The Lord of the Living & the Dead

“For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. ” Rom 14.9;esv

“Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Rev 1.17-18;esv

“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.” Rom 6.9;esv

Do you consider yourself greatfully dead? Dead or alive, born again or dead in sin, you have a Lord. Willing to accept that truth or not doesn’t change the reality. Death has a conqueror to whom it has given over authority and all who are going to the grave will answer to Him who holds the keys. Think not that your Lord is some dark lord. Granted, your father may indeed be Satan, but he is God’s Satan and there is no escaping the righteous judgment of Christ the Lord of lords and King of kings to whom all must give an account.

The love of the Lord should not be overlooked, it is His blood that screams to our sinful souls. It is on our account He went to the cross. May we truly find in His grace the gift of sorrow for our sins and in that sorrow, new birth. We all start out dead in our sins but by God’s grace we don’t all die dead. To die well is to die as one who has been made alive in Christ.

Jesus calls out even now to those dead in their sin, turn from them, believe upon Him and know life eternal. You must be born again. In Him is fullness of Joy and freedom. He is a good and faithful Lord.

A Much Needed Contrast

Everything looks clearer when there is a proper contrast. I often think back to the point at which I first believed in Christ and the joy that came in the knowing that the God of the Bible had chosen to save me from my sins. The joy that overwhelmed me was so extravagant, so deep that its hard to describe.  It was so elevated because it came to me directly after the moment the darkness of my sin was exposed to me.  The contrast that gave way to the clarity was the bright holiness of my Savior and the filthy corruption of my rebellious heart.  He is pure, I am not – yet He led me to repent and showed me great grace and love which turned my sorrow into laughter!

Where there is darkness God still creates out of nothing. What great joy there is in the free gift of Salvation given to sinner’s through Christ Jesus. One cannot earn it. One cannot deserve it. How magnificent it is to realize the Bible is true revelation from God and can be trusted. It is good news that God grants new hearts, new ears and new eyes to sinful mankind.

The joy of the salvation that the one true God grants to men cannot be known if the call to repentance is not preached or received. The good news of the gospel of God’s grace shines most brightly against the dark reality of humankind’s depravity and inability to keep God’s perfect law.

A Savior for Sinners

You may have heard someone say, “God helps those who help themselves,” and then thought to yourself how many times you’ve been a helpless failure. Is there any hope for those of us who seem to have a persistent proneness to failure and of weakness? 
Good news, God saves the helpless, the lost, the rebel, the sinner to the uttermost! Christ came to save sinners not the self righteous. Jesus hung out with sinners teaching them His ways while rebuking and condemning the self-righteous Pharisees. 
Beware of the form of legalistic teaching that clothes itself in light while telling you that you must help yourself before God will help you. Who can truly do this who is not blindly self righteous? Only God is truly good and not a single man to ever walk this earth other than Christ is without a sin deserving of death (this is why we all are headed to our graves by the way…”the wages of sin is death.”)
No, it starts with an honest confession of sin and a request for mercy; this is God in His grace lifting the sinner’s soul to see the cross and what the only Son of the Father accomplished at it: complete salvation for all who believe. He came to heal the sick, not the healthy. 
Recognizing ones own sickness is to truly see ones own sin for what it is: cosmic treason against ones own Maker. Yet He is kind to sinners leading them to humble repentance. He grants them new hearts, hearts that actually long for Him and desire to please Him. He faithfully teaches them His ways. He promises them He will never leave or forsake them and that He will finish the work He began in them. He promises resurrection of the body in a world to come that is without sin! Oh the peace in Christ; in Him alone there is rest for the weary and a living hope for all eternity.

True Religion

The worshiping of Christ and the treasuring Him above all created things will lead to discernment that sees what it truly is to be under the law and freed from its curse. 

Who is it that tires of hearing of the Christ and His gospel which commands repentance and offers forgiveness of sins? It is those who would rather worship creature over Creator. Who would exchange the truth for a lie. There is danger here, especially among the self-righteous, (of which I used to be but now see Christ as my righteousness), that can go unnoticed. These error in that they worship the moral law over the Law Maker, who in loving kindness and in His goodness keeps the law universally active each day. There is much beauty in the moral law and it is extremely practical in use globally but beware the self righteous appeal of the moralist who never articulates a moral with Christ at the forefront of his mind. The moralist hesitates to lay claim to moralistic origins as if there is neutral ground here. As if one can discern any true meaning to any moral apart from the absolute worship of the Son of God, and Him alone, who created and maintains the moral laws in nature. 

The Christian religion is the only religion that consistently claims the origins of moral law. The many religions of the world are perversions of the Christ who was preached even in the garden by our Maker himself when He foretold of the promised seed of the women who would crush the serpents head. The power of the serpent is sin’s power which binds and blinds the sinner to the Creator. But when Christ is formed in a dead sinner, the power of Satan is broken and his head is crushed! Freed from the curse the believer sees Christ in His glory and worships Him and delights in all created things He has made. Behold, all things are new to the believer for they have been born again. You must be born again.  

To believe in the Son of God is true religion. 

The Offense of God’s Commands

What was God’s intention in giving the law? What is Christ’s intention in calling all to repentance? Both are intended to display the Godhead’s eternal characteristics and qualities in nature. We ought to see primarily God’s holiness displayed in these two realities, given by God’s graciousness to all creation.

The problem with us sinners is that in our fallen condition we are offended by these displays. Until our hearts are changed, we cannot please God, nor would we truly want to because by nature we hate him…hence our sending Him to the cross. To those who hate their sin, there is One who is able to save, who is worthy to take your place for your cosmic treason, and has done so already at the cross! Jesus Christ alone is able to save sinners, He is risen for our justification. Repent and believe in Him and your salvation will be secure!