Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 12, 2018

Your Biggest and Best Opportunity

The Opportunity Given to Every Christian!

“Silhouette” by Adele Bower ©

Daily I get letters from all over the world and read of the challenges and problems our Christian brothers and sisters live with every day. The problems are always similar and most often based on one dangerous mistake; living one’s life based on circumstances and not on faith in God.

By nature, I am a meticulous planner but life often deals out the unexpected; which, for a meticulous planner, is rather annoying. I have commented to my family how the most significant, life changing events for our family have been those that were unexpected and unplanned.

I have been guilty of trying to arrange circumstances in a logical and orderly manner therefore living the Christian life by believing and not by seeing has been difficult for me at times.

The Apostle Paul summarizes this in one short verse; “For we live by believing and not by seeing.” How many of you are struggling with the application of that verse to your life; I know I do. I want to believe it and apply it to my life every moment of every day but that seems to be an almost insurmountable obstacle for me.

A Place of Refuge

I take refuge in the words of Paul when he observes in Romans 7:14-25

“14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart.23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”

I can really relate to Paul’s struggle, can you?

God’s Solution to Man’s Problem

By the grace of God that is not the end, Romans 7 is followed by Romans 8; whereas mankind’s problem is described in chapters 1 – 7, God’s solution is provided in the 8th chapter which begins with the glorious truths of verses 1-4 which tell us:

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.”

I rejoice in that thought many times each day; when sin attempts to immobilize me by reminding me of my unworthiness I look to God’s answer to my sin problem, the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ at his First Advent. When our Lord said “It is finished!” it really and truly was finished!

“28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:28-30

In 1 John 2:1-2 we read:

“2 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”

I love that summary of Christ’s work at the First Advent; he has atoned for the sins of all the world! I wrote of this in “Is There One Unforgivable Sin?” Sin is no longer the barrier between God and man it once was; there is now only one command from God in this age of grace: believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved from the second death.

The Wonderful Opportunity God has for You

As Christians we have not been left in the dark about what we should do and how we should do it; the New Testament has been provided to help us with the assembly process we call living. All of us are works in progress as long as we inhabit our mortal bodies; by God’s grace we are being conformed to the image of His Son and have been given the opportunity to embrace the changes God has provided for us.

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29

There is one key to the whole thing, however, and that key is simply the faithful application of Bible teaching to personal experience. It is not enough to know a doctrine of scripture; change comes when that knowledge is applied to living one’s life each day. Let your life be a tangible expression of Bible doctrine, live your life by believing and not by seeing; don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to live a life of rejoicing! Live your life by believing and not by seeing!

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Philippians 4:4

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