“For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death.” (Romans 8:2)
I’m born again and love the Lord, but I keep failing. I have tried, with all that is within me, to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. I’ve prayed more, read more in my Bible, and fasted, but there is still no victory.
Does this sound familiar? The victory escapes us and we become discouraged. We want to follow the Lord, but we keep failing. The battle is intense at times and the fight seems to get tougher. What should we do?
The answer we seek can be found in the fact that the only fight we are called to fight is the good fight of faith. Striving in our own strength to live a life pleasing to the Lord will bring us only failure and great disappointment. The battle is the Lord’s. He has already won the victory.
The introductory verse above points the way. It was written by the Apostle Paul after a personal battle within himself to try and live a victorious life. Paul said this regarding his battle, “ For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing” Paul is frustrated because, trying his most earnest, he cannot live a life of obedience.
Paul finds the victory he seeks in placing his faith in Christ and Him crucified. As Romans 8:2 above says: ” For the law (Law of God) of the Spirit (Holy Spirit – how He works) of life (life from God) in Christ Jesus (His victory at the cross) has made me free (brings victory) from the law of sin and death.” These are the two most powerful laws. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is the only law more powerful than the Law of Sin and Death.
We learn here that our feeble attempts, in our own strength, will never give us victory over the law of sin and death. We must place our faith in Christ and Him crucified. This will allow the Holy Spirit to work mightily in our lives to bring us the victory we seek. The Holy Spirit works in no other way.
The Christian disciplines (e.g. bible reading, fasting, praying, church attendance) are very important, but our faith must not be in these for victory over sin. The Bible does not say that we will come to a place of sinless perfection in this life, but it does point the way that we are to walk if we are to live lives pleasing to the Lord. We have been born again by placing our faith in Jesus and His great sacrifice at the cross. Our walk with the Lord is no different. We are to continue to place our faith in Christ to walk out our daily life. We are unable to save ourselves or sanctify ourselves by our own efforts. We are to rest in His finished work, and the Holy Spirit will bring us victory. Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” Walking in the Spirit is not doing, but believing ….. believing in Christ and Him crucified.
Jesus paid the price for us at the cross. We love Him for the love He showed for us by this incredible act. We are to remain in that love believing that the result will be the rest and the victory we so desire in our lives. Jesus said “It is finished” and He meant it. We need to believe it. There is nothing that He has not accomplished for us. We are victorious “in Christ”. In the words of the Rock of Ages hymn below: “Be of sin the double cure (the cross). Save from wrath (salvation) and make me pure (victory over sin)”. The Lord has done it and it is marvelous in our sight. Only believe!
” Abide in Me (total faith in His finished work on the cross) and I in you (His promise). As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me (the only way to victory).” (John 15:4)
Rock of Ages
(Composed by Rev. Augustus Toplady in 1763)
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee. Let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure. Save from wrath and make me pure.
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