9 Oct 2010

Living as one who is alive

Submitted by theshovel
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and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Romans 6:13

I realize that this Bible verse has probably caused stress for many believers who can only imagine the difficulty or downright impossibility of living for God apart from sin. Of course, if we weren't viewing Biblical statements like this with the sin-conscious viewpoint of the religious world, we might hear something quite different, something very alive and miraculous. Contrary to what we may have heard, what we're confronted with here is true freedom in Christ, for the grace of God shows forth in this phrase, "as those alive from the dead".

What we have learned according to the law-based, sin-conscious view of grace is that we need to pursue a difficult path to reach a place as described in the above verse. And yet according to what is written there is a simple demand that we have no real option but to stand before God as those already raised from the dead. Do you realize how radical this is? Do you understand that fleshly religion has harped on you to present yourself to God as if you were still a slave of sin? But what can a slave of sin do other than present himself as dead meat? No wonder we fail at every attempt to live the Christian life, for according to that premise of death we already figured out that we simply can't do anything else.

If you are in Christ, you have been raised from the dead. Stand before God in this full assurance. Present yourself to him with no hesitation, for he has already made you worthy.

Spoonfuls of love and grace!
Jim

Spoonful: 
New Testament: 

Comments

Excellent reminder, brother Jim. Thank you. Tim

such encouragement … thank you … dignz

That is awesome Jim! I’m so glad you picked this to talk about. Definitely needed, totally believing it!

LOVE IT! Thanks Jim. Richard

I love your emails Jim. I spent so many years being taught to live under the LAW that I have to carefully read everything over and over again and in context to be sure I’m getting the message intended by the writer. I’ve been free from legalism for about 12 years now. Today I was walking around town and church was in session. (small town, 2 roads–one church lol) Every now and then I allow myself to wonder if I’m being selfish by not attending. (The law speaking to me again) Today I realized I am just as mindful of God as I ever was by going to church. But back then my focus was on Historical God, where now my focus is totally on God who is real in me. And so that reaffirmed that I’m doing what I should be doing. Thanks for helping me 12 years ago and thanks for continuing to help myself and others. Nancy
theshovel's picture

Nancy, it is so good to hear from you. If I remember correctly, I think your town is somewhere in Maine? True inner life, with its freedom and confidence far outweighs any form that attempts to replace it, isn't it? :) I hope to hear from you again.

Love, Jim

You remember correctly Jim, I’m in Passadumkeag, Maine, about 30 miles north of Bangor. Absolutely–the real life is better than any substitute man has come up with. :D Love, Nancy
theshovel's picture

I see that you live just up the road from me, you know, I-95! :)

Now that is a spoonful I can chew on for a while. What a life changing scripture. thank you thank you thank you. Good to hear from you Jim, give my love to Sherri. Love, Nannette
theshovel's picture

Hello my dear Nannette! It warms my heart to know that this Spoonful was so meaningful to you. I hope you chew on it for quite some time. :)

Love, Jim

Thank you for writing this. I find myself still struggling with the indoctrination in legalism which I endured as a child growing up in the early ’60s, in the Catholic church. For this reason, I never feel “worthy”, and as I grow older, I fear being separated from God upon my death. Intellectually, I can dismiss these fears, but they always come back, because they seem to have taken root in my being, like a parasite. This morning I was thinking of how wonderful it would be if I could just believe that I would be with Christ in the next world. My present state of mind is that my future state lies in some purgatorial “holding pen”, or worse - not because of any heinous crimes I have committed, but because of not keeping the legalistic rules of the Catholic church, because I cannot believe they are important or crucial to my spiritual life. So I am really torn regarding this. I would like to see people here write more about how they overcame legalism in their own particular religious backgrounds. Janet
theshovel's picture

Hello Janet, I am glad you took the time to respond. I know there are many who would love to share their story with you. I also recommend that you stop by the Shovel Shack discussion group and post your comments there as well. :)

