Archive for Romans

Anger and Bitterness part 7- Words of Encouragement

“Yes, if you forgive others for their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you for your sins.” Matthew 6:14

The bible says that we forgive others, even when they have really wronged us, God will forgive us when we have really wronged him. See how that works? Be treated how you want to be treated. If you put aside such anger and the harsh feelings, God will put aside his anger when it comes to the bad things you have done. It can help to make you right with God again.

“Patience is better than strength. Controlling your temper is better than capturing a city.” Proverbs 16:32

You want to know why patience is better than strength, much better than capturing a city? Because being patient is so difficult! This verse is saying that it is such a triumph to develop patience with people and with the Lord, because in reality, it’s hard to be patient. We all want things, we want God to listen to us and do the things we want him to do, at the time we want him to do it. But one really hard lesson I am learning is that God won’t work that way. He will put you in situations that make you wait for him to move; that make you completely trust him. I really feel that way in my life right now: like I can’t get anywhere or do anything or really live at all if God doesn’t act first. He is teaching me to be more patient. Sometimes, we get so angry at God when he doesn’t listen to us, but he is teaching us to be patient, teaching us that he does things when he is ready, and not necessarily when we feel ready.

“My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger. It is written: ‘I will punish those who do wrong; I will repay them,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

Guys, this is true. When people treat us badly and act horribly towards us, we don’t need to go out of our way to punish them. God sees the things that they do; he sees the things everyone does. We can’t hide anything from him, he knows all that is in our hearts. And he will judge those guilty as guilty. He knows who walks with him, who lives for him. The bible also says,

“They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. They are blessed who grieve, for God will comfort them. They are blessed who are humble, for the whole earth will be theirs. They are blessed who hunger and thirst after justice, for they will be satisfied. They are blessed who show mercy to others, for God will show mercy to them. They are blessed whose thoughts are pure, for they will see God. They are blessed who work for peace, for they will be called God’s children. They are blessed who are persecuted for doing good, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do, you will be blessed. Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven.” Matthew 5:2-12

God will reward those who work hard for him. If we trust in the Lord, when we grieve, God will ultimately comfort us. A lot of times, it’s not instant comfort, but if we keep trusting in him, he will bring us that comfort. When we are humble and put others before ourselves and look out for others, God will lift us up. He will make the proud last, and the humble first. God does opposite things like that. If we seek out justice, God will satisfy us. If we seek out evil, things will not go well for us. God knows when we have pure thoughts, like I said, he knows what is in our hearts. When we work for peace in the world, while holding on to our faith strongly, we truly are the children of God. God loves it when we work for the good of others. And in many different ways, he will let us know that he loves it. People will persecute us. People will say bad things about us.

But if we pursue God even when our worlds seem to be crumbling (which they often do), God will reward us, and we will be a blessing to others, rewarding others with the good that is in our hearts. I try my best to live like this every day; pursuing God, even when my world seems endlessly difficult. Jesus says we don’t need to worry because in this world, bad things will happen, but we should have faith because he has overcome the world. He has overcome all of our problems, before we even have them. He has overcome all of our struggles and worries, before we even begin to struggle or worry. He has overcome all of our sins, before we even begin to desire the sin in our hearts. Trust in God because he is bigger than you, and he can easily handle things that are impossible for us to handle.

Holding on to bitterness and anger prevents God from using us in his awesome and mighty plan. We come to a screeching halt in our relationship with God. We hold on to past things that have happened, and we stop loving and refuse to care for certain people, and then it’s like a ripple effect in our lives. It effects the things we do, how we view the world, what’s in our hearts, and ultimately, how we decide to live our lives. Be encouraged by knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world! He has overcome your world, my world, his world, her world, their worlds, every one’s. We just have to begin to trust that, and then he can reveal that to us!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

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Jesus is your: Love!

“But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8

I looove this verse! This to me shows so, so, so much love. Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. So he gave us everything- true hope, love, freedom, strength- by dying for us on the cross, while we were all still his enemies. He didn’t say, “well, y’all suck. You never listen to me, you are heartless and rude to each other. You are so selfish! I am perfect, I don’t have to do anything for you.”

