Archive for the ‘Life’ Category


Healthy school lunches are causing a lot of grumbling among teenagers. Mrs. Obama is the target of a great deal of criticism for setting new Federal Standards which limit calories and protein and carbohydrates.  

“We hear them complaining around 1:30 or 2:00 that they are already hungry,” said Linda O’Connor, a high school English teacher at Wallace County High School in Sharon Springs, Kansas. “It’s all the students, literally all the students… you can set your watch to it.”

The USDA has responded to criticism by recommending the students eat a “snack” in the afternoon (see the article here).

Funny, but this is nothing new. I know of a large group of Jews who complained to God Himself about their hunger. God responded with “Manna from Heaven”.  Heavenly food, the food of angels, and still the people complained. They just did not get it. They were clueless to what God was giving them. I fear that many Christians are even more clueless to what God has given them in a book we call the Bible.

Jesus made a statement that His listeners found incredulous. Even His disciples thought He was being a bit ‘crazy’. Yet what Jesus said is the key to understanding the Power of the Word of God! 

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” John 6:53-58

When the disciples heard Jesus say this, they said “This is a hard saying, who can listen to it?” And Jesus, hearing the internal grumblings of their heart replied, “Do you take offense at this?” Then he amazed them a bit more by asking, “What if you were to see me ascending to where I was before?” In other words, if your eyes were to be opened to see Jesus as Lord of heaven, and yes, Lord of Life, would my words be easier to accept and understand?

As a Pastor I know that most Christians do not grasp the power of the Word of God. They do not depend upon the Word of Life to live their lives. They may know a few common verses, and may even read it now and then, but the Word of God is not the staple of their life, something which they cannot live without. On the contrary, the Word of God is strange and hard to understand to most “Christians.” Yet, we are to see the Word of God as the very source of our life.

This is what Jesus said in John 6, that the Word of Christ must become your life, so much so that you must feast upon it every day. If the Word of God becomes your means of life, you will live indeed! The Words of Christ and His presence are to be as the manna which fell from heaven and provided sustenance for the Israelites for 40 years!

This is what God meant when He spoke to Moses about the manna. He told Moses and the people, “in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against the LORD. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” (Exodus 16:7)

God’s answer to grumbling was to show His glory. Jesus answer to grumbling was to ask them to see His glory. The Glory of God was the manna. The Glory of Christ was His Word! The manna was a type of the Word of Christ!

When the Jews saw it, they said “What is it?” When the disciples heard Jesus, they said, “What is this, who can listen to it?”

A casual glance at manna said it was nothing special and not very appetizing. A casual glance at the Word of God says it is nothing special, and not very appetizing, especially the way Jesus described it. Yet both are the glory of God!

We must chose to eat it and to live from it. Regardless of what it looks like or how it may seem, the WORD is life! We must make a decision to make it our life, our sustenance! If we do, we will see the GLORY of God!

God says, See, I have set before you this day life on the one hand and death on the other. Therefore, choose life!” (Deuteronomy 30:19). We can choose to value the Word above all else, or we can relegate it to an afterthought, something insignificant as far as our living is concerned. We must make the choice as to whether we gather it for our sustenance each morning.

Give us this day our daily bread

This is what Jesus meant when he taught  His disciples to pray. He told them to ask the Father to “give us this day our daily bread!” (Matthew 6:11) Jesus was not talking about physical bread, but the Bread of Life which is His Word! How do I know this? Look at what He said just a few verses later:

Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Why should we pray for our food each day when Jesus tells us not to be anxious about it? On the contrary, Jesus says to seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness! The foundation of Kingdom Life is the Word of God! If you want to be a good citizen of the Kingdom of God, you must live by His Word! I will be so bold as to state that you cannot be a citizen of God’s Kingdom if you ignore the Word of God!

If you want to experience His life…

Jesus told the people that if they want to experience life, they must eat His flesh…“whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me…” Jesus described himself as the “bread of life”. Bread is used in the Bible as that which is taken into the body and provides nourishment. Two types of bread are found in the Bible, leavened and unleavened. Leaven consistently pictures the corruption of sin (see 1 Corinthians 5:8).

Two Types of Bread

A Christian must chose the bread he takes into his life. The unleavened bread which is sinless and pure, or that which is leavened, corrupt and defiled. The leavened bread comes in a wide variety, ranging from sinful and unhealthy to evil and downright life destroying

The manna which displayed the glory of God was symbolic of Jesus Christ, the “Bread of Life” (John 6:49-51). The Israelites had to respond correctly to this ‘gift’ from God to receive proper nourishment. They were to gather early before the sun became hot and it melted away, or they would go hungry that day, and perhaps another day if it was the day before the Sabbath.

Jesus teaches His disciples to pray early every day, asking the Heavenly Father to send the unleavened, sinless bread of Life to dwell with them. Without the indwelling of Christ through the Holy Spirit, there is no spiritual life in us (John 6:53, 55-58)

Why do we need to ask this of God every day? Isn’t the indwelling a permanent, point in time occurrence? Yes, but His Life can be blocked by our love of the world, love of sin and assorted other selfish reasons. Jesus told Peter that, even though he was clean all over at one point, he still needed his feet washed every day, of Peter could have no part in Jesus…

Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” John 13:8.

While it is true that we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, He must be invited into our lives each day. He never leads without an invitation. God never takes control of our lives against our will. God wants us to choose willingly to believe and obey Him and seek a relationship with Him.

If we do not chose each day to actively pursue God by partaking of His Word, we will slowly drift away from Him.

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (Hebrews 2:1)

We are easily and soon distracted by the cares of this world. Our eyes quickly fall from Him to the glitter all around us. We are easily distracted. This is why God often gets our attention through trials and other circumstances.

However, God may not always strive with us if we continually fall away, smitten by our love affair with the world.

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

Without the strength and power of the Word of God, we will soon find ourselves overcome by the wilderness of the world. We will join the fallen Hebrews. If Jesus realized that “I can of myself do nothing (John 5:30), what chance do we have to overcome this world in our own strength?

Jesus exhorts us to seek His Bread each and every day! Feast on it daily and enjoy His LIFE!

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God is a Life or Death choice…

God is the definition of life. God is all about life. When he created this world He placed life on it and said go forth and be fruitful and multiply. He set a tree of life at its center. Satan came along and struck at the very heart of God by setting death loose. Satan is all about death and decay. Sin is death and decay. When man lives without setting God before Him as God, man is apart from life. Whether you are Christian or not, Muslim or not, Mormon or not, the choice as far as God is concerned, is life or death. God’s way always leads to life. Man’s way always leads to death. LIFE IS A CHOICE!

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land.

Christ is the Life of man!

Jesus said that He is the life, that He is the only way to God the Father. While many of us have come to Jesus Christ to obtain eternal life, many of us have failed to take hold of the LIFE that Jesus wants us to live NOW! It is a life that is not dependent upon your sight, your flesh, your strength, or your wisdom. It is a LIFE that through faith and the Word sees Jesus Christ ever before you, living in you, living through you and living for you.

Galatians 5:25 says that if you have life by the Spirit, then walk by the Spirit!

I want to begin a study toward the end of the New Testament. Today we look at Titus. If the Lord leads we will spend the next two years walking toward Revelation. Wednesday’s we will begin in Genesis and walk through the Old Testament. From time to time we will join the two together, as I will this morning, as I tie Hosea 4:6 to Titus 1:1-4

Destroyed (silenced) for a lack of knowledge

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge[1],[2]; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. 

Spoken to the PRIESTS! They were not making sure the Jews were experiencing God in the reality of everyday living! (This knowledge used is that which comes from an encounter and experience. They probably knew scriptures, participated in memory drills, had the scriptures hanging on their walls, but they had long ago stopped having a fresh encounter with the author of the Scriptures.)

The background of their sin was a lack of an encounter with God through His Word. “My friend, if you are a Christian, the minute you get away from the Word of God, you are doomed to failure in the Christian life. Regardless of the number of conferences or seminars you attend that tell you how to be a success in your home, in your business, and in your social life, you will be a failure”.[3]

Man’s way – failure and death

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

My people are silenced for lack of knowing me!
  • (knowledge and discernment which comes from an experience or encounter)
1. The people are lacking in their relationship with God.

