The Cross is an Obstacle

My sinful nature does not want to die and fights to gain control over me

An Obstacle to Indulgence
Our Obligation – Part 1

Scripture Reading:  Romans 8:12-17

Key Verse: Romans 8:12

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.

The cross of Jesus becomes an obstacle to our indulgences of the flesh.  As our scripture describes today, we must not be obligated to the sinful nature.  If we cave to that obligation, we will spiritually die (vs. 13).  Our sinful nature (fleshly desires) must take a back seat to the Spirit of God once He lives in us.  The Bible calls this decision “death to the sinful nature.”

In verse 13 of our suggested reading for today, we are challenged to “put to death the misdeeds of the body by the Spirit.”  That happens, according to verse 14, when we are led by the Spirit of God.  The picture Paul is verbally painting is a person who has repented of their sins, received Jesus into their hearts, and is doing all they know to do to follow Him.  In 1 John 1:7 the Apostle John refers to this “doing all we know to do” as “walking in the light.”  God does not hold us accountable for that which has yet to be revealed to us by His Spirit.

To make this really practical, I have determined in my life to stop doing anything that makes me feel guilty.  If something I’m doing bothers my conscience, I have decided to trust that is God’s Spirit directing my life.  My sinful nature (flesh) does not like this decision and fights to gain control over me.  With God’s help I put the sinful nature to death (rendered powerless) and stay in step with God’s Spirit living in me.

Father, I praise you for being strong in me—stronger than the passions of the flesh and the temptations of the evil one.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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