11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:11-13)
The apostle makes it very clear that we have the power to decide not to let sin rule over us. The Christian is “alive to God in Christ” (v. 11). When a sinner is baptized into Christ Jesus and into His death, he is also “baptized into death” to sin (Rom. 6:3-4). Sin is put to death in Christ. The Christian is then commanded, “Do not let sin reign in your moral body” (v. 12). We accomplish this by presenting our bodies “as instruments of righteousness to God” (v. 13). Paul is not saying a Christian will never commit a sin. He is saying we choose to no longer allow sin to rule us. The person who freely presents himself to God practices righteousness instead of sin. We serve God, not sin.
4 Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. 6 Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for they are from of old. (Psalm 25:4-6)
What does it mean to “wait” on the Lord? It does not mean sitting idly by “expecting a miracle” (as some TV prophets promise). It does not mean running ahead of God, presuming we know the path we should take (Jer. 10:23). Waiting on the Lord involves learning His ways and walking in His truth. He is the God who saves, so the faithful ones rely on Him. It involves endurance to patiently follow His truth, assured that God will accomplish His purposes in His time. God has shown Himself to be compassionate and merciful from days of old. Therefore, wait on Him. Learn His truth and walk in His paths each day. Do not forget God; He has not forgotten you.
14 Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved. (2 Corinthians 12:14-15)
Paul loved the Corinthian Christians like parents love their children. He had preached Christ among them and through the gospel had laid up great spiritual blessings for them. Paul could say “I have begotten you through the gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15). But, some of them did not recognize his love and refused the truth he taught them. They loved him less the more he loved them. But, he was resolved to continue loving them the only way he knew how. He would exhaust himself (“spend and be spent”) seeking their salvation. That is what devoted parents do today. Teach your children the truth of the gospel, lay before them the spiritual blessings of Christ and show them the way to heaven. They may refuse your instruction, rejecting your love. But, keep on loving them “more abundantly” by showing them the way to heaven. That’s true love.
28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. (1 John 2:28-29)
Jesus will personally appear “at His coming”. Jesus will not have an invisible coming as the Premillennial “Left Behind” saga suggests. His coming will involve His magnificent appearance. By abiding in Christ now, you will have confidence in His presence when He appears. Children of God “abide in Him” – they “practice righteousness”. You abide in Christ by “seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). By following the will of Christ you will be a confident, unashamed child of God before Christ when He comes. Seek His righteousness by practicing it today.
1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— (Titus 2:1-3)
The sound doctrine of Christ includes instruction to older men and women. We sometimes hear it said the older person has “earned the right to say or do whatever they please”. That is not the “sound doctrine” of Christ, it is the wisdom of men. God expects older men and older women to set examples of righteousness in their attitudes, demeanor and conduct. Older men are not given license to be indecent and irreverent. Older women are to exercise self-control in their behavior and language. Follow the “sound doctrine” of Christ in your old age, and your life will strengthen those around you.
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
Like most everyone else, young people want to be respected. Learning that respect is earned makes a lot of difference. Older people are often respected for their years of experience. The young person overcomes inexperience and gains respect by setting an example of righteousness. Fellow Christians can see how you behave and the motive of love in your actions. Be humble in demeanor, not boisterous and arrogant (a pitfall of many youth). Put your faith in the Lord every day and be guided by the principles of purity and truth. By doing these things, your example will encourage others. Don’t try to impress people with loud words or outrageous conduct. Simply live a godly life. That is impressive to God and to God’s people.
1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:1-4)
Sin is not passed from parent to child (see Ezekiel 18:4, 20). Physical disability is not divine punishment for some previous wrong. This man’s blindness became a great opportunity for God’s power to be shown in him. Jesus healed his blindness, demonstrating He is the Son of God. If you struggle with a physical disability, the lesson is not to expect a miraculous healing. Rather, it is the assurance that by putting your faith in the Son of God, He will do something even greater than that; He will heal your soul of sin. In Christ, you can endure and prevail over your present struggle in the flesh (read 2 Cor. 12:7-10). Do God’s will now, and when all is said and done, you will have life eternal.