Archive for July, 2010


Our Journey through the Cross will stop in Romans 8.

Here we discover what the Cross is all about. It is about the life that Jesus died to give all those who by faith make Him their life. It requires a turning away from our self, our sin, our flesh and embracing Jesus Christ as our Lord, our Life, our Savior.

By faith in what Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross, we are justified by God. We are declared righteous, we are declared His children. By faith, the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus shed upon the world at Pentecost, comes and makes us His dwelling place. We are set apart for God’s purpose.

Coming to the Cross and accepting Jesus as your Savior means that you will now live by the cross. We must take up our cross daily, and just as Jesus humbled Himself as a servant, so we must humble ourselves before Almighty God and take up the cross He has given to us.

We have this assurance from the Master himself, that we will not bear our cross alone. In fact, our cross becomes easy and light, as long as we realize that He carries it for us. For the cross means that we no longer live, in fact our old man is dead, and the life that we now live, we live by Jesus Christ.

This is the message of Romans, and Romans 8 reveals what it means to be a Christian. Romans 8 is the insider’s guide to the Christian Life. The Christian Life is all about walking after the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit communicates and manifests Jesus Christ in our lives. Romans 8 details our New Life in the Holy Spirit.

1. The Holy Spirit Joins us to Christ

He brings about a vital union with the Lord Jesus.

“He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17);

It is a spiritual and inward union with the Lord Jesus. This is what Romans 8:1-2 describes:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

When we are born again, the Holy Spirit joins us to Jesus Christ and we live in the Spirit of Life! God is all about Life, and sin is death. Being joined to Jesus means we are no longer under condemnation, no longer under the penalty of sin, no longer under the judgment of death, separated from Holy God by all eternity in Hell.

You and I, if we are truly born-again children of God, have got to know that, right inside of us, a union has been effected between Christ and ourselves, and ourselves and Christ; that we are joined to Christ. That union has been affected; we have been made one.

No more me, but We!

The Lord’s way of illustrating this truth is the marriage union. Paul says, “the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Eph. 5:31, 32). ‘One flesh’. Just as married couples, we are made “one flesh” with Jesus Christ.

Now, if a marriage is what it ought to be, those two people are so ONE, that to separate them is to cut one person in two, and only leave two halves, and not a whole. This explains how death can leave a spouse so empty, so alone, as if part of them is gone. This explains how even years later, divorce can leave an ugly scar upon ones soul.

That is the illustration of our union with Christ. We are not complete until we are united with Christ; our completeness is in union with Christ.

If we do not have Christ with us, we are only half here. If we lose the Lord, we are torn in two. Jesus is that much a part of our lives.

We can – by disobedience, by playing with sin, by disobeying the Lord, by this or that – bring about such an effect, so that we feel as if something has happened; the Lord is there and I am here, and we are not together. It is as though we have been torn in two, are not complete.

This is the beginning of the Christian life; the very foundation and basis of the Christian life:

We and Christ have been made one; not two – one!

Jesus is not our homeboy. He is not someone we go to when things get bad. He is not a good luck charm we wear around our neck. He is not a wristband that says WWJD. We are united as one with the very creator of the universe. This union is a mystery, but it is so real and so powerful that to divide, to walk away and have an independent life – it is to destroy your own identity, to tear your own spiritual personality in pieces; and that is how it is, if we get away from the Lord in any way.

So here, the very first thing that we find about this life in the Spirit, is that there has come about between us and Christ, and between Christ and ourselves, a oneness, which is not in any outward, visible sense, but in a vital, inward reality.

So the first thing is “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (v. 2) – the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus – that is the union: our union with Christ.

2. The Holy Spirit Leads Us

Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14

When we are joined to Jesus Christ, we are not left to our own abilities. In fact, we must humble ourselves and give all of ourselves to Christ, so that the Holy Spirit will lead us. The operative word is “LED”. He is the leader. It is not a shared responsibility. There can be only one BOSS. This is why Paul wrote that:

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:7-8

To be led by the Spirit we must “walk AFTER the Spirit”

God reveals why we cannot walk after the flesh and why we must walk after the Holy Spirit in Romans 8:29:

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son… Romans 8:29

God has a goal for each one of His children- conformity to the image of His Son.

“Conformed to the image” (summorphous tēs eikonos) means both an inward and an outward likeness. This is no happy fake smile Christian. All that Jesus Christ is we are to be. His loves, concern, his righteousness, his passion for the temple, his compassion for the lost, all are to be ours. It requires more of Him and less of me.

What is being ‘led by the Spirit’? Take the example of Israel.

God came down into Egypt, into the dark world of their bondage and tyranny in Egypt. He came down with His great purpose; He took possession of them; and then He gave them the symbol and figure of the Holy Spirit in the Pillar of Cloud and Fire. Paul says ‘They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud’ (1 Cor. 10:2).

What was the pillar of cloud and fire given for? Well, it is an illustration. It is a type of the Holy Spirit. It was given to lead them into the Land of Promise, where God had intended them to be. He had come down into Egypt, got hold of them, pulled them out, and brought them into the Wilderness for that purpose.

The Spirit was ever moving ahead of them, in the Pillar, to get them into the Land.

That is being “led by the Spirit”. As the Lord said, speaking of His people: “Israel is my son… Let my son go…” (Ex. 4:22, 23). As Paul wrote: ‘Now these are the sons of God, who are led by the Spirit of God’.

However, what does it mean? It means that we are always moving on, ever moving on in the way of the Spirit, leaving the old world further and further behind, and getting nearer and nearer to the heavenly promised land.

  • Now, if the Christian life is normal, this is true of the Christian life. This is not something abnormal; this is ‘normal Christian living!

The more you go on with the Lord, the less and less you find it possible to accept this world and to settle down here, and the further you seem to get away from it. Alternatively, it seems to get away from you.

The things of the Lord get nearer and nearer, and more and more engrossing, taking up more and more of your life. You find that, whereas at one time, you could compartmentalize your time, you could spread it out over various things, now you are more and more being absorbed (not obsessed), but absorbed in the things of the Lord; you have no time for other things.

What about your Work?

You go to work, you do your work, you give yourself to your work, you do it honestly… but the thing that has a grip on you inside is the Lord’s interests – what delights the Lord. If you are going on with the Lord, what you want more and more is that which tastes of heaven. Your desire is unto God and His desires.

The Holy Spirit wants to lead us on nearer and nearer to the fullness of Christ.

3. The Holy Spirit brings us to Confidence in our Father

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

The Holy Spirit opens us up to seeing God as our dearest Daddy, the one who cares for us with unconditional love. We no longer live our lives in fear of what can or might happen. We know that we are in the hands of our dearest Daddy.

God is including us in His plan, and that plan involves us becoming conformed to His Son Jesus Christ.

Many of us have experienced horrible tragedies. Many of us have suffered terrible injustices, abuse. There are many ways we react to such experiences.

We can blame others, we can hold on to our pain and grow bitter, we can become frustrated and angry, and we can lash out and be vengeful. None of these reflects the heart of one who sees his life held in the arms of his dearest Daddy.

Living in the Holy Spirit is a life that is confident in the God’s power and God’s Purpose for your life. Living in the Holy Spirit allows us to believe what Paul wrote: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”. Romans 8:28

4. The Holy Spirit Bears Witness

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Romans 8:16

The indwelling Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. How does He do it? The Holy Spirit does not constantly speak in our ear, and say: “You know you are a child of God; you are a child of God”.