No. He didn’t take one look at us, roll his eyes, and go back to heaven and have the easy way out. He loved us when it was difficult, when we were anything but easy to love. He died for us, longing to forgive us, despite our many flaws and shortcomings. Despite our nature to be greedy and selfish and only want what benefits us the most, regardless of if it crushes other people.

He never sinned, he deserved happiness and peace, not to suffer. But he didn’t take the easy way out. He chose death on a cross to peace and comfort, because that was the only way to rescue us from ourselves.

This is true love, loving one another, even when it is difficult. Being there for each other, through thick and thin. I felt some conviction when I understood this.

There are many periods in my life where I feel God isn’t there for me in the way I want him to be. I get lonely and desperate and that pain fuels my anger. Then I find myself beginning to push away from God. I think, “he doesn’t deserve me if he is going to make me suffer all alone.”

But I am so wrong! He loved us and gave his
entire heart to us, even when we forsook him for the pleasures of the world. He loved me when I was mean to people, when I lied, when I stole. He didn’t say “forget you, you’re horrible!!” He said:

“The Father gives me the people who are mine. Every one of them will come to me, and I will always accept them.”
John 6:37

He loved me when I was difficult and did nothing but sin. He loves you whenever you do nothing but sin. So I was convicted because I knew I had no right to forsake him when he made my life difficult, because I certainly made his life difficult (and continually do!).

I complicated his world. But he was okay with that! He didn’t give up on me, he showed me love. So I am learning that I can’t give up on him, and I show him love.This is true for the people in our lives, too. Yes, they may cause us drama and stress and constantly complicate our lives. But we should still love them, because Christ loved us. We shouldn’t give up on each other.

Reflecting on Romans 8:7-9

“When people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, they are against God, because they refuse to obey God’s law and really are not even able to obey God’s law. Those people who are ruled by their sinful selves cannot please God. But you are not ruled by your sinful selves. You are ruled by the Spirit, if that Spirit of God really lives in you. But the person who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ.” Romans 8:7-9

This means that people who are not saved and not yet changed in their hearts by God live sinful lives, getting caught up in all the bad stuff of the world. It could be drugs, sexual behavior, gossip, etc. But what captures my attention is how it says “really are not even able to obey God’s law.” It says not only do unsaved people not want to obey God’s law, but that it is actually impossible for them to.

No matter what they do, even if it is not necessarily bad stuff, if their actual hearts are not changed so that they love God, they cannot ever please God.

There are so many people who want to try to get into heaven by the things they do, but it is only by faith in Christ alone do we get into heaven. It is important to understand that it is literally impossible to get into heaven if we do not have faith in Christ.

“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.” Romans 5:1-2

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

But Romans 8:7-9 says we cannot please God unless we have the Spirit of Christ in us. But when we are ruled by the Spirit of Christ, we stop living for the things in this world, and start living for him. We become slaves to God:

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:16-18

I think this is a good way to tell if I am encountering a genuine Christian or not. A genuine Christian is changed from the inside out. It’s important to remember that the transformation starts from the inside, changing the heart, and works it’s way outside, into the things you do. So first, the person’s heart changes and they develop a genuine love for Christ and God. Then, the internal love starts to pour out, and it reflects into their actions: they start living for God, trying harder to avoid sin, like gossiping and lust, etc. And they grow more and more humble as they learn to seve others and serve God. Their actions will begin to reveal that the Spirit of Christ lives in them.

I look at it kind of like a disease. A person with the true Spirit of Christ in them once had a horrible disease, but they found the source of the problem to cure the disease, and so all the symptoms of the disease went away after they were cured. The source of the disease represents the sinful heart, and by starting to love Christ with all their heart and trusting him, they are healed, and so the bad things they do stop, as a reflection of their heart. They start living out what they feel inside.

