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We walk in bondage when we walk without Christ.

I used to think I needed a personal trainer, someone who'd get me to the gym and make sure I exercised regularly, someone who would put me through my paces and track my progress. "If I just had a personal trainer," I thought, "I'd be a different man."

Then, someone gave me a personal trainer every week for two or three months. Steve, my personal trainer, was terrific. He got me on an exercise regimen, and I actually liked it. I looked forward to seeing Steve every week. He had a chart for all these different exercises I did, and I liked the challenge of watching the numbers improve. Knowing I was going to see Steve every week motivated me to get to the gym in between the times I met with him.

But then, there was no more Steve; the gift ran out. You know how things work—pretty soon I wasn't going to the gym anymore. I kept the exercise chart for quite a while, and I'd look at it. I couldn't remember what the exercise names meant after a while. I thought of that again the other day. My neighbor, Tracy, is a personal trainer. For her, spending three to four hours in a gym is glorious. I told her I'd just finished a long walk. "Didn't it feel GREAT?" she asked. "Ah, well, it was nice," I said, "but my feet really hurt." I hate to admit it, but I suspect that the only way I'd be steady with exercising is if there were a personal trainer in me or if I had the nature of a personal trainer, like Steve or Tracy. Do you ever feel that way about your spiritual life?

(Read Romans 8:1-3)

Christ is the one who frees us from condemnation

We've been studying some of the wonderful facets of the diamond-like gospel of Jesus Christ. A couple of weeks ago, ...

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Lee Eclov recently retired after 40 years of local pastoral ministry and now focuses on ministry among pastors. He is the author of Feels Like Home: How Rediscovering the Church as Family Changes Everything and Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls (Moody Publishers), as well as being a frequent contributor to Preaching Today and CT Pastors. To learn more about his Pastors' Gatherings visit www.leeeclov.com.

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Sermon Outline:


I. Christ is the One who frees us from condemnation

II. The Holy Spirit gives us a new mindset

III. 'The mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace'

IV. The Holy Spirit 'will give life to your mortal bodies'

V. We are no longer indebted to death but to the Spirit's life