Romans 12:1-2 NIV
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
In today’s gatherings of the church, at least here in America, it is primarily a mixture of the world and those who have given their hearts to Jesus Christ, and they are blended together into one body, which should not be.
For the most part, the church has united with the government in an unholy union and has turned the body of Christ upside down, and has made it into a human-based business, and they are marketing it as such, as well. Thus, they are patterning many of their meetings after the world in order to attract the world to their gatherings. Thus, they also are diluting the gospel of our salvation in order to make it more palatable to the people of the world.
So, many of us who are following Jesus with our lives, and who are still committed to the gospel message, as taught by Jesus and his NT apostles, are having to stand strong against this unholy union and this turning of the church into a marketplace, and this diluting of the gospel to make it more acceptable to human flesh. And, sometimes it may feel as though we are standing alone, but we are not. But, many of us have been ostracized from gatherings of the church because we stand for truth and against lies.
So, the church is divided between those who are committed to Christ and those who have been convinced that they can still walk according to the flesh and still have their hope of heaven. For, many have bought into this false notion that there is no difference between those who are walking according to the flesh and those who are walking according to the Spirit, and that salvation from sin is a cheap grace which permits its followers to remain in their sinful addictions while promising them heaven is guaranteed them.
But, that is not what scripture teaches. Scripture is clear that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Because of what Jesus did in dying for our sins, and being resurrected back to life, we, too, can die to sin and live to righteousness. Thus, we should no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we should be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from the deeds of the flesh to the ways of the Spirit.
Romans 12:3, 9-13 NIV
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you…
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
If we think of ourselves with honest evaluation, and according to God’s Word, we will not become conceited, but we will be realistic. We should neither be down on ourselves, which can be inverted pride, nor should we be continually trying to puff ourselves up, but we should see ourselves through the eyes of our Lord, which are not glossed over, but which are honest.
In other words, it is not wrong to believe that you have a close walk with the Lord, if you truly do, but you should give him all the glory and credit for the good that is being accomplished in your life. And, it is not wrong, if you are walking in the Light God has given to you, to address the fact that so many who call themselves Christians are not walking in the Light, but are, instead, walking according to the flesh, and that they need to come to repentance.
This does not say that you are a snob or that you are conceited or that you are self-righteous. In fact, it says the opposite! It says that you love people and that you care about them, and that it matters to you if they walk in freedom from sin or they don’t. It shows that you have sincere love for others, and that you love them like God does, and thus you hate sin and what is evil, because what is evil is what destroys people’s lives and families and marriages. And, you don’t want to see them destroy their lives.
As humans, we often get “love” and “kindness” all backwards. We think that love is telling people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear, and that it is only saying what makes people feel good, not what might save their souls from hell. We get this idea that kindness is being “nice” all the time and never saying anything offensive or controversial, and that it is never confronting anyone with their sins, because that would mean that people would then think we are “ugly” and they would reject us.
But, sometimes we have to call out “garbage” for what it is, and expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, and warn people about going the wrong direction, especially when they just use “hogwash” as a cover-up for the garbage they are already disseminating. But, we need to call this what it is, and we need to expose the lies and deceptions, for many people are being led astray by the cheap grace gospel which coddles them in their sins rather than instructing them in the ways of the Lord in death to sin and to self.
Romans 12:14-21 NIV
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
If we are truly committed followers of Jesus Christ, and we are committed to his gospel, and to getting out that message to others, so that they can be delivered from their slavery to sin, too, we will have enemies. But, don’t be surprised if some of your greatest persecutors are not from the world, but from within the gatherings of the church.
They may be those who fiercely oppose us or who try to trick us and trip us up, as the Pharisees did to Jesus. Or, they may be those who merely ignore us and decide they know better, and so they walk right into to the devil’s playing field and then they fall into sin, and then they wonder how they got there.
I’m not saying that every follower of Jesus Christ always has the right counsel, and that everyone should follow us and our advice. What I am saying, though, is that if we are sharing the truths of God’s Word, and we are teaching what the Bible teaches, and we warn people about heading the wrong direction and about thinking that God’s grace just winks at their sin, and they ignore the warnings, they are in danger of experiencing the consequences of their sins of rebellion against God.
And, you know what, when we warn people, and we call out “garbage” for what it is, and we confront sin, and we call for repentance, that is blessing our enemies and it not cursing them. For, to bless is to do and to say what is beneficial and for the good of people, i.e. what is God’s good that he has in mind for us, which is to save us from our slavery to sin so we can live for him. So, don’t get this idea that ‘blessing’ people is just saying stuff that makes them feel good, for we might be ‘blessing’ them all the way to hell.
If our enemy is hungry spiritually, we should feed him the truths of God’s Word. If he is thirsty spiritually, we should give him living water which will fill up into his life to overflowing with God’s holiness and righteousness. And, by the kindness of our acts towards our enemies, in doing what is good for them, and what will benefit them spiritually and eternally, the end goal is that they will be brought to a place of contriteness and repentance over their sins, and that they will give their lives then to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is their spiritual worship of God. Amen!
An Original Work / November 21, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.
Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.
Living Water satisfies.
The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.
Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.
Living Water glorifies.
Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.
My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?
Living Water sanctifies.
Monday, October 29, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus! Thank You for providing the way out from slavery to sin so that we can walk with You in freedom. Amen!