Tag Archives: What I Learned In Church Yesterday

What I Learned This Week In Romans

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. I had no peace (Romans 5:1) when I was an unsaved man, I was at war with God, I was His enemy! Colossians 1:21. I wanted all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life 1 John 2:16 I didn’t want to please God nor did I have the capability to do so, for my mind was set on me and my flesh.

In the flesh… This the opposite of in Christ? Romans 8:9 says However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Last week we looked at Romans 7:1-4 that we might bear fruit for God. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

What kind of fruit did we bear before we as believers were joined to Christ? These kinds of fruit… Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these! Galatians 5:19, 20 and 21. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. Romans 7:5.

In the flesh sarx has many nuances so we must make sure we get the correct context of each use of sarx… The range of meaning extends from the physical flesh both human and animal, to the human body, to the entire person, and even to all humankind!

It can refer to humans controlled by sin and its passions.

Kenneth Wuest Word Studies in the Greek N.T. says this

The expression “in the flesh” refers to the condition of a person in the absolute control of the evil nature, as is clearly seen by a consideration of Paul’s words in 8:9, where he says, “But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God, dwell in you.” That is, in the case where the person is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that person is not in the control of the evil nature. That individual is a saved person. Consequently, the one who is in the flesh is an unsaved person, the flesh here referring to the fallen nature.

These sinful passions which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. When we were unredeemed and dead in our trespasses and sin we walked according to this world with all its lust and indulging the desires of the flesh. Ephesians 2:1, 2 and 3.

Paul say this in Romans 8:6, 7 and 8… For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Paul reminds us who are in Christ that we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. Romans 7:6.

We have died to the Law… Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4. We now have a new relationship with Christ in His death and we are now joined to Christ in His resurrection, Christ suffered the penalty of death that the law demanded. We are now joined to Him, we are now “In Christ” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law Galatians 3:13.

I love Kenneth Wuest translation of Romans 7:6 “But now, we were discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were constantly being held down, insomuch that we are rendering habitually a bondslave’s obedience in a sphere new in quality, that of the Spirit, and not in a sphere outworn as to usefulness, in a sphere of that which was written.”

John MacArthur writes in his Romans commentary “As believers, we are dead to the law as far as its demands and condemnation are concerned, but because we now live in newness of the Spirit, we love and serve God’s law with a full and joyous heart. And we know that to obey His law is to do His will and that to do His will is to give Him glory.”

It was Paul who said in Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Otherwise Stated:
Cloth yourself with Christ

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

 

 

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What I Learned This Week In Romans

I learned in Romans that the Law has nothing to say to a dead man Romans 7:1, we read in Romans 6:14 that sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. We see here that Paul gives us an illustration of marriage Romans 7:2, 3 , No one can loosen the bonds of marriage until someone dies.

Let me give you a personal illustration of this, when my dad died the bonds of marriage was broken and my mom was free to marry any one she wanted, so after grieving for a few years she met someone and they were married 1 Corinthians 7:39. The death of my dad ended their relationship and allowed for my mom to have a new relationship. My mom as a widow was free to marry again as Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:14… Paul’s plain and simple point here is death breaks the marriage relationship.

Here comes the therefore… Paul says Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4

Just as we who are believers died to the Law, we now have a new relationship with Christ in His death and we are now joined to Christ in His resurrection, Christ suffered the penalty of death that the law demanded. We are now joined to Him 2 Corinthians 11:2 in His life.

Why? In order that we might bear fruit for God!.

Our relationship with Christ produces FRUIT… As Tim showed us in John 15: 1, 2, 5 and 16.

Lets look what Jesus said in verse 16 “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. We have new attitudes Galatians 5:22, 23.

It says in Ephesians 2 verse 8 and 9 Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Then in verse 10 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

James Boice in his Romans commentary says writes… What is Paul’s point? Simply that the object of God’s having freed us from the law, to which we were bound, was that we might be joined to Christ and be fruitful. In fact, it is even stronger than that. In Greek the sentence ends with the words “in order that we might bear fruit to God,” which means that in this case it is the fruitfulness of the Christian, rather even than his union with Christ, that is emphasized.

Donald Grey Barnhouse writes on fruit… One of the most important purposes of redemption is that we might bring forth fruit unto God. We were transplanted out of death and rooted and grounded in His love so that we might bring forth fruit. Fruit is the expression of life, and in the Word of God fruit is indicative of converts, character, and conduct.

