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Posts Tagged ‘Epistle to the Romans’


(Scripture from the KJV and NKJV)

– I listened and heard, but they spake not aright; no man repented of his wickedness, saying “What have I done?”  Every one turned to his course, as a horse rushes into the battle, – Jeremiah 8:6

– The more you defend a lie … the angrier you become. – Mitch Albom

Over the recent holidays, I watched one of those crime shows on TV with my parents.  This particular program had the usual suspects – five people with potential motives for two related murders.  Among them was a mother whose son had been previously killed by one of the later victims.  When she was brought in for questioning by the police, her demeanor was calm and innocent – at first.

The woman became increasingly louder and defensive as detectives started putting holes in her alibi.  Protests such as “I haven’t done anything!” started pouring forth from her mouth.  My dad pegged her as the killer half-way through the episode.  I asked him later how he was so sure.  He said, “It’s the people who holler and protest the most you have to watch.  They’re the ones usually lying.”

Kids can often get like this when they know they are guilty of doing something they’ve been told not by their parents.  Professing their innocence with loud protests such as “What have I done!?”  The parent will then counter with calm, firm words like, “You know exactly what you did wrong.”  In situations like this, loudness is a good indicator of lying – calmness is a good indicator correction is coming.

The child then stomps angrily down the hall, or up the stairs to their bedroom.  However, don’t they often stop after opening the door, and make sure everyone in the whole house hears their cries of  “This is so unfair!”?  This is frequently followed by a door slam – with an equally far-reaching noise. Christians who do not understand the purpose of God’s correction – may do similar things.

Protests of “What have I done?” are unwise when God corrects us as Christians.  As a sign of His great love – we will all undergo things like chastening (Hebrews 12:6-7 ).  It won’t seem joyous during it – but all discipline in life can hurt at times (Hebrews 12:11).  Try to remember, His commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3).  God never afflicts or grieves us willingly (Lamentations 3:33).

The Lord takes no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies (Ezekiel 18:32).  God is long-suffering with all of us – not wanting anyone to perish into the pit – but to come unto repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  This is a commandment for Christians (Acts 17:30).  We can no longer be ignorant about sin’s eternal wages (Romans 6:23).  It means we obey God unto death, just like Jesus did (Philippians 2:8)

Any claims we have of being faithful Christians means we are obedient to our faith.  Why?  Jesus – our only power to obey God – dwells in us by faith through the power of the Spirit (Romans 16:26, Ephesians 3:16-17).  We can’t claim innocence about sin anymore when corrected by God (Jeremiah 2:35). Obedience requires such.  Jesus is the author of salvation to all who obey God (Hebrews 5:8-9).

Christ shed precious blood for us at Calvary.  It is the very same blood sprinkled on our hearts daily as a salve for our sins (Hebrews 10:22, 1 Peter 1:2).  We have to learn not to offend Him anymore with them (Job 34:31).  If we are still walking around raising our voices at God, saying things like “What have I done!?” every time He corrects us; we don’t have the faith we may be loudly proclaiming.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Even so, the tongue is a little member – and boasts great things.  Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles. – James 3:5

– And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown – but we an incorruptible one. – 1 Corinthians 9:25

Just as the tiny rudder of a great big ship can be used to control its movements, steering its direction along certain courses (James 3:4) – so can our tongues steer the path of these days God has given each of us.  Depending on what we say – or don’t. The commentary which comes out of our mouths can steer conversations into contention, confusion, or contentment.  The direction of our day follows.

Death and life are in the power of our tongues – and those who love it will eat the fruit thereof (Proverbs 18:21).  Words from our mouths can be hurtful and wounding – helpful and healing (Proverbs 12:18). Our tongues can touch off wildfires – the flames of which can be tough to tame (James 3:6).  Wars of words often ensue.  We’re warned not to do this as believers (2 Timothy 2:16).