He says what He does because of our being children of God – that we know it.

We know how others can do certain things that we cannot; there is something that we have in our heart that makes us aware that this is, or this is not, according to the Father’s mind. The simple truth is this – we know: “the Spirit beareth witness”; we know. This joint witness of the Holy Spirit works with the Spirit of Sonship mentioned in verse 15 wherein we cry “Abba Father”. We know we are God’s child.

Bear witness with is summartureō, “to bear joint witness with” some other person, “to bear joint-testimony with” some other person. “Our spirit” refers to the saint’s human spirit energized by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit bears testimony to our human spirit that we are children of God (teknon, without article, thus, children of God by nature), and our Spirit-energized, spirit thus joins the Holy Spirit in a joint-testimony to that fact. Wuest’s Word Studies

Have you gone through such severely bad times that you started to wonder if you are the Lord’s?

I can recall occasions when the Lord Himself definitely held me, or spoke to me, and made me know that this was right, and this was wrong. It was something that I never received from outside; I never got advice, counsel, or anything; but I knew it in myself! ‘You just can’t – no, not now! You just cannot do it.’ It was as real as, or more real than, any audible voice.

What is that, coming right from the inside? That is the Spirit bearing witness with my spirit that I am a child of God. A child of God does not behave like that; a child of God does behave like this; a child of God does not do those things; a child of God does do these things.

The Spirit says: ‘Others can; you cannot; you are a child of God.’

It is very real – the Spirit bearing witness. That is to be the basic law of our Christian life. In addition, every one of you who is a child of God ought to know what I am talking about

This is what it means to be a Christian. It is something real on the inside.

Next, the Holy Spirit, coming inside, has created and constituted a new kind of human being, a different kind of humanity from all the rest of humanity.

5. The Holy Spirit Makes us Different

(from all other people who are not children of God)

  • He leaves His mark upon us!
  • Our focus is different, our understanding is different, out wants are different. Instead of self-focused, we are God focused.

A.We See Purpose in Suffering

And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. Romans 8:17-19

B.We Groan As We Wait For Our Adoption.

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:23

The difference is not that they have decided to be religious, and to go to meetings, and company with Christian people; do this thing and that thing, and give up a lot of other things – that is not it at all.

Their very being, their very constitution, has been changed; they are different people.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Jesus said: ‘You are from beneath; I am from above’ (John 8:23). That is exactly true of every child of God. We too can say: I am from above: this is no longer my place; this is no longer my home; I am no longer at rest here in this world. I have a new nationality. I have a new country, a new land; here in this world I am just an alien.

That becomes a very real thing to the child of God.

Just as Righteous Lot was vexed by the evilness of Sodom, so too we must always be on guard against the wickedness in this world.

Never try to violate it – never try to be at home in this world. If you do, you will be doing damage to your new constitution – because it is that, you see, that is your testimony. It is not that you try to be different at all. Never try to be different; never pretend to be different. The world can spot phonies.

If the Spirit lives in you, you will be different. That is the mark of the Holy Spirit. If you want any proof of that, you will find that, from the moment of your new birth, the Devil knows you! You are a marked person, just as Christ was a marked man when He was here.

The Spirit coming in makes us different, and it is just that difference that is the basis of everything for the future, for the Holy Spirit wants to use us.

6. The Holy Spirit Gifts Us

The next thing, in the life of the Spirit, is that the Holy Spirit gifts us, and qualifies us for a place and a part in this great purpose of God.

With God, it is not a matter of your natural abilities. It is a matter of you allowing the Holy Spirit to work His gift in you and through you.

Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28

The Holy Spirit Intercedes for us. He wants what is best for us! In fact, God uses our weaknesses and even our failures as instruments to build up his body and work to conform each other to Jesus.

Early in my Christian life, I was very conscious of many lacks, deficiencies, and things that I wished I had. I had ambitions and dreams that I was never able to realize. God did not want me to be somebody else. God wanted me to be what the Holy Spirit was gifting me to be.

On the one side, there are many who have very great natural abilities and qualifications, or qualifications acquired through study, but they are not necessarily spiritual people. Moreover, it never does mean – and you can prove this – that, because you have a tremendous background of scholarship, education, or qualification of that kind, you have a special aptitude for grasping spiritual things.

That is a great thing to learn early in the Christian life: it is not what I have, or what I do not have, naturally – the Holy Spirit is qualification for what God wants!

The New Testament speaks of ‘gifts of the Spirit’ and truly, if you allow the Holy Spirit to lead, He will reveal the gift that He has given you. It will motivate your service to Christ. Do take that to your heart. It may be that you are one of the least, and that you feel there is not much hope for you; but, if you have the Holy Spirit, He can and will qualify you for something that is your particular part in the whole.

The Holy Spirit has come to give us something we do not have naturally, and we cannot get naturally – it is the particular equipment of the Holy Spirit. It is never fleshly talent or abilities. It is a gift that is spiritual from the Holy Spirit.!

7. The Holy Spirit Puts us to Work

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30

I want to come to one more very important aspect of this whole matter of the Spirit.

Let us go back to the Old Testament, to the last section of the book of Exodus, which, as you know, contains the whole account of the making of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. In addition, you will know that it was through the Holy Spirit that the whole thing was made, constructed; that the Spirit came upon certain men for that work, and then, under those Spirit-governed men, gathered all the people together. All the people came into action.

While it does not definitely say so, it as good as says that the whole nation was in this business. They were all doing something about it; they all had something to give. Some had linen to give; some had other materials to give; but they all had something. I suppose you could see ‘sewing parties’ all over the camp, and men at work busy  at this thing and that – some on wood, some on  gold, some on silver, some on brass – all the different materials; everywhere they were occupied with the work, and it was all under the direction and instruction and counsel of Spirit-filled men.

They were all under the government of the Spirit. The Anointing, so to speak, spread itself all over the whole mighty host for work. Now my point is this: the Holy Spirit puts His Body to Work.

Just think, here are some women making a curtain for the Tabernacle. Well, are they going to have their own little ‘tabernacle’ made of their one little curtain, all to themselves? Here are some men making a part of wood, perhaps to be overlaid with gold: is that the Tabernacle? Are they going to have a special little tabernacle of that thing that they are making – a little church of their own? It is nonsense, you see.

All this, by the Spirit, is one thing – it is the Body of Christ at Work.

They are not each living and working for their own little bit, they are living and working for the whole. They have the vision of the whole, and their whole life is taken up with the whole – not with just their little bit as an end in itself. They are living and working for the Tabernacle in completeness. The Holy Spirit has brought them together, and bound them into a oneness. All their work and focus is one, because they are under one Spirit.

8. The Holy Spirit Unites Us

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:31-37

If you and I are really under the government of the Holy Spirit, under the anointing of the Spirit, we shall not have any little private things of our own, any little ‘hole in a corner’ business of ours, any detached and unrelated thing to which we are giving ourselves. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, and of unity in vocation. What it will amount to, dear friends, is this: we shall live for the whole.

Moreover, if it is a matter of our local relationships – such as here – none of us is to be living other than for the whole: we ought to be living for the complete thing. Our position must be ‘I am not living and working as an individual: I am living and working as a part of a whole. And, in the appointment of God, for the time being, my local ‘whole’ is here, and I am living for that; I work for that; that is my vocation.’