I end with another quote from James Boice’s Romans commentary, because he says it a lot better than I can…

One day the great God of the universe is going to throw a party. It will be the most magnificent party that has ever been held. The banquet will be spread in heaven. The guests will be numbered in the billions. The angelic legions will be there to serve these honored guests. Jesus, the Bridegroom, will be seated at his Father’s right hand. And you will be there, too, for this is the great marriage supper of the Lamb. You will be there. Do you understand that? You will be there. Nothing is going to keep you from that great celebration—if you are really joined to Jesus Christ.

So what are you doing? Are you living a halfhearted life for Jesus Christ now? If you know where you are headed, you will be preparing for that day with every spiritual thought you have and with every deed you do. You will be bearing fruit for God, because on that day of celebration you will be able to lift it up and offer it to him with pure hands and with joy unspeakable.

Nothing is going to keep you
from that great celebration
—if you are really joined
to Jesus Christ.

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

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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

 

 

 

 

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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

 

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I’m Just a Big Cry Baby!

To have a sense of abandonment is not the best feeling in the world, it’s a little despairing to say the least. If not for my wife’s constant encouragement I would be all alone or at least I thought I was alone. I have cried out to God for some answers and He didn’t let me down… Let me make this crystal clear I am not comparing my self to Jeremiah the prophet, but because I just read through Jeremiah he’s fresh on my mind, I feel like he did, after preaching God’s word for 40 years, nobody cares, nobody wants to hear someone with strong convictions in regards to God’s word… I know here’s a tissue for your issue, act like a man and gird up your loins and get back into the race…

Yeah you’re right! But we’re human and pride takes a hold at times.

God has really been good to me, especially in Church yesterday, well it actually started after men’s group last Monday night. The last few weeks I have felt down, I mean am I really making a difference in the lives of Christians? I have felt abandon and left alone, like on an Island, but after our last Men’s group, Dave one of our Elders came up to me and thanked me for my words and for my preparation I bring to the study every week. I couldn’t get over that, I appreciated it so much that I called him the next day to thank him, I needed that. Then this past saturday I get a text from a friend asking me if I’m alright! Come to think about it, God in His infinite wisdom was working in me a couple of weeks ago when a friend out of the blue text me and ask me how she could be praying for me… Coincidences? I don’t think so!

But then things happened in Church yesterday that were not mere coincidences, people came up to me that seldom or never come up and said hello or how are you doing! After I taught on Sanctification in Romans 6 a continuation from last weeks Sunday school class a former member who was there just for Sunday school sent me a voice mail while the service was going on, I didn’t listen to it until I got home, he didn’t stay but said he wanted to tell me how much he appreciated this mornings class and how edifying it was, he thanked me for my passion and how I just used the word of God to explain the text in Romans 6, amazing, just out of the blue! Coincidence?

Then there is my co-teacher Tim who is also an Elder who is always supportive as we go along in our study in Romans, it’s really a wonderful thing we have together, to have the same convictions as we teach verse by verse in Romans, it just reminded me that I’m not alone.

Before the service started a Missionary from Haiti sitting in the row in front of me turn around and told me how much she looks forward to reading my posts and as she put it “sometimes they are heavy and difficult to understand, but she said I need that, I need to be challenged like that, so she thanked me,” I’m thinking to myself I’m just a big cry baby! Then after the service the couple and their family who was sitting behind us were there as a church plant, He tapped me on the shoulder and said to this big cry baby, your passion for worship is contagious thank you! Probably referring to my Amens I shouted out. All Coincidence? I don’t think so!

So why have I opened myself up to you, Well just to encourage you and show you He doesn’t call us to be successful, but faithful to Him and His word and what seems to us is the case, really isn’t! It’s not what we’re doing, it’s what He’s doing through us,  God doesn’t promise us a rose garden, but He will help us tip toe through the tulips.

So I got to thinking the other night as I was going over my notes on Sanctification for Sunday school as long as I have faith in God and rely on Him and His word… As long as I faithfully study, teach and proclaim His word, I’m going to be ok! Because I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He prepared beforehand so that I would walk in them.

He’s the Sovereign God of the universe, He’s in control and whatever comes my way, so let it be! I’ll keep fighting. Isaiah says this in Isaiah 66:2 “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

But to this one I will look

Father help me to be humble, let me  
be contrite and always tremble at Your word!

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

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What I Learned In Church This Week

Jesus who was the greatest teacher, scholar and theologian to ever live said in Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. I have to ask the question…. Who’s your Master?  Let me ask it this way…  Whose slave are you?

Paul says in Romans 6 verse 14  For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14. No person is completely free from anything or anyone, you are either doing one of two things. You are slaves either of sin and this world, or of obedience resulting in righteousness and slaves to Christ.

