Our True Rebirth: Church Culture and Our March Towards the Cross

Preparing my Next Sermon
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Romans 6:1-14

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

We at times see our relationship to Christ in the wrong light of pride and boastfulness. We claim our blessing is based on us and our being highly favored. CHRIST is left behind once we get our foot in the door. If anything we are blessed because of Jesus Christ‘s righteousness because ours is as filthy rags before the Father (Isaiah 64:6). If we could be blessed based on our own righteousness; then why did Christ come? We think highly of ourselves to the point of the slave making the master serve him. The mouth speaks what is in the heart. We are not God as the evil one has told us once before (Genesis 3). Even thought we may have salvation we can’t live a life good enough to satisfy God on our own. This is the Gospel! To claim otherwise is a lie from hell.

We present ourselves with a form of godliness but it’s a lie (2 Timothy 3:1-5). My heart is so sick and when I look out I get sick to my stomach. I’m filled with grief and turmoil. I had a vision once of being at the foot of Jesus throne, he leaned forward and touched my face. He looked into my eyes and told me that he sees more than just my grief. My heart is breaking right now because we have been teaching half of the Gospel. We have tried hard to make the cross less offensive. We did it to fill seats and not hearts. We do it so that our names are lifted up above God’s. We have made the master our slave. The adopted son has stolen the natural son’s birth right (Romans 11:11-24). We spit in the face of God’s grace and hide his election to make men debtors to us. We are peddlers of salvation. We have shamed the cross in our lust for money and our own glory. We find huge billboards promoting pastors and inviting people to “their church”. I recently had another dream where I was been persecuted for saying these things. They turned against me and labeled me an inexperienced hater. Every time I hear someone speak of walking in my faith, my heart breaks because they are using Christ. They use faith and gaining what you want as a lure. People take the bait and then God tests their hearts. They are placed in the fire and parish; all the while cursing God for not saving them. They then backslide and others see them, now they don’t want to even bother with God.

Walking by faith is not about believing that you will receive everything that your corrupt and sinful heart desires. Yes, we are sinners without Jesus but with Him we are more yet we do not boast!

2 Corinthians 5:6-10

6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Our faith, joy, happiness and reason for boasting is that we have realized what we would have been and was without the righteousness of Christ Jesus. And that He did that not based on absolutely nothing that you have done. Our walking by faith is that we live a life that is solely based on Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection for our ultimate salvation. And because of that salvation we act out of that faith and produce the fruits of the Spirit. It is out of this gift of salvation do all things spread outwardly. We are not living by our own knowledge, understanding, sight, guidance or righteousness for our salvation. Nor are we living for our own purpose and glory. We have crucified our flesh with Christ and our eyes are blind to this world. We have submitted and committed our entire life to the guidance of Christ and trust Him to lead us. We trust Him to live our life for us. We do this because God loved us first when we hated ourselves and God. How can you say that you love yourself when the sin you is killing you physically and that same sin puts you against the God that created you for His own glory? Christ saved us from ourselves and from the Father’s justice as He has every right to call for your life at ANY time. Do not take God’s longsuffering for complacency but He desires that none of His elect shall parish.

Romans 4:4-8

4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

7″Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”[b]

Romans 3:21-23

21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Our walk in faith is an act of holiness that produces something. When we speak like this, some are quick to cry out legalism (Colossians 3:1-11). But do not be mistaken, these works are not for salvation but are works produced by salvations great gift of saving grace. It is because we are saved that we desire to run hard towards the God that saved us. It is not because we work to we might be saved. This is not a “job” that you work to maintain employment but an adoption that you work out because you love your new Father. You work because you now belong to someone who loves you. But because your Father adopted you for no other reason than that of love. We can dress up and change habits but it has not bearing on God’s free gift of grace.

When we walking by sight or our faith is based on blessings, you miss the beauty of grace. You never have constant joy and happiness in your life. It changes with the blessings, with the good times and with you being able to do the “things” that make you happy. Your faith is not yet rooted in the greatest gift of them all, Jesus Christ. Why? It’s because of how you see yourself in relation to God. When we are regenerated, our sight changes as well as our heart. As we conform to the Word of God, we become like minded with Christ. In order words, if the words we speak of “accepting Christ” do not involve repenting from sin and turning to Christ; our faith is shallow. We have not been crucified with Him nor have our new man raised with Him.

