Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Baptized Vessels for Righteousness

“For the death that [Christ] died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin rein in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Rom 6:10-14)

Blessing comes from love and obedience...

I don't know about you but all this talk of the Ashley Madison web hack has my attention especially since a lot of influential people, especially Christians, have been publically exposed in their sins and temptations. A lot of people are raising their eyebrows in surprise. Physicists speak of the "butterfly effect," the degree to which small actions produce large consequences. The same is true spiritually. People (most importantly Christ Jesus) watch you respond to opportunities and challenges. They see the way you react (or act) in many different situations; treat those who can help you and those who cannot; the way you and I handle temptation, etc. The way you live affects not only you but the world – positively and negatively. 

There’s no doubt that our bodies act like temptation magnets. We fall into weakness so many times. Yes, that’s the case for all of us and Paul reminds us that the choices we make not only affect us but our Savior and others. Paul offers Gospel saturated perspective: "What should we say then? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?"

Let us stay aware, "...that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death..." and "...we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father so we too may walk in a new way of life." (Romans 6:1-4)

I was reminded one Sunday (Aug 30) to remember Christ Jesus and how He was obedient to God, and how He was subjected to terrible suffering for our redemption and restoration. As a Christian, consider Christ Jesus today...seriously, deeply, and forever...and follow Him. Jesus says in John 15, to "abide in Him" the same way a branch is attached to a vine. The closer you draw to Jesus, the closer He draws to you in very real ways. Place your trust in Jesus Christ,  and allow him to  affect your world for His glory.

May your 2016 be blessed!

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