But I Don’t Want To??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #553

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #553     But I Don’t Want To???

 

O wretched man that I am!

who shall deliver me

from the body of this death?

25 I thank God

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So then with the mind I myself

 serve the law of God;

but with the flesh       

the law of sin.”   Romans 7:24-25

Romans chapter 7 closes with this desperate cry from Paul, “who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ But Paul didn’t stop there—praise God! We do live in a body of flesh, that still wrestles with evil cravings, self-will, and tendencies to discouragement! But Praise God, Paul didn’t’ stop there—because God hasn’t stopped there.  Our hope isn’t in our flesh—OH how glad I am of that—but our hope is IN Jesus and the precious Holy Spirit whom He imparts to those who come to Him in repentance and faith.

That means that in those days when my flesh is doubting, pouting, and about to be ‘dropping-outting’ (as my pastor puts it), I don’t have to quit for I/we DO have a deliverer!

There is therefore now no condemnation

to them which are in Christ Jesus,

who walk not after the flesh,

but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit

of life

in Christ Jesus

hath made me free from the law

of sin

and death.

3 For what the law could not do,

in that it was weak through the flesh,

God sending his own Son

in the likeness of sinful flesh,

and for sin,

condemned sin in the flesh:

4 That the righteousness of the law

might be fulfilled

 in us,

who walk not after the flesh,

but after the Spirit.”   Romans 8:1-4

I don’t have to yield to the flesh—for I have The Holy Spirit of Jesus dwelling within me!  Therefore, I don’t have to give in to my flesh when it is screaming in my heart and mind, “I don’t want to!”; instead I can “stand fast in the evil day”! It’s not always easy, but it is simple to know that I can control my heart and mind by keeping my heart and mind set on Jesus, His Word and resisting the enemy of my/your soul! Here are a few scriptures for you to ponder today if you are wrestling with your mindset, as I often do!  Bring those thoughts “captive” to Jesus’ power, grace and holiness!

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain,

The spirit that dwelleth in us

lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace.

Wherefore he saith,

God resisteth the proud,

but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore

to God.

Resist the devil,   

and he will flee from you.” James 4:5-7

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil the lust

of the flesh…

..25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.”  Galatians 5:16 & 25

And 2 passages that I rehearse to myself frequently may help you as much as they help me check those thoughts “at the door” of my heart and mind.  If it’s the devil wanting to get in, we CAN slam the door!

Finally, brethren,

whatsoever things are true,

whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just,

whatsoever things are pure,

whatsoever things are lovely,

whatsoever things are of good report;

 if there be any virtue,

and if there be any praise,

think on these things.”   Philippians 4:8

For though we walk in the flesh,

we do not war after the flesh:

4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,

but mighty through God

to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 Casting down imaginations,

and every high thing that exalteth itself

against the knowledge of God,

and bringing into captivity

every thought

to the obedience of Christ;”   2 Corinthians 10:3-5

I want to—and “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

Amen and Amen!

Real Pilgrims??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #552

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #552     Real Pilgrims???

 

No, I didn’t time warp to Thanksgiving, and it’s kind of sad that we have relegated that meaningful word to a once-a-year reference.  I think it has great spiritual import, and I’d like to share a few thoughts about it with you today.

I was privileged to hear a young woman speak recently at a ladies’ gathering, and her testimony was gripping, and the point of the whole thing was that God brings light into the darkness—no matter what the circumstances may be.  We can truly trust our God to exchange our ashes for beauty.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me;

because the LORD hath anointed me

to preach good tidings

unto the meek;

 he hath sent me

to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and the opening of the prison

to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim

the acceptable year

of the LORD,

and the day of vengeance

of our God;

to comfort all that mourn;

3 To appoint unto them that mourn

in Zion,

to give unto them

beauty

for ashes,

the oil of joy

for mourning,

the garment of praise

for the spirit of heaviness;

that they might be called

trees of righteousness,

the planting of the LORD,

that he might be glorified.”   Isaiah 61:1-3

I love that phrase, “to give unto them beauty for ashes”! It is so picturesque, for I think most of us have faced a pile of ashes lying in front of us (often of our own making), yet God was speaking to our hearts to remind us to bring it to Jesus!

