Who’s your daddy?

Romans 6:15-23

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?  But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.  I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.  But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Who do we obey?  Self? God? Two roads to travel in life from which to choose. Which road have we chosen?

 “…to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey,...”

Do we begin each day asking; What shall I do today?  Or do we begin with: This is the day the Lord has made, I shall rejoice and be glad in it.  What can I do for you today, Lord?

 “…you were slaves of sin, …  you became slaves of righteousness….”

It is a mind-set and the manner in which we approach life that has changed when we decide for Christ and a life lived for God and His righteousness.  It is how we present ourselves to Him each day, all day and night.  Who’s our daddy?  Who do we serve?  Self or God?

Paul reminds us that the wages of sin is death.  The gift of God is eternal life.  One a wage for which we work, the other a gift, freely given and freely received.  Both enslave us in the sense we attend to the wishes of the source.  Who is our source?  Who is our Daddy?

 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

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We know what to do…

John 14:28-31

You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

“And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

 I am going…I am coming back to you.  The world must learn that I love the Father, and do exactly what my Father has commanded.  Christ’s promise to us.  He went; he is coming back.  Will we say, do we say with him that we love our Father and we do exactly what our Father commands.  We have his word; we know what to do.

From 1 John 2:29  – But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.  We do not need to seek answers from mankind; the answers to our questions rest in the Word of God.  We have His word; we know what to do.

If we love…

John 14: 15-27

“If you love Me, keep  My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you

“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 If you love me…

The Spirit of truth – the world does not know him, cannot see him, will not accept him.  But we know him for he lives in us.  The Spirit of truth will teach and remind us of what Christ taught and commanded. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. Do we love him?  Obey him.

Keep my commandments…

The world does not see, but we do.  He lives and because He lives we do also. We know him, we know his commands, we keep them and for that he knows we love him.  Because we  love him we are loved by the Father and Christ.  This knowing transcends explanation and as Christ said the world does not see, does not know and cannot accept.  We should not be surprised at the reactions we receive from an unbelieving world. 

If we love him, we will keep his commands, the  Father will love us and both Christ and the Father will make their home with us.  The Spirit has come and is with us, bringing to remembrance what Christ has said, teaching us all things and this brings peace.  Christ leaves his peace with us, a peace that assures and keeps us from fear.

If we love him…

In…we trust

Luke 11:14-28

 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled.  But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons,”  while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven.  But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebub. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.  But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.  When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’  And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.  Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

 …his armor in which he trusted…In what do we trust?  

A house divided falls – we say it is dysfunctional and produces troubled fruit.  If we aren’t gathering we are scattering…ouch!… If we come to the Lord; get cleaned up, but leave our central being empty of His Word, we end up in worse shape than we were to start.  Fill the mind, soul, and being with the Word of God.  Live in unity, not judging, not dividing.  It is a full-time job to know the Word and obey it.  We are not to leave that job to meddle in something not ours.  Blessed are we who hear the Word of God and obey it.  Where is our trust? Evidence follows truth.  God knows…

Long way round…shortest way home

This is too good not to share.  Chapter 3 of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis talks about Social Morality.  One of the points made  in this chapter is that charity – giving to the poor – is an essential part of Christian morality.  Among other things he points out the need to be giving to the poor is more than generosity, ie tipping, hospitality, more to helping those who really need help.  This giving is to the point that it affects our ability to purchase items classified luxury, comfort, amusements, etc.  For most of us that is a stretch!

Also dealt with is the importance of living debt-free.  He notes that three great civilizations agreed that money should not be lent for interest.  Ancient Greece, Jewish law, and Christian teachers of the Middle Ages all told us not to lend money at interest; and lending money at interest— what we call investment–is the basis of our whole system.  So why are we surprised at the recent turn of events.  We have been amply warned throughout history of its dangers, we disregarded and created the stock exchange!! Something novel???  Would it be too much to say that if we lived debt free we would be enabled to give to the poor?

But that is a very simple summary of some complex and highly stimulating reading.  What I want to share is this.  C.S.Lewis states:

There are bits in this section that I wanted to leave out.  And that is why nothing whatever is going to come of such talks unless we go a much longer way round.  A Christian society is not going to arrive until most of us really want it: and we are not going to want it until we become fully Christian.  I may repeat “Do as you would be done by,” till I am black in the face, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbor as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him.  And so, as I warned you, we are driven on to something more inward–driven on from social matters to religious matters.  For the longest way round is the shortest way home.

To conclude then, we cannot be put off by those who want nothing to do with ‘religion’ and must continue to strive to be real in our living our beliefs based on the Scripture we read and share.  This is more than ritual, or even belief, it is living life as obedient children of the Most High God.