LISTEN Here: http://youtu.be/2zb5GPf_Enw
Thanks for allowing me to share once again
from God’s Word. It seems strange to me,
but I have a greater weight upon me each time I speak, yet each time I accept,
because I feel it’s such an exciting privilege to be able to teach. The gift of teaching comes with both a joy
and a responsibility. I guess the joy
softens the responsibility.
I want to start out by sharing about the Marathon training and the progress in our gifts to Apaxtla. I have ran over 68 miles so far since Spring training began! We have three $26.20 (a total of $78.60) gifts so far, and there is many months of training and giving to go. Julie & I are taking the family there in November during the Thanksgiving holiday. It will be about 1 month after I make the big run. We have been planning this trip for some time, and it seems right to do it then, so we can video tape the ministry and report back to the church family how our gifts have impacted God’s work in Mexico. By the way, the gifts will not be used to pay for the trip! God has provided for that separately.
One other item of note is respecting the Hike for Life, which is only 6 days away. I believe that nearly everyone should have a part in this vital ministry to save babies. Giving financially, hiking, or even volunteering to help out during the Hike itself, we can & are making a HUGE difference. Years ago, when Julie & I began hiking, our pledges came largely from those within the body. Today, I receive most of my gifts for the Hike from non-believers, and others. What this tells me is that the tide is changing regarding Life!
This morning I want to speak on a topic which some of you may feel you know quite well. And some of you will only have touched upon it lightly. I hope to be giving you a meaty, not a milky message. Our text is Roman 6:15-23:
Romans 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.
In Galatians we read: 2:15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
It seems clear from this that the Law won’t get us into heaven. But does it have another purpose in our lives? What is the weight and bearing of the law? Is there a difference between the Christian and the non-believer with respect to the law? I read a really neat explanation on the law and how it works in regard to salvation. Three years ago I read Pilgrims Progress to Benjamin. This year I began reading it to Christina. Listen to this:
Looking at Philippians, we read, 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Paul tells us that it is God who works in us for His good pleasure. Paul says our work is a witness to be like lights in a dark world. Then he describes his own experience in this matter. He is willing to yield all to Christ for the sake of our faith. Are you ready to pour your own life out as a sacrifice to the Lord? In Romans 12 Paul says we are to be living sacrifices. Though the idea of the sacrificial system and the altars and such is part of the statement, what he is saying is that we need to yield our lives to the Lord. Give over your hearts to Him who saved you!
21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. What fruit were you getting? The fruit of sin is ultimately death. The result of the fruit of slavery to God leads to sanctification, there’s that word again. We become more godly people when we yield to Him in our life. And did you note the wages of Sin? How about the fact that we don’t get wages for our slavery to God. But we do get eternal life nevertheless!
Gal 2:19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. 20 It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. This is how it’s done folks. We give up our life. Yield our wants, our desires, even the smallest ones. Give them all to Jesus. Let Him be your guide.
Finally, Joshua had this challenge: Josh24:14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
There are many ways to serve the Lord. The Hike for Life next Saturday is one example. Setting aside our plans for those of the Lord’s. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Let’s Pray.