A person without the Spirit of Christ, a false believer, they see the disease in themself and they do things to get rid of the symptoms, so they can convince others that the disease is gone. But even if they hide the symptoms, the disease is still there, tearing them down internally. Their hearts are not changed, they are just trying to convince everyone that it has been changed by what that do, and it phony because they still are evil inside.

To me, it’s typically fairly obvious to see who’s hearts are genuinely devoted to Christ. A false believer may try to act godly, but a genuine one, I can tell that everything they do, they do it to please God. They aren’t as caught up with trying to please men. When I see these people, they often wow me.

I have a friend who says he loves God, but he does drugs and drinks and totally gets caught up in the wrong crowd of people. I can tell his heart has not chagned, that he doesnt’ have the Spirit of Christ in him. If people have a changed heart for God, it should shine in their lives. It shouldn’t just be that they go to church. It should be that they eat, sleep, breathe, loving God. They give and share because they are trying to be like Jesus, and they are trying to get people to see that love in them.

They are genuine, with real hearts, real love, real care, good character. For these people, following Jesus isn’t just a thought, but it is a radical change in lifestyle. They are living for something bigger than themselves, for something more temporary than making themselves great. They live to make Jesus’s name famous, helping to advance the kingdom.

And that’s what Christians should do! 😀

Click here to Accept Christ!

You Have God’s Love Simply Because You Are His Child!

Some people believe that they can do enough ‘good works’ to earn God’s love. That if they act good enough, help enough people, don’t sin, don’t curse, don’t gossip, steal, etc., God will love them and allow them to come into heaven.

But imagine these scenarios:

A baby, screaming her head off, her dad doesn’t know what to do to make her stop crying. He’s exhausted, trying to feed her, burp her, make her happy, change her… but she won’t stop crying. Snot is running down her nose, tears down her face, she has this ear piercing scream. Dad can’t take it! Does he suddenly not love her anymore? Because she won’t behave, is she suddenly not important to him anymore? Of course she is! No matter how she acts, she is still his little girl, and he’ll love her no matter what she does.

A 16 year old boy is acting up in school, always coming home way past curfew. Got caught up with drugs once, lies to his parents to get what he wants from them. He sounds pretty horrible! His dad hates his behavior, wishes he would pay attention is school, stop wasting his life, stop hanging with bad people. He yells at his son because he never listens, and he’s very disappointed in him. He breaks his heart so much. But if that boy ever really needed his dad for anything, he would be there to help him out. In an instant, if he had to die to let his son live, he would be willing to die, no question about it. He’s angry at how he behaves, but that doesn’t mean he doesnt’ love him anymore!

You cannot earn God’s love. Stop trying! God already loves you, just because you are his child. Guess what? You’re the screaming baby girl, the messed up 16 year old boy. And even when you do nothing but mess up, Jesus still loves you. There’s nothing you can do that is so horrible that could ever change that.

“Yes, I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

“Because of his love, God had already decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what he wanted and what pleased him, and it brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace. God gave that grace to us freely, in Christ, the One he loves. In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:5-7

“But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.” 1 John 1:9

We cannot go to church enough to win God’s love. How many times have you messed up, and your parents forgave you? God knows we are not perfect. It’s for that very reason that he sent his perfect son Jesus to the world to pay for our sins. Because we are imperfect, and we cannnot get to heaven by ourselves, God noticed this imperfection in us and sent Jesus into the world to correct us in our hearts, so all that we have to do is trust Jesus, let him be Lord in our life, recognize that he takes away our sin, and we can get into heaven.

“So do we have a reason to brag about ourselves? No! And why not? It is the way of faith that stops all bragging, not the way of trying to obey the law. A person is made right with God through faith, not through obeying the law.” Romans 3:27-28

All we can do is try to do the best we can in our walks with God. We have to try to be obedient to him, listen to him, live like the bible tells us to live. And we’ll screw up all the time. Heck, I screw up every day. But God doesn’t say we have to succeed, but we have to really and truly try. As long as our hearts are in the right place, Jesus takes care of the rest. If we stumble in our walks with Christ (which we will), we are caught in his grace.

