Tag Archives: impurity

DEATH OR LIFE?

DEATH OR LIFE?

“I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.” Romans 6:19.

Have you noticed the progression in what Paul was saying about our slavery either to sin or to obedience? Slavery to sin sets us on a downward path to unrighteousness which is nothing but purely selfish living, gratifying every whim and fancy of our fleshly nature, dehumanising us until we are fit for nothing else but the trash heap.

Slavery to obedience puts us on another path; this one leads to righteousness, imitating our Master who loved, cared for and served others. Righteousness leads to holiness, to being set apart from sin. The more we care about what God wants above what we want, and the more we obey Him instead of following our own appetites, the more we hate the sin that once enslaved us and enslaves the people who refuse to follow Jesus. We see what it does to them and we pull away from doing what they do.

Obedience to Jesus as our Lord puts us back on the path to becoming human again, and we become more alive to God and less alive to sin and to what the people in the world do. We have the assurance that God will complete the job of perfecting us in holiness and giving us the gift of everlasting life.

“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at the 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 of God, the benefit you receive leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:20-23.

When we serve sin, we earn wages – like an employee working for an employer. If we have never received the new life Jesus offers us by accepting His forgiveness and turning our lives over to Him, we have to serve sin because sin is our master and because we are bound to it as slaves. We earn the wages that sin pays, death, and there is nothing we can do about it.

But eternal life isn’t like that. It is God’s free gift to us. We cannot work for it; we can do nothing to earn it; no amount of effort can produce it. God freely gives it to us when we respond to His invitation to receive it by receiving His Son and becoming God’s son or daughter.  Once we have received His gift, it us up to us to respond in faith and obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit who has taken up residence in our spirit and who leads and prompts us to follow Jesus.

Only those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God (Romans 8:14). When we give ourselves to Him to obey Him, we set off on the pathway to becoming fully human again , in other words, towards becoming the people God created in the beginning to be in perfect harmony with Him. God’s intention is to remove all sin so that we can once again be sinless and perfect.

Watch the progression. As we choose to obey God and to become slaves to righteousness, we progress towards holiness – separated from sin to God – and holiness will eventually lead us to eternal life. Sin leads to death. Obedience leads to life. The gift of eternal life is already ours but we must possess it by following the path to eternal life.

And so our participation in eternal life is a co-operative venture. It is impossible for us to possess it by our own efforts but, at the same time, we cannot just sit back and float towards our future. It is through trust in God and obedience to the promptings of His Spirit that we progress towards holiness and take hold of eternal life.

It begins by recognising that we died with Christ, were raised to new life with Him and are now in Him by His Spirit. It continues by participating with His Spirit by counting ourselves dead to sin and alive to God, progressing towards the possession of eternal life by choosing to do what is right, shunning sin and being perfected as true human beings once again, perfectly united to God once more when Jesus returns.

Which path are you one?

Acknowledgement

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

IMMORALITY, IMPURITY AND GREED ARE OUT!

IMMORALITY, IMPURITY AND GREED ARE OUT!

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure. No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a person is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph. 5:3-5).

We must always keep in mind that the recipients of Paul’s letter were once immoral, impure and greedy people!

The change in a person’s lifestyle, who has become a follower of Jesus, is and must be so radical that they live as citizens of a completely opposite kingdom with opposite standards of behaviour.

Paul defined these two opposing realms as the kingdoms and light and darkness. Light is a synonym for everything for which God stands – morality, purity and generosity in every way towards others as a reflection of God’s character. Darkness – the absence of light – represents whatever God is not. Paul summed up the characteristics of those who insist on living in darkness by three words – immoral, impure and greedy.

We don’t need to look very far, in the world around us, to recognise these characteristics in those who refuse to acknowledge God or to live under His authority.  Selfishness and all its ramifications dominates human society. It’s everyone for himself regardless of what it does to others. Selfishness controls even the most humanitarian of professions – medicine and its associated disciplines.

In my country, if a seriously ill or injured person cannot produce a medical aid card or the upfront amount demanded by a private hospital, he or she can die outside without being seen or treated, and no one cares a hoot. Our government hospitals and ambulance services are no better. People die waiting for an ambulance. Unborn babies die before help arrives for a woman in labour. The motto of employees of these services, mostly controlled by unions, is generally ‘That’s not my job.’

Paul urgently implored these new-born babies in Christ, “Don’t be like that.” He has already explained in detail that they have been given a brand-new life. They were once dead to God but, because of His grace, they were alive and able to respond to His Spirit in them. They had been restored to the family of God and given unrestricted access to the Father. It was now up to them, with all the resources God had given them to live their new lives, to leave the old ways behind and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in them.

What did Paul mean by ‘immoral, impure and greedy’?

To say that, some act is immoral is to say that violates some moral lawsnorms or standards.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immorality – retrieved January 2016.

Purity is a state of being unmixed with anything that taints or pollutes e.g., pure water has no pollutants in it. A pure person is one whose behaviour is not tainted with immoral actions or standards. To be impure is to taint one’s being with actions or behaviour that are not part of upright living.

Greed is “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed” – http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/greed – retrieved January 2016.

 

 

What is idolatry? http://www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-definition.html

 

The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is “the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.” An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God.”

 

http://www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-definition.html – retrieved January 2016.

 

These vices have no place in a believer’s life because Christ has set him free from the standards and practices of the world. His citizenship is in the kingdom of light where the standards of righteousness apply. It is up to each citizen of the kingdom of God to establish new patterns of behaviour based on their choice to imitate Jesus rather than the citizens of the dominion of darkness.

 

Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or Kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

Immorality, Impurity And Greed Are Out!

