Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 18, 2011 … Liberty or License

Passage of the Day: Romans 6: 15 – 16 … 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

My Journal for Today: Readers: Listen to John MacArthur: “Freedom FROM sin does not mean freedom TO sin.”

This is the essence of the text of today’s passage [especially verse 15 above] from the Apostle Paul, which is a strong restatement of his strong exclamation and exhortation earlier in the same chapter of Romans 6 [i.e., Romans 6: 1]. [If you’ve been following my devotional blogs, see October 11 for an exposition of that statement.]

If you know the Pauline epistles, you are aware of Paul’s true gospel message of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Some have said that this can lead one to an easy grace, sometimes referred to as living under “cheap grace.” But to this Paul emphatically proclaims, “NO WAY, JOSE!!” [BTW, “Jose” is you and me, fellow Christian!] So, Paul repeats, as we’ve said, in the short space of this one Chapter of his epistle to the Romans, writing in Romans (vv. 6: 1, 15) that the grace that leads to salvation should not – yea, MUST not – be cheap grace. It is the most extravagant grace ever offered, paid for the blood of Christ, shed in His death on the cross for the sins of all mankind.

As MacArthur reminds his devotional readers in this October series from Strength for Today, the thought of a Christian testing God’s grace unto salvation with repeated and/or habitual sin was repugnant to Paul and other Gospel writers; as it should be for all Christians. Christ said it clearly (in Matt. 6: 24a) that we, as believers and His followers, cannot serve two masters; and as Paul reasoned (in Romans, chapters 5 - 8), a Christian cannot continue to rebel against his new Master (i.e., Christ as sealed by the Holy Spirit) by paying homage to his old master (i.e., Satan and the sin nature) in ongoing habitual patterns of sin.

The Apostle John also taught this message in quite a bit of his teaching from the book of 1st John. God’s grace, again as Paul was teaching to the early church (see Titus chapter 2, v. 11 – 14), compels true believers to reject worldly desires (i.e., sinfulness) and enables them (us) to live righteously (i.e., growing in Christlikeness). And John also taught us in his Gospel teachings that we cannot love God and live in a worldly way (i.e., without the repercussions of conviction and/or chastisement from God – see John 14: 21 or 1st John 2: 15 - 16). So, as I must do when I complete devotionals like this, I must ask myself; does my worship (i.e., my 24/7 lifestyle of living for God) reflect God’s light into a world so filled with darkness?

It’s a tough question; and it demands a straight answer! And the way you observe me living will most certainly answer the question for God … and for you.

My Prayer Today: Your grace, Lord, leads me on Your path of truth. Amen

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