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A Problem in the Church

I was thinking recently. Yeah, I know…amazing right? 🙂 

No, but seriously. I was thinking about how people in the Church today will separate themselves completely from another Christian who commits is trapped by sin. Or maybe they try to help, but instead just try to find the easy fix. I started thinking, “Well, that can’t be Biblical, can it? Jesus commands us to love one another and be unified in the Body of Christ. And that is true. I started reading Francis Chan’s book, Multiply. In that he said something that I already knew, but it was still just as profound. He said:

“Or when we learn that a friend is struggling with sin, we are quick to explain why that sin is harmful and tell her we will pray for her (whether we follow through or not). But how many of us would take her struggle with sin so seriously that we would walk with her as she works through the issues involved?”

Yes, the Bible is clear that sin needs to be corrected. But it doesn’t end there. We can’t “correct them” and then condemn them. You see, there’s a difference between judgement and correction. Judgment brings condemnation down on the person being judged. Correction is done out of love with the hope of redemption. It’s like a parent. They may spank their son or daughter for hitting someone. A good parent doesn’t spank out of anger. A loving parent will spank (or use other forms of discipline) out of love for the child and to correct a wrong behavior. But the parent continues with loving that child. 

It’s the same way with Christians. Yes, we are to correct each other’s sinful behavior. But you had better do it purely out of love and you had better be willing to walk through the issue with them in order to bring them to redemption. I think part of the problem is that many believers don’t want to get “dirty.” They don’t want to be associated with someone who has a sin exposed to the public. It’s the same attitude some have towards non-believers. They don’t want to be seen with the “undesirables.” It might ruin their reputation. Then tell me, how are you supposed to evangelize and disciple them if you don’t associate with them? If they won’t come in to the church, you bring it to them. How can your Christian brother or sister be brought back to the cross if you want to find a quick fix or just blow them off completely? Galatians 6:1-2 says:

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Carry each other’s burdens. That will likely require you to be seen with the “undesirable.” But the attitude I mentioned above is exactly the attitude the Pharisees had. Did you know Jesus had more of problem with the “religious” people than he did with the sinners? 

It’s time we get over ourselves and be willing to walk through thick and thin with our fellow believers. 

-Austin

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How Can We Escape if We Ignore Such a Great Salvation?

Hebrews 2:2-4: “For since the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. This salvations, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”

You know, today people are looking for an escape. I have no doubt that many are seeking God out of the deepest and darkest pits of their life. And others are looking for something else. They’re turning to idols and those idols will never satisfy them. They’ll never comfort them.

I have friends of mine that are in this boat that the verses above mention. They want to serve Jesus. I have no doubt about that. The problem is that they are missing, or rather ignoring the escape or the salvation that Jesus is extending to them. It’s frustrating because they want to do what is right. They want to get rid of their idols and follow Jesus with everything they are, but they just can’t seem to. As soon as something comes along they decided to put God on the back burner. It’s grievous to me. How can they escape if they ignore such a great salvation? They can’t. Jesus is the only Way out. God isn’t something we run to when our boyfriend or girlfriend other cheats on us. He isn’t something we run to when things don’t go our way. And He’s not something we run to when tragedy strikes. He should be our life. We shouldn’t be able to function properly without first seeking the Lord. Yeah, you’ll have to dump some things you might enjoy. But it’s so worth it.

If you find yourself in this situation, I urge you to come to your senses. God is extending his beautiful grace to you. All you have to do is take it. Surrender your life to Christ completely because he bought you with his life. You will either be a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. You pick.

If you will please join me in praying for those friends I mentioned. I pray that anyone who reads this is just solidified in the faith. I pray that if you are going back and forth with God, you stop and surrender to Him. You’re fighting a losing battle if you don’t

God bless!

-Austin

P.S. Sorry for not being able to post much lately. School is in the process of rapping up (just six days left!) for the summer and I have been busy with other obligations. I’m so grateful God has given you to me as an audience so that I may bring His Word to you.

