Dec 29, 2010

Paul's Letter to the Romans; Ch8:1-13

I love this Chapter. (Read the entire Chapter on the post below) It is one of my most favourite passages of Scripture. I want to share it with you all, and give an exegesis of it's great truth.

To do so, I want to first explain the two contrasting positions of mankind before the one true and only living God. This is the contrast, you are either an enemy of God (yes, created by Him, but because of our sinfulness, made His enemy), or you have been redeemed from your position of an enemy and now made a child of God, destined to receive great blessings from Him and spend all eternity in His glorious presence.

Are you a partaker of God's great kindness? Does the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead dwell within you and bear witness with your own spirit of your adoption into the first and foremost family of all creation?

I would plead with everyone who hasn't; turn to the Lord our God and repent of your sinfulness and turn to Him who died for you, and thereby Him we now receive the right to be called Children of God.

Unless this happens we are enemies with God. Why? Because God requires perfection and holiness from His creation. His standard of perfection can be summed up in the 10 commandments. Have you kept them all perfectly? Of course not, no one has.

There is no way we can be righteous before God, for it is within our very nature to sin. This is what is spoken of as "the flesh" in this chapter. The flesh (our very selves) is in opposition to the righteousness of God. Therefore we are condemned. God doesn't magically and unjustly separate us from our deeds. We sin because we are sinners, it is our corrupt and evil nature.

"For those who are according to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh...For the mind set on the flesh is death...because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh can NOT please God (Rom8:5-8)(emphasis mine).

All is not hopeless though, is it? Because of God's great kindness and mercy and love for us, God has given us great hope!!

"For what the Law could not do', (make us righteous by giving us understanding of what sin is so that we would not transgress), 'because of our weak and corrupt flesh, God did."

"sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, (This is my favourite part) in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (Rom8:3-4)

Meaning - Jesus lived and obeyed the Law perfectly. Our sins are forgiven, the penalty for sin which is death was fully paid for by Jesus' blood, and because of His perfect life, we are accredited with having lived perfectly before God.

This amazing gift is offered and open for all of mankind to receive, no matter how sinful we are.

Unfortunately, not all will.

Remember...For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh... Meaning, those of the flesh set their minds on all manner of sinfulness; i.e. murder, theft, lies, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and creating a god in our own image to suite ourselves so we might continue in our sin.

Because of their love for their sin they will not repent. Therefore, not all will receive the Spirit of Christ, and if you do do not belong to Him (Rom 8:9). "...for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die"....(Rom8:13)

Please, consider what I've said here. Read the 8th chapter of Romans (It's posted below). See how kind God is, and the great reward He offers to you. Is your sin worth it?

"...but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Rom8:13)

Next week, we will continue through Romans 8 from verse 9 until ???

Paul's Letter to the Romans; Chapter 8

Rom 8:1-39 NASB
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (3) For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, (4) so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (5) For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (6) For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, (7) because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, (8) and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

(9) However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (10) If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. (11) But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

(12) So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- (13) for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (14) For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (15) For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" (16) The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

(18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (19) For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. (20) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope (21) that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (22) For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (23) And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. (24) For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? (25) But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

(26) In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; (27) and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

(28) And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (29) For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; (30) and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

(31) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (32) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (33) Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; (34) who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. (35) Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." (37) But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. (38) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, (39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Dec 20, 2010

Katy's first Christmas Concert pt1

This was such a wonderful Christmas concert. All about what Christmas is; Jesus Christ born into this world to offer Himself as the propitiation for our sins against God.

(Sorry, I can't upload the rest, I can't seem to split it to fit. You will just have to trust me that it was great. Also, I'm sorry for the video being so small, I had to in order to be able to upload it)

Dec 3, 2010

Christmas is about Jesus Right?

Hey everyone,
My family and I are going to start a new tradition for Christmas this year.

You see, Christmas for me has become almost depressing. It's supposed to be about the birth of the infinite, eternal God in flesh for the salvation of man right? I think it's becoming obvious though to every Christian that there is something wrong with the way this holy day is celebrated.

I believe it's because our holiday is more about materialism, it's traditions are less about Jesus and more about an imaginary fat guy in a red pajamas, and we, the Church, celebrate this day with more non-believers and even celebrate it as they do, than we do with those whom Jesus has bought with His blood (unless of course, your family are believers).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I don't want to spend time with my relatives, of course I do. I simply think that we should spend more time gathered as the Church to celebrate our Saviour than just Sunday mornings, or perhaps a Christmas morning "service".

By this I mean, on Christmas day, the main gathering should be with the Church.

I bet that when the Church started celebrating the birth of Christ it was celebrated at the location of where they met regularly, and only believers would have had any desire to celebrate it. Why would those who reject Christ celebrate it?

Oh wait a minute, that's why the Church took originally pagan traditions and "Christianized" them. So now you un-believers can continue the same traditions, only now, since we have the Roman Emperor on our side we can tell you what it means and you have to celebrate it as we do. (Almost sounds like an early version of the "seeker sensitive" movement. You know, find out what the un-believing culture likes and then try to impose a sort of Christian theme on it).

How have the unbelieving peoples so taken over our holiday? Might it be because there are so many traditions that we hold to with this day that have nothing to do with Jesus at all, that it became so easy for them to participate without any consideration of Jesus. I'm talking about Santa, the tree, the idea of Christmas having to do with snow, or how about even the huge push for Christmas to be the big day of the year for family, and getting together, and peace on earth, and charity.

Again, don't get me wrong, these things are all really nice and, are what we Christians are supposed to be about, but Christmas isn't.

Just so you don't think that I'm some sort of cold heart, instead of spending all our money on gifts for our kids that they don't need more of, my wife and I are trying to teach them that it's not about them getting toys. So we have donated and bought 2 goats for a family from Gospel for Asia.

Christmas is about Jesus right?

So, the new tradition I and my family want to start this year is that on Dec 26, we are going to celebrate the birth of Jesus with our family in Christ. I want to set apart a day to celebrate with the Church.

We would like to have a meal at our home. We shall read together the Scriptures of our Lord, sing hymns of His birth, pray, and just spend time in fellowship together.

If you live in Winnipeg, and bow at the name of Jesus, we would like to invite you.