“Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool; also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.” Proverbs 19:1-2 (KJB)
We, of Adam’s race are impressed by power and authority. We even crave it for ourselves. We often do not understand that genuine power requires great responsibility, and we see too many times in governments, and presidents, kings, and such that become despots and dictators.
When Jesus stood before Pilate, the governor, asked Jesus,
“Then saith Pilate unto Him, ‘Speakest Thou not unto me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee?’ ” John 19:10 (KJB)
He supposed that he was powerful enough to prevent Jesus from the crucifixion. Just where do the ruling authorities get the power, the authority which they have? According to the words of one of the wisest kings,
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” Proverbs 21:1
So Pilate needed to realize that he needed to not be prideful, and arrogant about his position of authority, but to submit to the will of the Almighty God.
Jesus Christ as the God-Man had submitted Himself to the Father’s will, His word, and His way all the way to dying on the cross for the sins of the world.
“Thou couldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” John 19:11
Jesus knew what was taking place was the plan for the redemption of the race of Adam, and was submitted to it. He was the One who could have called twelve legions of angels and stopped it (Matthew 26:53), and a legion of Roman soldiers was about 6 thousand men. He could have stopped it. He did not because of His great love for you and me.
Now, that is Power and authority with responsibility.
“And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, said unto them, ‘Ye have brought this Man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined before you, have found no fault in this Man touching those things whereof ye accuse Him: no, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto Him.
I will therefore chastise Him, and release.’ ” Luke 23:13-16 (KJB)
During the first days and months of Jesus’s ministry there were those who despised His life and His teaching. For years they sought how they might destroy Him. When we first note this in Scripture is when Jesus stands in a synagogue and reads the prophecy from Isaiah (Luke 4:17-19; Isaiah 61:1-2). There they tried to kill Him.
There are two gospels that tell us that Pilate saw that it was for envy they sought to kill Him (Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10). They were envious of His power, authority, and His closeness with God. He was, and is in fact God become flesh – God Incarnate. That alone sent them into a tizzy fit.
Now, they have succeeded in a trial of their own making, in secret, very early in the morning, and these have found Him guilty based on false witnesses that their testimony did not even agree. Yet the religious leaders can not condemn any to death; they must get Him before the governor, who is by Roman appointment, and he must declare Him guilty and sentence Him to die by crucifixion.
Pilate, nor Herod found any fault, neither guilt for any crime in Jesus. Pilate wanted to release Him. The people cried “Crucify Him. Crucify Him.” They even chose the release of a guilty murderer over the sinless Son of God.
Pilates verdict was “Not guilty”. Jesus the Man who was the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary lived a life without sin, was guilty of nothing, sentenced to die because He was perfect.
Dying on the cross He took the curse that was ours. He was judged by His own Father as guilty, because on the cross He became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). He lives. All who will come to Him He gives eternal life.
Jesus Christ paid the sin debt that was mine and yours. He carried away our sins in His burial. He rose victoriously declaring the sin debt fully paid.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:8-11 (KJB)
For those who dwell in Jesus Christ there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). Our dwelling in Him is due to His dwelling in us. If His is not living in us; we are not in Him.
“Dwelling” means the place of our abiding; the place we live, where we sleep, we eat, we rest, we learn, we grow, etc.. For Him to dwell in us is for our benefit.
According to these verses, and the text of Scripture then to live in the flesh; to live a carnal life is the opposite of living or dwelling in the Spirit of Christ Jesus.
- They that are in the flesh cannot please God;
- You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwell in you;
- If you do not have the Spirit of God in you, you are not God’s;
- If Christ is in you the carnality of the body is dead, because of sin (Isaiah 5:18);
- The Spirit is life because of righteousness – the righteousness of Jesus Christ;
- Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and raised to life again;
- Just as Jesus Christ was raised to life again, the LORD will also raise our mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in us.
If you are condemned by your sinful life come to Jesus Christ. Trust His work of death on the cross, His burial, and bodily resurrection. He will redeem you, forgive you, and set you free.
“What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Romans 6:15 (KJB)
There were some in Paul’s day who were accusing him of teaching that if one is saved by grace alone then one can live how ever they please; and the apostle is correcting this mistaken gross idea.
Sadly it is a notion of many of today’s professing “Christians” that “I can go ahead and do this thing, I can live with this girl or this guy without marriage to see if it works out or not; I can divorce my wife or husband, and marry this other one; and God will forgive me”. Put what ever element of sin into the equation you choose, and it has probably been thought, and acted upon.
If a man or woman who professes Christ can do such a thing, then live with the enjoyment of their act, they will not enjoy God. There, in fact, cannot be forgiveness.
Verse 14 of this chapter of Romans says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you”.
The truly redeemed, born again child of God; the true Christian hates their sin, seeks every opportunity to put away sin, stay away from the sin that tempts them, does not seek it out. Neither can the Christian enjoy living in sin, letting sin have dominion over them.
If you call yourself a Christian, and can enjoy sinful acts, thoughts, and living, and you are not disciplined by the Lord, then, you are not His (Hebrews 12:7-8)
Let our prayer today be that of the Psalmist…
“Order my steps in Thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Psalm 119:133
Grace is not a license, and approval, from God or freedom from God to sin. It is, in fact, the freedom from sin, and the power to take authority over sin.
“The just LORD is in the midst thereof; He will not do iniquity: every morning doth He bring His judgment to light, He faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.” Zephaniah 3:5 (KJB)
The LORD is always good. There is never a time when He is not. If He were not also Holy, Just, Righteous, and Jealous He would not be good.
The people in the day of Zephaniah’s prophecy were feeling quite positive of God’s presence with them. Judah, Jerusalem was counting on the fact that God would not leave them, neither forsake them; and the prophet assures them that He is indeed in the midst of them.
The LORD in their midst did not excuse their iniquity, their sin, their rebellion against the LORD. It would rather magnify their grievous sin – at least it should have. It magnified iniquity for the prophet of God; and God used him to warn His people.
For the people of God in 2019, those who call themselves “Christian” this word is for you today. God truly is in our midst; He will not do iniquity, and He does not rejoice in it. While the judgment of sin has been paid for by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, He was buried, and He rose again; does not give you a license to sin; neither is it an excuse for sin.
It is a license to freely live for God, confessing our sin when we commit the grievous act of sin and iniquity against God (1 John 1:9).
God will judge those who refuse to accept the gift of grace through the cross of Jesus Christ. We must never forget as a Christian, that judgment must begin at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).
O that the Christian today; from the pulpit to the pew, the preacher to the man or woman who professes Jesus Christ as Savior of their lives to fall on their faces before God confessing, and repenting of their sins. Also crying out to see their sin as God does. That would be the beginning of a great awakening in the Body of Christ.
“Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7 (KJB)
Micah saw many who professed the name of the LORD who were not faithful to the LORD in His word. They were afflicted yet turned to other sources of help. Micah says,
“Therefore I will look unto the LORD…” The Lord GOD is my help. He is my Salvation. I will wait – I will trust in Him, even if no one else does. God will hear me.
“Therefore I will look unto the Lord — as if no one else were before mine eyes. We must not only “look unto the Lord,” but also “wait for Him.” Having no hope from man (Mic_7:5, Mic_7:6), Micah speaks in the name of Israel, who herein, taught by chastisement (Mic_7:4) to feel her sin (Mic_7:9), casts herself on the Lord as her only hope,” in patient waiting (Lam_3:26). She did so under the Babylonian captivity; she shall do so again hereafter when the spirit of grace shall be poured on her (Zec_12:10-13).” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary
“Things had come to an awful pass in the favored city. Oppression, bribery, and bloodshed, were everywhere in the ascendant. Men wrought evil with both hands. Husbands could not trust their wives. At such a time there is no refuge for God’s children save in God, Mic_7:7-13.” THROUGH THE BIBLE DAY BY DAY by F. B. Meyer on Micah 7:7-13
Your only hope and help for salvation is through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Call on His name today. He will hear you, save you and change your life for His glory.
“Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.” Amos 9:8 (KJB)
“eyes … upon the sinful kingdom — that is, I am watching all its sinful course in order to punish it (compare Amo_9:4; Psa_34:15, Psa_34:16).
not utterly destroy the house of Jacob — Though as a “kingdom” the nation is now utterly to perish, a remnant is to be spared for “Jacob,” their forefather’s sake (compare Jer_30:11); to fulfil the covenant whereby “the seed of Israel” is hereafter to be “a nation for ever” (Jer_31:36).” From the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary
“The guilty will certainly be punished. If they enter the sacred place of worship, even that will not shelter them, Amo_9:1. Flight and concealment will be in vain. Let them climb ever so high, or burrow ever so deep; let them scale the loftiest hills, or dive into the deepest seas-the consequences of their sins will overtake them, Amo_9:2-3. How can sinners hope to escape from Him whose chambers are built in the heavens and whose voice governs the tides, Amo_9:6? The great desolations of the past prove the exactness and severity of His judgments, Amo_9:7-8. How remarkably Amo_9:9 has been fulfilled? Notwithstanding their scatterings, the Hebrew people have been preserved as a race.
The final paragraph, Amo_9:11-15, is very reassuring. It is a burst of noble anticipation, quoted by the Apostle James, Act_15:14-17. The promises made to Abraham and David are yet to be fulfilled. The derision of their foes, of whom Edom was the ringleader, will be silenced. Through the parted curtain, we descry the golden age of the future. There is a divine plan working to its conclusion, and Israel shall yet come again to the land given to their fathers.” From THROUGH THE BIBLE DAY BY DAY with F. B. Meyer for Amos 9:1-15
“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
‘Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; ‘Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee in thy blood, ‘Live;’ yea, I said unto thee in thy blood, ‘Live.’ ” Ezekiel 16:1-6 (KJB)
Ezekiel’s word from God for Israel is that “You were found by Me in a state of death, and dying. No one else took pity on you. There is no other god who found you, and gave you life. I said unto you, ‘Live’ and gave you My grace and mercy.”
The condition of every man, woman, boy, or girl who has ever been born is death. Apart from the grace of God, and the blood of the Lamb of God, who is Jesus Christ there is only death for all.
The only Man who ever lived without sin died for us all, that we might have life through His name. His name is Jesus.
May we not flaunt His grace through licentious, debaucherous, hate filled living which comes from death.
Paul the apostle tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and he also tells us that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
The Lord GOD through faith in Jesus Christ is the only One who gives life. Call on His name.
“For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of Hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.
Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; He will render unto her a recompence.” Jeremiah 51:5-6 (KJB)
Though the land, the people of Israel and Judah had sinned greatly against the LORD of Hosts His grace is sufficient to bring them back. More than sufficient to judge those who had treated them so viciously and vilely.
The LORD calls for them, during the time of His visitation upon Babylon to flee. “Come out of her My people” (Revelation 18:4).
Christian of 2019 and beyond; God does not forsake His people. The reason for the captivity of Judah and Israel is due to their forsaking God. Christian let us never think that God who is Holy, Righteous, and Just will overlook our sin. NO! He will still hold us accountable for our forsaking Him.
We can rest assured by the cross and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, His burial, and resurrection that our sins are forgiven, yet there is discipline, chastisement for sin. If you are without the chastisement of the Lord, you are not His.
Rest and grow in His grace.
“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
‘Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for good. For I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull down; and I will plant them, and not pluck up. And I will give them an heart to know Me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart.’” Jeremiah 24:4-7 (KJB)
Many people in the United States of America have and are seeing the word discipline as antiquated, outdated, and unnecessary. They might use it as a word for exercise, or disciplining themselves for a good workout, but to be disciplined by another? Just forget it.
When it comes to the LORD God, our Creator, our Savior, our Lord He will discipline those who are His. Often times that discipline is not pleasant. Such as we read about in Jeremiah’s prophecy. Judah was going into captivity due to the overwhelming, blatant sin against God. Many of the “Good people” were going into the Babylonian captivity too.
Christian keep Hebrews 12:5-8 in mind, “If you are without discipline from God, you are not His”.
I will leave you with commentary from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown…
v. 5 “acknowledge — regard with favor, like as thou lookest on the good figs favorably.
for their good — Their removal to Babylon saved them from the calamities which befell the rest of the nation and led them to repentance there: so God bettered their condition (2Ki_25:27-30). Daniel and Ezekiel were among these captives.
v. 6 “(Jer_12:15).
not pull … down … not pluck … up — only partially fulfilled in the restoration from Babylon; antitypically and fully to be fulfilled hereafter (Jer_32:41; Jer_33:7).
v. 7 “(Jer_30:22; Jer_31:33; Jer_32:38). Their conversion from idolatry to the one true God, through the chastening effect of the Babylonish captivity, is here expressed in language which, in its fullness, applies to the more complete conversion hereafter of the Jews, “with their whole heart” (Jer_29:13), through the painful discipline of their present dispersion. The source of their conversion is here stated to be God’s prevenient grace.
for they shall return — Repentance, though not the cause of pardon, is its invariable accompaniment: it is the effect of God’s giving a heart to know Him.”
From the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary for verses 5 – 7.
You become God’s through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Holy Son of God.
“Give glory to the LORD your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.” Jeremiah 13:16 (KJB)
Jeremiah would appear to be the only prophet of God; and he was warning Judah of impending judgment due to their sinful, debaucherous, greedy, living. Committing spiritual adultery against the LORD God who had given them all things.
The false prophets were telling the people what they wanted to hear. Babylon would not come against them. Jerusalem would not fall. They were blessed, and would continue to be so. WOW! That is just the kind of stuff people in 2019 like to and want to hear.
Jeremiah’s words above are for God’s people today as well. Their sinfulness has been exposed to them. They are being called on to repent of their sins, “Give glory to the LORD your God…”
The idea is to confess your sins, and in doing so you turn to God in repentance, leaving the old sins in the muck and mire where it belongs. That will give glory to the LORD God.
If you do not, or will not, then there will be darkness, and not light, and His judgment will come upon you.
The way of genuine repentance is given to us through the cross of Jesus Christ. His life’s blood was shed for our salvation; our redemption; He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He is waiting to hear your plea for forgiveness and mercy. He will hear, and He will forgive. “Give glory to the LORD your God…” for He tells us that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil.” Isaiah 57:1 (KJB)
First of all we need to understand who the righteous are. The righteous are those whom God declares righteous, and none other. In the context of Scripture these righteous are a remnant of Israel who were ashamed of the sin, debauchery, and evil in the land, and they kept themselves from it. The righteous of today are those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ death on the cross; His burial and resurrection proving the deal.
The death of the righteous is just as likely as the death of the evil. It is most likely going to happen, and none knows the day. The death of the righteous is not eternal. The death of the wicked is eternal. There is a place in Heaven prepared for the righteous. There is no place found for the evil in Heaven, so the only place for them is Hell.
When the righteous die there will be many wicked who applaud that death saying something like “Well that trouble maker is gone, and good riddance”, maybe just thinking it. The wicked always see the righteous as the cause of trouble. At any rate they do not care at their passing.
The merciful are the same as the righteous, and will be taken away from the evil that God has declared judgment upon. God knows how to deliver the righteous from the evil…
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished…” 2 Peter 2:9
Become one who is righteous before God. Call on the name of the One who died on the cross for you, was buried, and He rose again. His name is Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son.
“Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted of God:’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:13-15 (KJB)
From F. B. Meyer…
“The word temptation may stand for trial and testing, without implying that there is any necessary impulse toward evil; or it may stand for the direct impulse of the evil one. Here, however, it is used in this latter sense. But of whatever kind the temptation is, whether upward or downward, whether of pain and sorrow at the permission of God, or of direct solicitation to evil at the suggestion of Satan, those who refuse to swerve from their high quest of nobility attain to higher levels of life. In the words of this paragraph, they receive the crown of life “here” and hereafter.
Notice the genealogy of sin, Jas_1:15. Lust is the parent of sin, and sin when matured is the parent of death. How different to the blackness of this dark picture is the light and glory of our Father’s home and realm! All the good things of our lives are from His good hand. He is not fickle and changeable. Even our sin cannot make Him turn away. His sun still shines on the evil and the good, and His rain descends on the just and the unjust. See Mat_5:45. We are His children; let us be sweet to the taste as the grapes of Eschol!” Through the Bible Day by Day by F. B. Meyer
There are many accusing Holy God of tempting us, and even of sin. Let God be true and every one else a liar. God does not tempt anyone, neither is He tempted.
When you think about it it is like the clay calling the potter ‘Evil’ (Jeremiah18).
The race of Adam is evil at heart (Jeremiah 17:9), and needs a Redeemer. That Redeemer was sent unto us by our loving Father, and that Redeemer is Jesus Christ. He died a horrendous death on a cruel cross, was buried in a borrowed tomb, and in three days He rose again; and He forever lives and is seated at the right hand of power in glory. He will hear you when you call on His name.
“For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on the seed of Abraham.
Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:16-17 (KJB)
As I read these words this morning the word “behoved” asked the question, “What is the meaning of this word?” Behooved is the modern spelling. I found this…
“BEHOOVE, v.t. behoof’. To be necessary for; to be fit for; to be meet for, with respect to necessity, duty, or convenience.
And thus it behooved Christ to suffer. Luke 24.” 1828 Websters Dictionary
So we can learn from these verses above that Jesus our Savior saw it as necessary that He die for the sins of the world that He might redeem unto Himself a people. There was, and there is no other way of redemption.
When God says there is no other way; whether it involve the giving of His son, or the salvation of Adam kind; then there is no other way.
Jesus Christ died for our sins; He was buried carrying away all our sin, shame, guilt, and condemnation; then He rose victorious over the grave. Call on His name He is the only Savior of the world.
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 (KJB)
The thankful apostle which has written this second letter to encourage the Church at Corinth to forgive the sins of their members who had repented of their acts of immorality (1 Corinthians 5); their acts of pride over their spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12-14), and other issues as well. He is still unable to be with them.
In looking at the above verse we see Paul giving the glory to our Lord.
Any victories we have is due to the victory of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial, and His triumph over death, and the grave in His resurrection.
“…Having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:15
The Church had much; and presently has much to rejoice in. Jesus gives us the victory we must walk in it.
Father in Heaven, forgive our sins, our flimsy excuses for our sins. Forgive also our cheapening of grace; which is given us to free us from sin, and is now used as a license for sinning.
May we realize that Jesus died for our sin, in our place, paying the redemption price for our sin. We must turn from our excuses and our sin to triumph in Christ.
Fill us with Your Spirit, for then we will not walk in sin. Draw us nearer You, for then we will see our sinfulness and our greatest need of You.
Glorify Jesus Your Precious, Holy Son. Amen.
“Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.” 1 Corinthians 10:9 (KJB)
There are four “Neither”(s) in this paragraph of chapter 10. The apostle is giving the Corinthian Christians, and Christians of every age examples of how we are not to be and live:
- “Neither be Idolaters”;
- “Neither let us commit fornication”;
- “Neither let us tempt Christ”;
- “Neither murmur”.
Each one of these have a lesson in themselves. Paul is dealing with historical events in the journeys of his forefathers who wandered forty years in the wilderness. Someone has said, “It only took a few days to get Israel out of Egypt, but it took forty years to get Egypt out of Israel.”
On the matter of “Tempting Christ” that is putting Him to the test. It is not a matter to temptation of sinning. He cannot be tempted to sin (James 1:13).
As I read these words this morning my first thought was that the apostle is recognizing that Christ Jesus was with Israel in the wilderness. He has in these verses recognized that in 1 Corinthians 10:4 – “That Rock was Christ”.
Putting Christ to the test. How is that done? Not trusting Him. Not believing what He says. Not walking with Him. Living as the people around us live, instead of as He teaches and lived.
In the wilderness twenty three thousand people died as a result of unbelief, because they had put Him to the test.
Let us as a Christian of 2019 commit ourselves to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength; and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves; and choose daily, moment by moment to walk humbly with God in the power of His Spirit. When we are doing that we will not be tempting Christ.
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:18 (KJB)
Our master was once sin. We were enslaved to it, bound to do whatever the evil of our hearts desired. Sin kept us from doing the righteous thing; the thing that would bring honor and glory to God (Romans 3:23).
I am speaking of the redeemed, the regenerated believers, followers of Jesus Christ. We were one “dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1), but have been made alive through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Righteousness in the Person of Jesus has become our new Master. We are no longer bound in the dregs, darkness, despair, and drudgery of sin; but we have been set free to do what is good, right, holy, and just. We can now walk with God, hear His voice, see Him work in our lives and in people and things around us.
Sin causes endless fear, doubt, despair, and hopelessness. Faith in Christ Jesus takes that all away. I do not intend to mean that you will not have moments of those things; but that in those moments you do fear, doubt, and feel hopeless you will fall on your knees before your God and Savior in continued faith knowing He will care for you and meet your need.
The Christian is not without sin. We do know where to go when we sin. We are not free to live in sin. We are free to live in righteousness.
