Category Archives: thoughts
There is evil in the universe. We can see it decay all around us. We see stars die, we see species become extinguished. We ourselves are subjected to many diseases and each of us must eventually die. We see people behave with deliberate hate towards each other, causing hurt to each other on purpose. We all do this.
So why did God allow all this to happen. The Apostle Paul answers this question in the Bible:
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:20-21)
God is not the source of evil. The source is the Devil, and our own evil hearts. But God allowed evil to happen. We did not have a choice when we were born whether or not to be born evil. It was part of who we were.
But God creation was not “subjected to frustration” for no reason at all. God is not sadistic. He had a purpose. The purpose was to create for himself a family of children who have successfully overcome evil by His power. You can defeat evil. This does not happen from will power or years of effort, but it takes place in your heart when you repent of your sins and believe in the blood of Jesus to cleanse you from your sins. So then, you who were once a wicked sinner will be liberated from evil so that you may freely become one of the children of God. Apparently this transformation cannot happen without pain. God allowed (did not create) evil in order that we might transcend evil and completely defeat it by his power. Through much pain and suffering we can now learn to deny ourselves and worship him. Now we can accept pain willingly in order to lovingly sacrifice ourselves for others, Just as Jesus sacrificed Himself for us even while we still hated Him.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (Romans 8:15-16)
God has our best interests in mind. He did not purchase our salvation by the blood of Christ just to make us His slaves, although if He had that would have been much better than remaining slaves of sin. But rather God chooses to adopt us as sons. And He gives us the Holy Spirit to assure us that we have nothing to fear, since the God of the universe is our caring father.
If you have believed in Jesus Christ and have repented of your sins, you can be assured that you ARE a child of God, even when you do not feel it. The Holy Spirit reminds us through the promises we read in the Bible that we are God’s children, and He causes us to cry out to God as “Abba” or “Papa” in our hearts. We are God’s helpless little children, but we have nothing to fear, because the Master of the universe is our Father.
The Bible says that true believers are children of God. The Apostle Paul says that the Holy Spirit affirms our place in God’s family:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; (Romans 8:14-15 NIV)
Here it says that the Holy Spirit does not make us slaves, because slaves live in fear of their master. Slaves never know what their master is going to do to them. He may sacrifice their well-being or even their lives for his own benefit.
But children, on the other hand, know that their father has their best concerns in mind. Being a child requires obedience just as a slave must be obedient, yet children are accorded more inherent value. Whereas it is normal for a master to sacrifice his slaves for his own best interest, a true father sacrifices himself for the welfare of his children. That, I think is why we are called children of God, because God sincerely cares about us the way a father cares about children, and even sent Jesus to die for us, affirming that we are of great value to Him. One would not expect a master to do this kind of thing for someone who is merely a slave.
However, there are other passages in the Bible that seem to say that we are slaves of God:
Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. (Romans 6:19)
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:22)
Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it asbondslaves of God. (I Peter 2:16)
How can one verse of the Bible say that we are slaves to God, and another verse say that we are not? The best answer that I can come up with is that we are by rights slaves of God, and ought to see ourselves as slaves of God and behave as slaves of God. We have no basis for demanding sonship from God. And yet God Himself chooses by grace to make us sons. Jesus purchased us from damnation and slavery to sin by His own blood: therefore we owe Him everything we have including our very body and souls. We are happy to be His slaves. And Yet, by His incredible grace He has chosen to make us more than just slaves. God has chosen to make us sons. Such is His incredible love for us.
What is the main driving force of your life? Is it the Holy Spirit? The Apostle Paul says:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God (Romans 8:14 NIV).
Those who are not led by the spirit of God are not children of God. One way to tell if you are led by the Spirit of God is to identify the main driving force in your life. Be honest. What is most important to you?
If one of these are the most important thing in your life, then you are not a Christian:
Quality of life/ comfortable lifestyle.
Power. Being in charge.
On the other hand, if Jesus Christ is truly at the top of your list, you are a Christian. Here are a few goals, motivations, and lifestyle choices that are common in those who regard Jesus Christ as the greatest thing in their life.
Self denial. Giving up their career and lifestyle and dreams for the sake of others and for Jesus (Matthew 16:24).
Obscurity. Doing your best work where it’s needed, especially when no one will notice it or congratulate you for it. (Matthew 6:4)
Absurdity. Being willing to be thought of as a fool in order to do what is right (I Corinthians 1:18).
Perserverence. Doing what is right even when it seems boring and difficult (.
Ugliness. Preferring our physical imperfections to be publicly seen rather than cultivating a facade for the purpose of seducing others (Isaiah 53:2).
Loneliness. Giving up the company of the wicked in order to do what is right, and to serve God (Matthew 10:37).
Bondage. Preferring to be the slave to others rather than to impose cruelty on others. Swallowing our pride and serving others (Phillipians 2:3-4, 7-8).
True Believers Are Free to serve God in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code
These verses below are potentially confusing, so I will try to explain them.