Romans 8:9-11

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

We are trees, whose roots travel the path that our creator has commanded. We obey Him because we love Him. We trust the path He has put us on, we trust that the path will lead to the living water. We trust that if we just keep pushing our root towards God’s calling that what He has purposed will be for our good. Along the way He provides for us and we blossom and bloom. We still produce fruit and nutriment for those that see our witness. It is to God’s glory that these trees produce such good fruit and they have yet to reach the fullness of the living water of our completed glorification.

Romans 6:15-23

15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.

To be a Christian, its not about accepting Christ, its not about doing things.  A true Christian is committed to Christ, he/she has given themselves over to Christ and they committed to looking like Christ. A Christian turns away from their old life of sin and runs towards Christ and embraces the cross.  Romans 8:29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

God bless you & may the Holy Spirit lead you
Rev. W. R. Martin Jr.
visit me at: https://anointedplace.wordpress.com
follow me at: http://twitter.com/refreshinDsaint

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Comments
18 Responses to “Our True Rebirth: Church Culture and Our March Towards the Cross”
  1. Joseph says:

    wow, awesome post. AMEN. I see we have the same spirit. 🙂 Your post rings the same tune of a recent post on my blog: http://serious-things.com/go-deep/

    Thank you for your obedience in sharing the good good word of God. I found ya on a link exchange website and I’d like to reciprocate links if you’re game? If so, feel free to hit me up from my site.

    God bless brother. Keep on Keepin’ on.

    Like

  2. Joseph says:

    thank you. I will add you under my link section > Christian Blogs once I see the reciprocation. I look forward to reading more blog posts. God bless brother,

    joseph
    http://www.serious-things.com

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  3. Joseph says:

    “To be a Christian, its not about accepting Christ, its not about doing things. A true Christian is committed to Christ, he/she has given themselves over to Christ and they committed to looking like Christ. A Christian turns away from their old life of sin and runs towards Christ and embraces the cross. ”

    Amen.

    my heart is in anguish.. not only for the lost, but for those that do not fully understand what it means to believe in Jesus Christ. Today, I have come across another believer who only knew of the cleansing of sin and that they were to try to walk as straight as possible in their own effort. Flesh can’t destroy flesh.. pride can’t destroy pride.. I thank God He brought this person across my paths and I pray for her understanding. In Your name Lord, amen.

    This also rang true with me. I was raised in a family that went to church every Sunday. We had catechism every Wed, I was an alter boy, etc. It wasn’t until many years later did I understand the cross, Jesus, Holy Spirit, propitiation, Christ in you, etc. I thought it was my job to try to be a good person and do what I can to walk as clean as possible. I found I could not. But when He started to do the work, things started to change.

    Man, my heart aches for people that are in this same situation that I was. Lord, I pray you do as you did with me.. open up doorways so truth can be revealed. As you did with this lady today. Whatever it takes Lord. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

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    • anointedplace says:

      My heart is overjoyed reading these comments. My heart has been burden for the church but I do understand that there are tares amongst the wheat. It hurts to think that there are some who truly believe that they are “saved” when they are not. I was to one of the worse kind of sinner. I was the type of sinner who was full of pride and self righteous.

      God bless you & may the Holy Spirit lead you Rev. W. R. Martin Jr. visit me at: https://anointedplace.wordpress.com follow me at: http://twitter.com/refreshinDsaint

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  4. Joseph says:

    This is heavily on my heart.. I gotta get this out.

    A challenge we have as a whole is the understanding of the word “Believe”. There is the normal definition of believe, which means to have confidence in something. To have an opinion on something. “To have an opinion on” and “to have confidence in” something… seems to have a tone of pride, me-first, Adam, flesh, etc.

    The biblical word has tones of surrender, the opposite of the above-mentioned –
    * To have faith in Jesus Christ
    * Trusting in Jesus Christ
    * Committing to Jesus Christ
    * To rely upon Jesus Christ
    * To obey, yield to, and make friend with Jesus Christ
    * To entrust one’s spiritual well-being to Jesus Christ

    God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever has faith in, trusts in, commits to, relies upon, obeys, yields to, make friend with and entrust one’s spiritual well-being to Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life. Amen.

    That sounds about right to me. 🙂

    God bless you and yours. In love,

    -joseph

    Like

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