Self-Ruled or God-Ruled?

Colossians 2:1-3 NIV

I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

When we are truly following Jesus Christ with our lives, our concern should not be for ourselves alone, but we should also be concerned for our fellow believers in Jesus Christ that they also walk with Christ in faithfulness to him. Thus, it should break our hearts to see so many who profess the name of Jesus not living much differently from those who do not confess his name.

When the body of Christ gathers together, and the name of Jesus is not even mentioned, and there is little interest at all in truly fellowshipping in Christ, but the conversation, instead, is focused on the things of this world, and there is no real distinction between those who are Christians and those who are not, then something is terribly wrong, and this should concern us.

Therefore, it should be our goal to encourage those, who profess to be our brothers and sisters in Christ, to put sin to death in their lives, to separate themselves from the world of sin, and to walk in holiness and purity with their Lord.

Colossians 2:4-8 NIV

I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

The reason, I believe, that so many who confess the name of Jesus are not living much differently from the world, and that so many even seem resistant or opposed to fellowshipping together in Christ, is that Satan has deceived them, and he has blinded their eyes to the truth.

They are believing the lies rather than the truth, and thus, they are following after the lies which are being spread like gangrene by master manipulators and charmers and deceivers who know how to be persuasive and convincing (and conniving, too).

What these deceivers are teaching them is that our salvation is guaranteed us based on some past experience or on the basis of some prayer we prayed at one point in our lives, or based on some mere intellectual assent to who Jesus was and is. They are telling them or they are leading them to believe, too, that God requires nothing of them other than some obscure belief in Jesus which does not have to bear any fruit of righteousness at all.

Colossians 2:9-12 NIV

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Jesus Christ did not go to the cross to die for our sins so that we could continue in our sinful and worldly lifestyles without guilt. He did not die merely to free us from the punishment of sin and to promise us heaven as our eternal destiny. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (See: 1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

Our salvation from sin is not a ritual we go through where we say some magic words and “poof” we are now guaranteed eternal life with God no matter how we live our lives from this moment forward. We are not saved from our sins if our salvation does not radically transform our hearts away from sin to walking in purity of devotion to our Lord Jesus.

Our salvation from sin should cut us to the heart, and it should humble us in spirit. Thus, we should acknowledge to God our sinfulness, and we should surrender our lives to him to now be his and his alone. For, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we died with him to sin so that we might live to him and to his righteousness. Now, we should no longer be ruled by self, but Jesus Christ should be the ruler (Lord-owner-master) of our lives.

Colossians 2:13-15 NIV

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we are transformed from death to life, we are changed in heart and mind, and our lives are now focused in Christ, not in our flesh. For, Jesus put our flesh to death.

Jesus didn’t die that painful death just to forgive us our sins, but he died to free us from our bondage (slavery, addiction) to sin. He made the way out from under the weight of temptation to sin through his death on the cross so that not any of us should ever feel as though we just can’t get victory over sinful addictions. We can! For, he already conquered sin.

Therefore, through faith in Jesus Christ, by the Spirit, we are to put sin to death in our lives, we are to be made knew in the attitude of our minds, and we are to daily put on Christ and his righteousness. And, we are to walk in the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. For, if we live to the flesh we will die in our sins, not live with Christ for eternity. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live (Rom. 8:1-17).

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

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