In Romans Chapter 7 the Apostle Paul describes the struggle that happens within every Born Again Christian trying to lead a righteous life. We want to do the righteous things, and we are determined to do them. We want to stop doing the things that are unrighteous, harmful & wrong. But there is a battle going on inside of us, and we often end up doing things we hate and neglecting the things we really want to do. It brings frustration and depression to us. We can’t fix it on our own. In reality, we are unable to change ourselves. We need help from Above. And Jesus Christ has provided that helper in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
“This is the season when, whether we like it or not, we are compelled to think of the birth of Jesus. I think it’s one of the most absurd things under heaven to think that there is anything spiritual about Christmas-day. There are no probabilities whatever that our Savior Jesus Christ was born on that day. Also the observance of that day has its origin in Catholicism. I do not see how consistent Christians can think of it as sacred – – However, I wish there were ten or twelve Christmas-days each year; for there is work enough in the world, and a little more rest would not hurt working people. Christmas-day is actually good for us; particularly as it enables us to get the family together and see our friends again. It is also another time to share the Gospel with them.
The Puritans protested observing Christmas-day. But we are willing, as their descendants, to take advantage of the good accidentally given to us by that day, & leave its superstitions to the superstitious”. C.H. Spurgeon – edited by Pastor Gary
When you were living without Christ in your life, you were a slave of sin. Sin enslaves us, and all sin is addictive. If it were not addictive, no one would want to indulge. The final results of living in sin are so unsatisfying & destructive that no one would continue in sin if it were not for the addiction. The apostle is pointing out here in Romans 6, that we were all slaves of sin since we gave our bodies over the enemy of our soul. Sin had us trapped & it was killing us. But Jesus came to set us free from the addiction. He gives us a real choice. As His servants we can now count ourselves Dead to Sin and Alive to Christ Jesus our Lord. The result of slavery to sin is death. The result of slavery to God is eternal life. We can either serve the one who brings death or the One who gives eternal life. And if you’ve really been set free from the clutches of Sin, Self, Satan, and Society you won’t ever go back to it. “You can serve the devil or you can serve the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody”. Bob Dylan
There are so many imitations of love in this world that it is difficult for people to ever really find true love. Deep inside every human heart there is emptiness, a yearning, and even a desperate need for true love. And the Enemies of our soul – Satan, Sin, Self, and Society – are more than happy to provide us with lots of phony substitutes. But in Romans chapter 5 God the Father has shown us what real love is. While we were still sinners, rebelling against God, Jesus came and willingly gave His life for us. We didn’t deserve it, and there was nothing attractive about us. But He died for us. That is true love!
Sorry – no audio today – But you can get the study on FB Calvary Chapel Santa Rosa
The Jews looked to Abraham as their hero and the Father of the Faithful. So Paul used Abraham as an example of righteousness (Romans 4). Paul went back to Genesis 15 where God instituted His covenant with Abraham. The Bible tells us that Abraham believed in the Lord and the Promised Messiah, and God accounted it to Abraham for righteousness. It is the same today. Abraham couldn’t be justified by his works, and so he had nothing to boast about. So we have nothing to boast about when we are only justified by Grace, through believing God’s Word, and trusting in Jesus Christ, who came in the flesh, and fulfilled all the promises, and prophecies of the Old Testament. Now God uses Christians like you and I to testify to others about how we learned to lean on God’s righteousness and power by His Grace.
Only God is good, and able to finish His work in us until we are perfected (Romans 3). Christ will preserve our “whole spirit, soul, and body, blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” His Grace is always there for us. Who will do this? Our Good Lord and Master, who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, out of death and sin into eternal life. Only He can do this. Why will He do it? Because He is Good and Faithful to keep His promises which He gives to everyone who believes in His Son. And they are given to His Bride, who will be presented to Jesus, faultless, and faithful to the work which God has begun in us. It is not our own faithfulness but the Lord’s own faithfulness on which the saints rely. Come, my soul, here is a grand feast to begin a dull week with. There may be fog outside, but there should always be sunshine within.
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generation
Americans are singing songs of Thanksgiving in most counties in our Nation
God had caused the crops to fail, He had brought hot winds, & mildew, all because of the hard hearts & un-thankfulness of the Jews. But when God saw His people humbled & starting to obey His Word, and build His temple, He said; “…From the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid; from this day I will bless you.” (Haggai 2:19) Now, if we have practiced any sin, and God leads us to humbly purge ourselves of it, we can trust in the Blessings of the Lord. His smile, His Spirit, His Grace, and His Truth will bring us great blessings (Romans 2). We will be opposed by our enemies; Satan, Sin, Self & Society, because of our obedience, but we shall not have chastisement from God, and we will have a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our heavenly Father never cared about outward appearances (Romans 2). The only time outward appearances have any value is when the outward appearance reflects the inward reality; as in water baptism or partaking of the bread and the cup of communion. True Love of God, and true Spiritual living is a matter of surrendering your body to God, and inviting His Holy Spirit to live in your heart. Faith in Jesus Christ is not something that is inherited or that you can attain by going through some programs or exercises or other outward motions. It is a personal relationship that must happen in your heart.
Thursday evenings @ 6:30 Herb Upham will begin “Foundations” a series in Genesis by Ken Ham – Come on out – you’ll be glad you did.