For when we were in the realm of the flesh,[a] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:5-6 NIV)
Human beings are born in the realm of the flesh, as slaves to our lusts. We are aware, whether we admit it or not, that God has a law of righteousness for us to follow. The problem is we cannot keep the law because we are weak. Our consciences tell us what is good, but instead of obeying it we begin to lust with sinful passions aroused by the law. We are naturally evil so that we automatically want to do things just because we know we shouldn’t. These lusts end up making us bear fruit for death, that is, made us commit sins that result in our condemnation and judgment to.
However, there is a way to escape from this condemnation. By dying with Christ spiritual we have been released from the law. This does not mean that we ignore the law. The law is still good; right is still right and wrong is still wrong. However, we are no longer condemned for breaking a single rule of the law. We now live by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, so that we can have confidence that past sins have been completely forgiven.
The result of this is that the person who is freed from the law is able to keep the law better than the person who is bound to it! The person who is bound to the law stumbles often because he staggers beneath a load that he is not strong enough to carry. But the person saved by grace is given power by God to do what is right out of gratitude rather than obligation. Those who are believers are able to carry much heavier loads, because God Himself is actually carrying our load for us. Therefore we serve and obey God joyfully in the new way of the spirit, and not the old way of the written code.
The result of your sin and selfishness is death. But God, because He loves you, has provided a way out. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins, you will be save. But if you refuse to repent and obey God, and continue to live for yourself, you will die in your sins and go to hell. There is no salvation besides that which comes through Christ Jesus.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
There are many people who will not repent of their sins because they think that this will destroy their “freedom.” They want to be free to pursue the kind and quality of life that they think will make them happy. But is doing what you want really freedom? I would argue no, that it is weakness: It is slavery to selfishness.
Slavery to your sex drive and sexual fantasies is not freedom. Slavery to your greed for money is not freedom. Slavery to your desire for attention or public honor is not freedom. Slavery to alcohol is not freedom. Slavery to rudeness and ego is not freedom. Slavery to self expression over love of others is not freedom.
The result of all these things is death and judgment. Is this “freedom” really worth it?
No, it’s not. Stop being a slave to passing pleasures, and become a slave to God and a servant to your fellow man instead.
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! (Romans 6:20-21)
A lot of us are “sometimes do gooders.” That means that we sometimes do good in order to make people think we are great people. We give to the poor, help out at charities so that people will recognize our unique talents and inherant value.
But people who are truly concerned about doing good are not interested in making themselves look good. They are slaves of righteousness. These are the people who have repented for their sins and been forgiven for their wicked pasts. They don’t try to act like they’re better than others, because they know that they are not. Rather, they make themselves slaves to honor God and their fellow man by doing what is right.
Repent of your horrible sins. If you repent and believe in Jesus Christ God will forgive you and make you pure and righteous. Stop being a slave to sin. Be a slave to what is right as the Apostle Paul wrote:
I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. (Romans 6:19)
Some people try to “get saved” as fire insurance. They make a profession of faith so that they will got to heaven when they die, but still live the same kinds of sins that characterized their lives earlier. These people are not true believers. Becoming a believer is more than just saying you love God with your lips, but actually loving Him with your heart. True Christians willingly submit themselves as slaves to God:
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:15-16 NIV)
All people are slaves: either to sin or to obedience to God. Whether or not someone is a slave to sin is made clear by their actions and attitudes towards others.
Repent and believe. Stop shaming yourself by delighting in things that are disgusting and based on selfish motives, but bring glory to God by repenting of your sins and delighting in obedience to Jesus Christ.
Some people try to be saved by following the rules of right and wrong. This is called “righteousness by the law” because they are trying to become righteous by keeping God’s laws.
The problem with this approach is that it is impossible to do. God’s laws are perfect but people are not. If you try to make yourself righteous by always doing what is right you will fail, because everyone has done things that are wrong. I think people who try to make themselves righteous by following the rules know deep down inside that they have failed. They know that they have lied to other people and cheated and hurt other people maliciously. So their attempts to follow the rules have resulted in hypocrisy. Now they are only attempting to follow the rules in order to look good, knowing that they are full of sin on the inside. These people have become slaves to sin. They may do a good job appearing to be righteous, but they commit a lot of wickedness in the shadows. They are bound by their past failures which in turn produce more failures.
But those of us who are saved by grace are not slaves of sin. Yes, we are sinners who have done horrible things. But we do not become hypocrites by lying about our sins and pretending that they never existed. Instead we openly admit our sins, and beg God to save us, knowing that we cannot save ourselves. God therefore forgives us, and we can walk forward in His love doing what is right, not bound by our past failures which have been completely paid for by the blood of Christ. We are forgiven of our past adulteries, sins, thefts, and blasphemies and now walk anew in the life provided by Christ, doing what is right for God’s glory and not our own. We are no longer slaves to sin, but are happily slaves of God. Therefore we can freely live for the purpose of doing what is right, not for the purpose of making ourselves look good.
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:13-14 NIV)