Monday, March 27, 2017

Christ Removed the Power of Sin

Scripture also says god gave us a spiritual circumcision. Circumcision is a cutting away and removing of flesh. In a spiritual circumcision, God removes the flesh.

“Flesh” is a term, used in the bible, to mean that part of a human being, which enables us, which gives power to sin. When the first people chose independence from God, that decision flipped a switch in the hearts of people to choose sin and rebellion. Turning away from God, choosing sin instead of holiness, hate instead of love, selfishness instead of service, has become natural to people. It has become part of our DNA. We do not have the power to stop, and change these attitudes and behaviors. They are woven too deep into our beings. There is no hope of improvement, let alone perfection.

But we gave our allegiance to Jesus, and he circumcised our spiritual flesh. He removed that part of our inner man that is naturally inclined to sin. If you will, he did a DNA transplant. He removed the gene that gave power to sin, and replaced it with a gene that gives power to love, obedience, and faithfulness. He gave us the spirit, who will step by step, renew our image, so we will look like, and live like, Jesus.

Without this process, there is no hop of moving back to the Father. We will be unable to choose obedience. No, we can choose.

This does not mean we will become perfect in this life. The presence of sin is still in our lives. We have gotten too good at it, through long, intense, and continuous practice. The enemy and the world still seek to deceive, to influence, and to mold. But we can now expect significant restoration of our original design. We can expect significant transformation into Christ’s image. We can expect significant advances in love, joy, and peace.

Christ Paid the Penalty of Sin

Scripture says, that when we chose to give our allegiance to God, he dealt with the penalty of our sin. Christ’s death prepare the way. And with our allegiance, God applied the results of Christ’s death to us. He nailed our sins to the cross.

When a criminal was crucified, a sign was nailed to the cross listing the crimes the person committed, for which he was being executed. Well, God listed our sins, and nailed them to Jesus’ cross. He was executed for our sins.

Christ has paid the penalty for our sin. The cross cancelled that penalty. And we are now free to approach God, as his child, as his friend, and as his priest.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


We were at some friends recently. At one point, the family cat came in from outside, and was looking for a warm lap to take a nap in. He jumped onto the chair I was sitting in, found the most comfortable spot, laid down, and didn’t move a muscle.

It reminded me of my son. We would need to go somewhere. So, we would put him into the car seat, buckle him in, start the car, and he would be a sleep in 30 seconds. Head down flat on the arm rest in front of him. How can anyone sleep in such a position?

And I began to wonder about what going to sleep so readily says about a person’s mind-set.

Little children fall asleep readily, and quickly, because they feel safe. There are no worries, no fears, no frantic scramble to achieve security. Little children are totally at peace. They have moms and dads who fill their needs, protect them, comfort them, and love them.

Scripture says we should be like little children. Scripture says our lives should be characterized by peace. And human adults are anything but characterized by peace. Not that they are not seeking peace. They are looking for it in jobs, insurance, alarm systems, government regulations, politics, and the perfect relationship. Everywhere by the source of peace.

Like love, each of God’s children should be characterized by peace. If they are not experiencing peace, they are not walking with God like they should.

Large portions of God’s family are living in a state of angst. There is dread of the future, the state of the union, the world and the economy. Their hopes, confidence and trust rests in the government, their bank account, their jobs, or their friends, None of these are big enough.

The only thing big enough to support the world, all its people, and all its problems is our heavenly Father. He is the only one wise enough to have the answers. He is the only one big enough to hold everyone in his hands, and heart. He is the only one who can act with the perfectly balanced amount of love, power, strength, and gentleness.

He is the only one who has each person in his heart. He is the only one who can affect good for the world, and each individual. He loves each one. He is for each one. Even if the world is crashing, imploding, and being overwhelmed, all of these things are true. Especially as it relates to the who turn to God, give him their allegiance, and become a part of his family.

We experience peace as we engage in fellowship with the Father, as we surrender to the one who loves us above all else – our lives, our worries, and our loved ones. Peace is a sign of trust in our Father, and a sign of defeat to the world, the flesh, and the enemy.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Fruit of the Spirit

Scripture says that when we give our allegiance to Jesus, his Spirit makes its home in the core of our inner being. Since, all of life proceeds out of this core, the Spirit begins to give input into a person’s core, and it flows out into his life.

(Many people use the word “heart” to designate this core. It feeds into the person’s thoughts, words, and actions. And, therefore, it affects their life. I tend to see “heart” as a figure of the entire inner man. So, when god speaks to my heart, he speaks to the whole package.)

As the spirit gives input at this most fundamental level of our lives, we experience transformation starting at this most fundamental level. It then flows out to the outer places of life. Some people view this as a change in spiritual DNA.

So, as the Spirit splices new “DNA” into our hearts, we begin to live as the spirit lives, as Jesus lives. And Scripture says there are certain results that occur in our lives as this transformation process continues, and should occur in increasing measure.

The first in importance is love. The longer a person walks with Jesus, the more that love should be apparent in their lives. With joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and discipline appearing and growing.