When we mess up, if we maintain faith in Christ, he will not let us be ruined. He will help us get back up when we fall. However, this means we have to give our hearts to him, and trust him. Many people reading this post have not even given our hearts to Jesus, and it is impossible to please God until we have faith in his son.

“When people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, they are against God, because they refuse to obey God’s law and really are not even able to obey God’s law. Those people who are ruled by their sinful selves cannot please God.” Romans 8:7-8

So you want to please God. You have to trust Jesus to lead you in your life, and stop trying to lead the life yourself. Pray that he comes into your life, takes over, confess your sins to him. Trust him, he will forgive you. We get to be in heaven with God by trusting that Jesus saved us by dying for us on the cross, and rising 3 days later. Pray that he comes into your heart and takes over, know that he is Lord. He will rescue you. You are his precious son or precious daughter. He knows how to take care of you better than you know how to take care of yourself.

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

“for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”Romans 10:13

If you believe in your heart that Jesus has rescued you from sin, you will be saved. Stop trying to be in control, let him have control. You have his love, he is waiting for you to start loving him back!

Jesus Is A Bridge

I drew this picture on neondragonart.com.

Took about 8 hours. (Click pic. for actual size! :))

This picture rings so true in my heart. Mankind is on 1 side of the world. God is on the other side of the world. We could never reach God because of our sinful nature:

“There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

Without Jesus, we would have to be perfect to get into heaven. But because Jesus was perfect and sacrificed himself to take on our sins and free us from them by paying for them by death on the cross, the broken connection between God and mankind is now fixed. His strength and love and mercy allowed us to have a relationship with the Father, allows us to get into heaven.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.'” John 14:6-7

Jesus was perfect where we couldn’t be perfect, and he was perfect for us. God is too glorious for us to reach alone, but because Jesus was just as his father, he bridged the gap, healed the broken family. Wow.

So while we might try to do many different things to get into heaven, for example, go to church, pray, not curse, not gossip, give money to those in need- none of these things will get us into heaven. Because when we sin, we are out of reach of heaven. The bad thing is that we sin everyday, all the time. It’s very natural for us. The good thing is that we are saved by having faith in Jesus Christ, having faith that he saved us from our sins and died on the cross from them and rose 3 days later.

We are saved as we allow him to lead us in our lives instead of letting ourselves lead. Just having faith in a general ‘God’ will not get us into heaven. It’s having faith in Christ. Jesus was our only chance, and he did not let us down. Now we have to choose to take a leap of faith and take that chance.

We are saved not only from hell, but from the bondage of this world, saved from being trapped in sin. After we accept Christ into our hearts, we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness. We no longer belong to the world, we belong to Christ.

“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19

Ever since being redeemed by Jesus, I have felt a sense of peace and an everlasting eternal freedom.

Freedom to grow, love, be strong, survive, thrive, be happy, have hope.. my whole spirit was reborn. Where before, I always felt way too inhibited to do those things, trusting in Christ and trusting in God helped me to have that freedom in my heart again. It gave me freedom to stand against the crap in the world and feel awesome doing it.

I hated feeling alone all the time. I hate that even my best days, when I belonged to the world, even those days really sucked. I love the fact that with Christ, the worse days I’ve ever had with him are better than the best days I’ve ever had in the world.

I have literally cried over and over and had my heart broken and stumped on and been mad at Jesus and been in so much pain- and it does not come close to the pain I had when I was in the world, even when I was doing my best there. It’s so insane! Why would anyone not want to have this strength? It’s awesome that this strength is not even my own strength, but Christ in me.

I used to write so much poetry to ‘make my heart heal’, but it never worked. My heart only broke even more. I remember I thought I was gonna die and felt like I was gonna go insane before I trusted God. I’d sit at the computer and not be able to really write, because there were so many thougts that I just could not freakin’ keep up with! That was my strength alone- to try constantly to succeed at making me feel better and only fail. That’s where I died; in that room, on the computer, fighting to getting the words out, loosing an eternally impossible battle. Trusting God- that’s where his life started in me.

