Document Sample
TheMysteryWithin Powered By Docstoc
					THE MYSTERY WITHIN                                          MODBURY
ROMANS 8:1-17, COL 1:24-29            A.M.                  28/6/09

         Who are you? That‘s a question we might receive or even ask from time to time. Who are you?
Often the answer we get is, ―Oh I‘m Clinton Wardle and I‘m the minister of the Modbury Church of
Christ and I‘m the husband of Trish and the father and father-in-law of Matthew, Nathan and Natalie
and Aaron and Kellie and I‘m the Grandfather of Joshua. I enjoy playing golf, even though I haven‘t
played for a long time and I …‖ and we can go on telling people what we like and what we do. But in
all reality that wasn‘t what was asked. The question was, ―WHO are you?‖ Who we are comes out of
what‘s going on on the inside. It‘s about our character and what makes us tick and what motivates us,
and those things that we find difficult to explain. Who are you?

        You know, I think this is the question that God is more likely to ask when we get to heaven
even more than what we have done. What God won‘t ask and is not important to Him, is what our
theology was or what we knew in our head. He wants to know what we have done, as far as eternal
values are concerned because what we do comes out of who we are on the inside. Not only that, but
it‘s even more deep than that, it‘s also WHO rules us on the inside? And as we stand before God we
will have to answer who has been ruling us from the inside. He knows everything we have done, both
good and bad.

       Video clip – Bruce Almighty.

        The wonderful thing is that when we are in Christ, when we have accepted him as Lord and
Saviour, we don‘t need to worry about some great big drawer that God might have to check on our
every move. Romans 8:1&2 says, ―Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in
Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin
and death.‖ We don‘t have anything to worry about when we live for God. All our past sins and
wrongs have been dealt with and we are free to enjoy eternity with God. You see, living by the law
could not deal with sin. In Romans Paul uses the word ‗law‘ to mean a number of things. He includes
the law as a controlling power, as God‘s law, as the Pentateuch, the Old Testament as a whole or even
as just a principle. No matter what he meant in other instances, in this case it‘s quite clear that he is
meaning that the law was a controlling power which ultimately produces death. The Spirit of life sets
us free from the law of sin and death. Jesus rose from the grave to show that he had conquered death,
Satan‘s last stronghold over mankind. Before sin entered the world there was no death.

       But the law, even keeping it religiously, could not overcome sin or its consequences. The law
could point out, condemn and even stimulate sin, but it could not remove it. Now, we are made right
with God, as verse 4 says, ―in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us,
who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.‖ There is a vast difference
between those who live according to the sinful nature and those who live according to the Spirit of
God. The mystery within is the power of the Holy Spirit who influences us and impacts us in ways that
we don‘t even know or understand, but the difference is obvious.

        Just to see some differences all we need to do is turn to Galatians 5:19-21 as it says, ―The acts
of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft;
hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness,
orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the
kingdom of God.‖ But those who live by the Spirit experience the difference the Spirit makes and
produce the fruit of the Spirit. ―But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who
belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by
the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each
        Lives are changed when the Holy Spirit dwells within a person. Old habits and attitudes are
changed and hearts are softened when God‘s Spirit is present. ―By their fruit you will know them‖, is a
saying that is so very true. You know it yourself. When you meet someone who has the Spirit really
active in their lives you know it. You see it and experience it in what they say and do. You also know
when someone doesn‘t live by the Spirit and he is not active in their lives because again you see it and
experience it in what they say and do. Christ calls us to live according to the Spirit, not according to
the sinful nature.

        When Jesus left this earth and ascended into heaven, he then sent the Holy Spirit to be in his
people and from then on anyone who accepts Christ and his sacrifice on the cross as being for them,
they are filled with the Holy Spirit. It might not be like a huge flash of lightening hitting them, and it
might not have lots of bells and whistles, but you soon know it when the Spirit starts to change their life
and attitudes. You know it when you see them doing and saying things that honour God that previously
they didn‘t have a clue how to. The Holy Spirit within helps us live in the Spirit and not be ruled by
our old sinful nature or by those around us. The truth of the matter, is that if someone doesn‘t have the
Spirit within making a difference they have not truly accepted Christ within. Our reading said that the
sinful nature and the Spirit of God cannot coexist. They are actually enemies. Romans 8:6&7 says,
―The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful
mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God‘s law, nor can it do so.‖ Verse 8 confirms this by
saying, ―Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.‖

         What is the mystery within? It is ―Christ in you, the hope of glory.‖ Paul says in his letter to
the Colossians, ―Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still
lacking in regard to Christ‘s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its
servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the
mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them
God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ
in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so
that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy,
which so powerfully works in me.‖ Whose strength and energy does Paul rely on? The Holy Spirit‘s.
It‘s the Holy Spirit in him who has given Paul all he has needed to carry out the work God had for him
to do and it‘s the Holy Spirit within him who has been his guide in all his decisions and actions.

        Whose strength do you rely on when you are feeling weak and vulnerable? Is it the Holy Spirit
in you? To whom do you turn when you have a decision to make that you are not sure of? Is it the
Holy Spirit within who knows you and your circumstances better than you do? When you want to say
something about God to someone, who is it that will give you the words to say? Is it the Holy Spirit
within? When you want to sort out some problem in your life, who do you seek advice and guidance
from? Is it the Holy Spirit within? When you‘re not sure if you should buy a certain house or take a
certain job, who do you turn to? Is it the just someone you know, or is it the Holy Spirit within who
knows if this is of God or not?

       No matter what issue we look at or situation we find ourselves in, if we only rely on our own
understanding or even on someone with a bit more wisdom and maturity than ourselves, then we are
shortchanging ourselves. The only one who has the full picture and understanding is God and it‘s the
Holy Spirit within who can shape our thinking so that we make Godly wise decisions and not just use
man‘s wisdom.

        Paul says in Romans 8, ―Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to
the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but
if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by
the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear,
but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.‖ The Spirit himself testifies
with our spirit that we are God‘s children.‖

        We could gloss over this passage and not have it affect us, but when we go back to verse 13 and
have a closer look we see that there are every day choices that will affect the outcome of the Spirit‘s
influence in our lives. Verse 13 says, ―For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if
by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body (in your daily choices), you will live, because
those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.‖ This is an every day every moment thing. If
we want to have victory in our lives over those things that hinder us and hold us back, then we need to
choose every moment and every day to put to death those negative and earthly deeds and desires so that
Christ can have his way in us and we can experience the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God himself, helping
us overcome those things. But we must be very prayerful and diligent. All too easily we can let our
old sinful nature take over and we can suddenly wake up wondering what happened and wondering
why we have said such nasty things or we have done something really stupid. It‘s because we let our
guard down and the Holy Spirit wasn‘t in control. It might not be Satan ruling us, as some might like
to say, it can simply be that we allow our old nature and our old attitudes have sway over what we do
and say. But if we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, then we need to make sure we live by the
power of the Holy Spirit within and not by our sinful nature.

       Verse 17, ―Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if
indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.‖

        What choices are you going to make this week that could affect your life or the lives of those
around you? Who are you going to turn to for the right advice and the right wisdom? Are you going to
rely on your own wisdom or on God‘s wisdom and the fact that he can guide you by his Spirit in you?
The mystery within is Christ within. It is the Holy Spirit shaping us and moving us to be more like
Christ. May we all trust and rely a lot more on the power and wisdom of God by trusting in his Holy
Spirit in all our choices and daily decisions.

       Let‘s Pray.

Shared By: