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Death – The Evil Emperor

Death – The Evil Emperor

As we continue looking at the book of Romans, Paul is dealing with the battle between life and death. In my last post we were seeing the result of the cross in this struggle.

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:15

This verse should really open our eyes to the truth. Death became king because of the one offense, when Adam sinned. But now, in Christ, how much greater is our reigning in life because of God’s super-abundant grace?

This verse literally says that we will rule or be kings in life through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, it seems that many believers are fighting the wrong enemy. We think that the devil is the highest enemy. NO! He answers to his boss – death.

If you have subscribed to this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I’m a scifi nerd. I remember when Star Wars first came out. Darth Vader was the evil mastermind that the rebel forces were trying to defeat.

But then, in the second movie, The Empire Strikes Back, we were shocked to see Darth Vader bowing before an even higher being…the Emperor. That’s the way it is in our spiritual battle. Death is the emperor that the devil bows before.

Death is the real enemy, not the devil.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Hebrews 2:14-15

That’s why throughout Scripture the battle has always been life versus death. That’s what we’re always told to choose between (Deuteronomy 30:19). The choice is always between life and death. It’s not about good and evil, or even God and the devil.

That’s why Jesus holds out life to all who will come to Him.

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

John 5:24

Notice that we haven’t crossed over from the kingdom of Satan, but from death. We have got to grasp this truth. Our greatest enemy is not the devil, it’s death.

When we speak or act in the power of death, that’s when we give him power over us. Satan is the Darth Vader of the empire of death. His goal is to carry out the agenda of death.

But there’s a greater truth at work in us. Now we are the king through Christ. We have the authority of life. That is, if we speak and act according to the agenda of the God of life.

It seems that we’re always on the lookout for sin and the devil. We need to start watching for the little ways we let death enter the scene.

…and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4:27

What is a foothold? Simply put, it’s a place to stand. We have to stand on God’s Word. The devil has to stand on death’s word. Actually, he has to operate the same way we do. The difference is that the Word of Life is more powerful, has more authority, than the word of death.

If you haven’t already done so, change your way of thinking. Choose life and speak the Word of God. That’s the best way to a victorious lifestyle.

Question: How have you seen the battle of life and death playing out in your experience?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Two Gifts

The Two Gifts

We’re continuing our walk through the book of Romans. Paul has been explaining to us, the reign of death that has taken the earth because of Adam’s sin.

Now he wants us to understand what Christ has done to overcome this.

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.

Romans 5:15-16

This is an amazing passage of Scripture. However, if we’re going to fully understand it, we need to know a little Greek.

The reason for this, is that there are two different Greek words for gift used in this section. They are charisma and dorema. While they both mean a gift or a present, they have slightly different uses.

The word, dorema, is a gift that I give you with no strings attached. It’s given free and clear. Charisma, on the other hand, is a gift that the giver retains the right to tell you how you’ll use it.

For example, if I give you a fifty dollar bill for your birthday, that’s a dorema. You can do whatever you want with it. If I give you a fifty dollar gift card to Starbucks, that a charisma, because you can only use it where I want you to use it.

Usually in Scripture, when someone gives an offering, it’s dorema because we’re giving with no strings attached. But, when talking about the gifts of God, it’s usually charisma because God is very clear how He wants us to operate in these giftings.

So, this passage is saying that the gift God gives (charisma) is not like what happened because of Adams sin. Now through Christ we can receive God’s grace. It also literally says that the gift (dorema) that overflows to many people is in the grace.

The way the original Greek puts it in the second half is that the one sin gave us the gift (dorema) of judgment. But now, after many sins have been done on the earth, Christ came, and through His obedience, brings us the gift (charisma) of spiritual life.

This is a wonderful truth. Death and judgment was given to the entire world through Adam. But now, as a result of the cross, we can receive everlasting life through the Lord Jesus Christ.

This opens the door to a whole new way for us to live.

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:17

This is Good News! When I come to Christ I receive God’s grace and the gift (dorema) of righteousness with no strings attached. This gives me a new outlook on life.

Formerly death reigned over everything because of sin. Now, because I’m in Christ, I can reign in life. I don’t have to walk in fear of anything that’s happening around me. I can walk in the authority of Christ as I submit to Him.

