How to win the battle over your soul

07/12/12 4:47 PM

Some big themes in Romans.
1. You and I are in a cosmic battle for our souls.
2. We’ll either spiral into sin and death or into the Holy Spirit and life.
3. Our two options, surprisingly, are either persistent gratitude or rallying to judge the bad guys.
4. Our choices attract spiritual momentum beyond the choices themselves.
5. Our proving ground will be our level of faith in God’s promises when we’re suffering.

Romans 2:1-5

God’s Righteous Judgment

2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

Romans 1:16-25
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[a] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[b]

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Footnotes:a.Romans 1:17 Or is from faith to faith
b.Romans 1:17 Hab. 2:4

How can we win the battle for our soul?
1. In parts of yourself you can’t master, try thanksgiving.
2. Ask friends, as a personal favor, to tell you when you start to judge other people or groups of people.
3. Rather than blame shifting, rejoice in your own repentance.

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