Your Blessing is in Hand [Part 1]
By Alan Wright — January 01, 2019
Are you ready for some good news?
The power of the Christian resides not in your promises to God but in God’s promises to you!
Today’s Text: “For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7:5–6, ESV)
As we start 2019 today, people all over the world are drawing up their New Year’s resolutions. Gym attendance and diet book sales will soar for a few weeks and then … well, back to normal.
Making promises to yourself and to God feels good for the moment. You’ve decided on something important and that’s good. But personal resolve has no real power in it. Living by personal resolutions is really no different than trying to live up to the law. The law of God is good and holy and right but, as Paul told the Romans, legalism arouses our sinful passions.
It’s an incredible thought, utterly counter-intuitive. But clearly Paul says that our human efforts to live by the system of the law actually make us more likely to sin.
When you declare (resolve) to do better it seems noble and feels good for the moment. But when you fail to keep your resolution (which always eventually happens) you find yourself under condemnation. When we feel condemned, we are at our worst.
But when you build your life on the promises of God in Jesus Christ, you move the center of your motivation away from yourself and to God. You move the power away from yourself and to God.
If you want to live a more holy, more noble, more fruitful life in 2019, dwell on the promises of God to you and let the Gospel drench your soul with so much Good News that you are filled with hope. Hope is what energizes. Hope is what gets us up in the morning. Hope is what says “no” to sin.
The glories of the Gospel can empower you for the upcoming year. You’re blessed. And that’s the Gospel!