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Madly in Love

There are 2 stories we tell ourselves. Set your mind on the better story.
Speaker: Len Finn | February 4, 2018 | Series: Grace Abounding

Listen as Len Finn opens Romans 8:1-13 and shows us the abounding grace of the Gospel. 

Two Stories

When you first come to grips with the Gospel it is like falling in love. The depths of God’s love seen in the person of Jesus Christ will take you over. It will be all that you want to think and talk about. It’s all that matters. This is your first story.

As you grow as a Christian, sometimes a second story emerges. It often displaces the first story. It isn’t actually a new story – it is the old story. It begins with, “I want” or “I need” or “I should”. Romans 8 is all about killing that story. Because it’s not yours anymore.

Romans 8 goes back to chapter 5 and the story of Adam, which leads to death, and the story of Christ, which leads to life. Chapter 8 tells us that we live in the better story – the story of Christ. Be alive in that story. 

No Condemnation

The Christian life is going to be a constant wrestling between the two stories you tell yourself. But what do you do if want to see the Gospel change your life? 

Let’s begin here. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Do you understand how total over your life that statement is? It’s not just that you’re starting again with a clean slate – it’s total and forever. God’s condemnation simply does not and never will exist for you. God has forgiven everything in your life that needs forgiving – what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and what you will do. God threw out your scorecard and He is going to use Jesus’ scorecard instead. God traded stories with you. God took from you Adam’s story, with its tragic ending, so that you can take on Christ’s story.

Kill the Old Story

Living in a new story means killing the old one. The flesh isn’t your boss anymore. Put to death all things in your life that is grounded in the old worldly story. Kill it. It already stands condemned and it doesn’t belong in your new story – Christ’s story. Self-centeredness, greed, jealousy, insecurity. Identify them and put them to death. 

We are called to declare war on our old story, wherever it rears its head in our lives. It is easy to be casual about these things – to be too accepting of sin and shortfalls. And to be permissive of worldly outlooks on life. However great the sin is in your life, you have a greater Saviour. But that’s cause for confidence and assurance, not permissiveness. 

By the Spirit

If you head home today determined to live the new life and trying, on your own, to kill all of your bad habits and build new ones, then you will fail. You need God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit points us Jesus and points others to Jesus in us and through us. The Spirit points to the Son, whose work on the cross points to the boundless love of the Father. If you want the new story to displace the old story in your life, then you let the Holy Spirit do His work – You let Him show you Jesus. You let Him show you the work of the Son, so that you can know, ever more deeply, the love of the Father. 

Set your Mind

What you think about, what you dwell on, tells you a lot about the story you’re living. When you’re alone in the car, when you’re by yourself, what do you find yourself thinking about? Things you have to do? Things you wished you hadn’t done? Hurtful conversations? Financial worries? If you’re like me, you spend way too much time talking about yourself in the world’s storyline, than telling yourself that you are part of Christ’s story. 

When you see yourself setting your mind on the old story, which leads to death, you let the Spirit of God who dwells within you tell you your real story – who you really are in Jesus Christ. Preach the gospel to yourself.  You are not in the flesh – you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. That’s the truth about you. That’s true about you even though you still struggle and fall short. 

In Christ

Jesus is our righteousness and in Him there is now and never will be any condemnation. Whenever you feel insecure, in Christ you have total security. Whenever you are fearful, in Christ you have a far greater hope. The power working in you, even though the body is dead, is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. 

Madly in Love

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is raising you out of the tomb of your old story. As incredibly good news as this is, it pales in comparison to the fact that the God of the Universe is madly in love with you. Set your mind on that. That’s what the Spirit, dwelling in you, wants you to see. And when you get that, really get it, like being head-over-feels in love getting it, it will be all that you can think about, and that new story and life will be all that you want to be. 

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About the Author

Len Finn
Len serves as a pastoral assistant at St. George’s. He and his wife Stephanie and 2 children live in Alton Village.

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  • About the Author

    Len Finn
    Len serves as a pastoral assistant at St. George’s. He and his wife Stephanie and 2 children live in Alton Village.
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