Saturday, December 15, 2007

...but under grace

Have you ever asked, "Ok, I'm a Christian, but how do I live it out? What's my motivation?" Even if you think you know the answer, it's great to be reminded from time to time.

Read this great excerpt from Kim Riddlebarger.

Rom 6:14 - “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

Now that we have been transferred from Adam to Christ, sin is no longer our master. We have been set free from its tyranny. The law (which condemns us, exposes our sin, and incites our inherent sinfulness all the more) no longer has dominion over us. In Christ, grace is the ruling principle, not law and condemnation. Therefore for all those in Christ, the gospel (what God has done), not the law (what we must do) will have the final word. As we saw in our Old Testament lesson, the prophets Ezekiel (11:16-21) and Jeremiah (31:31-34) foretold of the messianic age as one in which the law is now written upon our hearts. This is because we are no longer under the reign of Adam (law), we are under the reign of Christ (grace). And because we are under the dominion of Christ, he will bring forth fruit in our lives–fruit that cannot be brought forth by law, but by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, Paul’s point is clear. Sin is no longer our master. We are free men and women who will bear the fruit of the Spirit and who will put to death the fruit of the flesh. And all of this is because Christ has died for our sins and was raised for our justification. Beloved, we have all been baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection, so that our old man is dead–crucified with Christ, drowned in the water of baptism, interred in the tomb with Christ–so that we are raised new men and women, now truly free to obey the commandments of God with grateful hearts for all that God has done for us in Christ. And because we died in Christ and have been raised to glorious newness of life, let not sin reign in our mortal bodies. “Let us count ourselves dead to sin, but alive to God,” and bring glory to the God who has set us free from the tyranny of sin, the law and death, through the death and resurrection of his son.

cheap professions

Here is an excerpt from Charles Spurgeon on faith's grip on Christ even when it hurts:

"...It is one thing to love the ways of the Lord when all is fair, and quite another to cleave to them under all discouragements and difficulties. The kiss of outward profession is very cheap and easy, but the practical cleaving to the Lord, which must show itself in holy decision for truth and holiness, is not so small a matter. How stands the case with us, is our heart fixed upon Jesus, is the sacrifice bound with cords to the horns of the altar? Have we counted the cost, and are we solemnly ready to suffer all worldly loss for the Master's sake? The after gain will be an abundant recompense, for Egypt's treasures are not to be compared with the glory to be revealed..."

Monday, December 03, 2007

piper on today's pulpits

A lack of faith in God and His word to change lives is at the heart of many problems in today's church. Piper hits the nail on the head with this one. Rom 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.