Friday, June 13, 2008

Four Points of a Prevailing Life (Part 2)

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" (Romans 6:1, KJV)
Yesterday we focused on the first of four key words used by the Apostle Paul in his classic case for the Cross presented in the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans. Today, we want to look at the second word: RECKON.

More modern translations use words like count, consider, think, or regard. All share the same essential meaning -- "to take into account." In other words, this is the conclusion you are to carry in your heart once you KNOW that your were indeed crucified with Christ: "I am dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus!"

Go ahead and give it a try -- say it out loud just now as you read this. "I am dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus."

Now, later on in the day when temptation comes creeping round the corner and suddly backs you against the wall -- pause, take a deep breath, and then speak the truth of these words in the face of Hell's assault. You will stand, and the enemy will flee! Remember the Sienfeld episode where Jerry's dad kept yelling, "Serenity Now!" That didn't seem to work too well for him, and it won't work for you either. But THIS does work -- "I am dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus." Truth works!

Here is how The Message summarizes it -- "From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did. (Romans 6:11-14).

Because Jesus did it, you and I can now do it! He conquered sin and death, and ended their supremacy over our lives. We can now walk in freedom -- and will do so only as we COUNT on it; reckoning ourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive to God!

"In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o'er the wrecks of time; all the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime! When the woes of life o'ertake me, hopes deceive and fears annoy; never shall the cross forsake me -- Lo! it glows with peace and joy. Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, by the cross are sanctified; peace is there that knows no measure, joys that through all time abide."
(John Bowering, 1872)

I reckon so.

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