America: A Nation Turned Against God? (Part Two)

Alicia

Are We Losing Focus?

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.  If you look within, you’ll be depressed.

 If you look to God, you’ll be at rest.”  ~Corrie Ten Boom

Sadly, the Christmas celebration came to a predictable end and I was once again forced to begin the drive back to Tennessee from my hometown in Michigan.  This year, this also meant trudging through inches of snow lying on the Michigan and (northern) Ohio pavement.  Ugh.  Let the fun begin…

I decided to make a stop at a McDonalds in Ohio–not only to maintain my caffiene intake, but also to give my dog, Bagel, a much needed visit outdoors.  The interior of this McDonalds was quite a suprise.  It had a beautiful stone fireplace, chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and a large decorative clock mounted on the back wall.  When I was a kid, a McDonalds was considered fancy-shmancy if it had a ball pit or Ronald McDonald statue to shake hands with in the foyer.  Now however, fast-food restuarants have apparently become a luxurious place to put our feet up, warm ourselves by the fire, and at the sound of the gong on a grand ole clock, make our way to the next looming appointment in our sometimes grueling days.

We have come a long way as a society.  Perhaps the progression of a fast-food restaurant’s aestheic design isn’t the best example of this, but it does however paint a picture.

* * *

Each year, I see our American culture becoming busier, more advanced, and surprisingly maintaining an increasing “need” for acquiring more “things.”  We have more toys, gadgets and fantastically tantalizing thingamabobs then we’ve ever had before.  Practically everything seems to exist in a digital format, presented with the help of multiple digital devices that constantly remain in the race for which is the smallest, fastest, and containing the most storage space.  As a result, information is more readily available, efficiency is improved, and yet…why is it that we still seem to maintain, and even amplify those busy schedules?  Perhaps one reason is to continue paying for those gadgets that are supposed to make our lives so much easier??

Regardless of the reason, it’s happening.  Our pace is in over-drive.  Our destractions are rolling in with unstoppable force.  And where does that seem to leave us?   Most likely, this type of lifestyle does and will only continue to steal our time and focus from God, our provider of wisdom and rest.

We lose focus.  We struggle.  We’re surrounded by harsh realities on the evening news and we fear what our children and grandchildren will see on their televisions when the time comes.  When does it end, and what can we do to stop it?  I hate to admit this, but as long as each of us has a pulse here on earth, it won’t end.  Devestating news reports will continue to roll in and technology will continue to steal our attention.

We may not have control over everything that happens in this world (we were never meant to), but we do have control over our focus.  God hasn’t gone anywhere.  He is our sturdy, picturesque oak tree maintaining the strength in His limbs for our protection.  However, the further we stray from His shade, the more susceptable we are to destractions and self-destruction.  Now more than ever, it is necessary to remain close to His branches, despite the rough weather in our midst.

Moreover, no matter what state our world is in, or where our personal footing lies, we must never forget the image we were created in and our purpose to shine for Him.  Today, here and now, we’re not finished yet.  There’s still time.  There’s still hope.  Dwelling on shortcomings won’t bring us or our nation any closer to God; it’s only one more distraction in our world of “things.”

Lets keep our focus where it should be, on His guiding Words, and His withstanding branches.  If we focus too much on the distress, we may miss the beauty.

 

Provoking Thought:  Have you recently been swept away by the world’s distractions?  There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a smartphone, iPad, or eReader.  (God knows I do!)  However, perhaps consider loading a Bible app to one of these devices during your next use.  A little reading goes a long way.

**Do you have any suggestions to share on how you maintain focus?  We’d love to hear!

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)

 

Alicia M. Smith

Twitter: @AliciaMSmith7

 

Brody Barcus (my 15-year old cousin):

America is nearly exactly like Israel in every aspect. Just like Israel, our founding was one of the most miraculous this world has ever seen. And, just like Israel, our society was to be centered around our God and not ourselves. Our nation was designed to be set apart from all others in the way it was run and the God that it served. But after all of this was set into place, we failed to teach younger generations of those miracles which led to Israel’s demise and will lead to ours.