Jim

i am just today discovering and reading this. i seem to go back and forth between either theshovel.net or the discussion group on the shovel shack. i can’t seem to focus and enjoy both at the same time, altho’ i do try from time to time.  :) janet, i hear your heart. i hear the doubt that riddles your heart with fear. i feel your pain, for once i endured it as well. not that it doesn’t try to re-visit me from time to time. i have learned that it is a lie that i do not have to pay heed to at all ever again! perhaps this can be true for you a well.  :) i grew up with more of a southern baptist influence, altho’ my family and i were never really ‘involved’ in the church scene. no matter what flavor of religion any of us come out of, it all has its own variety of bondage that feeds fear, guilt and shame concerning us and god. the lie-ing one loves to manipulate with our hearts and minds using that fear, guilt and shame. we do not have to listen to him.  :) the good news is that jesus christ is the end of that bondage. he did not bring bondage. he brought life, hope and freedom from that which once WAS our bondage. sin was dealt with once and for all by his death on the cross. he became sin on our behalf. it is a done deal! god was and will always be SATISFIED with what HE HIMself provided in and through and by his son. he did not do a half ass job, if you will pardon my description. it was complete, full, FINISHed and SATISFYing to the Father!!  :) someone shared something with me many years ago that god used to WAKE me up to all i needed in the life, hope, love and security that is found in christ jesus himself. i will share it with you because i once suffered horribly with fears of insecurity about where i stood with god and how that would effect me when i died? would i go to heaven? would i go to hell? would i suffer for all eternity? this was a very BIG DEAL to me, because i suffered a lot of emotional and mental pain at that time in my life. i often suffered depression and always just would rather be dead than alive. the thing that prevented me from suicide was that very insecurity that i was speaking of … not knowing my eternal future and/or where i stood with god. maybe it will encourage you, too. maybe it won’t. i do not know, but i will share it anyway.  :) these are words that the apostle john wrote to encourage the believers in his time: 1 John chapter 5:11-13 god has given us eternal life, and this life is in his son. he who has the son has the life; he who does not have the son of god does not have the life. these things i have written to you who believe in the name of the son of god, so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life. what a difference to know that eternal life “¦ whatever it is “¦ is in jesus christ himself. our life that was once dead in trespasses and sins is now made alive in christ jesus and that miraculous life is hidden with god in him, regardless of how the outward appears or feels. There is no waiting for eternal life to begin. Christ himself is the eternal one and we are found and kept safe in him, by him, for him and with him. regardless of how temporary these mortal bodies may be, the miraculous life of god inside them is eternal and secure in his care.  :) i hope you find much peace and assurance in him as you read this. theshovel.net is a wonderful place to find support of that peace and assurance we know is found only in jesus christ.  :) hugs, dignz (sherri)

Awesome! God is gradually working in me to see myself and He does! Isn’t it amazing! Love is the best motivator, isn’t it? “Perfect love casts out fear!” When we understand HIS perfect love, we can LIVE in perfect love! Hope you’re doing well!! Grace ” Sylvia

Reminds me of the times that my kids when they were so little would often “present” themselves to me on Sunday Mornings or other auspicious occasions”especially my little girl. If she were happy about what she was wearing, she would “present” herself to me with joy, twirling and dancing because she knew how pretty she was. However, if mommy made her wear something she did not like, she “presented” in an entirely different way. Same little girl and just as pretty but the presentation was very different based on whether she liked what she was wearing. Love you Brother”you are a breath of fresh air. I was thinking as I was walking through the door to my office this morning and before seeing this, how much I have learned from you to the point that these things are quite natural (or supernatural) to me now. The “Sermon” at church yesterday was a drag on freedom and I played the game but it was like sandpaper on my spirit. I have come to the conclusion that I can help others see the light from the inside better if I do this thing undercover”but it still leaves a little sour taste in my mouth. This little nugget you gave below is like good mouthwash for the soul John E

Love it, Jim! Mary

Thank you soooooooooooooooo much!!! Legalism is a huge problem!! Please write more concerning this problem. Darlene

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