IMMORALITY, IMPURITY AND GREED ARE OUT!

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure. No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a person is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph. 5:3-5).

We must always keep in mind that the recipients of Paul’s letter were once immoral, impure and greedy people!

The change in a person’s lifestyle, who has become a follower of Jesus, is and must be so radical that they live as citizens of a completely opposite kingdom with opposite standards of behaviour.

Paul defined these two opposing realms as the kingdoms and light and darkness. Light is a synonym for everything for which God stands – morality, purity and generosity in every way towards others as a reflection of God’s character. Darkness – the absence of light – represents whatever God is not. Paul summed up the characteristics of those who insist on living in darkness by three words – immoral, impure and greedy.

We don’t need to look very far, in the world around us, to recognise these characteristics in those who refuse to acknowledge God and live under His authority.  Selfishness and all its ramifications dominate human society. It’s everyone for himself regardless of what it does to others. Selfishness controls even the most humanitarian of professions – medicine and its associated disciplines.

In my country, if a seriously ill or injured person cannot produce a medical aid card or the upfront amount demanded by a private hospital, he or she can die outside without being seen of treated, and no one cares a hoot. Our government hospitals and ambulance services are no better. People die waiting for an ambulance. Babies die before help arrives for a woman in labour. The motto of employees of these services, mostly controlled by unions, is generally ‘That’s not my job.’

Paul urgently implored these new-born babies in Christ, “Don’t be like that.” He has already explained in detail that they have been given a brand new life. They were once dead to God but, because of His grace, they were now alive and able to respond to His Spirit in them. They had been restored to the family of God and given unrestricted access to the Father. It was now up to them, with all the resources God had given them to live their new lives, to leave the old ways behind and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in them.

What did Paul mean by ‘immoral, impure and greedy’?

To say that, some act is immoral is to say that violates some moral lawsnorms or standards.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immorality – retrieved January 2016.

Purity is a state of being unmixed with anything that taints or pollutes e.g., pure water has no pollutants in it. A pure person is one whose behaviour is not tainted with immoral actions or standards. To be impure is to taint one’s being with actions or behaviour that are not part of upright living.

Greed is “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed” – http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/greed – retrieved January 2016.

 

 

What is idolatry? http://www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-definition.html

 

The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is “the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.” An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God.”

 

http://www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-definition.html – retrieved January 2016.

 

These vices have no place in a believer’s life because Christ has set him free from the standards and practices of the world. His citizenship is in the kingdom of light where the standards of righteousness apply. It is up to each citizen of the kingdom of God to establish new patterns of behaviour based on then choice to imitate Jesus rather than the citizens of the dominion of darkness.

 

Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or Kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

For more details, check my website:

http://luellaannettecampbell.com/

Have you read my blogs on www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com ?

 

Death or Life?

DEATH OR LIFE?

“I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.” Romans 6:19.

Have you noticed the progression in what Paul was saying about our slavery either to sin or to obedience? Slavery to sin sets us on a downward path to unrighteousness which is nothing but purely selfish living, gratifying every whim and fancy of our fleshly nature, dehumanising us until we are fit for nothing else but the trash heap.

Slavery to obedience puts us on another path; this one leads to righteousness, imitating our Master who loved, cared for and served others. Righteousness leads to holiness, to being set apart from sin. The more we care about what God wants above what we want, and the more we obey Him instead of following our own appetites, the more we hate the sin that once enslaved us and enslaves the people who refuse to follow Jesus. We see what it does to them and we pull away from doing what they do.

Obedience to Jesus as our Lord puts us back on the path to becoming human again, and we become more alive to God and less alive to sin and to what the people in the world do. We have the assurance that God will complete the job of perfecting us in holiness and giving us the gift of everlasting life.

“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at the 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 of God, the benefit you receive leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:20-23.

When we serve sin, we earn wages – like an employee working for an employer. If we have never received the new life Jesus offers us by accepting His forgiveness and turning our lives over to Him, we have to serve sin because sin is our master and because we are bound to it as slaves. We earn the wages that sin pays, death, and there is nothing we can do about it.

But eternal life isn’t like that. It is God’s free gift to us. We cannot work for it; we can do nothing to earn it; no amount of effort can produce it. God freely gives it to us when we respond to His invitation to receive it by receiving His Son and becoming God’s son or daughter.  Once we have received His gift, it us up to us to respond in faith and obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit who has taken up residence in our spirit and who leads and prompts us to follow Jesus.

Only those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God (Romans 8:14). When we give ourselves to Him to obey Him, we set off on the pathway to becoming fully human again , in other words, towards becoming the people God created in the beginning to be in perfect harmony with Him. God’s intention is to remove all sin so that we can once again be sinless and perfect.

Watch the progression. As we choose to obey God and to become slaves to righteousness, we progress towards holiness – separated from sin to God – and holiness will eventually lead us to eternal life. Sin leads to death. Obedience leads to life. The gift of eternal life is already ours but we must possess it by following the path to eternal life.

And so our participation in eternal life is a co-operative venture. It is impossible for us to possess it by our own efforts but, at the same time, we cannot just sit back and float towards our future. It is through trust in God and obedience to the promptings of His Spirit that we progress towards holiness and take hold of eternal life.

It begins by recognising that we died with Christ, were raised to new life with Him and are now in Him by His Spirit. It continues by participating with His Spirit by counting ourselves dead to sin and alive to God, progressing towards the possession of eternal life by choosing to do what is right, shunning sin and being perfected as true human beings once again, perfectly united to God once more when Jesus returns.

Which path are you one?

Acknowledgement

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.