The Romans 7 Man

Romans7I’ve long thought that the “Romans 7 man” refers to a born-again Christian under the new covenant.

In fact, I believe that if one doesn’t grasp this Romans 7 dynamic of conflict which goes on in all of us believers, they will have one of two tendencies:

1. Pride, because they think they are following the law well enough to earn God’s love and favor, or

2. Despair, because they don’t understand what’s happening within themselves.

Anyway, here are some excellent persuasive reasons to understand that those Romans 7 passages refer to a new covenant believer:

http://feedingonchrist.com/john-pipers-10-reasons-romans-714-25-christians-experience/

The Object of Saving Faith

pilgrims_progressI’ve been fascinated for many years by the very simple-sounding Scripture which says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.” — Acts 16:31

So simple.  So pristine. So devoid of works, sacraments, trappings of any kind.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”

(This presumes, of course, that it’s the true Jesus Christ — the One who is God who came to Earth as a man, and died on the cross for our sins, and rose again from the dead. If you don’t know who this Jesus Christ is, I recommend you read the Gospel of John from the Bible.)

What’s the point?

The point is that it is Jesus Christ himself, as Lord and Savior, that is the object of saving faith.

I like this little article that makes that point through explaining some things from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2014/04/07/at-what-point-in-pilgrims-progress-does-christian-get-saved/

Where Do You Get Your Acceptance?

acceptanceHonest folks will admit they have a desire for acceptance. Call it a “need” for acceptance if you want.

1. If you rely on acceptance by other people to meet that need, you will have roller coaster ups and downs, because people are imperfect.

Because they are imperfect, they will sometimes accept you only conditionally, and since you are also imperfect, that means sometimes they won’t accept you.

2. If you, like many, rely on acceptance from say, your dog, you will resent people for not being as accepting as your dog. When others say, “The more I’m around people, the more I appreciate my dog”, you will say, “Yes!”, and your resentment of people will sap your joy.

3. But if you rely on God for your acceptance, believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, believing that He died on the cross for your sins, and resting in His forgiveness, you have the potential for your need of acceptance being met.

God accepts you completely in Jesus Christ. He never changes, He never waivers, He never accepts you “conditionally”, He will never not love you, He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Once you are His, as a believer in Jesus Christ, His acceptance of you is not based on your performance, so you are set free from earning your acceptance, like you might be prone to do with other people.

4. The more you understand and bask in His unconditional acceptance of you, the more you no longer rely on the acceptance of other people, and therefore are free to love them unconditionally, even when they’re not as nice as your dog.

5. The more you understand that His acceptance of you is not dependent on your performance, ironically you love Him more and desire to know and do His will. Who doesn’t want to serve one who so accepts us?

And double-irony, we end up thinking less about ourselves (and our acceptance) and think more about Him — like a child resting in the arms of an accepting parent, gazing into the face of of that loving parent, and loving them back.

Ephesians 1:6, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

Behold, He Makes All Things New

The First Sunrise of the New Year 2009

compiled by Michele Rayburn

Behold, He makes all things new…a New Covenant, a new creation in Christ, a new identity in Christ, a new spirit…

Psalm 40:3  He has put a *new* song in my mouth. Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.

Psalm 96:1  Oh, sing to the Lord a *new* song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Isaiah 42:9  Behold, the former things have come to pass, And *new* things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Isaiah 62:2  The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a *new* name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name.

Isaiah 65:17  “For behold, I create *new* heavens and a *new* earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”

Jeremiah 31:31  “Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a *new* covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”

Ezekiel 11:19  Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a *new* spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 18:31  Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a *new* heart and a *new* spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?

Ezekiel 36:26  I will give you a *new* heart and put a *new* spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Matthew 26:28  For this is My blood of the *new* covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Mark 14:24  And He said to them, “This is My blood of the *new* covenant, which is shed for many.”

Luke 22:20  Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the *new* covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”

John 13:34  A *new* commandment that I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Romans 6:4  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in *newness* of life.

Romans 7:6  But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the *newness* of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Romans 12:2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the *renewing* of your mind…

2 Corinthians 3:6  God…who also made us sufficient as ministers of the *new* covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 4:16  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being *renewed* day by day.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a *new* creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become *new*.

Galatians 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a *new* creation.

Ephesians 2:14-15  For He Himself is our peace…having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one *new* man from the two, thus making peace…

Ephesians 4:22-24  …put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts, and be *renewed* in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the *new* man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:9-10  …you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the *new* man who is *renewed* in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.

Titus 3:5  …according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and *renewing* of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 8:8  “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a *new* covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…” (Jer.31:31)

Hebrews 8:13  In that He says, “A *new* covenant,” He has made the first obsolete.

Hebrews 9:15  He is the Mediator of the *new* covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 10:19-20  Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a *new* and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh…

Hebrews 12:22-24  But you have come…to Jesus the Mediator of the *new* covenant…

1 Peter 2:2  …as *newborn* babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…

2 Peter 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for *new* heavens and a *new* earth in which righteousness dwells.

1 John 2:8  Again, a *new* commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

2 John 1:5  And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a *new* commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning; that we love one another.

Revelation 2:17  And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a *new* name written which no one knows except him who receives it.

Revelation 3:12  And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the *New* Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God. And I will write on him My *new* name.

Revelation 14:3  And they sang as it were a *new* song before the throne…

Revelation 21:1  And I saw a *new* heaven and a *new* earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.

Revelation 21:2  Then I, John, saw the holy city, *New* Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:5  Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things *new*.”

Morning Has Broken – sung by Cat Stevens

My First Real Christmas

emmanuelAfter 26 years of living without acknowledging Jesus Christ in my life, in October of 1976, God opened my heart to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and I became a Christian.
I tell that story in a recording made in 2007 here –> here.

But at this Christmas time, I want to tell what that meant way back then as far as Christmas is concerned.

It was a stunning change, actually!

Christmas to me had always been a nice time to get together with family, decorate things, and give and receive gifts.  At times it also had a note of sadness and emptiness that I’m sure some of you may identify with, due usually to remembrances of days gone by with the questioning thought from the old song, “Is that all there is?”

But after being “born again”, becoming a Christian, Christmas was totally, totally, different.

All of a sudden, it MEANT something!  It was the birth of, not jut THE Savior, but MY Savior.  It was the time when God actually came to Earth as a man!  Emmanuel, God with us!

Everything was different.  I loved people like never before.  I saw the Christmas decorations and carols and gift exchange and hot chocolate and Christmas dinners and all the hoopla as REMEMBERING that Christ the Savior is born!

Even the “meaningless” stuff had new meaning for me, because it marked the birth of Emmanuel.

And it was the first time I understood that He wasn’t just born to be a “good example” or even a “good teacher”.

He was born to DIE on the cross for my sins, so that I could be forgiven and have eternal life with Him forever.

I couldn’t earn my own salvation with good works, it had to be a free gift.

And He offers that gift to ANYONE who will come to Him, who will believe in Him, who will trust that He died for our sins, and rose again from the dead.

And that Christmas, for the first time, I loved Him for who He is, and what He’d done for me.  And I still do, 37 years later.

That really was my first REAL Christmas, KNOWING the Son who was “given” by His Father.

I pray that you, dear reader will know Him too, if you don’t already.

“You shall call His name ‘Jesus’ for He shall save His people from their sins” – Matthew 1:21