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Life Patterns

Life Patterns

Have you ever bought furniture that you’ve had to assemble by yourself? I have and I even enjoy it a little.

But, I know people who hate putting things together. They say that they can never understand the directions.

The fact is that all of these things come with detailed instructions. If you can understand them AND if you follow them – step by step – you’ll end up with a beautiful piece of furniture.

I’ve also known people who ignore the instructions. They go right to work assembling things based upon the picture on the box. More often than not they end up in trouble.

So why am I talking about furniture? Because it actually has a lot to do with our Christian walk.

As we continue our study through the book of Romans, Paul is reviewing his teaching on the walk of righteousness. He wants us to know that to get the right results, we need to do it God’s way. That’s the only way to a life that’s well-pleasing to the Lord.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

Paul tells his readers in this letter not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world. In many instances, life is all about conforming to a pattern. The world has a pattern of living.

There are socially accepted ways of putting your life together. As we grow and mature, we learn and incorporate these patterns into our lives. At some point we’re seen as an accepted member of the culture we’re a part of.

The challenge arises when we come to Christ. When Jesus becomes our Lord and Savior, we enter a new Kingdom. We are now part of a new culture; a new society. There must, therefore, be a new pattern to shape our lives around.

The unfortunate thing is that many believers try to serve Christ while living according to this world’s pattern. When that happens, we have a life where we see the promises God holds out to us. Yet, we never seem to lay hold of the realities. It’s a very frustrating way to live.

What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:13

It all has to do with our teaching. In the modern church we tend to do more teaching on doctrines than on patterns of living. What we end up with are believers who know the teachings of Christ and the apostles, yet never experience the true culture of Christ.

That’s why Paul deals with the practicalities of the Christian life. In the first eight chapters, he tells us how to live according to the spirit. He also shows us why it’s so important to live that way.

In this chapter he’s preparing to show us what this kind of life looks like. The problem is that many believers try to do what Paul talks about in this section, without first building the pattern of a spiritual walk. That only bring frustration and failure.

We need the spiritual transformation process if we’re going to see God’s will accomplished in us. As I’ve said before, prayer in the spirit has a huge role to play in renewing and transforming our thinking.

Question: What do you think are the differences between the pattern of the world and the pattern of Christ?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2021 in Ministry, Revival, 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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