Hosea 4:1 …There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land;

  • „ Neglect, busyness, priorities, excuses, hurts.
  • „ God is ignored, forgotten, neglected and even spurned.
2. Neglect turns into rejection of God and His ways
  • „The pull of this world system is too powerful
  • Our hearts are too deceptive
  • Our heart gets cold, our faith is stale.
  • We go through our day without a fresh touch from God.
  • We barely hold on to believing faith
  • We live the majority of our lives without Him.
3. Rejection of God leads to Him rejecting you.
  • „ No longer a priest, able to go directly to Him
  • „ You have lost your standing, your voice.
  • „ Your heart has become a barrier to a living relationship with God.
  • „ Your pride has become a brick wall.
  • „ God is a jealous God. He must be first, or He will move on.
 4. You will be Silenced
  • „ Overcome, cut off, made to cease– silenced.
  • „ No longer have a voice
  • „ Doesn’t necessarily mean death-but rather you have lost your significance with God.
  • „ The Jews would lose their voice and blessing from God.
  • „ God left them to their own devices.
5. God will forget your children.
  • „ Through your forgetting of the Law of God in your life and home…
  • „ God will forget your children.
  • „ Your children will not matter with God.
  • „ His grace will not be at work in their lives.
  • „ They will not hear God’s voice.
  • „ They will not encounter God in their lives.

Hosea 4 indicates what happens when we forget Him. Our worship becomes comfortable and convenient. We worship other things. The family breaks down. There is great immorality among the youth. Wives become immoral. Marriage becomes a joke. The family breaks down.

Proverbs 1:29-31 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.

What is God’s Way? – Success & Life!

The major thrust of Titus, while bearing on our relationships, is really upon  personal character and lifestyle which grow out of the truth. God’s Word is to be encountered, for it will change your character. Christ in you will result in a new Jim or Larry or Beth or Mary. God’s Word is never empty, but always leads to LIFE!

True LIFE is never apart from God, but in God!

Titus 1:1-4 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

A. Paul-Focus on the Living Savior

Paul opens the veil of his life. He wants Titus to know the motivation of his life and ministry. He reminds Titus that he has the imprint of two indelible marks upon his life.

1. He is a bond-servant to God

2. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ, personally commissioned by Him.

Everything about Paul’s life bore those two marks. Everywhere he went, people knew that Paul belonged to God, and that he was representing a living Savior, whom Paul personally knew and spent time with. People could ignore the message, but they could never forget the man. Paul belonged to God, and Paul knew Jesus Christ. There was no denying that Paul was not his own. You had to be impressed with the effect that Jesus had on Paul’s life. This message to Titus is all about how the truth of Jesus Christ changes your life. The Life of Jesus impacts your life.

Paul once though he was alive. But he realized he was dead to God.

Eph 2:1 –you were dead in trespasses and sin.

Paul saw Jesus Christ on that road to Damascus. When he saw Jesus as the Christ, his life was forever changed.

B. Paul-with a Message of Life

1.    For the sake God’s elect

a)  For their faith

b)  For their knowledge of the truth

Paul desires us to see God, to see Him at work in our lives. This only grows through fresh encounters with the Word of truth.

What are you facing in your life that has you boxed in? Instead of your problem driving you to God’s word, you spend your time arguing, your sleeping time frustrated. There is no peace. Faith opens your eyes to see God in whatever situation you are struggling with. Without the Word of truth, your eyes will be shut.

2.    For the hope of Eternal Life

a)  Promised by God

b)  God never lies

God has always focused on LIFE God is jealous for me to experience life! Not a frustrated, defeated life, but a victorious, joy-filled life!

Look at God’s Love for LIFE!

  • In the Garden of Eden

„ God guarded against all that which of Life would destroy life.

„ After the fall, God had to guard life by casting man out

  • The Tree of Life will be in heaven-yielding fruit once a month

„ Sin has been dealt with

„ Only those who know life through Jesus will be allowed to eat.

  • Cain and Able

„ Blood cries from the ground

„ Cursed Cain for taking life

  • Noah

„ Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

„ You will never gain by taking a man’s life. You will lose

  • Enoch

„ Walked with God and had life

  • Abraham & Isaac

„ Isaac must come into death so death can be destroyed,

„ God’s purpose is that death is past, and not future.

„ God wants us to always have life without fear

„ In Christ, death is past, life is now and in the future

  • Job

„ Satan: “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce thee to thy face.”

„ God: “… Only spare his life.”

„ Controversy for life is the theme of Job

„ Satan could only indirectly try to take Job’s life: Satan’s indirect method is to move Job to break with God by cursing Him, so that his life is forfeited and destroyed

„ With God is life, even from trials.

„ Trials with God always lead to increase!

„ Trials always lead to Revelation 22

Revelation 22:1-4 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

  • The Exodus

„ Life in the face of death

  • Levitical Laws of Life

„ Always about protecting life and health

„ Guarding the life of the family and nation.

„ Don’t drink blood…

Life Is Sacred To God, And He Is Intensely Jealous Over It.
God wants us to LIVE, but LIFE is in GOD! In order to know true LIFE, we must die to our self and LIVE to God through Jesus Christ! This way, death will be past. There is no more fear of death, for we will experience God’s LIFE forever!
Sin And Death Always Go Together Just As Righteousness And Life Go Together

There is a way that seems right to a man.

I was asked to go talk to a step-father-in-law by one of the gals at EBC. He was a KS Highway Patrol officer, close to retirement, whose job it was to investigate accidents. He had seen every imaginable thing-gory, bloody and horrendous. He was a functional alcoholic. It was 9:30 Saturday morning, and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. We started talking about God in his front yard, where he was doing some yard work. He very quickly turned the conversation to his standard answer-God is everywhere. God is in the trees, in the flowers. He felt close to God when he was working in his yard.

When asked about his relationship with God’s Son, he said that he has God and that is good enough. In reality, while he though God was all around him, God had forgotten him, and life was escaping him. Death was his life now, for he did not know God in reality. His sins had not been forgiven. The pain of his life was being drowned out by alcohol. He was fooling himself. His ways seemed right, but they were the ways of death. He had been deceived.

Genesis 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Satan is a deceiver. Eve ate because she wanted to be like god. Instead she became like the serpent, cursed and with a death sentence upon her.

Chose life or chose death. You may think you have life, even surround yourself with life, but you are deceived. You are facing death.

There is only one who faced death and conquered it. There is only one who defeated sin, and satisfied the righteous demands of our Holy God.

Jesus Christ, the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Life of God but through Him!

If life is in Christ, don’t you want to know more of Him?

If you are not satisfied with your life, you need to know Jesus Christ in a living way! Christ is the Life of Man!

[1] daʿat̠: A feminine noun meaning knowledge, knowing, learning, discernment, insight, and notion. The word occurs forty of its ninety-one times in Proverbs as one of the many words associated with the biblical concept of wisdom. The root meaning of the term is knowledge or knowing. In Proverbs 24:3, 4, it is the third word in a chain of three words describing the building of a house by wisdom, the establishment of that house by understanding, and finally, the filling of the rooms of the house by knowledge.

The word is also used in the sense of knowing by experience, relationship, or encounter. For example, Balaam received knowledge from the Most High who met him in a vision (Num. 24:16); the knowledge gained by the suffering Servant of Isaiah justified many people (Isa. 53:11); and to truly know the Holy God leads to real understanding (Prov. 9:10). This moral, experiential knowledge of good and evil was forbidden to the human race in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9, 17). Warren Baker and Eugene Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 245.

[2] The word meaning “knowledge” in Hebrew is daʿat, a noun coming from the root of the verb yadaʿ, “to know,” “to experience,” “to acknowledge.” This key word in the Old Testament includes both intellectual and experiential knowledge. The noun for knowledge, daʿat, also has this range of meaning.. Carpenter Eugene E. and Comfort Philip W., Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew Words Defined and Explained, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2000), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 106.

[3] J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1983), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Chapter 4”.


Without grace Christianity is nothing. Without liberty a Christian remains in bondage to sin, unable to live as God pleases.   

