Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011 … The Fearsome Foursome

Passage of the Day: Romans 7: 5 [ NIV] … 5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.

Romans 7: 5 [NASB – key terms in bold/underlined] … 5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by The Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.

My Journal for Today: Today’s verse (Rom. 7: 5, offered above in both NIV and NASB versions, reveals the horrific and evil chain of events created by the fall of mankind, resulting in a human nature, which, when activated by our free will can – and does – lead to death. Here we read (mostly using the NASB in this journal entry) the four terms (in bold and underlined above) which characterize those who are not in Christ or Christians who choose to rebel from God’s way/will. The four, listed in a sequential order that John MacArthur uses for a point about the outcomes of sin are … the law, the flesh, man’s sinful passions, and [spiritual] death. Taken in that order, in today’s Strength for Today entry, MacArthur speaks of how these four operate to separate man from God, which, is an excellent operational definition of “sin.”

THE LAW is ever present, indestructible and eternal, to reveal our weakness and sin, which thereby activates man’s FLESH, … which then provides a channel for man’s Adamic and/or carnal nature (i.e., the SINFUL PASSIONS), leading to choices which result in separation from God (i.e., spiritual DEATH). This chain of horror is what John MacArthur calls the “fearsome foursome,” which continually operate to undermine man’s relationship with God. The latter, of course, holds the lost from God’s saving grace; and it holds the saved sinner from a fruitful life in Christ.

But praise be to God [!], we ever live to be moved by our loving and merciful God, Who, “…made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions,” [the wondrous truth of Eph. 2: 5]. And all we need to do, in our human state, is to make a choice … to repent in faith and/or to live in faith, believing in Christ’s sacrifice, and receiving His grace (saving grace for the lost and enabling grace for the saved), which breaks the effects of the “fearsome foursome,” resulting in eternal and/or fruitful life.

It really should be a no-brainer choice [for true, born-again Christians, that is!]; but we can make it so difficult at times by choosing self over Savior. What is your choice going to be today?

My Prayer Today: I choose You, Lord! Amen

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