22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. — Romans 6:22 NLT
Romans 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned and our attempts to live without sin or to be like God have failed. We were born as slaves to sin and the desires of the flesh. We were in bondage to that kind of lifestyle. But the Trinity had laid a plan to free us from that bondage long before they laid the foundations of the earth. That plan was for God Himself to come to earth clothed in a human body. So, we see that the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus was not some johnny come lately plan nor was it a knee-jerk reaction to what satan was doing. It was a secret, well-laid plan that the enemy could not defeat because he knew nothing about it. God never had any thoughts about leaving His creation without a Redeemer. Now the mystery of salvation has been revealed to all of us. We have a simple choice to make. Accept Jesus and be freed from the bondage of sin. Before we accepted Jesus, we had no choice about sin, now that we have accepted Him, we are free to chose to do right and live a holy lifestyle. We now have a new Master, one who gives us freedom to choose what we will do and how we will react to situations. We can choose to work ourselves to death (the wages of sin are death) or we can reach out and accept that free gift of life today.
18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?—1 Cor. 4:18-21 NIV
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Paul is really concerned about the puffed up and arrogant attitude some of the Christians at Corinth have developed. This example of the things happening at Corinth is a great reminder for us not to bring people to Jesus and then leave them as “babes in Christ”. It is very important that we take the time to mentor and disciple them in a Holy lifestyle. New converts do not understand the dangers of following the flesh any more than a newborn understands what he/she needs. They just know they are hungry and they need a parent to give them the right food. So do new converts. They need someone to make sure they are getting the right message until they get past the “milk of the Word’ .The Kingdom of God is not just a matter of talking and walking but it is a matter of the power of God and that power must be understood and used properly.
4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.—1 Cor. 2 :4,5 NIV
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”—1 Cor. 1:26-31 (NIV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
What do we have to offer Jesus to purchase our salvation? Wisdom? Our wisdom is foolishness to him. Power? He has power to move heaven and earth. Position? He is the King of Kings and the ruler of the universe. Beauty? He is the bright and morning star. Righteousness? Our righteousness is as filthy rags. The only thing we have to offer is our will and our life. All of it. He deserves more and will accept nothing less. He, alone, is our wisdom, righteousness, holiness, redemption and our Lord. As Paul said, our only boast is in Jesus Christ. His blood was the price agreed upon to cover the sin of the whole world, Nothing less would be sufficient and nothing more is needed. Our only boast is to look upon Jesus, agree with Him, and proclaim “It is finished”!
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God..—Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)
***Borrowed from Walter Brennan in “Guns of Will Sonnett” I know, that was way before your time.
13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”–1 Peter 1:13-16 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become a new Creation. Before that change, we were controlled by fleshly lusts. We did what “self” wanted to do without exercising self-control. Now that we are a new creation, we walk in the Spirit and do those things that are in obedience to Christ. Are we now perfect? No! But we are striving toward that mark. Will we fall short? Yes, but the blood of Jesus has covered those sins. Now that we know the right things to do, we must pursue them and not go back to our old ways. Our lifestyle should reflect our new destination. People who have known us should be able to see a difference in the way we walk and talk. The things that used to occupy the highest priorities in our lives should be further down the list. There are some things we should want to give up immediately and others need to be moved way down our list of priorities. We need to take an inventory and honestly find out where Jesus is on our list of priorities. Jesus is not in a contest with other “gods”. He will accept nothing less than the top shelf, He is either “Lord of all” or He is not “Lord at all” in our lives.
5 Let the same mind be in you that was[a] in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. Phil. 2:5-8 (NRSV)
God is waiting to show you the way.
Having the same mind as Christ Jesus does not mean that we know everything that He knows. It means that we have the same attitude toward others and that we desire the same outcome from situations. It ultimately means that we humble ourselves under His mighty hand. That humility will cause us to want to please Him. Yes, even to the point of dying for Him. Not there yet? Most of us aren’t. That’s okay for now, God knows our hearts. Just keep striving toward the mark so that we don’t miss the high calling of Christ Jesus. Living a life of Holiness is a journey that is taken one step at a time. Whatever God asked you to do, you can be sure He has prepared you to go through it. He will go before you, with you, and be your rearguard. “Fear not, for I am with thee”.