Steps To Victory

Most are unaware of the great spiritual battle they are in. It is either defeat or victory: remain in or revert to the kingdom of darkness or enter into, or remain in, the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. Then, there are some in the Kingdom of the Son who tend to be spiritually weak and may be unaware of the need and means to walk victoriously. In His wisdom God moved upon certain men and directed them by the Holy Spirit to write down spiritual instructions for victory.
Steps To Victory
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

When one surrenders to Christ and becomes part of His Body, the Church, they hear about the love of God, the forgiveness of God. Hopefully they hear about walking with God and having victory. Better than that, hopefully they hear directly from God, and read in His Word, about walking with Him and having the victory. However, most have struggles.

God used the Apostle Paul in writing a letter to the Christians at Rome. Struggling with sin, and even ignoring the dangers of sin, are addressed in that epistle. Much is declared about overcoming sin and walking with God. In Romans

6:15-18, by the Spirit of God Paul deals with certain issues in regard to having victory over sin. In that passage we shall see four steps to victory.

I. Get Rid Of Warped Thinking

15 - What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!

To many the grace of God means something like, "because I am God's child He loves me, will not condemn me, understands that I am only human, and will overlook my 'mistakes'." I and others call this "cheap grace." It shows a lack of understanding, or unwillingness to know, the horrific price Christ paid not only physically, but spiritually, to redeem us from the wrath of the Father. It shows no deep love for Christ.

Certainly God's grace has replaced the Jewish Law but we must remember that the Law was fulfilled in Christ (Romans 10:5). In reading the teachings of Christ we see He went deeper and established certain principles that the Law pointed to. As we follow them, we display love and trust in God and respect and godly love toward others. A prime example is what Christ said regarding adultery as recorded in Matthew 5:27-28.

Christ kept the Law and brought to life its principles. When we receive Him as our Savior He is also our Lord. He is to live through us. His works and attitude become ours. We do not avoid sin by our strength but by His life within us. We must not have the spiritually immature attitude described above, or be even more warped to think "since by His grace He took our sin so let us sin more that there may be more grace"--as mentioned in 6:1.

The response to that is supplied in verse 2 along with a foundational spiritual principle: “May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” When we truly receive Christ as Savior we enter into what He is, including the spiritual fact that He died and rose. We enter into His death upon the cross which I have discussed in the previous article [1]. Verse 3 underscores the fact of our death with Christ and verse 4 points out we are raised to newness of life, so therefore we have the ability to lovingly obey God.

II. Heed God’s Warning

16 - Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

The death spoken of here is eternal spiritual death where one is in torments and deprived of the mercy of God forever (see Revelation 20:14 and 21:8). People have only themselves to blame if that is their fate because God has a provided the Way out of it through His Son. But, just as a rose begins to die the moment it is cut from the bush so this spiritual death exists in those who do not come to Christ.

So here we are lovingly warned to avoid that death, receive Christ as Savior and Lord (boss), and by His strength and life do whatever God tells us to do whether we see what He says in His written Word or sense it as His spoken Word to our heart. And while the term “slave” might not sound appealing to us, according to 1 John 3:9 when we are truly saved we eventually grow to the point where we find it difficult to willfully sin but easy and even pleasantly compelling to do the will of God.

Helpful information is supplied by some of the preceding verses to our text, viz., verses 11 to 14: "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace."

Verse 11 calls upon us to fully recognize the spiritual reality that if we are truly born again we are dead to sin. We are alive to Christ, and, of course, the foundation of that is loving Him. Christ within will enable and train us to do the will of God and therefore not sin. Verses 12 and 13 point out that


we have a will and we should use it to love God. We can choose [2] and are more able to choose God's will with Christ within. We also see that sin will rule us, although we may think we are in charge, so instead we must willingly and lovingly present ourselves unto God, asking Him to help us ranging from our desires to our actions.

Verse 14 is a truth every Christian must claim. Never mind claiming more money and more material goods. Agree with the Word of God that sin will not rule over you. While the Jewish Law was good in many ways there was no power within itself to obey. It made people knowledgeable of their sin and exhorted them to reconciliation with God. Grace actually makes us more knowledgeable of sin but also in many ways enables us to obey. If we are truly saved we have Christ's victory. We need to claim it and act upon it.

III. Activate Your Will

17 - But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

First, in other translations "doctrine" is used for "teaching," which is perfectly fine since that is what doctrine is. Those who are truly saved are disciples of Christ and His disciples are taught and even trained by the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ within. Though some might struggle on this point at first, true Christians will want to "obey from the heart" because they love Him Who loved us first.

Again, we do not obey by our own strength, but by the life of Christ and the power of His Spirit. This verse reminds me of Romans 7:18-25a-c. In Romans 7 Paul presents the struggle with sin that a person aware of their need of God has at times. Verse 18 could be considered a summary of that struggle: "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find." But, with similarity to the thanks of Romans 6:17, by the Spirit he writes (7:24-25a-c), "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God --- through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

IV. Follow God’s Way

18 - and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

When man was created we were designed to be in need of God. In the absence of God in our lives sin rules over us and the "wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). However, in surrendering to God through Christ we enter the original spiritual arrangement where we need God and depend upon Him. We receive from Him the proper way to conduct our lives and the ability to do so.

In being slaves to righteousness no longer are we impelled by evil forces to disobey God, but are directed by Christ within and the power of the Holy Spirit to have His mind and do His works. And in contrast to being slaves to sin which leads to death, if we remain in Christ we will have Eternal Life.

Notes:

[1] Please read Elements Of Real Discipleship at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/elements-real-discipleship .

[2] Please read You CAN Choose: Choose Wisely at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/you-can-choose-choose-wisely .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by August 31, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M413 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented with spelling of some words updated for our time in the case of older versions.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.

 



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 27-07-2016 102 1

Please login to comment on this post.
  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    Our limited ability to see the awesome and intricate detail of things in the physical world reminds us that our ability to see and understand what's happening in the spiritual realm is equally limited.
    reply 0
Elements Of Real Discipleship
Ultimate Love For You