GraceLife is all about living in this wonderful grace of Jesus, no matter what is going on in your life. GraceLife is living in the power and beauty of Jesus Christ.

GraceLife is characterized by three things, which briefly stated are:

1. GraceLife is not about following rules, but about allowing the Life of Jesus to be your life.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

    • God isn’t watching how well you follow the rules and saying “attaboy”- here is a blessing, or “Uh Oh” – here’s a lightning bolt.
    • God is loving you into His Son! This is what He works in our lives.
2. GraceLife is not about your happiness and quality of life. GraceLife is about power to live life REIGNING with Christ.

Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

    • To experience GraceLife you have to commit to suffering for the sake of the Grace of God abounding toward others.
    • Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered. We not only learn through our sufferings, we benefit the body with GraceLife!
3.    GraceLife is not about the Appearance of the Vessel, but the Quality of the Vessel.

So let’s explore GraceLife in greater depth.

1.  GraceLife is Living the Life of Jesus

Are you “living by the rules,” or are you letting God’s Grace work in you?

There’s a big difference between the two. If you’re living for God—living by the rules—you’ll always be exhausted. You’ll feel that you’re not doing enough for God and that if you don’t “measure up,” He will be displeased with you.

But God never meant for the Christian life to be that way! His Love for us isn’t based on how we perform for Him. He sent Christ to set us free from rules. He didn’t call us to serve Him in our own feeble power, but to let His power flow through us—a power that is without limit!

What’s more, this power is already available to us right now. God has provided everything we need for a truly meaningful, joy-filled life here on earth…all because of His marvelous grace.

Rest in God’s grace, and let Him live through you. Find out how in GraceLife.

For example, if you’ve been around church a while, you might have noticed something very strange that happens when someone comes to Jesus. Before they are saved, they are told, “It’s all about Jesus! It’s not about you. It’s all about Him and what He’s done for you!” But once they’re saved the tune changes. Now it’s “all about you and what you do for Him!”

Before salvation it’s faith, faith, faith! But once the honeymoon is over, it’s works, works, works!

“Every true believer fully understands that he did nothing to become a Christian. He simply trusted Christ. Yet many believe that they must now do something to become a victorious Christian. So they substitute trying in place of trusting.” (Steve McVey, Grace Rules p.21)

 “Your life is God’s gift to you. What you do with your life is your gift to God.” No that is a lie…“It really strokes our human ego to think that we can do something for God. Yet the truth is we cannot. Jesus said that “Only God is Good.” In His infinite grace He allows us to participate in what He is doing by placing His life inside us and then expressing that life through us.” (pp.13-14)

God is after so much more that our work. God is after intimacy. Our Father wants us to know Him and abide in Him and allow Him to express Himself to us and through us. As McVey says,

“Spiritual service is not our gift to God, but rather His gift to us.” (p.198)

What about the Rules?

Colossians 2:20-23 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” ( referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

When you put the emphasis of living the Christian Life on how well you keep “the Rules”, you are living in bondage to the flesh. You are depending upon your fleshly efforts to please God and meet His “standards”! This is living by “another gospel” that Paul spoke so strongly against in Galatians. If we obey “rules” it is becasue Christ is living in us and empowering us. If our life is in and through the life of Christ, there are no rules, because Christ is living through us! He is our standard! Obeying rules feeds the flesh. It promotes pride, and pride stops GraceLife!

2. GraceLife is joining with the Power of Christ to Reign over Life (if you commit to long-suffering)

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (are surrounded by various adversities)

James 1:2 -4 (phillips)When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.

GraceLife is founded upon the assurance that everything happens, (suffering, tragedies, circumstances) so that abundant grace will bring thanksgiving from many to redound to the glory of God. Everything has purpose!

Principle: GraceLife in a Few brings Grace to Many

A. Empowers Others to Reign

2 Corinthians 4:15 – For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant (pleonázō super abounding) grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound (perisseúō = super abound, fullness to the point of excess) to the glory of God.

This is a simple yet profound concept. What this means is that God’s Grace is poured out on many because a few react to life according to His grace. Conversely, the Grace of God on many is blocked and thwarted because a few resist God’s grace at various moments in their lives.

A Few can Block Grace for Many

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

B. Empowers us to See Him who is Invisible

2 Cor 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Only as we see the benefit of sufferings do we begin to see Him who is invisible. Sure, we see Him in a flower’s blossom, a baby’s smile or a child’s outstretched arms. We see His beauty, but do we see His strength, His tremendous love for us and work on our behalf. No, we see that only in the midst of suffering.

Long-suffering (endurance) has two ideas in view:

1. Commitment to Bearing up Under

Romans 5:2-5 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience (hupomoné – “endurance, patience, perseverance or constancy under suffering in faith and duty” “pictures bearing up under in spite of circumstances)[1]; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

2. Commitment to Waiting with Constant Hope in God

James 5:7 Be patient (makrothumía) [2] therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

Heb. 6:15, makrothuméō is used of Abraham’s patient faith in God under the pressure of trying circumstances (James 5:7,8). Makrothumía is patience in respect to persons while hupomoné, endurance, is putting up with things or circumstances.

God’s mercy (éleos ) is coupled with makrothumía  to indicate it is long suffering.  This is an apt description of God’s ‘hesed’ or steadfast love.

All the time you are holding up these trials and tribulations as Charles Atlas holds the world, You are looking patiently to God and confidently expecting Him to work!

Without this resolve, you will be tossed about by your circumstances, you will be putting yourself first, blaming others and growing frustrated by the apparent lack of God’s work in your life. Grace will be blocked from working in your life and others, because your bitterness at what God has or hasn’t done will infect you life and spread to the lives of others. 

C. Example of Moses

Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

A Commitment to Longsuffering in your Christian walk means that you realize there is an abundance of Grace available to you, and as you ‘bear up’ in Christ, this superabundance will provide for others who are weak, hurting and disillusioned, so that they will have all the Grace they need, with plenty left over. Grace loves to multiply! Grace is the very nature of God!

Such a commitment is to magnify Grace and thanksgiving to the glory of God. Therefore, forgiveness and long-suffering is an integral part of GraceLife. If they are missing from your life, you are blocking GraceLife from multiplying in your life and touching the lives of those around you.

D. Our Calling as Disciples
  • Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
  • Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
Paul says that our that our glory and inheritance with Christ is tied in with our suffering with Him. Further, not only are we to believe on Him, but we are to suffer for His sake!

3. GraceLife Produces Quality Vessels

Romans 9:20-21 Nay but, O man, who art thou that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

The way you respond to circumstances determines whether you are a vessel unto honor, or a vessel unto dishonor.

We are not talking about how “good” you appear on the inside. We are not talking about how many titles or positions you hold at church. We are talking about whether the Grace of God is actively working in your broken vessel or not.

Are you surrendered to the Potter’s hand, or are you proud and resistant to His work in your life. Are you bearing up under the circumstances He has you in, or are you running away to an easier place. Are you zealous for God and His Word, or are you apathetic and even ignorant. Are you praying for the lost around you, open to the hurting around you, or are you content with your own needs being met.

If you are apathetic, ignorant, content, self-centered and unconcerned, you are a vessel that is of no use to the potter, so you are a vessel unto dishonor. Vessels unto honor are useful and purposeful for the lost and hurting around them. God never makes a vessel for self-service. We are to benefit each other.

This is how the Grace of God continues to abound!

GraceLife allows broken vessels dishonored by sin to become vessels of honor, honored because they have become treasured vessels to God, and use by Jesus Christ, who is the fulness of all in all. This is the meaning of John 1:16, and the message elsewhere:

John 1:16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

Ephesians 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 4:12-13 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

GraceLife is a life that desires and enjoys and needs the fullness of Christ. GraceLife is empty of self and full of Jesus Christ! There are no rules to living in GraceLife other than needing the fullness of Christ. Jesus Christ is the rule-maker and the law-giver. Why stop at the rules when you can experience the life of the one who wrote the rules!

So, what characterizes Vessels of Honor? What characterizes a person living in GraceLife?

What is GraceLife?