Too many believers walk around with bad attitudes. You would think that serving God was the hardest thing they could ever imagine. Their faces usually reflect fear and frustration. That’s not how the Lord wants us to live.

We have to realize that Christ places us over all the situations in our lives. We may not know exactly how things will turn out, but we know that it will be for our best and for God’s glory. What more could we ask for?

Question: How have you experienced the grace of God at work in you?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2021 in Encouragement, Faith, Spiritual Walk

 

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Adam’s Pattern

Adam’s Pattern

In my last post we saw that death has ruled the earth since the fall of Adam. If you remember, the Scripture had something interesting to say about him.

Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

Romans 5:14

This verse says that Adam was the pattern, or literally, the sample or shape of the one to come. The question that I had to ask was; how was Adam the pattern of Christ?

The answer to that is found throughout the New Testament and I think it will surprise you.

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

I had a problem with this. How does Adam get all the blame? Why death only come through Adam? It was Eve who ate the fruit first, then she gave it to Adam.

Paul even admits this.

And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

1 Timothy 2:14

If that’s true, then how does Adam get blamed for the start of death’s reign? Actually, it all comes down to the pattern.

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit…

1 Peter 3:18

When Eve ate the forbidden fruit, she became a sinner. Adam wasn’t deceived at all. He knew that she sinned, and the penalty for that sin was death. At that point he was righteous and she was unrighteous.

We have to ask ourselves; what was God’s plan when this occurred? I believe that the answer to this is also found in the pages of Scripture.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…

Ephesians 5:25

First of all, Adam should have refused the fruit and retained his righteous position. Then, he should have stood by his wife as she went before God for judgment.

Then, as the sentence against her was pronounced, he should have stood up and done what Christ was willing to do.

“Father God, I understand that Eve was deceived and fell into sin. She made a wrong choice. But I love her and I’m going to take her place.”

If Adam did that – the righteous taking the death penalty for a sinner – then the problem of sin and death would have been dealt with right there in the garden.

Adam would have died in his wife’s place. Then, because of his righteous state, God would have raised him from the dead.

I believe if that took place then humanity would have went straight into a perfected state. We would never have had a problem with sin. But Adam didn’t make that choice. Instead, he chose to serve death, not Satan.

Of course, now we have to make this same choice daily. As believers, we’re called to lay down our own lives in order to experience the life of Christ in us.

Question: What does laying down your life look like in your situation?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2021 in Relationships, Spiritual Walk

 

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Death is King

Death is King

In my last post, we saw how sin and death entered the world through Adam’s failure. We’re now going to continue along this line so that we can understand all the implications of this.

…for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

Romans 5:13-14

This is a very interesting passage of Scripture and we need to fully explore it. We’re told that even before the law, sin was in the world. However, until a law is given, sin is not put on anyone’s account.

Think about Adam’s case. He only had one law. There was only one thing he could do that would bring sin into his account. The outcome was that he chose to do that very thing.

Actually these verses should be a revelation to many Christians. This verse literally reads that death was king from Adam to Moses. That was true even for those who didn’t break a law, like Adam.

Wait a minute, what about Satan? I thought he’s the one who ruled the world. The truth is that Scripture explains to us that the devil is only king over his angels and anyone who submits to them.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Ephesians 2:1-2

We tend to give Satan a lot more credit and power than he actually has. Contrary to what most people think, he’s not the ruler of hell. Never get the idea that he’s going to be happily torturing people throughout eternity. He’s merely a fellow prisoner.

Right now, death is the ruler in charge of the earth. That is, until the return of Christ.

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:25-26

Knowing that death is king over the earth gives us insight into how the spiritual battle is fought. Here’s a key verse for us.

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

1 Corinthians 15:56

This verse gives us the whole picture. Death is king. But the sting of death – the enforcer – is sin.

We’re also told that this enforcer, sin, has a power source. The power that gives sin its ability is the law.

The fact is that the devil can only attack in accordance with the law. That’s where he draws his power from.

That’s why we need to live a repentant lifestyle. We need to be sure that there’s no sin clinging to our consciences.

That’s the devil’s strength. He can capitalize on any guilt or condemnation that you submit to. If you believe that there’s still residual sin or that you’re somehow unworthy of God’s grace, then he can interfere in your life.

Don’t play into the hands of death, sin, the law, and the devil. Keep your intimacy with the Lord pure by a habit of quick repentance. Then spend time with the Holy Spirit learning His voice.

