8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4 (Emphasis supplied).
The reason there is no condemnation to those who abide in Jesus is because it is guaranteed by the law of the Spirit of life that they will walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh: It is guaranteed by law because as long as we abide in Jesus the Holy Spirit will quicken us through the process of judgment. Those who are not in Jesus are spiritually dead because they live in the flesh (see Ephesians 2:1-3). The things of God are foolishness to them because the things of God are spiritual and cannot be understood or received by the natural mind (see I Corinthians 2:7-14). In order to understand and receive the things God has for us we must be born again (quickened) by the power of the Holy Spirit. This new birth puts us in Christ Jesus which guarantees the process of judgment will take place in our lives. It is the process of judgment that destroys the flesh so we can walk in the power of the Spirit. However this process takes time. We are told why in Galatians 6:7-9 which says:
6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Emphasis supplied).
As I stated in previous blogs, the moment we surrender all to Jesus we are declared to be as holy/righteous as God is (Romans 3:19-21). This is called justification and it is the first step in what I call the process of righteousness by faith (RBF): I call it the first step in the process of RBF because this step guarantees our sanctification which is the name given to the process that God uses to make us as holy as He is (see 2 Thessalonians 2:13 & I John 3:2&3). Again, I say that this process is guaranteed as long as we abide in Jesus. Notice what we are told in I Corinthians 1:30&31:
1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
The 30th verse lets us know that abiding in Jesus not only guarantees our righteousness through faith but it also guarantees our sanctification and redemption through faith as well. All of this is made possible as a result of taking the first step in the process. This is why I love this quote taken from the periodical called, The Review & Herald. It was written on October 9, 1894 and can be found in the 6th paragraph. It says:
The first step in the path of obedience is to surrender the will to God. (Emphasis supplied).
Wow!!! I love this quote because it not only describes the process of RBF it also tells us how to take the first step that guarantees the process and that step is, to surrender the will to God. Now let’s apply this statement to what Jesus said in Luke 9:23&24:
9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. (Emphasis supplied).
Many sincere Christians have mistaken what Jesus said here to mean that they must work hard to save themselves by using their will power to deny all sin at whatever the cost. Therefore, the process of RBF is dependent on the strength of their will rather than the surrender of their will. But what Jesus said in the 24th verse makes it clear that daily surrender of our will is what Jesus is talking about because he says if we try to save ourselves we will end up lost: Only those who are willing to lose their lives (surrender their will) for his sake (Jesus’ life working in us) will be saved (see Philippians 2”12&13). Add to this what we are told by the apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20&21 where he says:
2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
It is the surrender of the will that makes it possible to say, not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God… This is the first step in the process of RBF. All who neglect to take this step everyday will receive the mark of the beast: All who take this step everyday will receive the seal of God because they will have the faith of Jesus which is the key to keeping all the commandments, especially the 4th commandment.
Next week we are going to see how daily surrender of our will is what is required to keep the 4th commandment and why keeping the 4th commandment is the key to keeping the other nine. Until then I leave you with this scripture to ponder and pray over:
Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14:12 (Emphasis supplied).