Tag Archives: commands

The Immortal Message of Easter

On Easter morn, we are drawn back to the message of the Cross that all-encompassing will of God. We are catapulted beyond the simple historical message of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection to the infinite heights of God’s will for our life in Christ Jesus. If we only see the historical event steeped in tradition then we have missed the message. In the Apostle Paul’s farewell message to the Ephesian elders he declared, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). And the starting place in this wonderful journey in understanding the whole will of God is by following the admonition of Christ to pick up our cross and follow Him. The Bible says, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). To pick up the cross means death. It simply cannot mean anything else. It is a conscious decision to follow Christ in His death by dying to self. As we enter the dark night of our soul we discover that everything of the old sin nature must die. Every vestige of pride must be nailed to the cross. Every glimmer of self-will must die with Christ. Through faith in Christ our death to self becomes a reality. Step by step we are able to put off the old life. Continue reading The Immortal Message of Easter

Temptation

Temptation is another while of the devil, but the Christian can overcome it by putting on the breastplate of righteousness. Only righteousness can turn away temptation. We must learn how to walk in righteousness at all times. In fact, the more we walk in righteousness, the easier it becomes to deal with temptation and the evil thoughts that come into our mind. The Apostle Paul received this wisdom directly from the Lord. So let’s go take a closer look. In a quite lengthily passage in the letter to the Ephesians (See Ephesians 4:17-32), the apostle describes in detail with multiple examples on how this works. He says we must put off the old life by putting off such things as falsehood, anger, stealing, and, unwholesome talk, all bitterness, rage, brawling, slander, and malice. Understand that this list is not exhaustive but only examples of the old life. Secular counselors typically will not discuss this list because this bad behavior is considered biblical sin and it goes against their philosophy that the counselee is simply sick and in need of a label. Most Christians understand they need to put off the old life for which we can get help and direction from the commands of God. But here is the problem; they have not clearly understood the importance of putting something in place of the old life. They have not understood that once you put something off (that is, you have stopped doing it), then it creates a void in your life. Putting off the old life is like removing the trash from your house, sweeping it clean, putting everything in order, but not allowing the invited guest to enter. In the same way many Christians will legalistically stop doing the things they shouldn’t do, but fail to do the things that they should, in so doing they live empty and unfulfilled lives in constant danger of temptation and being dragged back into the same sin. Continue reading Temptation