What comes into us from the outside can’t defile us. But just like our bodies, our hearts and minds are vessels.  They can only hold so much in before something spills out.  What then flows forth from our lips can quickly defile us.  Wrong words from our tongues seal the deal of defiling our whole bodies (Matthew 15:11,18-20).  The damage is done once words are out (James 3:6).

It’s hard to hold our tongue back sometimes – but it’s much harder to take our words back once spoken. Even when we say we’re sorry – sorrow has been sown.  We could have reopened a wound in another person’s heart – scarred by a previous hurtful word spoken years ago by someone else.  It takes asking God to set a watch before our mouths at times – to keep the door of our lips closed (Psalm 141:3).

This is where temperance comes in as Christians. Just as a ship’s captain gently steers the course of any vessel with a rudder, so does a shepherd gently steer the course of any flock with a staff.  We have been born again of the Spirit as Christians (John 3:5).  We were once astray – but have now been returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).  All control now belongs to Christ.

Jesus now dwells in our hearts by faith through the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16-17).  So we start producing the spiritual fruit God requires – to show the results of our mutual abidance in each other (John 15:1-5).  One such desired fruit is temperance (Galatians 5:22-23).  Temperance is the practice of always controlling our actions and feelings – regardless of situation or circumstance.

It’s moderation and self-restraint in behavior and expressions.  So we don’t always act or speak on assumptions; jumping to conclusions (Joshua 22:1-34).  So we don’t always give people a piece of our mind with our mouth.  We’ve been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).  So ours are no longer conformed to the world – but transformed to be like Christ’s (Romans 12:2).  To give us peace of mind.

Still, we are flesh.  Even with the Holy Spirit in us – the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.  They are contrary – one to the other (Galatians 5:17) – so we don’t always do or say the things we would (Romans 7:19-20).  In order to learn mastery – to be temperate in all things (second lead verse), we have to be taught so by the Master.  It’s essential to taming our tongues.

Everything we speak, starts as a thought.  These thoughts travel from our brains to our tongues.  For example, emotions often emerge from our mouths in word – when we’ve thought about things like love or hate long enough.  Once we start talking, people may want to stay with us – or walk away forever, depending on our words.  Once a person leaves because of them – it’s hard to get them back

As our minds are transformed daily by God’s truth, we should begin talking much more about the Word (Philippians 3:20) – and much less about the world. However, even speaking the truth requires some temperance.  Jesus didn’t always talk and teach. Christ also spent time praying and reflecting. When the Son of man did speak, it was always relevant to the situation.

The words which leave our lips about the Lord can go a long way to drawing the lost closer to the Cross – or driving them away (Romans 10:14, Ephesians 5:6).  Yes, whatever we say requires a tongue of temperance – whether it’s truth or not.  Remember, God always knows our words before we say them (Psalm 139:4) – and we will be judged for every idle word we ever spoke (Matthew 12:36).

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But you, beloved – building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.  Keep yourselves in the love of God … looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. – Jude 1:20-21

– The church is a gift from God – assembly is required. – Church sign in Florida

Would you go live in a house being built for you if it wasn’t finished yet?  Perhaps the roof wasn’t on, the windows weren’t in, and the electrical and water hookups hadn’t been made.  You might go over one day and walk around inside the framework of your house.  You might imagine what it would be like when finished – but moving in was not possible yet.

Incomplete physical structures are unfit to live or work in.  They also have to be built a certain way so they stand firm and solid when fully completed. Otherwise, they are eventually going to suffer damage or collapse from shoddy workmanship or materials.  One bad storm can bring down any structure – physical or spiritual.

However, God always knows what He is doing (Deuteronomy 32:4) … His only Son was a carpenter (Matthew 13:55).  Carpenters can’t just show up at a construction site one day and start guessing about what to do.  Imagine if Jesus had walked about on this earth with such an approach – without any knowledge of what God wanted done next.

Before a carpenter starts working on a physical structure, they have to know what they are building. They have to follow and abide by blueprints and instructions drawn up in advance.  First measuring, marking, and arranging the materials – before any construction starts.  These materials are then cut and shaped according to specifications.