  • GraceLife is the power of God that brings purpose to sufferings, hurts, troubles and trials.
  • GraceLife is the power of God that brings life to the spiritually dead, and manifests the Life of Christ in sinful flesh.
  • GraceLife is the power of God revealed in our thanksgiving to God!
  • GraceLife is the power of God which allows us to see Him who is invisible.
  • GraceLife is power for Living in Jesus Christ! GraceLife is enjoying the Fullness of Christ!
Understand first of all that Grace is not something you receive passively. It is not something that falls upon you as you sit in your easy chair and contemplate life! Grace is an active force that never, never leaves you the same!

Phil 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

GraceLife Profile

Growing experience of God’s mercy and steadfast love such that:
  • lives that are sensitive to sin, quick to repent,
  • growing in faith to believe God
  • being saved from this evil world
  • know their acceptance to God is in Christ and not in their works
  • growing in riches from Christ
  • receiving good things from God
  • always thankful, never complaining
  • overflowing with faith and love enough to touch others.
Growing Experience of God’s Justice such that:
  • Christ’s character become your character (partaker)
  • New identity in the justification that is in Christ
  • Growing power to overcome sin (freedom from destructive habits)
  • Growing strength of Spirit and meat of the Word (builds us up)
  • Ready access to God’s power and grace in times of need.
  • Stable walk and life.
  • Singing in your heart, regardless of the circumstances.
Growing Experience of the Righteousness of Christ
  • Life is continually changing and becoming like Christ
  • Growing power in service
  • Endurance in the face of trials
  • Speech that is seasoned by grace
  • Behavior that is acceptabel to the world
  • Testimony that teaches others
  • Ready aid in times of struggle and temptation
  • Service to God that is acceptable and reverent
  • Full of Hope no matter how dark
  • Grace of God is visible to those around us.
  • No confidence in our fleshly works.
  • Power to witness
  • Righteousness of Christ reigns in our body

Grace brings us to the Cross, where our eyes are open to see the overwhelming Love of God for us. This pure love as seen in His Son cuts our hearts open to reveal our sin and our need for a Savior. Grace propels us into the arms of Jesus, where we find forgiveness, sustenance and strength. Salvation is ours, not just for the future, but also for the Now’s of Life.

Once we are placed into Christ, He starts to grow in us through the Holy Spirit and His Word. Our lives are changed by the power of the Word. We become a living testimony to the Victory in Christ. Our want-to’s change. Our character becomes framed and molded by the character of Jesus Christ.

Our lives become dependent upon His victory. Our weaknesses are made strong in Him. We learn to walk in victory over sin. Our lives become testimonies to those around us of the Grace of God. It is not because of our ability, but by the Grace of God!

Romans 5:17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

When the mercy, justice and righteousness of God and Jesus Christ is actively working in a body of believer’s, you have GraceLife!


[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “hupomoné”.

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book,


A young boy had just gotten his driver’s license. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.”

After about a month, the boy came back and again asked his father, if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut.”

The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samsom had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair!”, to which is father replied, “Yes, you’re right, and they also WALKED every where they went!”

We have come to Romans 8, a chapter in the Bible which more than any other talks about our walk with the Holy Spirit. In fact, our walk in the Holy Spirit is to become so natural that we hardly notice it, becasue our walk in the Holy Spirit is to be the New Law of our Christian walk.

What is a Law? A Law is a general rule that happens over and over again, without exception. Every April 15, we are reminded that without exception some accounting of your income must be made to the IRS. It is automatic. Every time you jump up in the air you come back down. The Law of Gravity is something we just accept.

When you drive, you know you must keep track of your speed. When you see a Red Light you know you should stop. We drive on the right side of the road. In England and Australia they drive on the other side of the road and it is the most unnatural feeling in the world.

When we live according to a Law, it is so accepted that it is natural.

Romans 7 revealed a struggle that Paul had, a struggle that ran him right up against a Law, A Law of Sin. It was a Law that his flesh was comfortable with, had accepted, and was struggling with.

Even though in Romans 6:6 (Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.)  he had taught us

1. KNOW our old man is dead.

Then he taught us in Romans 6:11 (Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord) to

2. COUNT on God that it is so.

Our old man is dead. Depend on it. God says it is true. And then Paul taught us, that if our old man is dead and we can count on that like money in the bank, then our flesh is unemployed, and so it must be…

3.PRESENTED to God for Him to use.

He taught this in Romans 6:13: (Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.)

Still Paul struggled with his will. He testified to this in Romans 7:15-20

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

The reason for his struggle is that he discovered something: “but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” Romans 7:23

There is a law that governs how we live in this flesh. It is the Law of Sin and of death and it cripples man’s will to do good. Man wills to be different, but the law of sin is relentless, and no human can resist it.

So, how can we be set free from this law of sin and death? We certainly need freedom from sin, we certainly need freedom from death, but most of all we need freedom from this LAW of sin and death.

  • How can we be delivered from the constant repetition of weakness and failure?

The Key Phrases

There are two phrases that we see in Romans 5:12-6:23:

“in Adam” and “in Christ”

There are two phrases we see in Romans 7:1-8:39:

“in the flesh” and “in the Spirit”

POSITIONAL Experience

“In Adam” and “In Christ” picture our position. At birth God views us in Adam. All that is Adam’s is our. His sin nature, his sinfulness, that is our position at birth.

When we are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, we are placed “in Christ.” God no longer sees us in Adam. He declares us justified, righteous. Our sins are forever forgiven. We have the life of Christ.

PRACTICAL experience

“In the flesh” and “in the Spirit” relate to our practical experience.

It is not enough to simply know what your position is. You need to experience it. To be in Christ is not enough. To have our old man crucified is not enough. To present our members as servants of God is not enough. The only way the New Law becomes effective and practical in our lives is when we learn to walk everyday “in the Spirit!”

We need to see there is a New Law that we Christians are to live by. It is as natural as the Law of Gravity. It is a more powerful law than the law of sin.

The key to this Law is walking in the Holy Spirit.

This is why the first part of Romans 8 is so centered upon the Holy Spirit.The Holy Spirit is mentioned in Romans 8 no less than 19 different times. No other chapter in the New Testament contains as many direct references to the Holy Spirit. While it is true that our old man is crucified, and we are freed from the power of sin, if we do not mind our walk, and learn to walk in the spirit, then our lives will be a contradiction to the fact of my position in Jesus Christ.

If we walk in the flesh, what is true of me in Him will not be expressed in my life.

Positionally I may be in Jesus, but practically, my temper, or my lust, or my jealousy, or my greed may be in evidence.

The truth of who we are in Jesus Christ cannot be experienced by walking in the flesh. That is totally the experience of Paul in Romans 7. The flesh is no match for the Law of Sin. The only way we can experience the reality of Jesus Christ in our lives is by living according to a New and greater Law, the Law of Living in the Holy Spirit!

Living in the Holy Spirit means that I trust the Holy Spirit to do in me what I cannot do myself. This life is completely different from the life I would naturally live myself!

  • This is not a life of TRYING but of TRUSTING!
  • This is not a life of STRUGGLING but of RESTING!
  • Whether your problem is a temper, a sarcastic tongue, a critical spirit, impure thoughts, you do not set out by sure will power to change yourself.

    If you are Living in the Spirit, you know and count yourself dead to those things and then look to the Holy Spirit to produce in you the needed purity, humility, patience, meekness, and you are confident He will do so. In fact, you thank Him in advance for deliverance from those sins.

    As Exodus 14:13 states: Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you!”

    When the Holy Spirit takes matters into His hands, there is no need for strain on our part. It is not a matter of counting to 10, of going home and taking it out on a pillow, there will be no need, for the Holy Spirit has worked it in you.

    Real victory over a sin, over a habit does not come by fleshly effort, but by the Holy Spirit and our living in Him!

    This is why Satan is so active in the world tempting us to stay in the flesh. This is why John warns against loving this world:

    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:15-16

    If you are in love with the world, the love of the Father is not in you. That is because the love of the world has brought you into a fleshly walk, and not the walk of the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is LOVE!

    When you love the world, the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride of possessions, you are not living according to the Law of the Holy Spirit! You are settling for the bowl of lentil soup that Esau sold his birthright for. In the Holy Spirit is our life of Blessing!

