Posts Tagged ‘Death’


Death with an exclamation point

A 21-year-old University Student wrote to a forum about death: “I am perfectly fine with death myself. But, I love my father very, very much. And I cannot imagine how it would be like for him to be gone, forever, one day. To know he has ceased to exist; that I will never talk with him again. It feels like having a short circuit inside the brain; life seems so vain and entrapping. Whatever I do seems pointless as one day, he will cease to exist and only a memory of him will remain. And the more joyful the memory, the greater the pain. It makes me want to scream, cry, and run away.”[1]

There are deaths that people expect, in fact even welcome. Death for many is a welcome relief from suffering. When my mom died from cancer that spread to her liver and finally brain, it was a relief to see her suffering end. However, some deaths are followed by an exclamation point. When we came home from church and saw my brother Tim sitting on our front steps, we knew something was wrong. When he cried out “Dad’s gone!”, that exclamation point hit me in the stomach and knocked the wind out of me. My dad was only 63. His death was a total shock to all of us, especially Mom.

Nothing shakes our world like the unexpected death of a close friend or loved one. That exclamation point shakes our world. However, one death shook the whole world, indeed, the whole universe. This death was no surprise, for it was planned. This death came with a HUGE exclamation point!!!!

Join me in listening in to Peter as he addresses a huge crowd in the Temple, just 50 days after the crucifixion of Jesus:

Acts 2:23-28 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him(Psalms 16), “ ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

As we celebrate this Easter Sunday, I want us to consider three things that Peter wants us to see, for they are Life Changers!

In this part of Peter’s sermon, we see God’s PLAN, God’s PRESENCE and God’s PROMISE.

  1. The Plan of God gives US power over Death
  2. The Presence of God gives US power over Life
  3. The Promise of God gives US power for Eternity

I. The Plan of God – Power over Death

God NEVER intended for His creation to die. We are made in His image. We were meant to live forever, to enjoy Him forever. He placed the Tree of Life in the middle of the Garden of Eden. After Adam sinned,

He drove out the man, and at the east of the Garden of Eden, he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:24

Sin corrupted God’s design. Sin brought the curse of death and decay to God’s creation. Yet this came as no surprise to God. God loved His creation, and already had a plan to remove the curse of death. His plan was made before time began.

A. The Death of Jesus was no Happenstance

Verse 23 says God delivered up Jesus Christ. His own son!

  • Definite plan
  • Foreknowledge of God

After Peter and John were threatened for preaching about Jesus, they were released and returned to the disciples. They prayed in Acts 4. They started their prayer Sovereign God and they prayed to God saying that Pilate and Herod and the Gentiles and Jews had only done WHAT YOUR HAND AND YOUR PLAN HAD PREDESTINED TO TAKE PLACE.

It may have been Judas who betrayed Jesus, but Judas was doing exactly as God had planned. It may have been the Romans who crucified Jesus, but the Romans were doing exactly as God had planned. It may have been the Jews who screamed, “Crucify Him!”, but the Jews were doing exactly as God planned. Jesus had to suffer this horrible death as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. There was no other way for God to rescue His creation from the curse of sin!

B. The Death of Jesus was Committed at the Hands of Lawless men.

(Even though it was God’s plan, there is no excuse for what these people did).

Jesus had to die because of the truth in Romans 3:

Romans 3:9-19 …For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” …“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Innocent men have been murdered throughout the ages. Cain murdered his brother Abel. The prophets were stoned and ridiculed, even put to death. The 12 apostles were all murdered except John, although tradition says they tried. Every day it seems we hear news of some other psycho who starts murdering innocent people. It seems that lawlessness is getting out of hand.

Yet the truth is each one of us is born lawless. We each fail to live by God’s Law, and even our own internal law. We resist, we rebel, and we have a natural bent away from total obedience to God’s Law.

The truth is that Christ died at our hands. No one can say they would not have consented to Christ’s death on the Cross. We must admit that we put Jesus on the Cross. We drove those spikes into His hands and feet. We mocked at Him as he struggled for each breath. We are the lawless ones for whom Jesus died. We deserve as Romans says, “The wages of sin is death.”

  • We must accept God’s judgment of our sinfulness.
  • There is nothing in us that permits fellowship with Holy God.
  • We are each guilty of lawlessness before God.
  • EACH ONE OF US IS BORN WITH THE SENTENCE OF DEATH UPON OUR HEADS, FOR DEATH IS THE WAGE OF SIN.

As Peter was preaching, the people were cut to their heart, they felt the tremendous pressure of their sins, and they cried out: “What shall we do?”

C. God Had Jesus Crucified to Destroy Death.

Verse 24 says:

  • God delivered up Jesus and RAISED HIM UP!
  • He loosed the pangs of death.

Literal Translation (v 24):  HAVING DESTROYED THE BIRTH PAINS (travail) of DEATH,

Having loosed the pains of death. The word loosed, lusav, is opposed to bind, and is properly applied to a cord, or to anything which is bound. See Matthew 21:2; Mark 1:7. Hence, it means to free, or to liberate, Luke 13:16; 1 Corinthians 7:27.[2]

  • Death could not hold Jesus.

“Because it was not possible for him to be held by it”

We must face that fact that just as a the birth of a child issues from the pangs of a mother’s travail, so does the passing of each one of us follow the travail of the pains of death.

When Jesus cried out from the Cross, “It is finished” He willingly laid down His life and faced the travail and pangs of death. His heart stopped. His breathing stopped. His bodily functions ceased. His brain was lifeless. They took his crucified body and wrapped Him in burial rags and laid Him in a borrowed tomb. Jesus, the Son of God died.

If we could see with spiritual eyes, we could see Satan’s demons in that tomb, wrapping a million cords of rope around Jesus. They were doing everything in their power to hold Jesus down! However, it was no use. Satan could have used a trillion ropes and that would not have been enough to hold Jesus in the grave!

God’s Word says they could not hold Him. They had no strength! Death had no power over Jesus! Jesus raised His body up from that stony grave and those cords melted away. Jesus stood up and kicked those demons out of that tomb.

Jesus had broken the strength of death. It had no power over Him! Jesus loosed the ropes of death stood up and kicked the Devil out of the tomb! Take that you old devil, for I have defeated death forever more. Your power over my children is forever destroyed!

DEATH WAS RENDERED POWERLESS BECAUSE JESUS DESTROYED THE DEVIL:

kratéō; from krátos strength. To take hold of, grasp, hold fast, followed by the gen. of person meaning to have power over, rule over.[3]

1.) Jesus destroyed the one who has power of death

Hebrews 2:14-15 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

2.) Jesus holds the Keys to Death and Hades

Revelation 1:17-18 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” One day he will throw death and Hades into the Lake of Fire!

Next in verses 25-26 Peter quotes Psalms 16, and we see the Presence of God in His Christ’s life

‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.’

II. The Presence of God – Gives us Power over Life

A. The Lord was always before Him

Isaiah 49:16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;

B. God was at His right hand

To have the Lord at one’s right hand signifies protection.

  • Advocates would sit to the right of their clients to defend them in court (R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of the Acts of the Apostles [Augsburg], p. 86).
  • Bodyguards would stand on the right side so they could cover the person they were protecting with their shields and still have their right arm free to fight (John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Acts 1-12 [Moody Press], p. 65).[4]
  • The right hand is mentioned because that was the place of dignity and honour. God had the place of honour, the highest place in Jesus’ affections, Psalms 109:31.
  • In our dependence on God, we should exalt him. We should not merely regard him as our help, but should at the same time give him the highest place in our affections.[5]

We Have the Promise from God!

  • TO ISRAEL – Isaiah 43:1-2 “The LORD… who created you, (says): “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
  • TO THE DISCIPLES – Matthew 28:20 “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”


Understand that God was at the right hand of Jesus every step down the Via Dolorosa. He was there through every lash, through every pounding of the spikes. He was there in the jeering crowd. Yet God forsook His only Son to the cross and to your sin, because it was His plan foreordained before time even began.

Rest assured, Jesus has promised all His children, that He will never leave you nor forsake you, that He, through the Holy Spirit, is always at your side. Does Jesus hold a place of honor in your life? Do you thank Him for His comfort, protection, and love?

God was with Jesus so that:

C. Life Did Not Shake Jesus

Verse 25 – “That I might not be shaken”

God was at the right hand of Jesus, ever before Him, so that He might not be shaken by this life. KJV says, “moved.”

The phrase pictures “to sink into calamities, or to fall into the power of enemies.” Even though Jesus was facing the most horrible catastrophe devised by man, He never lost His confidence in God to take Him through it. As He willingly submitted his back to the cat-o-nine tails, He knew God was with Him! When they hoisted the cross up and he could feel the searing pain, and struggled to breath, He knew God was with Him and would take Him through it. Jesus could rejoice with David in Psalms 62:

“He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalms 62:2

Has your life ever been shaken?

When you take your two-year-old boy to the Emergency Room with high fever and an inability to hold his head up, you are worried. When the Doctor says they need to do a spinal tap, you get more worried. When the Doctor comes back and says your son has spinal meningitis, your are literally shaking. My wife and I prayed right there, and we committed our son into God’s hands! We knew that God was not shaken! Praise the Lord, the Doctors were wrong, and our son soon got better!

Even on the Cross:

D.    His Heart was Glad & His Tongue Rejoiced

  • Verse 26 -“therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced”

Jesus could proclaim His joy and gladness because God was near Him in time of calamity. His confidence in God to deliver Him was all He needed to overcome any fear of crucifixion and becoming the lamb slain for the sins of the world. Instead of fear in His heart and woe upon His lips, Jesus said His tongue rejoiced. Tongue in the Hebrew can mean “my glory or my honor.” The tongue is man’s means of expressing honor and glory to the Creator God. As Psalms 30:12, “To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.[6]

Jesus used His tongue to express His Honor of His Father, for He knew that through Him, there was a “joy set before me.The Greek word actually means to “jump for joy.” Yes, you can honor God as you “jump for joy”!