Come unto me,

all ye that labour

and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you,

and learn of me;

for I am meek and lowly in heart:

and ye shall find rest

unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy,

and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

As this precious young woman shared her story, she was so open and transparent about her struggle, and the sufficiency of The Lord God Almighty to bring her through, and help her see that ashes aren’t necessarily the end—or the ruination of our “picture”–for as she spoke she was drawing a picture that beautifully depicted the message that she shared!  And while she shared different scriptures than I’m sharing with you—the message was the same—our God is able!  Our God loves us!  Our God will provide!  Maybe not in the way we expect, or on our timetable, but HE will provide for His own!

What does this have to do with “Pilgrims”?  Well, let me tell you!  We are continually called in scripture to be aware of the pitfalls of this world—for it is alluring, and as scripture says, there is pleasure “in sin, for a season”, but there is a price tag for our choices.  As believers in Jesus, we are called to walk as “pilgrims” in this world, knowing our home and our reward is not “here”!  I pray that these verses will help us check our focus, and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, no matter how big our pile of ashes may seem!

These all died in faith,

not having received the promises,

but having seen them afar off,

and were persuaded of them,

and embraced them,

and confessed

that they were strangers

and pilgrims on the earth.

14 For they that say such things

declare plainly

that they seek a country.

15 And truly, if they had been mindful

of that country from whence they came out,

they might have had opportunity

to have returned.

16 But now they desire

a better country,

that is, an heavenly:

wherefore God is not ashamed

to be called their God:

for he hath prepared for them a city.”   Hebrews 11:13-16

As an old song says, “this world is not my home” (By Albert E. Brumley), even as Peter calls us to pay attention!

Dearly beloved,

I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,

abstain from fleshly lusts,

which war against the soul;” 1 Peter 2:11

Amen and Amen—Press on Pilgrim!

Full Of What??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No. 11

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No.11 Full Of What???

 

We sometimes hear someone say, “I’m as full as as a tick!”; or “I’m so full, I couldn’t take another bite!”  All in reference to having had enough; but how much is enough? Well, it depends on what we are talking about.  I’ve eaten all the “liver” that I ever care to eat, but ice cream, now that’s a different matter.  And when we speak of people, we have all met people (and sometimes we’ve been that person) that we say are “full of themselves”, usually meaning that they think and act with only themselves in mind.  I think that we can find some life lessons in scripture in this regard, and it would behoove us to consider our own ways.  Haggai shares that very comment from God.

Now therefore

thus saith the LORD of hosts;

Consider your ways.

6 Ye have sown much,

and bring in little;

ye eat,

but ye have not enough;

ye drink,

but ye are not filled with drink;

ye clothe you,

but there is none warm;

and he that earneth wages

earneth wages

to put it into a bag

with holes.

7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts;

Consider your ways.” Haggai 1:5-7

Haggai was writing to those of Israel who had returned to Judah, after the Babylonian captivity, to rebuild the Temple of God, yet the people had become so distracted with their own desires, that they weren’t rebuilding the Temple.  So, God sent Haggai to call them to come back to God, the One who had brought them back to their home-land and called them to rebuild HIS Temple!  I know lots of us today have also become distracted and get so filled with the things of this world, that we allow ourselves to be distracted by them and forsake the work of God—perhaps a specific work that God has called you/me to.  We often allow our ‘busy’ness, things, our own desires, or the demands of others, to pull us away from God.  We are so full of the world, that sometimes people don’t even know that we belong to Jesus! God called Israel to “Consider your ways” and return to HIM and take care of the things of God, and HE would take care of them, both personally and corporately.  The same is true today for us who belong to Jesus!   He has promised that HE will—and He has never failed.

If they break my statutes,

and keep not my commandments;

32 Then will I visit their transgression

with the rod,

and their iniquity

with stripes.

33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness

will I not utterly take from him,

nor suffer my faithfulness

to fail.

34 My covenant

will I not break,

nor alter the thing

that is gone out of my lips.”  Psalm 89:31-34

Our God IS faithful!  Always has been, and always will be!  He keeps HIS Word (whether we keep ours or not!)!

Paul, a servant of God,

and an apostle of Jesus Christ,

according to the faith of God’s elect,

and the acknowledging of the truth

which is after godliness;

2 In hope of eternal life,

which God,

that cannot lie,

promised

before the world began;”  Titus 1:1-2 

I love that Paul related this powerful truth to Titus, “God, that cannot lie, promised”! and what God has promised, HE will accomplish!  And God has promised us “abundant life” in Jesus; He has also promised that His Holy Spirit would dwell within those who come to Him in repentance and faith!  And Jesus is “full” of ‘all’ that we need!

