A New Creation

Thursday, October 09, 2014, 10:33 p.m. – the Lord Jesus put in mind this song:

Saved by the Blood / S. J. Henderson and Daniel B. Towner

Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
Now ransomed from sin and a new work begun,
Sing praise to the Father and praise to the Son,
Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!

Glory, I'm saved! Glory, I'm saved!
My sins are all pardoned, my guilt is all gone!
Glory, I'm saved! Glory, I'm saved!
I am saved by the blood of the Crucified One!

And, I am so glad! Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Galatians 6 (NASB).

Restore Them

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load. ~ Gal. 6:1-5​

To be caught in a sin can mean either to be found out, i.e. to be discovered, and/or it can mean to be trapped in sin. If we become aware that a brother or sister in Christ is trapped in sin, or has sinned grievously, and has not repented, then we have an obligation to lovingly, humbly and gently go to this fellow believer to confront him or her with the sin, and to give him or her the opportunity to repent and to be restored in fellowship with his or her Lord, and with the body of Christ. Yet, we must first of all make sure we are not caught in sin ourselves, but that we are walking in obedience to our Lord, as far as we know.

There is a caution here, though, which is worth noting for several reasons. If we have just recently indulged in or were trapped in sin ourselves, and we ourselves are in the process of being restored, then we must especially be aware that helping another out of their pit could lead us right back to where we were, if we are not careful. For instance, if we were addicted to pornography, trying to help another with a similar addiction could potentially tempt us to return to our sin. So, we need to be wise, and we need to not think that we stand lest we fall. In other words, if we think that we are incapable of being in that other person’s shoes, then we need to watch out! Not one of us is above sin. We are all vulnerable to temptation.

Another thought on this idea of being realistic about our own vulnerabilities, and on the subject of wisdom, is I would caution against a woman confronting a man or a man a woman unless they are related to each other, or they are in a relationship, or unless it is in a protected environment of some sort, because there are just too many temptations.

Reap and Sow

The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. ~ Gal. 6:6-10​

All people need encouragement, and most especially those who have given their lives to share the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and who face much rejection, false accusations, abandonment, and strong opposition to the full gospel message. Theirs can be a somewhat lonely life filled with misunderstandings, jealousy, hatred and mistreatment coming from others. Those who faithfully bring forth the full gospel message, thus, are not usually voted most popular. They are not the ones bringing forth smooth, pleasing, feel-good messages which tickle the ears of those who listen, and so they often lack in close friendships, and frequently are not wanted at all, even by other believers in Christ. So, it is good of us to share with them all good things for their encouragement and strengthening in the Lord.

Yet, they are to be encouraged, because they will reap what they sow. In other words, they can be heartened in knowing that, even if the harvest has not yet come, it will, and one day there will be fruit (good results) for their labor in the Lord. The seed of truth which they have sown into people’s hearts and lives, and the love they have shown them will not return empty. Hearts are being changed, and they will be changed, and in that we can rejoice! So, they should not grow weary in doing good, for in due time they will reap a harvest of souls if they do not give up. So, we need to keep on doing good to all people.

On the other hand, those who broadcast, disseminate and scatter around them what is evil and is of the flesh will produce only what is evil and corrupt. They will have nothing good to show for their lives on this earth other than selfish acts which lead them to eternal damnation. Yet, those who scatter or spread what is of the Spirit, and to the Spirit in obedience to God and to his word, will gain eternal life with God in heaven. This is not works-based salvation. We are saved by God’s grace, through faith, and yet that faith shows itself to be genuine by what we do in response to what Christ did for us. In other words, coming to Christ means we die to sin, so how can we live in it any longer?

In The Flesh

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. ~ Gal. 6:11-16​

The situation of whether or not circumcision is necessary for salvation is not something most of us face in today’s world. Yet, there is a Biblical principle here we can learn from this, and that is that we are not saved by works of the flesh, but only by God’s grace, through faith. In other words, there is not anything we can do to deserve or to earn our salvation. It is a free gift of God. Jesus Christ paid the price for our sin so we can go free. Yet we must accept this gift by faith, and this faith involves dying with Christ to our old lives of living in sin, and it involves becoming new creations in Christ Jesus, and walking in obedience and surrender to his will for our lives (See: Ro. 6-8; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:17-24).

Yet, there will be those among us who are more concerned about appearance, i.e. with how things look, and with the acceptance of other humans, so they may try to persuade us to not take our “religion” so seriously. They may try to convince us that it is crazy to take God at his word and to follow him in obedience, or they may twist scripture to try to convince us that we are trying to earn our salvation when we believe God’s word and we follow what it teaches us. They may, as well, try to talk us into becoming more worldly, and to involve ourselves in more of the practices of the world at large or of society as a whole, thinking that will make us appear more “normal” and acceptable. And yet, God’s grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled and upright lives while we wait for Christ’s return (See: Tit. 2:11-14; cf. 2 Co. 5:15; 1 Jn. 1-5).

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, and we die with Christ to our old lives of sin, our perspective on life changes. No longer should we fear human’s opinions of us or cave into pressure to becoming just like them just so we can be liked and accepted. The world of sin should have no more attraction for us, but our heart’s desire should be for our Lord and to live holy lives pleasing to him. All this external and fleshly stuff profits us nothing. What matters is that we have been born of the Spirit of God, and that we now live our lives for HIM. Our lives are no longer our own to do with them what we want, for we were bought with a price, which was the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our sins. Amen!

To Be Like Him / An Original Work
March 16, 2014 / Based off Scripture

Crucified you are with Jesus.
To be like Him, oh, you’ll be,
Because He died at Calv’ry,
So from sin you’d be free.
Oh, what joy He brings into your life,
Giving life with Him endlessly.

Oh, what plans He has for your life.
Share the gospel faithfully.
Show the people He loves them.
Now His witness you’ll be.
Tell the world of sin about Jesus,
How He died for them on a tree.

Purifying hearts, He saves them,
Who believe on Christ, God’s Son.
Turning now from their idols,
New lives they have begun.
Jesus saves from sin; we’re forgiven.
Over sin, the vict’ry He won!

When He comes again to take us
To be with Him evermore,
There will be no more crying.
Gladness will be in store.
Heavens joys will now overtake us:
We’ll be with our Lord evermore.