Today's Lectionary Text
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Romans 8:1-11 is for me one of the greatest scriptures in the Bible. This scripture starts out by immediately doing the one thing that in my mind matters the most. It puts to rest the perceived burden of how we as Christian may perceive ourselves.
It is so easy if we are honest to be lulled into the trap of thinking that with all that we fail to do right and that which we fall short of in our daily walk that we are doomed for failure. But praise be to God that He puts our minds and most importantly our spirits at ease by telling us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
A burden has been removed from our lives not just for today or even tomorrow, but for all eternity. I don’t know about you but as for me what better news could anyone ever receive as one in Christ.
The very act of God sending Christ to be our ransom from sin proves beyond the shadow of doubt how much he loves us. How many of us would say yes I will send my very own son to pay the price for everyone? Look at what love did.
So then how do we as the beneficiaries of Christ’s sacrifice respond in kind? How then do we become the reflection of what Christ calls us to be?
It is I would surmise in the spirit intended. We are called to live according to the spirit and not to the flesh. We do so by virtue of our thoughts, words and deeds. Our thoughts are in synch with those of our heavenly Father and are called to be of the highest nature. The words of our mouths are a verbalization of what we think. And our deeds are an endorsement and verification of just what it means to be free indeed and to have our living and being in the spirit intended.
-Alan Black, Omaha Clair Memorial UMC
Prayer for Reflection
In the spirit intended. May we continue to live not to ourselves but to the very one whose spirit is that of truth and love. Lord we ask that our lives be a mirrored reflection of you and that we share the good news that we are victorious because of you. Amen.
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