How did this happen? A blind man could see that our country has a moral standard that changes every time that it is opposed. Laws that used to be based on morals are being considered “unconstitutional” and are being thrown out of the legal system. Moral values are now considered opinion and are no longer considered honorable but are instead made out to be intolerable and, in a way, dangerous to our society. But, unfortunately, this is our fault. We are letting this happen and it’s time for us to stand up, take off the diapers, and start making others aware of what’s happening and start doing something about it instead of idly complaining.

-Brody Barcus

Note: I also asked my pastor to write a piece on this topic. However, circumstances have arisen and he will take a little longer to write his piece. I’ll post his piece in a part 3 when he sends it to me. For now, I will continue with my blogs as usual. Thank you everyone for your help in writing about this topic!

It’s time America turns back to God. I can’t promise that if we turn back to God we won’t implode. But if we don’t turn back to the Lord, wake up, and start running this country has it was originally intended; we face a guaranteed collapse.

It’s time to wake up! Time is of the essence.

In Christ,

Austin
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Correction of Believers

I was reading 2 Timothy 4:2 recently because I was looking at what the Word says about correcting other believers. One part of this verse caught my attention. It says, “…correct, rebuke and encourage…” I asked myself, “Why do these three words appear right together in the same phrase?” I began to dig in a little deeper on the subject and this is what I came up with.

Correction of believers is a major job for anyone who ministers the Gospel to others. I do not think it is restricted to only “full-time ministers.” Jesus lays it out for is in Matthew 18:15-17:

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

So at first we are to confront them one-on-one. Privately. If they don’t want to listen to you, then you bring one or two others with you so that you have witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, you are to expose their sin to your local congregation. Even after all this, if they still don’t listen, you are to expel them from the congregation. This will help them understand that the sin they are in will only lead them to destruction. Sin is like a downward spiral. It will bring your life crashing down. After the person repents, they can then be restored to the congregation. As I said, I don’t think the correction of believers is reserved for full-time ministers. They are to play a role in it though. Jesus tells us to confront them “in private” at first.

That said, correction should always come with the goal of redemption and reconciliation. It’s not intended to downgrade or drag the person down. I found my answer for why Paul uses “correct, rebuke, and encourage” in the same phrase. When we correct other followers of Jesus, it is intended to express strong disapproval for their sin and it should show the person that what they are doing is wrong. However, it should also encourage the believer to repent. When it’s all said and done, the person who was being corrected should be encouraged. Do not correct out of selfish motives. Do it out of love and concern for other believers.

That’s one problem with many in the Church today. Instead of trying to restore a believer who stumbles, they look down upon them and view themselves as higher than the other. Philippians 2:3 says: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

-Austin

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Many Christians are like the Israelites in the Old Testament

Hello friends, I’ve got a story for you!

 

Late last week I was in my room at about 2:00 AM. The Lord would not let me sleep, but instead He wanted me to spend time with Him. So I did. It was such a blessing. I’m glad I listened to the Lord that night. Always listen to Him! However, that is not the lesson I wanted to give tonight. God brought something to my mind that I thought I should share with you all.

Many Christians today are like the Israelites of old. Just think about it. God gave me this as I was reading Deuteronomy that night. God is trying to lead us out of our spiritual Egypt. Out of slavery. However, we keep disobeying Him. We turn what could be a relatively short journey (with God’s help) into a life-long journey. Disobedience to the Lord has its consequences.

Also some Christians want to return to their past lifestyle. Like the Israelites they want to go back to “Egypt.” They don’t realize that turning back and going back to their spiritual Egypt will only bring them bondage, death, and destruction. Going back to a lifestyle of sin will only send you to hell. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Finally, some Christians don’t want to give up their idols from Egypt. They put them before the Almighty God. Money, power, sex, drugs, and alcohol consume their lives because their hearts have never truly left their Egypt.