Question: How has the devil tried to trip you up using death, sin, and the law?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Sin Needle

The Sin Needle

We’re continuing our journey through the book of Romans. In my last post, the key word was reconciliation. Reconciliation is all about relationship. And that’s what Paul is bringing us to as he continues forward.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…

Romans 5:12

It’s clear from Scripture that sin, a departure from God’s perfect way, entered the world system through one human being. Adam, by an act of his will, chose a wrong path.

However, it wasn’t just sin that came into the world. Death entered our realm through sin. Because of this, it came to all humans.

That phrase, came to all men, actually means pass through into or pierced. Think of sin as a hypodermic needle. This needle contains death and it injects each of us with its vile contents.

At creation, the human race was not capable of death. But Adam took the needle of sin and injected himself. Now that poison is being passed down from generation to generation.

It’s important at this point that we see a special grouping that has emerged. This is sin, death, and the world. These three are related to each other and we should keep them in mind as we study the next three chapters of Romans.

James gives us some insight into the sin problem.

…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

James 1:14-15

Many people ask how Adam and Eve could have ever been tricked. With all they saw and understood it should have been easy for them to see through the enemy’s arguments.

The key is found in this verse. It’s not a temptation unless it’s born out of desire. How did desire fit into the original sin?

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:6

The real question is; how long did it take for Satan to get Eve to the point where she desired it? Then once the desire for this forbidden act was within her, it didn’t take much to bring it to fruition.

This should be a warning to us. It will at least give us a “red light” to know that there’s something in our lives that needs to be dealt with.

Do you want something that you know you shouldn’t? Be warned that it’s the start of the downward spiral to sin and death. That’s when we need the power of the Holy Spirit within us to cleanse our hearts.

It’s this struggle between life and death that Paul will be addressing over the next few chapters of his letter. I consider it one of the most important teachings in Scripture. His revelation will keep us from a lot of frustration in our spiritual walk.

Remember, we may have been injected with death because of the sin of Adam. But, in Christ, we don’t have to stay in that condition. Stick with this teaching to see the rest of this beautiful work that the Lord has accomplished for us.

Question: How have you seen desire and temptation working together in your life?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2021 in Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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The Great Exchange

The Great Exchange

In my last post, I talked about the fact that we’re saved from God’s wrath by the blood of Christ. That’s an incredible blessing, but God’s work doesn’t stop there.

I want to review the passage of Scripture that I ended with last time.

For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Romans 5:10-11

It’s unfortunate that some people make it sound like it’s harder to stay saved than to get saved. It’s as if they think that we’re saved by faith in Christ, but we stay saved by our good works, trying our best to be perfect.

This passage of Scripture uses a word three times to convey an important point to us. That’s the word, reconciled. Paul repeats this word three times, so it must be important. Let me explain to you just what it means.

This word literally means to change mutually. It comes from a Greek root word that means to exchange. It’s actually used in the Gospels to describe the “money-changers”, who Jesus turned the tables on.

That tells me that in Christ we’ve received an exchange. Understanding this, I need to take that knowledge over into the spiritual. Let me describe it to you.

I’ve had the privilege of going to another country on missions trips. I brought with me United States dollars which had value to me. I’m used to them, I know how they work.

The problem is that these US dollars don’t work in the new country that I find myself in. I have to exchange what I have for the money of this place.

That’s what God does for us in the spirit. I’m used to being in the world. But what works in the world, doesn’t work in God’s kingdom. I have to exchange what I have for what God has.

I was out of favor with God, now I have His favor through Christ and His death. In the world, I get ahead by accumulating money, power, influence, and connections. In God’s kingdom, it’s all about faith working through love. I was used to the old currency, now I have to learn the new way of doing things.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…

2 Corinthians 5:17-18

What a great verse! The word, ministry, actually means service. Now that we’ve received His life, Christ has given us the service of this exchange. It’s now our job to show others how they can exchange their meaningless striving for the favor of God.

That’s what life in Christ is all about. We’ve exchanged death for life, random chance for God’s will, and an unknown future for a destiny with Christ.

I can’t imagine a better way to live.