Will you turn your life over to the One who died that you might be free from sin’s bondage and become a servant to righteousness. That One who died was Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son who forever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:18-21 (KJB)
Sin’s offense against God began in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve; and that passed on from one child of Adam, one after another. None are immune to sin (Romans 3:23).
People today in 2019 are too easily offended, and have forgotten how grossly our God, the Creator of all things, was offended by sin. Take the offense you feel and multiply that by a million million, and you might begin to experience the offense our Lord feels toward our sin. Note that I said “…you might…” but it is highly unlikely.
There is one who brought all of sin, and its contagions, disease, and death upon us; but praise the Lord of Hosts, there is One who takes it all away. He (Jesus Christ) bore our sins, our curse upon that old rugged cross, was buried carrying our sin, shame, condemnation, and death away; then, He rose again and He forever lives and reigns in all things.
Sin and death no longer need to have power over you. He defeated sin and death on the cross and showed it to be true by resurrection.
The rule and reign of sin has been stopped. What are you doing in that hog pen of sin?
“And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, ‘Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, ‘Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’
‘Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and they will hear it.'” Acts 28:24-28 (KJB)
Standing before the Jewish leaders in Rome Paul tells them of Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection. Some heard and believed. Many of them turned away from the truth and life to remain in lies and death.
The apostle reminds them of the words of Isaiah in chapter six of that prophecy, and Isaiah’s call. The prophet was told that he would tell the people of the time what God said, but they would not hear and believe. However, he was to be faithful in preaching what God said, no matter what.
It is evident to me that there is basically no difference in the people of the eighth century B.C. and the people of this twenty first century. There are people in every era of time who do not like the truth. Many want to continue doing things their way, in their time; or maybe not. They have the mentality, “Do not mix God/religion with life. It causes problems”.
God, His word, and His people have always been against sin. You have the choice of believing God and His word or of going, continuing down your slippery slope to death and eternal judgment
I pray you will hear and understand. I pray your eyes will be opened to see the truth of the true identity of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, God the Son; who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose again. He is alive.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, praise unto our God: many shall see and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” Psalm 40:1-4 (KJB)
The LORD does indeed lift us, picks us up, out of the miry clay, the pit of sin, and sets our feet upon a rock; the Rock is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).
The way of sin is darkness, and cold. O, it may seem like the way to go at the time; it may seem like it is the comfortable thing; it may seem to be pleasurable, but it leads to shame, pain, misery, and death. Be an instrument of praise to the LORD God. Call on the name of the Lord and be delivered from that pit to which you are imprisoned.
Let me share with you the thoughts of Charles Spurgeon from the Treasury of David on verse four…
“Blessed.” This is an exclamation similar to that of thePsa_1:1-6, “Oh, the happiness of the man.” God’s blessings are emphatic, “I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed,” indeed and in very truth. “Is that man that maketh the Lord his trust.” Faith obtaineth promises. A simple, single-eyed confidence in God is the sure mark of blessedness. A man may be as poor as Lazarus, as hated as Mordecai, as sick as Hezekiah, as lonely as Elijah, but while his hand of faith can keep its hold on God, none of his outward afflictions can prevent his being numbered among the blessed but the wealthiest and most prosperous man who has no faith is accursed, be he who he may. “And respecteth not the proud.” The proud expect all men to bow down and do them reverence, as if the worship of the golden calves were again set up in Israel; but believing mean are too noble to honour mere money-bags, or cringe before bombastic dignity. The righteous pay their respect to humble goodness, rather than to inflated self-consequence. Our Lord Jesus was in this our bright example. No flattery of kings and great ones ever fell from his lips; he gave no honour to dishonourable men. The haughty were never his favourites. “Nor such as turn aside to lies.” Heresies and idolatries are lies, and so are avarice, worldliness, and pleasure-seeking. Woe to those who follow such deceptions. Our Lord was ever both the truth and the lover of truth, and the father of lies had no part in him. We must never pay deference to apostates, time-servers, and false teachers; they are an ill leaven, and the more we purge ourselves of them the better; they are blessed whom God preserves from all error in creed and practice. Judged by this verse, many apparently happy persons must be the reverse of blessed, for anything in the shape of a purse, a fine equipage, or a wealthy establishment, commands their reverence, whether the owner be a rake or a saint, an idiot or a philosopher. Verily, were the arch-fiend of hell to start a carriage and pair, and live like a lord, he would have thousands who would court his acquaintance. TREASURY OF DAVID, by Charles Spurgeon verse 4
“O LORD, rebuke me not in Thy wrath: neither chasten me in Thy hot displeasure. For Thine arrows stick fast in me, and Thy hand presseth me sore.
No soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger; neither rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink, are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
Lord, all my desire is before Thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off. They also that seek after my life lay snares, and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
For in Thee, O LORD, do I hope: Thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. For I said, ‘Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.’ For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow good.
Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.” Psalm 38:1-22 (KJB)
The following commentary is from F. B. Meyer’s Through the Bible Day by Day…
A long drawn-out sigh of pain. Some think it should be classed with Psa_32:1-11; Psa_51:1-19, as belonging to the time of David’s fall and repentance. It is filled with a sense of God’s judgments and the profound consciousness of sin. Perhaps David was suffering physically, or he may be describing his spiritual maladies in terms borrowed from that source. His friends stood apart and his enemies were near. But it was wise to refrain from man and to wait only on God. When we are buffeted and derided, the true attitude is our Lord’s. As the dumb sheep before her shearers, He opened not His mouth!
In Psa_38:15 the tone becomes calmer. The soul begins to recover its center of gravity in God. Notice the fourfold repetition of For, Psa_38:15-18. Faith marshals her arguments. Out of “stony griefs” she builds “Bethels.” Like Samson, she finds honey in the lion’s carcass. But God will not forsake. He never for a moment withdraws His close attention. The Refiner sits by the crucible, and will cool down the heat the moment it has done its work.
Jesus Christ is the only hope for all Adam kind. We have sinned. When we get to the place of despair over our sin, its pain and disease, its death, and destruction; its theft, and hatred; then we will call on the name of the Lord, and He will hear us.
Jesus came and died on the cross in our place; He was buried carrying away all our sin, death, condemnation, shame; and then He left those things in the grave, and arose to show His victories. He lives today. Call on Him and be saved. Be born again.
Heart and Life Directions – Proverbs 21:1-8
It is a staple of life to know that God can take the heart of a king and turn it the direction He chooses. Even when the king is evil, from an evil empire or kingdom God uses kings to fulfill His will and purposes.
Verses 1 – 4 – Streams of water are often changed in their courses due to flood waters. In the early 1800’s [1811-1812] the Mississippi River flowed backwards for a period of 10-24 hours filling, forming the Reelfoot lake. Even streams as massive as the Mississippi can be changed by the hand of God; so too can a king’s heart.
Examples of king’s hearts being changed can be seen in Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Ahaseurus, Darius, Cyrus (Exodus 12:31; Daniel 4; 5; 6; 10; Ezra 1, 4; Esther 9-10).
The Lord looks on and knows the hearts of mankind. Even Jesus is said to have known what was on the hearts of some people who wanted to force Him to be king (John 2:23-25; 6:14-15).
The “High look” and the “Proud heart” go like peas in their pod. The plowing of the wicked, leads to the sowing of sin. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7)
Verses 5 – 8 – There is contrast in v. 5 between the diligent and the hasty. There is reward for diligence; while there is waste and want to the hasty.
“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue,…. By telling lies in trade; by bearing false witness in a court of judicature; or by preaching false doctrines in the church of God: is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death: such treasures, though ever so great, are like any light thing, smoke or vapour, straw, stubble, chaff, or a feather, tossed about the wind; which is expressive of the instability uncertainty of riches ill gotten; they do not last long, but are taken away and carried off by one providence or another; and they are likewise harmful and pernicious; they issue in death: and those that seek after them, and obtain them in a bad way, are said to “seek death”: not intentionally, but eventually; this they certainly find, if grace prevent not; see Pro_8:36. Jarchi reads it, they are the “snares of death” to him; and so the Septuagint version.” From John Gill Commentary
and the MacArthur Study Bible note
“21:5-7 These verses address the evils of ill-gotten gain. They show three major defects in the way this gain is acquired: 1) hastily (v. 5; cf. 19:2;28:20); 2) deceitfully (v. 5 cf. 13:11); and 3) violently (v. 7; cf. 12:6).”
Verse 7 – NKJV
“The violence of the wicked will destroy them, Because they refuse to do justice.”
“The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.”
Verse 8 – People without God, and walking in His paths live lives which are perverse, crooked, criminal, and guilt riden lives. The path of those who walk with God, are pure through the purity of Christ Jesus and do right through Him.
The Power and Weakness of the Mind – Proverbs 20:1-30
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul. It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling. Proverbs 20:1-3 (KJB)
Verses 1 – 5 – Wine, any beverage alcohol will affect the thinking and actions of any who allow it to. Those who would allow it to are not wise affecting their relationship to leaders (v. 27).
It will also affect them in matters of strife, and work plans (vv. 3-4).
It will take a clear mind – understanding – to bring out wise counsel in one’s inner being.
Verses 6 – 11 – In many cases it is also true that beverage alcohol will give a man or woman an higher opinion of themselves; high thoughts of themselves that they do not normally have.
There is an arrogance in humankind which causes most of us to exalt ourselves anyway.
Faithfulness, integrity is a rare find. It would be especially rare among those who stimulate their minds with drugs, or other stimulants.
Those who walk in their integrity will have a good example for their children to follow.
The king whose mind is not messed up by booze or other drugs will have good judgment and scatter away evil with just his “eyes” (vv. 26; 25:5; Revelation 1:14) “Winnows all evil” (ESV)
It is an evil mind who misuses measures to gain mammon for themselves without considering their neighbor (v. 23). We all also know children by their behavior; whether it is pure and right.
Verses 12 – 17 – While verse twelve seems to stand alone by telling us who made the ear and the eye verses 13 – 17 deal with wealth. The ear allows us to hear and learn. The eye allows us to see, learn, and enjoy what we see.
One who loves sleep will never be wealthy; nor will they ever be a happy, satisfied individual (v. 13).
In order to get something at a lower price the buyer will make little of an article they desire; then after the purchase build up the item, and make much of the value, and his/her cheap purchase (v. 14).
There is value in rubies; there is “Precious” value in the “Lips of knowledge” (v. 15).
The use of collateral was a part of early systems of finance; even one’s garment. Receiving collateral is good advice if one secures a debt for another; especially if the other person is an immoral individual (v. 16).