And such trust have we

through Christ

to God-ward:

5 Not that we are sufficient

of ourselves

to think any thing

as of ourselves;

but our sufficiency

is of God;”  2 Corinthians 3:4-5

Because our God is able, even as God told Paul, we can persevere through HIS grace and power not our own—for we are never alone!!!

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice,

that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me,

My grace is sufficient for thee:

for my strength is made perfect

in weakness.

Most gladly therefore

will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ

may rest upon me.    2 Corinthians 12:8-9

If we will but keep our eyes on Jesus—our all sufficient Lord God– yielding to HIS Sprit, we will find in Him the wisdom, grace and power to overcome the enemy of our souls—the great “liar” who comes only to destroy.  As we serve the living Lord Jesus, we can have that “abundant” life which Jesus imparts!  Don’t let the enemy fill you with his vile and insidious lies.

I am the door:

by me if any man enter in,

he shall be saved,

and shall go in and out,

and find pasture.

10 The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill

and to destroy:

I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it

more abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd giveth his life

for the sheep.”  John 10:9-11

And Jesus, the good shepherd who gave HIS life for our salvation, will fill us with HIS Spirit, and as we yield to Him in every way, He will provide all that we need for victorious living “in the Spirit”!

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil

the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh

lusteth against the Spirit,

and the Spirit

against the flesh:

and these are contrary

the one to the other:

so that ye cannot do the things

that ye would…

…24  And they that are Christ’s

have crucified the flesh

with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.”   Galatians 5:16-17 & 24-25

There is freedom and peace walking in the Spirit of Jesus, allowing HIM to fill us with HIMSELF, rather than continually filling our hearts and minds with more of ‘self’!

And be ye kind

one to another,

tenderhearted,

forgiving one another,

even as God

for Christ’s sake

hath forgiven you.”   Ephesians 4:32

How do we walk in this “kindness”?  By yielding to God’s continual working in us.

See then that ye walk circumspectly,

not as fools,

but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time,

because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise,

but understanding

what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine,

wherein is excess;

but be filled

with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves

in psalms

and hymns

and spiritual songs,

singing and making melody

in your heart

to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks

always

for all things

unto God

and the Father

in the name

of our Lord Jesus Christ;”    Ephesians 5:16-20

We are to yield to God’s Holy Spirit who will “fill” us with Himself!  Just as Paul refers to the “control” that wine takes over a person, we are to allow the Holy Spirit to “pervade” our hearts and lives!  Just as a drunken man is controlled (pervaded) by the liquor that is in him, in contrast, we are to be controlled by God’s Holy Spirit!  And when we allow God to “fill us” with Himself—we never have to fear a ‘hang over’ or fear shaming our self or others before God or man!

Paul paints such an amazing word-picture of encouragement on using our senses to stay focused on our Lord—we are to fill our eyes, our ears, and our mind with godly words and music, growing a heart of gratitude and love towards God; being a testimony to a lost and dying world in need of Jesus.  They need to see Jesus in us—in you and in me!

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is the epitome of how to live being filled with the Spirit.  So, I’ll share it with you and pray that you have a blessed week pursuing the “mind of Christ”!  Please ponder these words—they are empowering, heart-changing and life transforming!

Let this mind be in you,

which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who,

being in the form of God,

thought it not robbery

to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation,

and took upon him the form of a servant,

and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient

unto death,

even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also

hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name

which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow,

of things in heaven,

and things in earth,

and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

12 Wherefore, my beloved,

as ye have always obeyed,

not as in my presence only,

but now much more in my absence,

work out your own salvation

with fear and trembling.

13 For it is God

which worketh in you

both to will

and to do

of his good pleasure.

14 Do all things

without murmurings

and disputings:

15 That ye may be blameless

and harmless,

the sons of God,

without rebuke,

in the midst of a crooked

and perverse nation,

among whom ye shine

as lights in the world;”    Philippians 2:5-15

God’s work—God’s way! Let His Spirit fill you each step of your journey!  Shine on dear friends, Shine on!!!  The choice is yours!  Choose wisely—there is a test!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Cube Philosophy??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #551

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #551  Ice Cube Philosophy???

