Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

To never fear again

Scripture Read: Romans 8:10-17 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him

Application: Rom 8:15 "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again" "AGAIN!" Now that is interesting! To return to a “fear” we had. What fear could this be? Well, obviously it might be more than one. The flesh lived under great fear of judgment. The knowledge that God is going to hold us accountable for the things we do in our flesh. That is a terrible fear – and even though salvation has removed that fear if my life goes back to my old master that fear can return. The flesh also has fear of loss of control. It loves to control the actions and drives we have. The flesh fears that control being broken, so this is a fear that would return if we live in the flesh due to the reality that we no longer belong to ourselves but to God. Both of those fears may be included in this statement, but I believe there is a more subtle fear that is being dealt with here. Our flesh has convinced us that only it can bring us the “pleasures” of life. The problem is that the “pleasures” the flesh brings are either perverted from real pleasure or selfishly sought after and out of control. Our flesh has us convinced that pleasure can only come from sinful living - God has freed us from that and taught us what real pleasure is - for the whole man - physical, emotional and spiritual! To go back to flesh controlled living would bring that slavery back. Once again we would be slaves to our bodies instead of master. God has freed us through adoption to be in a loving relationship with Him and be the master of ourselves through the power of His Spirit. Thanks Holy Spirit!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

For the sake of you and me.

Scripture Read: 2 Corithians 8:7-9 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. 8  I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. 9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Application: Sake = end, purpose, the good, advantage, benefit - This is the gospel – the incarnation. Everything Christ did was for His Father yet also benefited us. I know His motive was first to please His Father but love for us had to be in there! Consider all that He left and for what – Yes – the Father – yet He had to know that all of that was to redeem us. So even if Jesus can see it pleased the Father why would it please the Father to ask, watch, allow and even participate in the sacrifice of Christ His Son? God’s wrath was poured on Him! – This is beyond us Lord – yet we know it is true. The unbelievable thing is that we still fall into sin – knowing how much it cost You! Lord we are speechless – like Paul in Romans 7 we see the tug of war between our love for You and our desire toward sin. No wonder Paul screamed “Oh wretched man"! We know we love You yet our actions sometimes are so contrary to that. Steve Green sang it well – I regret the hours I have wasted and the pleasures I have tasted that You were never in. And I confess that though Your love is in me, it doesn’t always win me when competing with my sin. I Repent! Thank You Jesus for making it possible for us to repent. You love us so much!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Flesh by any other name is still the Flesh

Scripture Read: Romans 8:1-9 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 

Application: What a complete denouncement of the Flesh this is! No wiggle room, no compromise. In an age where we try to make excuses for every behavior this passage growls to us the reality an truth. Yet in the midst of this growl comes the incredible truth of His grace.

Weak – ἀσθενέω asthenéō - can also mean “impotence” in the sense of “inner poverty” or “incapacity.” Thus we read of the inability of the Law in respect of the salvation of men

Condemned – κατακρίνω katakrínō One cannot seek a single historical fact in which the condemnation is pronounced and executed. Paul is obviously thinking of the totality of what God has done, and does, through His Son. He has in mind the whole movement from the incarnation to the impartation of the Spirit to believers

Requirement - δικαίωμα dikaíōma; in Paul’s eyes it is important to emphasize that there is for the Gentiles a recognizable divine order which is to be embraced, not as a sum of commands, but (in the sing.) as the one divine will. There is an intentional distinction when in Rom. 2:26 Paul refers to the statutes of the Law in the plural: τὰ δικαιώματα τοῦ νόμου. Nor is it accidental that in Rom. 8:4, which refers to the fulfillment of this demand by walking in the Spirit, the singular is used again to denote the Law in its unity[1] [2]

How appropriate the meaning of “weak” is - Inner poverty – what a truth! The Law could not move the flesh to live right because it had no strength from within – due to the corruptness of the flesh. The Law is powerful from God when in God – but in the flesh it cannot accomplish what it should.  The whole plan was a condemnation upon sin – no escape – what God did in Christ guaranteed sin’s defeat. In one move God fulfilled everything that needed to be fulfilled to meet the Law’s requirement for man to be accepted by a Holy God. Lord this is too much for us – We understand yet we do not! This is why there is now no condemnation – when we are in Jesus – His one work = life, death, resurrection – fulfilled ALL the requirements – the whole thing. This is why we are just as accepted in the midst of our sin as any other time. This is the reason many continue to live in defeat – they think if they TRY hard enough they will finally make it – the Truth is Yielding is the key. The Flesh is into trying because when we focus on effort we empower the flesh – and we have just seen how that will not work according to our passage. But when we focus on yielding our eyes remain on Him and we believe His grace will empower us from His Spirit to see victory. This will slow down our life because we must remain in a meditative mindset to yield. Father thank you for so great a grace – We are so undeserving! We love You Dad!

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.
Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964- (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A decision about which assignment to follow

Scripture Read: Romans 7:21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Application:  Law - νόμος nomos “to allot,” and thus has the sense of “what is proper,” “what is assigned to someone. Paul does not see in his nature two normal modes in which certain forces operate: he sees two authorities saying to him, Do this, and the higher succumbing to the lower. [1]

This is interesting in it’s concept – if I view “law” as what is assigned to someone – this will really help me understand that in the flesh there is absolutely no way to obey God. Why? If the law of the flesh is to obey what is assigned to it – after the fall the new master is sin. Therefore it is natural for my flesh to obey it’s master which now is sin. This is why we fail so many times – we are trying to accomplish – obedience – through a system that cannot operate that way – the flesh is assigned to sin – we must accomplish this through a new law that was placed in us at regeneration. This new law assigns the Spirit of God as the new master and my inner man desires to obey. So the key is to make sure my will yields to the inner man and not the flesh. That can only be accomplished by His grace!

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Loving what I hate!

Scripture Read: Romans 7:14–20 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

Application: Look at the way the NTL states vs. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 10[1]

This is most likely one of my favorite scriptures - I believe every believer identifies with it. We do not understand ourselves at all. It’s like we know it’s great not to hit ourselves in the head with a hammer – We really enjoy life without that pain – but when we see the hammer we just grab it and hit – then we have to live with the pain afterwards!! I don’t think any of us get this. Inside we know how great it is to be right with You but our flesh still wants the very thing that breaks our fellowship. Help us Lord to see the whole picture and slow down so that we will look at the hammer and remember what we hate about it!

Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. (2nd ed.) (Ro 7:9–10). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Study goes on!

Scripture Read: Romans 7:7-13 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13 Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.

Application: Notice the rendition of this in the  NLT At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, 10[1]

I realize that this verse is pointing out that humans did not understand how sinful they were until God shared with them His standards through the Law. Yet I do wonder if it could not also be hinting at the age of accountability? Is it possible Father that Your Word is expressing that before a person understands right and wrong they are not guilty under the law? Separated yes, because of original sin, but Christ took all that on Himself – is it possible that this is another evidence that children who do not understand right or wrong are not in a state of condemnation? This is something worth more study. The great thing is that no matter what you believe about all this – God will always do what is right. Thanks Lord that even when we do not understand it all You do!

Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. (2nd ed.) (Ro 7:9–10). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.