Deceit may be “sweet” at the beginning but in the end it will be like “gravel” (v. 17).
Verse 18 – Good planning comes by wise counsel. The wise individual will seek counsel in matters of person, state, or nation.
Verse 19 – The gossip or “talebearer” will be sure to tell one thing and another. What someone says to you about someone else he/she will probably tell someone else of you.
Verse 20 – For a child to curse parents is a sure warning of darkness in that life.
Verse 21 – This verse could be also pointing to any wealth gotten quickly; such as lotteries, gambling, or thefts. Since it was not worked for it has little meaning.
Verse 22 – Recompense belongs to the LORD. It is of great benefit to the child of God to wait for His “vengeance”. See Romans 12:19 and Deuteronomy 32:35
Verse 24 – Though a man or woman is led by the LORD we may not know our path ahead. We walk by faith, not by sight.
Verse 25 – Be careful when vowing something to God.
Verse 28 – Mercy and truth are good and godly qualities of a great king or a great leader.
Verse 29 – Strength is the blessing of the young; while wisdom grows in the aging of mankind.
Verse 30 – Probably referring to discipline, punishment in some cases. The right use of corporal discipline/punishment will deter much evil behavior. See Proverbs 10:13.
All of these ways of life have to do with the power and/or weakness of the mind. The mind that is in the “Mind of Christ” will prosper in righteousness.
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into different temptations; knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all liberally, and reproaches not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower of it falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
Blessed, the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.
Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted of God:’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and overflowing of evil, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholds himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was. But who ever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, ‘To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, to keep himself unspotted from the world.'” James 1:1-27
REFERENCES: 4:8; Deuteronomy 32:26; Acts 2:5; 13:26; 1 Kings 3:9; Mark 11:24; Job 5:17; 14:2; Numbers 23:19; Jeremiah 2:3; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 15:2; Matthew 7:21; Romans 2:13; Luke 6:47; Isaiah 1:16; John 8:31-32
The Beginning of Sin
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Genesis 3:1-24 (KJV)
The Tragic Results of Sin
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” Genesis 4:1-12 (KJV)
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” Psalm 32:1-2 (KJB)
What a blessed gift it is to receive. We are all thrilled when we receive a gift from someone that is beyond our wildest expectations. We are awed. We might even tear up, with tears of extreme joy.
The above verses are dealing with a thing which is eternal; and is totally beyond our wildest imaginations, or expectations; to be forgiven, and to be accounted as not guilty even though we are.
How can this be so? The Creator of the universe, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Son took all of our iniquities, our sins, our transgressions of the law, and He bore the wrath of God that all our sins debt might be paid in full.
When we believe Him, and trust that His finished work is done God declares each believing individual “Not guilty”. The debt is paid in full.
Call on the name of Jesus. He will hear you, and you will be Redeemed. You become a new person through Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). Because of Jesus there will be no guile in your heart. You will have new heart and new desires.
The King’s Power Over Sin
Does Jesus have power to forgive sin? This was the question the people were asking, especially the religious rulers. They hated Jesus in the first place, and they came at the situation not really looking for the truth, but for something to charge Jesus with. They could have charged Him with speaking the truth. They could have charged Him with love for the people. They could have charged Him with practicing successful medicine without a license. They could have charged Him with many positive things, and been happy that someone such as Jesus had come to their town.We need to realize that sin not only cripples physically, but also emotionally, and spiritually, and these religious leaders were certainly crippled spiritually. They were so weak spiritually that they could only see other’s sins; and not their own. They were blind to the things of God.
SIN IS A CRIPPLER NOT ONLY OF THE BODY BUT OF THE MIND, SPIRIT, AND SOUL.
* The crippled need help in getting to Jesus.
* People with faith bring their friends to Jesus for healing.
FORGIVENESS IS THE GREATEST NEED THAT MANKIND HAS – RECEIVING AND GIVING IT.
* Forgiveness received allows the forgiven one strength and power for serving the Forgiver.
* Forgiveness given allows freedom for the forgiver.
THERE ARE MANY WHO STILL SEE JESUS AS A BLASPHEMER.
* The religious/moralist who believes they can gain God’s favor by their good deeds, thinking that God has a set of scales, and the good will out weigh the bad.
* The religious/moralist/traditionalist who sees others sins, but cannot or will not see their own.
* These call Jesus a blasphemer because they “justify themselves”, thus call Jesus a liar and blasphemer.
THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF JESUS CAN STAND UP TO THEIR FICTITIOUS ACCUSATIONS, AND HE HEALS, AND FORGIVES.
* Jesus has the power to forgive sin, and He is the God-Man, the Son of God, and God incarnate.
* Jesus forgives the man’s sin, then, shows He has the power to do so and heals the man’s infirmity.
* Jesus tells the once crippled man to take up his bed and walk home carrying his bed with him.
BECAUSE OF THE MIGHTY WORKS OF JESUS THE MULTITUDES GLORIFIED GOD.
* When a work is genuinely from God no man is glorified, only God.
* It is a glorious thing that this power has been given to man – the power to glorify God.
-Tim A. Blankenship
He Took Our Infirmities
JESUS TOUCHED THE UNCLEAN LEPER (vv. 1-4).
* Leprosy is a picture of sin
+ “ It is deeper than the skin (Lev. 13:3), it spreads (Lev. 13:8), it defiles and isolates (Lev. 13:45-46), it is worthy only of fire (Lev. 13:52, 57)”. FROM THE BIBLE EXPOSITION COMMENTARY by Warren W. Wiersbe.
+ None are left untouched by sin.
* This man has been greatly humbled, and is submissive to the sovereignty and power of Jesus, as he says, “If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean”.
* Jesus touched the unclean, took his uncleanness, and gave to him health.
A ROMAN SOLDIER PRAYS IN BEHALF OF A SERVANT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD (vv. 5-13)
* This was a gentile Roman soldier who was hated among the people of Jesus’s birth.
+ The very hour Jesus spoke healing the slave/servant was healed.
+ In this instance it was according to this man’s faith.
* We do know that due to this man’s faith his servant/slave was healed that same hour.
* Just like the Roman soldier we can call on Jesus to come and heal despite our racial, or gender status.
JESUS TOUCHED THE HAND OF PETER’S MOTHER-IN-LAW, AND RAISED HER TO HEALTH (vv. 14-15).
* Women held no honored position in Jewish society.
* For this woman to be in bed meant that she had more than just a stomach ache which so easily puts some people in bed today.
+ A belly ache was nothing, she would have kept on working, unless it was practically deadly.
* Jesus’s touch was a very special touch.
+ It was as if He were saying, “My people have been sick but I have come to take away their sicknesses, and diseases – particularly their ailment to sin.
COULD JESUS BE MAKING THE STATEMENT IN THESE TOUCHES, “I AM YOUR KING AND GREAT PHYSICIAN; I HAVE COME TO PAY THE PRICE FOR YOUR SINS.”? (vv. 16-17).
* “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”. Isaiah 53:4.
* Jesus delivers people from their sicknesses and demon possession.
+ People are oppressed by sickness due to the original sin in the garden.
+ People are possessed by demons due to their personal actions and invitation to evil in their lives.
* The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is the way to victory over sin, its sicknesses, and its evil in our lives.
-Tim A. Blankenship
God Has No Pleasure…
The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman, And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, Hath walked in My statutes, and hath kept My judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.
If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things, And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour’s wife, Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination, Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like, That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour’s wife, Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment, That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in My statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity. Yet say ye, Why? Doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not My ways equal? Are not your ways unequal?
Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Ezekiel 18:1-32 (KJV)
Believer’s Treatment of Others
Jesus told us, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another.” John 13:35. There is no question about it God/Christ has established one Church – His Body. Those who are in His body love one another. It cannot be otherwise. No believer can love God and hate another. To say one loves God, and to hate another is hypocrisy.
To love God is to hate evil. Paul uses the word “Abhor”. The true believer will hate evil just as our holy and righteous God hates it. We will hate evil because we see evil as the hyenas. They are mortal enemies, and so should the Christian and sin be also.
1. Christian love is to be without hypocrisy. To say you love and do not show love is hypocrisy, and does nothing to aid or help the brethren in need. Christian love does not speak ill of another. Does not speak one way to one, and different way to the one spoken of. Christian love prefers others over self. (vv. 9 – 10).
2. Christian diligence. When a Christian sees the need of a brother/sister they will react to with haste to see that need is filled. They will act to the point of taking care of that need themselves when they are able to do so. Hospitality is caring for the needs of others (vv. 11 – 13).
3. Christian grace. Show grace to those who will persecute you (v. 14).
4. Christian rejoicing. We ought to rejoice when our brother/sister is rejoicing. We may not be able to always understand our brother’s grief, but we can still be sympathetic and weep with them when they are weeping. Never thinking of ourselves more highly, because we are not the one who is suffering; you will (vv. 15 – 16).
5. Christian treatment of the ungodly. There is no doubt Christians will have those who could be our enemies. However, our real enemy is Satan. He uses others to spew forth his venomous hatred of all that is godly.
* Therefore, it is good for us to remember not to do evil deeds against evil. Our first reaction is to strike out, but the nature of Christ in us enables and empowers us to love.
* The believer is to seek peace with all people. We know however, that is not always possible.
* We are to seek forgiveness for any wrong we have done; not hold a grudge, nor seek to avenge wrongs done to us. If we are bitter it is a sign of a lack of peace with the one we are bitter toward.
* If we seek to avenge a wrong done to us; eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life, then we enter the realm that belongs only to God and government. We must realize that God’s justice is far greater than our own. We need to keep in mind that in this passage of Scripture he is writing of the individual not society or government. God has given authority to human government to avenge (Romans 13:4). Vengeance belongs to God alone.
6. Do good things to and for those who mistreat you. If he/she is hungry give them something to eat and drink. If you see a bad neighbor’s cow in the road, open the gate and put it back in his pasture. Bake a cake and take it to them. These kind acts may just gain you a brother or sister and maybe both, in Christ.
7. Contrary to what some and many may think there is much more power in love than in hate. Trying to overcome evil with evil only adds fuel to an already blazing fire. Love has a calming affect. “Overcome evil with good.”
Take Away Their Sins
In the last study vv. 15-24 we saw a warning from Paul to what could be called the apostate church. The apostate church would be those who deny the truths of the Word of God; who believe they are Israel, claiming for themselves things which are not theirs; who do not believe the prophecies of the Word of God; those who have a form of godliness, but deny the power of God.
