Thanksgiving

This site is about book reviews. And only book reviews. But, as I own this site, I get to make exceptions on the (very) rare circumstances that I want to do so. Deal with it…. :-p

So, I was thinking about all the things for which I am thankful. It is two days till Thanksgiving after all. Now, I could compile a list of things for which I am thankful and post it here online, but I won’t, because I am paranoid about security. Let’s just say, that God has done many wonderful things for me this year.

There is one thing that I will share with you. Romans 8:1 states, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Let’s step back and take a big view of Romans:

    Chapter 1: Man rejects God and God’s standards; these standards are required to enter Heaven
    Chapters 2-3: Men attempt to achieve God’s standards in their own way
    Chapter 4-5: The only way to meet God’s standards is to repent of your sinful actions and trust in the work of Christ to save you. You can’t do it on your own. A Christian is one who chose God’s way.
    Chapter 6: The process by which a Christian attempts to reach and maintain God’s perfect standards (clearly not accomplished in this mortal body…). This is the goal for daily living.
    Chapter 7: The struggles by which Christians try and fail to maintain God’s high requirements. Paul, the author of this book, expresses great frustration at his inability to maintain this perfect standard. This is our failure to maintain that goal.
    Chapter 8: The assistance needed to reach that goal and overcome failure.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

Often as a Christian I fail to live up to God’s standard. OK, most of the day I actively fail to measure up. That becomes frustrating to say the least. God expects better and yet I, like Paul described in chapter 7, fail miserably. Failure breeds depression, frustration and a desire to give up.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

This simple statement grants great reassurance. God isn’t judging Believers over their failures. He has forgiven those failures already. (That’s not a license to sin. In Chapter 6, Paul soundly rebukes that concept.) Rather this is the ability to step past my failures and try again. Romans 8:4ff argues that those who follow Christ “Set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” In other words, they choose to think about Godly things. Further, we learn a few verse later that those who walk according to the Spirit “through the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body.”

So victory comes through knowing that I am forgiven, actively focusing on things that honor God, and relying on the power of Spirit to say no to sin. That’s a formula that I’m not doing so well at, but I am starting to understand and grasp the ramifications of that first piece.

What am I thankful for this year? There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

You?

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5 thoughts on “Thanksgiving

  1. I am thankful that …

    finals actually ended this century

    Matt hasn’t fired me for being late with my review

    I have one more awesome post to link to

  2. Well, I have much to be thankful for, so I won’t list everything….but, one of the things like sincerelyornot,
    (1) I am thankful that Matt hasn’t kicked me out for being severely late on reviews.
    (2) For Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and the new life we have in Him.
    (3) My first niece 🙂 and all my close and extended family.
    Top three! Good post Matt, thanks for reminding us to look back on what we’re thankful for, even if its not your standard book review. 🙂

  3. Fire you all? You make me sound like an ogre…. :p

    I am just happy that people care to help out on this site or it would have died years ago. This is all volunteer based.

    Congrats on the new niece and also on becoming an uncle.

    Happy Thanksgiving

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