September 20

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“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there” (Galatians 5:20 NLT).

From: September 20, 2019

CHRISTIANITY IS NOT A SELF-IMPROVEMENT COURSE

The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Galatia instructing them to be like executioners, dealing cruelly with their own sin. Our human tendency however, is to deal cruelly with the sin of others, rather than our own. For when we see sin in others, we do not hesitate to judge, even assigning it to their character. Yet, when we see it in ourselves, we make excuses for it, claiming some external cause or momentary lapse. Or we go the opposite way, and make sin our identity, calling ourselves by sin’s name (thief, liar, adulterer, addict, murderer…). Neither our tendency to condemn sin in others, nor to excuse or identify with it in ourselves is right.
 
Those “who belong to Christ” count their sin nature dead with Christ, so that they might live in Christ. Counting sin dead, it is not excused, nor is it allowed to live and become our identity. Our identity is in Christ! Christianity is not a self-improvement course. It is an invitation to come and die, so that the old sin nature is crucified and buried with Christ and the new nature is risen with Christ.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, help us to walk by faith in our new identity in Christ today. Strengthen us to put off the old nature and to put on the new. Empower us by Your Spirit to reflect Your glory in these jars of clay. We want to decrease, so that you might increase in us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“O God, listen to my complaint. Protect my life from my enemies’ threats. Hide me from the plots of this evil mob, from this gang of wrongdoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their bitter words like arrows” (Psalm 64:1-3 NLT).

From: September 20, 2018

RESPONDING TO BITTER WORDS AND THREATS
David asked the Lord to protect him from the threats and bitter words of his enemies. Instead of responding in kind, he asked the Lord to defend him. He described those who assaulted him with threats as as “evil mob,” and a “gang of wrongdoers.” He accused them of using their words as weapons, portraying their tongues as “swords” and their bitter words as “arrows.”
 
The one who said, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” must’ve never heard hurtful words. The truth is that words can do great damage. How do we respond? We can respond like David by lifting up our hurts and complaints to the Lord. Let the Lord defend you. Let God be your shelter and protection from the threats and bitter words of others.

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18 NKJV).

From: September 20, 2017

In order to be “led by the Spirit,” we must be “filled” with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). The Spirit is given to us when we receive Christ as Savior. This is the “Spirit of adoption” (Rom. 8:14-16), which identifies us as children of God. Being adopted, filled and led, we are enabled to “walk” in the Spirit. The Spirit-filled life is under grace. But the one who strives according to self-effort, which is the flesh, is still under the law and its curse, which is death. The Spirit works from the inside-out, leading and empowering the believer, but the law is external and has no ability to energize adherence. Concerning this, the author of Hebrews wrote, ‘But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them”‘ (Heb. 10:15-16). This new covenant of grace has already come in Christ Jesus!

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10 ESV)

From:

Having already prophesied God’s judgment on Israel, Isaiah spoke of the day of their return from Babylonian captivity. Yet, this prophecy was not completely fulfilled at that time. Indeed, they did return and surely there was singing, but their joy was not “everlasting,” and their “sorrow and sighing” did not cease. The complete fulfillment surely points to Christ’s “ransom” of those who have believed, buying them out of sin’s captivity and setting them free to live as citizens of “Zion,” which in this case points metaphorically to heaven. For in that Day the ransomed of the Lord will experience “everlasting joy” without any mixture of sorrow.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there” (Galatians 5:20 NLT)

From: September 20, 2014

We are to be like executioners, dealing cruelly with our own sin. When we see sin in others, we do not hesitate to judge, assigning it to their character. Yet, when we see it in ourselves, we make excuses for it, claiming some external cause or momentary lapse. Or we go the opposite way, and make sin our identity, calling ourselves by sin’s name (thief, liar, adulterer, addict, murderer…). Neither our tendency to condemn sin in others, nor to excuse or identify with it in ourselves is right. Those “who belong to Christ” count their sin nature dead with Christ, so that they might live in Christ. Counting sin dead, it is not excused, nor is it allowed to live and become our identity. Our identity is in Christ!

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13)

From: September 20, 2013

Our liberty in Christ is not license to sin. Receiving His righteousness we have been set free from the external law written on stone tablets and received the Spirit of the law written internally on our hearts. We are not called to legalism but to love. We are not under law, but under grace. Yet, this freedom is not to dabble in sin, but it is freedom to serve God and one another. As Victor Frankl once wrote of America, “Our statue of LIBERTY on the East Coast should be supplemented by a statue of RESPONSIBILITY on the West Coast.”

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13)

From: September 20, 2012

Receiving Christ we are freed from slavery to sin and from the condemnation of the law. Why would we waste this freedom to go back to living as slaves? No, we are free now to willingly follow Christ our Redeemer and to love God and others as He directs. Beware of flaunting this freedom with permissiveness or losing it to legalism. You have been set free to follow Christ.