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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

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

 

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The Weakness of the Flesh

The Weakness of the Flesh

We’re continuing through Paul’s letter to the Roman church. He’s bringing them, step by step, through the process of salvation, from sinner to a deep spiritual walk.

At this point he’s dealing with the possibility that although Christ set you free from slavery to sin, you can still sin voluntarily.

I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

Romans 6:19

This is a very important verse in understanding our problem with sin. Paul is talking on the human level about the choices we make.

The phrase, natural selves, is really the word, flesh or sarx in the Greek language. He makes it clear that our flesh is our weakness. This begins a new level of teaching at this point in his letter.

So far, Paul has been talking about our body or soma in the Greek. There’s a distinction between these two concepts – body and flesh. In the battle against sin, our flesh is the area of our weakness.

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

Galatians 5:16-17

As in Romans, the phrase sinful nature is the word flesh in this verse. The flesh is the nature and will of the body. It is contrary to everything God wants for you. That’s our greatest weakness.

So in the pages of Scripture, the term, flesh, refers to the wants and desires of the body. That’s why Paul has referred to it as the body of death.

Getting back to Romans, chapter 6, Paul says that our new life should be the same as our old life. The only difference is who we’re offering our body to as a slave.

Exactly like you offered up your members to serve impurity, going from lawlessness to lawlessness, now offer them to righteousness.

We find that once we take first step, it’s easier to take second. So I must offer up my members as servants of righteousness. That will lead me toward holiness and deeper into a walk of righteousness. The fact is that I can force my body to obey God even if my flesh doesn’t want to.

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:20-23

Now Paul asks another question. Looking back, what fruit did you hold by the things you’re now ashamed of? At that time in your life the point you were aiming at was death.

Now you’re liberated from the reign of sin. You can be a voluntary servant of God. Now the fruit that you produce leads you toward holiness. More than that, your life is now aimed at a perpetual, forever-life.

In the last verse, Paul summarizes what he’s said so far. The wages paid by sin are death. Please understand, wages are not paid immediately. On the other hand, God’s gift is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Question: What are the difficulties in voluntarily serving God?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2021 in Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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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

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

 

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Sin’s Reign is Ended

Sin’s Reign is Ended

As we continue through the book of Romans, we’re talking about the victory that Christ won over our sin nature. The last verse we looked at told us to offer the parts of our bodies as weapons of righteousness.

Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

Romans 6:13

This verse is the key to the road Paul has us on. It will culminate in chapter 12 where he takes it to its full expression.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship.

Romans 12:1

But, it’s a long journey from here to there. We’ll need to understand a few important principles along the way.

First, we must look at the underlying concept.

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Romans 6:14

We’re told that everything hinges on the fact that sin shall not be our lord. That’s because we are no longer under law, but grace.

Remember what we learned earlier; the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. If I put myself under the law, then I’m under the power of sin. So if I don’t want sin to be my master, I have to keep away from legalism.

It’s important at this point, that you understand the flow of the book of Romans. Paul has shown us the need for salvation, for both the ungodly and religious. He then showed us the wonderful work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Now that the apostle has explained how Christ defeated death and sin in our lives, he’s taking us on a spiritual path. He’s going to show us the progression from being a carnal, fleshly Christian to becoming a soulish and then a spiritual believer.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 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…

Romans 6:15-16a

This passage is the first step down that path. It’s actually quite a question. It reveals the struggle that many people are going through.

This may sound like the question he asked in verse 1, but it’s actually not. At that point, he was talking about totally going into sin. This is different.

This verse shows us that even though the reign of sin has been ended by Christ, there can be a voluntary slavery. The fact is, that as a carnal, fleshly believer, I can choose to sin because I want to, from time to time. After all, there are certain sins that I like.

Paul’s short answer is, “No way!!!”

We have made an offering of ourselves to God for His purposes. This is a concept that needs to be explored in detail. We’ll get to that in my next post.

Question: What is your view of the power of sin?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2021 in Legalism, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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You Are a Weapon

You Are a Weapon

In my last post, I talked about the choice we make to count ourselves dead to sin in Christ. This allows us to see ourselves alive to God.

