Isaiah 12:1-6 ESV
You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.
“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, in the image of Adam. And we all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval and holiness and righteousness. And not one of us can do anything in our own flesh to be approved by God nor to earn nor to deserve our own salvation. It is only by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, and not of our own doing, but only by divine persuasion that any of us can come to faith in Jesus Christ and be delivered from slavery to sin and now walk in holiness and righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, to the glory of God.
[Rom 3:9-26; Rom 5:12-19; 1 Co 15:21-22,42-49; Eph 2:8-10]
So, God is not pleased with us in our sinful conditions. And that is why he provided the way of salvation for us from our lives of sin so that we can now live holy lives, pleasing to God, and so that we can be in genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. So, by God’s grace, and through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves (addicted) to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness.
Therefore, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For sin is to have no more dominion (rule, control) over our lives. For if sin is what we obey, it leads to death, not to life eternal, but if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are what we obey, in practice, that leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. So now we walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh, but we now walk according to the Spirit (Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:1-14).
And I am going to tell you from my own experience that there is no better place to be than this, and there is no better life than this, for when we are living in sin, and not in obedience to the Lord, if we have any conscience about it at all, we should be absolutely miserable. For there is no real joy or peace in a life of bondage to sin, but there is in a life that is freed from bondage to now walk in holiness and in righteousness, in obedience to the Lord. All glory and praise and thanksgiving to God alone!!
Now, if we have truly turned away from our lives of living in sin and for self, and now we are walking in obedience to our Lord, in practice, though not necessarily in absolute perfection, we should want to tell others about it so that they can also be set free from their slavery to sin and walk in freedom from sin and according to the will and the ways of God. And in America, right now, the window of opportunity on the internet is still open for sharing the truth of the gospel, though not on all sites. So we should, if we can, take advantage of those opportunities to lead others to faith in Jesus Christ.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
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Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.