Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Sin and the Cross

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

Romans 6:1-7
 

In our lives as Christians, we may rely on spiritual facts, even if it feels different or contrary. But that is not the point. Especially the topic of sin is, so to speak, all-present, and hardly to be ignored. And this, in the world as well as in our personal lives. The forgiveness of sin is a matter of faith (John 3:36). And how deeply this redemption goes, is particularly expressed in the Romans letter by the Apostle Paul. What we need to distinguish between here is the fact that Jesus' death on the cross for the forgiveness of sin, did not kill sin, but the sinful man who has accepted it in faith. Precisely this is what is embraced in the cross of Calvary. And with the resurrection from the dead, we have become One with the Son of God. God no longer sees the outer body of flesh (which has died) but the spirit (which is alive). Jesus lived after the resurrection, even though He died (together with sin) – and so do we. Accordingly, the Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” The practical meaning of this is that we have also been put to death on the cross and, in like manner, have been resurrected to new, righteous, free and spiritual humans. It is however so that our environment and our earthly vessel has not been changed by it, and is indifferent to whether or not we have been saved. As Christians, it is our sacred task, and simultaneously our blessed privilege to oppose this “natural indifference” which we encounter daily, in our faith-life and in practice. We do this by praying regularly and abundantly, and by positively influencing the contents of our prayers through reading the Bible with a hunger for knowledge and by growing our faith and attending church.

We do not have to fear sin – we have died to sin. Precisely this is the contents of our faith and by it we are conformed daily into Christ's image. God indeed sees us in this manner, that we have died with Jesus Christ and our sin has been forgiven – yesterday, today and tomorrow! In Galatians 2:20 Paul sums it up as follows: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” We live in the flesh and in faith – and this continually, for as long as we are on earth and breathe. It has, so to speak, become our new nature: in the flesh and in faith and thereby in spirit and in peace with God! To repeatedly recall this (and allow ourselves to be reminded of it, as in this message) is our daily (good) battle. And God, with all His love, grace, power and wisdom, is present in this with every single Christian. We are saints and are being sanctified, thus trained by God, inwardly strengthened, transformed into the image of Christ, equipped so that we are able to serve others and bring glory to God. The goal is eternity in heaven with God. We read in 1 Peter 1:6-9 “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” Amen.

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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Zur deutschen Originalversion: Sünde und Kreuz


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