    Temptation gets us off our walk and exposes us to struggle and defeat!

    When the Japanese invaded China, their overwhelming strength destroyed most of the Chinese tanks within the first three months. They were unable to deal with the Japanese armored tanks until they devised this scheme:

    A sniper would be set up in a hidden place and would fire a single shot at the Japanese tank. After at least 15 minutes he would fire another single shot. Then after ten minutes or so, the sniper would fire another shot. He would keep doing it until the Japanese tank driver, eager to locate the source of the shots, would pop his head out to get a better look around him. The next shot would put an end to the Japanese driver.

    As long as the driver remained in the tank, he was safe. The scheme was devised to get him out in the open.

    Satan’s temptations are not designed to get us to do something really sinful, but simply to act in our own energy. As soon as we step away from the Holy Spirit, and start acting naturally, in our flesh, he has the victory.

    This is the lesson of Galations 5:16-18:

    But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Galatians 5:16-18

    THE FIGHT WITH THE FLESH IS NOT OURS, BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT’S.

    These are in opposition one to another! So the Holy Spirit bears the burden of fighting the flesh, and the result is that we not do as we normally would. In fact, the result is that we are not under the Law, becasue we are walking according to a New Law, Life in the Holy Spirit!

    When we depend upon the Holy Spirit, and do not allow the devil to lure us from his cover, He is then free to meet and deal with the flesh in us.

    Walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh!

    Our deliverance and victory lies not in our own fleshly strength and determination, but by our abiding in Christ and and simply counting upon His Holy Spirit with us to overcome fleshly lusts with HIS OWN DESIRES!.

    • The Cross procures our Salvation
    • The Spirit produces that Salvation within us!
    • Christ risen and ascended is the basis of our salvation;
    • Christ in our hearts by the Spirit is its power!

    So what does Paul exclaim in Romans 7?

    I  THANK GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!

    Up until his exclamation, he used “I” or “me” over 25 times. in just a few verses. He was totally struggling in his flesh! But when he exclaimed I thank God through Jesus Christ, it became him and he and we! That is what Paul revealed in Galatians 2:20:

    I live, yet no longer I, but Christ!

    When the focus is on the I, it is “What a Wretched Man I am!” When the focus is on Christ, we shout THANK YOU GOD!

    Christians do not have a changed life. God offers us an exchanged life! We exchange our natural, fleshly live for the life of Jesus Christ within us! We do not produce within ourselves the life of Christ. We don’t try to act like Jesus. Jesus really lives through us by His Spirit!

    The Holy Spirit reproduces the life of Jesus in us! That is what Galatians 4:19 reveals – Christ is formed in you!

    What brought victory for Paul? He explains in Romans 8, that there is a new law that supercedes the law of sin. This law is not a fleshly law, but it is a law nonetheless. As such, when you start to walk in this new law, it will become natural, it will produce the same result over and over again. After all, it is a Law.

    So how do we learn to walk and live in the Law of Life in the Holy Spirit?

    Only when we we become aware of our great need for His life! We get to the point where we see our deficiencies and our inadequacies and our failures and we can do nothng else but cry out to Him!

    Does that sound like salvation? Yes, and sometimes when someone has led a life of sin and then realizes their need makes a dramatic turn to Jesus Christ, and immediately everything about their life is changed. They immediately begin walking in the Holy Spirit.

    But Paul reflected his experience where he came to Jesus but then tried to walk in his flesh, becasue he was a Jew, used to following a set of laws. But his frustration led him to the point of seeing his total inability. Then he cried out to Jesus and saw the light of the Life in the Holy Spirit.

    Many people who get saved as a youngster and grow up in a Christian home take Jesus for granted. They get out into the world or college and get lured into the love of the world. They try to live the Christian life in their fleshly strength and fail miserably. Then, when they get to the end of themselves, and realize they cannot live the Christian life in their own strength, they are ready to give everything over to Him and let Jesus live His life through them. Then is when they find victory.

    Romans 8:1 No Condemnation

    Paul goes from a wretched man in Romans 7 to this amazing declaration:

    There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

    There are two kinds of condemnation:

    1. Before God
    2. Before Myself

    I have no problem seeing my sins forgiven on the cross. I have no problem seeing that God no longer condemns me becasue I am in His son. I do have a problem with a condemning heart. I experience defeat in my life, and my heart goes into hyperdrive condemning me.

    But in the Spirit, there is no condemnation.

    What lay behind my condemnation? It was my experience of defeat. Before I saw Christ as my life, I labored under a constant sense of a handicap. I was limited, confined to a wheelchair, disabled. I cannot do this. I cannot please God! But there is no “can not” in Christ! THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION, THERE IS NO FAILURE, THERE IS NO DAMNATION, THERE IS NO REGRETTING! THERE IS ONLY THE LIFE OF Jesus Christ in me!

    For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the condemning law of sin and death!

    God wants us to realize that as Christians he doesn’t just leave us at the Cross. We don’t come to Christ as Savior and then walk away on our own. God wants us to realize that Jesus Christ wants to live through our lives, in fact, God wants us to realize that we are united with Christ. Everything about us, our identity, our life, our career, our family is inextricably tied up in Jesus Christ!

    God wants us to walk under a New Law, a Law that is to be so natural that we take it for granted, just like gravity. He wants us to walk according to the Law of the Spirit of Life in Jesus Christ!

    When we close our eyes to seeing this new Law, to seeing the Holy Spirit as Lord of our life, we open our eyes to the world and all the associated temptations. If we are not in the Spirit, we walk in the flesh, and so we walk as Romans 7 Christians, always struggling with guilt and failure and problems. Most fleshly Christians end up turning away from God at some point, for the Christian life seems to conflict with the fleshly world and all they experience there.

    Let me illustrate how this works.

    This past weekend Lydia and I were in Boonville, MO. staying at the High Street Victorian Bed and Breakfast operated by Kriss and Gene Royer. Friday night Lydia and I walked three building down to the Hotel Frederick to sit out on the balcony and watch the sunset over the Missouri River (which was at flood stage).

    It was very busy and the people were real friendly. The beer and cocktails were flowing freely, as well as the conversation. People would ask us what we were doing there and Lydia would proudly say that I had decided to ride my bicycle the 76 miles from Clinton to Boonville (on the Katy Trail) on my birthday (the day before). They would offer their kudo’s and looks of unbelief, etc. There was a group of people from the “R” bar in Kansas City and one of the guys appeared to be a “Cowboy” complete with the slow Texan draw. He was real friendly and at some point the ‘question’ got asked. It is the question that many Pastors are afraid of, especially in a crowd of people who don’t seem to be church-goers. He asked, so what do you do? I simply said I’m a pastor of a church. There were several ‘oh’s’ and some furtive glances away, but this ‘Cowboy’ seemed real interested. He immediately perked up and said he goes to church and he was a ‘Methodist-Buddhist-Muslim’. Now my attention was peaked, and I mentioned my curiosity as to how that could work. We discussed several topics in a gentlemanly way. All in the open, with others listening.

    At one point he came over to our table and engaged me one-on-one. As much as could be, this was a private conversation. He shared that as a 13 year old, he had asked Jesus Christ into his life, and admitted that growing up he went to a Gospel-Preaching Methodist all the time. I got the sense that he genuinely believed in Christ, but somewhere along the line he had gotten into a bunch of ‘worldly’ beliefs. I also found out that he is an attorney, and much of his ‘Cowboy’ display is a cover for a very intelligent, shrewd lawyer. Soon after his confession I was led to say that I have found that whenever a Christian strays away from his belief in Christ (at which point he said ‘I’m still a believer’), it is usually the result of at least one of three things. It is either because of moral impurity, deep-seated bitterness, or a temporal value system. At this point he got rather defensive, and launched into another defensive move. He decried a God who could allow such evils as 9/11, Katrina, child abuse, etc. He said he could not believe in a God like that. It hit me that he had some deep-rooted bitterness toward God over sometning in his life.