So I urge you to allow God to lead you out of the slavery in Egypt. Study and meditate on His Word daily and be in constant prayer.

I pray this blog reaches someone!

 

God bless you!

-Austin

Suffering is a Blessing

Romans 5:1-5: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

How many Christians actually believe that suffering is a blessing? Suffering can include a wide variety of hardships, but did you know God uses our trials to make us stronger? There’s three points I want to hit in this blog.

1) Through Suffering We Become Dependent on God

In the midst of our suffering we realize we can’t do this thing alone. We realize while our wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends,and family will fail us, that God will never fail us. Our hope lies in Jesus Christ alone. When you become dependent on God, you will grow closer to Him. It may be painful, but with the help of God you will come through it stronger than before.

2) The Pain is Temporary

Yeah it may hurt for a time, but remember the pain won’t last forever. If you are in Christ, one day you will be in Heaven and you will no longer have to experience the pains of this life. Nothing will compare to what God has in store for you.

3) Suffering does NOT disprove the existence of God. 

Many atheists I’ve heard of say that a loving God wouldn’t allow His people to suffer. Because of that believe they think they disprove the existence of God. They don’t realize that they are dead wrong. God allows us to go through trials because they make us stronger and move us closer to Him. As verses 2 and 4 state above: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” 

I quote from Lee Strobel’s book “The Case for Faith:”

“God is wise enough to foresee that we need some pain for reasons which we may not understand but which he foresees as being necessary to some eventual good. Sometimes God allows suffering and deprives us of the lesser good of pleasure in order to help us toward the greater good of moral and spiritual education.”

And again from the same book:

Atheist: “First, there is no reason that would justify God in permitting so much evil rather than a lot less; second, if God exists, then there must be such a reason; so, three, God does not exist.”

Response: “That’s like saying it’s reasonable to believe in God if six Jews died in a Holocaust, but not seven. Or sixty thousand, but not sixty thousand and one. Or 5,999,999, but not six million. When you translate the general statement so much into particular examples it shows how absurd it is……

At no point does suffering disprove the existence of God”

 

Blessings,

Austin

Romans Chapter 6

Since I haven’t been online in a week I’m going to move on to chapter six by reposting these two earlier posts of mine.

 

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”- Romans 6:11-14

count yourselves. The first step toward victory over sin in the life of believers. They are dead to sin and alive to God, and by faith they are to live in the light of this truth. True believers are in Christ because they have died with Christ and have been raised to new life with him – From NIV Study Bible

This means we should practice what this scripture says…being dead to sin, but alive to God. REFUSE to let sin have a reign in your life and offer yourself, your whole self, to God!

As mentioned above if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior your old self should literally die. Then you are raised or resurrected to a new life with Christ! Sin is no longer your master. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The quote above happens to be the words of Jesus. He has overcome or conquered the world. That includes sin. So if you have Christ in you, shouldn’t that mean you have overcome sin? Yes, I still make mistakes, but by the blood of Jesus Christ I am literally washed clean. In the Old Testament  the blood offering only covered the sin of Israel. However, when Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice our sins can be washed away. Gone. All because of the blood of the Lamb. God desires to have a relationship with his children. He couldn’t do it with sin controlling their lives. That’s why he sent His Son, Jesus. Make sense? When Christ died the veil was torn so we can have direct access to our Father. I find that amazing!

So turn away from your sin today and everyday. Wake up every morning, deny your self and give the day to God. This isn’t just something to brush off and not think about. This is the difference between eternal life in Heaven or eternal damnation in Hell. If you allow sin to consume you, then the Bible says you will wind up in Hell. Pray to Jesus for forgiveness today, turn from your sin, and allow Jesus to live and be present in you. Time is running out quicker than you think. Don’t wait too long.

 Slaves to Righteousness

Romans 6:15-23: 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin,which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Some people in Paul’s time (and still today) think that God’s grace gives you a “free license” to sin. Paul says very clearly that we do NOT have a free license to sin. Every Christian should constantly demonstrate their decision to resist sin and follow Jesus Christ. When you follow Christ, you should be acting like Him. You can’t serve God and sin (Matthew 6:24). You can’t live on the fence. Either you are sold out for Christ or you aren’t living in the light.