Question: What are some things that you’ve experienced in this great exchange?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Missions, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Joy of Salvation

The Joy of Salvation

We’re continuing through our study of Paul’s letter to the Roman church. We’ve seen the love of God being manifest in us because of the work of righteousness. This is all initiated by our turning to the Lord in faith.

Paul continues this teaching.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Romans 5:9-10

This verse brings us to the next great blessing of our salvation. Now that we’ve been made righteous and justified by His blood, we’ve also been saved from His wrath.

This word, saved or sozo in the Greek language, is huge in regard to our faith. Our salvation means more than just being saved from a future in hell.

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.

Matthew 9:20-22

The word that’s translated healed in this verse is the word sozo. Our salvation also includes being saved from sickness.

Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured.

Luke 8:36

Again, the word translated as cured, is the word sozo. Salvation also includes deliverance and protection from the enemy.

There’s so much that’s included in that word. Everything Christ purchased on the cross is all wrapped up in our salvation package.

So, when Scripture says that we’re saved from God’s wrath, it’s a powerful statement. I don’t ever have to be afraid that God’s mad at me. His love for me is unbreakable.

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Thessalonians 5:9

As Paul continues his teaching, he shows us the foolishness is thinking that God is mad at us.

For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Romans 5:10-11

Too many people, believers included, think that God is sitting in Heaven just waiting for us to slip up. They’re afraid that one little mistake will take away all the blessings that the Lord has for them.

Paul shows that this kind of thinking is foolish. If Christ treated us this way when we were His enemies – He died for us – how could He ever treat us worse now that we’re reconciled?

He’s looking to impart His life into us. That life brings the total package of salvation He wants us to receive.

Furthermore, it’s something to rejoice about. We should live in an attitude of rejoicing because we serve a God who only wants the best for us.

Question: What can you rejoice about in the salvation you’ve received from the Lord?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 

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God’s Love at the Right Time

God’s Love at the Right Time

We’re going through the book of Romans together.  Here in chapter 5, Paul is still getting us acquainted with his teaching on the Christian walk.

We’ve seen the progression of how God wants to bring us into the manifestation of His love.  The Lord wants this love to empower us in our work for Him.

Now Paul is getting to the heart of the matter.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:6-8

This Scripture is clear.  God did His greatest work while we were still without strength.

But that brings us to an important point.  God brought this about at just the right time.  That literally means Christ died at the appointed time.

This is something that we frequently get hung up on.  I have a problem differentiating between God’s appointed time vs. when I think God should have answered.  I assume God is late or ignoring my problem.  Of course, that’s foolish thinking.

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:2

I’ve learned that God is always on time.  In my limited understanding, I think that there’s no way out.  God, however, shows up at the right time and the right place to show Himself strong in my life.

The fact is that Jesus Christ gave His life for us.  He’s not going to ignore us now.  He wants the best for us.

According to the first passage above, He died for the irreverent.  That means those with no spiritual aptitude.

It’s hard enough, difficult enough, to die for someone we consider good.  I’m glad to say that this isn’t how God demonstrates His love.

That word, demonstrates, is a Greek word that means to introduce.  This is how God introduces His love.  While we were still actively missing the mark, Christ died for us.

In writing this letter to the Romans, Paul was addressing a people to whom this was very true.  When Christ died, the people of Rome were totally clueless to what was happening in Jerusalem.

Their salvation was being purchased at a great cost.  Yet, it would be years before they would hear the Good News.  It’s good to know that I didn’t need to see this work being done in order to receive the benefits of it.

As a Pharisee living in Jerusalem, Paul may have met Jesus or heard Him speak.  Paul might have even been one of those at the foot of the cross, ridiculing the Lord.  But at Paul’s worse, Jesus was dying for this Pharisee’s salvation.

How could we ever think that God would abandon us now?  Put your trust and hope in the love of God.  Never let the cares and problems of life overwhelm your knowledge of His great love, concern, and care for you.

Question: How have you experienced God’s loving concern for you?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2021 in Encouragement, Faith, The Gospel

 

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Love Pressure

Love Pressure

In my last few posts about the book of Romans, I’ve been talking about the power of God at work in us.  We’ve seen that there’s a process that begins when it’s initiated by our faith in God.  It brings us from faith to an experience of God’s glory.

Paul continues this thought.

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5:5

Paul now brings us to the greatest power in the universe – love.  That’s the place the Holy Spirit is bringing us to.  His desire for every believer is for us to walk in love.