 

I’m sure you’re wondering what “Ice Cube” philosophy is all about, and I’ll be glad to share it with you this morning! I saw a phrase the other day that struck my heart, it said something like, “We can’t raise our children like we were raised, because we live in a different world!”  I must tell you that when I read that it just broke my heart—we have bought the lies of the enemy and have become so entrenched in the culture and philosophy of the world that we are convinced that the “world” we live in is what dictates our life, our belief, and our actions!  That is totally not true, and it surely isn’t a biblical way to look at things and isn’t how we are to order our lives!

This is the very thing that Paul warned the Romans about—and it is what “Ice Cube” philosophy is all about.

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed

to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

Paul calls believers in Jesus to give ourselves to God as a living sacrifice—Jesus wants us to live for Him, not just to be willing to die for HIM!  He calls us to know the same things that Paul called the Galatians to remember:

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

This takes us right back to Paul’s call to the Roman believers: “be not conformed to this world”! We are not to let the world “squeeze us into its image”, or to fit our post—we aren’t to be like “ice cubes”! Water is poured into any form and frozen in that form, it takes on the form of the mold—regardless of what that mold is.  You can make square cubes, round cubes, animal shaped cubes, or virtually any shape that you can imagine.  But followers of Jesus are clearly called to NOT be ‘frozen’ into the world’s mold! We must never say that our life style, our parenting skills, or our beliefs are “conformed to this world”!!! We are to “withstand in the evil day”!!! And friends, that is where we live– “in the evil day”—; but may we never, never, never give up to that which is trying to prevail over us! Jesus has promised us that the enemy will not prevail against us when we walk with Him, live for Him and obey HIS principles.

But there is a price!  We will be ridiculed, called names and laughed at when we stand for God’s Word and His ways.  Yet HE promises us that His plan will work—it has worked– for God never fails!  Deuteronomy chapter 6 is the most profound outline for parenting ever given (in my humble opinion!).  I will share it with you here, but I’d encourage you to read the entire chapter.   I’ll simply make a few comments on it, and let it speak for itself.  God gave His people a few simple (not easy, but simple) steps to faithful parenting and passing the baton of truth and faith to the next generation.

Love God—first and foremost in all things yourself—

Live, speak, share and proclaim His Word in all—

Do these things before your children at every turn—

Use teachable moments to share YOUR trust in God—

       (Simply put—practice what you preach!)

Then, when time has passed, and you have lived a life

different from the world

your children will ask WHY?—

And then—you have the wonderful opportunity

to share your personal testimony

of what God has done

and is doing

IN you—NOW!

We are NOT to conform to the world, but we are to share truth with our children in a world that is running amuck with the lies of Satan!  Ponder God’s antidote to the world’s lies!

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God

with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy might.

6 And these words,

which I command thee this day,

shall be in thine heart:

7 And thou shalt teach them

diligently

unto thy children,

and shalt talk of them

when thou sittest in thine house,

 and when thou walkest by the way,

and when thou liest down,

and when thou risest up.

8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign

upon thine hand,

and they shall be as frontlets

between thine eyes.

9 And thou shalt write them

upon the posts of thy house,

and on thy gates…

17 Ye shall diligently keep

the commandments of the LORD

your God,

and his testimonies,

and his statutes,

which he hath commanded thee.

18 And thou shalt do that

which is right

and good

in the sight of the LORD:

that it may be well with thee,

and that thou mayest go in

and possess the good land

which the LORD sware unto thy fathers,

19 To cast out all thine enemies from before thee,

as the LORD hath spoken.

20 And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying,

What mean the testimonies,

and the statutes,

and the judgments,

which the LORD our God

hath commanded you?

21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son,

We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt;

and the LORD brought us out of Egypt

with a mighty hand:

22 And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes:

23 And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in,

to give us the land which he sware

unto our fathers.

24 And the LORD commanded us

to do all these statutes,

to fear the LORD our God,

for our good always,

that he might preserve us alive,

as it is at this day.”  Portions of Deuteronomy 6:5-24

Amen and Amen!

Putting Asunder??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No. 10

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No.10 Putting Asunder???

 

How sad for me on this precious and glorious Resurrection Sunday, to think of how far afield we have come from God’s plan and design for mankind.  The God who created us, made us “male” and “female”—created marriage, and provided for the restoration of our relationship with HIM, which we lost due to sin. Let us consider how far afield we have come.  What have you and I “put asunder”?

And he answered and said unto them,

Have ye not read,

that he which made them

at the beginning

made them

male

and female,

5 And said, For this cause

shall a man leave father

and mother,

and shall cleave to his wife:

and they twain shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain,

but one flesh.