One of Satan’s most successful lies is that God is a cosmic killjoy who wants everyone to be miserable. People view God as a great sadist in the sky, who gets perverse delight in making His creatures miserable. Nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus wants His joy to be our joy. His joy in the midst of the worst calamities can be our joy in the worst of times!

  • Jesus tells us that His joy is made complete in us (Jn 15:11, Jn 17:13)
  • He told the Disciples when they saw Him alive again, they would rejoice, and no one could take that joy away from them (John 16:20, 22).
  • Having Joy from Jesus does not deny times of sorrow and grief. (Jesus was a man of sorrows)

Nevertheless, it does overcome such times because it rests on the sovereign God and His promises to every believer.

E.  Jesus Dwelt in Hope.

  • Verse 26 – “my flesh also will dwell in hope (CONFIDENCE)”
  • Literally: MY FLESH IS GOING TO PITCH A TENT WITH CONFIDENCE.

Like the expression “You can take that to the Bank” Jesus hung on the cross in confident expectation of the Resurrection. His earthly body was temporary, it was a tent, but Jesus dwelt in that tent in Full Confidence of His Father!

The word Greek word elpís “hope” best expresses confidence rather than hope. The passage means, My body will I commit to the grave, with the firm confidence that I will never see corruption, but arise to the Joy of my Father![7]

Jesus was confident in the power of His Father. He was confident that He was fulfilling His will. He expressed that confidence at the beginning of His ministry:

He expressed that confidence at the end of His earthly ministry: “Father into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46)

III. The Promise of God – Power for Eternity

A. You Will Not Abandon My Soul to Hades (vs 27)

  • NKJV For You will not leave my soul in Hades.

As Death could not hold Jesus, so Hades could not keep Him. The place that Jesus Himself described was the place souls await judgment. Those who trusted in God such as Lazarus, Abraham, and the Old Testament saints, until the resurrection, those who hardened themselves against God until the Great White Throne Judgment. Satan had no hold on Jesus, in fact, Jesus freed those Old Testament Saints who were looking for their Messiah:

Ephesians 4:7-8 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”

B. You will not let Your Holy One see Corruption

Jesus is the Holy One. Hebrews 4:15 declares, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus had no part in sin, therefore His body was exempt from the corruption and decay that a dead body experiences. Instead of the stench of decaying flesh, Jesus was a sweet aroma to His heavenly Father!

Destruction in a moral sense. It refers to the change of the present constitution of the body or the change of the moral makeup of a person[8].

Jesus body never decayed because He had defeated Sin and Hell!

C. You Will Make Known the Paths of Life (v 28)

Jesus is declaring that the Cross is the Path of Life! It has Power for all Eternity. The cross towers over the train track of ruin and damnation. The unstoppable locomotive of death and destruction was bearing down on Jesus, but that old Cross stopped that locomotive cold, throwing it off the tracks. For the Cross became a new track, the track that leads to Eternal Life! Jesus is our Path of Life!

This properly means the path to life; as we say, the road to preferment or honour; the path to happiness; the highway to ruin, etc. See Proverbs 7:25, 27. It means, Thou wilt make known to me life itself, i.e. thou wilt restore me to life. The expressions in the Psalm are capable of this interpretation without doing any violence to the text; and if the preceding verses refer to the death and burial of the Messiah, then the natural and proper meaning of this is, that he would be restored to life again.[9]

D.    You Will Make Me Full of Gladness With Your Presence (Countenance).

There is nothing that Satan could throw at Jesus that could steal His joy! Not torture, not crucifixion, not even death!

Jesus knew that God would raise Him from the dead before His body would undergo decay. He knew He would once again enjoy the Presence of His Father.

1.) The Resurrection Assures us that Death will never hold us.
  • Sin is Forgiven
  • NO PAYMENT DUE.
  • NO CONDEMNATION!
  • Our body will experience decay, but our soul will be with God the very millisecond we die. Death will never destroy us, because Jesus conquered Death!
2.) The Resurrection Assures us that Life doesn’t have to Shake us.
  • We have Power over Life through Jesus Christ. We can know Gladness and Joyfulness in the midst of the worst of times.
3.) The Resurrection Assures us we will Spend  Eternity with Christ
  • We can rejoice because we have an unshakeable confidence that because Jesus defeated sin, death and the Devil, even so we will conquer death and sin and the devil because we are in Him by faith!
  • To absent from the body is to be present with the Lord!

However, our bodies await that great moment when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

We Have a New Victory Cry!

1 Corinthians 15:51-57. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We can Jump for Joy!

  • We can cry out “Thanks be to God for the Victory He gives us through our Jesus Christ!”
  • We have a New Exclamation Point for our Life! He is Alive! He is Alive!!!!!!

How is your gladness this morning? Are your rejoicing? WHO IS YOUR TRUST IN? Jesus was rejoicing even on the Cross. His behavior was so unbelievable that a cursing thief had a change of heart and confessed Jesus was a righteous man. A roman soldier declared that truly this was the son of God!

You do not have to settle for a trickle of joy now and then. You do not have to be shaken by what life throws at you. You do not have to fear tomorrow. You do not have to fear death. Give you life to Jesus Christ. Trust Him and Him alone for your salvation.

Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • The pangs of childbirth turn into the Joy of parenthood.
  • The pangs of death turn into the Joy of life with our Father forevermore!

Through the Resurrection we have a Legacy

John Newton calls our legacy, “solid joys and lasting treasure.”

What is the Key to Knowing His Joy and Gladness?

  1. Spend time often with God in His Word and in prayer. Even if it is a short time, get up early enough to meet with God before you head out the door. Start keeping an ongoing dialogue with God.
  2. Relate everything, even little events, to God’s Hand. Learn to say thank you God! See everything from His loving hand. Nothing happens by chance. Even the bad things, we thank Him for!
  3. Take time often to enjoy God in His creation. Take time to garden, grow flowers, feed the birds, and take a walk. Turn the TV off, stop watching the news, and make time to see God’s creation! If you cannot sense God’s presence and glory at a time like that, you may not know God!

The key to joy and gladness is to walk and work and play with a constant sense of God’s presence. Then, even if you go through trials, you will keep your joy because it is coming from God and His presence with you.

I Dreamed I Stood at Calvary

I dreamed I stood at Calvary
And saw three crosses there;
On left and right were nailed two thieves,
The cross between was bare.

A soldier took his sword in hand,
Then pointing it at me;
He said, “You there, prepare to die.
That cross is meant for thee.”

I quickly fell upon my knees,
For mercy did I cry;
As strong hands grabbed my hands and feet,
I shouted, “Why, oh why?”

And then a voice both soft and sweet
Was heard above the din;
“Let this one go, take me instead.
I’ll pay his debt of sin.”

With his body torn and bleeding,
And thorn marks ’round his head;
With face bruised where they beat him,
He stepped into my stead.

Then Jesus laid upon the cross,
His life to freely give;
That all my sins be washed away,
And through his death, I’d live.

He stretched his arms out open wide,
No struggle did he make;
As they prepared to nail him there,
His life to gladly take.

They drove the spikes in hands and feet
And slammed the cross in place;
His bones were shaken out of joint,
And blood flowed down his face.

“Forgive them, Father”‘ was his cry,
They know not what they’ve done.
They do not realize that you,
Have sent your only son.”

Deep darkness filled the noonday sky
And trembling shook the ground;
As God, the Father, turned away,
While God, the Son, gazed ’round.

“It’s finished now”, the Saviour said.
“The door stands open wide;
Into thy hand’s my spirit comes.”
And then they pierced his side.

The graves were bursting open,
And dead men walked around;
The temple veil was rent in twain,
And I fell to the ground.

When I awoke, the night had passed
And sunshine flooded in;
I cried, “Dear Lord, forgive me please,
And cleanse me from my sin.

For you sent down your only son,
A ransom for the lost;
And I see you included me,
When counting out the cost.

Take o’er the reins that guide my life,
Remove my wilful pride;
Sweep clean my heart and enter in,
Forever, there abide.”

Yes, I dreamt I stood at Calvary
And saw those crosses three;
Yet no longer do I look with fear
Where Jesus died for me!

Are you living Life with an Exclamation Point! Are you jumping for Joy regardless of the circumstances?

The Death of Jesus was the greatest Exclamation Point this world has ever known, for it was followed by His resurrection! HE IS ALIVE! HE IS ALIVE!

  • Because He Lives We have Power over Death!
  • Because He lives we have Power over Life!
  • Because He lives, we have Power for Eternity – Life with Him!

Is there an Exclamation Point in your Life? Is Jesus in your Life?


[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 885.

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

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Total Health

is “the dynamic and harmonious interaction of spirit, soul and body in the absence of mental, emotional or physical sickness or disease”.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it”. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

To be sanctified is to withdraw your spirit, soul and body from the unhealthy entanglements of our corrupt culture and experience true fellowship with the God of peace.

We are made of three distinct parts: spirit, soul and body. Total Health involves an understanding of how these interact with each other.

We are made in God’s image, and that means we are like God who “is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”.

There are three different laws operating within us-law of the spirit, law of the mind (soul), and the law of sin in the body (Romans 7:22-8:1)

When these three laws are in conflict with one another, we will experience stress, disease and even premature death. When they are in harmony with one another, we will experience health, peace and life.