Everything then begins to be fastened with nails, screws, staples, etc..  In the last stages of construction, the carpenter checks the accuracy of their work with things like levels, rules, and surveying equipment.  To make sure the building won’t fall – and is fit for someone to live or work in. The same goes for spiritual buildings (Isaiah 44:13).

We can’t have prefabricated buildings of belief to move into when we first become born-again Christians.  We can’t send our spiritual materials off somewhere to be put together.  So they are returned fully constructed a few weeks later.  They have to be built up in our hearts the right way from the start – starting with faith (2 Peter 1:5-11).

It takes longer.  We have to make sure one step is completed before moving to the next.  Jesus warned us about climbing the wrong way up to heaven (John 10:1).  If we start with temperance, then try to add faith – or start with faith, and skip the step of virtue – there’s a good chance we’ll have an up-and-down spiritual life – full of frustration.

Everything also has to be built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ as the chief cornerstone.  So everything is constructed according to His plan for our spiritual life – not ours.  So the building is fitly framed together unto a holy temple in the Lord – for a habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:20-22).

As Christians, we can lay no other foundation than what has already been laid in our hearts by God from above – which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). How things are assembled from this point on is essential to our spiritual stability.  Unless the Lord builds the house – we labor in vain if we try to do it ourselves (Psalm 127:1).

We have to keep our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23).  A careful and persistent effort daily – to ensure we are not building our Christian lives upon any other man’s foundation (Romans 15:20). This can happen when one thinks they have become a believer just by associating with Christian things (Luke 6:32-34); but not by the Holy Ghost.

Even being born again of the Spirit (John 3:5) – we can still build the wrong way – like adding worldly things to the Word.  We are God’s husbandry, and His building as Christians (1 Corinthians 3:9).  God gives us grace to be wise master builders.  We are to always take heed as to how our spiritual houses are being constructed (1 Corinthians 3:10-17).

Before anything else, we have to be positive about our calling and election (John 15:16, Philippians 2:12, 2 Peter 1:10).  If everything is assembled the way God has designed from that point on, He assures us we will never fall – if all steps are followed correctly.  So we won’t find heaven’s door locked (2 Peter 1:5-12).  We’re not there yet.

With proper construction, will be like a wise man who heard the words of Jesus – and did them (Luke 6:46).  Building his house upon the rock of God and salvation (2 Samuel 22:47).  So when the rains descended, and the flood came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the house – it did not fall.  For it was founded upon a rock (Matthew 7:24-25),

If we assemble things only partially in our spiritual lives, or not in the proper order, problems are bound to arise.  If we build on the wrong – or a faulty foundation – our spiritual houses are likely heading for a fall.  We can’t see it when the weather is fair – but tiny fissures and cracks develop over time.  With each little shift in faith – with each little storm.

Then the big one hits.  Even with advanced warnings – homes can wash away.  If we failed to follow God’s instructions (Proverbs 8:33) – if we failed to hear Christ’s words – we’re like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand.  The rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew, and beat against it – and great was the fall of it (Matthew 7:26-27).

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But though He causes grief – yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.  For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. – Lamentations 3:32-33

If you have been a parent at any time in the past, did you ever have to discipline your children for disobeying you?  If you did, didn’t it pain and grieve you to punish a son or daughter when a certain situation required it?  You didn’t do it willingly – but you knew something had to be done to teach your child right from wrong.

Of course – if you were a child on the other side of the coin, how often did you hear Dad or Mom say something like “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you?”  And, you could not possibly see any sense to a statement like that.  You were the one receiving punishment.  How could a parent be pained by that?

Perhaps it was looking back on such times years later – when you finally understood your parents were really trying to help you through discipline when you were younger.  To keep you from trouble then, and still getting hurt by it today.  Something had to be done when they saw you heading down any potentially dangerous or deceitful path in life.

