Tuesday, January 30

Romans 8:7

Romans 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.

The rattlesnake in the above photo is hostile to humans and does not submit to human ethics and in fact cannot. It is at enmity with mankind and would need an entirely different nature to act as a domesticated animal. In a similar manner, the person who is in the flesh cannot submit to God’s law. Such a person is hostile to God and lacks the ability to submit to God because of their slavery to the power of sin. Such a person is spiritually dead with no hope apart from God’s saving grace. Therefore, as verse 2 pointed out, God through the quickening power of the Holy Spirit sets sinners free from the slavery of sin. This regenerating work of the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual life and a new nature into a sinner that enables them to set their minds on the things of the Spirit. What cannot be done for the rattlesnake, God does for lost sinners. Praise God for this grace.

Photo by son of W.H. on hunting trip to N.M.

Sunday, January 28

Romans 8:6

Romans 8:6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

In verses 1-5 it is clear that there is only one important way to distinguish between people. They are either in Christ or not in Christ. In verse 5 Paul tells us what these two kinds of people set their minds on, and what they seek. Here in verse 6, Paul tells what the outcome is for these two kinds of people. Unregenerate man runs after and in fact is in bondage to sin and death. The world and temporal concerns are his focus and the object of his affections. This verse does not leave any wiggle room for the antinomian carnal Christian view that a person can have faith in Christ but be unchanged and continue to live with a mind totally set on the flesh. This is a false dead faith that does not save and this verse nails the lid shut on this false teaching.

In stark contrast the man regenerated by the Spirit of God has a new heart and a new attitude that is set on the Spirit and the things of God. He thinks in spiritual terms and is concerned with spiritual matters that bring life. Even in times of affliction and poverty, this man is at peace and will respond in Spiritual ways to whatever grief comes his way. While he may struggle with sin and his old nature, the spirit of God dwells in him and this is the victory that overcomes the world. In and of himself man would not overcome, but with the power of God at work in him, success is assured.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved from the eternal consequences and grip of sin.

Friday, January 26

Romans 8:5

Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

A successful baseball pitcher must totally set his mind on delivering the ball to a specific point either with good velocity or with the changing in direction of a curve ball. As a pitcher progresses upward to the major leagues his ability to set his mind and concentrate on the task at hand becomes second nature. It becomes ingrained in his mind and motor skills. In a similar manner, man is born with mind that is totally controlled by the sinful nature. Due to the fall of Adam and original sin, man lives according to this nature (the flesh) and has his mind set on the things of the flesh. However, once God’s grace quickens a sinner and redeems him by setting him free from the law of sin and death, he lives according to this new ‘born again’ nature of the Spirit and has his mind set on the things of the Spirit. While he still struggles with sin and the old nature, his new nature will win the war, as we shall see later in this chapter. Spirit and life will win the war over sin and death. Praise God that he provides everything to win the war through this marvelous grace.

Brothers & sisters, if you want to win this war with the flesh, then place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ to receive the free gift of eternal life.

Wednesday, January 24

Romans 8:4

Romans 8:4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Jesus not only condemned sin by voluntarily dying on the cross as our substitute, he fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law for us. Jesus took our sins and paid the penalty required by God’s justice and imputed his righteousness to us that we might be found righteous on judgment day. We take hold of this grace through faith and are judged not guilty and are counted righteous because of Christ’s righteousness, not our own.

In this verse Paul gives a description of what God’s grace looks like in a redeemed sinner rather than simply saying, “by faith.” The bottom line is that grace not only saves, but it also changes the way a redeemed sinner lives. A redeemed sinner does not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Praise God that he not only saves sinners from their sin, but also enables them to overcome this sin with a new nature.

If you walk totally according to the flesh, pray that God will bring his Holy Spirit to enable you to walk according to the Spirit with faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 22

Romans 8:3

Romans 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
Due to the sinful nature that mankind inherited from Adam, the law is powerless to save sinners. While the law is good, it is so weakened by the sin nature (flesh) that it has no strength to be effective. It is not the law that is weak, but the sinful nature of man that is incapable of fulfilling the law. The law accuses and condemns, but it cannot save. However, God has done what the law could not do. By sending his son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of sinful flesh, he condemned sin. Jesus, being fully man and completely sinless was able to qualify as an acceptable substitute to pay the penalty for sin and thus condemn sin in fallen man. This satisfied God’s justice due to the infinite value that Jesus has by being fully God. The atonement was acceptable because of the human nature of Jesus and sufficient because of the infinite worth of his divine nature. Praise God that he provides everything that is needed to save sinners.

This salvation is given as a free gift for all that place their faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, January 20

Romans 8:2

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

An airfoil is the reason a person can soar on a hang glider and be set free from gravity and the Holy Spirit is the reason that a person is set free in Christ Jesus. This is the gospel that saves sinners from the law of sin and death by setting them free from the grip and power of sin. The Holy Spirit regenerates sinners that are enslaved to the law of sin and death by setting them free and enabling them to seek refuge in Christ Jesus. This is the amazing grace that we rejoice in and sing about. It is the grace that sets sinners free from death and condemnation. This is a grace that does more than make salvation possible; it does the entire job by changing the heart and enabling a sinner to willingly come to Christ.