So the heart I have now is does not contain the desires that I want, but rather contains the desires that God wants: to reach the world, to save all the broken people, to let them know there is strength more than they could ever know; to let them know there is strength and so much mercy that they could have peace, no matter how horrible their circumstances are. Jesus is funny like that, awesome like that.

You could be beaten half to death and still feel a sense of peace in your heart, because no matter what people try to do to you in this world, he gives you freedom from them, because you belong to him when you trust him. I’ve gone through so much agony in Christ, and felt this endless fountain of love and hope and strength.

Following Christ is not easy, but it has always been easier for me to do this than to wrack my brains out trying to write poetry to heal myself and what not.

I never say “I want to be famous because I am awesome,” or, “this life is all about me, me, me”. Because that selfish little “me, me, me” heart died at that computer screen. The reason why I am so eager to please the Holy Spirit and obey him is because I gave up myself that night, when I realized I was going to die if I trusted in my strength.

I don’t mind tithing my money to church, or devoting time and money into relationships that help tell people about Christ. Because Christ is the true answer to all the hell in this world. There was a kid that accepted Christ once, and his dad was into sorcery and what not, and he tried to beat Jesus out of his son.

He beat him from his head to his feet. He kicked him out the house and said he was dead to him, because he loved Jesus suddenly. But the kid didn’t even care. He had that fountain of strength in Jesus, his friends said that they saw peace in his eyes, despite what had happened to him.

So I’ve learned that even kids in the most difficult circumstances- whether in poverty or having a tough time with family- if they have that true hope that Christ rescued them from sin by dying for them on the cross, they gain that fountain of strength, and can endure the craziest of circumstances!

This is how even the people in the most disasterous of situation can survive in their heart and spirit, where they couldn’t survive in this world. Paul the Apostle new what it was like to love Jesus, be treated like crap for it, and completely be able to handle it, for he said:

“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:4-10

“Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” 2 Corinthians 11:23-27

This shows that Paul the Apostle suffered so severely for Christ, but he had strength to endure it. Who else has the strength to go through so much pain and tolerate it, no matter what? He has the strength of Christ in him. That boy who got beaten by his father has that strength. Me, even with all my bad days, feeling better than I’ve ever felt before… I have the strength of Christ in me.

This bridge from this world to the next. Faith in Christ. Freakin’ awesome. Are you ready to devote your life to him? The bible says:

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:8-10

Pray in your heart: “Jesus, come into my life, take over, be my Lord. Lead me, show me how to live for you. I know you paid for my sins on the cross. Be my king”

As long as you truly mean that when you pray it, you will be saved. How many of you have already made this decision? Let me know! 🙂

God bless, xox, Jennifer Clayton

What’s the Point of Christ?

This blog is mainly about Jesus. Clearly. Hence the name. But why? Why do I decide to put such an emphasis on him? Well, as he says in the bible:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Basically, he’s saying that no one can get to heaven and be with God the Father except for by believing in him. They have to have faith in him, believing that he died on the cross to pay for all our sins once and for all, and that he rose from the grave 3 days later.

They have to acknowledge that they are sinful and can be forgiven by Jesus, if they ask for it. They need to proclaim it with their hearts and their mouths that Jesus is Lord:

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:8-10

Remember it is about a change in the heart. A prayer alone cannot save you, but only if you truly believe in your heart will you be saved. But if you do this, you will be saved. You must take the leap of faith and begin to trust Jesus. Trust that he will catch you when you fall, when you make mistakes.

Some people act like there are many ways to get to God, but I only know one. Through Christ himself. We were separated from God because of our sins, because of what Adam and Eve had did in the garden, that lead to the downfall of everyone.

And because God is just and perfect and we are not because of sin, we truly deserve only to go to hell. But by God sending his only son, Jesus Christ, to the world, he gave us a chance to get to heaven.