Hopefully, you finally realized any grief your parents caused you as a kid, was meant for your own good now.  Why would our loving Father in heaven be any different?  Who would want a God to go around arbitrarily afflicting and grieving people with punishment – without purpose – to determine eternal destinies (lead passage, Romans 3:5-6)?

Two of Charlie Brown’s most popular phrases were “Good grief!”, and “I can’t stand it!”  God cannot stand sin – the sin Scripture has concluded we’re all under (Galatians 3:22).  If we are Christians – we all know better now about the eternal wages of it (Romans 6:23).  Repenting from sin is not an option – but a commandment (Acts 17:30).

Meaning God is going to grieve us at various times – but never willingly (lead passage); so we learn Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:20-32).  According to His way – not ours.  But – we can’t learn Jesus the way God desires – unless Jesus dwells in us by faith through the power of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 3:16-17). This is the only power we have to repent.

Old things have to pass away, so we can become new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We are no longer just God’s creation as Christians – but His children again.  Our loving Father in heaven is now teaching us His way.  Not the way we may desire much of the time; but the way He’s designed it to be – by correcting and chastising us.

Happy is the man whom God corrects.  We are not to despise it when it happens (Job 5:17).  We are not to grow weary while we’re enduring His chastening (Proverbs 3:11).  It’s going to hurt God more than it hurts us.  We probably won’t see it that way as His children at first.  It won’t seem joyous – what punishment ever does (Hebrews 12:11)?

God’s commandments are not meant to be grievous (1 John 5:3) – but designed for our own good.  Our Father assures us we will be chastened as Christians (Hebrews 12:6).  It may often seem very grievous. However, it’s a sign of His love.  We have to learn not to offend God (Job 34:31).  Therefore, we are to be zealous about repenting (Revelation 3:19).

So He can continually guide us away from the troubles and sins of this world – and towards the sincerity and truth of His Word.  To keep us from getting hurt over and over by our old sins and their sorrows.  So we are not punished eternally by sin’s motions and wages (Romans 6:23, Romans 7:5, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Luke 13:27-28).

Even if we think we are suffering wrongfully at the hands of others – we are to endure their grief.  This is thank-worthy with God – if our conscience is towards Him.  Even if we do well, and suffer grief for it – and we take it patiently – this is acceptable with God (1 Peter 2:19-20).  Remember, Jesus was fully acquainted with all we may face (Isaiah 53:3-10).

If we are Christians – and we do not fully understand this – guess what’s probably going to happen often? We’ll see God as creating grief – without having any cause to do so.  However, we cause our own grief when we walk around with any innocent  “What have I done?” mindset regarding sin (Jeremiah 8:6); or still proclaim our goodness (Proverbs 20:6).

If we are like this, we’re probably going to grumble a lot, about how could a loving God be causing us grief. This can go a long way towards grieving the Holy Spirit within us.  We’re warned not to do that (Ephesians 4:30).  Doing so can be the catalyst for blasphemy against the Holy Ghost – putting us in danger of eternal damnation (Mark 3:29).

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– That at the time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope – and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus – you who were sometimes far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. – Ephesians 2:12-13

Loneliness is nothing more than a separation from God. – Billy Graham

It’s there in your heart – lying in wait.  You just hope it doesn’t hit – maybe hard like a howling hurricane sometime during this holiday season.  Maybe it will be while you’re out having a good time with friends – or at home hanging decorations on the tree with your family.  Without warning it strikes.  It’s too late to get out of the way.

A tsunami sweeps over your entire soul.  A tidal wave of inner and worldly wants, wishes, worry, or being without someone or something – washes over your heart.  Just for a second you feel lost and alone, despite having loving and laughing people around enjoying the spirit of the season with you.  Then – the wave is gone almost as quickly as it arrived.

What was in all that water?  Loneliness.  Tons of it – some coming in torrents at certain times like Christmas.  Loneliness is an emotional state of emptiness.  It’s a complex and often confusing condition where one experiences a powerful feeling of sadness – caused by separation from people or pursuits in life.  It can be a passing period for some – or a persistent pain in others.