Here are the verses we tackled in sunday school in our Romans study… What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? Romans 6:15, 16

This might sound familiar because we had a similar argument in Romans 6:1 that was habitual sin but here Paul talks about occasional sin that is planned out because we have grace and Paul gives the same answer May it never be!

Kenneth Wuest writes… “This second question proposes a life of planned infrequent, spasmodic acts of sin, since grace makes it impossible for a Christian to live a life of habitual sin. Paul answers this question in Romans 6:16-23 by showing that the Christian has changed masters, and that serving the Lord Jesus, it is not his nature to sin.” Wuest paraphrases it…”What then? Shall we sin occasionally, because we are not under law but under grace?”

We who are Christians were once enslaved by sin but we have been purchased and redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ 1 Peter 1:18, 19. So how then can we who have been purchased and redeemed go on sinning? The answer is we can’t!

Paul’s NOT talking perfection here but he is talking obedience to our Lord and Master Jesus Christ… A persons pattern of living proves who his master is, if a person’s life is marked continually by sin as a lifestyle, then that person is a slave to Sin (Their Master).

We as true believes are the property of our Lord Jesus Christ and He rescues us from this evil age Galatians 1:4 We obey Him because we love Him who first loved us. 1 John 4:19 and He controls us 2 Corinthians 5:14… It was Jesus Himself who said “If you love me keep My commandments” John 14:15.

What was the purpose of God creating us then redeeming us if not for holiness and to be separated from this world? Peter takes this up in his first letter: “You shall be holy, for I am holy” 1 Peter 1:16, then Paul… But we are holy creatures “in Christ” (saints separate from this world) “For this is the will of God, your Sanctification” 1 Thessalonians 4:3

In Romans 12:2 Paul says 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. You see you are either doing one of two things as a Christian, that is you our being conformed to this world or you are being transformed by the renewing of your minds that is it, there is no middle ground.

When does this start, when do we start this process of sanctification? I recently ask this question to a friend of mine and he gave me the correct answer emphatically… he said “Immediately.”  Sanctification does not occur in an experience subsequent to salvation but rather coincides with it.

In Sunday School we are in Romans 6, and its filled with detail about sanctification, Paul shows us that Christians have been:

  • Freed from the power of sin
  • Enabled to live in newness of life under the reign of grace
  • Unified with Christ in his resurrection
  • Made new creatures

Christians will always struggle against sin and YES sometimes fall into sin, but a true believer is a new creature, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 who have been freed from sin and our old self is set aside Romans 6:6-7.

But then there is Romans 7 and the sin that pops up in our lives that we struggle with, that leads Paul to say these words…Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:24, 25

But we are not to lose heart and not growing weary Galatians 6:9 But we are to press on with the recognition we have not become perfect Philippians 3:12-16, but it is God who is in us that does the work of sanctification Philippians 1:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:24, Hebrews 13:20-21 and as Philippians 2:12, 13 says we cooperate with Him. As we learned in Sunday school we trust God that we are free from the bondage of sin and alive to God in Christ Romans 6:11

What’s are participation in all this? That we renew our minds in the word of God like newborn babies, we long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it we may grow in respect to salvation, 1 Peter 2:2 Paul in Romans 12:2 again 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 great thing about “GRACE”
is that it truly alters a persons walk

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

 

 

 

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What I Learned In Church This Week

Paul says in the very first words Romans 6:3 Or do you not know? (Know what?)

. that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into 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.

We learned last week that Paul anticipated a question being asked… What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6: 1, 2 Though sin lives in us, believers do not live in sin…. You see, “sin remains in us but sin does not reign in a believer’s life, because we live in Christ and Christ lives in us!” To say then that because we have this super abounding grace we can sin all the more , Paul say “May it never be!”

Walking out of Sunday school class it was clear to us that we now know Paul!

Know What?

That we who have faith in Him who saved us, were once dead in our trespasses and sins Ephesians 2:1 but have been made alive, born from above by the Holy Spirit John 3:4-8, that it was His great mercy and love that even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ Ephesians 2:4. We now know that we were buried with Him in baptism by the Holy Spirit, that we were crucified with Him Galatians 2:20 and its no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. We now know that we are new creatures in Christ going from death to life 2 Corinthians 5:17, by what He did on that cross taking our sins, the cup of God’s wrath on Himself that we may become the righteousness of God in Him 2 Corinthians 5:21.

