Monthly Archives: November 2012

Romans 6- Know This and Knowing That

I have read Romans 6 over and over lately, I think I feel a little bad that we’re leaving it and going on to Romans 7, which I can’t wait for by the way. But Romans 6 has changed the way I think. The last month it has engulfed me as Paul challenges me 3 times to know, then to think about the facts to consider by presenting myself to God (as in Romans 12:1, 2).

Let me explain, look at 3 of the first 9 verses in Romans 6.

  1. Romans 6:3 says “Or do you not know”
  2. Romans 6:6 says “knowing this”
  3. Romans 6:9 says “knowing that”

Knowing what we have in Christ…

Knowing that we were who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3, 4

Knowing that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. and we who have died is freed from the bondage of sin. Romans 6:6, 7

Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Romans 6:9, 10

Paul says to consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11

Consider (logiðzomai) to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over… This word deals with reality. If I “logizomai” or reckon that my bank book has in it, it has in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions. (The New Testament Greek Lexicon)

Romans 6:11 is an exhortation, Paul’s urging, warning us to do something consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

“THINK!” I must have always in mind what the Lord Jesus has done on the Cross… The finished work of Christ, no halfway here, He does half and we meet Him and we do the rest, NO! He is the author and perfecter of our faith, fix our eye’s on Him Hebrews 12:2. He has provided us with the perfect ultimate example of a life of faith… As one writer put it “At no time did He falter or turn back. He kept His eyes fixed on the coming glory when all the redeemed would be gathered with Him eternally. This enabled Him to think nothing of shame and to endure suffering and death.”

Jesus said in John 19:30 “It is finished!”  It is crucial that we fix our eyes on Jesus because we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory  2 Corinthians 3:18. Its He who began the good work in us Philippians 1:6 YES! there is a sense we work out our salvation, but that’s because it is God who is at work in us Philippians 2:12, 13, we follow His lead because we are “In Christ” presenting ourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness to God. Romans 6:13

I needed to “KNOW THIS” and remind myself that just as I could do nothing for my justification, so I also can do nothing in myself for my sanctification,  I’m already set apart for Christ, I just need to behave like I am… by His doing we are in Christ Jesus, Christ has done it all, I just need to follow His lead and fix my eyes on Him as my Lord and Master Jesus Christ and the cross… Walking in newness of life.

We walk by faith, not by sight– 2 Corinthians 5:7

After all I have been raised from death to life so I should walk in newness of life Romans 6:4

Though sin remains in me, it shall not reign in my life… O Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

… and that’s why I look forward to Romans 7.

After all I have been
raised from death to life

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

1 Comment

Filed under Lenny's Post

Grace Always Comes By Jesus Christ

Here are two important truths. (And I want you to take it and the next time you hear a professor or a preacher say otherwise, go to him and remind him of this.) The first truth is that no one ever was saved, no one is now saved and no one ever will be saved except by grace. Before Moses nobody was ever saved except by grace. During Moses’ time nobody was ever saved except by grace. After Moses and before the cross and after the cross and since the cross and during all that dispensation, during any dispensation, anywhere, any time since Abel offered his first lamb before God on the smoking altar—nobody was ever saved in any other way than by grace.

The second truth is that grace always comes by Jesus Christ. The law was given by Moses, but grace came by Jesus Christ. This does not mean that before Jesus was born of Mary there was no grace. God dealt in grace with mankind, looking forward to the Incarnation and death of Jesus before Christ came. Now, since He’s come and gone to the Father’s right hand, God looks back upon the cross as we look back upon the cross. Everybody from Abel on was saved by looking forward to the cross. Grace came by Jesus Christ. And everybody that’s been saved since the cross is saved by looking back at the cross.

(The Attributes of God Volume 1, Chapter 6, God’s Grace)

His Amazing Grace

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

Leave a Comment

Filed under Lenny's Post

What I Learned This Week In Romans

Romans 6 is now complete, we finished up Romans 6:21-23 this past Sunday and it was truly a wonderful time in the word of God. This is not an exhausted study, but a brief overview in what we learned.

Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do you notice how Paul repeats the word Benefit? We learned last week that the word “benefit” is the word karpos, which literally means fruit. What you do bears fruit. If you sin, there will be fruit of sin. If you follow Jesus as Lord and Master, there will be fruit of the Spirit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

When we are saved it changes a man completely, we now as Paul describes become slaves of God and not sin, it reminds me of the words of Thomas Watson who said “Grace alters a man walk” the resulting benefit is sanctification. Wuest puts it this way… “The word sanctify in the Greek means to set apart, and the word sanctification refers to the setting apart process.” 