In a spiritual sense – we are all born lonely upon this earth.  We are alienated from the Almighty through our inherent ignorance about the eternal wages of sin (Acts 17:30, Romans 6:23).  We begin with our desperately wicked and deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9).  We start our lives separated from our Savior forever by such things (Ephesians 4:18, Colossians 1:21).

We are like aliens in a strange land (Exodus 18:3). Estranged from God by the enmity of sin and our carnal nature – lost and lonely in this world without the Lord and His Word (Romans 8:7, lead passage). Staying friends with the world is staying in enmity (a state of active opposition) to God.  We are enemies of God if we remain this way (James 4:4).

However, the world will try to lead us astray in this regard.  Most of us are surrounded at the start by loving family and friends as children.  Life soon gives us lots of things to do and learn.  Many people await to meet and befriend, whom we can surround ourselves with when we’re glad or sad.  All which can give us the outside illusion we shouldn’t feel alone inside.

Still, mankind has tried all kinds of worldly solutions over the centuries to combat any feelings of inner loneliness – by external means.  To remedy a longing to belong – to finally feel truly and eternally loved once and for all – without being lied to.  These attempts can lead some down many broad and destructive paths (Matthew 7:13).

People can seek comfort and companionship in other people – to ease their loneliness.  When this becomes too difficult or demanding on a day-to-day basis – or ends up being hurtful in the end, they can seek to numb feelings of inner isolation with things.  Things which don’t respond emotionally – or which question motives.

Some turn to careers, some to money, and some to the bottle – all attempts to feel less alienated; less alone.  They all may seem to work for a while – sometimes a very long time.  But, they cannot penetrate the human heart – they just feel like they do.  As Billy Graham once said – they all make great fire escapes, but terrible fire extinguishers.

The disciples had to be troubled when Jesus told them he was going away to be crucified – for Christ had been their companion and comforter for over 3 years.  Where Jesus was going, though – they could not go (John 13:36).  However, Christ promised them they would not be left comfortless and alone after he left (John 14:18).

Another Comforter would have to come to the disciples after Christ’s death and resurrection – which was the Holy Ghost (John 14:26).  To give them inner peace forever – to remedy and replace the passing or persistent pain of loneliness (John 14:16). We all have this same promise of hope today.  To keep our heart’s fear of being left alone at bay.

If we say we are Christians, then we have been born again of the Holy Spirit.  The middle wall of partition between our hearts and heaven was broken down when God gave us the gift of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 2:14).  Our Father’s love was shed abroad in our hearts for the first time – as He commanded His light to shine out of the darkness (Romans 5:5, 2 Corinthians 4:6).

When we were lost and unbelieving, we were without God in the world.  It doesn’t mean He wasn’t with us – He just wasn’t dwelling within us yet.  We were made nigh again to our heavenly Father by the blood of Christ shed at Calvary (lead passage) – so we wouldn’t have need to seek worldly answers anymore to questions of “why do I still feel alone sometimes?”

If we say we are born again believers, then we have the crucified Christ continually residing in our hearts by faith through the power of the Holy Ghost (Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 3:17).  Just like the disciples, we have a constant comforter in Christ.  To keep us from feeling so alone in the world.  For His Word which became flesh as Jesus – dwells within our fleshly vessels (John 1:14).

We have a friend in Jesus who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).  So we’re not bothered by loneliness so much – perhaps when we’re lying in bed at night after the busy-ness of the day has died down.  After all our activities may have temporarily alleviated any aloneness we might have been feeling deep inside.

Jesus is our mediator as Christians.  A middle man between God and ourselves, between the world and the Word, between our hearts and heaven (1 Timothy 2:5).  So we might call on Him in the middle of the night and talk with Him, when the world might be making us feel lonely again.  So we don’t call up friends at 3 AM instead – even those of the faith – who might be feeling the same way.

