#Day 7 ; Unearthing my beliefs

Romans 6 : No longer under the dominion of sin

Vs  1 – 6: – What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Reflections: – There has been this narrative going on for ages, because of grace Christians are free to live their lives in whatsoever way they desire besides we read in Chap 5 that where there is sin, grace abounds even more. I’m pretty sure this was the scenario in Romans at that time. People lived sinful lives and probably boasted in the availability of grace. When Paul said certainly not, it can be translated to tufiakwa (God forbid). He went further to ask them if they really knew the significance of the baptism they went through. And now I ask what does baptism mean to you? Was it one of those rituals you had to perform to have one item ticked off from your Christian qualifications? In case we never knew or have forgotten, this is a reminder. Our baptism was a physical representation of Jesus’ death, whether it was through sprinkling or full immersion (topic for another day) and all that happened to Him when He was raised from the dead should be our report. He nailed sin to the cross; we united and came into agreement with Him with our baptism therefore our sinful nature was equally nailed. I had a conversation with a colleague the other day and after analyzing some practices of Christians, he summed it up with these words “immature Christians”. Like Paul said when I was a child I spoke like a child… but you are no longer babes in Christ if you have come to the understanding of what Jesus did on the cross. We often find ourselves under the control of the sin that held us bound before we met Jesus – It’s an anomaly. Remember I said under the control, we live in a sinful world but we shouldn’t let it dictate or control us if we are led daily by the Holy Spirit.

Vs 7 – 12: –For he who has died has been freed from sin.  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

Reflections: – We get to a point in our lives when we realize the life we live is unto God not for the praise of men. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll go through temptations, there are times behind closed doors you are tempted to watch certain movies that don’t edify your spirit after all no one will ever know, you might have even started playing it but suddenly you find yourself turning it off (true life story). A pastor shared his experience of stumbling upon a porn channel in the hotel when he travelled out of town. It  had played for a few minutes before he turned it off, went further to call his wife to tell her what just happened (accountability), he didn’t end there cos’ he found out it was a channel in his choice of DSTV bouquet, he asked his wife to call them to remove that particular channel from his bouquet. You might be wondering why he had to go through all of that, well he knew where he was coming from, it was a trigger and could have a domino effect. Remember yesterday’s topic on decisions. If your viewing porn will cause you to miss heaven then cut it off. He didn’t let that particular sin have dominion and reign in his life, he’s a pastor he would have said I live under grace and nothing will happen later. Oh! But he knew “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” and he didn’t give in to the desires. Cos’ they’ll definitely come, but with the help of the Holy Spirit and the grace available to us, we say no. When next the enemy throws a dart at you  say to him; No satan not today. I am not a slave to you.

Not today satan

***End***

Loads of love

JMAD.

N/B : Tufiakwa is an Igbo word.

Photo credit : Google

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#Day 6 ; Unearthing my beliefs

Romans 5: One decision changes the story

Vs 11 – 21: – And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.  For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,  so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reflections: – One man’s sin, offense, disobedience led to death and condemnation. One Man’s obedience led to the free gift of grace, life and justification. It’s just a decision but had the capacity to change the history of mankind. Message translation put it this way “one man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one Man said yes to God and put many people in the right”. Jesus Christ said yes to the Father and through that singular act we will be made righteous by saying yes to Jesus Christ. Have you said yes to Him? Jesus came into the world but He didn’t cause sin to leave the world rather the law kept on making us aware of our inability to attain perfection by keeping it. Look at the young ruler who asked Jesus what he could do to have eternal life even when he had kept the entire law… Matt 19 : 16-22 “The young man said to Him, “All these laws I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Isn’t it ironic the law that was adopted only showed how frail and incomplete he was? But amazingly the more the law exposed our weakness, the more the grace of God which is Jesus Christ increases exponentially. Ever wondered how people who had terrible habits suddenly lived above it after their countless failed resolutions to quit. It wasn’t that they acquired a new skill, or went to the best rehab center rather they gave it up to the One who had the power to lose them from such grips. I have heard people I know speak of these experiences. Incidentally my motto for life is live to leave a legacy, the lives we all live here on earth starts from a decision. It looks irrelevant like eating a “mere fruit” you’ve been asked not to eat which affects many generations negatively. What is your own “mere fruit”? We have been given a platform as Christians to reign in this life and the one to come, are you occupying your position? Are you struggling with sin, it’s time to let go and let the grace of God transform you so you can see yourself through the lens of the justification of Jesus Christ.

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Loads of Love

JMAD

#Day 5; Unearthing my beliefs

Romans 5 : You are worth dying for

Vs 1- 5: – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Reflections : – One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 25 vs 3You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You”. Again we see two abstract words – justification and faith, yet they are the tools used for our peace.  In a world filled with so much chaos, it’s extremely difficult to experience peace but we are reminded it’s really not about what happens on the outside rather on the inside. The faith we have in Christ Jesus justifies us, it makes us right, and goes further to say we now have access into grace which is Christ Personified. And we don’t come with our shoulders bowed down, NO we come standing with boldness cos’ when we come before our Father He sees us through His Son Jesus Christ. Something many Christians hate to hear – tribulations, but it’s a domino effect and our character is built. Truth is when we hear tribulation, perseverance etc our minds go to the martyrdom but you don’t have to look too far, if you take a stand for Jesus Christ in this world you’ll experience some form of it in varied degrees, it could be as little as holding yourself back from lashing out on someone, giving up your right to be right all in the bid to gain the person, saying no to that mouth-watery deal even when you’re down to nothing in your account etc. You see, all these things culminate in molding our character. I had a conversation with a friend who was of the opinion that in the economic instability plaguing the world there’s a need to cut corners giving an example of someone he had seen who was in the civil service and on his retirement had nothing to “show”. I remember saying to him a good name is better than riches. Beyond the names we bear on earth, the surname we give out when we say we are Christians is Christ the Anointed One and it’s a whole lot better than riches besides the earth is His and all that is in it. We have a name to protect, let us do it with pride and do not let the world make you think for a second you are losing if you don’t follow the world’s system.

Vs 6 – 10 :- For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Reflections : – A comparison is drawn in vs 6 and 8 “For while we were without strength… and while we were still sinners Christ died for us.  Christ came for the weak, don’t let anyone deceive you or give you erroneous teaching that you have to be strong and cleaned up before God can see or work through you. Oh!!! How He loves the very down and out or why would He choose Moses, David, Peter or even Paul. These men didn’t have an impressive resume but God worked wonders through them, even the Bible confirms it in 1 Corint. 1 vs 27b “… and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” and Paul says in 2 Corin.12 vs 9b “God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness“. Ponder over this. How often have we sang “I’ll catch a grenade for you” or “I’ll do anything for you”. All of these lyrics are usually sung for someone very endearing to us but when push comes to shove we realize words are fickle and are inspired by our emotions. It’s very rare to see someone put their life on the line for a loved one to live.  But Paul goes further to say Christ didn’t just die for good people rather bad, evil, murderers, back-stabbers, jealous (insert yours) people. He sums it up by saying if reconciliation to God happened through Christ’ death, His resurrected life saves us and gives us a brand new life. You are deeply loved by God. You’re worth dying for regardless of your past or what you’re currently doing.

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Loads of Love

JMAD