Hey y'all! I hope you had a lovely weekend! I had a great productive day Saturday and a restful, laughter filled Lord's Day. :) I'm sorry I'm getting this post up so late in the week.
Have y'all ever sat and watched a washing machine with a clear door run a cycle, the clothes tumbling and tumbling, around and around? My pastor uses this analogy when we are spending a lot of time in one passage, mulling things over and over in our minds, really making an effort to get it.
This week we looked at Romans 6:5-6 and went back over a few things we've already talked about. The first half of this chapter Paul's main theme is death and he mentions it over and over. But in the second half of the chapter, freedom is his theme. "How shall we who died to sin continue to live in it?" We reviewed the pattern for spiritual growth we talked about two weeks ago- Know, reckon, present. We know we are sinners and when we call on Christ we reckon that and can present it in our lives. But, if our sins died on Calvary with Christ, why do we continue sinning? Chapters 6, 7, and 8 are the most informative chapters in the Bible on sanctification and it is essential that we understand -know- how this works, so I guess the next couple weeks are going to have that rhythm of the washing machine, thinking things over and over again, each time gaining understanding and clarity.
When it comes to sin, we deal with two principles of it: 1) The Old Man and 2) The Flesh. Verse 6 talks about both of them: "knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin."
A couple summaries in the past I've mentioned objective fact and subjective reality, two aspects of the issue at hand that we need to remind ourselves about. The objective fact about our old man is that as Christians, we are new creations and the old man is no longer. It was crucified in Christ. That's fact, folks. You know Jesus, you are a new person. Bye bye old me. Whether you feel like it or not, your old man, old nature, the one who knew only of sinning, is gone. The subjective reality of this is that we are no longer slaves to sin. We are not burdened by it. In Christ, we are free. We need to make sure we have a knowledge of the past so that it can ring true in our lives now-- we have been saved and now live light of that.
Why do we still sin so much, though? If we are in union with Christ now and He lives in us, why do we continue to sin? Why do we struggle so? Turning over "the flesh" in our minds should help us understand it. The objective fact about our flesh is just that-- we are still in the flesh, in these bodies of sin. Makes you long for Heaven, doesn't it? The subjective reality is that we have fleshly desires and we are slaves who have been given freedom. Imagine you were a 4th generation slave when the emancipation proclamation was signed. All you and your family know is slavery. You don't know how to act as a free man and when your "master" says to do something, you do it because being a slave is all you've ever been-- you are legally free, but unless you stand up and say, "No, I am free. I will no longer be a slave to you" then you will go on in your old ways. So it is in our fleshly bodies. We are free from the power of sin-- let's live that way!
Now, here's a point I found awesome-- here in Chapter 6 we are basing out discussion on the content from Chapter 5 of Romans where Paul talked about Adam and Christ being our fathers and federal representatives in their ways. Remember how we have our human nature from Adam? Sinners was who we were in Adam. No matter how hard we tried, we could not get rid of who we were... until Christ saved us. He changed us, adopted us. In Him, we have a divine nature in God's eyes because we are one with Christ. But, we do not have two natures-- only One Person had two natures and He did it perfectly. So, as people, we either have a human nature or a divine nature (in Christ). We are either bent to corruption or we trust in God savingly and are accepted as His beloved. It's one or the other. Old man OR new man. Not old man with good morals that might get him to heaven. Not new man who refuses to address his sin. There's no going back to the old man, either. Once saved, we do have the power to not sin, the desire, the joy. Amazingly, we didn't feel the awful death that Jesus paid for us, but we do get to feel the new bent, new love that comes from being raised with Him. Ephesians 4:22-24 says that we are called to a newness of life because of what has already been accomplished in Christ. Colossians 3:8-10 gives a whole list of sins that we should put off now that we are a new man, again speaking in past tense versbs-- "and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him".
We are being created/renewed into the image of Christ! Our old man is like an old volume that will never be opened again. We need to live in the light of this subjective reality. Live what we believe. Tell sin, "no, I am a free man!". Know this. Reckon it. Live it.
Sin has lost it's dominion.
And that's a fact.
Would you believe it's actually getting kind of chilly here in the mornings? I was able to wear a thick cardigan in the car to church and not roast. It also kept me warm in the well-air-conditioned building.
Shirt: Kohl's: $8-- love the lace sleeves!
Cardigan: Forever21: $17?
Hat: Sears: $3
Necklace: Droplette: $6
Tank: Forever 21: $1.80
Shoes: Payless: $10
A word about my crooked hat: 1) My hair was doing wonky things and the hat on straight looked odd, but I didn't want to draw attention to myself during worship with the out-of-the-ordinary hat wearing, so I kept it straight until after the service. 2) The hat band is too small and I got a pretty bad headache from it, but it wasn't too tight sideways. 3) I left it on because of hat hair after the service, but turned it and accomplished headache relief and an increased cuteness factor... at least I thought so anyway. :P
I'm mentioning this because I have often wished I could find a blog with "what to wear to not-normal gatherings" like recitals, viewings, rehearsal dinners, plays, funerals, concerts, etc. But, I also don't feel right doing a whole post on "What I Wore to My Great Aunt's Funeral" because I'd rather not bring any attention to myself around that time, if that makes any sense at all. Funerals and viewings and I guess weddings are events that I'd rather not blog around my outfits about, but at the same time I know I struggle to figure out what to wear so I'd like to encourage y'all in those stressful moments too. All that to say.... This outfit, minus the cardigan, is what I wore to my aunt's funeral a couple weeks ago. I think I may have worn black shoes and a black hat instead of these gray ones.
I hope y'all have a great rest of your week! Maybe I'll find some time to post a Friends of Fresh Modesty on Friday... :D I know it's been a few days, but what were y'alls sermons about?