Our Father up in heaven is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3).  Christ completes this by dwelling in us as believers.  To keep our hearts and minds, and give us a constant peace from God which passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).  To console us and make us feel less unhappy when we are afflicted by any loneliness.

When we have found our true comfort in Christ – then we can tell the lost, lonely, and comfortless about our Lord – the shepherd and bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).  To share the news about the One who never leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).  So we can lead them all to the Cross and Christ – so they are not left alone and alienated from the Almighty forever.

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– He gives power to the faint – and to them that have no might, He increases strength. – Isaiah 40:29

– Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?  Are we stronger than He? – 1 Corinthians 10:22

This world tends to tell us we have to be tough and strong to make it through these lives on earth.  We can’t show any sign of external weakness – even though we may be wondering inside how much longer we’re going to be able to take everything life throws at us – which can be a lot; at the times we may want it the least.  But – we have no power to do anything – except by that which comes from above (John 19:11, Acts 17:28).

Are we provoking God to jealousy (second lead verse) – if or when we try to be “tougher-than nails?”?  As if He was admiring our self-perceived power and strength.  Whenever we believe we are wise and mighty in our worldly ways – and can weather any storm thrown at us by our own strength and smarts, we’ll that’s conceit.  We’re not admitting weakness.  And, we’ll most likely end up being confounded (Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 12:16, 1 Corinthians 1:27).

This is not why God hung Jesus on the Cross – so the Son of man could be tougher than nails for all of us – all the time.  We can’t just hand things over to Him only when we’re tired of doing so – finally weary of having to be strong all the time – to prove or show to others we are not wimps.  God’s grace is only sufficient – and His mighty strength is only perfected in our weakness – when we glory in our infirmities, not our invincibility (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Only when we admit we are weak in the world, can God be strong through His Word – so the power of Christ can rest upon us (2 Corinthians 12:10).  If we pass on His power within us as Christians (Romans 13:2) – because we still prefer trying to prevail through thick and thin by ourselves, hanging on to handling life our way – He’ll probably keep right on letting us thinking we are strong without Him. That’s pride – and God resists anyone like that (James 4:6).

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. – John 8:32

– Pilate said unto him (Jesus), “What is truth?” – John 18:38

A man is on trial for murder.  Under oath, many witnesses come forth to give complete and truthful testimony.  The jury then goes to deliberate.  A unanimous guilty verdict is reached.  When the sentence is handed down by the judge – it’s death. A pardon is out of the question.  There is no escape.

Truth has not freed him  So how can God’s truth set us free?  From what?  This man was going to die because of it.  Outside of prison before his crime, he wasn’t in bondage to anyone – now he was bound to die by truth.  By our understanding, knowing truth this way doesn’t make much sense (Proverbs 3:5-6).

The Jews who Jesus was speaking to (lead verse), also could not figure out what Christ was talking about in regards to truth.  How could it free them if they had never been in bondage to any man?  They could not believe anything Jesus was telling them about truth (John 8:33,45-46).

Truth can set us free – or sentence us to die.  How can it possibly be both?  Because truth is a judgment – a verdict.  It’s saying something is or isn’t – without any room for doubt.  Isn’t that what we really want from truth?  Isn’t it why we want people to tell the whole truth and nothing but it in court?

The word verdict comes from the old Anglo-French “verdit” – meaning “to say a truth”.  Christ often prefaced parables and teachings with the word “verily”, or “truly”.  It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18), so Jesus could only say what was true – or wasn’t – without error.

We are all appointed once to die (Hebrews 9:27).  It’s God’s verdict against us from our very first day on earth.  Although He has not appointed us to wrath, Scripture has concluded all are under sin – carrying with it the sentence of death (1 Thessalonians 5:9, Galatians 3:22, 2 Corinthians 1:9).

Our Father hung the only truth on the Cross.  So we would no longer trust in ourselves, nor in our desperately wicked and deceitful heats any more – but in the One who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9, Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 28:26).  We can’t deliver ourselves from the grave.