Love is the spiritual pressure placed upon us to produce change.  It was what compelled Christ to minister the way He did.

Actually, I can’t think of any more powerful force in all of life other than love.  For the love of God, or another person, we’ll do things that we might never have done under ordinary circumstances.  Love is a driving force in many of the things we do.

God’s love that He pours into our hearts is the source of our spiritual power.  The same love that drove Christ forward is now placed within us.  When we had no power, God saved us by the death and resurrection of Christ.  He has plugged us into His power source.  The very love that pressures Him can now drive us forward to bless others.

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

It’s Christ’s love that should empower everything that we do.  We need to take inventory of what drives and motivates us.

Do you feel a pressure that drives you to reach out to the lost?  Does love compel you to be a blessing to those around you even when you don’t feel like it?  Do you have a compassion for those who are in need?  If not, then you haven’t tapped into the love of Christ.

It’s so easy to say, “I love the lost and I want to see them saved.”  But if there’s little or no pressure to do something about it, then that’s a sign that there’s little or no manifestation of God’s love.  The verdict is simple, no love, no power.

If you want to see this principle in action, just look to the early church in the book of Acts.  They felt the pressure of God’s love to the point where they were willing to die, if necessary, to bring salvation to those around them.

In my last post, I talked about our faith being proved as genuine.  I believe that walking in the love of God is one of the proofs of a genuine faith.

We don’t talk very much about God’s approval of life and ministry.  We seem to think that we can just do what we please and ask God to bless it.  After all, we’re doing it for the Lord.

No.  On the contrary, it’s God’s standards that we need to aspire to.  It’s found again and again in Scripture, if we look for it.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

We must do what it takes to live in intimacy with the Lord.  Only in this way will His love increase in our hearts.

Question: How much of the pressure of Christ’s love do you feel within you?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2021 in Anointing, Faith, Ministry, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Path of Faith

The Path of Faith

We’re continuing our look at Paul’s letter to the Roman church.  At this point he’s talking about the walk of faith.  Let’s review the verses we discussed in my last post.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2

It’s important that we see how these all fit together.  Historically, we tend to separate things out when we teach in the church.

Usually, we only preach about one thing at a time.  We’ll give a sermon on faith, or grace, or justification.  This gives the impression that the Bible contains a series of theological “bubbles”.

The truth of the matter is that everything in our Christian walk is all interconnected.  It all works together to bring growth and change into our lives.

That’s why it blesses me to see a verse like this that shows the flow of anointing through the Holy Spirit.  It shows us the progression starting with faith.  It then flows to justification and righteousness, to grace, to hope, and finally to glory.

I can’t over-stress how important it is to understand this progression.  However, that’s not all there is.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 5:3-4

Paul now brings us to another progressive work in our lives.  He tells us that we can literally boast about our sufferings.  By the way, that word, suffering, means pressure.  It’s about the problems that crowd us on a daily basis.

If we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, these pressures cause us to develop perseverance.  Perseverance means to be able to stay in a situation until it’s completed.

Fortunately, it doesn’t simply end with us persevering away.  There’s another goal.  As we endure the pressure, we develop what this translation calls character.

This word, character, is an important concept for us to understand.  The Greek word used speaks of a proving process.

The best way to describe it is to bring you back to the days of the Gold Rush.  The miners would find what they thought was gold.  So they would bring it to town to the assayer’s office.  It was the assayer’s job to tell the miner if it was fool’s gold or the real thing, and how much it was worth.

The word that’s translated, character, actually means to prove genuine or assay.  So it’s through perseverance that our faith is proved to be genuine and valuable.

Too often we want the proof before we persevere.  We want to know for sure that our faith is going to pay off.  However, that’s not how things work in the spirit.

Finally, once you see that your faith is genuine and can take you through the tough times, it produces hope.  If you remember, hope is that expectancy that God’s plan will prevail in your life.

As I said before, it’s important for us to see how all of these concepts work and flow together.  They’re not a bunch of separate teachings that all work independently.  The Holy Spirit uses all of these to bring about His destiny for your life.

Submit to His plan.  Allow this work to be accomplished in you.

Question: How have you seen the pressures of life result in a good outcome?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2021 in Encouragement, Faith, Spiritual Walk

 

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