Saturday, June 24, 2017
 

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon Life Under the Christian Religion ]

LIFE UNDER THE RELIGION OF CHRIST
Lonnie Branam
Romans 8:1-9

In the previous message on this website we studied what life was like for people who lived under the Law of Moses for the 1500 years from Moses to Christ. In this message we sill study by way of contrast the life of both Jews and Gentiles who live under the law of Christ and the Christian religion . The word of God says, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Ever since the death of Christ, God has recognized but one true religion for mankind, and all nations are on the same level with God and live under one law, the law of Jesus Christ.

The very first state of existence which both Jews and Gentiles enter under the religion of Christ is that of innocence. This state begins when the soul is infused into the body, either at conception, birth, or sometime between conception and birth. When the soul enters the body, that person becomes an eternal, never-dying personality who survives the grave. To destroy a human life any time after birth is murder according to the laws of both God and man. Early in history God decreed capital punishment for anyone who destroyed the life of a human being. A highly educated society thinks that abortion is not murder, but God will make the final decision. Adam and Eve were created innocent, sinless and blameless, and under the Christian religion everyone is born in the same state. Adam and Eve were created full grown and had no parents to inherit sin from. .Every human being is pure and innocent when he or she enters this life as a baby. The Bible does not teach that babies inherit sin from their mother, and it does not teach that God will hold infants accountable for the sin of their parents. Sin is transgression or violation of God's law, and babies can't do that. If death occurs in the state of innocence, the soul goes to paradise, the residence of the righteous dead, and after the final judgment will go to heaven.

After the state of innocence, every soul enters the lost or condemned state. The law of Christ is very clear on this matter, for it states of both Jews and Gentiles, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” All enter the condemned state sometime in youth, for the Bible says that the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth”(Genesis 8:21). When we have lived long enough to know right from wrong, good and bad, truth and falsehood, we then become responsible to God for our conduct. God is the Creator, and we are the created. Man is the offspring of God, and this puts us in a dependant relationship. At birth we enter a world of moral and religious law, and as created beings we are accountable to the Creator. Proverbs 20:11 says,

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“Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right.” The Bible says to all youth, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come.” We should become lovers of God and lovers of the Bible in the days of our youth. We are not born sinful, but we become sinful, and it all begins in youth. We begin to sin in youth, and from that time it goes from bad to worse. We don't see much spiritual-mindedness in youth. We first sin when we disobey any of the moral and religious laws of Christ, whether knowingly or unknowingly. When we become old enough to be responsible for our moral and religious conduct, at that time we are accountable to the laws of Christ in the Christian religion. .. The Bible teaches that we acquire a sinful nature, but it does not teach we are born sinners. . If you ask why sin become universal in the days of youth, the answer is there are many sinful and evil desires in the world; and the young cannot control their bodies and keep them under control. The Bible reveals that all mankind enters a state of condemnation at the time of youth because sin separates us from God. Sin separated Adam and Eve from God, and it does the same thing to all of us.

The third state a person enters under the law of Christ is one a soul may enter or may not enter. I speak of the the saved state. Jesus commanded His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but who does not believe will be condemned. Under the Christian religion all mankind is divided into the saved or the condemned. The choice is left up to the individual, whether he will enter into the state of salvation or remain in the state of condemnation. Since the beginning of the Christian religion some two thousand years ago, all people live in either a saved state or a condemned state. All who accept the invitation of Christ to enter the Christian religion, by obeying His life-changing commandments, receive forgiveness, and an amazing reconciliation takes place between the Creator and the creature.

Paul wrote these words to Christians, “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 or soul” (Romans 8:1). Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” By our faith in and obedience to Christ, God has declared Christians to be right, acceptable, and blameless in His sight, and that transferred us from a state of condemnation to a state of salvation. The third state into which all may enter or may not enter is the state of salvation. In he saved state, we become heirs of God and joint-heirs



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with Christ. Christians have stopped being at war with God, but the nonchristian world continues in a state of hostility with God. . The nonchristian world is an unbelieving world, and they are taking the reckless chance that the Bible is not true, and that Jesus is not who He claimed to be. But they will know the mistake they made at the moment of death. They would well to remember these words of Jesus, “The heavens and earth will pass away, but but my words will not pass away.” An unbelieving world, by choice, will make a leap into the dark at death; and they will have a rude awakening.