By God’s grace Christ tasted death for all men (Hebrews 2:9).  Jesus took the place of sin on the Cross.  Christ became our pardon from death, becoming the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for the sins of the world – while we were all yet sinners (1 John 2:2, Romans 5:8).

Jesus took part of flesh and blood like us, so through death he might destroy him who had the power of death – the devil.  To deliver us all from our fear of death, which we are in bondage to all our lives.  To free us from death’s finality, through God’s truth (Hebrews 2:14-15).

We’ve been turned from the power of darkness, and the father of all lies (John 8:44, Acts 26:18), unto the promise of deliverance through our Father’s truth.  But, death will be the last enemy to be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26).  We’re not free from the devil yet (1 Peter 5:8-9).

We will be freed from the grave by God’s grace – and through our faith in Jesus.  However, this grace will brought to us at the revelation of Christ (1 Peter 1:13).  We are not free in the meantime to grieve God by sinning more as believers – so His grace can abound more (Romans 6:1).

Whenever there is new-found freedom in life, there is the very real potential of it being abused and misused.  The meaning of liberty can be lost through misinterpretation.  Between what the grantor or giver of it intended – and what the recipient decides for themselves it means.

Discipline gets degraded this way.  Teenagers who first get their license to drive may often feel like they can go anywhere – and do anything they want, because their travels are no longer under direct parental oversight.  It is a similar scene when kids leave home for college.

We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us by faith as believers (Ephesians 3:17).  Jesus Christ is that Spirit – and where the Spirit is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).  We are to stand fast – not becoming entangled again in a yoke of bondage to this world (Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 7:10).

We have been freed from the pollution of this world – by the Word of truth.  This is by knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – who overcame the world (John 16:33).  If we become entangled in it again and overcome – our end is worse than the beginning (2 Peter 2:20-21).

The Lord’s liberty is not a license to turn us loose, and turn His grace into lasciviousness (Jude 4).  God tells us to take heed, lest our freedom become a stumbling block to those who are weak (1 Corinthians 8:9).  It is not to be used as a covering for evil either (2 Peter 2:16).

We are to use this liberty to be God’s servants. Serving Him by serving one another in love (2 Peter 2:16, Galatians 5:13).  If we look into this perfect law of liberty and continue in it – not being forgetful hearers, but doers of the work – we shall be blessed in our deeds (James 1:25).

Once creatures, we’ve been delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of becoming God’s children (Romans 8:21).  If we use free will to sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of His truth – we’re not wise.  There is no more sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:26).

God brings His judgement to light every morning (Zephaniah 3:5).  A verdict is reached as to whether His mercy will keep us waking each day – or if we are cut off without remedy (Zephaniah 3:5, Lamentations 3:22-23, Proverbs 29:1).  It is His truth which continually preserves us (Psalm 40:11).

If the Son has set us free, we are free indeed (John 8:36).  However, we have to remain steadfast in our faith until the end to be made partakers of Christ (Hebrews 3:6,14).  If we ever hold God’s truth in unrighteousness, we can become subject to His wrath (Romans 1:18).

We can start serving the creature again – more than the Creator – turning His truth back to a lie (Romans 1:25).  Having been enlightened, and having tasted of the heavenly gift, we can still fall away to where it’s impossible for God to renew us again to repentance (Hebrews 6:4-6).

This is like hanging Christ back on the Cross and subjecting God to open shame (Hebrews 6:6).  For things such as these, He has the power to turn us over to reprobate minds – and do things we might think we could never do  – and long to be free of once again (Romans 1:28-32).

Witnesses came forth in the first paragraph above – their truthful testimony meant a mortal man would be killed for his crime.  Though Christ gave truthful testimony about mortal man, some wanted to kill him, for committing nothing worthy of death (John 8:40, Luke 23:15).

Man’s testimony in a human court can send a man to die.  God’s testimony from His heavenly court; the crucifixion and resurrection of His only Son – sets us free from death.  It doesn’t set us free to do whatever we want in the world – or with the Word – as Christians.

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