It’s been said that what the most important person in your life thinks of you, greatly affects how you feel about yourself. For example, if you are married, the opinion of your spouse matters tremendously to you. If your spouse loves and respects you, you can withstand not being loved and respected by others. But if your spouse doesn’t respect you, it is far more difficult to feel good about yourself.
It may be easy to say that God is the most important person in our lives. Perhaps we mean that to the best of our understanding at any given point, but the reality grows over time if we keep pursuing God. Still, if God is in reality the central figure in your life and as you understand more of who he is and how he sees you, this creates the possibility of a confidence beyond what you’ve imagined. However, it seems we have to be reminded. We walk with God by faith and our faith needs constant refreshing by encountering God through his word. It is there that the Holy Spirit reminds us that when God looks at us, when he looks at one of his children, he does not see our sin; rather he sees the righteousness of Jesus.
It’s possible to know these things in your mind but still not be greatly encouraged by it. It’s only through looking closely at scripture, and through that look to be drawn closer to God, that you can begin to sense God making these truths real to you. When that happens, confidence soars. There’s no place for arrogance; such a realization of the love of God doesn’t lead us to want to look down our noses at other people. Rather it fills us with gratitude that we can live with confidence and rest knowing we are secure in Jesus and in what he has done for us.
This Sunday I'm beginning a series preaching through Romans 8. I believe the exploration of this text will lead to a breakthrough in the way you see these matters. I hope you won't miss a single week either in person or through the podcast. You can see the text, outline, and discussion questions below.
God bless you and I look forward to seeing you Sunday,
Confidence: A Study of Romans 8, Part 1
You can take confidence now because
1. God delivers you from the penalty your sin deserves
Romans 8:1–2 (ESV)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
2. God did for you what you cannot do for yourself
Romans 8:3 (ESV)
3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
3. God gives you credit for Jesus’ perfect life
Romans 8:4 (ESV)
4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Questions for further thought (they are harder than normal)
What evidence do you see of a spiritual battle going on inside your mind?
What does it mean to be in Christ Jesus?
To what extent do you struggle with forgiving yourself for past sins? How does this passage address that problem?
In what sense is the Old Testament law “weakened by the flesh”?
Why does just trying to be a better person not help a person to become right with God?
What is it that God does that the law cannot?
What is the righteous requirement of the law?
What evidence in there in this text that obedience is still important?