Without the person and work of Jesus Christ, a sinner is still under condemnation and still in their sin. Notice how this verse states the truth. It does not say that the Holy Spirit sets you free to be in a god of your own choosing or sets you free to be justified by your own effort. No, the verse says that the Holy Spirit sets you free in Christ Jesus. While it is popular in today’s American culture to be “politically correct” and “tolerant” by affirming many ways to God, the Bible does not offer but one way to be set free from sin and death. Praise God for this amazing grace.

Do not delay, avoid false gods and seek refuge in Jesus Christ!

Thursday, January 18

Romans 8:1

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

There is no exposure to the elements in the photo above because the photographer sought shelter and is protected in the glass enclosed observation deck. He is safe and secure and although the exposure is real and nearby, the inn provides a covering from the elements. In the same manner those that are in Christ Jesus are safe and secure due to the covering that is provided by Jesus Christ.

There is exposure to the elements for anyone outside the inn in the photo above and there is condemnation for those that are not in Christ Jesus. However, through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ sinners are provided a covering and there is no condemnation for those protected by this covering. Being in Christ Jesus through faith means being covered by his righteousness and having him pay the penalty for the sins of the sinner. Being in Christ Jesus also means being justified and adopted as a son of God. It is effective at the moment of saving faith (now) and is permanent and irrevocable. It is a done deal. There are only two positions for mankind, in Christ and covered or not covered and under condemnation. Sincerity, good works, other religions, ancestors, or anything else that man may dream up to protect him from this condemnation is pure folly.

Seek the only covering for this exposure and do it today!

Tuesday, January 16

Victory! at Bluecollar Blog

Go to Bluecollar for post on the victory that overcomes the world....

Thursday, January 11

Atheists belief system built on foundation of fantasy!

Atheists also live in fantasyland
Atheists assert that the universe came into being from nothing. In the beginning there was nothing and unintelligent matter/energy somehow popped into being from a state of non-being without any outside cause. They theorize that a point of singularity of this energy/matter all of a sudden without an outside cause exploded into a big bang giving birth to the universe. (Let me say that I do not deny a big bang as being a possible way that God began the process of creation. God would be a cause in that case.) They then assert that billions of years later all of the complicated requirements for life fell into place on planet earth, and although there was no life, it popped into being very much as matter/energy popped into being. Life one ideal and perhaps romantic night simply came into being from non-life. Then life evolved due to mutations and living organisms became more complicated. Incredibly, evolution holds that as life evolved, complicated organs also evolved slowly. Organs that are necessary for an organism to live took millions of years to evolve to a point of usefulness. Evolution somehow saw a need for an organ millions of years in advance and began the long process of developing that organ.

Certainly something coming from nothing is hard to fathom for the human mind, but asserting that an all-powerful super intelligent supreme being (God) is the cause of the universe introduces a logical reason that makes it comprehensible. The alternative that atheists offer is nonsense that asserts something coming from nothing without an outside cause. Yet, in spite of this kind of fantasy belief system, they mock and ridicule the belief in a supreme being in general and Christianity in particular.

Friday, January 5

Something for agnostics, atheists, and other unbelievers to consider….

The truth of Christianity stands or falls on the physical resurrection of Christ. If Christ was not physically resurrected, then Christianity is a hoax. If he was resurrected, then Christianity is true and the Bible is proven true. If Jesus came forth from the grave, then the writers of Bible were certainly not lying about what they witnessed and observed. Paul made this point at the Areopagus when he told the men of Athens:

Acts 17:31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

God gave proof by raising Jesus from the dead is the message. Luke carefully investigated the events and said that Jesus was with his Apostles for forty days after the resurrections and before his ascension. Jesus gave them many convincing proofs that he was alive during this time and they also witnessed his ascension. It is either true or Jesus was not raised from the dead. If it is not true, I believe there are but two possibilities to consider:

(1) All of the Apostles and other eyewitnesses lied and went to great lengths to dispose of the body and establish a false religion…. For wealth, fame, and prosperity this would certainly be possible. Many false teachers have gained wealth and fame since Jesus walked on earth. However, the Apostles were persecuted, suffered, thrown in jail and most were killed for the gospel. Is it possible that people would go through this for a lie? Would a group of people suffer and die to promote something they knew to be a lie. There is zero chance of this being the case.
(2) All of the Apostles and other eyewitnesses were delusional….. They were so crazy that they all believed it were true and all of them promoted and suffered for a figment of their imagination. It is possible that one person or possibly even two or three could become so delusional, but to believe that many people were all out of their mind is absurd.
For the resurrection of Jesus to have not occurred requires many Apostles and disciples lying to bring suffering, persecution and death on themselves, or all of them being delusional. Neither of these possibilities make much sense; therefore, I would urge unbelievers to consider this carefully before dismissing the truth of Christianity.

Thursday, January 4

Is the message ‘repent’ or ‘God loves you unconditionally’????

John the Baptist began his ministry by preaching in the wilderness the following message:

Matthew 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Jesus began his ministry with the following message:

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Peter’s sermon at Pentecost ended as follows:

Acts 2:37-38 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

At the Areopagus Paul told the men of Athens:

Acts 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

The common message and theme in these evangelistic messages is unmistakable. However, in America today, we will most likely hear the following evangelistic message:

God loves you unconditionally.

I will affirm God's love, but somehow the message that God loves you unconditionally does not seem to offer any urgency or incentive for a lost sinner to repent, believe, and seek God. Rather, it seems to impart a sense of security and a message that it does not matter how you live or what you do. Is this the message that John, Jesus, Peter, and Paul gave?