Our Body as Force for Good

Romans 6:13    (KJV)   13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

We have a choice as to what to do with our “members,” our bodies, whether they’ll be instruments of sin or instruments of God. As believers, the choice is very clear; our natural predisposition now that we’re alive from the dead—we’ve been raised to a new life—is to live out this new life for God’s glory and honor.

Romans 6.13 - Bodies - Force for GoodChoice is a big word today, and our hearts go out to those who misunderstand the meaning. Choice doesn’t equate to doing wrong. Choice speaks of one of God’s most loving and wisest gift to mankind: free will. We keep that honor when we become believers. But instead of being slaves to sin, we now have power over it. The choice is ours, and for believers, our choice equates to what’s good, right, and godly. We can choose otherwise, but the precious Holy Spirit is now powerfully moving in us to will and to do God’s will. We don’t feel violated; at times I pray what I know God won’t answer—that He would just take full control of my will and make me do everything exactly as He wants me to.

With that powerful divine influence, we yield. We submit our bodies to the leading of God’s precious Holy Spirit; we deny sin its say, and we live victoriously and wonderfully. How beautiful are the pilgrimage of those who wisely reject the deceptions of the enemy, those not blinded by the lying attractions of temptations. Our bodies are no longer sin’s helpless tools and victims. Praise God, through our Lord, we’ve found authority and power to see through sin’s devious allurements, to render our bodies dead to it, and to offer our bodies as living sacrifices—Holy and acceptable to our beloved Lord and Savior.

Aside from God’s pleasure, guess how happy my spouse is that I choose to devote my body to her alone instead of enjoying the pleasures of infidelity. Guess how happy my family is that I serve them instead of abandoning them. Guess how happy my neighbors are that I desire them good and not harm. That’s the beauty of a righteous life. It becomes an instrument of blessing and joy to our heavenly Father first and foremost, and to others as well. What a wonderful life.

 

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Free and Obedient Hearts

1 Chronicles 29:18   (KJV)   18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:

Can our sovereign and loving God work in our hearts—people’s hearts—without violating our free will?  I guess He can.  We may not fully understand how He does it, but He can.  Otherwise, there’s no point praying for Him to make His people want to obey 1 Chronicles 29.18 - Free and Obedient HeartsHim.  We’ve seen clear examples and explicit passages in the Scriptures showing this.  God changed the heart of Saul (1 Sam. 10:9); He prophesied about giving His people a new heart (Jer. 24:7); He directs the king’s heart like rivers of water (Prov. 21:1); David prayed for God to give him a clean heart (Ps. 51:10).

Yes He can, and Yes He does work in people’s hearts.  This is not however a removal of free will, or cancelling of our responsibility.  In fact, we see clearly in the Scriptures how Saul turned away from God, how Solomon turned his heart towards the gods of his wives, how one king after another chose to rebel against God, and how His Old Covenant people repeatedly disobeyed God.  We as His people weren’t made robots when we placed our full dependence on Him to save us and surrendered our lives to Him.

We were made new creations (2 Cor. 5:17), but we still obviously have a choice whether we obey or disobey Him, whether we abide in Him or not, whether we live faithfully or not, whether we deny Him or not.  God won’t fail; if He says He’ll give us new hearts, He will. In fact, for believers, He already has.  What we do with our God-given new hearts is up to us.  As for me, and I pray my entire household, we will worship and serve Him faithfully—wholeheartedly.

Those who Receive Him

John 1:12   (KJV)   12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Our precious Lord Jesus, the Word Who existed before the beginning, Who was with God, Who was God, through Whom everything was created, willingly came to His own creation, and sadly, was cruelly rejected. Not everyone did; not everyone does; we receive Him for john-1-12-those-who-receive-himWho He really is: the Lord, and the Savior. We are spiritually birthed and have become His children. He lives in us through His Holy Spirit; we blessedly experience Him, His unfailing love, His faithfulness, His glory, His truth.

It’s worth noting—repeatedly, if that’s what it takes, that there are at least two kinds of “childhood” to God. One is by virtue of creation. Through this, all of us, saved and lost are His children. The other is by virtue of spiritual birth. This is the kind of “childhood” that applies to the salvation experience or the saved. Spiritual birth is indispensable and no one ought to leave this life without it.

When we receive our Lord and Savior Jesus, He gives much more to us than we to Him. He gives us life; He give us light. He is far greater than us, but He’s always available to us. He continues to reveal Himself and continues to pour out His love. He invites us to Him; He changes us from within; He calls us to partner with Him in His Kingdom ventures. He raises us to such high worth and value. But despite the status we find ourselves in, He’s so great that we get awed even with the very limited truth we know about Him. Can we really imagine how we will react when we meet our heavenly Dad face to face? How does one react to someone so full of power, and yet so full of love?

He holds nothing back in loving us; we too pour out our affection and ourselves in loving Him. Motivated by His love, we as His privileged children live in such a way that we aren’t doubted as His; we shine His light, we declare His truth, we display His presence; we show His power.

Seed of Holiness

1 John 3:9   (KJV)   Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Our heart deeply yearns that we glorify our holy God in the way we live. What a great honor to be instruments of our Master’s praise. It’s a wonderful privilege showing people that there are real believers—people who truly follow Him. Our treasured relationship with Him goes beyond cerebral; it totally involves our hearts; it plainly shows through the 1-john-3-9-seed-of-holinessindisputable way we live. Our confident confession and our visible actions are in harmony with each other. God has made us righteous; we show it well.

Others say believers are total hypocrites; that’s quite understandable, but it doesn’t mean they’re right. Hypocrites show something different without an inch of inclination to change. True followers of the Lord Jesus aren’t perfect, but changes are happening progressively; we truly desire change, we passionately pursue change. We try our best getting rid of our sinful ways and anything that displeases our beloved Savior. If we show ourselves holy, it’s because God has made us holy and we want to be holy.

It’s our deep desire to have God’s seed in us growing and manifesting increasingly more. Personally, in my humble understanding of God’s Word, a true believer’s life and lifestyle is characterized with goodness and godliness; a sinful lifestyle and true Christianity is a contradiction. Yes, we’re not perfect; we still fail, sin, and fall, but we don’t make a habit and practice of it. It breaks our hearts when we do; we don’t glory in it. Our search isn’t on how to be better in sinning without being caught or exposed, rather, our journey is a continuous quest towards our Father’s greater pleasure. Positionally, He’s always pleased with us; praise God, He also gives us additional honor and privilege of pleasing Him practically.