We know the 8th chapter of Romans very well, with many able to recite it. But this week we deal with our sins. We need to have a peace as we wrestle with our sin so we can come to the Lord's table in good conscience. We have to be able to do 2 things when we approach the Lord's table: 1) Understand "O wretched man that I am" and 2)we have to be able to come and say "I thank God!"
Paul is speaking as a regenerated Christian who is still in the world wrestling with his sin. We are captive to sin that wars within our members (verse 22.) If we look at ourselves we still live in this body of death. Paul serves the law of God, but says his flesh serves the law of sin. He is making the distinction between the flesh and the sin against the law and the law of sin, but also the principal of regeneration (new man) in the law of God! He is a prisoner in his flesh, but the regenerated man in Christ speaks to the law of God and redemption in Christ Jesus. The distinction is one of perspective. Do I stand in slavery of regenerated under Christ. Saint AND sinner. Verses 14-16 and 19 and following are often confusing to us. The law is SPIRITUAL and perfect. It deals with the heart and soul of the law. I am carnal sold under sin! Paul and we are sinners as we stand in the flesh. Even the holiest men of God have only a small beginning of that obedience, and are STILL sinners. You and I are no different, but the new man of Christ (Spirit) quickens us and permeates our being whereby we HATE sin and strive to live as a child of God!
We have to get a hold of BOTH of these ideas clearly! It is not to discourage us or keep us from partaking of the Lord's table and communion, but to be able for us to see that we live in the midst of death and sin. We won't profess that we are righteous in ourselves, but sinners who serve the law of God with the mind. Active faith gives us knowledge and confidence! Intellectual knowledge with the mind whereby we know our salvation and serve the law of God with the mind taking hold of that perfect justification...OUR justification! With the mind, in the knowledge of our faith we take hold of our justification which gives way to sanctification. Justification gives way to an amendment of life!
And unless we grasp these things we cannot know our forgiveness (through confession) and we will not come to the table. We will see a hatred for our sin and that we are justified in our Lord Jesus Christ. And as a result will take up the continued fight with renewed vigor.
We pray that the Lord may so show us these things so we partake of the table and Him saying to ourselves "Thanks be to GOD!" Amen!
There virtues stand closely in relationship to each other! They have the comfort and spiritual blessing attached with them. Spiritual virtues belonging to the spiritual citizens of the Kingdom. The rich will own the bulk of real estate in the world, but they are never content. We are heirs with Christ of the NEW Heavens and earth!
We are again dealing with a paradox here. Only those who are assertive and ambitious will succeed in this life...not the meek! The Lord Jesus Christ Himself (was meek) was discarded and robbed of His place in earth, His cloak, and His life ultimately! Opening our spiritual eyes we define meekness as:
1. Submission to God.
2. Gentle disposition to our fellow men.
Again, this is a spiritual virtue. We are NOT born with it. (Romans-reprobate man) Romans depicts man, but meekness in Romans is a SPIRITUAL quality that we see among the fruits of the Spirit as it is the WORK of the Spirit. Note that meekness is NOT weakness! (Ask yourself was it week for the Lord to walk the way of the cross?) Meekness is GREAT strength! It is NOT a unsurness. The man of God knows his relationship with God and stands STRONG in that relationship with and to God! We have examples of meekness throughout the Bible in Moses who led God's people, in Abraham as he dealt with Lot, in David as he was pursued by Saul, and the biggest example of meekness.....CHRIST!
How do we know we are meek? It is very important as it belongs to the child of God. Are we boastful, evildoers, aggressive towards the things of this world? Selfish in our longings?...or do we know and have a desire, a true and unwavering desire after the things of the Kingdom? We have to be done with ourselves as we put on the new man in Christ! We live in this earth, but are principally already in the Heavenly Kingdom being able to submit ourselves fully to God knowing full well that He will set all things straight!
There is a blessedness. Our Psalms are messianic and beautiful in this regard. "God is still for me. In God I rest and live. Our walk is with Him. Foes will vanish like a dream....we shall posses the land!" We SHALL inherit the earth and already have it now! Where else do we find contentment? The meek have it all and we can live in that peace, that tranquility in a new Heavens and earth that already is purchased in Christ! The meek shall inherit the earth!
Are you meek beloved?
Let's remember to exercise ourselves in that meekness as heirs of that Kingdom!