It is the mere grace and a blessing of God that the Church has been grafted into the tree. Just as there was/is an apostate Israel, there is also an apostate church. This “church” rejects the Word of God, God’s messengers, and seeks to indulge in the world’s ways to “build the church”. God promised to restore Israel, but there are no promises of restoring an apostate church. The apostate church will be destroyed (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; Rev. 3:14-22; 17:1-7; 18:1-8). The apostate church is any “church” or denomination which spiritualizes the Scriptures, denies the power of God to change lives, denies the authority of God’s Word, and denies the physical body and blood of Jesus and physical resurrection. Any one, or all of these are refused and/or denied by the apostate churches.
THE BLINDNESS OF ISRAEL IS ONLY TEMPORARY (v. 25).
1. This blindness of Israel will begin ending when Gentile rule of the world is brought to the full.
2. Their blindness will only last until the final soul is brought into the Church, and then, judgment will come on the earth; also known as the “Time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).
GOD WILL NOT FORSAKE HIS PROMISES, NOR HIS PEOPLE (vv. 26-29).
1. “All Israel shall be saved” does not mean that everyone ever born a Jew will be saved. It does mean that all those Jews who came through the ‘time of Jacob’s trouble’, believing in Jesus as their Messiah, Lord and Savior will be saved.
2. It is God’s covenant promise that He will send “The Deliverer’ and ‘turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Jeremiah 31:33-40).
3. Are we to assume that Paul in writing, “Turn away ungodliness from Jacob” is only speaking spiritually? This includes the full promises of God.
4. If we assume Paul is spiritualizing this promise then, we surely must assume the same thing concerning his own heritage in verse one of this chapter.
5. The promises God made to Israel are for Israel and do not go to the Church. These promises are of their having and ongoing future kingdom on earth.
6. When God makes promises, gives gifts, and calls; those things are irrevocable (v. 29).
THE CHURCH A SOURCE OF MERCY TO NATIONAL ISRAEL (vv. 30-32).
1. We have received mercy because of Israel’s unbelief.
2. Through the mercy of saved Gentiles, who make up the majority of the Church, Israel will receive mercy.
3. Unbelief is and was perilous for Israel, and is perilous for all. It is especially perilous for those who profess Jesus Christ, yet, only give Him “Lip service”, but their “Hearts are far from Him.
THINGS TOO HARD TO UNDERSTAND CAN BE ACCEPTED BY FAITH (vv. 33-36).
1. Following his writing of the irrevocable promises of God Paul breaks out into praise
2. Paul, having called this a “Mystery” (v. 25), still sees this as being beyond understanding, We can know that the promises of God never fail. If they do; we could all be in a whole lot of trouble.
3. “…His ways past finding out” (v. 33), but he believes God, and so should we. Faith is expressed in living a life of commitment and praise even when we do not understand.
4. We have this assurance – “Believing God; He declares us righteous.”
5. All this is about God, and for His glory.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Satisfaction Of Imperfection
Why the title, “THE SATISFACTION OF IMPERFECTION”? It just seems that people who profess themselves to be Christian, are more and more giving excuse for their rude, and sometimes lewd behavior, as “Well! Nobody’s perfect”. That is an acclamation of THE SATISFACTION OF IMPERFECTION.
To excuse our sins as just being normal for being human, rather than seeing them as an offense to God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit; and harm to our fellowship with them is wrapped in hardcore unbelief, or pure ignorance. Paul has told these things are dead with Christ on the cross, however, in our present text we are told to put them to death.
The Gnostics had a problem with the flesh and the Spirit of God being together, so they basically just said, “Live how you want in the body. You will be okay”, but Paul tells us to put these evil practices to death. “Mortify” means to put to death. This requires “The Set Mind” which we looked at in verses 1 – 4. Paul believed we were able, by the power of the Holy Spirit within to put these evils to death; put them out of our lives.
It is true that we are not perfect people, and as humans, yes, we will and do sin. That is no excuse for offending the holiness of God which is within us. As has been stated before, “We do not have to sin”. If we have been saved by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and His resurrection, then we do not have to sin. We have been made free. That is the greatest independence that has ever been given to mankind, if we would only receive it, and its blessings.
I. PUT TO DEATH THOSE THINGS WHICH SO EASILY DRAG US INTO SIN (v. 5a).
II. A LIST OF SINS CONCERNING PERVERTED LOVE THAT LEADS TO EVIL MOTIVES (v. 5b).
III. THESE ARE SINS OF THE CHILDREN OF UNBELIEF AND WILL COME UNDER THE WRATH OF GOD; WE USE TO LIVE THERE, BUT ARE DELIVERED (vv. 6-7).
IV. A LIST OF HATE SINS WHICH LEAD TO AN EVIL ACT (v. 8).
V. EACH ONE PUTS ON THE ‘NEW MAN’ AND PROCEEDS TO HOLINESS AND A SATISFACTION FOR HOLINESS (vv. 9-11).
I. PUT TO DEATH THOSE THINGS WHICH SO EASILY DRAG US INTO SIN (v. 5a).
A. We, as Christians, have been given a gift; the gift to say no to sin, and not let sin reign in our lives.
“ Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” Rom. 6:12-14
B. It is up to the Christian to live with the Set Mind to overcome sin, and not let it have dominion.
1. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ has freed us from sins death and bondage, but the mind of the Christian must work out the victory in living it.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” Philp. 2:12-13.
II. A LIST OF SINS CONCERNING PERVERTED LOVE THAT LEADS TO EVIL MOTIVES (v. 5b).
A. All of these sins are acts related to sexual immorality.
1. Fornication – The Greek word for this is ‘porneia’ from which we have the word pornography, and has to do with harlotry, idolatry, adultery and incest.
2. Uncleanness – physically or morally impure.
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” Jesus (Mark 7:21-23).
3. Inordinate affection – unregulated, disorderly passion and lust.
“That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God” 1 Thes. 4:4-5.
4. Evil concupiscence – depraved, forbidden, injurious desire or lust.
5. Covetousness – Greediness, avarice = excessive desire for wealth; REMEMBER THE TENTH COMMANDMENT, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s” Ex. 20:17.
B. All of these things are connected to covetousness which is “Idolatry”.
1. Whatever consumes your mind, and your time is your god; that is what you worship.
2. Our lives are God’s – Let’s worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
III. THESE ARE SINS OF THE CHILDREN OF UNBELIEF AND WILL COME UNDER THE WRATH OF GOD; WE USE TO LIVE THERE, BUT ARE DELIVERED (vv. 6-7).
A. The afore mentioned sins are sins of the children of the devil.
B. The “Wrath of God” will come on all those who are living in them.
C. In the past we were also ‘children of the devil’ walking like them, but no longer are ‘in them’
IV. A LIST OF HATE SINS WHICH LEAD TO AN EVIL ACT (v. 8).
A. Hate in the mind leads to hateful actions which lead to all kinds of deeds, and their consequences.
1.. Anger – is desire with a violent passion.
a. Anger is an emotion that is given us by God, but what we do with it and how we use it is another thing.
b. In this verse it has meaning of negative actions; uncontrolled, destructive actions.
2. Wrath – fierce passion and indignation.
3. Malice – to actively seek the harm of another whether by words or by actions.
4. Blasphemy – evil speaking, railing against God – ‘Railing’ is to mock, babble, joke; to complain angrily.
5. Filthy communication – cursing, swearing, filthy joking, taking the name of the Lord in vain, etc..
B. The Christian is to “Put off” these things.
1. These things should be like clothing that smells terribly bad, or on fire; we get them off really quick.
2. Since we are told to do this we must believe that we can do it.
V. EACH ONE PUTS ON THE ‘NEW MAN’ AND PROCEEDS TO HOLINESS AND A SATISFACTION FOR HOLINESS (vv. 9-11).
A. Having ‘put off’ the “Old man” and “Put on the new man” we are to practice holiness and have the satisfaction of perfection.
B. We are renewed daily as we read, study and apply the Word of God to our lives, and daily living
1. We are renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who created us.
2. We progressively become more like Jesus – there is growth; though much of the time we may not be able to see it ourselves.
C. The ethnic background does not matter; we are equal before God.
-Tim A. Blankenship
RECOGNIZING YOUR MASTER
I. LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH; LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION (vv. 1 – 10).
II. TAKING AUTHORITY OVER SIN IN OUR LIVES (vv. 11 – 13).
III. SERVING THE ONE WHOM WE OBEY (vv. 14 – 22).
IV. WAGES OF SIN; AND THE GIFT OF GOD (v. 23)
Does grace give a license to sin? That was the basic question Paul had to answer from his critics – the critics of the true gospel of grace. Does a dead person sin? Not any longer. They are free from sin, but not necessarily from sins wages.
If grace abounds ‘much more’ because of sins intensity, brought about by the law, then, does it not seem that to willfully and deliberately sin would be good? However, for one to be made alive in Christ there must be death and resurrection. This death is the putting away of sin (Col. 3:5). The resurrection is the ‘newness of life’ that only happens through faith in Jesus.
Paul has revealed to us that all people are sinners; “There is none righteous…”, “There is none who seeketh after God…”. He then tells us that the only way for us to please God is by grace through faith. By grace, God declares righteous [right with Himself], those who believe in His Son Jesus. Now, in chapter six Paul turns to the continuing work of God’s grace in those who believe. The Word is sanctification. To be sanctified is a process, a daily process, by which God works in the believer’s life to make us in ‘the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29).
If a person is still controlled by sin that individual has not yet died, nor been resurrected to life by power of Jesus’s resurrection. Before resurrection there must be death. The question we must ask is, “WHO IS YOUR MASTER”?
Is there anything which you desire/crave more than anything else which is not a necessity for living and life? Are you addicted to it? If it is something that causes you to become irritable, rude, obnoxious and angry to be without, then, it is probably something that controls you. “WHO IS YOUR MASTER?”
IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH, AND THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION (vv. 1 – 10).
“Where do my good deeds fit into the scale for salvation?” Do they fit into salvation at all? Here is what Paul has previously said, “If it is of works, it is no more by grace; God becomes indebted to us” (Paraphrased from Rom. 4:4).
By faith the believer trusts God for their salvation, and not their own works. Good works, for the glory of God are a by-product of our faith. God produces fruits in us as we root ourselves in Him.
Trusting Him completely; means that we die to ourselves, and our own believed abilities to
earn God’s favor. There must be a death to self rule in order for God to rule in peace and harmony.