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace”. Romans 8:6

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”. 3 John 1:2

The Goal of Total Health

Total Health is not perfect health. Perfect health is not possible for we are all in the process of dying physically.

Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

Total Health is the ability to fulfill the purposes for which God created you. Before we were even born, God designed us to carry out great works.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Our identity and fulfillment in life is to carry out these great works. We do not want any sickness or disease to hinder us from carrying out our life purpose. We have a limited number of days in which to accomplish the great works for which God brought us into this world. Our focus should not be on having better health but on completing our life purpose.

We were designed before conception

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

God promised His people that if they would love Him and keep His commandments, He would bless them more than all the other peoples of the earth:

And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’ Deuteronomy 6:24-25

You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. Deuteronomy 7:14-15

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. Deuteronomy 28:1-6

Total Health: Being Made “Whole”

On the way to Jerusalem, he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests”. And as they went, they were cleansed (katharizo). Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19

1. Cleansing the Blood

As they went, they were cleansed.

katharízō; from katharós , pure. To cleanse, free from filth[1]; “to cleanse, make clean”,[2]

In a physical sense, this would refer primarily to the circulatory system, because the “life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11)

In a spiritual sense, to purify from the pollution and guilt of sin (Acts 15:9; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 5:26; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:14; James 4:8; 1 John 1:7, 9;[3]

In a spiritual sense, ‘katharizo’ refers to the removal of the pollution and guilt of sin.

2. Healing the Flesh

One of the lepers looked at his flesh and saw that he was healed which is “iáomai”; to heal, cure, restore to bodily health.[4] The physical symptoms of the disease had disappeared.

When our blood is cleansed of its impurities, the flesh can be restored to health.

3. Achieving Wholeness

Simply removing the distressing condition of the disease is not total health. Total health involves a restored relationship with God and the accompanying signs of joy, freedom, and inward peace.

The leper who returned to give thanks was the only one that Jesus told, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well”. Well or whole is the word ‘sózō’.

Sózō; to save, deliver, make whole, preserve safe from danger, loss, destruction. Sózō occurs fifty-four times in the Gospels. Fourteen relate to deliverance from disease or demon possession. Twenty instances, the inference is to the rescue of physical life from some impending peril or instant death. The remaining twenty times, the reference is to spiritual salvation[5]

Three Aspects of Salvation

1. Salvation of the Spirit

Eternal Salvation of our spirit. This is the New Birth spoken of in John 3. This is what Paul described in Romans 10:

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (sózō). For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (sózō)”. Romans 10:9-13

2. Salvation of the Soul

The regeneration and salvation of our spirit is instantaneous. The salvation of our soul (mind, will and emotions) is a continual process. It is accomplished through the control of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the washing of the Word of God. As we read and meditate on God’s Word, we build a Biblical belief system. This is what James was writing about:

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save (sózō) your souls. James 1:21

The wholeness, soundness and health of our soul has a direct effect upon our physical health. This is the meaning of John’s greeting:

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”. 3 John 1:2

3. Salvation of the Body

The “wholeness” or “wellness” of our physical body is contingent upon obedience to God’s moral standards.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8

When a member of the Corinthian church committed gross immorality, Paul commanded

When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 5:4-5

Three Primary Factors that Contribute to Health

1. Genetic Tendencies

We all inherit tendencies toward certain diseases based on weaknesses in our genetic makeup. They do not have to become diseases if we follow God’s way of life.

The challenge of finding hereditary disease genes:

Our expectation is that the characterization of a disease- instigating gene will greatly assist our understanding of how and why it causes a malfunction in the body. It makes good sense to go to the root of the problem. But to learn a gene’s secret, first you must find it. And finding it is not so simple. It is much easier to locate the neighborhood in the genome where a gene resides than it is to determine its exact address.

Lilliput and Brobdingnag: Beyond Gulliver’s Travels. The magnitude of the challenge arises from the vast amount of DNA contained in the diploid human genome, which includes all of a person’s genetic material. If strung out, the DNA in a single human genome would stretch to about two meters, but the diameter of the strand would amount to only about two billionths of a meter, 20 angstroms, a span a hundred times smaller than a wavelength of light. If the DNA from a single cell from every human being on the planet — 6 billion people — were stitched end to end, the resulting string would girdle the earth about 300 times. If the genomes from every cell of the 6 billion people were laid out end to end, they would extend 700 billion, billion miles — enough to wrap around our galaxy more than 700 times.

To understand the enormous problem of finding a gene somewhere on an individual’s strand of DNA, imagine that a single human genome is long enough to circle the globe. On this scale, the amount of DNA in a chromosome would extend for a thousand miles. A gene would span just one twentieth of a mile, and a disease-causing defect — a point mutation, a change in only one DNA base pair — could run as short as one twentieth of an inch. What we are thus searching for is comparable to a fraction of an inch on the circumference of the globe! In this immense morass of DNA, finding the exact address of a gene and pinpointing its fault makes for extremely tough going, and it requires all of the creativity and ingenuity of everyone engaged in the quest.[6]

An example of genetic tendencies in one family:

We were looking for a large extended multigenerational family in which we could observe many instances of the Huntington’s disease gene or its normal counterpart being passed on — and we knew of just such a family. Members of the kindred live in Venezuela in three rural villages — San Luis, Barranquitas, and Laguneta — on the shores of Lake Maracaibo. Because it is situated in the northern region of Latin America and Lake Maracaibo is actually a huge ocean gulf, Venezuela has long communicated directly with Europe, and many European genes have appeared in the local population. Story has it that some sailor with Huntington’s disease came over to trade and left his legacy, but we do not know if this is apocryphal.

We have been able to trace the disease as far back as the early 1800s, to a woman appropriately named Maria ConcepciÛn. We know that Maria lived in the “pueblos de agua,” villages built on stilts in the water next to shores too marshy, jungly, and inhospitable to accommodate human life. Laguneta, where many of Maria’s descendants live, remains such a stilt village.

Maria was the founder of a kindred now numbering close to 11,000 people, living and deceased. In the pedigree, there are 371 persons with Huntington’s disease, 1,266 at 50 percent risk and 2,395 at 25 percent risk for the disease. Of the 11,000, 9,000 are living and the majority are under the age of forty. In these small and impoverished towns, we estimate that there are over 660 asymptomatic gene carriers who are too young to show symptoms, but as years pass — if no treatment is found — they will surely die. It is crushing to look at these exuberant children full of hope and expectation, despite poverty, despite illiteracy, despite dangerous and exhausting work for the boys fishing in small boats in the turbulent lake, or for even the tiny girls tending house and caring for ill parents, despite a brutalizing disease robbing them of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins — they are joyous and wild with life, until the disease attacks.[7]

2. Physical Constitution

We can inherit a strong physical constitution from our parents, yet through immoral or wild living pass along a weaker constitution to our children and grand children.

In the 1940’s Francis M. Pottenger (not Pottinger) M.D. began a ten year study using 900 cats to determine what effects processed foods have on the body, and to examine the genetic propensity of passing degenerative disease traits from generation to generation. The cats were divided into five groups with two of the groups fed raw whole foods and the other three groups cooked enzyme less foods. The cats were observed over a four generation period and the following results were documented by Doctor Pottenger:[8]

POTTENGER CAT EXPERIMENT SUMMARY

GROUP A B C D E
FOOD FED Raw meat Raw milk Pasteurized milk Evaporated milk Condensed milk
1st Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy Developed diseases and illnesses near end of life
2nd Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy Developed diseases and illnesses in middle of life
3rd Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy Developed diseases and illnesses in beginning of life; many died before six months of age;
4th Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy No fourth generation was produced: either third generation parents were sterile, or fourth generation cats were aborted before birth

Source: Pottenger’s Cats, a Study in Nutrition

3. Various Stresses

Whether our genetic tendencies and weak constitution will result in diseases will be determined primarily by stresses in our lives (because of what we say, think and do).

There can be many causes of stress, such as time constraints, having too much to do, and having too many bills and not enough funds.

However, the greatest stresses come from inward attitudes such as anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy. These destroy the immune system.

Is Total Health Healing?

Total healing is not possible on earth, because the sentence of death and the curse of sin have been placed on the physical body of every person.

Total Health refers to fulfilling the number of years for which God designed us to serve Him and the quality of life we need to carry out the work He has created us to accomplish.

There are three types of illnesses given in Scripture. When you develop an illness, discern which of these types you are experiencing. Then, carry out the appropriate Biblical responses.

1. Sickness unto Death

As a believer in the Lord, you are indestructible until your work on earth is done. As one preacher said: “you are bulletproof!” Once you finish your work, there is no point in staying around here. It is far more glorious to be in the presence of the Lord!

If a believer has what the doctors describe as a terminal illness, but he believes that his work is not yet done, he can appeal to God for healing-not just to extend his life but to accomplish the work that God has called him to do.

This was the basis for David’s prayer in his old age:

O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Psalms 71:17-18

In order to have this outlook on life and death, we must be good stewards of the time God has entrusted to us. We should be continually looking for better ways to redeem every hour by keeping it from going to waste and choosing the most profitable activities to advance God’s Kingdom.

If you were told today that you have a terminal disease, what reason would you give God for keeping you alive?

2. Sickness unto Chastisement

There are physical, emotional and spiritual consequences for violating God’s Laws. The most severe come to those who chose to violate His laws dealing with morality. If we cater to our fleshly wants, we shall reap the corruption of the flesh as Galatians 6:7 states.

The Bible also mentions specific consequences to those who dishonor their parents (Prov 30:17), violate God’s dietary restrictions (I Peter 1:15-16, Leviticus 11:44ff)

There are cause and effect health consequences when we violate God’s commands. In His mercy, God has established the communion table a place for thorough self-examination. Carry it out with the utmost care.