Seemingly the world is full of lying and deceit and every news story seems to be paraded with the lie. That should be the case towards the end times. There is no respect for the truth in high places of power or even in everyday conversation. Where the lie is there can be no fellowship either in the world or in the church! Paul is describing the new and old man here and admonishes the church "you see the Jews but you know not Christ." We too must know that we have been sanctified in Christ and must live as such as the lie reeks havoc in our lives. We must speak and walk in the truth!
There is no greater temptation than to lie because it is beneficial to the flesh that does not like consequences. Where the lie is you find fellowship with the devil who is the lie. He may find no place in our lives to further the lie however. When you step out of fellowship with the Spirit with the lie you grieve the Spirit who is the Spirit of TRUTH! The lie in our mouth grieves Him! You can understand why the lie reeks havoc....not being able to hold the hand of God and the devil at the same time. Paul uses the word "falsehood" in this passage. We have the word "Sudo" which is fake. Anything that is fake or not reality we must put away. It is a knock off, a fake, not genuine! Paul says put off the fake and put on the truth! Why are we always attracted to the sudo? The knock offs? Because they are easier to get! We tell the lie to deceive for our flesh. The truth is painful. The truth hurts! (especially the truth about me!)
The truth alone enhances fellowship while no relationship can be had on deceitfulness. Wherever the lie is the relationship we have in Christ is broken! To the neighbor I must speak the truth in love. (both in the church and beyond as he is the neighbor.) We stand in the fellowship of Christ and must speak the truth as it is in His word. We speak the truth about God and whatever His word talks about and it extends to the neighbor.
The lie has so many forms it is hard to talk about all of them. The coloring of the truth, partial and half truths, inflection, outright perjury and the list goes on and on. Put them ALL away as they are sudo, not the truth and the whole truth! We do these things sometimes however in our families and to our neighbor. We may not be discouraged in our obligation to the world, but we must also understand that they live in the lie and deceit for the lust of the flesh always. But we learn Christ "having been taught by Him" says the Apostle Paul. He teaches us the truth as it is in Christ Jesus...that we have been saved and stand in HIS fellowship without room for the lie. Can you pray to God when you lie? It interrupts fellowship! We must speak the truth about God and the neighbor as we LIVE in that fellowship with God and one another. To speak the lie we must stand OUTSIDE that fellowship to do it.
In fellowship to the Living God we stand in fellowship with ALL of our relationships. If we make room for the lie, we make place for the devil and it DESTROYS! Speak the truth in love. You can only do that when you TELL THE TRUTH!!!
"Asked and returned to the Lord!" I. Samuel 1:27-28 (Baptism) Historically, this is the time of the Judges and there was no open vision from God at this time. In the midst of this we find a woman who prays for a man child, is granted her request...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"A Significant Distinction" Romans 7:24-25 We know the 8th chapter of Romans very well, with many able to recite it. But this week we deal with our sins. We need to have a peace as we wrestle with our sin so we can come to the Lord's table in good...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Easter-"The Forgiveness of Sins" Psalm 32/LD21 The catechism speaks about forgiveness many times, but in this article the focus is that this belongs to the communion of saints specifically! Technically, sin shows itself in many facets of life. It...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"Father into Thy hands I commend My Spirit" or "Giving up the Ghost" Luke 23, John 19, Matthew 27, Article 19 We deal with the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Jews that wanted Him as their king were now crucifying Him and the terror and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Matthew 27King James Version (KJV) 27 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"Blessed Mourners" Matthew 5:4& John 16:19ff. The Lord takes figures here from everyday life. Poverty, mourning. It is a paradoxical statement, meaning, it does not make any sense from a human point of view. Who are they? What kind of...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"The Rich Poor" Matthew 5 We are rich in our heritage with a FIRM doctrine. The beatitudes are always a good sounding board. They are characteristics with heavenly meaning. We so deal with some of this material to get a better grasp. The subject...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"The Christian Wife" Eph. 5:22, Titus 2: 4&5, I Peter 3:1-12 Let us all be reminded that we MUST emulate Christ and His church. We can ask in our marriages "is this how Christ of His church would act or do?" Carnality will then have no place...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"Immediate Forgiveness" Psalm 32 This was possibly written after David's sin with Bathsheba. It follows and fits his hiding of his sin without confessing it, the Lord's hand being heavy on him as he found no relief, and the fact that when he made...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"Seeking a wife for Isaac" Genesis 24:1-28 We saw recently and focused on the institution of marriage. We saw it was and institution of God, that it was NOT utilitarian as many around believe, and that it emulates and pictures Christ and His...[ abbreviated | read entire ]