What therefore

God hath joined together,

let not man put asunder.

7 They say unto him,

Why did Moses then command

to give a writing of divorcement,

and to put her away?

8 He saith unto them,

Moses

because of the hardness

of your hearts

suffered you to put away

your wives:

but from the beginning

it was not so.” Matthew 19:4-8

Jesus responded to those who questioned Him and who wanted to trap Him with God’s truth; He reminded them of God’s original plan for man—for marriage.  Jesus made it clear that not only did God create marriage, He created it for a lifetime!  He also tells us that what “God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”!  Yet we live in a world, especially our American culture, that has not only disregarded God’s plan, but we are totally putting it “asunder”!

Asunder:  into separate parts; in or into pieces; 2: apart or widely separated…

We have allowed ourselves to be led astray—not because we didn’t know truth, but because we are rejecting God’s truth on almost every hand.  We have denied, watered down and diluted the very Word of God at every turn.  God’s plan began in Eden, and it hasn’t changed!

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep

to fall upon Adam,

and he slept:

and he took one of his ribs,

and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22 And the rib,

which the LORD God had taken from man,

made he a woman,

and brought her unto the man.

23 And Adam said,

This is now bone of my bones,

and flesh of my flesh:

she shall be called Woman,

because she was taken out of Man.

24 Therefore

shall a man leave his father

and his mother,

and shall cleave unto his wife:

and they shall be one flesh.

25 And they were both naked,

the man

and his wife,

and were not ashamed.”  Genesis 2:21-25

God would make the two—male and female—one.  There is to be a “leaving” and a “cleaving”—leaving the ties of our parents’ home, and being totally devoted to our spouse; to be not only ‘one’ in a physical sense, but a oneness of body, mind and spirit.  Soul mates in the sense that when we both keep our eyes on Jesus—there will be a drawing closer and closer to God and drawing closer and more intimate with each other.  It is a picture that God painted in the beginning to show us the beauty and wonder of His love for us—a picture of the ONE who had already created the plan to perfectly restore our relationship to Him, after it would be marred by sin! And that plan was JESUS!  The very One whose resurrection we celebrate today.

Paul gave a most interesting picture of this in his letter to the Ephesians, a passage whose beauty we often miss because we place our focus on the instructions to husbands and wives—and miss the wondrous picture of our Risen Lord and HIS church!

Husbands, love your wives,

even as Christ also loved the church,

and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify

and cleanse it

with the washing of water

by the word,

27 That he might present it

to himself a glorious church,

not having spot,

or wrinkle,

or any such thing;

but that it should be holy

and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives

as their own bodies.

He that loveth his wife

loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated

his own flesh;

but nourisheth

and cherisheth it,

even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body,

of his flesh,

and of his bones.

31 For this cause

shall a man leave his father and mother,

and shall be joined unto his wife,

and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery:

but I speak concerning Christ

and the church.

33 Nevertheless

let every one of you in particular

so love his wife

even as himself;

and the wife

see that she reverence

her husband.”   Ephesians 5:25-33

How sad that we have cast aside the plan of God for our own lusts, desires and happiness (so-called).  I, like many others, was misled and fell for the lies of the enemy and abandoned God’s plan for my own!  That is one of the reasons for my sadness, another is that it I am so inadequate to warn others of the pitfalls of sin, and the lies of the enemy (and he is a liar, on every hand).  God is much more concerned with our love for Him, and our willingness to surrender to His work of holiness within us by the power of the CROSS!  And there is no comparison with the joy that God can give to the heart that will pursue Him rather than the “lusts of the flesh”!  How grateful I am that God reached down, called my ‘sin’ ‘sin’, and heard the prayer of my heart when I confessed my ‘sin’ and asked Jesus to forgive me and save me—and HE did!  Not that I was perfect after that, but things were different, for I now had the Spirit of the ‘Risen Lord” dwelling within me!  Praise HIS name!

Paul warns us, as he warned the Romans of the dangerous downward spiral of sin.  God’s way is diametrically opposite to the cry of the world, which calls us to go our own way, rather than God’s; but it is a plague that all are afflicted with.

 

And even as they did not like to retain God

in their knowledge,

God gave them over

to a reprobate mind,

to do those things

which are not convenient;

29 Being filled

with all unrighteousness,

fornication,

wickedness,

covetousness,

maliciousness;

full of envy,

murder,

debate,

deceit,

malignity;

whisperers,

30 Backbiters,

haters of God,

despiteful,

proud,

boasters,

inventors of evil things,

disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers,

without natural affection,

implacable,

unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God,

that they which commit such things

are worthy of death,

not only do the same,

but have pleasure

in them that do them.” Romans 1:28-32.

