RSS

Category Archives: Faith

Patience Required

Patience Required

As we continue through the book of Romans, we’re looking at the expectation and longing that’s in the world right now. Anyone who’s sensitive to the spirit can see that it’s on the increase.

The world system is in great longing for something to happen. They may not understand what they’re looking for. But, Paul says that it’s for God’s people to become the revealed son’s and daughters of God.

It’s for the church of Jesus Christ to wake up and stand to its feet. This is God’s agenda in the church of our generation.

The Apostle Paul was also writing about our spiritual longing for the return of Christ. We all receive this expectation when we’re saved.

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Romans 8:23

I talked about this verse in my last post. When our lives display the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), we’re giving that firstfruits offering to the Lord.

Our desire should be for the world to see Jesus Christ through our lives. When the Holy Spirit enables us to do this, we’re testifying that there’s something more than what we can see in the physical world.

We’re looking forward to when we’ll be clothed in our new resurrected bodies. Our sin nature will finally be dealt with once and for all. That will take place at the return of Christ.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:24-25

We were saved in this expectation. Paul makes the obvious statement that you don’t wait expectantly for what you already have.

The bottom line is that we are required to be patient. Unfortunately, patience is not usually one of our strengths. We want what we want ASAP.

However, all through the New Testament, we’re told that patience should be a part of our mindset.

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.

James 5:7

This is probably the hardest part in our walk with the Lord. As someone who’s tried to plant a garden numerous times, I know how hard it is in the natural.

It’s very frustrating waiting for the land to yield the increase. You plant the seed, and then nothing happens for days, and sometimes weeks, depending on the plant.

I plant the seed. What makes it frustrating, is that once I do, it’s out of my hands. I can’t get the plants to grow. Paul understood the spiritual significance of this. Look at how he described his ministry to the Corinthian church.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

1 Corinthians 3:6-7

We have to do our part. Then, only God can do His part. I can plant the Word and pray in the spirit (watering), but God is the only one who can bring growth. When we see the start – the firstfruits – we know that the rest is on the way.

Question: What growth have you observed in your life since coming to Christ?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Spirit Over Flesh

Spirit Over Flesh

As we’ve been going through the book of Romans, we’ve seen that the Holy Spirit is responsible for accomplishing the change that’s needed in our lives. Having this access to God, through the Holy Spirit, is a very powerful thing. It affects our lives in a number of ways if we’re willing to walk in it.

According to the Apostle Paul, this knowledge should have an effect on us.

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation — but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.

Romans 8:12

This verse literally says that we don’t owe anything to the flesh. We’re under no obligation to keep it happy and comfortable. To have the best life, I must cultivate my spirit.

I talk a lot about the need to pray in the spirit. When I pray in the gift, I build up my most holy faith (Jude 1:20). This is the faith that’s resident in my spirit. It’s a faith that goes beyond what I know about the Scripture or the situation I’m in.

There are times when there may not even be a Biblical verse that covers my situation. What do I do then? I pray in the Spirit. This helps me to trust God when there seems to be no earthly reason to put my faith in Him. It’s a faith that goes beyond what my mind can understand.

This is the kind of faith that’s needed to allow the changes to take place in me.

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live…
Romans 8:13

This is a very interesting verse. If you just skim through it you’ll miss what it says. We need to remember what Paul has taught us thus far.

We understand, according to the Scripture, that we’re dead to sin and alive to God. Elsewhere in Romans we’re told to count ourselves dead.

This is based upon the truth that we were crucified with Christ, and this death separates us from the dominion of sin. That’s NOT what the above verse is telling us about. This verse is very different because it contains the word, “if”. This verse is telling us something we either could do or we could choose to ignore.

There’s a battle that rages in my being. Even though I’m saved, my flesh is still subject to its sin nature. I find that even though I’m dead to sin in Christ, I continue to fall to the temptations that come before me. Paul wrote about this struggle that we all face. How do I overcome this dilemma?

Many people try differing methods to bring about the victory. Some try to live right in their own strength. I’ve found that if I live trying to use my flesh to overcome my flesh, by shear will power, I’ll fail miserably. The above verse tells us that if I use my flesh, then death will reign in me. The problem is, to use a computer term, there’s a virus in the software.

