Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 16, 2011 … You Can Count On It

Passage of the Day: Romans 6: 8 – 11 … [see highlighted phrase in bold/underlined]… 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. 10 The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

My Journal for Today: When it comes to dealing with sin, this may be one of the most important doctrinal passages in the New Testament. In verse 11, Paul pronounces an exhortation, which is actually in the form of a forceful command for believers. He says, “… count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” That term “count yourselves,” in the Greek, which is also translated “reckon yourselves” in the NKJV, I’ve learned is a banking or accounting term, which we might translate as “take it to the bank” in today’s colloquial English.

However, when it comes to viewing sin in our lives, I’m afraid that all too few Christians have this “bank on it [!]” mentality from God’s truth. MacArthur implies in his devotional for this date in Strength for Today that most Christians have not put Paul’s truth of Romans 6: 8 – 11 into our heart/mind “banks;” and therefore, when have the need to bring out a payment of strength when we’re confronted with the temptation to sin, we don’t have enough in our spiritual banks to withdraw and resist the sin.

MacArthur also contends that “duty (i.e., action) is always based in doctrine;” and if we don’t have doctrine, such as the one in today’s passage, deeply “banked” in our hearts/minds, we will not be able to act upon it. How can we live unto Godliness, if we don’t know/believe that we’ve died unto sinfulness? Many times, if not most times, our inability to resist sin is based in the reality that we have not banked away (i.e., in belief) enough of God’s truth to be able to avoid the deceit of an enemy who is very powerful and will do all he can to keep God’s truth out of our heart-bank as well as our own deceit-ridden heart, which is so vulnerable to Satan’s lies.

If we truly and fully “believe that we live with [Christ],” as it says in verse 8 above, we will be able to “count [ourselves] dead to sin,” as it says in verse 11. This is to bring out the credits from our bank of doctrine (i.e., our hearts/minds) when we need them to confront evil and temptation in the world and our lives. Remember what it says in Prov. 23: 7 from the NKJV, ”As a man thinks, in his heart, … so is he.” If we don’t have the doctrine of today’s highlight passage in our minds, how do we expect to believe it in our hearts; and therefore, how will we ever become in our lives what we don’t know and cannot believe.

I hope you’re following my logic here. Our salvation is much more than eternal fire insurance. It is the power to change from selfishness to godliness. It is the reality and working out of 2nd Cor. 5: 17 AND Gal. 2: 20 … AND … Rom. 12: 1 – 2. Remember what I wrote yesterday, … that it is living in Romans 8, instead of wallowing in Romans 7 (vv. 14 – 24). It is being able to count ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ as Paul says here today from God’s word. And what the Apostle is saying so clearly here is that WHEN we can put the truth of Romans 8 in our heart bank, we will live (i.e., “be”) as we are alive in Christ, having become dead to our sin nature, which is what Paul wrote was his battle just like any Christian (in Romans 7).

Again, … I cite what it says in that verse you hopefully have memorized from Proverbs 23: 7As a man thinks in his heart, so is he! Well, how full is your heart with God’s truth from today’s passage which I’ve highlighted from Dr. MacArthur’s devotional? Is it full enough with God’s doctrine and truth to be able to pull out whatever you need, especially when Satan comes calling with all of his lies? And do you have enough belief credits, to take God’s truth to the bank and call on your belief to live in Christ, being dead to sin? … Tough questions; but they’re answered will all you need from today’s credits of truth, to “take it to the bank” and draw on it any time we need it to live in Christlikeness.

My fellow Christians, we can bank on the truths espoused in God’s word; and one of those is in the passage presented today. WE, who believe Christ as Savior and Lord, ARE DEAD TO SIN; and we ARE ALIVE IN CHRIST!!! Now … I say one more time … we must BANK ON IT!!!

My Prayer Today: Amen, Lord, … and amen !!!

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