So many people are wondering about their service: wanting to be in the Lord’s work, or to do something for the Lord – some sort of ministry, some sort of work – and to know what their work is; and they are asking: What is my work? What is my ministry? What is my job? It is always ‘my’, ‘my’, ‘my’… The answer is: Your job is ‘they’, is ‘them’.

Your value to God is a related thing. You will find the Holy Spirit coming in and using you when you link yourself on with all the rest, and become part of the whole.

If you keep yourself in any detachment, He may not do anything at all with you; He will just leave you; you will be doing nothing, and be counting for nothing.

You see, we are really in “Ephesians”. “Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, Ephesians 4:1 and the context or Eph 4 all concerns our relationship one to another in our daily walk. We are not to say “this is not my job; this is not your job, as something personal, as if we were not connected to one another.

It is the Church’s job; it is not yours: it is not mine. Whenever people go off on a personal, unrelated, line they become an end in themselves; and when they go, that is the end. The thing started with them, and it finished with them; and now you have to start all over again.

Therefore, we go back to our illustration from the Old Testament. The people found their inspiration, and the Lord’s blessing upon them, as they saw all the time the whole, lived for the whole, and regarded everything, every detail, as a part of the whole. You live for the whole!

In the church you don’t see it through your eyes. You do not let a little matter get you all upset if you are focusing on God’s greater purpose through the WHOLE. You are not in a church for your own interests. Have the whole view of God’s Church, and you will find that the Lord’s blessing is there. There may be difficulties, but the Lord will stand by you; and there will be something that would not be there if you just became a little company by yourselves, in a corner, living for yourselves, turned in on yourselves.

The Christian life is never about you and what you want for yourself. No! That is not the Living in the Spirit! Catch the vision of God’s purpose!

God works to conform each one of us into the likeness of His Son! That is His purpose, and He uses the WHOLE body!

We started from within – the Spirit doing His work within, joining us to Christ, leading us to our relationship with our Abba Father, making us different, working in us and then working our His purpose in us, gifting us, putting us to work with others, uniting us to a bigger purpose, accomplishing what is on the heart of God.

The end of our Journey Through the Cross is dying to ourselves and what we want, and being conformed to Jesus Christ. That is where we are going.

How? By the Holy Spirit within, and by our Living in the Spirit.


Morton Zuckerman, once an avid supporter of President Obama, recently wrote this honest account of the state of affairs in America, Obama Is Barely Treading Water. I thought some excerpts would be appropriate.

“There is a widespread feeling that the government doesn’t work, that it is incapable of solving America’s problems. Americans are fed up with Washington, fed up with Wall Street, fed up with the necessary but ill-conceived stimulus program, fed up with the misdirected healthcare program, and with pretty much everything else. They are outraged and feel that the system is not a level playing field, but is tilted against them. The millions of unemployed feel abandoned by the president, by the Democratic Congress, and by the Republicans”.

He makes a powerful statement, sad but true:

The American people wanted change, and who could blame them? But now there is no change they can believe in.

Further he states:

“The fundamental problem is starkly simple: jobs and the deepening fear among the public that the American dream is vanishing before their eyes”.

To Mr. Zuckerman and most Americans, the American dream centers around money. He sums up the problem with this depressing scenario:

Many people who joined the middle class, especially those who joined in the last few years, have now fallen back. It’s not over yet. Millions cannot make minimum payments on their credit cards, or are in default or foreclosure on their mortgages, or are on food stamps. Well over 100,000 people file for bankruptcy every month. Some 3 million homeowners are estimated to face foreclosure this year, on top of 2.8 million last year. Millions of homes are located next to or near a foreclosed home, and it is the latter that may determine the price of all the homes on the street. There have been dramatically sharp declines in home equity, representing cumulative losses in the trillions of dollars in what has long been the largest asset on the average American family’s balance sheet. Most of those who lost their homes are hard-working, middle-class Americans who had lost their jobs. Now many have to use credit cards to pay for essentials and make ends meet, and they are running out of credit. Another $5 trillion has been lost from pensions and savings.

But it is jobs that have long represented the stairway to upward mobility in America. For a long time, it was feared they were vulnerable to offshore competition (and indeed still are), but now the erosion is from economic decline at home. What happens as those domestic opportunities recede? Middle-class families fear they have become downwardly mobile and have not hit the bottom yet. The financial security that was once based on home equity and a pension has been swept away.

This growing uncertainty and even helplessness over the state of affairs in America and around the world concerns me as well as Mr. Zuckerman. However, I view everything from a solid Biblical viewpoint. What I see happening does not cause me to despair, but rejoice, because the throne of God is at work.

Psalms 9 comes to mind:

The nations have fallen into the pit they made; their foot is caught in the net they have concealed. The Lord has revealed Himself; He has executed justice, striking down the wicked by the work of their hands.Higgaion. Selah The wicked will return to Sheol— all the nations that forget God. For the oppressed will not always be forgotten; the hope of the afflicted will not perish forever. Rise up, Lord! Do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your presence. Put terror in them, Lord; let the nations know they are only men.Selah Psalms 9:15-20

God delights when man realizes that he is helpless. That is when we turn to our Creator God. For God says that money is not the most important thing in life, HE IS! We are to seek Him first. Our relationship with our Creator God is most important! My prayer is that our leaders will fall on their knees and come face to face with the God who reigns over the affairs of men. Perhaps then we will cease being helpless and start being reliant upon God, our strong tower!

Four thousand years ago another Leader named David came to this same conclusion during a difficult time in his life. He cried out:

“troubles without number have surrounded me; my sins have overtaken me; I am unable to see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my courage leaves me. Lord, be pleased to deliver me; hurry to help me, Lord. Psalms 40:12-13

God was faithful to David because David was a man after Gods own heart. Perhaps our Leaders should publicly humble themselves, fall on their knees, and seek the heart of God! When the Throne of God is at work, their can be hope in nothing less.


I am always fascinated when I see a baby start to walk. Especially my grandchildren. Some have toddled and crawled for a couple weeks, but Laila stood up and started running and has not stopped yet.

Sure, it can be scary while they figure it out. You can try hard to keep them safe while they learn to walk. However, THEY have to learn how to walk. You cannot do it for them. They will fall. They will get bruises. They will have to decide that it is better to walk and run than to crawl around the rest of their lives. So must Christians discover how to walk and live the Christian life God designed for us. We have to decide that we do not want to crawl the rest of our Christian life.

It Is No Little Thing To Be A Christian.

Many people come to Christ and seem overwhelmed with ‘being a Christian”. If being a Christian seems too big for you, just say “That is very good” I would not have it if it were as small as I am. Being a Christian must be something really big if it is to get me anywhere!

The bigger being a Christian is, the mightier the dynamic force that is behind the Christian Life. The greater is the POWER to Walk the Christian Life!

Romans 1-7 is the Gateway into the Christian Life.

The word written across the portal of that gate is FAITH. On the Gate, is the Cross. Faith in the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ is the way in, and seven chapters are devoted to that way. In Chapter 8 you find what kind of life is on the other side of that gate, the other side of the cross.

Chapter 8 is the real nature of this Big Life into which we have come. In this chapter there is one word which stands out-it is the word SPIRIT. This whole chapter that describes this Big Christian Life springs from and centers on this matter of the Spirit!

