Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
Psalm 95:1-5 ESV
As I enter into this new year, I enter it grateful for the life that Jesus Christ has given to me, by His grace, through God-given faith in him.
In his death and in his resurrection he put sin to death, and he conquered the power of sin and death, so that any of us who would believe on him could be delivered from our slavery to sin, and so that we can walk righteously before him in godliness and holiness, living lives which are pleasing to Him (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
And, that is wonderful news! That is the Good News, that we can be set free from our addiction to sin, and that we can walk in holiness and godliness in the power of God, which is alive and at work in the hearts and lives of those who have chosen to make him their Lord and Savior.
We don’t have to be bound by sin’s deceitfulness any longer! We don’t have to live in fear of anything or anyone! We can walk in peace and in freedom because Jesus set us free! We can live in victory over our enemy Satan, and over the power of sin over our lives, because Jesus delivered us, not just from the punishment of sin, but from our slavery to sin. Amen!
The things that once enslaved us can absolutely be history! We don’t have to live defeated lives, continually struggling with (continually giving in to) sin. It does not mean that we will never sin again, but that we can live in victory over sin and over the power of Satan because of what Jesus did for us on that cross in conquering death, sin, Satan and hell.
We just have to apply to our lives, by God’s grace, what Jesus did for us in his death and in his resurrection. We have to own it, to embrace it, to believe it, and to implement it into our daily lives.
We have to believe that Satan has no power over us, and that God is completely sovereign and in control over all that he has made.
And, we have to put on that armor of God and fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us with the truth, and with faith, and with righteousness, and with God’s Word, and in the power of God’s Spirit living within us, believing that the victory is ours through Jesus Christ, our Lord (Eph. 6:10-20).
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Psalm 95:6-7 ESV
And, this is really the key here. If we are going to have victory over sin, over Satan, and over temptation to sin, we have to kneel before God in humility and in submission to him as Lord (owner-master) of our lives.
And, we have to worship him in truth by giving our lives over to him in full surrender, holy and pleasing to God. And, we need to no longer be conformed to the sinful patterns of this world, but we need to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sinful practices to walks of obedience to Christ (Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 6:1-23).
And, we need to live like we are his true sheep by listening to him, and by following him in obedience to his Word and to his will for our lives.
For, many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ live in defeat, and they continually struggle with (continually give in to) the flesh and to sin because they won’t humble themselves before God in surrender of their lives over to God. They won’t submit to his Lordship over their lives, but they hold on to control. And, they will only listen to what makes them feel good, but they close their ears to what counsels them to listen to and to obey God.
Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart,
and they have not known my ways.”
Therefore I swore in my wrath,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
Psalm 95:7-11 ESV
This is strong counsel, but it is necessary counsel, for so many professers of faith in Jesus Christ have hardened their hearts to the truths of God’s Word that they don’t want to hear. They have stopped up their ears, and they have refused to listen to anything that makes them uncomfortable, or that bursts their bubble which tells them that they can go by their feelings and that obedience to Christ is not required for eternal life with God.
And, this isn’t just Old Testament. This same counsel is repeated for us a couple of times in the New Testament, too (Hebrews 3:7-19).
For, our faith in Jesus Christ, for it to be genuine, has to be continuous, enduring, obedient to Christ, repentant, and submissive to God’s will and purposes. Again, this is not saying that we must live in sinless perfection, but that the Word of God does teach us that we must walk (in practice) according to the Spirit of God and not according to our flesh if we want to have salvation from sin and the hope of eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17).
Thus, we must take this to heart and not ignore it just because it isn’t what we want to hear. The New Testament scriptures are very clear in what they say regarding our eternal salvation from sin.
If we claim faith in Jesus Christ, yet we continue to walk (in practice) in darkness (sin), then we are liars. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8; Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6; Rom. 2:6-8; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Our salvation which we celebrate, thus, is not just salvation from the punishment of sin or the hope of heaven when we die. It is salvation from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin and it is empowerment to live holy and godly and upright lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14).
So, please take this to heart! Then you will have cause for rejoicing, because Jesus has truly set you free from your slavery to sin, and because you are walking in victory over sin and Satan and in godliness and holiness, in the power and strength of God’s Spirit living within you, for the glory of God.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!