If you are a slave to sin, you are on your way to death. Sin gives birth to death. The word “death” in verse 16 means “everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord.” That means if you are a slave to sin, your destination is hell.

The good news is that Jesus Christ came to set you free from the bondage of sin. When he died on the cross, those chains were broken. You no longer have to be a slave to sin. In fact, you are to be “slaves to righteousness.” When you are a slave to righteousness you become more like Christ and in the end gain eternal life in Heaven with God. Salvation is a free gift from God. We don’t have to do anything to earn it. In fact, we can’t earn it at all. We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. If you are in Christ you are now dead to sin and alive in Christ. Romans 6:11-14 says:

 ”In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

 

Because of Jesus, you have been set free!

 

Blessings,

 

Austin

Righteousness Through Faith

Romans 3:21-31: But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

As you can see clearly here, Paul says we are justified through faith in Jesus Christ (We are not guilty because of Christ). However, that’s not really what I wanted to talk about, at least not today anyway. 

Please realize that faith is not just an intellectual knowledge of God. Knowledge is great and with it comes other great things, but if it’s just a head knowledge it doesn’t mean a thing. True knowledge comes from the heart. You can quote scriptures to me all day long if you want, but do you really believe the content in your heart? Even Satan can quote scripture. He did so when he was tempting Jesus. 

So I encourage you to study the Word and know what’s in it, but don’t stop there. You have to apply it to your own life and pray that God uses that in you. 

 

Blessings!

-Austin

Marked With A Seal

Ephesians 1:13-14: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

When you come to Christ, you are given the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us here that the Spirit is given to us as God’s mark of ownership. By giving us the Holy Spirit, God is saying that we belong to Him. We are marked with a seal of ownership. The Spirit’s presence is evidence that we are God’s adopted children. Ephesians 1:4-6 says:

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—  to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

And Romans 8:15-17 says:

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

You know you belong to God when the Spirit frees you and restores you to a right relationship with God. That’s exactly what He does when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. When the Holy Spirit comes into your life, you are set free from the power of sin. All of your sins are washed away. In the Old Testament, when the Israelites gave a sin offering, the blood of the offering only covered over the sin. When Christ enters your life, however, all of your sins are wiped away. They are completely gone.

I hope this post encourages you. I just wanted to remind you that if you are in Christ, you are a child of the Most High God. That where your identity is. Remind yourself daily of who you are.

 

God bless!

-Austin

Slaves to Righteousness

Romans 6:15-23: 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin,which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Some people in Paul’s time (and still today) think that God’s grace gives you a “free license” to sin. Paul says very clearly that we do NOT have a free license to sin. Every Christian should constantly demonstrate their decision to resist sin and follow Jesus Christ. When you follow Christ, you should be acting like Him. You can’t serve God and sin (Matthew 6:24). You can’t live on the fence. Either you are sold out for Christ or you aren’t living in the light.

If you are a slave to sin, you are on your way to death. Sin gives birth to death. The word “death” in verse 16 means “everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord.” That means if you are a slave to sin, your destination is hell.

The good news is that Jesus Christ came to set you free from the bondage of sin. When he died on the cross, those chains were broken. You no longer have to be a slave to sin. In fact, you are to be “slaves to righteousness.” When you are a slave to righteousness you become more like Christ and in the end gain eternal life in Heaven with God. Salvation is a free gift from God. We don’t have to do anything to earn it. In fact, we can’t earn it at all. We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. If you are in Christ you are now dead to sin and alive in Christ. Romans 6:11-14 says:

 “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

 

Because of Jesus, you have been set free!

 

Blessings!

-Austin

 

 

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conservativetodayblog

A Conservative Look at Today's Hot Political Issues

WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

The Burning Truth By Casey Hendrickson

Talk Radio That Talks With You, Not At You.