Careless Communion results in what Paul described:

“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 1 Corinthians 11:29-30

If you are sick, ask yourself, is this God’s way of chastening me for not following His way of life? Consider the state of your soul as well:

  • Am I withholding forgiveness from someone who has hurt me deeply?
  • Am I resentful or regretful over something in my past, either because of someone else or my own actions?
  • Is there anything in my past for which I cannot bring myself to thank God for?
  • Are there any private sins that I cherish without confessing and repenting before Holy God?
  • Is there anything in my past that I have not found forgiveness for, and when reminded, I immediately jump on the Ferris wheel of regret?
  • Am I quick to get frustrated and even angry when certain situations arise?
  • Are there areas of my life I refuse to submit to God’s control?

3. Sickness unto the Glory of God.

God uses infirmities, sickness and disease to bring glory to Himself.

a) He Provides Supernatural Healing

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3

This infirmity was designed years before Christ healed him. Therefore, we must never attribute sickness, disease or impairment as sin on his part or his parents fault.

b) God’s Glory is Manifested in our Weakness.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

God often gives us physical and even mental weaknesses to prevent us from depending on our own strength or ability rather than the supernatural working of His power.

The Five Factors Which Determine our Total Health

Sickness and disease can be associated with one or more of the following five factors. When proper care is given regarding these factors, you have the optimal potential to avoid or clear up the related diseases. The first three are the most important, according to Scripture.

1. What We Think

Intellectual thoughts travel through the limbic system of the brain, directly effecting many bodily functions. Research has proven a connection between the limbic system and emotional memory, which includes positive thoughts such as love, joy and peace; and negative thoughts such as anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy.

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:18-20

There are two parts of the nervous system that are especially significant: The limbic system and the autonomic nervous system. The Limbic System The limbic system is a complex set of structures that lies on both sides and underneath the thalamus, just under the cerebrum. It includes the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the amygdala, and several other nearby areas. It appears to be primarily responsible for our emotional life, and has a lot to do with the formation of memories.[9]

All emotional memories are stored and can be consciously or subconsciously stimulated by the senses. The brain, the heart and the intestinal tract release neuro-transmitters that result in physiological changes. The thoughts of the heart prompt the greatest changes in the body, as it is stated in Scripture:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Proverbs 23:7

Neurotransmitters Receptors

Neurotransmitters exert their effect by binding to specific receptors on the neuronal postsynaptic membrane. A neurotransmitter can either ‘excite’ its neighbouring neuron so increasing its activity, or ‘inhibit’ its neighbouring neuron, suppressing its activity. In general, the activity of a neuron depends on the balance between the number of excitatory and inhibitory processes affecting it, and these can occur simultaneously. Most neurotransmitter receptors can be divided into two types – ligand-gated receptors and G-protein linked receptors.

Stimulation of a ligand-gated receptor  enables a channel in the receptor to open and permits the influx of chloride and potassium ions into the cell. The positive or negative charges that enter the cell either excite or inhibit the neuron. Ligands for these receptors include excitatory neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and, to a lesser extent, aspartate. Binding of these ligands to the receptor produces an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP). Alternatively, binding of inhibitory neurotransmitter ligands, such as GABA and glycine, produces an inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP). These ligand-gated receptors are also known as ionotropic or fast receptors.

G-protein linked receptors are indirectly linked to ion channels, via a second messenger system involving G-proteins and adenylate cyclase. These receptors are neither precisely excitatory nor inhibitory and modulate the actions of the classic excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters such as glutamate and glycine. These receptors tend to have an inhibitory effect if they are linked to the Gi protein in the cell membrane, and a more excitatory effect if linked to the Gs protein. G-protein linked receptors are known as metabotropic or slow receptors and examples include GABA-B, glutamate, dopamine (D1 and D2), 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D, 5-HT2A,5-HT2C receptors.

Serotoning receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
5-HT1 Brain, instetinal nerves Neuronal inhibition, behavioural effects, cerebral vasoconstriction
5-HT2 Brain, heart, lungs, smooth muscle control, GI system, blood vessels, platelets Neuronal excitation, vasoconstriction, behavioural effects,depression, anxiety
5-HT3 Limbic system, ANS Nausea, anxiety
5-HT4 CNS, smooth muscle Neuronal excitation, GI
5-HT5, 6, 7 Brain Not known

Noradrenaline receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
Alpha1 Brain, heart, smooth muscle Vasoconstriction, smooth muscle control
Alpha2 Brain, pancreas, smooth muscle Vasoconstriction, presynaptic effect in GI (relaxant)
Beta1 Heart, brain Heart rate (increase)
Beta2 Lungs, brain, skeletal muscle Bronchial relaxation, vasodilatation
Beta3 Postsynaptic effector cells Stimulation of effector cells

Dopamine receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
D1, 5-like Brain, smooth muscle Stimulatory, role in schizophrenia?
D2, 3, 4-like Brain, cardiovascular system, presynaptic nerve terminals Inhibitory, role in schizphrenia?

Acetylcholine receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
M1 Nerves CNS excitation, gastric acid secretion
M2 Heart, nerves, smooth muscle Cardiac inhibition, neural inhibition
M3 Glands, smooth muscle, endothelium Smooth, muscle contraction, vasodilation
M4 ?CNS? Not known
M5 ?CNS? Not known
NM Skeletal muscles neuromuscular junction Neuromuscular transmission
NN Postganglionic cell body dendrites Ganglionic transmission[10]

[11]

The heart and brain

However, following several years of  research, it was observed that, the heart communicates with the brain in ways that significantly affect how we perceive and react to the world. It was found that, the heart seemed to have its own peculiar logic that frequently diverged from the direction of the autonomic nervous system. The heart appeared to be sending meaningful messages to the brain that it not  only understood, but also obeyed (Lacey and Lacey, 1978).

Later, neurophysiologists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism whereby input from the heart to the brain could inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity (McCraty, 2002)

The brain in the heart:

After extensive research, Armour (1994) introduced the concept of functional ‘heart brain’. His work revealed that the heart has a complex intrinsic nervous system that is sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a ‘little brain’ in its own right. The heart’s brain is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells similar to those found in the brain proper. Its elaborate circuitry enables it to act independently of the cranial brain – to learn, remember, and even feel  and sense. The heart’s nervous system contains around 40,000 neurons, called sensory neurites (Armour, 1991).

Information from the heart – including feeling sensations – is sent to the brain through several afferents. These afferent nerve pathways enter the brain at the area of the medulla, and cascade up into the higher centres of the brain, where they may influence perception, decision making and other cognitive processes (Armour, 2004).

Thus, it was revealed that the heart has its own intrinsic nervous system that operates and processes information  independently of the brain or nervous system. This is what allows a heart transplant to work. Normally, the heart communicates with the brain via nerve fibres running through the vagus nerve and the spinal column. In a heart transplant, these nerve connections do not reconnect for an extended period of time; in the meantime, the transplanted heart is able to function in its new host only through the capacity of its intact, intrinsic nervous system (Murphy, et al, 2000)

The heart’s magnetic field:

Research has also revealed that the heart communicates information to the brain and throughout the body via electromagnetic field interactions. The heart generates the body’s  most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. The heart’s magnetic component is about 500 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body. It was proposed that, this  heart field acts as a carrier wave for information that provides a global synchronizing signal for the entire body (McCraty, Bradley & Tomasino, 2004)

Heart field interactions between individuals

There is now evidence that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or ‘energetic’ communication system operates just below our conscious awareness. Energetic interactions possibly contribute to the ‘magnetic’ attractions or repulsions that occur between individuals, and also affect social relationships. It was also found that one person’s brain waves can synchronize to another person’s heart (McCraty, 2004).

Communication via hormones: the heart as a hormonal gland

Another component of the heart-brain communication system was provided by researchers studying  the hormonal system. The heart was reclassified as an endocrine gland when, in 1983, a hormone produced and released by the heart called atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) was isolated. This hormone exerts its effect on the blood vessels, on the kidneys, the adrenal glands, and on a large number of regulatory regions in the brain. It was also found that the heart contains a cell type known as ‘intrinsic cardiac adrenergic’’ (ICA) cells. Theses cells release noradrenaline and dopamine neurotransmitters,  once thought to be produced only by neurons in the CNS. More recently, it was discovered that the heart also secretes  oxytocin, commonly referred to as the ‘love’ or bonding hormone. In addition to its functions in childbirth and lactation, recent evidence indicates that this hormone is also involved in cognition, tolerance, adaptation, complex sexual and maternal behaviours, learning social cues and the establishment of enduring pair bonds. Concentrations of oxytocin in the heart were found to be as high as those found in the brain (Cantin & Genest, 1986).[12]

2. What We Say

God states, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue”[13]. Positive words produce energy for health and peace, whereas negative words result in confusion and disease.

Positive words can be expressed in praise, verbal blessings, audible prayers and cries to God. The Words of God are alive and powerful:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

We are also instructed:

My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:20-23

Negative words are expressed by such things as curses, ridicule, mocking, gossip and false accusations. God compares such words to poison, fire , venom and arrows because of the effect they have on the physical body.

A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow. Proverbs 25:18

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:5-8

who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, Psalms 64:3

“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” Romans 3:13

Negative words must be neutralized with verbal blessings, or they will do greater damage to our health. We are told by Christ and Paul:

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you”. Luke 6:27-28

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them”. Romans 12:14

3. What We Do

God designed man to function in intricate cause and effect sequences. He prescribed a way of life that is consistent with His holy standards. If these standards are violated by our lifestyle or behavior, we will experience corresponding consequences in our health and length of life.