    I said that many times we make a decision with our mind to believe in Christ, but God says in Prov 23:26: “Son, give me your heart!” God wants our heart, God wants our trust. There are many things that happen in our lives that we can not understand. There are many experiences that will try to destroy our trust in God. That is why God wants our heart. Regardless of what we experience, regardless of what we think, we are to trust in God and His Word. Otherwise, we give our heart to the things of this world, the philosophis of this world, the hurts and disappointments of this world. Before long, our heart is far away from God, from Jesus, from a faith that has real application in this world.

    We conversed over an hour that evening, and while I could see a searching in his eyes, his heart is far from the Jehovah of the Bible. He has gone after a god of his own making, one who embraces Buddhists, Muslims, and all the other deluded people of the world. All becasue he is bitter at the True God for something He did or failed to do. To Mark, there is a Jesus, but He has no reality in this present world.  And so, in all practical aspects, Jesus is dead to Mark.

    And so it is with many Christians, even good Baptist(ha) ones, who make a decision to follow Jesus, but because their focus is not on the Law of the Spirit of Life, they do not see how Jesus relates to their everyday lives, and soon Jesus is an ornament, or a figurehead of something you do on Sunday, if they go at all. They too are focused on the flesh, focused on the world, and Jesus is far from their heart.

    Let’s see what effect this New Law is supposed to have upon Christians. God wants the Truth of Jesus Christ to be superior to our experiences. We are to walk by FAITH and not by SIGHT. When Christians fail to see the Power of Christ for their everyday lives it is because they are letting their fleshy experieces rule their lives.

    Kriss and Gene Royer, InnKeepers

    The Innkeepers of the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at are a marvelous Christian couple. We had a long conversation with Kriss about one of their children, Ashley Ann. They adopted Ashley Ann when she was nine years old. She had been in the foster care system since she was five, and in four short years had already had over twenty foster homes and over twenty different schools. I will let Ashley tell you why (from an essay she wrote for a Scholarship to Southwest Baptist University):

    “My life as a small child was filled with life experiences no one should have to go through, especially a little child. I was deliberately and repeatedly abused and abandoned. At age two, my father shoved my face into a brick wall from which I still have scars. My mother was a prostitute, drug user and dealer. I have seen everything imaginable. I have been sexually abused, deliberately burned, stripped naked and beaten, had needles stuck into me like apin cushion just for the kicks of the drug addicted friends of my mother. They would tell me there were ‘doctors’. At age three I was often left alone for days to look after my brother (who was 11 months older than me and had cerebral palsy) and my newborn sister. I had to learn to be resourceful to find food for us all, and ‘played mommy’ becasue no on else was there to take care of us. While I was still three, the Social Worker took me away from my mom permanently and placed me with my grandmother. This was no better because she allowed my mom to stay at her home against the rules of the social worker. My grandmother continued the abuse, and even went further, forcing me to drink beer and smoke cigarettes. When I refused, she would beat me and even burn me. At age five I was permanently placed in the foster care system. By the age of nine I had gone from foster cfamily to foster family for an average stay of three or four months. I attended twenty seven different schools. No one wanted me, and although I had learned to be flexible with so much change in my life, I was an insecure, untrusting, angry and scared little kid. I quickly learned that if I rejected others before they had a chance to reject me, it wouldn’t be so painful.”

    If the story stopped here, she would have grown up to be another abusive woman, angry at the world, angry at her children. The cycle would have continued, and everyone would have understood.

    Ashley wrote:

    “I think success in overcoming childhood trauma and abuse in a person’s life is much more difficult than attaining worldly success. I have learned that bad things can happen to a person becasue of other people’s choices. I too make choices and it was up to me whether I would carry those painful memories and emotional scars the rest of my life. I could chose to let them weigh me down and keep me stuck in a life filled with anger, pain, self pity and bitterness. Or I could use them to become a better person.”

    What made this transformation possible? How could someone so abused and hated and discarded even begin to hope there was something more to this life?

    Ashley made a startling discovery. She discovered a different foster family. “They really did want me even though they were told I was mean, angry, aggressive, violent, used bad language and tried to hurt others. They loved me no matter what I did, and believe me I tested them plenty to be sure they weren’t going to throw me away like everyone else in my life did!”

    Ashley discovered love for the first time in her life. But then she discovered the reason for that love.

    “One of the things that was different with my new family…was their faith. My new mom and big brothers worked at a family camp and I got to go with them every day. I loved this camp and I got to experience being a kid, and playing and swimming and all the things a kid should experience. And I loved singing the new songs I learned every day. It did not take long before I made this faith my own. I discovered a faith that would carry me through all the trauma of my childhood, and bring complete healing and a wholeness I never thought possible.” Ahsley reveals the power of Jesus Christ when she states: “Through my faith in the Lord I have learned how to forgive those who hurt me and how to release each of those pains and not carry them.”

    She admits it has not been easy, and yet through it all, time and time again, she has seen that “I have a power inside me bigger than myself, and that with God, all things are possible!”

    This is the choice each Christian must make. Your background does not matter. What matters is are you going to believe in the power of Jesus Christ for your everyday life? Are you going to walk according to the NEW LAW, the “Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus?”

    Only as Christian’s walk in this new law are we able to enjoy the overcoming, abundant life of Jesus Christ.

    Or, we can let our failures, the abuses, hurts, pains and evils get us to where we are bitter, disillusioned, defeated. Jesus Christ is little more than a teacher, an ideal, who has little impact on this difficult life we lead.

    It’s up to you whether you will carry your failures and bad choices with you the rest of your life. You can choose to let them weigh you down and keep you stuck in a life filled with fleshly effort, fleshly choices, and all the anger bitterness and pain they bring.

    You have a choice of who you want to become.

    You can be a fleshly Christian, struggling the best you can to be like Jesus, always vacillating between defeat and victory, constantly being drawn away by your fleshly focus.

    Or you can be desperate enough to simply say,”Holy Spirit, I want the life you have for me. I want you to live Jesus through me.” You can stop struggling and start resting. When you realize you need His power, and stop using your own, is when you will see the reality of Jesus Christ.


    Paul Harvey told about a 3-year-old boy who went to the grocery store with his mother. Before they entered the grocery store she said to him, “Now you’re not going to get any chocolate chip cookies, so don’t even ask.” She put him up in the cart & he sat in the little child’s seat while she wheeled down the aisles. He was doing just fine until they came to the cookie section. He saw the chocolate chip cookies & he stood up in the seat & said, “Mom, can I have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you not even to ask. You’re not going to get any at all.” So he sat back down.

    They continued down the aisles, but in their search for certain items they ended up back in the cookie aisle. “Mom, can I please have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you that you can’t have any. Now sit down & be quiet.”

    Finally, they were approaching the checkout lane. The little boy sensed that this may be his last chance. So just before they got to the line, he stood up on the seat of the cart & shouted in his loudest voice, “In the name of Jesus, may I have some chocolate chip cookies?” And everybody round about just laughed. Some even applauded.

    And, according to Paul Harvey, due to the generosity of the other shoppers, the little boy & his mother left with 23 boxes of chocolate chip cookies.

    In this note, we are going to discover all the boxes of chocolate chip cookies God gives us through His Son, Jesus Christ!

    Let’s read Romans 5:1-11 in the Phillips translation, and perhaps we can get a glimpse of all we have through Jesus Christ:

    “Since then it is by faith that we are justified, let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have confidently entered into this new relationship of grace, and here we take our stand, in happy certainty of the glorious things he has for us in the future. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we have only a hope of future joys – we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles. Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us. Already we have some experience of the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us. And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men. In human experience it is a rare thing for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man, though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it. Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us. Moreover, if he did that for us while we were sinners, now that we are men justified by the shedding of his blood, what reason have we to fear the wrath of God? If, while we were his enemies, Christ reconciled us to God by dying for us, surely now that we are reconciled we may be perfectly certain of our salvation through his living in us. Nor, I am sure, is this a matter of bare salvation – we may hold our heads high in the light of God’s love because of the reconciliation which Christ has made.

    Don’t Overlook the Excitement of Paul. The New Living Translation reveals it in verse 11:

    “So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”

    We have a WONDERFUL NEW RELATIONSHIP with God through Jesus!

    Martin Luther wrote…In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text!

