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The Power of Living by Faith
 
Live Free coz' U r Free!
A practical perspective of:
'being moved from receiving Life through faith to the power of living by faith'
(Romans 1:17, the Passion)
 
Presented by Pastor Ron on Live Free coz U r Free

 

In our first blog we asked: What is true freedom? What is significant and lasting freedom? What does it mean to Live Free coz’ U r FreeIf you remember, a two-fold answer was given. One for the unsaved; another for the saved.

Clearly the unsaved cannot live in God’s freedom. No matter how good or how right they live their lives. It’s impossible for an unsaved person to live in true freedom. Why? Simple.

Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6)For those of us who believe, faith activates the promise and we experience the realm of (God's) confident rest (true freedom)!

So, we see that a person who isn’t God’s child cannot please God, because of their lack of saving faith (Hebrews 3:19). Thus, they cannot experience true rest and freedom in Christ. Including rest and freedom from sexual sins and brokenness. 

Knowing this, if you haven't heeded Jesus' invitation to repent and believe. I urge to do so NOW! For we begin to experience God's salvation when repentance ignites our hearts with a Life of saving faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 11:18)

The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel (Mark 1:15)... In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it...  (And) to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God... The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of Grace and Truth... For the law was given through Moses; Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:1-4, 12, 14, 17).

 

The Unsaved Experience

First, all people are born SIN, unrepentant and without saving faith. Born unsaved... into the fallen and broken condition of the human heart that plagues every one of us from birth.

There is no one who always does what is right, no, not even one! There is no one with true spiritual insight, and there is no one who seeks after God alone. All have deliberately wandered from God’s ways. All have become depraved and unfit. Kindness has disappeared from them all, not even one is good (Romans 3:13-9-12, CEV). The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9, ESV)...

Second, God identifies each unsaved person by our sins (e.g., as a liar, a thief, the sexually broken, etc.). Sins that consume our lives from the sinner’s deceitful and sin-sick heart, producing all kinds of sin-filled behaviors.

Their words are like an open pit, and their tongues are good only for telling lies. Each word is as deadly
as the fangs of a snake, and they say nothing but bitter curses. These people quickly become violent.  Wherever they go, they leave ruin and destruction 
(Romans 3:13-16, CEV). Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, ESV)... 
and—

Third, the unsaved are destined to continue sinning all their days and throughout Eternity. With an eternal and unquenchable fire of passion for disobedience that hunts, haunts, and habits the unsaved forever.

They don’t know how to live in peace. They don’t even fear God (Romans 3:16-18, 23); ...mired in that old stagnant life of sin... (letting) the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell (us) how to live... (filling our) lungs with polluted unbelief, and then (exhaling) disobedience; ...all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat (Ephesians 2:1-3); ...stupid and stubborn, easy marks for sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back (Titus 3:3)... (so) it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27)

Unless… … …

 

The Saved Experience

Unless... God reaches down and captures a sinner by grace, and through faith that sinner is rescued from sin-and-death, from God’s wrath of sin, sins, and sinning. Made alive with Jesus’ righteous Life. Given a new and responsive heart to learn how to live by faith—saving faith—obedient faith.

Our Sovereign God says:

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. AND I WILL GIVE YOU A NEW HEART, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you A TENDER, RESPONSIVE HEART. And I will put my Spirit in you SO THAT YOU WILL FOLLOW… AND BE CAREFUL TO OBEY... (Ezekiel 36:25-27, NLT, emphasis mine).

You see, the Christian Life isn’t just about escaping an eternal hell, though that is God’s glorious promise to all who repent and believe. Rather, the Christian Life is about relationship. A relationship with Jesus that produces a Life of obedient faith. A journey of getting to know and growing in intimacy with Jesus as our sovereign Lord, forgiving Lamb, and saving Life... as our rescuing Liberator, all-wise Leader, and Light-Source of Grace & Truth... as the perfect Lover of our souls!

Hallelujah! What a Savior! 

 

When true repentance ignites our hearts with the saving faith of Jesus’ Life, we begin a journey of transformation that God promises to complete (Philippians 1:6). In Ephesians 1, Pastor Paul teaches us what this salvation looks like. 

  • Father God has saved us from sin, through the sacrifice of His Son. He CHOOSE us to be family, and GAVE us as family to His Son. That's God's exchanging our nature to sin for His Son's divine nature for right living (v3-6; 2 Peter 1:3-5; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2)
  • Jesus, God’s Son, has saved us from our sins… the sins that once identified us… that’s God’s REDEMPTION—FORGIVENESS & LIFE (v7-12; Colossians 1:13-14; 2:13-14; 3:1-4)…and—
  • Holy Spirit of God is saving us, day by day, from sinning… saving us from the sins we think, choose, and feel (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Hebrews 4:12) …that’s God TRANSFORMATION—conforming us into the image of Jesus Christ (v13-14, 15-23; Romans 8-26-30)

God’s great salvation of a NewHeart, of a New Life is received and lived by faith in and from Jesus' Life. And what does this faith look like?

The Bible provides the simplest definition in the first half of Romans 6. Pastor Paul begins with a practical view of faith. We are to KNOW (v6-7) God’s truth about God and others, about ourselves and our struggles. Then we are to RECKON (10)—i.e., take possession of—God’s truth as true about God and others, about ourselves and our struggles. Then once we know and reckon God’s truth as true, we are empowered to YIELD all our body parts—inside-and-out—to God’s truth; so, we can WALK out God’s truth in our day to day lives. In other words:

Faith thinks it, chooses it, and feels it; so we can live it.

The second half of Romans 6 describes this faith as the key to freedom and obedience. By comparing how non-Christians live under law and in the hell of disobedience, with how Christians live by faith in the freedoms and joys of right living. One writer put it like this: Obedience is the freedom to be creative under the protection of divinely appointed authority. So, consider:

  • True biblical freedom is being captured by a creative obedience to Jesus.
  • While biblical disobedience is being captured by sin’s hunts, haunts, and habits.

So, to live free coz’ U r free is a biblical idiom of Christian faith and obedience. 'Trust & Obey'.

This Gospel (Jesus’ Life) unveils a continual revelation of God’s righteousness—a perfect righteousness given to us when we believe. And it moves us from receiving Life through faith, to the power of living by faith. This is what the Scripture means when it says: “We are right with God through Life-giving faith!” (Romans 1:17, the Passion).

 

My friends, Live Free coz U r Free!  

Ron

 

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