The good news is that I can use the power of God’s network. I can use my spirit to put to death the misdeeds of the flesh. This is a truth that we’ve missed in the modern church. You can use your spirit to change your flesh.

In simple terms, you can download God’s anti-virus program and it will change the way you live. This is a powerful change because you’re allowing God to change you from the inside out.

We have to come to the understanding that I can take authority over the flesh by the power of the spirit. This is the key to a whole new level of living.

Question: How has prayer in the spirit changed the way you live?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Holy Spirit – Life Giver

The Holy Spirit – Life Giver

In my last post, I talked about what it takes to please God. That should be our number one desire.

We saw from Paul’s writings in Romans, that the flesh can never please God. The apostle continues with this thought. However, even though I normally use the NIV, for this verse I believe that the NKJV is the more accurate translation.

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Romans 8:9, NKJV

This verse simply states that everyone can access the Spirit of Christ if they’re saved. It’s not a special level of achievement only attained by a few highly spiritual people..

If you are His, then you have the Spirit of Christ.

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Romans 8:10

Here’s a statement of fact. There are two results of having the Spirit of Christ within you. The first is that if Christ is in you, then your body is dead through sin. Secondly, if Christ is in you, then your spirit is alive through righteousness.

What does Paul mean by saying that your spirit is alive? Furthermore, what does it mean to be spiritually dead? This is a concept that many people have no understanding of.

Remember back to the Garden of Eden. When God created Adam, He said that if you eat of this tree, you will surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17) Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, yet their bodies didn’t stop working at that point.

That’s because in God’s terminology, death is the loss of fellowship with Him. Because of sin, communication ceases between Adam and the Lord. Humanity lost the relationship that they were created for.

The fact is, I’m going to live eternally somewhere, so death doesn’t mean my body stops working. A good picture of this truth is found in the parable of the Prodigal Son.

The younger of two sons took his inheritance and left home. Father and son were no longer able to have fellowship. When the son came to his senses, he returned home. Look at the response of the father.

But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Luke 15:32

His return was a change from death to life. That’s the same with us when we’re saved.

Your flesh cannot fellowship with God. Your spirit, because you’re now in Christ, can live in relationship with God.

Even though your spirit existed before salvation, it couldn’t commune with God. That’s why believers now need to learn to communicate with God.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Romans 8:11

Every Christian has the Spirit of Christ living in them. Because of that fact, communication and fellowship with God is now possible. This means that the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead in you, and He will give life to your body that submits to death.

What did the Spirit do for Christ? He awakened Christ from the dead. What does He do for us? He will give life to our dying flesh.

That’s the bottom line. It’s the Spirit that works on our flesh, not the mind.

Question: Why is it better to rely on the Holy Spirit rather than will-power?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 14, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

What Do You Serve?

What Do You Serve?

In my last post, we talked about the role of our mind in winning the war against the flesh. Here’s the verse we looked at.

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Romans 8:5

Setting your mind on the desires of the spirit is the hurdle that must be crossed. It’s how we transition to the walk of maturity. But, getting the mind under control is not an easy task.

Look at the disciples.

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

Matthew 16:23

How many times can this be said of us. So often we think like normal human beings with no thought of the spiritual realm. What is it that classifies our thought process as human thinking?

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.

Philippians 3:17-19

We have to stop putting our mind on earthly things. That’s what bogs down our spiritual growth. It causes us to fall victim to the same problems that the world faces.

Paul says that he gives us a pattern in his teachings. If we can find the pattern, we can cross over to a walk of maturity. That is, if we actually follow the pattern.

If we can do what Paul says, then we can find victory over the flesh. We’ll be walking in a whole new level of faith. But, we have to do it God’s way.

How does it start?

But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:13

The salvation process involves our sanctification. That means a cleaning up procedure. How is that accomplished. According to this Scripture, it’s a work of the Holy Spirit.

But, it also involves my participation. I have to exhibit belief in the truth. My part is to trust the Holy Spirit’s ability to change me. I participate by faith, but the work is God’s.

That’s why maturity can never be attained by following a set of rules. That’s the fast track to frustration.

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:6

We must trust that the Holy Spirit is a life-giving Spirit. It’s His life that will change me. Paul goes on to clarify this.

If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!

