God With Us – Dead To Sin, Alive In Christ

Romans 5:2-21 – Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord

Are You Saved? A blunt question to begin mind you but imperative for us to answer through carefully examining our faith- so are we save? If our answer is yes, the next question is – How so? Remember the sincerity is not an assurance of salvation, nor the hogwash peddled by many churches today as to the one saved always saved idealism. Just knowing it, feeling or even claiming it is not an answer; nor does it stand as an assurance of salvation- so how do we know if we are truly saved; if we are numbered with the elect?

If we are Dead To Sin, Alive in Christ.

Understand that our salvation comes as a gift if God’s grace, but it can only be appropriated by the human response of Faith. So to understand salvation, understand the set soteriology to which we bide to- we must understand two word; 1st being Faith and 2nd; Grace. When we talk about Faith; we speak of saving faith in Jesus Christ which is the only condition God requires for salvation. Note though that many fail to understand that faith is not only a profession about Christ being Lord and Savior for anyone can say that they believe; but it seeks action- that is the activity coming from the heart of a true believer who seek to follow Christ; that means to walk in obedience, to walk in righteousness as proclaim Him as Lord and Savior of our lives. Matthew 16:24-25; the call of Christ to come and follow Him in faith calls for a denial of self- being set-apart from the world; separated from our former ignorance, Dead to sin and alive in Christ. Walking in the way of the Master requires us to carry our cross and press on through;the narrow path of righteousness which we can follow by the grace of God and faith in Jesus Christ. Easy enough; many people says it so- all we have to do is exude faith which is defined as complete trust. What many don’t realize is that the New Testaments concept of faith includes 4 main elements that make it Saving Faith.

The 1st is; Faith Means firmly believing and trusting in the crucified and risen Christ as our Personal Lord and Savior; It involves believing with all our hearts and completely yielding our will and committing our total selves to Jesus Christ. Romans 6:17-18 sets the understanding that once we were slaves to sin yet by the grace of God and power of Christ; we stand obedient thus being being set free from sin and becoming slaves unto righteousness, bound to Christ. This means that our will, our desires are bound to the King.

No longer I as found in Galatians 2:20; but Christ who lives in me. This means that all our actions, decisions are motivated not by our wants, but by our faith in Christ- we desire God above all else; thus in our desiring of the Lord; we live and are purpose to please and glorify our King.

The 2nd is; Faith Exudes Repentance which was a key point in the study of the book of Ezra. Repentance is two-fold; that being the confession of sin and restitution which is to be set-apart; separated and completely turned away from sin- thus turning to God through Christ. Saving faith is always repentant faith. Thus true believers will always stand repentant upon reproach or rebuke for their true desire is to glorify God with their lives; thus in the heart of sanctification- rebuke is welcomed which then produces Godly grief that produces repentance that leads to salvation – 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, Acts 2:37-38

The 3rd is; Faith includes heartfelt devotion and attachment to Jesus Christ that expresses itself in trust, love, gratitude & loyalty. Faith in an ultimate sense cannot be properly distinguished from love since it stands as a personal activity of sacrifice, self giving directed to Christ. 1 Peter 1:8-9; Faith means that we are singularly devoted to Christ above all else; nothing fills us with hope, with joy save to glorify Christ as we fellowship with the brethren; being of one heart & one mind.

The 4th is; Faith in Jesus as Lord & Savior is the act of a continuing attitude that must grow and strengthen. Because we have faith in Christ who died for our sin; our faith should become greater. Trust and Obedience develop into Loyalty and Devotion which then develops to intense love for Jesus Christ as we glorify Him by enjoying His presence in our lives. This faith in Christ brings us into a new relationship with God as the price of sin has been paid in full and through this we walk dead to sin; never going back to our ignorances but being transformed by the renewal of our mind in Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Now, our life is dependent on the grace of God. In the Old Testament God revealed Himself as the God of grace and mercy; in NT- the grace of God has been revealed through Christ in which we as believers in the hope of not misconstruing nor abusing such grace need to understand that; 1- God gives a measure of grace as a gift as found in 1 Corinthians 1:4-9. 2- God gives grace to believers to set free from sin; Many professing christians state that the grace of God is a limitless start over, clean slate protocol that as sin abounds; thus grace abounds but look at Romans 6:20-22; we have been given grace thus we are set free from Sin; thus sin has no power over us- we are slaves of God; which means that we are slaves to righteousness- we who are renewed, holy, pure and true will not submit to the call of carnality, to the pressures of sin- why sin, ourselves no longer stand as our master; the mastery of ourselves is in Christ. Grace must be diligently desired and sought; that stands as number 3; Hebrews 4:16- how do we come near to the throne of grace; by studying scripture, hearing the proclamation of the gospel, praying, fasting, worshiping God and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:20-21 – By Christ and His righteousness, we were redeemed; but not to walk in sin because grace abounds; but to embrace the grace of God as we strive to faithfully walk in holiness and purity. The law was there to make us realize the unrighteousness within ourselves; in this knowledge- we who are convicted and elected would respond in godly grief as we stand repentant of our sins and embrace the grace of God not to erase our faults and continue walking in sinfulness the next day but to once and for all by the grace of God walk circumspectly- pressing on in the narrow path as we seek righteousness in all that we do. Many have misconstrued this passage time and time again as they justify unlimited grace to unlimited sin; 2 Peter 2:21 states that it would have been better if they had not known the way of righteousness. Why? Because Hebrews 10:26 states that under deliberate sinning; that means sin that abounds after receiving the knowledge of truth has dire consequences awaiting.

Romans 6:1-15; verse 7 highlights that we are freed from Sin; Verse 10 highlights that though Christ was sinless; he suffered from and was humiliated by the power of sin for our sake; in His death, he died to sin’s influence; in his resurrection; he triumphed over its power- likewise though who are one with Him in death are freed from Sin this count yourselves dead to sin because you are alive in Christ; the old self is gone- we die to sin daily as we live a new life in obedience to God. Verse 12-14 calls us not to let sin reign nor allow it to regain control over us; we have to deny it; resist it- by walking in righteousness; by filling our days with scripture; never idling by but pressing on to saturate ourselves in the word of God; always communing with the King as we are reminded that we are not bound by the law but we live in God’s grace which has fulfilled the law in which we ourselves may stand to faithfully obey the law since we Christ empowers us to do.

Finally comes the question- if we are under grace then; do we sin? Verse 15 states – by no means. The answer of Paul explains that every believer must continually reaffirm and implement his or her decision to resist sin and follow Christ. Those who have not committed to Christ’s Lordship and have not completely opposed sin’s dominion in their personal lives have no right whatsoever to speak of Christ as Lord and Savior for no one can serve two masters- you cannot state that you are for Christ yet your life exudes the world thus I stand to ask you as I end;

Are you truly saved?

God With Us is the weekly publication of Abundant Harvest Fellowship International that features the message bestowed the previous week. It is a Christ centered devotional that aims to augment the quiet time and bible study time of every believer who truly seeks to focus on God, grow deeper in His word and walk in the Newness of life in Christ Jesus. Reproduction, printing and sharing of the said work is encouraged but kindly refrain from changing, editing the said piece since it might misconstrue the original message being shared.

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