Martyn Lloyd-Jones has the right idea when he wrote… The main characteristic of people who are sanctified is that God is in the center of their lives. That is the first thing we may say about them. Before we get them to say what they do or do not do with regard to a particular action, we must be clear about the central, primary, most vital thing…Sanctification is that which separates us from sin unto God…The essence of sanctification is that I love God in whom I believe and who has been revealed to me, with the whole of my being…Sanctification is a matter of being rightly related to God, and becoming entirely devoted to him…not only separated from the world but separated unto God and sharing his life (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Sanctified Through the Truth)

Paul says that the outcome is eternal life, our glorification, when we see Christ. Paul can say “I AM CONFIDENT” in Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work (Justification) in you will perfect it (Sanctification) until the day of Christ Jesus (Glorification) We as Paul put it are “confirmed to the end” 1 Corinthians 1:8 The God who justifies is the same God who sanctifies, it was Jesus who said in John 17:17, 18 and 19 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Then in verse 23 in Romans 3 we have For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. It easy to see that Paul presents two masters, Sin or God, Two ways, wages or a free gift and two eternities, life or death. The wages of sin is death and we have earned it without Christ, but the free gift of God’s grace is eternal life and you can’t earn it, because God provides the free gift through a person… but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Salvation can not be earned by works or religion, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8, 9 Jesus Christ is the only way, Peter boldly proclaim “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

You see when God calls you, He changes your destination from eternal death to eternal life. Is Jesus your Savior and Lord? It’s either Yes or No, death or life… So come and cry out to God to save you ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ Luke 18:13 and He will indeed alter your walk from death to life (2 Corinthians 5:17)………….

and you will spend eternity with Him forever.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Lenny's Post

MacArthur Monday

While watching these two short videos from Larry King Live, pay attention to how Dr. MacArthur defends true Christianity from only one source the Bible and Scripture and how he does it respectfully, but with firmness and clarity leaving NO wiggle room! Pay attention to how he boldly proclaims the name of Jesus Christ as the only way Acts 4:12…. This folks is earnestly contending for the faith without apologies Jude 3, 4……..

“What happens after we die?… what happens to Christians who die?” I’m often asked that even by Christians, in fact usually by Christians. Questions like…after we die, do we go directly to heaven? Or, what happens to our bodies? The details of those kinds of questions are very very important to us and they can be troubling if we don’t know the answer. We want to know what happens after we die and we would like to know what happens to the bodies of those we love when they go into the grave. Those are pressing issues…

For a true believer…
Absent from the body
present with the Lord

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

Leave a Comment

Filed under Lenny's Post, Video

A Tale of Two Ponds

This morning my post is about one man, two ponds and a bunch of fish and one giant lesson learned. I was going to write about what I’m thankful for like I do every year around this time. Normally I would write something like this… The word says “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18″ So I’m thankful for my wife of 30 years, for all my family and friends. I’m thankful for my Church and Church family and all the many blessings, trials and tribulations I receive from the Lord. Those are wonderful things to be thankful for, but It says, “in everything give thanks”  Everything!

This past week the Lord showed me something that I needed to be thankful for and He used an unlikely person to get His point across. Here’s what happened last week.

Story telling is not my strongest suit, but it begins like this…..

I walked into a break room of one of my accounts to service their machines and a man was in there that is always friendly to me, he began to tell me a story about his two ponds he had by his house, one was a man-made pond, that he had filled with fish and the other farther down the driveway near the entrance that was a spring fed pond. The man-made pond had a bunch of trees around it. This past fall the leaves had fallen and most of them landed in the man-made pond.

One night coming home from work he noticed that the water in the man-made pond was brown and filling up with leaves… He looked and thought the fish were all dead or gasping for clean water. They were all on their side floating like dead fish in this nasty polluted water. He didn’t know what to do, but just like that a plan came to him… Nah he said that won’t work, but I have to try something, what about the clean spring fed pond that’s been around since I was a kid? So he told me he gathered up all those helpless fish and carry them to the clean fresh spring water and waited to see what happens, but his hopes weren’t very high that something would happen but it was worth a try.

The story goes on that his daughter came home before he did the next day and in her amazement all the fish had life and all were swimming around in the fresh clean spring fed water. She phoned her dad and told him the great news and he just said Amazing, those fish were helpless and all it took was for me to gather them up and move them from the polluted dirty water to the fresh clean water and something happen there I can’t explain and they are alive. I walk over to him after he had finished the story and shook his hand and said thank you, he replied for what? I said for showing me what Amazing Grace is! He replied back ok what ever, it was just a story.

