Who Rules Your Life?

I am going to share these Scriptures out of order, because this first section I am sharing teaches what it means to receive Christ Jesus as Lord, and then I will follow that with the section that speaks of what comes after that.

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.”

There are many Scripture passages in the New Testament which talk about faith and belief and that we need to have faith in Jesus Christ and to believe (be believing) on him for salvation and for eternal life with God (Jn 3:16; Jn 5:24; Jn 6:35; Jn 7:38; Ac 10:43; Rom 1:16; Rom 9:33; Rom 10:4, etc.).

But we can’t interpret these Scriptures outside of their context. Romans, for instance, is one whole letter, so we need to read all of it to get the context of select verses from within it. The same with the book of John, and even within the same chapter of John, such as John 3, for instance. We need to read verses in their context to fully understand their meaning.

For, remember what James taught. He said, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (Jas 2:19 NIV).

Also, it says in John 8, “Even as he spoke, many believed in him. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said… You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires” (Jn 8:30-44).

So, there is a difference between believing in the existence of Jesus – and even believing that he did for us what he said he did – and having the God persuaded belief that is required unto salvation from sin and to eternal life with God, which is spiritual, because it is of God.

So, when we read these Scriptures in their context we soon learn what it means to believe with saving faith and what happens in our lives when we genuinely believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives.

When our faith is genuine, it results in us being circumcised (a cutting away of the flesh) with a circumcision not performed by human hands. So, this is not physical, this is spiritual, and we need to keep carrying this thought through here.

When we are spiritually circumcised, of Christ, our whole self, which was ruled by the flesh, was put off (put to death with Christ). We were crucified with Christ in death to sin, we were buried with Christ in spiritual baptism unto death, and we were raised with him through our faith in the working of God the Father in our lives, who raised Christ from the dead.

We died with Christ to sin and were raised with Christ to newness of life in Christ that we might live new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, to the glory and praise of God. Our old self was crucified with Christ that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, but that we should be slaves to righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).

Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

“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.”

So, receiving Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives is not a cursory faith in what we might have been told that Jesus did for us on that cross. Receiving him as Lord, by faith in him, means death to our old lives of living for self, and in sin, and it means we are given new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

In these new lives, we no longer walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh, but now we walk (in practice) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God and in the holiness and righteousness of God, by God’s Spirit. Our minds are no longer set on what the flesh desires, but on what the Spirit of God desires for our lives (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26).

Therefore, we have an obligation, but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it, but it is to the Spirit of God, to live by the Spirit, and by the Spirit to be putting to death the wicked deeds of the flesh. Then, we will live. For, it is those who are being led by the Spirit of God who are God’s children.

For, God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs (teaches, trains) us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s soon return (Tit 2:11-14).

Colossians 2:8 NIV

“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.”

So, we are to see to it that no one takes us captive through any hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ, our Lord.

Legalism, as understood correctly, which has to do with man-made rules and regulations that are external, in nature, such as restricting people in what they can eat and wear or having to do with forms of religion and religious rites and rituals or particular days in weeks, etc. is ONE FORM of this.

In today’s modern church in America, though, legalism is not a huge problem. The pendulum has swung the other direction. Now it is libertinism that is the huge danger among us, and which is prevalent within today’s modern day church gatherings.

Basically, what is being taught today is a belief in Jesus which is man-made and is not Scripturally supported, except by taking Scriptures out of their context and by twisting them to say something not intended, or by taking them out of context and thus distorting them to mean something else.

Many are teaching a cursory faith in Jesus Christ which requires no dying with Christ to sin (no baptism and no circumcision of the Spirit of God), and no resurrection with Christ to newness of life in him which is to be lived to him and to his righteousness, so no true change of mind and heart.

So, they give their adherents free license (carte blanche) to continue living in sin, only now without guilt or remorse. And many are teaching that obedience to Christ, surrender of one’s life to Christ, and the forsaking of our sins are all components of works-based salvation which they are to avoid.

But the Scriptures teach that if we don’t die (and we aren’t dying) with Christ to sin, but we continue living in sin, in deliberate rebellion against God’s commands (under the New Covenant), and if we don’t obey (are not obeying) his commands, as a matter of practice, that we will not inherit eternal life with God (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).

So, we need to take this seriously, because time is running short. So, if you have not done so, surrender your life to Jesus Christ today, die with him to sin, and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21).

Servant of the Lord

An Original Work / July 26, 2012
Based off Romans 1:1-17

Servant of the Lord;
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.
Through Him, and for His name alone,
We receive His grace
To call people, Him to obey;
Coming from their faith.
Servant of the Lord,
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.

You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ;
Always praying for others’ needs;
Helping hand to lend;
Giving courage to others’ faith,
For the praise of God.
You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ.

Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.
In the gospel find righteousness:
Being right with God.
Turn from sin, and trust Jesus Christ.
By faith, live in Him.
Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.

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