5th August 2018

Hello & welcome to church today. Today our theme is “Victory Over Sin”. It is part of our new series “The difference Jesus makes”.

I think for most of us there are many benefits in becoming a Christian. Forgiveness would be the top one. Eternal life another. These are great truths and great fruit on the ‘tree’ which is Jesus.

Last week we saw that one of those fruit was ‘peace’. We have peace with God through Jesus Christ. No fighting, no war, no skirmishing. Put positively, peace means access, reconciliation and the hope of sharing in the glory of God. All good (it also means suffering but we can talk about that later).

The problem with peace is that is can lead to complacency. For example at the end of the BBC War and Peace series, the film maker has this bucolic scene of the family in sun dappled countryside of Russia having a picnic. That’s peace! Peace becomes relaxation, reward, rest. This is not what happens for the Christian. Not in this life anyway (interestingly it is not how the book—the last 100 pages are said to be one of the worst ends of a book).

In Romans 6 we learn that peace of Jesus should lead to righteousness. Sin no longer reigns in our lives (sure it exists it just doesn’t reign). We are to live now for God and for Jesus. No more envy, pride, greed, lust, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. They all died on the cross. Now it is the 7 virtues: humility, chastity, temperance, diligence, patience, charity, & kindness.—Or, even better the 9 fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control.
And we can do it! All because of Jesus. I know my life is not always known for those virtues. I know that your life might not also (certainly many churches today are known for anything but). But we can in Jesus. It is through His death and resurrection that we are alive in, and to Him. What a difference Jesus makes!

I hope you enjoy being with us today. The victory is won!

Stuart