22 July 2009

Who Will Deliver Me from this Body of Death?

Every day I find it harder and harder to do what is right in the eyes of God. Don’t you? I find it especially hard, when you work every day in a world that is broken and lost without hope in Christ Jesus, even in a small community of Woodstock, New Brunswick. You go to work every day in a place that uses His name [Jesus Christ] frequently but in a way that dishonours Him and all His glory [use it as a curse word], and makes Him out to be some kind of a fool. People deceive one another and tell lies. You hear the garbage and profanity, the vulgar conversations, and it begins to sink into your conscience, it begins to affect your behaviour. You try not to listen! But you can't help yourself but to listen to what they're saying. Again it begins to affect your personal walk with the Lord, your personal devotion time, your prayer life begins to diminish. A good brother in Christ said to me once “you hang out with manure; you begin to smell like manure". He is absolutely right! When a person gets to this point in ones Christian life, you begin to realize and understand what Paul meant when he said “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Rom 7:18-24. Is this you sometimes? Do you understand what Paul is saying here, our bodies want nothing more than to sin continually? How do we keep ourselves from falling down a path that leads to spiritual discipline and hardship whether you be at work or home? Or the feeling that God is distant from you even though He isn’t because you want to sin as Paul said “...; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice". What does a person do when they realize the depravity of their sin, for what it really is? You go to the One who saved you from yourself. The One who delivered you and me as Paul said “from this body of death”. Paul gives us the answer in (verse 25) “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” Rom 7:25. It’s all because of Him! He has saved me from what I used to be, a person no better than the people I work with, a person who still is unworthy as the people who use His name as a joke or a curse word. See it’s hard not to sin, because we are all wrethced sinner's just like the people you and I presently work with. Think about that for a moment you work with people who are living in darkness, blinded to the truth of the Gospel, haters of God, one foot closer to a place they make jokes about [Hell]; that was me! 8 years ago before He got a hold of my wrethched lifegripped a hold of my life. We need to display Christ's love for sinners, we need to display that changed life to a fallen generation, that there is hope for them too. I guess what I’m trying to say is how do we do that? What does it means to live out a genuine Christian life in today’s post-modern world? Christianity is all about restoration, transformation of one’s life, forgiveness of sin, a personal relationship with a Holy God, and the blessed assurance and security of eternal life. But the sad reality is that throughout the church’s history; there has always been tares (unsaved) among the wheat (the children of God). You cannot play or fake Christianity and think its ok. That is the furthest thing from the truth! The Bible says “The rocky, shallow, thorny, soils that produce no spiritual fruit”. Jesus said (Matt 7:18-20) “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them”. The bible also goes on to say: Therefore the Lord said: ........these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me,........ (Isa 29:13). Those whom God is near to their lips but far from their mind (Jer 12:2). Those who are hearers of the word, but not doers of it (James 1:22). True saving faith is marked by how we respond: to trials or situations, to temptation, to word of God, to prayer, to His standards for Holy living. So what does it means to be genuine in your walk in today’s post-modern world? Here are 12 fundamental truths found in Scripture.

1. To count it ALL JOY when we face trials and struggles (Luke 6:22-23)
2. To ENDURE temptation (Heb 12:1)
3. To STAY TRUE to the Word of God (Acts 17:11)
4. To be a DOER of the Word (Col 4:6)
5. To show LOVE and KINDNESS to all people (Col 3:12)
6. To show your FAITH by your works (James 2:20-26)
7. To seek HEAVENLY wisdom (Prov 1:7)
8. To HUMBLE ourselves under His grace (Phil 2:3-4)
9. To SUBMIT to God and draw near to His over flowing compassion and mercy (2 Cor 4:16-18)
10.To always be OBEDIENT to the Lord’s will at all times (1 Peter 1:2)
11. To be PATIENT and PERSEVERE throughout your Christian Walk (James 5:7)
12. To have a life that is FULL of godly PRAYER (James 5:16)

This isn’t an exhaustive list, or to say that we will be able to perform these tasks perfectly! Why? We are still depraved sinners who are [only saved] by that thin line of sovereign grace. But it is our privileged, and should be our passion to please and serve the King with everything we got even in the hard places, even if it means working in a place that is so far from God personally, because that’s where He found each and every one of us. We must be faithful where He has put us, and proclaim from the roof tops that Jesus SAVES! He deserves our adoration and obedience. Remember, He gave His life so that we could have life more abundantly by dying on the cross so that we could have the joy of worshipping Him in all His glory at the resurrection. We must be real and not fake or think that we are better than our unsaved friends [or co-workers]. The Bible says “all have fallen short”, “there is none righteous, no not one”. It is only by Jesus Christ that we are able to stand in a broken and fallen world to which I belonged to some 8 years ago. For by grace you are saved, and you now belong to the King of Kings if you are a Christian. I think John Gill said it the best “a Christian does not make it his trade and business; it is not the constant course of his life; he does not live and walk in sin, or give up himself to it; he is not without the being of it in him, or free from acts of sin in his life and conversation, but he does not so commit it as to be the servant of it, a slave unto it, or to continue in it.” He has deliver me from this body of death [sin]! To Him Be the Glory!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well said! Good article. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. From the law of sin and death. Jesus healed on the Sabbath because it was the righteous thing to do and he alone is righteous. The legalistic are going to die by the law unless they realize that only Christ is the fulfillment of the law and only his righteousness is worthy of true salvation given to those who see the truth by His grace and our faith in Him and His atoning power.