Amazing what clean fresh flowing spring fed water will do! I was in total amazement, that was the greatest and clearest illustration of the sovereignty of God in salvation I have every heard and it was from an unbeliever… Oh how God can use a crooked stick to draw a straight line. Just like those fish, we who are saved were dead in our trespasses and sin and by His great mercy saved us Ephesians 2:1, 2 and 3, 4.

I could help but to think of the words Jesus said in John 6: 37 and 44 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. Then look and verse 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD (Isaiah 54:13).’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. I think from these verses we can conclude that everyone that hears and learns from God, will be drawn to God and come willingly, ultimately bringing conversion to that person. Then look at John 6:65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” The word draw is an interesting word… Except the Father draws him (hélkō) God’s drawing power. The basic meaning is “to draw,” “tug,” or, in the case of persons, “compel.”

Luther says on this passage: “The drawing is not like that of the executioner, who draws the thief up the ladder to the gallows; but it is a gracious allurement, such as that of the man whom everybody loves, and to whom everybody willingly goes.”

I’m thinking of those fish, they had no power to refuse the gracious hands of that man to bring them to the fresh saving water of that clean pond and to save them from death. I can’t ever remember reading about anyone drowning who says while someone is saving them, “No don’t save me” What do they do, they come willingly with the one who is saving them, that’s efficacious irresistible grace.

Lazarus was as dead as they come (just like those fish) and it was Jesus who spoke life into Him, When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” John 11:43 Lazarus had no power or life in him to say “NO” Lord! I will “NOT” come forth and you will not bring me back from the dead. What happen then “The man who had died came forth” John 11:44 Those fish went from death to life 2 Corinthians 5:17 just like we have, who have been saved from the wrath to come.

I’m thankful that God supernaturally taught me the things concerning His son and I came willingly, I wanted to be saved despite myself. I was given to the Son from the Father and I came and He will not cast me out. Just like those fish they came to that man willingly, they did not fight back and say let us die! That man was gracious and did not cast the out but saved them by placing them from death to life.

You see folks the Lord puts His spirit in us to hear the gospel call and we come freely for that I say Thank You Lord Jesus Thank You!

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. Revelation 22:17. So you hear now come! Repent and believe! Mark 1:15 Confess your sins Romans 10:9, 10 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Just like those fish it will alter your life!

and that’s what I’m thankful for!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

3 Comments

Filed under Lenny's Post

Have A Blessed Thanksgiving!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

Leave a Comment

Filed under Lenny's Post

Enter His gates with Thanksgiving!

For if a Christian cannot thank and praise God as well in calamities and sufferings as in prosperity and happiness, he is as far from the piety of a Christian as he that only loves them that love him is from the charity of a Christian. For to thank God only for such things as you like is no more a proper act of piety than to believe only what you see is an act of faith. Resignation and thanksgiving to God are only acts of piety when they are acts of faith, trust and confidence in the divine goodness.

Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world: It is not he who prays most or fasts most, it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it. –William Law

All Men Exhorted to Praise God.
A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Psalm 100

1 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
3 Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
5 For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

1 Comment

Filed under Lenny's Post

What I Learned this week in Romans

We are about to end the first of three chapter that deal with Sanctification (Romans 6-8) with only the last two verses left, Romans 6:22, 23. In the first three chapters of Romans Paul has to literally get us lost as he shows us in detail that the whole world is guilty Romans 3:1- 15. Then there’s the greatest paragraph in the bible Romans 3:21-26, where Christ is our propitiation. Then we hear a “Therefore” from Paul in  Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, The same thing happens at the end of chapter 5:21  so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If Jesus Christ is truly our Lord now that we are saved, Then He is Master of our life, He is in control of our life and our walk as Christian, That’s why Paul can say “so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. Romans 6:19.” Look at Hebrews 2:11 and 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Paul says come out 2 Corinthians 6:17 through the word of God John 17:17, 18 and 19 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Paul has taught us in Romans 6 that believers are delivered from the penalty of sin, being justified and from the power of sin, being sanctified. We have learned so far that believers are dead to sin and sin is no longer our master, though sin will remain in us, it will no longer reign in our life… We are now slaves to righteousness Romans 6:18. Paul can say in Romans 6:19 so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

This week we look at Romans 6:20, 21 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. When sin was our master we were free from living a right life and the control of righteousness, we didn’t care about being righteous, we cared about ourselves and the pleasures of sin.