Many times a lifestyle of promiscuity destroys the immune system and introduces destructive viruses to the body with the result of fatal diseases.

4. What We Eat

Our body needs proper nutrition. Note: your ability to digest food and assimilate its nutritional value is determined by what you think, say and do.

5. What We Inherit

Each of us inherits a genetic predisposition to death through Adam’s transgression. We each have genetic tendencies toward certain diseases. We also have in our body opportunistic agents that are ready to spring into action just as soon as our immune systems are too weak to stop them. These disease factors include Bacteria, Viruses, Parasites and Fungi.

When the stresses of anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy are resolved by obeying the commands of Christ, the sickness or disease they caused often clears up.

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8


[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 793.

[2] William E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1940), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Purge”. See Hebrews 9:14 & 9:22

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 793.

[4] Ibid, under “iáomai”.

[5] Ibid, p. 1353.

[6] Nancy S. Wexler, Clairvoyance and Caution: Repercussions from the Human Genome Project. The Code of Codes: Scientific and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project. D.J. Kevles and L. Hood (Eds) Harvard University Press, 1992, 211-243 at http://www.hdfoundation.org/html/clair.php

[7] Ibid.

[9] Boeree, C. George, Ph.D. “General Psychology”. Epublication, 4/21/2008 found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6004602/general-psychology-etext

[13] Proverbs 18:21a

For more information get “How to Resolve 7 Deadly Stresses” published by the Institute in Basic Life Principles, Inc, 2008. www.iblp.org


Most  people have seen “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” with comedian Jeff Dunham

  • He is known for yelling, “Silence! I kill you!” to Dunham and people in the audience
  • His favorite Christmas song is “Jingle Bombs”.
  • When Jeff mentions that Achmed appears to be dead because he’s a skeleton, Achmed responds, “It’s a flesh wound.”
  • When Dunham inquires as to how he died, Achmed explains his incompetence with explosives, by saying that they both suffer from “premature detonation.”

Achmed went to a Doctor for an examination. The Doctor examines Achmed and says it looks like he has scoliosis, and orders an X-Ray. Achmed says, “why don’t you just take a Polaroid?”

Paul wants us to see the Polaroid of our Body the way God Sees it: And He wants us to answer this question – Who’s Got  Your Body? Paul presents foundational truth about our body and we must allow that truth to replace our experience.

Whatever contradicts the truth of God’s Word is to be  regarded as the Devil’s Lie, not because it may not be in itself a very real fact to our senses, but because God has stated a greater fact before which the other must eventually yield. Nee NCL p 75.

The body (flesh) is sin’s special sphere of operation. Man is a slave to sin because his body is sin’s puppet. The moment the body is disengaged or disemployed from sin, we cease to be sin’s slave. Our body is liberated from sin’s power and influence. The old man is crucified to release the body from the dominion of sin. With sin’s partner, the old man, crucified, and the new man taking its place, sin’s power over the body is broken.

Let’sl look at what God wants us to do with this body, this flesh. He wants us to believe what His Word says is true. If you recall, we looked at Romans 6 verse 6 and discovered that is our old man was crucified with Christ. Then we looked at Romans 6:11 and saw how we are to count (or reckon) on our old man being dead. The Christian life is not to be a life of following rules, or fleshly struggling to overcome sin. The Christian life is lived in the Grace of God and in His power. God has provided our deliverance rom sin, not by abolishing it, not by removing our flesh, but by removing the old man!

Now we continue on in Romans starting at verse 12, and we discover a new command:

1. COMMAND…

(6:12) Believer’s are commanded to not let sin rule over their bodies. This is a forceful command.

  1. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Romans 6:12

1. We Must Not Let Sin Reign

(basileuetō): have authority, rule, control, occupy, hold sway, prevail over him. The present tense is used, so the idea is a continuous attitude and behavior.

  • “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Cor. 15:34).
  • “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

Our bodies are dying (mortal-thnetos). Our bodies are unemployed (body of sin annulled Rom 6:6)

2. We Must Not Obey (To yield to a superior command or force) sin in its lusts (epithumiais).

The word means strong desire or craving and passion. The pull of sin is sometimes strong, very strong. All men know what it is to lust after things, after more and more, whether it be money, property, security, position, pleasure, fun, or fleshly stimulation. The true believer must not yield to these pulls. He must not let the lusts of his eyes and flesh rule and regulate his mind and behavior. He must not let lust order his life. He must not obey sin in its lusts, in its cravings and desires and passions. He must resist the lusts of his “mortal body.”

  • “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell” (Matthew 5:29).
  • “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Romans 8:13).
  • “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).
  • “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2).

2. PRESENT…

vs 13: Present yourselves to God

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Romans 6:13

1. (6:13)  Body is an instrument (hóplon)

The body is not the source of sin, but the Bible says and man’s experience proves that the body is the instrument of sin, the organ which sin uses to manifest and satisfy itself. But Romans 6:6 says our body is unemployed, it is annulled, put out of action when it comes to the power of sin. Now our bodies are free to be instruments fit for the Master!

2.  (6:13) We Must Not Present The Members Of Our Body To Sin.

The word “present” (paristēmi) means to offer; to put at the disposal of; to give; to grant; to turn over to. Some translations use yield, but that implies a passive action. The idea is much more active in its intent. You are to present your bodies to God as instruments for His use. The believer is not to allow the members of his body to be instruments or tools of unrighteousness. If he takes a member of his body and uses it as an instrument or tool of unrighteousness, he sins.

“Do Not Present” is in the imperative, which means it is a command, a command in the present, which means we must always be aware that we do not present ourselves as instruments of sin. Therefore, we must be vigilant in watching who we serve.

But the “present yourselves to God” is in the aorist tense, which means a onetime action that you make. It is not something you do over and over. Just as the golden vessels were presented to the Lord one time, just as Samuel was presented by his mother one time, so you must at one time present your members unto God, for Him to use as He sees fit. God will then be responsible for your body. From that day we must watch who we are yielded too, and lest we forget, God will constantly remind us.

3. We Present Ourselves To God.

Note a significant fact: in the Greek this is not written in the present tense, but in the aorist tense. This simply means the believer is to make a one-time decision for God, a once-for-all dedication of his life to God. We do not just yield- that has the idea of ‘passive surrender’! No, we actively present ourselves to God as His New Creation!

The presentation of your life to God is to be sincere and genuine—a one time decision. You are to yield yourself—your body, your life, all that you are—to God; and your decision is to be a permanent, one time decision.

We present our members to God as instruments of righteousness. Turn the members of your body over to God: your eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, hands, feet, mind—all your members. Every part of your body is to be given over as an instrument or tool to do righteousness.

Present to God as one who has passed from death to life. God doesn’t want the old man, God wants our new life! Our flesh is unemployed, so He wants to employ it, but We must consciously present it to Him!

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

3. LEARN…

(6:14-15) Sin does not dominate true believers. We are under grace and not under the law.

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Romans 6:14-15

1. Struggling to Keep the Law is an act of the Flesh

The believer is constantly aware that he fails and comes short of the law. He struggles and strives, wrestles and grapples, works and labors to obey; but his experience is full of tension and pressure, disappointment and discouragement. The person under law never lives a victorious life, for he is constantly coming short of God’s glory and perfection. The defeated Christian is relying upon his flesh and self-will to overcome sin.

  • This is not God’s Way!

God’s way is the power of His Grace!

  • “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (Psalm 38:4).
  • “For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me” (Psalm 40:12).
  • “For I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).

2.  We Are Under Grace, Not Under Law.

God is not a legal judge hovering over you to punish you every time you sin by breaking a particular law.

What does being under grace mean? It means that the believer accepts the grace of God demonstrated in Jesus Christ. The believer accepts the righteousness, the sinless perfection of Christ as his own righteousness. The believer identifies his life with the life of Christ,

God counts the faith of the believer as the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

  • How do we keep from serving sin and from living under sin and from displeasing God?
  • How do we live under grace day by day?
  • How do we live under God’s favor all of the time?
  • How can we please God and receive His approval and acceptance?

And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

We must constantly keep before us the glorious truth that we are under God’s grace.

God is our Father, and we have become true children of God’s. We are only accepted and beloved in Jesus Christ. We abide in Jesus Christ. As long as we abide, we bear fruit. If we fail to abide by faith, we do not bear fruit.

We have need of daily cleansing. There are presumptuous sins, there are sins of omission and commission. Jesus said we will need our feet washed as we travel this earth. Sin will be around us, but sin does not have control over us.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

3.  Are We Allowed To Continue In Sin?

Can we sin and sin and keep on expecting God to forgive and forgive? Scripture shouts: God forbid! Then Scripture argues that a true child of God must not continue in sin. Why does the true child of God not sin? Why does he keep away from sin?

⇒  Because the grace of Christ indwells us!

“For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee” (Psalm 5:4).

⇒  Because we turned to God in order to get away from sin and its shame and destruction.

He did not turn to God in order to have the freedom to sin, but to be set free from the enslavement and habits of sin, to break the bondage and consequences of sin.

  • “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death” (Romans 6:21).
Sin is not to dominate the believer

We as Children of God must learn something: sin will not and does not dominate the true believer. There are three reasons.

1.  God is not a legal judge hovering over the child to punish him every time he sins by breaking a particular law. The child is not under such frightening dominion.

2.  God is a gracious and loving Father. He cares and suffers long with growing children. When His child falls into sin, God is long-suffering, ever willing to forgive His erring child—if the child will only come and ask forgiveness and turn from his sin (Luke 17:3-4; 1 John 1:9).

3.  God is a teaching Father who disciplines. He exhorts His child not to fall into the dominating trap of sin (cp. Hebrews 12:5-11; 1 John 2:1-2).

