The Apostle Paul writes to the Romans in chapter 8 that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He goes on to say that it is because we who are followers of Christ have been set free from the law of sin and death. It is necessary for us who have been claimed by God as brothers and sisters of  Jesus Christ, to understand, though we have been set free from the law of sin and death, it is necessary for us to make that choice everyday, to live in the Spirit of God. It is really easy to slip back into the “flesh” and leave behind that life that God has for us to live.

Whether you call it backsliding or something else, it does happen, we have seen it all of us at one time or another. Whether one of those big time televangelists, or a friend at church, we have witnessed this choice to live in darkness rather than in the light. Even when we know that we are “saved” and are on the path toward heaven, we can still be lured off that path. Paul speaks of the difference between a life in the Spirit and a life outside of the Spirit.

Those who are going away from God, those who are at enmity with God are those who are focused on themselves. Idolatry comes in many forms, yet they all are self-centered. Whether it is the lust of sexual misconduct, the Scriptures call it fornication, or the lust for power, for prestige, for money. All of this is centered in self. There used to be a bumper sticker that said, “Whoever has the most toys wins.” We human beings tend to spend our lives trying to acquire the most toys. Cars, houses, the newest gadgets, beautiful friends, and spouses. The scriptures say we should be looking in a different direction.

The direction that scripture speaks of is one that is totally life changing, it is trust in Jesus Christ. For that is what brings us into a relationship with our God. When we come to that place where we ask Christ into our lives, where we confess that we are in reality sinners and enemies of God, it is then that we are filled with the Spirit of God. The helper that Christ promised when he left the disciples, and that came upon them at Pentecost. Now that doesn’t mean that you are going to speak in tongues or anything but it does mean that the Spirit cleanses the sin from your soul, and brings you to a right relationship with God. It is always your choice, every day of your life you must choose to follow Christ, and move closer to perfection in Love. For that is the great gift of God, Love flowing through you like a stream of life to all you meet. It is God’s love that leads to eternal life in the presence of His light. The opposite is to be in the outer darkness, where there is no light, only weeping and gnashing of teeth.

When you live in Love, your life is totally transformed, you are no longer centered on self, but rather on God, you think of others, you look to clothe the naked, feed the hungry and help those who are without, to find ways to earn a living so they too can become all that God has for them to be. It is easy to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, it is harder to take the time to teach them how to clothe and feed themselves. Yet that is our path, to bring to those who are in need the ability to conquer that need and move on in life, with the ability to care for themselves and others, and especially to know that God Loves them and wants them to have a relationship with Him as well. Life in the Spirit, is being like Christ, feeding and healing, and teaching what it means to know God and to walk with God through all of life.