2 Corinthians 3:9

We need to understand that the religious word, ministry, actually means servanthood. This verse tells me that I can either serve condemnation or righteousness. It’s our choice.

Question: How do we change our thought process to gratify the spirit?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 2, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

War on the Inside

War on the Inside

In my last post, we looked at putting God’s Word into our hearts. This is the first step toward a change in our lifestyle. Let’s continue with Paul’s teaching in Romans.

For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

Romans 7:22-23

So far we’ve been talking about following God’s law. Now I’m looking at a different law in my body. It’s not God’s law. It’s the law of sin and death.

According to this verse, it’s on an aggressive, active military campaign with two objectives. The first purpose is to destroy the law of God in my mind and heart. It wants to totally wipe out God’s law from my inner man.

The second objective is to make me a prisoner of war to the law of sin in my body. That’s why the flesh – the desires of the body – is our greatest weakness.

Please remember that Paul is talking from the perspective of a baby, carnal Christian. He describes this phase of the Christian experience.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 7:24-25a

Wretched, now that’s an interesting word! In the Greek language it’s a compound word. It combines a money balance and a severe trial. The word picture is of a balance that’s overloaded on both sides and is in danger of breaking.

That’s what the war between the flesh and the spirit feels like sometimes. It prompts the cry of the baby Christian who’s intent on growing up. “Who will rescue me from this?”

Notice that it’s not the complacent, “I Don’t want to grow up.” Instead, it’s a cry for deliverance from this body that’s aligned itself with death.

Even the word used for, deliver, is important. It means to flow like river sweeping us away from the problem. It doesn’t ask for the strength to endure, but a total escape from situation.

The good news is that the Lord has the answer.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 4:18

The condition we face is an attack of the flesh. But, thank God, we have the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Paul concludes this section by summarizing.

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Romans 7:25b

With my mind, I serve God’s law. But my flesh is in slavery to sin’s law. It’s just like an overloaded balance. But, there is deliverance. This situation can be stopped, not just endured, or will-powered through. Jesus Christ can bring deliverance from this mess.

In my next post we’ll begin looking at Romans, chapter 8. There, Paul will show us the way to freedom. You won’t want to miss it.

Question: How have you experienced this battle between your flesh and your spirit?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 26, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My Fight with Legalism

My Fight with Legalism

In my last post, I looked at Paul’s teaching on legalism in his letter to the Roman church. It’s actually what separates all other religions and Christianity.

Think about it. In the book of Acts, the early church had no phones, radio, New Testament Scripture, or anything like the resources and knowledge we have today. Yet they walked in the power of God that’s unrivaled in our modern generation.

As I thought about it, I also realized that my grandparents couldn’t read and had no formal education to speak of. Yet there was an incredible manifestation of the power of God in their lives – what happened?

There are some sneaky ways that legalism creeps into our lives. We have to be careful not to fall victim to them.

Here’s where we ended in my last post.

Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
Romans 7:9-10

This verse is very clear. God saved me apart from the law, when I trusted the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through this finished work I was made alive apart from the law.

Then the commandment came, which the Scripture says is the power of sin (I Corinthians 15:56). When this happens, death begins its work in me.

Let me explain how God used this truth to minister to me. One day, as I was driving, praying, and meditating upon the Word, the Holy Spirit started to speak to me. I had been going through a rough time financially.

I had done everything that I knew to do. I had stood on all I’d been taught about prayers and confessions. I’ve always been a tither. I always remind the Lord what His Word says and that I’m standing on His promises.

At this point in my life I clearly heard God speak to my heart and ask me, “What are you basing your expectation on?” Immediately my thoughts turned to the Scripture. I’m basing my hope in the Word that tells me to tithe.

If I’ll tithe, then You will rebuke the devourer and open the windows of Heaven. I give special offerings when You lead me to, so that I’ll receive the blessings of the seed of faith.

The Lord then asked me a question that floored me. He said, “So you’re basing your expectation upon the law?” I was speechless. I had no response to this.

On the inside I felt like defending and justifying my actions. But deep down I knew that the Lord had hit upon the very root of the problem, even though at that point I had no clue how to get out of it.

I came to the realization that I had placed myself under the commandment. Trying, in your own power, to fulfill the requirements of the promises is a form of legalism. I had to learn how to walk in the Lord’s freedom.

