Monday, March 13, 2017

Free in ChristYou were introduced to sin by your first wrong (Romans 3:10)!  You’ve got nothing on Adam or Eve, because your shortcomings would outshine theirs!  You discovered Jesus as an answer to your problem (John 8:24).  Yet, the message spun made your actions equal to his blood!  You exuberantly sang, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus,” but mentally added, “and MY obedience.”  You thought your works counted for a hefty part of the payment.  You thought God needed your pious energy to help buy your salvation (Titus 3:5).  You believed your goal to get to heaven depended upon your perfection.  Your imperfections screamed “failure” to you louder and louder, but your hearing was impaired.  Finally you recognized you needed God’s grace for something!  Yet, ignorance fed by blindness lied to you!  You thought you didn’t need much grace, just enough to fill the gap between your accomplishments and the nearby perfection.  Satan’s table had been feeding you a false self-reliance!

That view is a burden carried by those who believe in a partial Savior!  They  believe Jesus’ part was 50% and theirs is the rest.  An accompanying view is that each time we sin, that singular shortcoming separated us from God!  We are no longer in fellowship with the Father UNTIL we ask forgiveness.  Once completed, we are brought back into His fold until the next singular sin. Soon that travel is so common that it’s almost impossible to know if one is saved, lost, or caught in between!

Where is that person when he is not in fellowship with the Father?  Is there a special “time out” room in the Lord’s body for sinning saints who have yet to pray for forgiveness?  If so, where is it mentioned?  Some believe they are no longer in the body of Christ!  If so, since the body of Christ is the saved (ekklesia), then the sinner is back in the “power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13-14).  Sin has robbed him of his citizenship in Jesus’ kingdom and reconfirmed the one he had in the “power of darkness.”  If he retains his citizenship in “the kingdom of his dear son,” when he returns to the “power of darkness,” then he has dual citizenship.  Two passports, kept close at hand, because his imperfections keep him crossing both borders!  When he is in the body or church, Jesus is his head.  When he is in the “power of darkness,” Satan is.  In this view, Jesus’ blood is only valuable as long as one does not sin.  Once he does, he is robbed of its power to cleanse because he has returned to darkness where there is no cleansing blood!  He loses his divine citizenship.  He is absorbed in darkness.  He is under the headship of Satan.  He does not regain the benefits of that blood until he prays through as a citizen of darkness!  Only when that prayer ends with the word “Amen,” is the power of that blood reactivated as he enters the body of Christ!  Reactivated as long as he does not sin!  When he does, the merry-go-round enters another cycle!  Think how often, in just one day’s time, he crosses both borders?

Jesus doesn’t need our payment to cleanse us.  His is complete.  It is sufficient to handle all our past, present, and future sins.  It isn’t sporadic but continual (1 John 1:7 IEB).  One is clothed in Christ (Galatians 3:27; Romans 13:14).  He has died to sin and is buried with Jesus to rise into a new existence (Romans 6:2-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21).  Being dead to sin, he will not receive its wages, but the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23).  Jesus is the answer and payment for our sins and the only one who could and can deliver us from that “body of this death” (Romans 7:24-25 TLB).

Perfection escapes us because we are not “the Christ.”  Jesus was and is.  Some fail to understand that one dies to sin.  One is resurrected from that burial through immersion and added to the saved (Acts 2:41, 47).  Too many rush past Romans 6:2-11 and overlook the mentioned “death,” yet they cry the anguish of Romans 7:24, but fail to hear Paul’s answer in verse 25, and continue to misunderstand the proclamation in Romans 8:1!  We are “free, FREE” from sin and alive to God through Jesus!  Why seek a bondage that robs us of that freedom by thinking we need to pay part of the price to remove our sins and are co-saviors with Jesus?  That friends, is another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).