This section of scripture looks at the issue of choices. It considers the choices God made and the choices that people made in biblical times, which carry through to today.
God chose Israel to be His chosen people and in other places He calls Israel the “Apple of my eye”. It was God's love for Abraham Isaac and Jacob that led to his selection of Israel as His chosen people.
The people rebelled. Constantly. They grew proud and arrogant in their selection as God's people and believed they were invincible, better than all others and so they lost the favor of God for a time. Not for all time, but long enough that a new way could be established and the promise of salvation become available to all people, not just the physical descendants of Abraham.
The differences between the followers of the lord and those who do not are strongly seen and felt in these two verses.
When it all boils down the major differences are based upon faith, attitude and priorities. The sum of those things leads the followers of Christ into a position that many in the world would consider desperate and untenable. It is not until a person comes to Christ that they see the power and the value in knowing and being known by God.
But Christians are not held in high regard by the rest of the world. In fact they are considered the lowest of all and hated by many. As this verse says,
As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
When it comes to your eternal life with Christ there is one thing that this section of scripture tells us is essential and that is that we must have the spirit of Christ in us. The first verse in this section says this quite clearly.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Look at that last sentence in this verse. If you do not have the spirit of Christ in you, you do not belong to Him. You do not belong to Christ if the spirit of Christ is not in you.
A powerful message and a strong warning to all of us to learn and understand what this is and how we “get” the spirit of Christ. So let us look at this and see what the scripture tells us. Continue reading “Spirit of Christ”
These few verses in Romans 8 are fundamental to the change process that is going on in those who come to the Lord. They are the key to the changes that are being wrought in His people and are the most fundamental explanation of walking in the spirit.
Until a Christian understands this principle AND applies it in their life, they will not change. They will not be able to change because they will be blocking the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work of transformation in their life.
No this post is not about the song of the same title by Britney Spears, although she too has succumbed in this human problem as well. She has had a few epic fails that have been splashed all over the media and I feel really sorry for what she has been through.
What this post is about though is a failing that all Christians suffer as they walk with Christ. It is the issue of when you try to do what is right and you really, really want to do the right thing…and then you mess up and do what is wrong.
Everybody has done it. The road to life is paved with good intentions and nobody ever wants to slip up, falter and fail. But we do. It’s how we deal with it that matters, not that it occurred. And I will look at how we deal with it in an upcoming post, but not today.
Today we look at what Paul is writing about in this section, which is why we do this, especially why Christians do it, but it also applies to the rest of the world as well.
In times of dire circumstances, Christians often have a level of protection that is not afforded to unbelievers.
Here in this section of scripture we see that The Lord had promised Paul that not only he, but all of the people on the ship with him, a total of 276 people, would not be lost. The ship and all it's cargo were to be lost, but the lives of all aboard would be preserved.
The protection of The Lord in this case was granted to be extended so that all those aboard would give God the glory for being saved from what would otherwise be a hopeless situation. We see in this case that had this promise not been given by The Lord, the soldiers had planned to kill all of the prisoners, including Paul, and that would not have served the purpose of The Lord.
One of the promises of The Lord is that He will give us a protection that is not afforded to the people of the world. When the people of the world get into trouble they do not have a safety net to catch them if they fall. But The Lord is the safety net for Christians.
Depending on the circumstance or the issue facing the Christian, the nature of the protection afforded may be quite different, but it is always there. There is always a means of protection given by The Lord for his people.
In this section of scripture we see two of those methods of protection that The Lord gave to Paul and how they worked to achieve the will of God in Paul’s life.
Whenever we speak of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus Christ we call it the “Good News.” And it is very good news for the teachings of the new covenant are the teachings of life. It is through the words of Jesus and his followers who wrote the New Testament that we have this good news of salvation passed down through the generations to us today.
Good news like so many things is a matter of perspective. Where you stand is determined by what you stand for. If you stand for Christ and follow his ways then you will stand where He stands in the kingdom of God. But if you stand for the things of this world and seek what the world offers in wealth, riches, power and the things that gratify the passions of the flesh, then you will not enter the kingdom of God.
There are many people who can and do bear testimony to the protection they have received from The Lord. I know His protection first hand and how The Lord protected both my wife, myself and my children from death. If you are interested in my testimony relating to this you can Protection
Anyway, we see the power and working of God’s protection in Paul’s life as he waited in prison in Jerusalem. The Lord has said that we would and will be protected and that was certainly true in this case.
So it is worth looking at the protection of The Lord and what the bible says about his protection, both in relation to Paul’s situation and ours also. It is a wonderful thing knowing that all the power of the creator of heaven and earth is there to protect us from all things that may come against us. Evil men, troubled times, difficult circumstances even demonic and satanic attack cannot stand against the protection of The Lord.
These couple of scriptures are only short and could be easily overlooked. However they teach us about withdrawing from evil which is a valuable lesson that we need to recognise and understand.
Too often people these days are more concerned with standing and fighting against evil men. We see arguments across the web, on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social media where those who believe in The Lord argue with those who do not believe.
Atheists in particular are often the cause of this fighting for they have no belief in God and many seem to think it is their right and duty to belittle and oppose those who do believe in The Lord.
But in these few scriptures Paul gives us an insight in how to behave and what to do in such situations when we are constantly being opposed by people who have no faith.