Friday, April 29, 2016, 5:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Fully Ready.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Romans 6 (ESV).
By No Means! (vv. 1-4)
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Peter said that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). Paul said that Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15). He also said that Jesus died that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but who live our lives according to the Spirit (See: Ro. 8:1-14). Jesus DIDN’T DIE just so we could escape hell and go to heaven when we die! God’s grace is NOT a free license for us to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse. May it never be! God’s grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). Death to sin, and living to righteousness is the essence of what the gospel of our salvation is all about. This is true grace, which frees us from sin!
Crucified with Him (vv. 5-11)
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ in newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). The old has gone, the new has come. Believing in Jesus does not mean we slightly clean up our old lives, and according to our own choosing and timing. Yet, it also does not mean that we reach instant perfection, or that we never sin again (See: 1 Jn. 2:1). What it does mean is that we choose, by the Spirit, to put to death our old lives of living for sin and self so that we can now walk according to the Spirit in Christ’s righteousness and holiness (See: Eph. 4:17-24). Yet, it is a process of sanctification as daily we die to sin and self and daily we put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us (Lu. 9:23-25; Eph. 6:10-20).
So many people today are not teaching this. They are teaching a diluted gospel message which does not put sin to death in the life of the one claiming to believe in Christ. In fact, they are teaching that nothing is required of us – no repentance, no obedience, and no submission to Christ. They completely bypass the crucified life and move from Jesus’ death for our sins on a cross to the promise of heaven when we die, with nothing in between. Belief in Jesus is reduced to an intellectual assent to what Jesus did for us or to some emotional decision one makes based upon a desire to escape hell and/or to end up in heaven when one dies. So, there is no heart transformation of the Spirit of God, and thus they are not really saved, and they do not have the Spirit of God living within them.
I don’t know how anyone can read Romans 6 and Romans 8 and teach anything else that is not in agreement with this teaching. If we continue in sin, i.e. if we continue to live sinful lifestyles, we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (See: Ro. 8:1-14). We are not saved just because we said some magic words or just because someone congratulated us and told us we had the hope of heaven. Just as Jesus died to sin once for all, and the life he lives, he lives to God, we also are to count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. This means we no longer live our lives to please our own selves, but we live our lives to please and to honor God with our lives.
Do Not Continue! (vv. 12-23)
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Why is it that so many people in America claim to believe in Jesus Christ, but so few are living like this talks about? We need to take these words seriously. A saved life is not a life that merely professes faith in Jesus Christ and thinks it has the hope of heaven, yet can live however it wants. We can’t fill our lives with the junk of this world, and be passionate over everything but Christ, and think we belong to Christ! Does it matter to us at all what Christ thinks of our lifestyles? Do we think he is satisfied with 10 minutes of our time each day and maybe a couple of hours once a week on Sundays? And, that he is ok with us spending the rest of the week just living for our own self-pleasure? May it never be!!
So many who profess the name of Jesus have this Americanized vision of what a Christian should look like, but it isn’t what the Bible teaches at all. And, it isn’t just that they are lazy, apathetic or complacent about their Christian walks, but that so many are excusing away sinful behavior on the basis of God’s grace. Not only that, but they are teaching against repentance, obedience and submission to Christ and his word, while falsely accusing those who teach such things of teaching works-based salvation. What a mockery they make of what Jesus Christ did in dying for our sins, for he didn’t die that horrible death, and he didn’t become sin for us just so we could continue in sin. He died that sin might be eradicated from our lives! He died that we would no longer be slaves to sin, but that we might now become slaves of his righteousness! Amen! THIS IS TRUE FREEDOM!
The wages of sin is death, not just to those who make no profession of Christ as Savior, but also for those who profess Christ but still walk according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit. If we want to have eternal life with God, and have the hope of heaven when we die, then we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we must be resurrected with Christ in newness of life. If we say we have fellowship with God, but we continue to conduct our lives in the darkness (sin), then we are liars, and the truth is not in us (1 Jn. 1:6).
Yet, know that if you believe this, and you are radically transformed of the Spirit of God, and you no longer live your life to please your flesh, but you live to please God, and/or if you are proclaiming the truth of what Romans 6 and 8 teach, you will be hated and persecuted, even within the church, or most especially within organized religion and/or the institutional church, and even by its leadership. Already there is a plan in motion globally to silence those of us who preach this gospel message, and there is already much persecution being promoted and practiced against such as those who hold on to these truths of scripture. We are being targeted for extinction, and we are being tagged as intolerant, bigoted, hateful and as extremists who must either be reeducated or done away with. Yet, we should not fear, for God is with us, and he will not leave or forsake us. Amen!
Fully Ready! / An Original Work / June 19, 2013
Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8
Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.
May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”
“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”