ’s Word another way. Five times Jesus tells us to take up our crosses and follow Him. He also commands that we deny ourselves of the pleasures of the world and do the work of the Kingdom. We are in such a bad shape right now that there are few who can actually do this. Even if we could do a smidgen of what others have done in the past, the world still somehow manages to get in our way. What does He mean by denying ourselves and taking up the cross? The burdens of sin that we bear are slowly replaced by His Mercy and Grace. Taking up our cross partially means that we release our burdens upon Christ so that we may be free of them to fulfill our purpose for being and God’s original intent, that of caretaker. We are responsible for the upkeep and nurturing of God’s creation which includes each other.

So what does this mean for us? What can we do? The answer is clear. Live for Christ by removing the obstacles that keep us from Him. It is difficult but necessary. The time we have on this earth is temporary, His Kingdom is eternal.

Live for Christ as He live in us. Take up your cross and release your burdens upon Him so you are free to do His Will. Love one another just as He has loved us.Cross Carry

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