“Baptized into Jesus” is speaking of becoming immersed in Him. By faith we are baptized into Jesus. The word ‘Baptized’ means to immerse – to put under. We have all probably heard the expression, “He is immersed in his work”, meaning, of course, that he is totally given to his job or enterprise. When we are ‘Baptized/Immersed into Jesus’ it means we are totally given to Him.
There is death that has taken place. A separation of the spirit and soul from the body of sin. Notice I say, “From the body of sin”, not from the body of flesh. The ‘Body of sin’ is really the old Adamic nature. It, by faith, has been crucified with Jesus Christ in His death on the cross.
The ordinance of water baptism every obedient Christian practices is a public confession, and testimony by symbol of the actual event that has already taken place in the believer’s life.
This baptism into Jesus is “Reckoning” of ourselves dead in His crucifixion, and raised with Him by His resurrection. To be “Crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20) is to put to death everything that is an abomination to God and take away its power to condemn (John 3:18); Rom. 8:1). By His resurrection we are “Raised up” to “Walk in newness of life”. It is a “New life”, not the old life warmed over. In God’s work of “Sanctification” He makes us holy. There are no left-over’s.
If we have died with Jesus we will also live with Him. If death has no more dominion over Him, it does not have dominion over those who believe. Death is an enemy, but is not to be feared by saints of God. It is inevitable that we will die, but death has no holding power. Being dead to sin we are no longer the servants/slaves of sin.
TAKING AUTHORITY OVER SIN IN OUR LIVES (vv. 11 – 13).
There is a continual struggle with sin, and we have been given the means of having victory over it. Within these three verses we have the answer to the question of why we struggle with sin, even after we have, by faith received God’s gracious gift of salvation. Within these same verses we have the answer of how we can have victory over sin.
Even before Jesus physically died on the cross He knew that His very purpose in being the incarnate Son of God was to become sin for us, receive judgment for our sin, to pour out His life’s blood for our redemption and do it to fulfill the demands of the holy law of God, and for His glory. He, while living for the glory of His Father, had already “Reckoned” Himself dead. Do you know what happened when He “Reckoned” Himself dead for the cause of His Father? He was able to fulfill all His Father’s will in His life.
The very reason people get out of the will of God is because we do not “Reckon” ourselves dead in Christ, and we are alive for ourselves.
The best life that we could live is lived through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Even after a person has received Jesus as Lord and Savior there is still sin in the world. Its temptations are strong; and often much stronger than we are – physically speaking. “Do not let sin…reign in your mortal body…” is speaking of the physical body. By the Spirit of Jesus in us we are to take control of physical appetites that cause us to sin. Some of these appetites are natural – we were created with them – but if left uncontrolled they become perverted and sinful.
One example is our strong desire to eat food, especially when we are hungry, but unless we control our appetite we will become “Gluttons”, make ourselves sick, and become overweight. We must eat to survive, but we must control the eating, and not let the eating control us. Someone has said, “Eat to live, not live to eat”. Everything must come under the reign of our own will as it has been changed by the “Newness of life” in Christ Jesus.
Notice these commands – “Reckon…yourselves…dead”, “Do not let sin reign your mortal body”. These are two directives given to aid us in living in victory over sin. There is a third one, “…Yield yourselves unto God…”. If we continue to desire to do our own thing we have not yet yielded to God’s will. We are still in rebellion against Him.
The very reason sin continues to reign in many professing Christians is because of this very thing. Jesus is not Lord. He is merely a “Life insurance policy”, or “Fire insurance policy”, only to call on in a time of great need and emergency. Like a spare tire. GOD IN A BOX.
Once again we can ask the question, “Who is your master?”
SERVING THE ONE WHOM WE OBEY (vv. 14 – 22).
The law condemns us. It offers us nothing in the way of escaping the wrath of God. It clearly shows us we are sinners unable to please God. As long as anyone is dependent upon the works of the law for the favor of God, they are under the dominion of the law, and are condemned.
Since, by faith, the believer is under grace and not the law we are no longer under the laws condemnation. Under grace we no longer desire to rebel against God. We desire to grow closer to Him, and become more like Jesus in our commitments, and living. As was previously stated, we are dead to sin (v. 11). Why would anyone who has experienced God’s grace, and newness of life in Jesus, desire to continue in sin?
You will, however, give yourself to whomever is your master. If your master is sin, then, you are a slave to sin and death is the continuing and end result. When Jesus is your Master, and in His righteousness, there is continuing growth in Him, and at the end of your physical life eternal life continues with Him.
At one time everyone who is a Christian – born again – was a servant/slave to sin. When the Spirit of God called we heard and obeyed, “That form of doctrine”, which is the doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, being made free from sin we are the servants of righteousness. We can only be servants of righteousness as we yield to the One who is the embodiment of Righteousness, and that is Jesus.
The fruit of being a slave of sin is death and shame. “Being made free from sin”, the fruit is holiness. God will do whatever it takes to make us holy. Holiness is accomplished by the work of God, through sanctification. I believe that every event, every test, every trial, and every temptation of every day is a work of sanctification, and we are being made holy for God and His glory. Just as salvation is a work of God’s grace, so too is the work of sanctification a daily grace of God. “Who Is Your Master?”
WAGES OF SIN; AND THE GIFT OF GOD (v. 23).
This verse has long been one within the passages of Scriptures which are used in what has been called “THE ROMAN ROAD” for leading others to faith in Jesus.
We hear of “Wages” in every day living. If one has a job, vocation, avocation, or occupation, they know what ‘wages’ are. Wages are given for what has been earned and deserved. Humanity without God is a dying race. There is no life for we humans apart from God. Even physical life, as short as it is, is given by Him. He gives life and He takes it away.
Every one of the members of the human race is born in a condemned state – apart from God and is dying. God offers us a personal relationship with Him in order that we might glorify Him, and live. If we reject God’s free gift of grace we only get what we were born deserving – death; eternal separation from God, and Hell.
There are two absolutes given in this verse. 1) If you continue in your sin, and rebellion against God; death awaits you; 2) If you receive, by faith, Jesus Christ, believing He died and rose again for the glory of the Father, and has declared you justified and righteous by God, you have eternal life.
WHO IS YOUR MASTER?
-Tim A. Blankenship
Here is the final study for Romans 4. The last time I only published for verses 1-4. It is included in this study as well. Be blessed.
Romans 4:1 – 25
I. AN EXAMPLE OF A UNIQUE SAVING FAITH (vv. 1-4).
II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF A CREDITED ACCOUNT (vv. 5-8).
III. THE CREDITED ACCOUNT IS NOT DUE TO WHAT WE HAVE INVESTED OR PUT TO THE ACCOUNT (vv. 9-12).
IV. THIS RECKONING OF JUSTIFICATION IS GOOD FOR ALL THROUGH FAITH ALONE (vv. 13-17).
V. IT IS THE RECKONING OF GOD HIMSELF; NO HUMAN WORKS ARE CALLED FOR (vv. 18-25).
It was, and probably still is, a popular belief among Jews of Paul’s day and Jews and non-Jews of our day to believe that Abraham was declared righteous by God due to his obedience. Paul puts the record straight.
How were people of the Old Testament saved? Was it by complete obedience to God’s law? Was it by the sacrifice of bulls, goats, lambs, etc.? What does the Scriptures say?
“By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight” (3:20).
“Abraham believed God…” (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6-9).
No one has ever been saved by keeping the law, no one will ever be saved by keeping the law. To see that it is by faith in God alone that saves God gives us ample Scriptures to prove it. For example Psalm 32:1-2; and Hebrews 11.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Esther, David, Solomon, etc. are all evidences of justification by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. They believing what would be; we believing what has been and shall be.
There are three words in this study which stand out as a theme. The first word is ‘Reckoned’ found in verses 4, 9, and 10. The second word is ‘Impute’, is used six times, in verses 6, 8, 11, 22, 23, and 24. The third word is ‘counted’, it is used only twice. They all come from the same Greek word logizomai – log-id’-zom-ahee – of these words are terms for accounting. God’s declaring us righteous, and justified.
AN EXAMPLE OF THE UNIQUE SAVING FAITH (vv. 1-4).
Salvation by grace through faith is unique – one of a kind. There is nothing like it in religion. Grace is not possible by work. If it is not by faith it is not grace.
Since many of the Jews believed that Abraham was justified by works Paul realized that this fallacy needed correction. If Abraham was justified (declared righteous by God) by his works he would then have a reason to boast. His boasting, of course, would have to be before men. He would not glory before God. God’s glory is a glory of its own. Man’s glory cannot match the glory of God.
God delights in those who believe in Him. Those who realize they are weak and helpless to save themselves. Those who have no one else in which to turn, but Him. Those whose hearts are broken and shattered because they realize there is no other hope by Him. Those who have reached the bottom of the bottom, the lowest low. These realize then, God is my hope, my strength, song, salvation, my very source of peace, life and joy.
“A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:17).
When God called Abraham to leave his native land he obeyed, and left. Now understand, Abraham was at that time what the Jews would call a Gentile – there were no Jews. In his culture they worshipped idols, and were despicable in their behavior. Somehow in the midst of all this darkness God shined brightly His light into the life of Abraham, he saw, he heard, and he left this land of despicable sin and shame – the Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 11:31). He even came out with his father Terah, his nephew Lot, and his wife Sarah as well as others who are unnamed.
If you heard God speak for the first time would you get up and leave your home, friends, ownership of your land, business, etc. to obey God? Many will not do that whose lives they say belong to Him. Abraham did. How did he do it? He believed God, then he put one foot in front of the other; over and over again. Faith is the end of any attempt to gain God’s favor on any personal merit. If you could gain God’s favor by personal merit it would be by works not grace, therefore, if the works ceased, so too would the favor of God.
When a man or woman takes on a job (work) he/she expects to be paid. The employer is indebted to the employee until the employee receives his/her wages. In like fashion if we worked for our salvation God would be indebted to us until the debt was paid. God is indebted to no one. He did not, nor does not even owe us the possibility of salvation. In His grace He paid our sin debt, and then, when we believe He declares us righteous. What wonderful grace. “Wonderful grace of Jesus; greater than all my sin, how can my tongue describe it; where shall my praise begin.”
THE BLESSEDNESS OF A CREDITED ACCOUNT (vv. 5-8).
You are deeply in debt. There is no way out. The banks and loan companies will neither one loan you money. The creditors are calling, writing wanting the money that is due them. You do not have it. You are barely putting food on the table, your house needs repairs, but where are you going to get the money necessary to make them? The only way out is bankruptcy. You do not like it, but you finally admit to yourself, “I can’t do anything else, I am bankrupt.” In despair you tell a friend that you are bankrupt. The friend asks you, “How much do you need to get back on your feet?” You have not got a clue as to what is going on in this friends mind. A few weeks later you get your bank statement, but instead of being overdrawn you have a balance sufficient enough to pay all your debts.