This Big Christian Life begins there: The Law of the Spirit of Life IN Christ Jesus!

We are through the gate, we are through the Cross, and here we find what we call “The Life in the Spirit”. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the church, ushering in a new dispensation, the one we are living in now. It is the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament dispensation, the dispensation of God’s dealing with the Jews, is past. Now He is dealing with the church, the Body of Christ through the Holy Spirit. This is an entirely new and different age, marked by the coming of Jesus Christ, and concluded with His return.

The character and quality of this dispensation is entirely the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has come; He has introduced a new order of things entirely; and, until we understand that order, we shall not make any progress in our Christian life. It is very necessary for us to understand that.

The effect of the Holy Spirit, simply but fundamentally, is that He joins us to Christ. He brings about a vital union with the Lord Jesus. “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” 1 Corinthians 6:17. To Live this Big Christian Life requires not our self-effort, but our walking after and relying upon the Holy Spirit.

So We must WALK…AFTER THE SPIRIT. That is what we will focus on in Romans 8 verses 5 – 15.

We found in the first four verses of Romans 8:

I. New Life in Christ – New Walk in the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:1  Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Vs 2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Vs 3: For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, Vs 4: so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

We are One with Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit

  • In Jesus we are not condemned
  • In Jesus we live by a new law – freee from the law of sin and death.
  • We Walk Knowing what Jesus has done for us (vs 3)
  • We walk knowing what the Holy Spirit will do IN us (vs 4)

The Christian Life Is a Life Lived In Not In Our Flesh, But In The Spirit! Verse 3 reveals that God did for us what we could not do in ourselves-he removed the fundamental ground of our weakness-he crucified our old man, so that we could be free to walk in the new man of the Holy Spirit. Verse 4 reveals that the Law is fulfilled in us by walking in the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

What Does It Mean To Walk After The Holy Spirit?

1. Not a Work, but a Walk.

For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. Colossians 1:29

We allow the Holy Spirit to work in us.

D.L Moody said, “I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled.” J. Kuhatschek, Taking the Guesswork Out of Applying the Bible, IVP, p. 153ff.

Paul contrasts the WORKS of the flesh with the FRUIT of the Spirit (Gal 5:19, 22)

  • Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Galatians 5:19
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22

The Christian walk is not up to us, to our works, just as Salvation is not up to our works. Salvation is entirely of Grace, so the Christian Walk is to be entirely of Grace. The Spirit produces the fruit. We are merely the instrument.

2. To Walk After Implies Subjection/Submission

Subject means to be placed under the authority of another. We must willingly place ourselves under the authority of the Holy Spirit.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18

  • No matter what the cost, or what the imposition.

When we follow after our flesh the Holy Spirit will shrink back.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

3. Walking After the Spirit Requires a Mind Set upon Him!

“to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” Rom 8:6

Hurewicz was a mathematician noted for work in topology and being distracted. He was the original ‘absent-minded professor’.

While on the faculty at MIT he once gave a colloquium lecture at Penn State. Several colleagues from Boston schools decided to attend the talk and they took the train to Pennsylvania for the lecture. Afterward, as usual, they went to dinner had a nice discussion, then all boarded the train and returned to Boston. Hurewicz could not find his car at the train station. So he reported it stolen. A few days later, the police called and said that they had located his car. It was in a parking garage in ………….. Philadelphia.

In 1956 while attending the International Symposium on Algebraic Topology in Uxmal, Mexico he climbed to the top of a Mayan pyramid. The story is that he forgot where he was. He stepped nonchalantly and fell off to his death.

Jesus made it clear that what we set our mind on is critical to the advancement of His Kingdom:

Mt 16:23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

We are to have the mind of Christ, who set this self-less and flesh-less example for us:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8

4. Minding the Flesh Produces Conflict With God

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. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8

Walking after the flesh means I yield to the authority and dictates of the flesh. Romans 8:5-8 shows where fleshly walking leads me. It brings me into conflict with God. The word used by the King James is “enmity”. It means “the extreme ill will or hatred that exists between enemies.”

Paul uses a noun not an adjective for the word ‘enmity’. The reason is that walking after the flesh does not taint us, it shows WE are tainted!

  • It is not that we can be opposed to God, but that we ourself is opposed to Him!
  • We not at enmity, but enmity itself!
  • We are not black, but blackness!
  • We are not corrupt, but corruption!
  • We are not rebellious, we are rebellion!
  • We are not wicked, we are wickedness itself!
  • We are not just deceitful, we are deceit!

The fleshly walk does not submit to the Holy Spirit. The fleshly walk does not and cannot please God.

II. Walking After The Spirit Brings Me Into The Law Of The Spirit Of Life.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact 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, although 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 Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:9-15

The Spirit must LEAD us. Not only Setting our Minds on Him, but also Following Him. (Not enough to only think about Him, you must obey). My kids usually minded me, but I don’t think their heart was in it all the time!

Much more than minding. It requires that you submit to His leading. You cannot be independent of Him.  You must be subject to the Holy Spirit. Only as we yield ourselves to obey Him shall we find the law of the Spirit of Life in full operation and the “ordinance of the law” being fulfilled.

  • Everything we have been trying to do to please God is now reality simply by our submitting to the Holy Spirit.
  • As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the Sons of God. (Rom 8:14)

Why is it so important to be led by the Holy Spirit? Understand God’s design:

  • The Love of God is the source of all spiritual blessing
  • The grace of the Lord Jesus has made it possible for that spiritual wealth to be ours.
  • The communion of the Holy Spirit is the means whereby it is imparted to us.

What the Father has devised, the Son has accomplished, and the Holy Spirit communicates directly to us. If we are not walking after the Holy Spirit, we are missing out on all the Father hand the Son have for us!

III. We Walk as His Son

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Imagine walking as His Son. You are no longer crawling, you are WALKING as the SON of GOD! This is the Normal Christian Life we are to lead!

  • 2 John 1:6 “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”
  • 1 John 2:6 “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
  • Ephesians 5:8, 9 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)”
  • Romans 8:4 “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after theSpirit.”

Walking in the Spirit is not an option for the Christian – it is a command of God: “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

But, how do we walk as His Son?

A Son Believes His Father. A Son Trusts His Father.

  • See the Contrast

David vs. Saul and the Army of Israel

We see this in the contrast between the way the army of Israel approached the giant named Goliath and the way David did in 1 Samuel 17. The soldiers allowed did not believe in the power of their Jehovah God, for they did not see Him as their all-powerful Father. They all “ran away in great fear” while David, who knew the power of His God, and knew his special relationship with God, “ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him” in verse 48.

Your relationship determines your walk!

Joshua and Caleb vs. the Children in the Wilderness

This is the choice the Children in the Wilderness faced: Do we believe God or do we trust what we see? When the 10 spies told of the giants, the Israelites had no thoughts of their relationship with Jehovah God. They had no thoughts of His power, so they became afraid and disobeyed.

Joshua and Caleb knew the power of God, knew of their beloved relationship with Him, and knew they could go in and defeat the giants. Do you approach the giant fears of your life as a helpless orphan, or do you approach the giants as God’s beloved son?

A. We are a Son of God by the Holy Spirit

Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

  • Not the works of the spirit! – Not the influences of the spirit, or the general character which comes form the indwelling spirit,…but the Spirit Himself!
  • “The difference between the regenerate & the unregenerate is not of degree, but of kind!” (Spurgeon at His Best; Rom.8:9)

The question you must ask yourself:

Does the Spirit of Christ live in me? What evidences of the Holy Spirit do I  see in my life?