That’s why it’s important to understand how Christ set us free from the law, sin, and death.

Question: Are there Scriptural promises that you find yourself legalistic about?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 10, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

How the Law Brings Death

How the Law Brings Death

We’re continuing our walk through the book of Romans. We’ve seen Paul’s example of a marriage to show us how Christ set us free from the law, sin, and death. Now the apostle wants to show us how to apply these principles.

What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”

Romans 7:7

After all this, Paul comes up with another question. It seems like the law was a big problem. But is the law sin? No way!!!

Scripture says that I only have knowledge of sin through the law. It literally says that I never knew by experience what coveting was, except that the law said, “Don’t covet.”

This is an important point. Look at what happened back in the Garden of Eden.

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Genesis 2:16-17

Notice that by eating the tree, Adam and Eve would only be given the knowledge of good and evil. They wouldn’t have the experience.

What did the devil say?

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:5

That’s what eating the fruit of this the tree did. By giving us the knowledge of good and evil, it put the desire in us to want rules over relationship.

Before then, Adam and Eve didn’t know what good and evil was. All they knew was that God had said, “Don’t eat this.”

But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead.

Romans 7:8

Sin sees the law as a starting point. Beginning with the law, sin fully works all kinds of longing for what I shouldn’t have. That’s why sin without law is dead.

That’s a spiritual principle that overlaps in other areas. For instance, faith without works is dead. The body without the spirit is dead. That’s why Scripture says that the power of sin is the law.

Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.

Romans 7:9

This is a really good description of what happened in the garden. Adam and Eve were alive, both physically and spiritually. Then came the knowledge of good and evil. Along with that, sin came to life and they died.

Now they had to live by knowing good and evil. That means that they had to establish rules – the law.

I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

Romans 7:10

It turns out the commandments that I think are pointing to life actually are leading me to death. That’s why we need to go from a life of rules to a walk in the spirit. In my next post, I’ll share my personal confrontation with this truth.

Question: How has trying to follow the law impacted your life?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 8, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Law is not Your Friend

The Law is not Your Friend

We’re continuing our study through Paul’s letter to the Roman church. We’re looking at the example of a marriage in talking about our being set free from the law, sin, and death.

We are told, from this Scripture, that in Christ we died to these things and can now bear fruit to God.

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

This verse takes us back to when we were in the flesh. Paul now introduces this new concept. He uses the phrase, in the flesh, translated controlled by the sinful nature. He first used this term in Romans 6:19. But now he’s giving us some added details..

Remember that the flesh is the nature and will of the body. Paul told us, in chapter 6, that our major weakness is in our flesh. This is important for us to understand.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

In this verse, Paul literally says that I am crucified in Christ, yet I live in the flesh. This may sound like a paradox.

By faith, our flesh is crucified in Christ. This is the key point. Even though my flesh is crucified, I run into problems when I try to crucify only a part of it.

The devil wants you to concentrate on a small piece of the flesh. God wants the whole thing – that’s where your victory comes from so that you can live by faith in Him.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

2 Corinthians 10:3

The original text of this verse reads that we walk in the flesh. It tells us that though we walk in the flesh, we don’t strategize according to flesh. That’s because the flesh doesn’t want what God wants.

Looking back to Romans 7:5, we see how this works. The phrase translated, the sinful passions aroused by the law, literally means that the influence of sin was energized or empowered by the law.

The law gave sin all of its power along with the accompanying emotions, pleasure, and guilt. Of course it also included all of the conflict that we experienced.

At that time, the law and sin was our husband, spiritually speaking. This sin planted a seed in us. It was then activated by the law, and produced the fruit of death. (A list of this fruit is found in Galatians 5:19-21)

These are all the things that we look back and say, “How could I have done that?” It’s all rooted in being married to sin and the law. The law said, “Don’t do that.” The flesh responded, “Why not?”

Whenever you say, “I shouldn’t do that,” you’re planting a seed of death in your heart. The key is to stop trying not to do sinful things. Instead, start living by faith in Christ crucified.

But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Romans 7:6

Here Christ is telling us that the only way out of prison is to die in Him. So, we died in Christ and now we’re raised in the Spirit. We’ve been resurrected into a new life apart from, freed from the law.