The truth of our NEW LIFE in Christ is that we live in and experience the power of grace!

4. KNOW

vs 16: Know that you can only serve one master

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16

1.  You Can Serve Only One Master, Sin Or God.

The word “servant” (doulos) means slave. A person is either the slave of sin or of God, and there is a very simple test to tell which master a person serves. Do you yield to sin, that is, serve sin? or do you yield to God, that is, serve God? Either sin is your master or God is your Master. You either yield to sin or you yield to God. This does not mean that you become sinless and perfect, but that…

  • you do not plan to sin.
  • you depend upon the life of Jesus
  • you diligently seek to make God the Master of your life by obeying Him.
  • you study God’s Word so that you will know His commandments and can obey Him.
  • you walk in open confession before God, talking to Him all day long, ever gaining an unbroken fellowship with Him as the Master of your life.

2. You walk in the flesh, or you walk in the Spirit!

You either walk by sight, or your walk by faith!

  • “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24 .
  • “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34).
  • “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).
  • “While they [the carnal or fleshy] promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Peter 2:19).

5. REMEMBER…

vs. 16-17 Remember your decision to obey

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6:17-18

1. Remember Your Decision. You Chose Righteousness.

  • Note the stated fact: believers “were the servants of sin.”

You used to yield to sin, all kinds of sin ranging from…

language and media
⇒  immoral thoughts to adultery.
⇒  simple thoughts of pride to drunkenness.
⇒  simple acts of selfishness to stealing.
⇒  self-centeredness from eating to what you buy and what you do.
⇒  hurting and using people

You obeyed God! Not in your flesh, not just obedience to a bunch of rules, but you obeyed from your heart!

  • “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (1 John 3:23).
  • “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

2. Note The Result: We Are Freed From Sin.

They are counted righteous by God, not sinful. God sees believers as righteous people, not as sinners. Therefore, believers are freed from sin and its consequences. God does not charge believers with sin; He does not lay sin against them. Believers are freed from the accusation of sin, and they shall never be charged with sin. God has freed them from sin through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (cp. Romans 8:33-34).

We become the servant of righteousness. Once we truly know God’s glorious love, we are driven to serve God in appreciation for what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. We are driven to be the servant of God by living righteously and godly in this present world.

6. DO…

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. Romans 6:19-20

1. Do Serve God With The Same Fervor That You Served Sin.

Your body was a slave to sin because your old man was very much alive. All the old man could do was influence your body to sin. Sin held sway over our old man, so our dress, our attitudes, our speech and our thoughts all give way to the bondage of sin. Our thinking gets so upside down that we think everything we do is OK! We ‘justify’ ourselves, our actions, our attitudes and our words. But we are enemies of God.

Sin always produces more sin. As Romans 1 illustrated, sin is a downward spiral that results in our world being turned opposite of what God’s view is. Sin enslaves. Sin becomes a binding chain that produces habits that we simply ‘tolerate’ and even accept. “iniquity unto iniquity” – Iniquity issuing in an abiding iniquitous state

2. Present Your Members As Slaves To Righteousness That Work Holiness

“Let righteousness work holiness” (hagiasmon). The word means sanctification or holy. The believer is to yield the parts of his body to serve righteousness, and he is to let righteousness sanctify him more and more. He is to live righteously and become more and more holy like God.

When you served sin, you were free from righteousness: you were not credited with righteousness. You did not have the opportunity to live righteously before God. But now you have obeyed God; you have believed. Now you have the opportunity to live righteously, so begin to serve God with the same fervor and energy with which you were serving sin. Let righteousness enslave you and become the bondage and habit of your life.”

  • “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).
  • “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
  • “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24).
  • “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:2-5).
  • “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
  • “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2).

7. QUESTION…

What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Romans 6:21-22

1.  Question if there is any fruit in sin. (Of Course Not!)

The true believer is ashamed of his past sin.

  • “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10).
  • “And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens” (Ezra 9:6).

The fruit of sin is death. The fruit of sin is not good; there is nothing good about it. Sin corrupts, destroys, and dooms all who seek its fruits. This should always be remembered by men.

David struggled with this:

Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Psalms 73:12-19

2.  Real Fruit Belongs To Believers Who Are Slaves Of God.

We are “set free” from the corruption of sin by justification in Jesus Christ. Through the blood of Jesus, we are justified in God’s sight. We are declared as righteous as Jesus Christ because we are IN Christ the glorious love of God. We now owe our new life to God himself. Our members are His, set apart as Holy just as the Temple vessels were.

We now bear the fruit of that leads to sanctification and eternal life.

  • “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
  • “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
  • “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
  • “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thes. 3:12-13).

Bearing The Glorious Hope And End Of Eternal Life.

  • “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
  • “And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together” (John 4:36).
  • “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

8.  CONSIDER…

v 23: the wages of sin vs. the gift of God, of eternal life.

Death (thanatos): the basic meaning of death is separation. “Death never means extinction, annihilation, non-existence, or inactivity.”

Sin deserves death for two very clear reasons. Sinners Live their lives without God, so they will Live their Eternities without God.

1.  Sin ignores and denies God

  • Acts against His nature.
  • Acts in the interest of man.

2.  Sin is rebellion against God.

  • It is rejecting God, ignoring God, disobeying God, denying God,
  • It refuses to Give God His proper place in our life.

They have no part of God.  They are to be banished from God’s sight.They are to be separated from God’s presence forever. They will experience the wrath of God that Jesus experienced for them on the Cross.

As a laborer receives his wages, so sinners shall receive their wages. Each and every day you ignore God and refuse Jesus Christ, you are storing up God’s wrath upon your life. Just as it would be unjust not to pay the laborer, it would be unjust not to pay sinners for their work.

In fact, if sinners did not receive their just punishment, it would be the most gross injustice to His Son, Jesus Christ. Why? Because God would be saying to His Son; your death didn’t mean a thing. Your pain, your suffering, your very life was all a waste. When you experienced Hell for the sake of sinners, it did not mean a thing, becasue I’m going to let them into heaven anyway! Ghastly thought!

Sinners must receive their just wages. Sinners must die; They must be banished forever from the presence of God.

  • “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
  • “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15).
  • “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thes. 1:9).
  • “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:20).

3.  The gift of God is eternal life.

Note that eternal life is not the payment of wages. A man cannot work for and earn eternal life. It is the gift of God, and it is only through Jesus Christ our Lord

  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
  • “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).

Have you Presented Your Body to God?

Consecration begins when we realize the old man is dead-knowing, reckoning, presenting.

When we know our old man is crucified, then we reckon ourselves dead to sin, and alive unto God. Giving myself to Him naturally follows, for we realize that my newness of life is based upon His resurrection, and indeed my very life is in Him! When we realize that Jesus is our very life, then we naturally give Him everything!

Unless I pass through death, there is nothing to consecrate to Him, there is nothing God can accept, for God has condemned my old man to the cross.

Consecration (presenting) means that I consider my whole life as belonging to Him.

Money in my pocket -if it is mine, I can do whatever I want. If it belongs to another, then the money is in my trust, and I cannot buy what I please.

How many of us realize that because Christ is risen, we are alive “unto God and not unto ourselves.

We belong to another, and we dare not squander a cent of our money, a second of our time or any of our mental or physical powers on anything other than what the Lord wants!

What is Holiness?

When we give ourselves wholly to Christ, that is holiness. We do not become holy by the eradication of something evil within. We become holy by being separated unto God! We have gone to the Cross and discovered not only must we kneel at the feet of Jesus and let His blood cover our sins and cloth us with His righteousness.

Our Journey does not end there, it only begins. For the next step is to join Him on the cross and realize that our old man was crucified with Him that we should no longer serve sin. Once we know that our old man was crucified, we count on it, we reckon it to be true in our life.

Then we present ourselves to Jesus. We don’t give Him any of the old man, that is dead. We give him our unemployed body, our hands, our feet, our face, our self, and we say, put these to work as you see fit. All the old Jim Tompkins is dead, and the life I now life is Jesus living through me.

I give myself to you alone, with my one desire being to know you and to walk with you on the course you have chosen for me. I want nothing for myself! I want everything for God!

Then you can say with Paul, I have finished my course (2 Tim 4:7)

You can say “I know that the will of God is good and acceptable and perfect for me!” (Rom 12:2)

  • How can a tailor make you a suit without the fabric?
  • How can a builder build you a house without the building materials?

We cannot expect the Lord to live out His life in us if we do not give Him our lives in which to live!

Will you present yourselves to God?


We celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ each Easter. It certainly is a moving story of the sinless Son of God who is brutally beaten and then murdered by nailing him to a cross and then allowing him to slowly suffocate as he struggles to breath, all the time feeling the pain of those iron spikes, all that is holding his body up.

We know the story of Peter denying that he even knew Jesus, of the diciples running away, of the ladies going early Sunday morning to anoint the body of Jesus, only to find the great stone rolled away and the body missing. We know that the angels said to the women “why do you look for the living among the dead?”, and then how Jesus appears to Mary and then the disciples. We know the story of doubting Thomas and how when Jesus said “Put your finger here and see my hands, and Thomas said “My Lord and My God!

We know the story of the disciples walking on the road to Emmaus, and how they did not recognize the stranger who joined them. When they stopped to eat, and the stranger broke bread, they knew He was Jesus. We also know that after 40 days Jesus was with his disciples one last time. The last thing the disciples said to Jesus was: “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:6-11 (ESV)

That is the Power Point Version of the story of Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

I don’t want to focus on the story of Easter. You have heard that story many times before. I want to focus on the Revelation of Easter – specifically, what did the Resurrection Reveal?

