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It Produces Change

Justified by Faith
Romans 5:1-2 ESV

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, separate from God. We can do nothing in our own flesh to attain God’s divine approval or to earn or to deserve our own salvation, for we can never be good enough. Our good deeds will never outweigh our bad deeds.

So, God the Father sent His Only Begotten Son into the world to save the world from their sins. Jesus Christ, God the Son, took on human flesh, suffered and was tempted as we are, yet without sin. He was hated and rejected by many, though loved by some. Then, those who hated him put him to death. But, when he died, he put our sin to death with him and then he arose from the dead victorious over our sin, Satan, hell, and death.

We, who are in Christ Jesus, by faith in him, have, thus, been made right with God via Jesus’ death on a cross for our sins, and via our faith in him. We have been reunited with God in fellowship with him, delivered from our slavery to sin, and from the curse of sin. We have now entered into a new life free from the control of sin and free to walk in Christ’s righteousness, all because of God’s grace to us and the faith he gives us to believe in Him.

This faith is God-given, not generated in our own flesh. It means to be divinely persuaded as to God’s righteousness and holiness, and as to his will and purposes for our lives. Thus, when we believe in Jesus with this kind of faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Thus, we also submit to the will of God, yield to his Lordship over our lives, and surrender to walking in his ways and in his truth.

This grace in which we stand is not free from repentance, obedience or submission to Christ and his cross, for Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. His grace, thus, sets us free from addiction to sin, and it frees us to walk in his holiness. And, it instructs us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return. This is biblical grace.

Rejoice in Sufferings
Romans 5:3-5 ESV

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Suffering is a normal part of the Christian life. We are called, not only to die with Christ to sin, and to live with him to his righteousness, but we are called to suffer as he suffered when he was on this earth. For, suffering is for our good. It humbles us and gets us to call on God, and to rely on him and not on ourselves. It teaches us obedience and it produces within us godly character, if we have been trained by it, and if we have yielded to the Lord in our suffering, and have submitted to his will and to his ways.

The primary ways in which Jesus suffered are that he was persecuted, hated, rejected, abandoned, betrayed, denied, falsely accused, harassed, then beaten and put to death on a cross, although he had done no wrong. And, yet, he did all this in order to see us go free from our sin and to be free to walk in his holiness, and to be united in faith with him. He humbled himself and he made himself of no reputation when he put his life on the line for you and for me.

And, if we are truly following him with our lives, and we are being Jesus to the world around us, in doing what he did, and in preaching what he preached, in order to see people come to faith in him, then we should expect that we will be treated likewise. So, we, too, must lay down our lives and our reputations in order to see others go free from their sin and to walk with Jesus in pure fellowship with him. And, we should be glad that we are counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the salvation of lives, believing that God will use us for his purposes and for his glory in others’ lives.

For the Ungodly
Romans 5:6-8 ESV

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God did not love us because of our goodness. Jesus didn’t die for us because we were righteous. God loved us because he is love, and Jesus died to save us from our sins, because he is love. And, this love is unselfish, giving to others because they have need, not because they deserve it. This love is also centered in moral purity. It does no harm to others, but only what is for their good. Even God’s discipline of us is for our ultimate good.

And, this is how we are to love others, too, not because they are deserving of our love, or because they are good people, and thus we like them, but because God is love and his love lives within us, and because God loved us even while we were yet sinners. We also don’t love to be loved in return. We love even if we are hated, mistreated and even put to death, in return. Thus, we die to self and we lay down our lives and our own reputations in order to see others go free.

And, if we love God with this kind of love, we will turn from our sins, forsake our idols, and we will follow him in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives. We will no longer live to please the sinful cravings of our flesh, but we will live for God, for his righteousness, in the power and working of the Spirit within us. And, we will prefer what God prefers, i.e. holiness, godliness, purity, truth, integrity, and faithfulness. We will no longer give our hearts over to sexual immorality, impurity, lust, greed, gossip, lying, cheating, stealing and the like, but we will live to honor God with our lives.

Saved by Him
Romans 5:9-11 ESV

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Because of what Jesus did for us in dying for our sins, and in being resurrected back to life, in conquering our sin, now, through God-given faith in him, we are made right with God, and we are restored to fellowship and harmony with him. We are saved from our sins, we are being saved, and we will be saved when Jesus Christ returns for us, his bride.

But, know this. Many are preaching a false grace gospel which requires no repentance, no obedience and no submission to Christ and his cross. It does not require nor does it produce death to sin and living to righteousness in the lives of its followers. This “faith” is human-generated, not of God, and not divinely persuaded as to his holiness and righteousness. Thus, it does not submit to him, but it gives free license to continue in sinful addictions while promising heaven to its adherents as their eternal home.

But, the Word of God teaches that if we walk in sin, we will die in our sins, not have the hope of eternal life with God. What we sow, we will also reap. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap corruption (or destruction). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. Eternal life is NOT guaranteed on the basis of a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. It is guaranteed on the basis of a changed life.

This is not works-based salvation, though, for this change is not generated in ourselves, but only in the Lord Jesus, and via his sacrifice on the cross for our sins, and via our God-given faith in him. But, this faith is not some emotional decision or intellectual assent to who Christ is. This faith is persuaded of God and thus it submits to God and to his will for our lives. And, it follows him in obedience, and it walks by the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh.

So, if you think that you are saved from your sins, and that heaven is your eternal home, but you are still living to please your flesh, and you are making sin your practice, please know that scripture says you are still dead in your sins, and you will die in them. True grace produces a changed heart and life which submits to God, turns from sin, forsakes idols, and walks in his holiness, in his power and strength within us, and not of ourselves.

The Battle for Truth
An Original Work / May 18, 2013

Based off Malachi 1-4

Truth is marching, truth is marching.

I love you. Honor me.
Tell the truth. You’ll be free.
Sing My praise all your days.
I will give all you need.

Truth is marching, truth is marching.

Turn from sin; cleansed within.
Stand in awe of My Name.
Teach what’s true. Walk in peace.
Follow Christ, in His ways.

Truth is marching, truth is marching.

Show to God faithfulness.
Do not be adult’rous.
Do not shed shallow tears.
Do not be insincere.

Truth is marching, truth is marching.

I have sent messengers,
Who have giv’n my address.
They call for repentance,
And they warn of judgment.

Truth is marching, truth is marching.

I, the Lord, do not change,
So return – blessings gain:
Healing comes; joyfulness;
Freedom from your distress.

Sunday, April 8, 2018, 5:18 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. Bring it home to our hearts, I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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