The amazing part about it is you learn your friend sold some properties – prize properties – and deposited the money into your account. What a friend. Your friend gave his very best to help you out of your bondage of debt. He credited your account with his assets.
What happened above is a description of imputing or imputation. The friend above took the responsibility of paying the debt for his bankrupt friend. He took the burden of the bankruptcy himself and, and imputed, reckoned, accounted his riches to his friend.
Guess what, or maybe you do not have to guess. You are the bankrupt friend, and Jesus is the friend who gave up the riches of Heaven to deliver you from your bankruptcy of sin.
The word ‘counted’ or ‘accounted’ used in verse five (5) is the same word as ‘imputeth’ of verse six (6), and ‘impute’ in verse seven (7). It is also the same as ‘reckoned’ in verse ten (10).
David, the ‘Man after God’s own heart’ is also given as an example of a man of faith. Paul quotes from Psalm32:1-2 as an example of David’s faith (vv. 7-8). Iniquities forgiven, sins covered. The man who is forgiven and sins covered is the one the Lord declares righteous. He deserves imputed imputed sin, but rather receives imputed righteousness by the sacrifice of Jesus who paid the sin debt and imputed to the bankrupted account righteousness. The individual who is declared righteous by God is truly a blessed and happy person.
THE CREDITED ACCOUNT IS NOT DUE TO AN ORDINANCE PERFORMED (vv. 9-12).
Abraham was and is the ‘father’ of the nation of Israel, the people called Hebrews or Jews. In much of the life of the nation; especially in Jesus’s time; they prided themselves of their identity with Abraham by circumcision. As long as they had kept the ordinance they were fine with God. Afterall, God had promised Abraham many things and He was obligated to fulfill them.. Only to a nation of those who believed in Him. Only to a nation who had the faith of Abraham. A faith of fear, obedience, love and admiration of God. The afore mentioned ‘fear’ is the fear of God’s wrath on sin, which leads to a desire to be delivered from sin and a personal hatred for all sin.
In looking at the history of Abraham we find that he was declared righteous by God, at least fourteen years before he was circumcised. So we see Abraham was declared righteous by faith in God, not by the keeping of ordinance or law (Gen. 15:6, “And he [Abraham] believed in the LORD; and he [God] counted it to him for righteousness”). When God called Abraham to leave Ur of the Chaldees he believed God and departed (Gen. 11:31). When God told him he would have a son of promise he believed God (Gen. 15:1-5; 17:19). When God called him to sacrifice Isaac; the promised son; he believed God (Gen. 22:1-14). He did it because he believed that since God had made the promise – “In Isaac will thy seed be called” (Gen. 21:12); that God could raise him from the dead (Heb. 11:18-19).
By Abraham’s faith he became the ‘father’ of the circumcised who are in the faith and the uncircumcised in the faith. Faith recognizes our need of grace – God’s sufficient grace – and of God’s desire to give grace.
To Abraham circumcision was only a sign of righteousness given to him by God. As circumcision is the cutting away of flesh, so too is faith in Jesus Christ. Only by faith in Christ Jesus is the flesh of the heart cut away. The power of sin is cut away. Without the finished work of Jesus on the cross, by His death, burial, and resurrection, the cutting away of the flesh of the heart is impossible. Ordinances can only be signs or tokens of the actual event. Ordinance without faith is vain.
THE JUSTIFICATION IS GOOD FOR ALL THROUGH FAITH ALONE (vv. 13-17).
A promise is nothing without faith. Faith in the Promissor is necessary for the promise to have effect.
What good is a promise; particularly an unconditional promise; if you must earn its fulfillment? The promise to Abraham and his descendants was not going to be granted to them by keeping the law, nor was it based on the law. The promise is awarded by faith in God.
The ‘righteousness of faith’ (v. 13) is the only righteousness that is declared by God and upon all who will receive it.
The only promise of the law is wrath. The law declares all to be unrighteous, unworthy of God’s goodness, kindness, mercy, and grace. So the law could not bring in the promise of ‘Heir of the world’; not even to mention the salvation of wicked men.
Grace works only by faith. Remember faith is our quitting the attempt to please God on our own merit, and pleasing Him only through the work of Jesus Christ. Grace would not be grace, if we could earn it. It would be a debt owed us by God. He owes us nothing. Faith gives to God everything He deserves from His highest of all creation. He does not need it, but He deserves it.
Seeing the unseen, knowing the unknowable, believing what seems to be unbelievable – that is the faith of Abraham. When Sarah was 89 and Abraham was 99; God promised them anew, that He would give them a son. They believed. In other words, God brought life from death. O, will you believe God? He does what He says He will do. Justification is good for all through faith alone. No amount of works, nor law kept, no ordinance performed can justify you in God’s sight. Only by His Word are you justified, and that by faith – faith He alone gives. His faith’s object is only Jesus.
IT IS THE POWER OF GOD, NOT HUMAN EFFORT (vv. 18-25).
Did Abraham believe in resurrection power? Did he believe in the power of the resurrection? YES! and YES! again. To he and Sarah the chance of them having a child of promise looked hopeless. Sure Abraham and Sarah made a mistake, slipped into doubt, or really thought they were helping God out, for awhile; but it did not endure. Their faith in God did endure.
“Unbelief” verse 20 is a complete refusal of faith – refusal to believe. It was because of ‘unbelief’ that Israel, led by Moses, did not enter the Promised Land at Kadesh Barnea (Num. 13:26 – 14:4; Heb. 3:16 – 4:13). Despite the waiting Abraham believed. At times it probably seemed that God was pushing faith to its limits, but when Abraham realized his physical body and Sarah’s was dead he knew all he had was God’s promise. That is faith.
When you have reached a point in your life where your realize all you have is faith that God will keep His promise; that is when God will work. He did in Abraham and Sarah, and a 100 years old man and a 90 years old woman had a baby boy. That was a miracle birth. There are not very many miracle births. There are only three in the Bible – Isaac, John the Baptist, and Jesus; and possibly four if you counted Samson.
Faith is believing that God is completely able to do what He said. He is able to perform it, bring it to pass – in His way, in His time and through whomsoever He pleases; if He pleases to use a whomsoever. Because of this faith – not human effort – God declares Abraham ‘Righteous’, clean, pure, sinless before God.
Since Abraham was declared righteous by faith so is everyone who believes God. Do you want to walk with God? Then, you have to agree with Him. You have to agree with Him about your sin [your bankruptcy]. You have to agree with Him that there is a wall of separation between you and Him. You must agree with Him about His Son Jesus. You must agree with Him concerning His Word – written and living.
“How can two walk together unless they be agreed” (Amos 3:3)?
Abraham was declared righteous by God, because he agreed with God. That just simply means he believed what God said. He agreed with God.
Justification is not by human effort or obedience to law, and ordinances, or faith and grace have no merit. Justification is by grace through faith in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and raised from death as evidence of God’s approval upon His life and sacrifice giving us God’s righteousness by faith.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Every Mouth Stopped
Nature loudly proclaims that there is a Maker of all this creation. The very fact of the order of our universe declares an intelligence must have designed it all. It could not work with such precision otherwise. I write this to say that because of this no one who is has an excuse before God. If man has only the law of nature, and a conscience that teaches him right from wrong – a law in his heart – and that we, as human beings are to worship God we are responsible, and unless we believe God we shall perish.
There is, however, a greater responsibility upon those who have the written revelation of God. The Law, the Scriptures, the Word of God tells us what nature and conscience do, but also much more. We have previously seen that those without law (the written revelation) shall perish without law, and those with the law shall be judged [or perish] in the law (2:12). There are none who are guiltless. The only hope for any in repentance from sin to God for His righteousness.
IN READING THE SCRIPTURES; GOD LEAVES US NO DOUBT THAT SIN IS UNIVERSAL. (v. 9). “…Both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin…”
Is the Jew better than the pagan Gentile? Is the religious better than the Non-religious? Is the moral individual better than the immoral individual? NO! Not as far as sin and its condemnation is concerned.
In the previous chapters we have seen every level of humanity, and that we are all without excuse before God. Contrary to what any legalist may say, the Law offers no hope; it only shows us death.
WITHOUT THE REDEMPTION OF JESUS CHRIST THE WHOLE INNER BEING OF MAN IS CONTROLLED BY SIN (vv. 10-12). The mind, the heart and the will of unredeemed mankind are all under the control of sin. It is the inner being that affects the way we live our lives.
With the unredeemed mind we have no “Understanding” of God”, “…There is none that understandeth.” With the unredeemed heart, “There is none that seeketh after God”. With the unredeemed will of man, there is “None that doeth good”.
Are we to understand by the phrase “None that doeth good” that no lost, unredeemed person ever does anything good? No! It means that he/she does no good that glorifies the Lord. Nothing good that is done by an unredeemed person will affect God’s judgment of them for their good.
No one seeks God, except God seeks them first. No one has “understanding” of God until God gives them that understanding. It is all by grace, and none of you or I. God Himself, receives the glory.
The word “Righteous” means God’s standard. That is the standard we must meet if we are to gain God’s approval. That righteousness is not obtainable in ourselves. It is only obtained through faith in Jesus Christ.
The words “No, not one” is mentioned twice in three verses – ten and twelve. God says, that there is absolutely “No one” who meets His standard for righteousness. In order for us to please God we must see as He sees. We must see that sin is a stench in His nostrils. It offends His sense of holiness and purity. We most certainly must see that it separates us from Him. If we have trouble seeing the devastation sin causes in human relations and in the creation, then, there is no fellowship with God.
THESE VERSES SHOW THAT WE ARE ALL CONDEMNED FROM THE TOP OF OUR HEAD TO OUR TIPS OF OUR TOES (vv. 13-18). The mouth as all know is part of the head. The throat is the area that provides air for the ability to make sounds, and swallow food (I could not forget that part on food). Paul says that the throat of depraved man “Is an open sepulchre”, “an open tomb”. The sepulchre or tomb was a place for the buried dead. Unredeemed man is incapable of speaking words of life.
There is deceit from their tongues. Lying is a common practice of people who do not know God. Sad to say it is of some professing Christians too. If your heart is indulged in your own way, then, your words will show your own way. These will be the main mode of communication. No words will glorify the Lord. Your mouth will speaks words of life or words of death.