(And I encourage you to read all of Romans 1 for the whole picture of the degradation and contagion of sin!)

God, through Isaiah, painted the picture of the ONE who would come and deliver us from our sin—the only ONE who could and would—HE did!

He is despised and rejectedof men;

a man of sorrows,

and acquainted with grief:

and we hid as it were our faces

from him;

he was despised,

and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne

our griefs,

and carried

our sorrows:

yet we did esteem him

stricken,

smitten of God,

and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded

for our transgressions,

he was bruised

for our iniquities:

the chastisement

of our peace

was upon him;

and with his stripes

we are healed.

6 All we like sheep

have gone astray;

we have turned every one

to his own way;

and the LORD hath laid on him

the iniquity of us all.”  Isaiah 53:3-6

Jesus—The Lamb of God—came to be the sacrifice for our sin!  His substitutionary, atoning, sacrifice paid the price for my redemption and yours!  I, who was so fallen and full of sin, found His redemption totally abundant and adequate to cleanse my soul of sin.  And HE will do the same for YOU if you will but hear His voice, repent, and open the door of your heart to receive His saving grace!  He came to save us from sin—and He is still saving souls and changing lives today—this very day that we celebrate His victory over sin, death and hell.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith,

Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away

the sin of the world.”   John 1:29

It is why HE came—to live a sinless life, and to pay a sin debt that HE didn’t owe, because we owed a sin debt that we could never pay apart from hell!

And she shall bring forth a son,

and thou shalt call his name JESUS:

for he shall save his people

from their sins.”   Matthew 1:21

HE has given HIS own life for us!  And when we receive HIS salvation, we are made new!

Therefore being justified

by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access

by faith

into this grace

wherein we stand,

and rejoice in hope

of the glory of God.

3 And not only so,

but we glory in tribulations also:

knowing that tribulation

worketh patience;

4 And patience,

experience;

and experience,

hope:

5 And hope

maketh not ashamed;

because the love of God

is shed abroad in our hearts

by the Holy Ghost

which is given unto us.

6 For when we were yet without strength,

in due time

Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love

toward us,

in that,

while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

9 Much more then,

being now justified

by his blood,

we shall be saved from wrath

through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies,

we were reconciled to God

by the death of his Son,

much more,

being reconciled,

we shall be saved by his life.

11 And not only so,

but we also joy in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom

we have now received

the atonement.”   Romans 5:1-11

While we were “yet sinners, Christ died for us”; the sinless, Son of God, gave HIS life for my sin!  My sin and yours—I failed—I came short—I rebelled—I sought self, lust, and satisfaction, without regard for the cost to my own soul or the lives of others. Yet, God had already provided for my salvation, forgiveness and redemption.  He has made me whole by the blood of JESUS’ cross, and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.  Therefore, as HE gave me new life, HE will give you life too! If you know Jesus already, press on in the ‘newness’ of life “in him”, He is totally sufficient for all your need!  And if you don’t know Jesus, you can call upon Him today!

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new

18 And all things are of God,

who hath reconciled us

to himself

by Jesus Christ,

and hath given to us the ministry

of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ,

reconciling the world

unto himself,

not imputing their trespasses

unto them;

and hath committed unto us

the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,

as though God did beseech you by us:

we pray you in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him

to be sin for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

the righteousness of God

in him.”  2 Corinthians 5:17-21

We can be ‘new’!  And when He makes us ‘new’, we are truly new in our hearts, and free from the power of sin, by the blood of The Lamb, who “cleanseth us from all sin”!

If the Son therefore shall make you free,

ye shall be free indeed.”  John 8:36

Free to love Him, to serve Him, to follow Him by taking up our cross and pursuing Jesus in all our ways.  Paul puts it so beautifully, what better way to praise HIM and close our post for today—challenging each of us to give it all to Jesus—by His grace and power!

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your

reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed

to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.

3 For I say,

through the grace given unto me,

to every man that is among you,

not to think of himself

more highly

than he ought to think;

but to think soberly,

according as God hath dealt

to every man

the measure of faith.”   Romans 12:1-3

May you be blessed on this Resurrection Sunday!

Amen and Amen!