Deuteronomy 7:1-2 ESV
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them.”
The land that we are going in to possess, as followers of Christ, and as God’s children today, is our eternal home with God in glory. And, the enemies which God has cleared away for us, so that we can have eternal life with God, are Satan, sin and the flesh.
Jesus, God the Son, did this by becoming sin for us on that cross so that we might become the righteousness of God.
For, in Jesus’ death on the cross, his blood bought us back for God that we might become his possession, and that we might now honor God with our lives. On that cross he died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness, and that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Pet. 2:24).
And, by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, which submits to Christ as Lord, and which leaves our lives of sin behind us, and which follows our Lord in obedience to his commands, we enter into relationship with Almighty God, and we are delivered out of our bondage (slavery, addiction) to sin. And, we are now empowered of God to live holy lives, pleasing to God.
But, it isn’t over. Our faith in Jesus is not a one-time experience and then one day we die and go to heaven. We must daily defeat our enemies. Daily we must die to sin and self and walk in obedience to our Lord. Daily we must put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us. And, daily we must feed on the Word of God and do what it says.
And, we must make no compromises with the devil, with sin and the flesh. We can’t get slack now that we are “saved,” if indeed we are. We must devote ourselves to completely destroying our enemies (Satan, sin and the flesh), by the Spirit of God, in daily putting sin to death in the power of God. For, if we walk according to the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
Deuteronomy 7:3-5 ESV
“You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.”
We are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. We who are followers of Jesus Christ are not to marry unbelievers. But, this is where it gets tricky.
At least here in America far too many people claim to be Christians who are Christian in name only, but not in practice. And, God’s standards for what constitutes a follower of Jesus have been so broadened, that the narrow road that few travel has now been turned into a broad road for the masses.
So, this calls for much spiritual discernment. But, we need to make certain that we really are “in Christ” by faith in him, for there is a cheap grace gospel which is permeating the church that has reduced our Lord’s gospel of grace to a “free for all” where there are no rules, and no boundary lines, but just freedom and permission to keep on living in sin without guilt.
So, make sure you are “in Christ.” Read these scriptures in context that talk about our salvation from sin and eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9, to begin with).
But, this isn’t just about believers marrying unbelievers. This is about Christians uniting themselves with the unbelieving world, and thus handing their children over to the unbelieving world to raise them via smart phones, video games, the internet, TV, Netflix, YouTube, ungodly books, and the like. And, this is like sacrificing your children at the altar of a false god. So, God is saying that we need to put these “false gods” to death.
And, I am not saying that all of these things listed here are all bad, for I am obviously on the internet writing devotions, and I obviously use YouTube to share Christian songs and hymns. But we need to be spiritually discerning, especially with regard to our children. We need to be diligent to protect their young minds and hearts from the evils of this world, as much as possible.
But, we should definitely not use these things as babysitters for our children, especially unattended by a discerning adult who will use godly discretion regarding what their children take into their minds and hearts.
Deuteronomy 7:6-8 ESV
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
We don’t become Christians just so we can escape hell, and just so we can go to heaven when we die. Both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, God’s people, who are now followers of Jesus, are called to be holy, set apart (separate, different) from the world, and set apart unto God and to his service.
Thus, we are to leave our lives of sin behind us, and we are to follow our Lord Jesus in surrender and in obedience to his commands (Eph. 4:17-24).
But, we don’t do this to earn or to deserve our salvation. We are not saved from sin because of our works done in the flesh. We can do nothing in ourselves to be worthy of God and of his salvation. We are saved only by God’s grace, because of God’s love for us, and by God-given faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-10).
But, his grace instructs us to say “No” to ungodliness and to live godly and upright lives. And, the faith to believe in him is divinely persuaded as to Christ’s righteousness and holiness and of our need to forsake our lives of sin to follow our Lord in his truth and according to his ways.
So, his grace is not freedom to keep on sinning without guilt, but his grace delivers us out of our slavery to sin and it empowers us to live righteously before God (Tit. 2:11-14; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
For, we weren’t chosen by God just so we could escape hell and go to heaven when we die. We were chosen by God to be his possession and for him to be our Lord (owner-master) and for us to now be slaves of his righteousness. For, Jesus didn’t die just to forgive us our sins, but he died to transform us and to make us like him; to conform us to his likeness in true righteousness and holiness.
For, God loves us, and he wants what is best for us, i.e. what is for our good, as God defines good. So, like a loving father, he is not handing us over to the world to babysit us, either. So, he watches over our ways, and he counsels us in the way we should go, and he warns us of danger, and he sends messengers to turn our hearts away from the world and to God. And, that is because he doesn’t want us destroyed by the world of sin, too.
He Gave Me a Song
Songwriter: Alton Howard
He took my burdens all away, up to a brighter day…
Brighter the way grows ev’ry day, walking the heav’nly way…
I am redeemed no more to die, never to say goodbye…
He gave me a song, to sing about
He lifted me from sin and doubt
O, praise His name, He is my King
A wonderful song He is to me
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