    W E Vine observes that the fifth chapter shows what we have THROUGH CHRIST, while the sixth shows us what we are IN CHRIST. “THROUGH CHRIST” is the keynote of chapter five. Chapter 5 unfolds the subjects of the effects of the death and resurrection of Christ…(as Paul so richly described in Romans 3:21-25). (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson

    Romans is a book of supernatural logic which is knitted together with a fine thread of “therefore’s” (term of conclusion)…

    • Therefore of giving over – Ro 1:24
    • Therefore of condemnation Ro 3:20
    • Therefore of justification – Ro 5:1
    • Therefore of no condemnation – Ro 8:1
    • Therefore of dedication – Ro 12:1

    Paul reveals the main thrust of Romans in chapter 1, verses 16-17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

    The gospel of Jesus Christ is the means of our DAILY salvation, whereby the righteousness of God becomes our righteousness!

    The Power of God is on Display

    Paul began Romans with the Power of God on display, the power to bring sinful man into a right and righteous relationship with God! Romans 5 reveals that this is all TROUGH Jesus Christ and how marvelous the benefits of that Right Relationship are! The result of Chapter 5 is that God now puts His Children of Faith on Display!

    The word “therefore” reaches back to the contents of chapter four — therefore being justified (made righteous-the righteousness of God), not by works (1-8), not by rituals (9-12), not by obedience to the law (13-25), but by faith (our belief in the truth of God), we have peace. Your works, your rituals, even your following the law will never bring peace to your heart and soul.

    All that follows from the 5th chapter, 1st verse to the end of the 8th chapter describes the fruit or results of justification, the inheritance of those who are justified. Having been justified by faith, that which Paul now discusses, chapters 6, 7 and 8, shall be true of us.

    We must fully understand and envision what Christ has done for us if we are to live the Christian life that Paul will detail in Romans 6,7 and 8!

    THEREFORE (Through Faith in Jesus Christ):

    I. The Reality of Justification by Faith

    To begin with, Paul sees justification as an accomplished work, “Therefore being justified,” or “since we are justified.” Justification is not hypothetical, not just a vague possibility, but a present reality for him who trusts in JESUS CHRIST. Justification is:

    1. A legal declaration of righteousness. It isn’t that a sinner is merely made to ‘feel’ righteous in a subjective way. Rather, God “declares” the sinner to be objectively righteous in a forensic or judicial sense — regardless of his or her feelings.

    2. A genuine righteousness.

    • God doesn’t simply decide to overlook the sinner’s sinfulness and “pretend” that he or she is righteous when that really isn’t the case;
    • He doesn’t simply “cover up” the sinner with the righteousness of Jesus in such a way as to conceal his or her real condition of sinfulness from His eyes — as though simply covering him or her with a “righteousness” coating.
    • When God justifies a sinner, He declares that sinner to be made really, genuinely, completely righteous, because that sinner is “in Christ.”

    3. An imputation of righteousness.

    • To “impute” something means to ‘attribute’ it or ‘credit’ it to something or someone else.
    • If, for example, I had a ‘zero’ balance in my checking account, I would draw some money out of my savings account and have it “imputed” or “credited” or “attributed” to my checking account.
    • The only way that the checking account could have cash value is if it is “imputed” into it from another account.
    • When God justifies a sinner, he or she is not made “righteous” on the basis of anything that they do — nor on the basis of anything God enables them to do.
    • God completely “imputes” genuine righteousness to them — “attributing” it to them, or “crediting” it to their account.

    4. A righteousness through faith as opposed to works.

    • Sinners are not “justified” on the basis of their faith — or on the basis of any other work they could do, for that matter.
    • They’re declared righteous before God on the basis of two things: that their sins were placed onto Jesus when He died on the cross; and that His perfect obedience and righteousness imputed to them — He became sin for them (and died in their place); and they became the righteousness of God in Him.
    • Faith isn’t the cause of justification;
    • Faith is the means by which the sinner comes into possession of that imputed righteousness.

    As it says of Abraham in Gen. 15:6, when God made the promise to him that, even though he was childless, he would one day have as many children as the stars in heaven, “Then he believed the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness

    Paul reinforces the proof of justification with three strong propositions:

    • Verse 6, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
    • Verse 8, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
    • Verse 10, “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.”

    II. The Results of Justification by Faith

    1.  Peace with God

    Romans 5:1 (KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    A sign in front of a church said, “If life is a puzzle, look here for the missing peace” and spelled that last word p-e-a-c-e!

    “It means to be in a relationship w/God in which all hostility caused by sin has been removed!”(Shepherds Notes, p 33)

    ἔχωμεν- let us have (Word Studies)= let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Peace (eirene from verb eiro = to join or bind together that which has been separated) literally pictures the binding or joining together again of that which had been separated or divided and thus setting at one again, a meaning convey by the common expression of one “having it all together”.

    • “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace” (Ephes. 2:14-15).
    • “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Col. 1:20).
    • harmonized relationship between God and man (Vine’s).

    D L Moody..A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it

    2.  Continuous Access to God’s Grace (place of privilege)

    Romans 5:2a (KJV) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand…

    It is only through Christ that we have access into this grace. The word “access” (prosagōgēn) means to bring to, to move to, to introduce, to present. The thought is that of being in a royal court and being presented and introduced to the King of kings. Jesus Christ is the One who throws open the door into God’s presence. He is the One who presents us to God, the Sovereign Majesty of the universe. POSB

    It can refer to one’s “introduction” into a relationship or it can refer to “ongoing access” in an existing relationship. Paul’s use of the same term in Ephesians 2:18; 3:12 seems to suggest that what is in view in Romans 5:2 is continued access to God, and not so much on the initial introduction into the relationship.

    A. Wonderful Grace

    He hasn’t merely reconciled us to Himself and then left it up to us to keep ourselves in that state. He has placed us “in Christ”; and in Him, we have been made “the righteousness of God” And being in that state of righteousness, it’s only by His grace that we stay that way!

    B. Continuous Access

    • Through Jesus Christ His Son, we “have obtained (place of continuous access to God).
    • We are not left to ourselves to keep from wandering in and out of God’s favor all the time. We’ve been introduced to a state of favor before Him through Christ; and in Christ, it’s in this state of favor that, by being in Christ, we forever “stand”!
    • Paul wrote to the Galatian church about this very issue.
      • The Christians in Galatia were fearful that, even though they were brought into God’s favor by His grace, they needed to keep the old Jewish ceremonies of the Old Testament in order to stay in God’s favor.
      • Paul wrote to them very strongly and urged them not to place themselves under those rules and ceremonies.
      • “Are you so foolish?”, he asked them; “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).
      • “It was for freedom that Christ set you free,” he reminded them; “therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (5:1).

    3.  Hope of the Glory of God

    Romans 5:2b (KJV) …and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    We have a Whole New Outlook.

    We now share together with Christ in His glory. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).That prospect comes from being “in Christ”. Jesus Himself prayed to the Father, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as we are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (John 17:22-23). It’s not called a “hope” because we merely hope it will happen. Paul’s meaning is that it’s a “hope” in the sense of a certain expectation;

    Romans 8:29-30, “whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

    Those whom God has justified will also be glorified!

    I heard about an old, saintly Christian gentleman who said, “I may not be much to look at right now; but one day, I’m goin’ on parade!!”

    4.  Rejoicing in Trials

    Romans 5:3-5a (KJV) 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation(thilipsis-pressure) worketh patience(endurance, constancy); 4 And patience, experience(dokimos-approved); and experience, hope: 5 And hope(elpis-anticipate with confidence) maketh not ashamed…

    Tribulation = word that means to “squeeze” or “press” something; Picture of pressing circumstances or distressing hardships. “It describes distress that is brought on by outward circumstances.” Look at the way God uses the “pressure times” in the life of someone that He has declared “righteous” before Him.

    A. Tribulations produce “perseverance” or “patient endurance”.

    • Endurance-constancy
    • They produce the quality of learning to trust in God and wait upon Him, relying upon His strength in the knowledge that He has nothing in mind for us but our good.
    • The capacity to endure calmly, confidently, & w/o complaint.” (J. Sidlow Baxter, Awake My Heart, p. 180)
    • Tribulation is a thorny tree, but it yields sweet fruit.
    • A guitar string only fulfills its purpose when it is removed from its old package, stretched as tight as it will go, & then plucked!
    • When a storm comes at sea, a ship turns to face the tempest. If the vessel allows the storm to hit its side, it will capsize. If it turns its back to the storm, the storm will drive it wherever the wind blows. Only in facing the storm is the ship safe.