Christ lived a perfect life, obeying all of God’s laws, and then he was crucified, carrying all our sins with him to the cross, and he died a perfect death. His rising three days later showed that he had defeated death, and thus, defeated sin in us.

This means by believing in Jesus, he forgives our sins, and our slate is whiped clean, and because Jesus gives us a clean slate, we are allowed to get into heaven. But we have to believe in our hearts that he died for us and rescued us from our sinful selves.

“Because of his love, God had already decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what he wanted and what pleased him, and it brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace. God gave that grace to us freely, in Christ, the One he loves. In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace,” Ephesians 1:5-7

He became our sacrifice to God, so we can get into heaven. And my life was jacked up before I knew him. Everything was going south, nothing made sense. I literally have never felt so much peace than when I am in Christ as opposed to being in the world. Millions of dollars could not match the peace I have found. I would choose to die for him on the spot than to have a materialistic life without him.

He healed my broken heart and satisfied me. He gave me peace in the place of ceasless worry. He was a friend, holding out a hand to help lift me up, as opposed to people in the world who conversely only ever pushed me down. He did not care about all the crap I did, he just wanted to love me, so he did. And I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for that, for a friend like him.

“You gave me life and showed me kindness,
and in your care you watched over my life.” Job 10:12

But there is only one way to get to God, through Christ alone. Any other way won’t get you into heaven. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and face the facts. Anyone could try to argue this, but I will never argue with the peace I have found and the loving relationship I have gained in the name of Christ.

That, my friends, is what this blog is all about. 🙂

Reflections in Romans 6:11-23

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 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. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14 NIV

In Christianity, we are dead to sin and are no longer stuck in it. We are made new and live holy lives for God because of Jesus Christ, and only because of Jesus. Don’t get caught up in the sinful things of life, so that they do not overtake you and ruin your new heart. We must be careful in this way. Don’t do sinful things. Don’t offer yourselves to sin, but offer yourself to God. Try to live upright, Godly lives. Be strong in your faith, and try to walk close to God, try to live righteously. Sin does not control us because we are not defeated by it, we are truly free.

“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 becomes slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:17-18 NIV

Thank God that we no longer belong to sin because we listened to what we were told about the Gospel. If we listen to God’s word- and through it have faith in Jesus so that he gives us a new heart- we become free in this world that’s completely drowned in constant sin. We are free in our hearts while others struggle. We are free through Christ. And instead of living dead lives like those that don’t belong to Christ, we live righteous and good lives that lead to eternal joy in heaven.

“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. 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 6:19-23 NIV

Offer your heart to be a slave to holiness. Let it get caught up in doing good things that please God, that give him glory. We are slaves to sin no longer. It was a monster that dominated and recked us and led to death, but now we ride on the wings of the Holy Spirit, thriving in freedom and a sense of eternal peace. When we look back to our sinful lives, we see that all we did did not help us. Everything was temporary and had no meaning. Things that have meaning are things that have eternal value. We thought those sinful things could make us happy, but they couldn’t for long. Now that we belong to God’s heart and live for him, we are rewarded and become more holy and more close to God. This holiness and close walk with God we have leads to eternal life in heaven, where we have truly unlimited riches. There, we have more than anything we could have ever dreamed of. Sin leads to death, only and always. It might seem fun for awhile, whatever the sin is, but does not bring eternal joy. Because God loves us so much more than we could ever possibly dream of knowing, he gives us eternal life, eternal joy, eternal hope, eternal peace, and eternal love in Jesus, the Lord.

Reflections in Romans 6:1-10

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 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 6:1-4 NIV

When we sin, we are forgiven because of Christ’s grace. He wanted us to get to heaven despite our imperfections, so he was perfect for us. This means we don’t have to be perfect, and as long as we have faith in Christ, we are forgiven when we sin. This doesn’t mean to keep doing bad, sinful things. When Christ saved us, our hearts were made new. Just as He died, in a big way, we died to our sinful selves, and just as He was raised from the dead and is alive, we live a new life with Him, and we are to try to be holy and pure. Doesn’t mean we won’t mess up, but we should try to be good. Jesus’s mercy on us is not an excuse to not try to do good; his mercy and love give us new hearts so that we desire to be good.