Now we can voluntarily choose to serve a new way, in the spirit. We no longer have to serve in the old, antiquated way of following a set of rules.

Question: Why does following a set of rules make it impossible to serve God?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 5, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Christ, Marriage, and the Law

Christ, Marriage, and the Law

We’re now in Romans, chapter 7. Paul has been talking about how Christ has set us free from the law, sin, and death. He’s now about to use a common example to illustrate what he’s been teaching.

Do you not know, brothers — for I am speaking to men who know the law — that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage.

Romans 7:1-2

Here Paul is speaking to those who know the law. He explains that the law is lord over humans only as long as they’re alive.

Now, using marriage as an example, he explains this truth. The law binds a woman to her living husband. But, if her husband dies, she is loosed from that aspect of the law.

So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.

Romans 7:3

Obviously, if her husband lives, and there’s another man in her life, she’s an adulteress. If her husband is dead, then there’s no adultery. Paul is using the example of a married woman. So, what does that have to do with us?

So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.

Romans 7:4

The point is that we died to the law with Christ, so that we could be married to another. We now belong to Him who was raised from the dead – Jesus Christ. In Christ the old connections are gone.

Look at the wonderful results of this truth.

For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.

Galatians 2:19

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:11

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Galatians 6:14

What could be better than this? We are declared dead to the law, dead to sin, and dead to the world. According to verses 2 and 3 above in Romans, what does this mean? We now have no connection, no obligation, and the freedom to choose another way of life.

Think about this in the natural. What if a woman’s husband dies? She goes through the grieving process. But then, God brings her another love.

What if she remains devoted to her dead husband? Everyday she places flowers on his grave. She continues to talk to that dead husband as if he’s alive. She still sets a place for him at dinner table.

Is she free? No! Why not? It’s because of her own choice.

Many Christians are just like this. The old connections to the law, sin, and the world are broken in Christ, yet they act as if they were not.

What’s the answer to all of this? Paul will get into it as we continue on in this teaching. You won’t want to miss it.

Question: How is your relationship with Christ similar to a marriage?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 1, 2021 in Faith, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Who Do You Serve?

Who Do You Serve?

In my last post, I started talking about the fact that even though Christ has set us free from slavery to sin, we can voluntarily submit to it.

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?

Romans 6:16

Here is another “Don’t you know” in the Scripture. We need to pay attention when we see them. We must make sure we understand what’s being said.

The key word in this verse is offer. It was also used twice in verse 13. It literally means to stand beside and present.

In regards to sin, it means that submission is voluntary. It’s not sin as your king, but you as a volunteer. You’ve presented yourself as a servant.

In the Greek language, there are two main words for servant – deakonos and doulos. Deakonos denotes a slave to the work. You’re told what to do by a master and you have no choice but to obey.

The word doulos is different. In this case you’re a willing servant of a person. You’ve chosen to submit to their lordship. In some places it’s translated as a bond-slave.

The word for servant in the above verse is doulos. You’re offering yourself as a servant into the place of obedience. This applies to a choice in either direction – either serving Christ or sin.

If you choose to serve sin, you need to be aware that it leads you to death. No, you haven’t died yet, it’s just leading you in that direction. You might even still be on the right path, but your aim a little off.

There’s also the potential choice to serve obedience. In that case you’re being lead to righteousness. That’s what this decision is all about. You’re either walking toward righteousness or death.

But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 6:17-18

Notice that this obedience is a choice from the heart. That’s why getting the Word into our heart is so important. When you change your heart, you change the entire direction of your life.

It’s also important to see what they obeyed in this verse. It says that they obeyed the form of teaching they were given.

That word means a die or stamp used as a pattern. They obeyed the pattern of teaching that was committed to them. We need to learn the patterns in the Word. That’s the way things happen and progress.

The pattern that they understood from Paul’s teaching was that if you chase after evil things, you head towards death. The key to all of this is our liberation from the reign of sin as we remain in Christ.

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:34-36

The Good News is that we’ve been liberated into the family of God. We should, therefore, show the traits of that family – the pattern. In order to have our best life, we must desire to be slaves of righteousness.

Question: What does it take to choose obedience to God?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 24, 2021 in Faith, Sonship, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,