  • Do I constantly worry?
  • Do I get upset at even the tiniest of things.
  • Do I have sins that you can’t seem to control.
  • Do I read the Word of God and know that God speaks to me as I read it?
  • Do I have times when you just need to talk to your Father?
  • Do I constantly think about Jesus, do I praise Him, do I ask Him for advice?

If you truly are born again, you will walk in the Spirit of Christ. If you do not, then you need to do a Spirit Check.

B. Enemy of Sonship: The Phony Christian Walk

If you do not have the Spirit, you are a phony. You start Minding the Flesh, because you can’t mind the Spirit.

Evidence of phonies are:

1. Cliché Christianity. A cliché is a phrase that is said too many times in a certain situation. Take sports for example. We hear: Take it one game at a time. Records are made to be broken. This team has overcome a lot of adversity. They control their own destiny.

Christians resort to clichés as well, and in many ways those cliché’s define the way they live. Some have sarcastically referred to this practice as “Jesus jargon”. These overused phrases convey little meaning because we hear them way too often. Unfortunately, many of us just repeat the expected vocabulary without really thinking about what the words mean. As a result, they lose their impact. Here are some that come to mind: Just have faith. God touched me. Let go and let God. God told me. I’ll pray for you.

Here is the danger. You and I can say the right sayings and yet our hearts can be far from God. And, since most Christians use these common clichés, it is easy to fall into a superficial spirituality. On top of that, we can fool others and even ourselves simply by saying the right words.

But none of this fools God as Isaiah 29:13 reminds us: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me…”

2. Right Rules. Some of you are trying to live the Christian life by a set of rules: “Do this, don’t do that!” The problem of living by rules is that it can lead to legalism. It also is walking in the flesh. On top of that, according to Colossians 2:22-23, it does not work anyway: “These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”

God is not impressed either as the second part of Isaiah 29:13 says: “…Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”

3. Formulaic Faith. Some of us are trying to live our faith by following formulas. These formulas are everywhere: Three Avenues to Answered Prayer, Four Steps to Spiritual Success and Five Ways to Walk in the Spirit. There are at least two problems with formulaic faith. First, it can lead to mechanical Christianity. Second, it doesn’t work very often.

4. Performance Posture. Way too many of us are trying to please God by our performance and some of us think that He will only accept us if we make ourselves acceptable. As the early chapters of the Book of Romans make clear, we will always fall short.

5. Extra Experiences. Some people try to live the Christian life by seeking deeply moving, life-changing, earth-shattering, emotional experiences with God. The problem is that experiences do not last because we must eventually come off the mountaintop and resume life in the valley. And, if you seek experiences, you will yo-yo in your faith, going up and down depending on the experiences you have. While God uses conferences, camps, mission trips, moving movies, and dynamic speakers, they alone cannot sustain our faith.

6. Coasting Christianity. Some of you have settled into a mediocre, lukewarm Christian life. You might be a coasting Christian because you think Christianity is too difficult. It is too hard to follow this unseen Holy Spirit.

Do any of these alternatives describe you? Let me say that there is some truth in each one. Most of the clichés we use represent real truth. Rules can be good. Formulas can be helpful. God is pleased when we obey Him. Ecstatic experiences with the Almighty can be life-changing. And finally, Christianity is too difficult – if you try to live it without the Holy Spirit’s power. The life of faith is impossible without the empowering and filling of the Holy Spirit. You cannot live the true Christian Life without following after the Holy Spirit. Anything less is PHONY!

WATCH FOR THE SIGNS OF PHONY WALK! Learn to talk tough to yourself. This may sound strange but it’s actually quite helpful to audibly attack error in your thinking.

  • Sometimes I say out loud: “This thinking is wrong. It’s from the pit of hell. I refuse to entertain those thoughts.”
  • This goes back to the word “set” in verse 5 as it refers to a “fixed mindset.”
  • We see this in Colossians 3:2: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” A mind set on the flesh is death but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
  • That’s exactly what Isaiah 26:3 in the New Living Translation proclaims: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
  • In other words, we must let the mind of the Master be the Master of our minds as Philippians 2:5 says: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

C. The Holy Spirit Is Alive Within Each Christian.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

If you don’t have the Spirit, then you don’t have spiritual life. That means every believer is home to the Holy Spirit. This denotes a “settled permanent penetrative influence.” You don’t need to ask Him to come in because He enters at conversion, you don’t need a “second blessing” or worry that He’s ever going to leave.

Jesus in John 14:16-17: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

Galatians 4:6 describes the intimate relationship between the Holy Spirit within us and God the Father: “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’”

The Holy Spirit desires to have control in each Christian’s life. Since the Holy Spirit lives within believers, you and I must give Him control of our lives. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

The issue is not getting more of the Holy Spirit but allowing Him to have more of us. When we received Christ, we received all of God we will ever get. As born again believers, we don’t need to receive the Holy Spirit; we need to respond to the Holy Spirit whom we have already received.

When a toddler begins to walk he may revert back to crawling because it is still most natural to him. Walking is scary/risky. But there is some serious issues if your teenager keeps reverting back to crawling!!!

Is it more natural now in your walk with the Lord to walk in the flesh, or in the Spirit? Do you walk as His son, or as a phony?

D. Walking after the Spirit is a Life of Sonship

VS 14-15: For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:14-15

We have all benefited from the milled ridges that line our highways now. Driving over them produces a loud rumble that quickly wakes you up or tells you that you are drifting off the highway.

Well, the Holy Spirit works even better than those rumble strips when we start to do a mental lane change.

He ka-thump ka-thump ka-thumps upon our heart, warning us to get back in our Spirit lane, when we start crossing over into the flesh lane! We need to be reminde we are His son!

Galatians 5:16: “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Another translation puts it this way: “Keep in step with the Spirit…” The key is to keep in step with the Spirit, not lagging behind and not racing ahead.

BY walking after the Spirit, you are walking in the New Law and you experience the Righteousness of Jesus Christ and THROW OFF YOUR WRETCHEDNESS!

  • So, go to bed tonight & say, “If I die before I wake, I cannot be condemned!”
  • Should you wake the next morning go into the world & say, “I am not condemned!”
  • When howls at you tell him, “you may accuse me, but I am not condemned!”
  • If your sins arise say, “I know you, but you are all gone forever. I am not condemned!” [adapted from Spurgeon quote]

Un-Believers: [Re-read vs.1] – This also means “There still hangs a most weighty condemnation upon all those who are not IN Christ Jesus!”

And what did verse nine say, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His”. Be His today!

Say “Yes” to the Spirit of God and you will live as His Son. The flesh will be of no power when you walk in the Law of the Life of the Spirit!


New York Times Columnist Bob Herbert wrote an editorial June 21 titled “When Greatness Slips Away”. It has been reprinted in every major newspaper and has been talked about around the world.

After describing our blown opportunities in dealing with the 9/11 attack, Hurricane Katrina, the great economic crisis and now the BP oil catastrophe, he writes:

“As a nation, we are becoming more and more accustomed to a sense of helplessness. We no longer rise to the great challenges before us. It’s not just that we can’t plug the oil leak. We can’t seem to do much of anything.”

