My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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An Invitation to be In Christ
A child wrapped up and warmly embraced. The invitation is to be tightly in union with Christ.
Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Paul’s comment here must be connected to previous statements made in chapter five. It is because of the sin of Adam that all are condemned, but it is because of Christ that we are now all set free. However, it’s also inclusion language. Previously humanity was found “in” Adam, but now It is because of union with Christ that we are delivered from the condemnation of sin. We are invited to move from being “in” Adam to being “in” Christ.
This is an incredible invitation for all of humanity. I’m not sure that we can ever truly grasp the hopefulness that is found in these beautiful words. It’s far too easy to live a life in which we feel weighed down by guilt and shame. In a world that has trouble defining sin, it seems that shame has actually become the greater weight. Anxiety and fear can become all consuming with freedom seemingly beyond our grasp.
It’s in those moments that we are confronted with the possibility of a life united to Christ. Here we have the invitation to fellowship with the Triune God, and in doing so, to cast all of our cares and burdens upon him.
It’s another cold morning in Kansas City and I’m wrapped in a blanket in front of the fireplace, sipping a cup of tea. Somehow I like to imagine being in Christ like being wrapped in the warm and loving embrace of the Triune God. That warm embrace becomes a shield against the condemnation that comes from the enemy who would like us to believe that we are still “in” Adam.
Jesus sets us free, not just once, but for all time. He invites us to be united with him, living and being discipled, day after day in his warm embrace.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Ex. 33:4 ¶ When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put on ornaments. Ex. 33:5 For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, and I will decide what to do to you.’” Ex. 33:6 Therefore the Israelites stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
The people had sinned before God by making and worshiping the golden calf! They had taken their golden jewelry — the earrings and other items they had gotten from the Egyptians and used them to create an idol. Now, in an act of humility and repentance they were to take off all of their jewelry and ornaments. It was a time of mourning over their sin and it included intentional action on the part of the Israelites. Application:
We don’t do all that well with humility and repentance! It seems that we live in a time when we try to carry on…
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…