    God is not punishing us.

    • All our punishment has already gone onto Christ, and He took our punishment for us.
    • And what’s more, His righteousness before God was placed to our account.
    • What a difference between the man who crosses the finish line and the one who drops out of the race ten yards from the tape, between the fighter who fights until the bell rings and the one who throws in the towel

    We are Justified with God, so there’s nothing left to think about our troubles and trials but as things that our sovereign God permits to come upon us in order to make us grow into the glorious image of Christ that He has predestined us “in Him” to be.

    B. Perseverance produces “proven character.” (Reveals what we really are inside.)

    • Dokimos-approved coinage, approved soldier

    The difficult times of life don’t make us into anything different — they just show us to be what we really are. If someone comes out of their trials a bitter person, it’s because, deep within, they were already bitter in the first place — and the circumstance simply proved their true character. If someone comes out of their trials with a sense of confidence in God, giving praise to Him for what He has done, it’s because God developed perseverance in them through the exercise of their faith in Him — and the circumstance simply proved their true character.

    C. Proven character produces “hope”.

    • Confident Anticipation that it will be worth it all!
    • This “hope” is the praise we’ll receive from Jesus for having been faithful to Him — even while undergoing a time of trial; His “Well done!”
    • This is a hope that “does not disappoint”, as it says in verse 5, “because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
    • It’s a hope that already has a guarantee of victory to it because He already loves us! All this, because He has declared us righteous in Christ!!
      • The present in no way jeopardizes the future (5:5).
      • Paul’s emphasis here is that in light of justification and the indwelling Spirit, God can actually use our difficult experiences in life to work a deeper hope in us—i.e., a deeper longing for him and desire to experience him.

    5.  Confidence in God’s Love for us

    Romans 5:5b-8 (KJV) 5 … the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    A.God Loves us the Same as His Son

    “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that you sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (17:25-26).

    In fact, Jesus even prayed that the extent of God’s great love for us would become clearly known; “… that the world may know,” He prayed, “that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (John 17:23).
    How can we help but gasp when we read that — that the Father loves us as much as He loves His own Son Jesus!!

    Billy Graham said: “When we preach atonement, it is atonement planned by love, provided by love, given by love, finished by love, necessitated because of love. – When we preach the resurrection of Christ, we are preaching the miracle of love. When we preach the return of Christ, we are preaching the fulfillment of love.”

    B. The Love of God is the Hope of the Weak and Powerless

    Hope always burns brightly in those whose character has been developed through overcoming trials.

    • Paul is not talking about the objective love of God shown to us in the cross (3:25; 5:8), but rather the subjective apprehension (i.e., in our hearts) of God’s love. For Paul this is primarily an emotional experience with a force greater than the doubt inflicted through trials (cf. Phil 4:6-7).
    • Hope is not the tuition we pay as we enroll in the school of adversity. Rather, it is the diploma awarded to those who by the grace of God do well on the tests.

    Priest and poet George Herbert wrote in The Temple (1593-1633), “He who lives in hope dances without music.”

    How do we experience this great love as displayed by Jesus? We experience it as the Holy Spirit makes it known in our hearts. He literally “shed’ the love of God into our lives. As we place our faith in the blood of Jesus, the Love of God flows into our hearts and lives.!

    • There is a saying among Italian sculptors, who often miss the chisel and hit their own hands with the hammer: “When the blood flows out, the mastery enters.”
    • It was so with Jesus. It was his death on Calvary that made him the master of our souls. “There is power in the blood.”

    6.  A Living Salvation

    Romans 5:9-10 (KJV) 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

    A. Saved by His Life: we will also be completely saved from sin and death by Christ’s resurrection life and our union with him

    Salvation is not a one time thing that happens by our faith in a past action. Salvation is an ongoing process which is undertaken by our LIVING SAVIOR! His live becomes our life! His righteousness becomes our righteousness! Our Salvation will be consummated when our physical bodies are resurrected! Then we can truly say, “O death, where is your sting?”

    If He so loved us when we were still sinners — which is the far greater thing; then now that we’ve been declared righteous by Him out of His love for us, He will surely spare us from His wrath against sin — which is the lessor thing. Just as God is gracious and ready to forgive, He is also just and is fully prepared to pour out His wrath on sinners that will not receive His merciful offer, but who continue to defiantly rebel against Him.

    B. There Will be A Judgment

    He declares His own character to Moses in this way: “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty upunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations” (Exodus 34:6-7).

    This gives us cause to stop and remember that while He is always and ever ready to forgive any sinner that cries out to Him, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”; He still remains a holy God and will not put up with sin. To those who will not turn from their sins and receive His gracious offer of “justification by faith”, there remains this warning of His wrath.

    7.  Friendship with God

    Romans 5:11 (KJV) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

    A. Our New Life in our Living Savior allows us to offer praise to God

    “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

    B. Our New Life in our Living Savior allows us to Rejoice in our Relationship with God

    Revelation 7:15-17; “… they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

    C. Our New Life in our Living Savior allows us to enjoy the experience of ever-satisfying, ever-thrilling, ever-expanding fellowship with Him for all eternity.

    • John 10:10 (ESV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
    • John 17:3 (ESV) And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
    • John 15:14-15 (ESV) 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

    The Three Phases of Redemption

    In these short eleven verses, Paul gives us the three phases of our redemption:

    1. Justification, (freedom from guilt, imputation of righteousness);
    2. Sanctification, the operation of righteousness and grace received when justified, which results in Christian growth
    3. Glorification – the resurrection of our glorified body to dwell with God for all eternity

    • Justification, the beginning of the Christian experience;
    • Sanctification, the development of the Christian experience;
    • Glorification, the consummation of the Christian experience.

    The Pit and the Pendulum

    Edgar Allen Poe wrote a horrifying story set in a dungeon during the Spanish Inquisition.He takes us beneath a castle into a horrible dark, rat-infested dungeon. There we find an unnamed man who has been tried and found guilty.The stench of death and human feces is overpowering. He can hear tha rats scampering all around him. He tries to search the dungeon to see if there is a way of escape, but it’s too dark. He stumbles around and nearly falls into a huge pit in the center of the cell. He is knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, he realizes that he is strapped into a torture device that houses a swinging, razor-sharp pendulum. The pendulum gradually lowers closer and closer to his heart. The man goes mad as he watches the pendulum grow near.

    He uses his free hand to wipe the remains of his last meal onto the strap that sits between his body and the pendulum. This attracts the rats, and they chew through the strap, freeing him. As soon as he stands, the pendulum is raised and the iron walls— which have been heated to a dangerous level—close in on him. The hero is forced closer to the pit’s opening. Just before he falls, General Lasalle’s French army arrives and rescues him.

    Our enemy Satan has thrown mankind into a dark miserable dungeon of sin. He makes us godless, senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless, worthless and powerless. He binds us with our sins, he tortures us, and he is constantly pushing us into the pit of his Hell.

    We are absolutely powerless to escape, to try to save ourselves. The walls are closing in, and all seems lost,

    “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. For… God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners…Romans 5:6-8 (NLT)

    God has given us so much, so that we can have so much!

    III. The Life of Jesus is our Salvation

    1 John 5:11-12 “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

    Because He Lives and through our faith in Him, we know we have:

    1. Peace with God
    2. Continuous Access to God’s Grace
    3. Hope of the Glory of God
    4. Rejoicing in Trials
    5. Confidence in God’s Love for us.
    6. A Living Salvation
    7. Friendship with God

    Are you content to hear the swooshing of the pendulum blade as it inches closer and closer to your heart? Do you enjoy the rats of sin? Do you enjoy the stench of death and decay? God wants you to enjoy Him, to enjoy His Love, His peace, His grace, His friendship. And it is all freely given to you through His Son, Jesus Christ! It is all yours by believing in God’s Word! Believe God, and it will be counted to you as Righteousness!