“The city of Detroit is using federal money to destroy thousands upon thousands of empty homes, giving in to a sense of desperation that says there is no way to rebuild the city, so let’s destroy even more of it. Lots more of it…”

“…The June 28 cover story of Time magazine is headlined “The Broken States of America.” The states are facing a catastrophic fiscal situation that is short-circuiting essential services, pushing even more people out of work and undermining the feeble national economic recovery.”

As Time reported: “Schools, health services, libraries — and the salaries that go with them — are all on the chopping block as states and cities face their worst cash squeeze since the Great Depression.”

We are submitting to this debacle with the same pathetic lack of creativity and helpless mindset that now seems to be the default position of Americans in the 21st century. We have become a nation that is good at destroying things — with wars overseas and mind-bogglingly self- destructive policies here at home — but that has lost sight of how to build and maintain a flourishing society.

How is it possible that we would let this happen? We’ve got all kinds of sorry explanations for why we can’t do any of the things we need to do…Meanwhile, the greatness of the United States, which so many have taken for granted for so long, is steadily slipping away.

I still believe in America! I still believe in the Spirit of America. But I believe that Spirit is slowly slipping away, and I believe I know why!

God has declared his standard of greatness for any nation.

Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverbs 14:34

Righteousness is the foundation for the Spirit of America, for the Greatness of America. Sadly, we are losing our foundation of righteousness.

William Bennett, in addressing the Midshipmen of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, November 24th, 1997, said:

“America is a place of heroes, honor, achievement, and respect. But it is as well a place where far too often, heroism is confused with celebrity, honor with fame, true achievement with popularity, individual respect with political correctness. From inside here you look out at a culture that celebrates self-gratification, the crossing of all moral boundaries, and now even the breaking of all social taboos. And on top of it all, too often the sound you hear is whining – the whining of America, what can be heard only as the enormous ingratitude of modern man toward our unprecedented prosperity and good fortune.

Despite our wonders and greatness, we are a society that has experienced so much social regression, so much decadence, in so short a period of time, that in many parts of America we have become the kind of place to which civilized nations used to send missionaries.” http://www.chaoticsynapticactivity.com/2006/08/03/does-honor-have-a-future-william-bennett/

Even in 1997, William Bennett was decrying the growing decadence in America, proclaiming that many parts of America are the kinds of places we used to send missionaries to!

John Adams foresaw long ago that:

“Human passions unbridled by morality and religion…would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.” — John Adams

The “Spirit of America” is slipping away like a whale through a net because we have forgotten what Righteousness is! Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverbs 14:34

There has been much debate about the religious beliefs of our Founding Fathers. Regardless of what you believe about their religious beliefs, all the writings we have indicate that our founding Father’s knew what “Righteousness” was. They knew what morality and virtue was. They believed that the Bible was the Word of God and that Righteousness and morality and virtue are all defined within its pages.

The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defined righteousness:

“Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion.”

Webster concluded that righteousness is conformity to the divine law, and in short is true religion. Webster considered “education useless without the Bible.” And as a result he utilized God’s written word as a key to the meaning of words. There is a Scripture reference used in most of his definitions.

Noah Webster wrote in the “History of the United States, 1833”;“…the moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws… All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

Our founding fathers knew the Scriptures, knew the validity of them, and realized that Creator God was the defining image of Righteousness and Justice. Righteousness was based upon the truth of God and the truth of His Word. God set the definition of Righteousness.

  • George Washington (Farewell Address, 1796) “And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
  • John Adams (letter, 1776) “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.”
  • Benjamin Rush (Essay, 1798) “The only foundation for…a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”

JOHN EIDSMOE wrote “Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers” (Baker Book House, 1987, 2008), and in it he demonstrates that at least 51 of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention were members of Christian churches, and that leading American political figures in the founding era quoted the Bible far more than any other source.

John Adams summed it up:

John Adams (Address, 1798) “We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled by morality and religion… Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Our government and our Constitution was based upon a people who are moral and religious. Our Constitution was founded upon the principles of Righteousness! Righteousness exalts a Nation! The Spirit of America, the Strength of America is based upon our Righteousness in upholding the Law of God!

Something is happening to America! The Spirit of America is slipping away! The greatness of America is slipping away!

We have Slipped Away From our foundation of Righteousness!

The 1913 Webster Dictionary had modified the main definition of righteousness:

“The quality or state of being righteous; holiness; purity; uprightness; rectitude.”

Gone was the basis or foundation of the righteousness-God and His Word.

By 2010, we see a complete watering down of the term:

“acting in a just, upright manner; doing what is right; virtuous:” “adhering to moral principles”

“characterized by or proceeding from accepted standards of morality or justice;”

Instead of a Nation “under God” we are becoming a nation “apart from God!”

We have taken God out of education, out of politics, and are in the process of taking him out of society.

Even the Pope Sees It

I never thought I would quote a Pope, but Pope Benedict is even concerned about this and on June 30th issued this:

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI is creating a new Vatican office to fight secularization and “re-evangelize” the West …

“The process of secularization has produced a serious crisis of the sense of the Christian faith and role of the Church.” The new pontifical council, he said, would “promote a renewed evangelization” in countries where the Church has long existed “but which are living a progressive secularization of society and a sort of ‘eclipse of the sense of God.'” http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-06-30

America is one of those countries experiencing an ‘eclipse of the sense of God!

God has come under attack in America, and is being pushed aside. Our society is becoming increasingly secularized, and everything from churches to politics is being affected. We are turning away from the moral foundation of Righteousness which made our nation great! As a result, the Great Spirit of America is slipping away!

America Needs a Strong Moral Foundation

When we forget God and ignore His Word, the moral fabric that forms the foundation of our Government is seriously weakened.

  • Samuel Adams (letter, 1778) “Religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness.”
  • Patrick Henry (letter, 1799) “The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor…and this alone, that renders us invincible.”

By Secularizing morals and ethics (secularizing means to make profane, to remove the spiritual basis) and by denying God as the source and standard of RIGHTEOUSNESS, we are pushing the American Ideals off the foundation of God’s Word! Those Ideals cannot stand without the foundation of God! The American Constitution cannot be secularized without being torn apart!

Remember the words of John Adams:

“Human passions unbridled by morality and religion…would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.” — John Adams

IS THIS THE INTENT OF OUR GOVERNMENT?

America, from our political leaders to our sacred halls of education, are intent on acting out Psalms 2:

Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.” Psalms 2:1-3

OUR GODLY FOUNDATION IS FAILING – WE HAVE A SUBGRADE PROBLEM

Soft Subgrade repaired with Fabric

The Righteousness that is based upon God’s Moral Law is being stripped away from our moral consciousness, and thereby the moral fabric of America is coming unraveled. The Stabilization fabric of America is failing.

Daniel Webster (4th of July oration, 1800) “To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.”

America is starting to yaw (move unsteadily, weave, deviate from a straight course). Our subgrade is failing, our Godly foundation is breaking up.

America was founded by laws drawn from God’s Holy Law. But we have profaned our laws by removing God’s Moral Standard. We have vitiated our Laws by removing that which made them RIGHTEOUS! We have become a SECULAR NATION!

God is being replaced slowly but surely, and we are not even noticing.