We have been looking at Romans, with the intent of taking a Journey through the cross. In our Journey so far we have seen that the Power of God is this Gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This Gospel Alone is the Power of God unto salvation.

The reason that the Gospel is needed is that man has done three things:

  1. refused to honor God as His God,
  2. refused to allow God into his life by giving Him thanks,
  3. man has become vain or self-centered in his thinking.

As a result, man has been given over to the lusts that lurk in his naturally wicked heart, he has become corrupt in his emotions and behavior, and he has become upside down in his thinking. Bottom line, man is a messed up sinner.

Furthermore, we see from chapter two, that no matter how good man thinks he is, it is not good enough for God. God has declared that we are unrighteous. We are not “right”. Even the Jews, who are blessed by God, Paul writes:

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:9-12 (ESV)

The problem with God’s creation, with man, is that the one thing God made in His own image, you and me, mankind, has become worthless because of sin, because of our disobedience. You may sit there thinking, “I’ve never been one of those ‘corrupt’ sinners. Please realize as Charles Hodge wrote:

“If we have never loved Him supremely, if we have never made it our purpose to do His will, if we have never made His glory the end of our actions, then our lives have been an unbroken series of transgressions. Our sins are not to be numbered by the conscious violations of duty; they are as numerous as the moments of our existence.” Hodge

The Truth is, that ever since Adam and Eve, this world has not been RIGHT! God’s Righteous Creation was corrupted by three things:

  • SATAN
  • SIN
  • DEATH

If God is to set this world RIGHT, Someone must deal with these three corruptors!

The Revelation of Easter

Easter is more than a story, it is The Revealing of the Righteousness of God!

As we will read in a moment, when Jesus stepped through that doorway of his tomb, when he looked up and saw the the sunlight breaking over the horizon, it was more than a miracle, it was more than a triumphal moment for the Son of God. In that moment God revealed something to all of mankind for all of eternity. God revealed His righteousness!

You may say that that is no big deal. If I were to ask each of you, you would tell me you believe in the Righteousness of God. Yet, many of you really have doubts.

We equate righteousness with being right, and many times in our lives we have experienced things or seen things that we feel in our heart are not right, not just, or just not fair. And that  causes us to question this God who is supposed to be righteous, supposed to be loving

When you experience the death of an infant or a child, when you are in a horrible auto accident, or perhaps another kind of accident; when we hear of the tragedies other Christians are experiencing such as torture, rape, and even death, we think “why God”? Is that how you show your righteousness?

When greed is allowed to multiply, when corruption grows, when terrorists do what terrorists do and seem to get away with it, we wonder about the righteousness of God. We even wonder about His power in this world.

Sure, we have heard about His mighty miracles in the past, but why isn’t He doing this in my life? Why is He allowing this torment in my life? Why won’t He set this situation right? After all, you’ve been good, you say your prayers, even read your Bible.

Job

Once there was a man who experienced all sort of tragedies, the death of his children, the theft of everything he owned, the loss of his health. Even his friends turned on him. He questioned the righteousness of God in a huge way. He even pleaded with God for a chance to confront Him, and plead his case that God was wrong. Finally, God appears

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6 (ESV)

Instead of pleading and questioning, he repented, he was silent, he was in awe!

We can question God all we want. We can ignore God all we want. But the truth is that God is Righteous, and today we celebrate how He revealed His righteousness – in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

David

David, who was on the run from King Saul for over 10 years, even though he had done nothing wrong, could write:

Ps 71:15: “My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.”

Whatever your questions and doubts about God and what He has done inyour life, one day you will know that He is and has always dealt with you in His righteousness:

Rev 15:4: “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy.  All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Have You Experienced the Righteousness of God?

We must embrace the truth that God is righteous and His righteousness has been revealed and in fact been made available to us through the resurrection of His Son.

The question I want each of us to answer is this: Have you experienced the Righteousness of God?

In Job 9:2, Job asked: “How should a man be right before God?”

His answer concluded that because God is the kind of God He is, there was no way he could ever approach Him? How can I ever be right with Him? How can I ever get an audience with Him? How can I ever have a relationship with such a God… so mighty, so holy, so powerful? That’s the question. Can a man be right with a God like that? Can a man have a right relationship with that holy, infinite, mighty God? And that is the question answered by our text and the answer is – yes, yes, yes!

Paul makes plain the Revelation of the Resurrection in Romans 3:21-26

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26 (ESV)

What does the Righteousness of God Mean?

Dikaiosúnē, righteousness, meanss conformity to the claims of a higher authority and stands in opposition to anomía, lawlessness. Righteousness describes the character and the quality of God Himself. His character, his conduct, his actions his word, everything that God does, thinks, allows is according to who He is-righteous. His creation, his design,is all consistent with who He is-righteous.

Righteous is a state of being that cannot do wrong, cannot do that which is not righteous.

“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 Jn. 1:5).

Righteousness is God. God is the Definition of Righteousness

But what makes the Resurrection so Powerful, is that while it Revealed to us the Righteousness of God, that revelation was not just for show, it was to reveal something even more awesome than coming back from the dead, it revealed that the Righteousness of God can be ours! We can be Righteous!!!!

When Job asked “How can any man be righteous before God? God answers back – behold the Resurrection!

If you desire, as Job did, an audience with God, if you desire to spend your eternity with God, then you must be as Righteous as God is, otherwise He considers you to be “NOT RIGHT” and lawless!

So the question is not whether you have experienced the Righteousness of God, but is actually Are You as Righteous as God?

If not, then you will not spend eternity with Him. You will continue to be corrupted by Death and Satan for all eternity!

God demands our righteousness if we are to have a relationship of “worth” with Him. God himself is our standard of righteousness, so if we are to be righteous, we must share the very righteousness that belongs to God!

You ask,  Can I Really be Righteous? Ephesians declares that we are to “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”.   Ephesians 4:24 (ESV) God says that it is indeed possible to experience His righteousness. Indeed, we can even “put on” a new self, created in true righteousness and holiness based upon God Himself!

So when Jesus tells us in John 6:33 to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” he is telling us that we can indeed experience the righteousness of God!

There are Four Truth’s about becoming Righteous:

1.  It Does Not Come by Legalism

verse 21 says, it’s apart from the law. And here Paul uses the word “law” to refer to legalism, legal effort, law keeping on a human level. It is a part from any works of man. It is apart from any goodness of man, any religiosity, any spiritual ritual, any innate quality of man. It’s apart from any legalism in the sense that you on your own can live up to the law of God and satisfy God.

Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. Galatians 3:21 (ESV)

2.  It Comes By Revelation

God reveals it to you. It is witnessed by the Old Testament. The whole Old Testament was to show men that they couldn’t be righteous on their own. Even Jesus when he preached reaffirmed that God’s Standard is righteousness. He even made it harder showing that lust, lieing, stealin is not just an outward act, but it is an inward thing to. Even Jesus wanted His disciples to know that in themselves they could not be righteous.

Jesus wanted them to see that God would bring His righteousness to them. So the way to respond to the Sermon on the Mount is to cry out, I’m unclean, I can’t keep those commands, I need you, I need the power of Your Resurrection in my life.

3.  It Comes By Faith

Verse 22: “This righteousness of God is by faith.” In other words, it doesn’t come by works, it comes by faith. And those two are distinct. Works is something you do, it is an effort that you do embark on. Faith is something God does and you believe it, you accept it, you trust in it. It is done by Him and you accept that He did it and you don’t have to add anything to it.

On the cross Jesus said it is finished. He had accomplished the work of salvation, it was done. And the Bible simply says if you believe, you’re redeemed…. if you believe that He finished the work, if you believe in the significance of what He did, who He was and dying on the cross and rising from the dead, that’s all that’s necessary. He did it all, you need only believe it. It is acquired by faith. “If thou shalt confess Jesus as Lord and believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead,” Romans 10:9 and10, “thou shalt be saved, for with the heart man believeth unto salvation.”

Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord and my soul shall be joyful in my God, for He hath clothedme with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.”

God makes us Righteous, ONLY GOD!

The Righteousness of God was revealed to us in the Resurrection, it is totally apart from our works, it is built upon revelation, it is acquired by simple faith. The final amazing thing is:

4.  It is a Gift Available to All

Verse 22 says: “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ, unto all them, who are believing.” The provision is made for anyone who believes.

DO I REALLY NEED THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD? Is it important that we are made righteous like God? It is eternally important:

because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:31 (ESV)

The Resurrection is the Revelation that We can be Righteous!

By raising Christ from the dead, God not only revealed His righteousness to you and me, but He also assured us that we will one day be judged as to whether we were righteous or not! The Resurrection demonstrated to the world that the ONLY righteousness that God will accept is His righteousnesss. And He manifested that Righteousness in the Resurrection of His Son.

How Does the Resurrection Reveal God’s Righteousness to ME?

Paul in just a few short verses uses three distinct pictures to reveal exactly what the Resurrection means to you and me. There are three words that picture what the Resurrection represents to you and me.

The words are Justified or Justification, Redemption and Propitiation. Volumes have been written to define these words, but simply put they picture three things. These three pictures explain how the Righteousness of God can be revealed to your life.

A Courtroom

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:23-24 (ESV)

Picture a courtroom where a man who has committed a heinous crime is about to have his verdict read. The gallery is thinking this is a slam dunk. The devil was the Prosecuting Attorney. He is the one bringing the charges. He believes he has a claim on this man’s soul! The verdict seems simple.There was no evidence offered in his defense. Even his own widowed mother testified that he was a horrible person. The devil had witness after witness that testified to his horrible crimes. The devil is laughing with delight, for he believes another soul is in his grasp!

