About Phil


This week we start our new series Romans Reloaded, a study of Romans 8. This message is focused on how we are set free from condemnation and the keys to understanding forgiveness and justification.

Romans 8:1-2 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 has made me free from the law of sin and death. 

Two laws, like the law of aerodynamics overcoming the law of gravity, so the Spirit of life overcomes the law of sin and death. Condemnation is the greatest enemy to walking in the Spirit. This chapter is all about accessing the power of the Spirit. If the bulling accuser can gain the upper hand because our faith in our justification is weak, we will be prevented from a life in the power of the Holy Spirit. Condemnation is an evil spirit. Even if you have done nothing wrong it will attempt to make you feel guilty about something that you have no need to feel guilty about. 

Romans 12:22 Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 

Sometimes the person condemning us the most is ourselves! When we bring down condemnation we make way for the power of God. 

Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down

The blockage to the power of God is allowing accusations to have a place in our minds. 'Now' salvation, strength, kingdom and power of Christ has come because the Accuser has been cast out of heaven. Once he is cast down the release of power occurs. 

2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ 

We have mighty weapons which are effective in casting down strongholds of darkness. Worship and the Word. Set your will against the devil and he will flee from you. Recognise the enemy when he is trying to defeat with religious sounding inclinations. Give no place to the devil, we give place to the devil when we allow accusation in our minds. There are two things we must understand to gain victory over the devil and be set free from condemnation; forgiveness and justification. 

1. Understanding Forgiveness 

Zechariah 3:1-4 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then he answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes."

We would normally have expected God to rebuke the person with filthy garments, but He doesn't. He rebukes the devil, the accuser. God will not condemn sin in us after condemning it in his Son. How will He impute sin to us a second time after imputing it all to Jesus? It would be God saying Jesus' sacrifice was insufficient! We need to understand forgiveness. You are forgiven. Once you have repented from sin, you have been forgiven by God whether you feel it or not. 

1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 

The biggest problem most of us face is forgiving ourselves. Reliving the incident will not purge our souls from sin. Feeling bad about it will not do it. Only one thing can cleanse the stain of sin from the soul - the blood of Jesus. The power of the blood of Jesus is released when we place faith in it. You may say, "But I don't feel forgiven." The truth is that you are forgiven the moment you repent from sin, ask forgiveness, and believe God's word. If this truth does not become embedded in a person's life,he or she becomes dogged with condemnation every time they slip. Trying to live in joy and victory with a condemning conscience is impossible. Satan gains access to the mind through this weakness. He accuses us of our sin day and night, keeping us discouraged and powerless - unless we choose to believe that the Blood has cleansed us. See Isaiah 43:22-26. It reveals that God is more interested in forgiving us than remembering our sins. 

2. Understanding Justification

To be declared righteous is to be justified. The Greek word translated as justify means "to declare righteous." 

Job asks how a man can be right before God in Job 9:2. His question is answered in Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, and Galatians 3:11. God saw that this truth is so vital that it bears repeating three times in Scripture as a quote, and then it is expounded time and time again by apostle Paul as he lays the doctrinal foundation for church: The just shall live by faith. 

That is how we are righteous before God. The greatest problem Paul faced was removing the basis for salvation from the works of the Old Testament law and replacing that with Christ. This was Paul's challenge because the Old Testament was completely the opposite: it declared that the only way to secure righteousness was to fully obey all the law of Moses. This 'way of salvation' had been reinforced generation after generation. Now Paul faced the extraordinary challenge of tearing it down and presenting them with something brand new - something that was an anathema to the traditional Hebrew: justification by faith. 

Isaiah 43:26, "State your case, that you may be acquitted."

God wants you to win against all the accusations of the enemy. He wants you to be acquitted. What is your case? That Jesus is your righteousness! Jeremiah 23:6 reveals in capital letters that there will come a day when God will be known as: "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS". 

This single statement contains one of the most fantastic revelations of salvation in the entire Bible. It was not until the New Testament dawned that the truth of it was fully comprehended. So, how does grace accomplish this? The grace of God is revealed thus: Christ lived a perfect human life. It was unblemished, unspotted, and unwrinkled by any sin or fault. It is the only human life that has accomplished this. He was perfect in every respect. His thought-life was perfect, His attitudes were perfect, His morals were above reproach. His relationships with others were untarnished in any way. No part of His life offended God. He was the Son of God. After His ascension to Heaven, and His life was viewed by the Father, it was obvious to Him that the life of Jesus was 100 percent perfect. However, Jesus never lived His life for Himself, He lived it for others - for us. He then proceeded to "impute" this perfect righteousness to anyone who trust in Him for salvation. 

As Job asked, "How should a man be righteous before God?" we may also ask "How does a man believe God?" The answer to that question is in Romans 10:6 and 8-10:

 The righteousness of faith speaks in this way.. The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is the word of faith which we preach); that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

Thanks for reading, to keep up to date with this series be sure to follow me on all my social platforms and check out my podcast! 

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See you in church!

02-Mar-2016 Share
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