In 1986, Dr. Paul Vitz, then professor of psychology at New York University, worked with a committee that examined sixty social studies and history textbooks used in public schools across the United States. The committee was amazed to find that almost every reference to the Christian influence of early America was systematically removed. Their conclusion: the writers of the commonly used textbooks exhibited paranoia of the Christian religion and intentionally censored Christianity’s positive role in American history. (Paul C. Vitz. Censorship: Evidence of Bias in Our Children’s Textbooks.)

“The present educational establishment, to cite just one group, has been obscuring the past so that our children have no way of comparing the facts of history with the distorted version promoted by biased secular historians.” (Vitz. Ibid. p. 24)

“In grades 1 through 4 these books introduce the child to U.S. society – to family life, community activities, ordinary economic transactions, and some history. None of the books covering grades 1 through 4 contain one word referring to any religious activity in contemporary American life.” (Paul C. Vitz. Professor of psychology at New York University. Censorship: Evidence of Bias in Our Children’s Textbooks . 1986.)

“Are public school textbooks biased? Are they censored? The answer to both is yes, and the nature of the bias is clear: Religion, traditional family values, and many conservative positions have been reliably excluded from children’s textbooks.” (Paul C. Vitz. Religion and Traditional Values in Public School Textbooks. p. 14)

As God is being replaced, so is the Great American Spirit.

Christians are Becoming at Risk in America

I never thought I would not live to see the day when the civil liberties of Christians are at risk in America. Examples of what is Happening:

In an article in the Lexinton, NC Dispatch dated February 24, 2010; Columnist Denny Whalen wrote an article entitled http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20100224/COLUMNISTS/2244021?p=all&tc=pgall

“Christians find themselves under fire throughout United States.”

Here are a few of his comments (plus some more I have found):

  • Arlene Elshinnawy, a 75-year-old grandmother of three, and Lynda Beckman, a 70-year-old grandmother of 10 (along with nine others), were arrested for sharing their faith on the public sidewalk in Philadelphia, Pa., USA. The event was the city funded Gay “OUTFEST”. They faced 47 years (the rest of their lives) in jail for spreading the Gospel because of a Pennsylvania “hate crimes” law.
  • A woman in Houston, Texas, was recently ordered by local police to stop handing out gospel tracts to children who knocked on her door during Halloween. Investigating officers told her that such activity is illegal and that she would be arrested if she continued the practice.
  • At the same time, the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis., is allowed to distribute anti-Christian pamphlets to public school children titled “We can be Good without God”
  • Police arrested seven Christians in Elmira, N.Y., who prayed on public property while holding their Bibles. The charges? Intent to cause a public disturbance, obstructing foot and vehicle traffic and taking part in any act that serves no legitimate purpose.
  • In San Diego, the school district granted a group of Muslim students prayer rights despite the rulings that verbal prayer in public schools has been declared unconstitutional, even if the prayer is both voluntary and denominationally neutral.
  • In a Michigan case, it was declared unconstitutional for a student to pray aloud over his lunch.
  • A student in Omaha, Neb., was prohibited from reading his Bible silently during study hall and was further enjoined from opening his Bible at all in school.
  • Sixty-seven year-old Cummings, Ga., resident Fredric Baumann was arrested for passing out gospel tracts on a public street. Convicted and jailed for two days, Baumann was denied his rights to contact a lawyer, and denied the use of his reading glasses.
  • Jim Pullion, a quiet, disabled Christian grandfather would peacefully hold pro-life signs around his community of Owosso, Michigan. But one morning while holding signs in front of his granddaughter’s High School, Jim was viciously shot and killed by Harlan Drake. Drake said he killed Jim because he was upset by his abortion signs. Even though Pouillon’s family extended their forgiveness, Drake remains unrepentant even as he was sentenced to life in prison.
  • April 27, 2010, Julea Ward had the hopes of becoming a certified counselor. With a 3.9 grade point average, she was only a few months away from graduating with a Master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. The University expelled Julea from her Master’s program because she refused to engage in activities contrary to her Christian faith. She would not counsel in favor of homosexual lifestyles. When approached by her teacher to counsel someone about their homosexual relationship Julea politely declined and referred the client to another counselor. She was expelled.
  • In Boynton Beach Florida, on February 4th of 2010, two young men (Tite Sufra, 24, and Stephen Ocean, 23)were witnessing to Jeriah Woody (18).

They witnessed to Woody for fifteen minutes when he got a phone call and told the preachers he ‘had to go.’ As they walked away, Woody suddenly started walking back toward them. Sufra walked up to greet him and was killed with a shot gun blast at point blank range. When Ocean ran, he was shot in the back. After he fell, Woody shot him in the head execution style. Woody was arrested Wednesday and is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. (Feb 5, Christian News Wire) Jeriah said he had to run a quick errand, left and returned with a pistol. He shot and killed Tite Sufra (24) and Stephen Ocean (23).

Less than two weeks ago:

  • June 19, 2010 DEARBORN, Mich. — Four Christians were arrested for disorderly conduct outside the Dearborn Arab International Festival while handing out copies of the Gospel of John in English and Arabic.

Arrested were Negeen Mayel, Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, David Woods, and Paul Rezkalla. Dr. Quereshi is co-director of Acts 17 Apologetics Ministries. He holds an MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School and an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University. Mayel, an eighteen-year-old female, whose parents emigrated from Afghanistan is a recent convert from Islam to Christianity.

“When Dr. Quereshi was arrested I heard people clapping and applauding, and some said ‘Allahu Akbar,’” Atkins said. There was a crowd of 15-20 people watching the exchange and subsequent arrest.

“These Christian missionaries were exercising their Constitutional rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, but apparently the Constitution carries little weight in Dearborn, where the Muslim population seems to dominate the political apparatus,” said Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.

“I never thought I would see this in America,” says Steven Atkins, a resident of Toronto, Canada, who was visiting the festival and observed the incident.

“It was an intense discussion, but it was not unruly,” Atkins noted. “There was no threat of violence,” he said. “It’s becoming more restrictive here than in Canada.”

Just last week:

  • TAMPA, Florida (OneNewsNow) — Earlier this month, World Changers of Florida was denied the right to distribute the Bible in the Collier County (TAMPA) School District during off-school hours. Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, is handling the case.

“The school district said that the Bible cannot be distributed on Religious Freedom Day,” he explains. “It had been distributed on Religious Freedom Day for the past several years, but this time they changed their decision and said it would be unconstitutional to distribute the Bible in a public school to willing recipients who want to receive the Bible.”

Staver notes that other items are distributed at the schools for secular events. In a Liberty Counsel press release, he stated that “limiting access to the forum based on religious viewpoint violates the First Amendment.”

“This particular school says that everything goes but the Bible is banned,” he adds.

According to the Liberty Counsel, the Collier County School Board allowed World Changers to distribute free Bibles to students during off-school hours on Religious Freedom Day, but now the school officials claim that Bibles do not provide any educational benefit to the students and the distribution should stop.

The Collier County School District policy specifically allows the distribution of literature by nonprofit organizations, but only with the approval of the superintendent and the Community Request Committee, whose members are appointed by the superintendent. Approval was denied to World Changers, despite the fact that its distribution included a disclaimer of any school endorsement or sponsorship and that receiving a Bible was purely voluntary.

“How sad that on the eve of Independence Day, when we celebrate the religious and political freedom our forefathers won for us at the cost of much blood and great sacrifice, we are compelled to sue to protect the right simply to make free Bibles available to students in public schools,” said Mathew D. Staver, Liberty Counsel founder.