The judge, even after hearing all the horrible testimonies, announced to the courtroom: NOT GUILTY! You are free to go!

But the judge goes beyond the simple Not Guilty. The Judge declares him to be righteous. He doesn’t simply ignore the evidence, he erases it.

When God justifies us, he doesn’t close His eyes and pretend we are righteous. He makes us righteous. It is a transformation.

The devil immediately stands up and cries “This is a travesty.  He has killed, he has stolen, he has lied” How can you say you are righteous and  declare that this lowlife is righteous like you?

At that point, the courtroom shakes, a huge stone is rolled away, and out steps the Resurrected Jesus Christ!

He walks up to the man, embraces him, and says, “He has my righteousness! He is my brother, he simply put his life in my hands”

The devil shuts up, he has no other accusations. The man walks out, in the arms of His Savior!

The Resurrection brings God’s Righteousness to our hearts simply by our faith in the truth of Jesus Christ. By faith, God makes us righteous. We are no longer condemned men and women. We are actually made righteous. We are transformed into new creations.

If we believe that God is just saying we are righteous when we’re not, then conversion isn’t a transformation it’s just God sort of fooling Himself. But being born again is a true “making righteous”. We are made right with God… an actual acquittal, an actual imputation of righteous nature granted to us. And it is all a gift freely given.

For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (ASV)

JUSTIFY MEANS TO PRONOUNCE AND TREAT AS RIGHTEOUS. It is vastly more than being pardoned; it is a thousand times more than forgiveness. You may wrong me and then come to me; and I may say, “I forgive you.” But I have not justified you. I cannot justify you. But when God justifies a man, He says, “I pronounce you a righteous man. Henceforth I am going to treat you as if you have never committed any sin.” Justification means sin is all past and gone — wiped out — not merely forgiven, not merely pardoned; it means clearing the slate and setting the sinner before God as a righteous man, as if he had never sinned, as if he were as righteous as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Dr. Alva McClain in “Romans, the Gospel of God’s Grace, p. 107

The Resurrection reveals that our Justification and our Rightousness must be totally by Jesus Christ. We cannot stand on anything that we have done, for it is all sin, it is all as filthy rags. We are made righteous only when we place our faith and trust in the Righteous One-Jesus Christ. We are clothed in His righteousness.

The Resurrected Christ has made us Right by transforming us into His Righteousness and freeing us from the claims of Satan

A SLAVE MARKET

and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:24 (ESV)

The only way we can become Righteous as God is through the gift of Redemption by Jesus Christ.

Imagine you had been kidnapped, held in a dungeon. You are being held by none other than Satan himself. He sends for you and declares you to be his slave, on the basis of God’s Word!

“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” (Jn 8:34)

You are a sinner, and because you are a sinner, the wages of your sin are death by becoming his slave for all eternity. As you stand there, bound in the chains of your sins, suddenly the gates of hell are shaken, a huge stone is rolled away, and out steps the Resurrected Jesus Christ.

He points his finger at that old Devil and says Stop! He must go free! Immediately the chains fall off and evaporate into thin air.

The Old Devil Reaches out to Grab you, but Jesus says STOP!

I have paid the price for his sins! Here look at my hands, look at my feet! I have taken his place on the Cruel Cross and I have paid the price of his sins with my own Blood. He has trusted in me with his heart and soul, and he has been redeemed!

That old devil throws a fit, but Jesus takes your hand and together you rise to heaven!

  • Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— Galatians 3:13 (ESV)
  • You were bought with a Price! (I Cor 6:20)
  • who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:14 (NIV)
  • “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:5).
  • “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
  • “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Tim. 2:5-6).

A dignified looking lady once approached the great preacher Dr. G. Campbell Morgan and said,
“Dr. Morgan, I don’t like to hear about the blood. It is repulsive to me and offends my esthetic nature.”
Dr. Morgan replied, “I agree with you that it is repulsive, but the only thing repulsive about it is your sin and mine.”

It is repulsive to man, but it is through His blood that we have redemption. The Resurrected Christ has made us right by freeing us from the chains of sin.

A SACRIFICE

Verse 25 & 26: God has appointed him as the means of propitiation, a propitiation accomplished by the shedding of his blood, to be received and made effective in ourselves by faith. God has done this to demonstrate his righteousness both by the wiping out of the sins of the past (the time when he withheld his hand), and by showing in the present time that he is a just God and that he justifies every man who has faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 3:25-26 (Phillips NT)

The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23)

Most of us have seen a movie with the natives believing some god is angry with them. They believe the only way to appease their god is to offer a human sacrifice.

God hates sin. It is not right. It is not righteous. God cannot tolerate anyone who has even one sin. He requires death, he requires a sacrifice. God loves us, but His righteousness means he cannot tolerate sin, in fact, he must prosecute sinners, he must judge them.

That is why he set out a system of sacrifices for the Jewish people. His righteousness demanded a covering of their sin. The Law spelled out in great detail the method of atoning for the sins of Israel. Atoning is a word similar to propitiation.

Jesus became our sacrifice, our propitiation.

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1John 2:2

Jesus himself become the satisfaction, that’s the word hilasterion, the propitiation. It means “a place where sins are blotted out.” It means that God’s righteous requirements are satisfied because your sins are blotted out.

It was used to refer to the Mercy Seat, when the priest went in the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, and sprinkled the blood on the Mercy Seat, that was the place where sins were blotted out … and Christ became the place where sins are blotted out. He became the kapporeth, the Mercy Seat. He, by His blood, provided satisfaction. And so we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, a lamb without spot and without blemish.

So picture yourself before God Almighty. You sins have made you wretched before him and His righteousness demands your death. A death that will last for all eternity in Hell. But just before you are to be carried away into eternal torment, an earthquake is felt, the huge stone is rolled away and Jesus Christ appears. He instantly goes to you and takes you in his arms and looks back at God and says, He is mine, his sins are blotted out. God immediately smiles. Instead of the stench of your sins filling his nostrils, there is the aroma of His Son. Where there was rotting sin, there is cleanness, righteousness. He is pleased He can be loving, He can take you to heaven. His righteous demands have been satisfied, because the Blood of Jesus has satisfied the righteous demands of God upon your life.

  • The Resurrected Christ has made us right by freeing us from the wrath of God that demanded our death
  • The Righteousness of God becomes our righteousness because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Resurrection is the Proof that Jesus Finished the Job. It is Finished because I have Conquered!

Jesus Christ set everything RIGHT! He satisfied the Righteous Demands of Holy God. He empowered all those who believe to possess the righteousness of God. He covered our sins, satisfying God’s demands, He purchased us from the devil, from death and from sin by His Blood, and He became our righteousness, enabling us to partake of the righteousness of God!

Jesus Made Everything Right so He Could Reveal the Righteousness of God

When Jesus stepped forth from that Tomb, He declared to God and the world that He had set things right again.

  • He is our Propitiation and through His sacrifice made us right with Death.
  • He is our Redeemer and through His blood made us right with Sin
  • He is our Justifier and by His Righteousness becoming ours, he has made us right with Satan.
  • His resurrection revealed the Righteousness of the Father, and freed us from sin, from death and from Satan!

HAVE YOU BEEN MADE RIGHT WITH GOD BY FAITH?

  • In verse 22 we see a little word mentioned: This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, Romans 3:22 (NIV)
  • In verse 25 we see that same little word: whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.
  • In verse 26 we see that little word again: “It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

The Reason the Resurrection can transform you from a sinner bound for Hell into a Righteous Saint bound for heaven is by faith in what Jesus Christ did for you on the Cross. When Jesus said “It is finished” by faith you say “AMEN”

Faith is rest, not toil. It Is Not Your Faith That Saves You. It means you turn away from all you think you need to do to gain God and simply rest in what Jesus did for you.

  • He freed you from the devil’s condemnation in the court room,
  • He freed you from slavery to sin,
  • He freed you from the wrath of death in hell.

There is nothing more you can do to be righteous before God.

Faith is total dependence upon Jesus Christ. Faith enables you to see and lay hold of Him who is invisible!

An orphaned boy was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.

Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad’s eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.

Many voices are calling for our attention. Among them is the One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has rescued us from sin and its deadly consequences. To Him belongs our love and devotion. -D. C. Egner  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

What do you think of the Resurrection? Is it just a story?

Are you ready to place your life in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus Christ?


One upon a time three young men refused to follow societies expectations, and even refused to obey the King’s Law. They were following someone else, someone unseen, yet to them He gave meaning to their lives. These three young men faced a choice, to obey the King and deny the one they gave their lives to, or disobey the King and face a painful death by fire.

These three had a reason for living, and therefore had a reason for dying – faithfulness to the one they called Jehovah God. They gladly chose death, promising the King that “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Because their lives were centered upon this God, they willingly faced pressure that most men, especially young men, would avoid. And through the pressure of the fire, they were enlarged. When the king looked in, he saw FOUR men walking around, enjoying the fire.

When our nation sees young nine year olds afraid to face pressure, afraid to face the future to the point of taking their own life, we must sound the alarm, and blow the trumpet.

We have forgotten our God, the God who has the power to enlarge us through our pressures. The God who is relevant for our life and is why we should live and value life!

Woe to the nation who forgets God, for they will find themselves wandering in the wilderness, afraid of the future, afraid of the fires of life.
Nine-year old Montana Lance reveals what is wrong with America.

Life has no meaning unless God is our reason for living. This country became great because we had a purpose in living-following God. We viewed Him as Sovereign over our lives. We viewed our Nation as “Under God”.
Now “under God” is simply a motto rather than a way of life.

When pretense is revealed as reality, our children will lead us to see what we have become-a nation of people who have forgotten the truth, who have forgotten their God.

Sound the alarm!