Romans 6:4 says that baptism symbolizes our burial with Jesus—a sharing in Christ’s death in a way that allows us also to share in His resurrection life. It’s why we can now live life in a brand new way. When we are born again, we become connected to Jesus in such a way that we are actually joined to Him. And having become united with Him, we now enjoy all the benefits accomplished on the cross—just as if we had suffered the punishment of death ourselves.
The punishment for sin is separation from God—spiritual death. But when Jesus died on that cross, He became the appeasing sacrifice for our sins. He actually stepped in and substituted Himself in our place. Jesus suffered the agony of separation from His Father so that we don’t have to. We sense the need to work for this amazing gift. But it’s beyond our capacity to earn it. Simply receive Jesus and then walk out the life He has prepared (Ephesians 2: 8 – 10).
What is sin? I’ve often heard sin defined as missing the mark, as if one were missing a target he is aiming at. Those whose lives are centered on sin not only offend God, but utterly miss the precious gift of His eternal purpose. The Bible says that sin is lawlessness. And it makes perfectly clear what the sins of the flesh are—often warning that those corrupted by a lifestyle of sin have no inheritance in the kingdom of God.
But we see in Scripture conflicting opinions about what causes sin, and thus its remedy. The Jewish leaders viewed sin as being the product of a person’s outward behavior. So they attempted to manage sin through a system of rules which grew more and more burdensome as time went by. Jesus, on the other hand, realized that sin is rooted in man’s heart. God was about to deal with the problem of sin in a whole new way.
My child, I hear the cry of My church. They cry of desperation for a move of My Spirit. My Spirit is moving. My Spirit is being poured out. You will see and you will hear of great moves of My Spirit in all parts of the world. Take heart My child, I am on the move, and I am calling a people to Myself for My Name’s sake.
God has provided the remedy for all our sin—past, present and future. But even so, it’s obvious that He intends for us to be holy, and thus commands us not to sin. So how is it that He can overlook the sin that so easily flows from our nature? Even though we know that through grace God forgives our sin, we need a better understanding of Christ’s provision.
It’s important, because a complete awareness of both our human condition and how we now relate to our Creator is the key to walking in the total freedom God always meant for us to experience. God forgives our sin through Christ as a free gift. Yet even more important to understand is that this free gift of forgiveness and righteousness is rooted in the fact that He has caused us to die to sin altogether. But just exactly what does it mean to die to sin? I don’t feel very dead to sin!
The Bible says that God’s law obligates us to obey it completely. But God knows there is no way that we can do that. And since the punishment for failing to obey is separation from God, He had to provide a way to overcome this barrier. God’s solution was to simply release us from the requirements of the law. Freedom from law means that punishment for breaking it is no longer charged against us.
In Christ we are no longer subject to the realm of the flesh, even though our flesh continues to oppress us. Romans 8:9 – 10 says: “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you….If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Unbelievable as it may seem: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Scripture tells us that God is righteous. We commonly define righteousness as being in right standing with God. But what does it mean for God to be righteous? It would be silly to think that He achieved a moral excellence that allowed Him to be good enough to be God. No, God doesn’t need to meet a standard of righteousness; He is that standard. God’s righteousness means that He is by nature the essence of all that is good and just.
Now since God’s righteousness is the benchmark by which He will ultimately judge the world, He had to provide mankind with the means to relate to His perfection. He revealed that standard through law. Law gives us our sense of right and wrong—a moral awareness at the very core of our being. This is why a good understanding of biblical law is so important. It helps us appreciate God’s amazing provision for our own righteousness.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
LIsten, I am raising up a generation who hungers after Truth, who knows Truth and is bold and courageous to speak the Truth. I am the way, the Truth and the lIfe. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6
Why did God allow us to be born into a world of sin? The only possible outcome of life here is enslavement to sin. Still, human existence is an incredible gift of God, since It gives us the opportunity for intimacy with Him—all culminating in a personal joining with God eternally. God’s justice demanded that something be done about sin. That’s why Jesus came as a man to take our sins upon Himself through His suffering and death.
This radical step was equitable in God’s eyes because it allowed God to credit us with His own righteousness, thus paving the way for relationship with Him. It was the only answer to our tainted human condition. Crediting us with His righteousness is the very foundation of God’s redemptive plan in bringing “many sons to glory.” Our redemption means that God has purchased us, much like one would buy a slave for the purpose of setting him free.
God wants good for us while here on earth, but His plan revolves around our union with Him later. His purpose is fulfilled only as we receive Christ, and then enter into a lifelong pursuit of God, in spite of our bent toward choosing self in place of Him. This is why God allows sin such power in our decision-making. Our ongoing battle with the flesh, as we’re relentlessly confronted by a world steeped in sin, boils down to just one thing: radical choice—decision with real meaning.
But how could a good God give evil the right to exist at all, much less allow it to have such destructive power over us? Again, choice is the answer to this age-old question. In His eternal wisdom, God ordained that His children choose Him freely. And the more difficult the choice, the better He seems to like it. It makes the value we place on Him all the more meaningful.