We now know Paul the very moment we were saved by God through faith by His free gift of irresistible efficacious grace were baptized by His Holy Spirit into His death 1 Corinthians 12:13. We now know we have been baptized with Christ, we are now clothed with Christ Galatians 3:27. We now make no provision for the flesh, and we put on our Lord Jesus Christ who just happens to live in us Paul Romans 13:14. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that we should walk in them Ephesians 2:10.

So why would we want to sin all the more? A ridiculous thought… May it never be! We are being made into the image of the glory of the Lord 2 Corinthians 3:18 because Christ is the image of God 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Paul says in Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into 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.

We have a new life our old life is DEAD!

But there is much hope for us in Christ!

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

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

 

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What I Learned In Church This Week

We had a great time in the word of God in our Romans class, I ended my teaching section of Romans with Romans 6:1, 2. I remember writing a post on this last January, but its an important enough issue to revisit, first here is the text we learned in Church this past Lord’s day.

so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 5:21, 6:1,2

The rhetorical question Paul is asking is… Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? Paul answers his own question, May it never be!

Paul is saying “Absolutely Not! May it never be!” There were these people called Antinomians and still are in some forms today “The Antinomians say they’re saved by grace but they live sinful lives, what we do doesn’t matter as long as we believe rightly. They say, “I’m under grace, I can do what I want to do! I’m free in Jesus, I can do whatever I want to do because God loves me just the way I am” 

Yes we as Christians are free in Christ Jesus, no longer under the bondage of sin, BUT! We have become slaves of righteousness Romans 6:18 says.

Then Romans 6:22 says But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. Peter tell us to Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God in 1 Peter 2:16.

Jude 4 warns us about ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 

As I told the class our goal as Christians is not perfectionism, its Holiness!  Of course the Christian life is not a straight line from A to Glorification… Of course we are going to have setbacks and struggles with our sin-life… That is why Paul wrote the conflict of two natures in Romans 7.

Though sin lives in us, believers do not live in sin…. You see, sin remains in us but sin does not reign in a believer’s life because we live in Christ!

So I have to ask the question, do we want Justification without Sanctification and without Holiness?

Peter calls us to Holiness: Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 1 Peter 1:13, 14

I have heard this so many times from people, I made a decision years ago for Christ, I walked the aisle, I sign the card, I prayed the prayer, my Pastor said I was saved, he welcomed me in the family of  God! I’m ok. I’ll be fine! I’m saved! I love Jesus and his teaching, but I just want to have fun, I’ll get back into it after.

But Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Wearing Christian Tee-Shirts and Bracelets, doesn’t make you a Christian, Tattooing your body or growing a soul patch doesn’t make you a Christian, quoting a lyric from your favorite Contemporary Christian Artist doesn’t make you a Christian! Living one foot in the world and one in Christ, so as to have the best of both worlds doesn’t make you a Christian!

What makes you a Christian is fellowship with Jesus Christ OUR Lord! 1 Corinthians 1:9 and what He’s done for you on that cross, what makes you a Christian is His free gift of GRACE and that grace will as Thomas Watson said “Alters a Mans Walk” Grace Changes you, you can no longer pick and choose and do what you want to do. We present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, we no longer conform to this world but are being transformed by the renewing of our minds Romans 12:1, 2

Spurgeon asks this question in one of his sermons… “If grace does not make you to differ from your own surroundings, is it really grace at all?”

Then he said this….

“Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin.”

Are we to continue in sin so grace can abound more? Continue is (epimeno) abide, endure, continue, stay or remain, the word continue means to practice or to habitually yield to sin. Paul’s answer May it never be!

Grace never causes a believer to love sin and pursue it, grace causes a believer to hate their sin and flee from it, grace causes a believer to confess their sins to God.

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 18-10

I think if there was a verse I could pick out that describes a professing Christian who says their saved and live their life their own way would be Judges 21:25 ”In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Are we living like there is no King Jesus in our life, doing what is right in our own eyes? That is what the unbeliever does!

I’ll close with these words from 1 John 2:15, 16 and 17.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Grace does NOT promote SIN!
Grace promotes HOLINESS!

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

 

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What I Learned In Church This Week

I turned to my wife and tapped her on the knee and whispered this is going to be very difficult. My Pastor is continuing his sermon series on the hard sayings of Jesus and the text was in Matthew 10. My Pastor did a great job to bring us the meaning of this text, so to hear Jesus say “For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.”

This is going to be very hard for people to grasp and to accept, but it’s true. This sermon and this text really hit home for me as I watched this being lived out with my Mom and her family. The text was Matthew 10:34-39…..

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36 and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.