Click here to read the lawsuit: http://www.liberty.edu/media/9980/attachments/complaint_world_changers_070110.pdf

The Greatness of America is slipping away because we are slipping away from God. We are losing the “Spirit of America!”

God’s Word is very clear:

  • And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips. Jeremiah 7:28
  • The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Psalms 9:17

TODAY IN AMERICA – ANYTHING GOES

We are becoming a society that is not built upon God’s Truth, but based upon the denial of absolute truth, to the end that we accept ANY truth. We are becoming a Nation of “ANYTHING GOES”. We appease everyone and end up pleasing no one, especially our Creator God!

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” ~Winston Churchill

Because we have become a Nation of “No Absolute Truth”, we have accepted a multitude of belief’s. We have become a nation of “Any Lie Goes!” Our acceptance of “any truth” and therefore “any lie” has led to something far worse than a “forgetting” or “neglect” of God. It is a dramatic CULTURE SHIFT!

Albert Mohler Jr

After reading the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey, Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (our largest Southern Baptist Seminary), which revealed that the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990, rising from 8 to 15 percent and revealed firther that the Pacific Northwest is no longer the leader in people who are religiously unidentified, but is now held by the Northeast Region of America.

A remarkable culture-shift has taken place around us,” Mohler wrote. “The most basic contours of American culture have been radically altered. The so-called Judeo-Christian consensus of the last millennium has given way to a post-modern, post-Christian, post-Western cultural crisis which threatens the very heart of our culture.” “Clearly, there is a new narrative, a post-Christian narrative, that is animating large portions of this society,” http://www.newsweek.com/2009/04/03/the-end-of-christian-america.html

America is becoming a POST-CHRISTIAN NATION and the great “Spirit of America” is slipping away…

Gen. Douglas MacArthur: “It must be of the spirit, if we are to save the flesh.”

In 1863, Lincoln called the nation to fasting and prayer in order to be blessed. “We have grown in numbers, wealth and power…but have forgotten God.”

What a long way from our foundation we have fallen:

The Supreme Court in 1892

The US Supreme Court

Strong religious convictions therefore played a role in the development of the United States, which was established on Christian principles and open to all people of good will.

In 1892 (Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States) this was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. After exhaustive deliberation, the Court said, “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise, and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”

Imagine that. A nation whose laws and institutions are based on the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. Why, such a place would surely become the leader in education, invention, and the arts. Such a place would probably become a haven of religious liberty for more types and religions of people than has ever existed anywhere or at any time on earth. Instead of religious persecution and intolerance, such a place would offer hope and opportunity to the huddled masses of the earth.

This is what America became-a beacon of hope to the world, because the foundation of our government was God’s Law! But now, because we have rejected absolute truth, and in every way have rejected God’s leadership of our Nation, we have opened ourselves to accepting every kind of belief:

And Now This From President Obama:

President Barack Obama stated at a press conference in Turkey April 6th 2009 that we Americans “do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, or a Muslim nation, but rather, a nation of citizens who are, uh, bound by a set of values.”

Besides denying that America is a Christian nation, President Obama told the Turkish Parliament on the same day: “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”  http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/election/1003

This is a Far Cry from our Founding Fathers:

George Washington: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

Thomas Jefferson: “The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty. . . . Students’ perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.”

Andrew Jackson: “That Book [the Bible] is the rock on which our Republic rests.”

Ulysses S. Grant: “Hold fast to the Bible. . . . To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”

As Del Tackett said in Tour Ten of the Truth Project:

We can ignore history and the wisdom of the Founders. We can ignore the design for which this nation was intended to operate. We can even ignore God himself. But if we do so, we would do well to consider Solzhenitsyn’s words describing the reason for the Russian Revolution that swallowed up some 60 million Russians:”Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’

For we would do so not only at our own peril, but our own ruination.

I love America. I want to see us remain a Great Nation. What can we do to turn the tide? What can we do to stand in the Gap? What can we do to see the American Spirit thrive again?

1.  Stand Firm in Your Walk.

Constantly Check it out: Has your Christian walk become secularized? Have you secularized Christian Observances like Easter and Christmas? Do your children and grandchildren know what those holidays are really about? Examine your heart toward your church! Do you enter with the reverence of God on your heart? Examine your life through the week. Are you living as a child of God, are you reading and depending upon God’s Word? Are has your life become secularized, profane, and God rendered ineffective by your constant neglect of Him in your daily life.

2.  Be On Guard With Your Children And Grandchildren.

Become familiar with what they are learning. Examine their textbooks. Point out errors. Acquaint your children and grandchildren with the real foundation of this country. Work to counter the lies of the educational system. Become a proponent of Creator God. Let your children and grandchildren know who really made them, and how he created this world. Let them know how evolution could never explain the intricacies of how wonderfully we are made.

3.  As Christians, become Interdependent upon each other

Be Courageous and Strong! Together! We are not facing this struggle alone. We gain boldness when we join with other Christians. We unite in a common cause of making Jesus Christ known. We pursue the liberty and freedom that is in Him! And we do it united with likeminded Christians in a solid, Bible believing, Bible teaching church.

As Paul admonished the Corinthians, so God admonishes the church in the Last Days: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

We are to be the light of this Nation! We can only do so as we bind together and guide this blind nation to God’s Word once again. We do so through our lives of sincere love and compassion. We are to be the living reality of God’s Word!

Bob and Tina Andrews

Bob Andrews plays golf and has a 30 handicap. That may seem quite average to you, but Bob is totally blind. He lost his sight to a grenade in Vietnam. When he came back to the states, he was still in a coma, but his girlfriend Tina stayed by his side. She said her whole life was lying in that bed. When Bob finally came out of the coma, he was totally depressed about what blind life would be like. Tina assured him, “Look, we’re two people. We’re a team. We can do anything we want!”

They got married within two months, and embarked on an active life as a team! They are successful building contractors, they have three sons, they sail, fish, bodysurf, and even golf.

Last year Bob even became the 2009 United States Blind Golf Association’s (USBGA) national champion. What is the secret to this couple’s success?

INTERDEPENDENT TEAMWORK!

Tom Sullivan, a blind actor and recording artist revealed:

Every blind person is told at first that he’s going to be dependent on others his whole life, and so they react wildly. They walk into traffic, take up dangerous sports, stuff like that, stuff that will prove to the world that they don’t need them. But it only makes them unhappier. Eventually, through love, they recognize that the only way to be happy and at peace is to live interdependently, to live knowing they need others and others need them. That’s what blind golf is, a symbol of that lesson. The notion that we all need each other, blind or sighted.

Rick Reilly caddied for Bob (and others) to write “Who’s Your Caddy.” He observes:

“I saw then what a team they had become. They were so much greater than the sum of their parts.”

America is made up of many, many different people, with many different ideas. God is counting on the Christians, His people to work with each other in guiding this blind nation. We can’t isolate ourselves and hope the problem goes away. No, we must unite with other Bible Believers and together, through love and faithful witness, we can see the Sprit of America restored.

Righteousness Exalts a Nation!

When we fail to see our dependence upon each other, fail to work together for the cause of Jesus Christ, we are giving in to the secular powers that want to remove God from our Nation. We celebrate July 4th as our Independence Day. Yet our independence will lead to the loss of the Great American Spirit.

We need to declare July 4th our Interdependence Day and work as a team to restore the Righteousness of God in our Nation! It begins with our lives!