FINISHED WITH SIN: PURSUE THE SPIRIT LIFE!
Scriptures to Remember: Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. Romans 8:12
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. Galatians 5:24-26
Gospel Story: Acts 8:14-25 Simon wants to buy Holy Spirit power from Peter and John
1 Peter 4:1-6 So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. 3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.4 Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. 5 But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. 6 That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.
With the acknowledgement of resurrection power, a whole new way of life is opened up to followers of Jesus Christ. With the same power that raised Jesus from the dead living in us, God gives us the power we need to live the Spirit Life. In the words of Paul,”brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do” (Rom 8:12). Another translation that i remember put it this way, “you are no longer under any obligation to follow your sinful nature.” Imagine that. It gets even better. We get to live it.
Are we still a work in progress. If you’re like me you are. I feel for Simon in our Gospel story noted above. He had a reputation of being “the great one”. That’s related to magic, spiritual stuff and not hockey for my NHL friends. But he was used to have a “power” that could wow people and cause them to value him. So when he saw our friends, Peter and John, laying on hands and people speaking in tongues he thought to get this power he’d have to buy the “trick”. Peter saw right through it and had some strong words for Simon, “your heart is not right with God….”.
Dang. Simon had believed the Gospel message. Even got baptized. Followed Phillip and the other leaders around watching and learning. But this moment was a tough one. That day Peter took Simon the magician a little deeper in his faith. Think of Simon as you read the verse from Peter’s letter that I highlight. Jesus died our death. Identify with this in its physicality and yes we have suffered physically for Christ. He physically died our death so that we could be dead to sin (1 Peter 2:24) .… If we let the result of that suffering make it all they way to our hearts we get to live by the Spirit and get to “follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives”.
Have we received the Good News about Jesus? Are we Born again? Baptized? Do we pursue and follow the Apostles teaching? And at a core level do we really want what they have? Then let Peter lead us into a beautiful repentance like he did for Simon. Let his words lead us down a path that will free us more and more from the death trap of our sinful nature. The Spirit Life we see in the lives of the Apostles, Peter says we too get to be “finished with sin”. Don’t just imagine it, live the Spirit Life Jesus provides