The Purpose of the Problem
Acts 23, Romans 8:1-11
Paul’s destination was Rome but first, he wanted to go to Jerusalem because he had a heart for his people to receive the Gospel message. Their response resulted in beatings for Paul and riots yet he still wanted to share the Gospel with them and even called them brothers.
Acts 23:11: But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”
Paul must have been discouraged because of the reaction of the Jews and needed the encouragement he received from the Lord.
How often are we discouraged and feel condemned when we fail or sin in our Christian life? But there is encouragement in Romans 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
It is satan who plants seeds of guilt, shame, and failure. When that happens, we need to post the sign motels use when there are no more rooms: No vacancy! There is no room for guilt, shame, and failure because every room is filled with grace, mercy, and love, etc.
Why do we as believers accept satan’s deception?
- Condemnation is real. It is a result of sin and started in the Garden with Adam and Eve. Yet God provided a covering for them when they realized they were naked. An animal had to die in order for them to have that covering. Likewise, Jesus took our place and the penalty we deserved because of our sin and we are covered by His blood. He removed the condemnation and we are able to walk in freedom.
- We keep on sinning. It works like this: Guilt: I did something wrong.
- Conceal: I hide it.
- Remorse: I feel bad.
- Rededication: I rededicate myself to God.
- Notice it is all about me.
- We don’t know Jesus gives us power through the Holy Spirit. John 16:7-11: 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Notice the contrast between the work of satan and that of the Holy Spirit:
Satan brings condemnation… The Holy Spirit brings conviction.
We feel guilt… The Holy Spirit extends grace.
We try to conceal… The Holy Spirit encourages confession.
We feel remorse… The Holy Spirit tells us to repent.
We did bad (focus on us)… The Holy Spirit draws our focus to God.
We rededicate ourselves (about me)...The Holy Spirit tells us to surrender to God.
We think failure… The Holy Spirit gives victory.
We move away from God… The Holy Spirit draws us closer to the Lord.
Result: Life and Peace
Romans 8:6: The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.