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Archive for March, 2010

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the Puritans, and their freakish (freakish is a GOOD thing :)) desire to understand, and follow scripture.  You can check that out here : https://tobyward.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/much-does-not-matter-if-you-do-not-know-what-it-means-part-1/

They were so thorough their pastors would often create entire sermons around one verse. You see the Puritans were more concerned about truly understanding scripture than just memorizing it. I guess this probably came on the heels of what they were escaping in their original churches in England. Nonetheless it was a GREAT way to understand scripture, and would certainly stretch a pastor when preparing a sermon.

Recently I came across Romans 6:22 (Romans 6:22 – But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life)  in my devotions, and this verse got me thinking about the Puritans as God spoke to me through His word. He showed me INSTANTLY five truths in this one verse that carry enormous weight. I knew instantly this was the power of the Holy Spirit because quite frankly I’m just not smart enough to have figured that out myself. Isn’t it awesome when God speaks to you through His Word? Lets see if we can get all Puritanical on this one verse.

Truth One – We are no longer slaves to sin – Romans 6:22 – But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

The resounding theme throughout Romans 6 is that we have been set free from the bondage of sin. More importantly we see that when Christ died He gave us a way to break free from the burden of sin through His blood. To often in life we try to get over our daily struggles through our own means. However when we become new creatures IN CHRIST our old life has DIED WITH HIM!!! His blood has covered it all, and not only provides us eternal life, but also gives us the ability to overcome sin through the blood. Galatians 5:24 nails this point.

Galatians 5:24

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Folks our flesh, our sin, our passion for sin has been CRUCIFIED with Christ!! He has already done all the work for us to break free from the burden of sin. We just have to lean and trust on Him. Why the heck would we want to do this ourselves? The blood has covered it all!!!

Truth Two – We were bought with a priceRomans 6:22 –  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

I believe it was the great hair metal front man Jon Bon Jovi that once sang: “Its my life, its now or never”. Thats a popular sentiment in today’s culture. Take control of YOUR life, get what YOU deserve, make YOURSELF feel good. You, you, you. Trying to make YOURSELF feel better yourself will drive you nuts. It will actually only drive you deeper into sin. Since we are sinful depraved humans at our core we will always strive to please ourselves sinfully outside of a life filled with Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23 says we were “bought with a price”. Fundamentally speaking if we are “bought” then we belong to someone. The price paid was Christ’s blood, and we belong to Him. All of us in Christ do not own our very own lives, but rather we belong to Him to be used for His glory. Thus we become slaves to Him because He shed His blood on Calvary for you and me!! Call me crazy, but that makes me WANT to be a slave to Him. The cross was excruciating, and humiliating and He did that for me!! WOW. Why would He do such a thing? Thats the last three truths

Truth Three – A Spirit filled life will produce Christ-like qualities in us – Romans 6:22 –  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Who doesn’t love fruit? Its sweet, decadent, good for you, and when dipped in chocolate becomes irresistible. Our character is the first thing Christ changes when He enters our life. Out with the old, and in with the new. The entire new testament refers to spiritual fruits that will be evident in our lives once the Holy Spirit enters our hearts. Galatians 5:22-23 defines these as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. These are the fruits Romans 6:22 is refering to.  The first one mentioned is love, and the original text used the greek word “agape”.  Agape love is a divine love, and can only be given to us as a gift from God. This is how we learn to love others, and see humanity through the eyes of Christ. Its also a pre-requisite to the rest of the fruits. Without agape love you cannot display the other fruits. Living a life that reflects the image of Christ should be the goal for all Christians. Is your fruit on display? 

 Truth Four – We will become new creatures when Christ returns – Romans 6:22 –  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Sanctification simply means to be set apart from sin. Striving to be righteous.  Only one man on  this earth has ever been truly sanctified.  Jesus lived a perfect life on this earth, and gave that life as a propitiation for our sins. He made a way for us through Him to be sanctified. On earth we should always be striving to live a sanctified life, but ultimately we know that is impossible. We are sinful depraved humans, but that is where the power of the cross comes in. Again it all goes back to the cross!! We will never be truly sanctified until the Lord comes back to take His Kingdom, and the dead in Christ shall rise to meet Him in the air, and then WE WILL TRULY BE SANCTIFIED IN HEAVEN!!!!!!!!! Which leads to the last and most EXCITING truth in Romans 6:22.

Truth Five – Heaven is our reward – Romans 6:22 –  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

If Christ has entered your life, and you are a new creature in Him you will get to spend all eternity with Him in Heaven!!  ALL OF FREAKIN ETERNITY!!!!!!!!!!!! If that does not get you excited then check your pulse!!! As Christians we have something to look forward to, strive for, and long for the day that our sanctified bodies will be in Heaven. Thats going to be a joyous time, and we can place our hope in it.

All of these truths SHOUT one thing, and they SHOUT it LOUD: God’s glory was manifested on the cross, and that day we were all given a way to break free from sin, shout His glory through our fruits, and spend a life endentured to Him awaiting our rewards in Heaven. I can’t think of a better way to spend life.

I hope this breakdown of Romans 6:22 was as encouraging for you as it was me. Gods word is powerful, and if we will just take the time to read it, and pray the Holy Spirit open our minds to it, I GUARANTEE you it will change your life.

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