Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Power to make consistent Godly decisions

Romans 14:16-17 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Review: Two main principles for making Godly decisions
In the past couple of blogs we have been establishing sets of absolutes or principles for Godly deicsion making.  Both of them are summarized below:

#1 The Lordship Principle - Will this decision enable me to live in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 14:7-8

#2 Loving your brother principle - Will this decision enable me to place others needs above my self for Jesus' sake. Romans 14:13

As we continue on in our study of Romans 14 in defining how we navigate through decisions that are termed "gray areas" or "debateable areas", we come to a third principle that is crucial for the Christian.  In the main text above, living for God's glory, or "Kingdom Living" is defined by righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  In other words - "will this decision or course of action lead to me being led by the Holy Spirit, or by self-interest"?  Thus the name of this third principle is: "The Spirit Led Principle"

The Holy Spirit leading you gives you the power to live the Christian life
The Christian life is based upon the biblical principles or "absolutes" such as the ones we have been outlining in these past couple of blogs.  However, in order to make daily decisions to the glory of God, you need Power to live out whatever decisions you make.  The Holy Spirit has been given to every Christian to both indwell and empower them for daily Christian living. (John 14:17, 23, 16:7-16; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13; 6:19-20)

The Apostle Paul writes these words in Romans 8:5-8 "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

Setting our minds on the Spirit or living by the Spirit means we are being led by Him.  This third principle - "The Spirit-led principle", is what gives you the power to consistently make decisions based upon biblical principles such as "The Lordship principle" and the "Loving Your Brother Principle" (see above).

The Holy Spirit's leading takes your Christian life from principles to live by to that of power to live for God
This third principle of making decisions that will encourage a "Spirit-led" life rather than a "self-led" life makes all the difference in whether or not you live by the power of God or your own strength.  As we saw in the Romans 8:5-8 passage above, who you are led by will determine how you live.  Self-led Christians will be inconsistent in their application of Biblical principles, since the nature of the principles themselves requires the power of God to carry them out. (James 1:8; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18) 

Whenever you are making a hard decision, ask yourself: "Will this decision give me more opportunity to rely on my own strength or on God's strength"? (John 16:13-15; Romans 8:26-27) The Spirit-led principle will remind you of Who it is the enables you to live the Christian life in your daily decisions. (Galatians 2:20)  By starting with the "Lord-ship" and "loving your brother principles", you will be guaranteed of using this third "Spirit-led Principle".  When you do that dear friend, your daily decisions will not only be built upon sound principles, but your ability to see those decisions through will be guaranteed by the Holy Spirit.   

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