Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we've left the country where sin is sovereign how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn't you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace- a new life in a new land!"    {Romans 1:1-3} MSG

I realize that these verses are a lot for one day, but just hang on, and I'll try to explain. I love the way Paul describes leaving sin as leaving a country. It is from The Message Bible, and so it is paraphrased more so than other versions, but it clarifies what Paul is saying in a way that I can understand. I think you probably can say the same about it. It works well along side the New King James, or the New International Bible.

WE have left the country of sin in baptism. The water is a symbol of the washing of the Holy Spirit. Nothing happens here that is out of the ordinary, because it only happens when faith is in the heart. God looks at the heart. Our motives are what motivates Him to move on our behalf. {Look at King Solomon  yesterday. God blessed him over and beyond what he asked because God knew his heart.} Is your heart filled with thankfulness, even when your life is upside down? Do you trust God when the bills aren't paid, or the car breaks down?

Is God faithful when life gets tough, or does he run out the back door? No, these are the times when we see God more clearly than ever before. These verses give us a clear picture of the books of the Law,  Exodus and Deuteronomy, because the Israelites walked out of the land of bondage representing sin, to the land, of wholeness where sin is atoned for. Out of Egypt, and into the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. What they didn't plan on were the giants in the land, that fought them before they could rule.

In Christ, we are in the Land flowing with milk and honey. He has taken our sin, and our place before God, by dying in our place and cleaning us from all unrighteousness. Why then do we contend with sin? We are in the church age, and we still live in a fallen world.  Although sin has no victory over us, it is all around us, and calls us to come back to its country. We are not perfect, and can fall into the ploys of the enemy. WE, are a work in progress, still becoming more like Christ. Sometimes I am left flat footed, and the enemy ambushes me, and I never saw it coming, but this is a new land, one of grace, and He finds me here. I am safe, and forgiven.

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