Christians must maintain a close fellowship with the Lord, and on a daily basis. We are to walk in the Spirit, not the flesh. No Christian can walk in the Spirit if they do not maintain a daily fellowship with God in prayer, Bible reading and study, walking with God His way.
Speaking of the feet Paul says, “Their feet are swift to shed blood”. This is because of an unredeemed heart, mind and will. Paul has a positive thing to say of the feet of those who preach the gospel (Rom. 10:25).
The real reason “…feet are swift to shed blood” is because, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” When nations, kings, rulers, citizens, and believers in Christ no longer fear God there will be no more respect for life, and Human life in particular. The love of God has been abused, misused, and misunderstood. “God is love”, but He also hates sin and will judge it. Because, God is love, He judges sin. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7).
ALL “WHO ARE UNDER THE LAW”, EVERY MOUTH STOPPED, AND “ALL THE WORLD… GUILTY” (vv. 19-20). Every man, woman, boy and girl is responsible to God for their sin. The Gentile people of the world (all who are not Hebrew” are responsible and worthy of death because they have the law of conscience and of nature. Both of these are a law declaring a holy, righteous, and all powerful God who is worthy of worship and praise. The conscience and nature condemns us.
The written law given to the Jews, was and is a clear revelation of God to man; to show man’s need for God. This written law also condemns us. It has no life of its own to save or deliver us from sin.
Let’s say your family physician tell you one day, and some of you have experienced this, “You have cancer”, and then, he tells you, “I am only your family physician, I am not a specialist, nor a surgeon”. This doctor is performing the work of the law. He cannot help you, but he will point you toward the one who can – the surgeon or specialist.
Doctor Law says, “You have sin in your life. I can’t help you, but Doctor Grace can.”
This law; written, nature, or conscience declares the righteousness of God. Because of sin we are cut off from God. Because of law we are made knowledgeable of this eternal separation.
No one has an excuse for sin. There is no amount of good deeds, religious ritual, or moral behavior that can gain God’s favor. We have God’s favor by His grace through faith. No work, but God’s work is sufficient to deliver us.
The law stops every mouth from saying, ‘I am good enough. Look at what I have done. I have been faithful in church attendance, and Sunday School. I never beat my wife or cheated my neighbor. My good deeds will out weigh my bad ones.” Jesus, Himself will say to you in that day, “I never knew you; depart from me ye worker of iniquity”.
You and I have absolutely nothing which God wants, except faith in Him. He gives us that too.
-Tim A. Blankenship
This is the fourth message in the series SEVEN ABOMINATIONS WHICH GOD HATES.
The Heart Of Imagination
“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
“The heart of the human problem, is the problem of the human heart.”
It is not by accident, nor coincidence that this abomination is at the center of this list. The heart is at the center of our emotions, even our thoughts and actions, are moved by the heart. Now we are not talking about the thing in our bodies that pumps the blood that courses through our veins.
“IMAGINATION —the power of the mind to form a mental image. The Bible uses the word imagination to refer to evil plans, purposes, and thoughts (Gen. 8:21; Jer. 7:24; Luke 1:51). It does not use the word to describe forming mental images of things that do not exist.” Nelsons New Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
“Subtlety in the contrivance of sin, wisdom to do evil, a heart that designs and a head that devises wicked imaginations, that is acquainted with the depths of Satan and knows how to carry on a covetous, envious, revengeful plot, most effectually. The more there is of craft and management in sin the more it is an abomination to God.” Matthew Henry Commentary.
THE CENTER OF MAN’S BEING IS HIS HEART.
God saw in the beginning and told us about it, “…The thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5). Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…” (Matthew 15:19; See also Mark 7:21). If man’s heart could be changed then the world can be changed.
There is one man who has a pure heart. He gives it to whom ever will believe in Him. According to 1 Corinthians 2:16 those who are “spiritual” have His mind. This means a new heart, new hungers, desires, and longings. Along with the new heart comes the “new mind” and thoughts.
THE PLOTTING OF THINGS IN WICKEDNESS.
To plan to do something which is right and good – godly – is honorable. To plan on doing the right thing is a good deterrent to keep from doing the wrong and evil thing. It is always right to plan right things, and do them with the right motive. Wrong motives come from the wicked heart that devises wicked imaginations.
“Devising” is a word for plotting or planning an evil act or deed. A word that is known today for plotting and scheming is “Designing”. You have probably heart the title “Designing Women” – I believe that is the title of a television sitcom some time ago. The idea of both is to scheme and plot for the purpose of going outside of God’s plan and direction. I find it sad to say, but there is too much of this going on in local churches, and denominations. When we have a gathering of brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Christ, believe God’s Word, and have a common agenda, why do we need to have groups planning who the next President of the Convention is going to be? “Designing” people. “Devising”, “Designing”, these come from one’s own mind. Thoughts like, “How do I get even?”, “How do I force this person out of his/her position so I can work my way in?” “What is the best way to steal money from my employer?, my bank?, my government?” Do you get the picture? Then, people who have this thought pattern set out to “devise” a plan for the events to occur. They will do it secretly; maybe with some help.
The words, “Devise”, “Designing”, “Plotting”, and “Scheming” all have connotations of evil within them. Of course, it will also depend on how the word is seen and used in a sentence.
The good – godly – heart plans to do good and right. Remember the One with the pure heart. Be born again.
WICKEDNESS AND GOODNESS.
The wicked heart devises wicked ways. It does not know good. Evil cannot know righteousness. Even when an evil/wicked heart does a “good” thing there is usually a hidden motive. It is the motive of the heart that really makes the difference.
Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (17:9).
Overcome evil with good, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:21). Light always cancels out darkness. Good will always overcome evil – not because of the power of good, but because of the power of the good, holy, and righteous God. It will do that in our hearts as long as the light of Christ is shining – Let it shine in.
THE IMAGINATION OF MAN.
Our imaginations can be used for evil or good. The imagination which God is referring to, and which He hates is the “Imagination” which plots an evil plan for their own purposes, and against God and anything godly. A deliberate act against God. When we know the will of God and deliberately disobey, is that an act of a wicked imagination? The inclination of our hearts is to imagine evil – to manufacture it and perform it. That evil inclination, however, can be changed by a change of will – a supernatural change.
Children’s imaginations are really vivid and quite colorful. We let children imagine, that is why there are so many copyrights and inventions (Patents). The automobiles we drive came along because of someone’s imagination – the train, airplane, etc. Electricity, television, radio, recordings, all came from an imagination somewhere. We have sent men to the moon, because of an imagination or two.
Think of the imagination it has taken in medicine. Forty years ago no one did “Open heart surgeries”, and if it was attempted, it failed with death of the patient. Now it is a procedure that is conducted everyday, and probably many times a day around the world. Now the imagination of man is wanting to play with creating life, and then taking it by means of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer or SCNT, for the purpose of stemcell “Research?”, supposedly to save the lives of needy individuals, probably more of those who could afford the procedure or have the insurance to cover it. This is the “Wicked Imagination” of which God hates.
The heart that devises a “wicked imagination” is not the heart of God. It imagines doing evil to others for personal gain – in the case of SCNT it is against the life of the embryo on which they will kill to “Research?”. For the most part selfish gain is what is involved in this procedure, this killing of innocent life to supposedly save the life of others. Let us leave the giving and taking of life in God’s hands.
Only Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, was buried carrying our sins far away, and rising again to life; can change the heart that deviseth wicked imaginations; into a heart that glorifies Him.
In conclusion, shun every vile imagination – plan to do what is right and good. You were born with an evil heart – You can be born again through Jesus Christ and have a new, clean heart. There is no good in mankind – goodness is solely a God thing – it comes from God. In Jesus Christ you receive a sanctified imagination.
-Tim A. Blankenship
We have been studying the first chapter of Romans, and have made it all the way through verse 27 as of the 16th of August.
In looking at these previous verses we have seen What Happens When God Gives Up?
Truth is repressed by unrighteousness (vv.18-23);
God releases them to their own decay and filth of immorality (vv. 24-25);
God releases them to shameful passions (vv. 26-27).
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26-27 (KJV).
These ‘vile affections’, ’shameful passions’ are the shameful acts of homosexuality. Women with women going against the God created order. Women are usually the last to fall morally.
“Men with men” against the nature created in them.
This debauchery certainly reaps what it sows. (v. 27b).
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galations 6:7).
Physical and bodily problems. Sexually transmitted diseases one of which is AIDS, and it has no cure. Before this disease took on political overtones it was known as GRIDS “Gay Related Imunno Dificiency Syndrome”. There is certainly spiritual blindness.
God “gives them up” when they refuse Him. This abhorrent behavior does not cause God’s judgment, but is the result of God’s already judging. His judgment is already on us, when His hand or restraint is gone from such wicked behavior. This decadence will be judged in and by the hand of God. It actually shows us the levels of wickedness humankind will sink when left without God’s restraints.
-Tim A. Blankenship
We have been looking at the question WHAT HAPPENS WHEN GOD ‘GIVES UP’?
In the last study we saw that TRUTH IS REPRESSED BY UNRIGHTEOUSNESS in verses Romans 1:18-23.
The second thing we see is that GOD RELEASES THEM TO THEIR OWN DECAY AND FILTH OF IMMORALITY (Romans 1:24-25).
Why did God “give them up” to this ungodly – unrighteous behavior? They had a knowledge of God, but chose to suppress it. They turned away from God to worship idols made in the image of created thing – birds, beasts, and even themselves. Because they rejected God; sexual immorality most always follows wrong beliefs, and in particular the worship of idols. It is an act of dishonoring the human body and God.
When they turned from the truth they believed the Lie. The Lie is, “Did God really say that?” It is just a question, but one that places the seeds of unbelief in the heart. It was the first question the Bible speaks of that the serpent/devil asked in order to deceive. It is still being asked today. Not one of many lies but “the Lie” (Genesis 3:1-5).
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” [the Lie] (NKJV 2 Thessalonians 2:11).
The Lie, that we can be like God – we become our own god. We have chaos when there is more than one God. There is war, strife of all sorts, contentions, and immoral living.
Satan is the father of lies. Jesus said, speaking to the religious leaders who rejected Him,
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the begining, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Following this lid requires no accountability to a deity, except self. No one, can tell someone of this mindset, what is right or wrong. To them everything is ‘relative’ – they already have their preconceived ideas; they call good ‘evil’ and evil ‘good’.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
Moral decay, such as we see in our land, and the world is due to denying the truth, and believing the Lie, the father of lies, the devil.
-Tim A. Blankenship