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Showing posts from June, 2018

Struggling with Sin

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Romans 7:14-25 Have you ever been frustrated with yourself? Have you ever said things or done things you did not mean? Even after we accept Christ, we struggle with sin. In Hebrews 12, after telling us to set aside the sin that so easily besets us, the author says, “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” ( Hebrews 12:4 ESV ) This shows how serious the struggle against sin is. The Apostle Paul, the author of the letter to the Roman church, gives us an inside look at the struggle of his own heart. As we look at today's passage, we will see that we are not alone or unique in our struggle against sin. Romans 7:1-13 explains to us that when we are united with Christ, we die to the law and serve God in a new way by the Spirit. However, death does not mean annihilation. The law still exists and so does our flesh. We are new creatures in Christ, and yet we still live in our earthly tents. Romans 7:14-25 hel

Newness of the Spirit

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Romans 7:1-14 How are we to serve God? What pleases Him and how are we to know when we have pleased God? It would be nice if we had a shopping list, a to-do list that we could check off and, when the list was completed, know that we had done everything required of us. This is what the law seems to be, a service checklist. One day, a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” This is the question behind the question of how we are to serve God.   We desire eternal life, life abundant and full that goes on forever. The person making the inquiry of Jesus wanted the “to-do list” for eternal life. Jesus answered: “You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19:16-22, contains the whole story) We all recognize this list as being part of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are the

Sanctification

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Romans 6:15-23 Sanctification is a big word. What I mean by big word is that we use and it is not clear what we mean, but it sounds good and hopefully using such a word makes us sound intelligent. However, sanctification names the process by which we are set apart to and for God. Romans 6 through Romans 8 deal with the subject of sanctification, and I pray that by the time we finish studying these chapters, sanctification will be something that we not only understand, but also joyfully participate in with God our Savior. In Romans 6:1-14, we began our look into sanctification by learning that we are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. A dictionary definition of sanctification is “set apart for particular use in a special purpose or work and to make holy or sacred." [1] The word sanctification has its origins in the Latin word for “sacred,” which is another way of saying “holy.” Our death to sin is the starting point of our sanctification. We are be

Dead to Sin

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Romans 6:1-14 Since February, we have been studying our way through the book of Romans. We come now to the sixth chapter. As a reminder, here is a brief outline of the book of Romans: Romans 1-3:20              -          Sin Romans 3:21-5              -          Salvation Romans 6-8                   -          Sanctification Romans 9-11                 -          Sovereignty Romans 12-16               -          Service From the middle of chapter three through the end of chapter five, we have been looking at justification by faith, otherwise outlined as "Salvation." As we begin in chapter six, chapter five has just finished arguing that the more sin increased the more grace abounded. This is the result of justification by faith. We are saved, not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy. (Titus 3:5) In view of this free salvation, a question comes to mind, and Romans 6:1 asks that question. “What shall we say then?

Eternal Life through Christ Jesus Our Lord

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Romans 5:12-21 Death is not natural, nor is it good. We are trained to think death is natural and necessary. The theory of evolution assumes that death is natural. We are born and we die. According to the theory of evolution, it is through this process of birth and death that all things improve. The Bible paints a different picture. Romans 5:12 says: Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— ( Romans 5:12 ESV ) In this passage, we see that death entered into our world through sin. Therefore, before sin entered the world, death was not in the world. Death has indeed spread to all humanity, just as Romans 5:12 says. Until Christ returns, every person will experience the death of the body. However, 1 Corinthians 15:26 says: The last enemy to be destroyed is death. ( 1 Corinthians 15:26 ESV ) Here, in this passage, we see death described as an enemy, and we see that