Finally, I would like to make an effort to explain the difference between life and happiness under the law of Moses and under the law of Christ. Romans 8: 3, 4 says, “ For what the law(of Moses) could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending is own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin and to destroy sin, condemned sin in the flesh that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.” This statement declares that Christians live the kind of life that God wanted Jews to live under the law of Moses. Jews who lived under the law of Moses failed to keep that law because of the weakness of their flesh. What the Jews were unable to do in overcoming sin, Christians are able to do. That is the great difference between living under the law of Moses and the law of Christ. Christians are able to live lives acceptable to God.

.This verse goes a long way in revealing why Christians can live a holy life when the Jews failed under the Mosaic law. For one thing we have a greater leader and teacher than Moses. Christ was a Divine Being from heaven, who became flesh and visited this planet as God in the flesh. He lived a perfect life, revealed things about God and heaven never known before, and then offered His life for mankind , as a sacrifice on the cross, to satisfy the justice of God. This had such a tremendous effect on God that He offered forgiveness, reconciliation and eternal life to all mankind. through His Son. He now sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for us, and God has given Him authority to give to all His followers the gift of eternal life. This is life and existence that has no end. . We have a greater leader and teacher than Moses, and He made it possible for every human being to go to heaven. He gave His life for us, and we are indebted to Him.

Secondly the verse states that the Jews failed because they could not control their bodies. This is the problem of poor helpless human beings today in this pleasure- mad world. Pleasures are so manifold, tempting and exciting that worldly-minded people will not turn them down. The body

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demands pleasure, whether good or bad. The body does not distinguish between innocent pleasure and sinful pleasure. People allow their eir bodies to overcame the soul, their better selves, their spirits, their higher nature, their inner man, and they all gave into sinful desires. Most people live for the happiness of their bodies and not their eternal souls. Paul tells us that Christ has turned this terrible situation around for Christians. True
Christians do not allow their bodies to dominate their lives. They allow their souls to direct their lives. Romans 8:1 says, “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.” The word spirit here refers to the human spirit and not the Holy Spirit. The human spirit must control the body; and the Holy Spirit directs our lives by strengthening the human spirit. Let us understand this statement, for it contains the secret of successful Christian living. It means to live a life acceptable to God we must not allow our bodies to dominate our lives. Rather, we dominate our bodies by our souls, our higher nature, our inner man, that part of us that is made in the image of God. This is the secret of Christian power to overcome sin. The spirit of man, his higher nature, must take control of our lives and keep these sinful bodies, with their sinful desires, under control. We cannot do this perfectly so as to become sinless, but we can do it to the extent that we can live godly and holy lives most of the time. Through weakness of the flesh we do commit some sin but not much sin, and that is all that God requires. But when we sin, we mus at once repent and confess our sin, ask for forgiveness, and God has promised to forgive us. At Christian conversion we, so to speak, come face to face with God, and He demands we make up our minds about serving Him and the way we have been living in the past. He demands we change our lives and make up our minds to stop grievving and mistreating the One who created us. Our sorrow for mistreating God is the power that enables us to change our sinful lives. This repentance leads us to change our lives. True Christians have been changed by God, born of God, born of water(baptism) and born of God(the Holy Spirit.). Christians represent a new race of people on this planet, descending from Jesus Christ, the second Adam.

Our system of forgiveness is easier, less expensive and more appealing than the Jewish system. God is much more merciful under the Christian religion than He was under the Jewish religion. The death of Christ has changed Jehovah and has made Him much more forgiving and merciful. The religion of Christ makes every person come face to face with God, admit his sinfulness, promise to change and stop living a sinful life and commit himself to a new life in Christ. This powerful change of mind God has produced in our lives. God's grace or undeserved favor has made us new people, a new race of people, the Christian race of people. As

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a result, sin no longer has dominion over our lives. It no long reigns in our lives like a king on his throne. Through Christ we have become overcomers. In Revelation 2:7 Jesus said to Christians, “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

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