“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Sin had consequences! Solomon declared, “The way of transgressors is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). Later on he also wrote, “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 11:9).
These and many other verses from the Bible show the serious and sad outcome of living a life of sin and pleasure. It may seem glamorous and pleasant at the time, but remember it is what Scripture calls “the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25). In other words, just for a short time.
Remember too that the eternal consequences are a lost eternity in the lake of fire, referred to as “the second death” (Revelation 20:14).
Yes, the payment for sin is indeed death, but God is offering eternal life to all who own that they are sinners and receive His offer of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.
Q. What is meant by the expression “beware of the concision” (Philippians 3:2)?
A. The word “concision” literally means, “mutilation” or “mutilation of the body.” Paul uses the term here in contempt of those who taught, in the early days of Christianity, that the observance of circumcision was imperative to give one a full standing before God. In other words, they were trying to make Jews out of the Gentiles. God is not looking for mere outward forms and ceremonies, but what comes from the heart. “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart” (Romans 2:29).
Stephen said to the Jews,“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears” (Acts 7:51). There is a cutting off of the flesh in Christianity, but not in a literal way like with the Jews under the law. God wants obedience, not just outwardly, but inwardly. “They…desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.…For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (Galatians 6:13,15). So, we learn that it is wrong to teach that one had to physically mutilate their body in order to be saved.
During the Napoleonic wars there were multiple encounters between one British warship and one enemy warship. Usually the British ship was victorious and the enemy surrendered. When this happened the enemy ship changed masters and headed toward a new destination—a British port. It also had placed on board, a British officer, and as many men as were needed to keep in check the old captain and crew.
The illustration is very applicable in our lives. Each of us when we got saved were converted, or in other words, like the ship, we changed our flag, owning Christ now as our Lord.
“Jehovah-nissi” means “The Lord is my banner.” What banner or flag are you flying today? Will you hoist your flag for Christ to let others know that you belong to Him and desire to please Him? Will you let the world see that you want to give Him first place in your life? Or are you ashamed to raise your banner for Christ? What would you think of a ship’s captain who was ashamed to fly the flag of the country under whose auspices and protection he was sailing?
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
“Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:13-15).
In the first 17 verses of John 13, Jesus set us a perfect example. Certainly we have to admit how many times we fall short! But He has not made the example impossible to follow because we have the Spirit in us that gives us the power to succeed. Try today to follow Jesus’ example. He cared for His own and washed their feet to refresh them and clean them after a day of walking the dusty streets of the city and getting ready to meet Him in the upper room. You too can refresh other believers by encouraging them with the Word of God. What you enjoy in letting the Lord refresh and encourage you from His Word, you can then share with others. In doing this we will be happy Christians in our interactions and relationships with one another. At the end of the example the Lord said, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17).
Are you looking for equity and justice in the world? Are you expecting fairness in the court system and other levels of government and society? You won’t find it! Not until the Lord comes back to earth to reign during the time we refer to as the millennium. This evening my wife and I were reading Psalm 67 after our evening meal. We particularly noticed the fourth verse: “O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.” We looked up the verse in another translation and found the word, “righteously” translated “equitably.” This Psalm looks forward to the time when there will be equity executed on planet earth by the Lord when He reigns as “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). Malachi explains it this way: “But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2). In the meantime we are to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:12).
“And He said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15).
“The desire of our soul is to Thy name, and to the remembrance of Thee” (Isaiah 26:8).
In these two verses we have His desire and our desire.
The Lord’s desire for Jews was that they would keep the memorial of remembrance that was given to them the night they left Egypt and slavery. They were never to forget what had happened and how they were redeemed and delivered by the blood of the passover Lamb. Once a year they were to have a fresh reminder.
For us in Christianity, our memorial is the Lord’s Supper—that which the Lord Himself instituted and explained when He said, “This do in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). This is His present desire for each believer now. For us it is not just once a year or on a special occasion, but “as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come” (1 Corinthians 11:26). Is your desire to fulfill His desire today?
On March 18, 2013 a most remarkable story appeared in the newspaper. In brief this is what it said:
“In Hastings, Michigan a burglar, expressing guilt about stealing $800 from a store 30 years ago has repaid the money, plus some interest.” Remaining anonymous, he sent $2,000 in $100 bills to the county sheriff’s department, confessing that he had robbed a certain store, giving the date, which the former owner confirmed as being correct.
The robber sent a note asking that the money be returned to the rightful owner. Part of the note read, “I did a very bad thing that I am ashamed of and have lived with this guilt too long. I can’t begin to say how sorry I am…If you find him please tell him how foolish I was.”
The letter was unsigned and had no return address.
This news item reminded me of the verse that says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). The Lord Jesus as the Saviour of sinners, desires that we would come, admitting that we have sinned, and receive His forgiveness and salvation.
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness” (Romans 6:22).
Christian service is toward God. We were once the slaves of death and hell. We were once doing Satan’s bidding, Satan’s work. But now, in Christ Jesus, we are servants to God. “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you…For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness” (Romans 6:17,20).
Our fruit is fruit unto holiness. A Christian enjoying fellowship with God will bear fruit—more fruit and much fruit, because that’s what God expects and has equipped us to do. The Lord Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.…Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples” (John 15:5,8).
“Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise” (Genesis 49:8).
He was the fourth son of Jacob and Leah and his name means “praise.” Judah advised the selling of Joseph rather than killing him (Genesis 37:26-27), and his descendants, the Jews, delivered the Lord into the hands of the Gentiles.
He sinned in the matter of Tamar his daughter-in-law, and was ready to have her punished till it was shown that he also was guilty. Thus is traced the terribly corrupt history of the family of whom came King David and a long line of subsequent kings. The Lord was born of this tribe, and is referred to as “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5).
Though not the eldest son, he took a chief place amongst his brothers, and was even able to persuade his father to let Benjamin be taken to Egypt. When appeals were made to Joseph, Judah was the one who made them. When Jacob blessed his sons it was clearly shown that the tribe of Judah was to be of the royal line of Israel. Jacob declared, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:10).