The Apostle Paul continues with this thought.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Romans 6:12

Paul tells us that as a result of everything he’s said so far, we must not allow sin to rule as a king over our bodies. That sounds like a choice not to let my body obey its evil desires. Of course that’s easier said than done.

The first question is; how does sin reign? Back in chapter five, Paul told us that sin reigns in death. He also told us that we reign in life.

Because of this, we have to understand what kind of body we have. Paul calls it a mortal body. That word, mortal, means your body is susceptible, liable, or under the influence of death.

So, I have a problem. I have a body that’s under the influence of death. And that’s the very place that sin reigns.

The good news is that our salvation is a process based upon a number of faith-choices. When I was saved, I was baptized into the name of Jesus Christ. I became a part of the family of God – identifying with Christ outwardly.

Then, I must see myself crucified with Him. Just like the thief on the cross, who I talked about in an earlier post, I need to see that’s right where I belonged. Then, I can count myself dead with The Lord.

As a result, I see myself buried with Him so that the reign of sin can be broken in my body. In all of this, Paul is preparing us to understand what he’ll talk about in chapter 8. Here’s a preview…

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

How is this accomplished? Is it done through an outward baptism? No, it can only be by a spiritual work that I have to submit myself to. Only then can I break sin’s reign in my flesh.

Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

Romans 6:13

Jesus Christ has brought us over from death to life. The problem is that sometimes, because of our flesh, we’re more comfortable with death. We allow things into our lives that are killing us.

Paul gives us the bottom line. He literally tells us, don’t even stand beside and offer your body parts as weapons of unrighteousness. If you’re wondering about my choice of words, weapons is the major meaning of the Greek word Paul used.

Instead, we need to stand beside ourselves and offer yourselves to God as alive from the dead. Then, we can offer our body parts as weapons of righteousness to God.

Have you ever thought of your body as a weapon? That’s exactly what it is in this war against sin and death.

Over the next couple of chapters in Romans, Paul is going to show us the way to control it for God’s glory. You won’t want to miss what he says about it.

Question: In what ways can your body be used as a weapon of righteousness?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2021 in Faith, Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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Baptism – A Spiritual Work

Baptism – A Spiritual Work

As we continue our walk through Romans, we’re seeing how God deals with sin in our lives. In my last post, I started talking about baptism. It’s the first step in our freedom from sin and its affects.

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Romans 6:3-4

I ended my last post by saying that baptism is a spiritual work. Let me get into more detail.

This passage tells us that not only were we immersed into the death of Christ, but we were buried together with Him. Please understand, this isn’t just a mental identification with Christ.

The verse says that I WAS buried with Him. That has to have been a spiritual work. However, it gets better as we continue in the verse.

The phrase, just as, literally means exactly like. So, the glory that God used in raising Christ Jesus from the dead, was used in exactly the same way at my baptism.

The glory of the Father raised me up from death to enter a new life. I rise up with new life exactly like someone who has been raised from the dead.

This is key in understanding God’s work of salvation in us. It’s more than just reciting a prayer and receiving an initiation rite into church membership. We’re talking about a powerful spiritual work that’s being done in us.

Listen to how Paul describes it elsewhere.

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

In my last post I said that there was a spiritual work being done in our baptism that we needed to attach our faith to. Here it is.

I cannot see my baptism as a one-time occurrence. On the contrary, it was the beginning of an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in me.

By faith I can look back on my baptism and say, “Up until that day, I was living in death. Then, on the day of my baptism, I was raised from the dead. I now have the life of Christ in me by the power of His Holy Spirit.”

Understand what I’m saying. I was saved when I put my faith in Christ and prayed the sinner’s prayer. But, until the day of my baptism, I hadn’t yet placed a faith-demand upon God for victory over my sin nature.

The question is; did I know any of this when I was water baptized so many years ago? No, I didn’t. But I know it now and I can release my faith to receive the benefits of it. You can too.

If you haven’t been water baptized when you were old enough to accept it on your own, let me encourage you to seek it out. You won’t be sorry. Use it, not as a church tradition, but as a springboard to new life by faith.

Question: What was your life-changing experience in baptism?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2021 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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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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