Posts Tagged ‘Redemption’

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are ashamed of now? For the end of these things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin & have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:20-23

This is such a common verse. Most of us know it by heart but is it in our hearts? Is it just another line in scripture or does it hold water? Has anyone understood it’s depth?

For so long, I also took this verse in vain, yes, as a Christian. I knew it theoretically but it hadn’t really sunk in. I would quote it but go ahead and walk against it. I heard Jesus’ voice but daily walked in disobedience.

Lately, this verse has come alive in my life again. By the grace of God, I understand it now. The wages of sin sure is death. Not just in the afterlife but even in this present one. Ever seen a plant that isn’t watered or doesn’t receive it’s daily dose of light? That plant never lives long. It may fool us for awhile but truth is it’s dying. Dying from the roots upwards. This is what sin does to us. It kills us. It kills the core of our being. We no longer get the nutrients we need for life. We don’t feed our souls, neither are we illuminated, and just like the plant we start wilting away. The things of God that used to make our hearts pump no longer please us. We don’t want fellowship with the body of Christ because we have become a shadow of our former selves. And so we slide away. Instead of running to the source for renewal, we think we can live by our own strength. Forgetting it’s not by might but by the Spirit. We shrink further and further, and to cover our frailty we indulge in more sin. We fool ourselves with the snippets of scripture we know by heart, but deep down we know we are gone. Like a junkie, we have thinned out from the effects of our abuse, sin is our master.

The wages of sin is death. Your prayer life is killed. Your word life is killed. The joy of salvation you once had is snuffed out. Your fellowship with brethren is strangled. You are lost. You are not a Christian anymore, at least not by God’s standards. The fruit of your life is nothing but sour grapes.

Good news though, the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. Hear it, through Christ Jesus. You cannot do it on your own brother. I don’t even have to convince you on this cause’ it’s been tried and tested. Jesus is the only sure way, and He bids you come. Come and carry His yoke for it is easy. Come because with Him, you don’t have to depend on your own righteousness. It is imputed on you – Christ’ righteousness is what you live by. Come because you don’t have to continue dying. The cross still holds power. Come and rest, for just like the prodigal son, your Father awaits your return. So today, if you hear the Spirit of God, don’t harden your heart. Come to the river of life, you will find healing there.

 

 

 

Grace & Peace.

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While reading through Romans 5, I got stuck in verses 3-5 which state:

‘More than that, we rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the HolySpirit who has been given to us.’

The word ‘hope’ and how it has been used in the bible caught my eye. I went ahead and looked it up to find this;

1. ‘a belief that something desired will happen’

2. ‘a person, thing or circumstance that makes hope possible.’ Wow!

Of late, I have been encouraging a friend alot to hold on to hope. Jenny & Tyler’s song, ‘Holding onto hope’ always comes to play. But what does the bible really mean when it talks about hope?

1. Redemption
Romans 5:5 ‘……..and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the HolySpirit who has been given to us.’

Verse 8 continues to say that, ‘….but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’

See the connection between the two verses? One talks of God’s love, the other is the demonstration. In this is hope, the infilling of love by the outpouring of Christ. Hope is used in this instance to mean redemption, reconciliation, and peace with God. In this case, the second dictionary definition of hope applies. Christ makes hope possible.

2. The Future Glory
Another way hope is used in the bible is to highlight on the glory that is to be revealed.
Romans 8:18-30 talks of how the present sufferings are incomparable to the future glory. Creation groans in expectation of it and even us, the ones having the firstfruits of the Spirit even the more. For it is in this HOPE that were saved. That’s what the bible says.
The Psalmist cries out in Psalms 130.5 ‘I will wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in his word I hope.’ He goes on to say, ‘Oh Israel, hope in the Lord for with the Lord there is steadfast love and with him is plentiful redemption and he will redeem Israel from all her iniquities. Redemption and future glory are seen in the same chapter. In Psalms 119:49-50 it says, ‘Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life.’

This hope for the future glory works presently to give us strength for each day and we wait for it with patience. The bible itself says in Prov.13:12 that hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. The world hopes in what it does not know and in a future that has not been secured. Therefore, in this case, the first dictionary definition of hope applies. We believe that a future glory will be revealed stamped by the assurance of Christ in us the hope of glory in Colossians 1:27.

A worthy note is that Christ is the constant in both ‘hopes.’ Without him, we are hopeless, neither redeemed nor longing for a future glory. So I finish off like the Psalmist saying, ‘Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.’

Do have a hope-filled day.

Grace & Peace