Look what Jesus said in John 8:31-36…..

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

When we were slaves of sin we didn’t care to live a right life, we liked our sin, but now the true mark of a Christian is we hate our sin and sin no longer has dominion over our lives. Jesus Christ, He reigns in our life as Lord and (new)Master. I told the class I think its impossible to have Christ as Savior without Him being our Lord Romans 10:9 and 1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.. and only true believers have the Holy Spirit.

Paul asks in Romans 6:21 what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? The word benefit is Karpos, which literally means fruit, so the obvious answer would be none, no fruit, so as we who are believers look back, we are ashamed, we are ashamed of our past life of sin and our lack of God and Christ in our life and the outcome would have been death.

Even when we were dead in our trespasses and sins God in His sovereign grace saved and rescued us from His wrath Ephesians 2:1-4 and prepared us beforehand to bear fruit and that we would “WALK” in them,  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 we have gone from death to life, a life that has Christ as our Lord and Master, to do His will in our lives, not perfectly, but we have been sanctified, set apart for God’s use. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work 2 Timothy 2:21.

Paul can say “I AM CONFIDENT” in Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work (Justification) in you will perfect it (Sanctification) until the day of Christ Jesus (Glorification). Paul can say later in Philippians 2:12, 13 Work out your salvation with fear and trembling… How? Well! Its God who is in you! Right? Working out what God worked in Philippians 1:6, which leads to holiness 1 Peter 1:14–16 , because it is God who works in you both to will and to do his good pleasure’ Philippians 2:13.

I can’t wait to get to next week and tie it all together with the final two verse in Romans 6 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

But then we have Romans seven and “Sin” that pops it’s ugly head, but that’s for future weeks.

“but the free gift of God
is eternal life in
Christ Jesus our Lord.”

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

2 Comments

Filed under Lenny's Post

MacArthur Monday

I find James, the brother of our Lord, to be one of the more interesting characters in the New Testament because of the relationship that he had with the Lord Jesus. Ask yourself, “What would it have been like to live in the same house and grow up in the same family as the Lord Jesus? What was it like for His brothers and sisters?” The question is not hypothetical; the question is actual.

For His brothers and sisters living with the incarnate God was a daily reality. And in spite of the traditional claims made by the Roman Catholic Church, Mary was not a perpetual virgin. She was a virgin when she conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and gave birth to Jesus. But after giving birth to Jesus, she had a normal relationship with her husband Joseph that led to her giving birth to at least six more children, and perhaps even more.

James: The Brother of Our Lord


Dr.MacArthur ends his sermon with these words… “God used him in amazing ways. And, you know, the Lord is in the business of doing that with the most unlikely people, including us, including you.”

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

Leave a Comment

Filed under Lenny's Post, Video

Marinating in the word of God

I recently came across these two pictures of steaks, one being marinated and the other, what it produced and I couldn’t help but think that’s what the word of God does to us, it gets deep into our beings. When the richness of God’s word is always on our minds and at the tip of our tongues to share with people it’s a beautiful thing!

So when Paul says Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, that’s being marinated by the word of God!

Colossians 3:16, 17…..

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Then it was the Psalmist who said in Psalm 1:1, 2…… How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

I believe the Psalmist knew it was his responsibility to let the truth dwell in him (and Paul too), because if not for the word of God being marinated in us, how can we be controlled by it, and worse yet we will let other things control our heart and minds. That why Paul said this in Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

The word dwell ( enoikeō) in Colossians 3:16 is an interesting word it means to to live in or to be at home or as one writer says “Take Up Residence” The same idea Paul has in Ephesians 5:18 when he says… And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.

One writer puts in this way “In other words, being filled with the Spirit and being filled with God’s word are both requisites for living joyful, useful, fruitful lives. We shall not be filled with the Spirit unless we are saturated with God’s word; and the study of God’s word will not be effective unless we yield up our inmost being to the control of the Holy Spirit. Can we not therefore conclude that to be filled with the Spirit means to be filled with God’s word? ” 

I think when we are marinated in the word of God it will permeate every aspect of our lives, taking over our thoughts, our words and our deeds. Then we can see what it produces, look at the rest of Colossians 3:16 with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

We have a great responsibility to teach and advise each other, we counsel and warn each other with our hearts filled with thankfulness to God. We want people to see us calling on His Son’s name, and not being ashamed to say we are Christians. Can we say as the psalmist say “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

Can we not therefore conclude
that to be filled with the Spirit
means to be filled with God’s word?

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Lenny's Post