Romans 8:1-4: “1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not follow their sinful nature, but follow the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesushas made us free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the sinful nature, God, by sending His own Son . . . condemned the sin of the sinful nature, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not follow our sinful nature but follow the Spirit.”
That’s the ‘Perfect Law of Liberty’ that James talks about in Chapter 1:22-25, speaking of the man who hears God’s Word but doesn’t do it, he says, “He’s lying to himself. He’s like a man who looks at himself in a mirror, and as soon as he turns away, he forgets what he looked like.”
The ‘Perfect Law of Liberty’ is the same as the ‘Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus’ that makes us free from the law of sin and death. The Perfect Law of Liberty is the law that is followed by people who hear God’s Word and do it.
I thought Karma was like Gal. 6:7-8, “Reap what you sow.” But the Hindu man on the plane explained Karma to the preacher. He said, “Karma means that you get exactly what you deserve, based on what you did in your life.” The preacher answered, “I don’t get what I deserve, because Jesus died for me on the cross and His blood redeemed me from all that I have done.” So there really is “No condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, to those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1. We don’t have to pay for all the bad things we’ve done! We are free!!! We’ve been delivered from sin and death. (and from the “wheel of existence”, as the Hindus might say.)
‘Course I guess you might say that Karma (as the Hindus perceive it) applies to your ‘natural’ life, in the sense that there are consequences for our actions. We end up being responsible for the things we do, whether we like it or not.
But in the spiritual realm, Jesus has provided us a way to be delivered from the sin that so easily attacks us. If we trust Him, Jesus will (and DOES) deliver us from sin and death.
Just between me and you, I think God lets that deliverance seep over into our (us believers) ‘natural’ lives as well. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
Just for the record, a “Daily Quiet Time”, is a short (maybe 15 minute) time each morning when we focus our attention on talking to, and listening to, God. It usually begins with reading a Bible verse or two, and a short devotional from some brother or sister or group, concerning our lives and our hearts as Christians, and writing in a journal the main point of the verse and the devotional. It ends with a period of sitting (or kneeling) alone, in the Presence of God, and thinking about what I’ve read, how it applies to my life and what is happening to me today, and listening for God to tell me what I should do or think about it. That’s where the revelations come in. Do you know that verse/passage in Matthew 11:25-28, where Jesus is talking to God, and He says, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent andhave REVEALED them to babes.
I haven’t been having a “daily quiet time” all my life. I didn’t know what one was, or even hear the expression till about 10 years ago. I guess I’ve been reading the Bible early in the morning almost every day for maybe 20 years or longer. Continue reading →
I’m pretty sure most people in America are not ready to let anyone, even Jesus, be the Lord of their lives. At least no one besides themselves. We’re all too focused on me. But God is constantly moving a person in that direction; to give up himself, to “deny himself; to take up his cross daily and follow Jesus.” (Luke 9:23) To “take up your cross” means this: “I am crucified (I died) with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life that I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) Jesus said that verse in Luke to anyone who wanted to be His disciple (his student, his follower). If you give up yourself, surrender yourself, deny yourself, die to yourself, then you DO make Jesus the Lord of your life, because He comes in to your own heart and body and fills you with His Own Spirit, and He BECOMES the Lord of your Life. That’s how you make Jesus the Lord of your life. Actually Jesus is the One who chooses you and then you let Him come in. (John 15:16) Continue reading →
SURRENDER to JESUS and MAKE HIM THE LORD OF YOUR LIFE (every day) In some Christian churches you can ‘get saved’ by walking down the aisle at the end of a service and declaring your allegiance (devotion) to Jesus. Maybe you fill out a card with some personal information. Then the pastor introduces you to the congregation and they vote you in on the spot and you’re saved. You’re a full member of the Body of Christ. You’re going to heaven. What more need be said? Well . . .where’s the teaching and the understanding and the commitment?
In other churches you’re baptized into the church as an infant, then when you’re around 12 you go through confirmation, with the intention that you learn the basic principles of the faith and then you make a commitment to follow Jesus, with baptism by the clergy, and hopefully of the Holy Spirit.
Clearly either of these systems is dependent on concerted effort by the church community to teach the Bible, to demonstrate the fundamentals of the faith, to show ’em what it feels like to have a personal relationship with the Living God. It requires all of us having a consistent commitment to Jesus and to our brothers and sisters in the Body. Continue reading →
Back on August 16, 2015, I wrote a post called “Making Disciples”. The last paragraph said, “Did you notice that I haven’t said anything about talking to these ‘friends’ about Jesus. After you develop a relationship with them, if you’re a practicing Christian, Jesus will just start flowing through you to them, and touching their hearts, whether you are trying to make disciples of them or not. ‘Course that brings up the question of what does ‘practicing’ mean? But that’s a question for another day.”
Well today is the day to discuss some of what ‘practicing’ means. Let’s see, you know practicing, as in ‘practicing’ attorney? I happen to be an attorney, and that’s a scary thought. When are they going to finish practicing and start ‘being’ one? Or practicing medicine. What’s the time line for rising to the level of actually DOING it? In those cases, sounds like practicing may be a cover for seldom knowing for sure what is exactly the right thing to do. Try something and see if it works. If not, try something else.
Practicing Christian shall be deemed to be “one who is a follower of Jesus”. Follower in the Bible is often translated disciple, or ‘one who is taught’ (student). Continue reading →