“If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” Romans 6:5-7 NIV

This was what I was talking about before. When we have faith in Christ, we know that we died with him when he died, and we were brought back to life when he was resurrected. We were ‘born again’ and he gave us new hearts; the old ones died with him on the cross. We no longer have to be defeated by sin or be slaves to it because our old hearts died and the new hearts he gave us allows us to be free from sin.

“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” Romans 6:8-10 NIV

If our hearts that were slaves to sin died when Christ died, we know we will live rich, fulfilled, and purposeful lives with him, with the new hearts that we gain through his resurrection. Jesus has defeated death by not only rising from the dead but by resurrecting us, and giving us new lives to live. He died to all sin once on the cross, but now that he lives again, he lives his life for God.

Reflections in Romans 5:18-21

“Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:18-19 NIV

In the same way that one man, Adam, sinned and caused all men to spiritually (and physically) die, one man, Jesus Christ, was righteous, which saved all men, and caused them to spiritually come alive. Christ did a complete reverse and through Himself, made us holy, though we were once slaves to sin. One man was disobediant to God and caused everyone to fall, and one man’s obedience to God makes all righteous and okay in God’s sight.

“The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, graced increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20-21 NIV

God created many rules for men, which were impossible for men to follow, due to our sinful nature. But because we were not righteous enough or perfect enough to follow the law, sins increased because we did not obey God’s law. However, when our sins increased, God’s grace incrased much, much, more, so we could be made holy despite all our sin. Though we were spiritually dead and sin was prominent in us, through God’s grace, we are made righteous and are forgiven by God, and we are given eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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It’s so fun reflecting on what the bible means! Questions? Then feel free to comment! =P On another note, I have about 30 pages of the bible left to go. Awhile ago, I said I had 100, but I’ve been trying to slice through the bible, learn a ton of stuff, grow spiritually, and finish this up. 🙂 It will feel like such an accomplishment! Nothing better than that. Have an amazing day.

Reflections in Romans 5:2-17

“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 his grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. 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 5:2-5 NIV

By having faith in Jesus Christ, we gain access to his grace, and have peace with God the Father. We gain His mercy, love, and joy by having faith. So it’s an awesome thing to have! We rejoice not only in the good times with God, but also in the bad times. By suffering, we gain strength we never knew we could have. Like when someone cheats on you- you suffer, but through it you become a more independent, smart, careful person. The same principle applies with Christ; a group of people might make fun of you for believing in Christ, and you suffer. But next time people make fun of your faith, you are strong enough to let their comments roll off you like water, and may more adequately be able to stand up for you faith. Suffering makes us stronger, so persevere, and through perseverance we gain a new character, which is the stronger, more patient, more competent us. By having good character, we are able to have hope. God pours his love into us by the Holy Spirit.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 8 NIV

A good parent loves, and leads their children even when they are doing horrible; a good friend helps their friend and leads them when they have gone astray. Jesus is both our Father and our friend, and even when we were full of sin and were helpless, he lead us and helped us. He suffered pain for us, so that we wouldn’t have to suffer and we could be free; this is true love. This shows that it’s not what we do that gets us into heaven, but truly, we only get there because Jesus loved us first, and rescued us. It was his love, not the “good things” we did that gets us into heaven. We just have to have faith in Him and He protects us.

“But this 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 judgement followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 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 5:15-17

God’s gift of Jesus to us is not like the sin of one man. One man, Adam, sinned and caused the death of many. But one man, Christ, has mercy and grace that overflows much more than sin does. One man’s sin causes him to be condemned, but Christ’s grace takes away many sins, not just the one, and frees us from condemnation. He wipes away the sins of many and makes them clean, not just one man. He takes care of many. His grace and love is much bigger and stronger than all our sin, so it is only by faith in Him that we have our sins erased.

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