37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

I remember it was the summer that I got married, thirty years ago and I was twenty years old and my Mom met a woman named Polly that introduced her to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My Mom was convicted and pretty much changed her life, did a complete about-face, left her former life and worshiped the true and living God. Just like Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God. My mom wanted desperately to see people saved and was sold out for Christ.

Now let me say not all her immediate family was ok with this, my dad wasn’t at first, but believed just before he died in 1994. But her kids, we didn’t have a choice. She was all out for Christ and His kingdom, she would have scripture on the walls of our house for us to see, she began to write poems and send them out to her friends and family members. There’s where the persecution came in, it was in the form of her sisters and mother and mother in-law and sister in-laws, her brother and brother in-laws so to hear the words of Christ “A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” It’s true!

As I look back on her ministry now, she wasn’t mean or insensitive, she was firm in her faith, she was grounded in the word of God, she was passionate and on fire for Christ and His kingdom. She was the epitome of the word Intrepid. She believed the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the only thing that mattered, she believed that warning people of the wrath to come was the greatest act of love you can give someone. She waited for her Savior to come 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

I don’t want you to think my Mom was perfect, she wasn’t but she was faithful to the word of God and called people to Repent and Believe! Mark 1:15. My mom died a fews years ago with the knowledge that most of her family dis-owned her for her faith in Jesus Christ, and as my Pastor pointed out that loyalty to Jesus may sometimes cause conflict even within a family and it surely did in her case.

The cost of discipleship is the willingness to take up your cross and deny yourself daily and follow after Christ Luke 9:23 and suffer the consequences good or bad. I do pray that my Mom’s family is saved and seeds were planted by my Mom.

I can still remember my darling wife singing Amazing Grace to my Mom as she was dying on her bed and me thinking it is well with her soul and knowing she will hear good and faithful servant from her Lord, who she was faithful in and bolding proclaiming!

It was grace that brought her home!

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

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What I Learned In Church This Week

Birth is both the cause and the cure, when I read that recently in preparing my lesson for Sunday school, I thought to myself it’s as easy as that. Jesus said it Himself in John 3:3 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

But really is it that easy to be born again?

How are we born again after being born in such sin, just as David said I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5  And because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8: 7, 8

Really?  That one sin of Adam nose-dived the entire world into condemnation, eternal destruction and hell? We are hostile toward God and while in the flesh can NOT please Him? There is nothing good in us to some how muster up enough faith to respond to the Gospel without God’s spirit coming into us from above.

You remember what God said to Adam and Eve “but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” You might be asking by now, die how? You see we died a spiritual death and now are dead in our trespasses and sin, DEAD! We are walking dead zombies spiritually Ephesians 2:1.

Was it God’s plan that they were going to live forever in a perfect garden, with a perfect life, just pro-creating in a perfect environment, but then let sin enter the world that He could send His Son His one and only Son to save us? Yes and Yes!

Was sin part of God’s plan all along? You know the plan before the foundation of the world, where He has known us and chose us to believe? You know what I really can’t wrap my brains around this one, but I know this!

Without sin there can be no Savior!

Without sin there can be no “Grace”


Read what Paul says to those believers from Ephesus who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight

9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:2-14

In the end who gets all the glory? God… to the praise of His glory. People just want to do and have a part in everything, and once we take credit for any part of our salvation we take away His glory. It says in Romans 8:9  “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” Without the Spirit of God we can’t accept the things of God, they are foolishness to us, we are spiritually bankrupt. 1 Corinthians 2:14.

How do we get this Spirit? Jesus told Nicodemus ”You must be born again, He was saying you must be born from above. Nicodemus responded in John 3:9 ”How can these things be?”

How can the Philippian jailor just out of the blue say in Acts 16:30 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  You see God had worked in his heart to believed, just as Lydia believed the words of Paul about Christ, the Jailor believed the words about Christ from Paul and Silas, they were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them and It would be my guess that the jailor was too! Acts 16:25

How does Lydia and the Jailor believe and what must they do to be saved?  ”Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved! That’s it Just believe!

Yes, just believe because the Lord opened your heart to respond to the words about Christ Acts 16:14. Because faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17. It’s not about doing things to gain your salvation, its by being born from above and God enabling you to respond to the words spoken about Christ.

Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15

So to re-ask my first question, is it that easy to be born again?

Jesus has the answer in Matthew 19:26  “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

An He said ”It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. Revelation 21:6

If He’s called you to Himself, you’re coming.

So come and drink of the fountain of life

With God all things are possible

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

 

 

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