Monday, August 15, 2011
I rarely allow my critics to guide me in what I write these days. Most of what they say has been said as what they say contradicts itself and then end up agreeing with me—only to say I am still “not saved”. I see them as sad little people who do not know how to love others and have a warped understanding of the Gospel.
Now that is out of the way…
Romans 6:1. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
I was reading in Romans six and it hit me how so many people read this and miss the point completely. Why? They read this verse out of context of the others and not within the overall teaching of Scripture.
Yes, if you just take this verse it seems to say, “You cannot keep on sinning and expect grace to cover you.” But think about that…. If we can out sin grace, then grace means nothing.
So, if we look at what Paul taught in chapter five we see that Paul just unpacked a teaching about grace in a profound and deep way. He stated things like:
Romans 5: 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
To summarize chapter five is to say that Jesus is our:
Salvation from death (as we died with Jesus on the cross)
We also find that this is all by Grace.
Then we hit chapter six. If we read it out of context we find that, yes, grace is not sufficient to cover all those things, but we just saw it did. So what is Paul saying?
Romans 6: 1. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2. By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3. Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7. because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
We died to sin. How? When we were “Baptized” (Immersed) into Christ. If you believe in Jesus, this already happened! We were buried with Jesus for a reason—to be raised again to New Life! You are united with Jesus in His death and then united with Jesus in His resurrection. Your old self is dead (contrary to some who teach it still lives and you struggle with your old self). The process is then about the renewal of the mind and not dealing with sin. We are no longer slaves to sin because we died to sin and now live in Christ Jesus. Your old self is dead… buried… never to be dug up again… your old self is dead as sin…
Let me show another scripture out of Romans that shows more clearly what I’m, saying. We skip over to Romans chapter eight:
Romans 8: 1. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2. because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4. in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
I guarantee that people will say I am soft selling sin. Not at all, I am agreeing with the bible as to what happened to sin. Here we read that God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to die for us or in place of us. When Jesus was on the Cross, He condemned sin IN sinful man. Man was never condemned, but SIN WAS! In fact, what God did was make you His very righteousness. You are all that is right about God by His Grace!
2 Corinthians 5: 21. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
So when I read how some misuse this passage I am saddened that in one breath they claim grace, then in another misuse a passage to abuse and condemn others and miss that it states the opposite of their intentions. So like Paul states in Galatians 3:
Galatians 3: 1. You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3. Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
So do not let some legalist twist the bible to take away Grace from you. Live as the rightness of God through Jesus by His very Resurrected Life.
My only (slight) disclaimer as I know some idiots out there will ask this is, no, I am not saying go out and live however you want. You are no longer "slaves to sin", but the rightness of God. However, unlike many who would even suggest that (as I see it a lack of trust and faith in God), I trust that the Grace of God is sufficient to save as well as the Holy Spirit greatly qualified to change a person how God sees fit and not by my own agenda and understanding. When it comes to a person's "sin", I believe God has dealt with it and deals with us on a much deeper basis than outward "sin". I see God as going to the core of our being and working in the renewal of our minds. Some people are more messed up than others and need patience and kindness. I wonder at those who judge and condemn others, when Jesus himself never did so. In fact, I see that those who act such a way toward others as to it to Jesus himself.
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
A meditation on Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. - Yet I still do...
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. - Yet I eat thorns and breathe dust.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yet I feel weak and do so much wrong.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: - Yet at times my fear consumes me.
For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. - Yet I fear the rod is for me and not to protect me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: - And then You challenge me to invite them to eat with me!
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup Runneth over. - Yet I fear how I will pay rent and other bills each month.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life - Teach me how to trust You, God.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. - Only by your Grace and Mercy...