Romans 8:1-8 NIV Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
Jesus came with a very difficult and crucial mission. He came to die for us on the cross receiving the wrath of the Father on sin upon His own heart. He felt it as the Father turned away from Him. He felt the full weight of guilt and condemnation for the sins of all humanity. He took it all upon Himself out of pure love for each and every one of us so that we could have forgiveness in Him, to be made righteous in Him, to be free from the deadly shackles of sin in and through His holy name.
He did it for us to make us free from sin and death and alive and righteous to live with Him forever and forever.
He did not suffer for us and die for us so we could go on living in sin and chasing after the desires of the flesh. The verses from Romans 8 listed above clearly show us that if we are living after the desires of the flesh, if we are still in a lifestyle of sin, we are still enemies of God. His word is clear that the mind governed by the flesh is death and hostile to God and His ways.
There is no freedom in Christ if we are just continuing on in sin without true repentance. Repentance doesn’t just mean we say we’re sorry, profess belief in Christ and were good. It’s not a prayer we repeated at an altar call. It’s not even believing Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of all humanity. Even the demons believe and shudder in fear at the sound of His name.
Repentance is a change of direction. It is forsaking the flesh and choosing to live after the Spirit. It is not just believing that Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life, but following in His ways, living in His truth and being made alive with eternal life through Him by faith.
It is true we are not saved by works. There is no way we can earn our salvation. Otherwise that would be the way we would be saved. No, we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. But true faith and belief in Him and who He is as Lord and God over all creation will naturally result in our true allegiance and surrender to Him as our Lord and God.
Faith that doesn’t result in forsaking the flesh and its sinful desires and turning to walk in the Spirit and following Jesus Christ is not true faith.
We are not saved to continue in sin. We are saved from sin and its resulting death to live forever with the Holy God.
Lord Jesus, we lift our hearts and minds to you and ask that you would examine us to ensure we are truly in the faith. Please convict us in our hearts of any sin that we have in our lives that is keeping us from truly following you. Help us to honestly and humbly accept the truth you reveal to us and please bring us to true repentance. Don’t let us be deceived or deceive ourselves into thinking we are saved if we are not. Don’t let us fall under the deception of thinking that we are walking with you if we are not. Truly free us from the bondage of sin today and let us live our lives walking in the Spirit, following Jesus as our Lord and God. Help us to stand firm against the temptations of the flesh and keep our hearts and minds fixed upon you that we would be completely governed by the Spirit and not the flesh.
Thank you Lord for taking our place under God’s wrath upon that cross. That through you we can be saved and truly set free. In your precious and Holy name Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen!