I have been listening to these YouTube clips this past week, I highly recommend them. Listen or watch them will knock your socks off!
2. Power and Identity
Exposition of Romans (MP3 Series) by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
I have personally been impacted by Martyn Lloyd Jones commentary and teaching on Romans immensely. I encourage you to dig into these. He has a 14 volume commentary on Romans that is kinda awesome. If I had the ~$300 to drop right now I would have it in my library right now. I am in the proces of picking a volume up here and there.
I recommend diving into Romans 5-8 to begin with. Stay there for two to three months. It will change your life. Hold your theology loose, let God help you keep the life and sift out the stagnant parts. In the past 14 months I have let God shake my foundation. He has, oh he has. It is and has been the best thing I have ever let happen.
No New Testament epistle is more foundational to the faith than Romans, and no exposition of Paul’s letter is more insightful than that of Lloyd-Jones.
Drawn from his messages at Westminster Chapel from 1955 to 1968, this masterful series of sermons blends evangelical interpretation with practical applications to provide sound doctrinal teaching on this fundamental document. This series is also available in Hardcover.
1 I write to you in the context of your acquaintance with the law; you would agree with me that laws are only relevant in this life.
2. A wife is only bound by law to her husband while he lives; any further legal claim he has on her ends with his death.
3 The law would call her an adulteress should she give herself to another man while the first husband is still alive. Yet, once he’s dead, she is free to be another’s wife.
4 The very same finality in principle is applicable to you, my brothers, in the (crucified) body of Christ you died to the system of the law; your inclusion in his resurrection brought about a new union. Out of this marriage, (faith) now bears children unto God. (The first marriage produced sin; righteousness is the child of the new union. In the previous chapter Paul deals with the fact that our inclusion in Christ in his death broke the association with sin; now he reveals that it also broke the association with the system of the law of works as a reference to righteousness.)
5 At the time when the flesh ruled our lives, the subtle influences of sins which were ignited by the law, conceived actions within us that were consistent in character with their parent and produced spiritual death.
6 But now we are fully released from any further association with a life directed by the rule of the law, we are dead to that which once held us captive, free to be slaves to the newness of spirit-spontaneity rather than age old religious rituals, imitating the mere face value of the written code. (The moment you exchange spontaneity with rules, you’ve lost the edge of romance.)
7 The law in itself is not sinful; I am not suggesting that at all. Yet in pointing sin out, the law was in a sense the catalyst for sinful actions to manifest. Had the law not said, “Thou shalt not covet,” I would not have had a problem with lust.
8 But the commandment triggered sin into action, suddenly an array of sinful appetites were awakened in me. The law broke sin’s dormancy.
9 Without the law I was alive, the law was introduced, sin revived and I died.
10 Instead of being my guide to life, the commandment proved to be a death sentence.
11 Sin took advantage of the law, and employed the commandment to seduce and murder me.
12 I stress again that the law as principle is holy and so is every individual commandment it contains; it consistently promotes that which is just and good.
13 How then could I accuse something that is that good to have killed me? I say again, it was not the law, but sin that caused my spiritual death. The purpose of the law was to expose sin as the culprit. The individual commandment ultimately serves to show the exceeding extent of sin’s effect on humanity.
14 We agree that the law is spiritual, but because I am sold like a slave to sin, I am reduced to a mere carnal life. (Spiritual death. The word, piprasko comes from perao, meaning to transport into a distant land in order to sell as a slave. Sin is a foreign land.)
15 This is how the sell-out to sin affects my life: I find myself doing things my conscience does not allow. My dilemma is that even though I sincerely desire to do that which is good, I don’t, and the things I despise, I do.
16 It is obvious that my conscience sides with the law;
17 which confirms then that it is not really I who do these things but sin manifesting its symptoms in me. (Sin is similar to a dormant virus that suddenly broke out in very visible symptoms.) It has taken my body hostage.
18 The total extent and ugliness of sin that inhabits me, reduced my life to good intentions that cannot be followed through.
19 Willpower has failed me; this is how embarrassing it is, the most diligent decision that I make to do good, disappoints; the very evil I try to avoid, is what I do. (If mere quality decisions could rescue man, the law would have been enough. Good intentions cannot save man. The revelation of what happened to us in Christ’s death is what brings faith into motion to liberate from within. Faith is not a decision we make to give God a chance, faith is realizing our inclusion in what happened on the Cross and in the resurrection of Christ!)
20 If I do the things I do not want to do, then it is clear that I am not evil, but that I host sin in my body against my will.
21 It has become a predictable principle; I desire to do well, but my mere desire cannot escape the evil presence that dictates my actions.
22 The real person that I am on the inside delights in the law of God. (The law proves to be consistent with my inner make-up.)
23 There is another law though, (foreign to my design) the law of sin, activating and enrolling the members of my body as weapons of war against the law of my mind. I am held captive like a prisoner of war in my own body.
24 The situation is absolutely desperate for humankind; is there anyone who can deliver me from this death trap?
25 Thank God, this is exactly what he has done through Jesus Christ our Leader; he has come to our rescue! I am finally freed from this conflict between the law of my mind and the law of sin in my body. (If I was left to myself, the best I could do was to try and serve the law of God with my mind, but at the same time continue to be enslaved to the law of sin in my body. Compromise could never suffice.)
I have issues and I acknowledge that. My 6 year old daughter has to memorize and contemplate on 2 different verses each week for school. With my new view or paradigm of how I see God and my identity I cringe alot when I hear how God is often portrayed.
Her verse this week was Psalms103:11 this week.
New International Version
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
I was going over it with Mo and I asked her what it meant to her… She asked why she should fear God. I told her that was a bad word (not a four letter bad word). Told her let’s replace the word fear with respect or love. She said “oh, I get it.” I walked out of the room and came back about ten minutes later. While I was gone she composed a song on her pad.
The innocence of a little child and the way they can relate blows me away. Children are not bogged down by traditions, bad teaching, works, or basic garbage. To return so easily our original identity and redeemed innocence is amazing.
How do you see God? How do you see Jesus? Riddle me this…
1 It is not possible to interpret grace as a cheap excuse to continue in sin. It sounds to some that we are saying, “Let’s carry on sinning then so that grace may abound.” (In the previous chapter Paul expounds the heart of the gospel by giving us a glimpse of the far-reaching faith of God; even at the risk of being misunderstood by the legalistic mind he does not compromise the message.)
2 How ridiculous is that! How can we be dead and alive to sin at the same time?
3 What are we saying then in baptism, if we are not declaring that we understand our union with Christ in his death?
4 Baptism pictures how we were co-buried together with Christ in his death; then it powerfully illustrates how in God’s mind we were co-raised with Christ into a new lifestyle. (Hos 6:2)
5 We were like seeds planted together in the same soil, to be co-quickened to life. If we were included in his death we are equally included in his resurrection. (2 Cor 5:14 – 17)
6 We perceive that our old lifestyle was co-crucified together with him; this concludes that the vehicle that accommodated sin in us, was scrapped and rendered entirely useless. Our slavery to sin has come to an end.
7 If nothing else stops you from doing something wrong, death certainly does.
8 Faith sees us joined in his death and alive with him in his resurrection.
9 It is plain for all to see that death lost its dominion over Christ in his resurrection; he need not ever die again to prove a further point.
10 His appointment with death was once-off. As far as sin is concerned, he is dead. The reason for his death was to take away the sin of the world; his life now exhibits our union with the life of God. (The Lamb of God took away the sin of the world; efapax, once and for all, a final testimony, used of what is so done to be of perpetual validity and never needs repetition. This is the final testimony of the fact that sin’s power over us is destroyed. In Hebrews 9:26, “But Jesus did not have to suffer again and again since the fall (or since the foundation) of the world; the single sacrifice of himself in the fulfillment of history now reveals how he has brought sin to naught.” “Christ died once, and faced our judgment! His second appearance (in his resurrection) has nothing to do with sin, but to reveal salvation unto all who eagerly embrace him [Heb 9:28].”)
11 This reasoning is equally relevant to you. Calculate the cross; there can only be one logical conclusion: he died your death; that means you died unto sin, and are now alive unto God. Sin-consciousness can never again feature in your future! You are in Christ Jesus; his Lordship is the authority of this union. (We are not being presumptuous to reason that we are in Christ! “Reckon yourselves therefore dead unto sin” The word, logitsomai, means to make a calculation to which there can only be one logical conclusion. [See Eph 1:4 and 1 Cor 1:30].
“From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.”— The Message)
12 You are under no obligation to sin; it has no further rights to dominate your dead declared body. Therefore let it not entice you to obey its lusts. (Your union with his death broke the association with sin [Col 3:3].)
13 Do not let the members of your body lie around loose and unguarded in the vicinity of unrighteousness, where sin can seize it and use it as a destructive weapon against you; rather place yourself in readiness unto God, like someone resurrected from the dead, present your whole person as a weapon of righteousness. (Thus you are reinforcing God’s grace claim on mankind in Christ; paristemi, to place in readiness in the vicinity of).
14 Sin was your master while the law was your measure; now grace rules. (The law revealed your slavery to sin, now grace reveals your freedom from it.)
15 Being under grace and not under the law most certainly does not mean that you now have a license to sin.
16 As much as you once gave permission to sin to trap you in its spiral of spiritual death and enslave you to its dictates, the obedience that faith ignites now, introduces a new rule, rightness with God; to this we willingly yield ourselves. (Righteousness represents everything that God restored us to—in Christ.)
17 The content of teaching that your heart embraced has set a new standard to become the pattern of your life; the grace of God ended sin’s dominance. (The word, tupos, means form, mold. The Doddrich translation translates it as, “the model of doctrine instructs you as in a mold.”)
18 Sin once called the shots; now righteousness rules.
19 I want to say it as plainly as possible: you willingly offered your faculties to obey sin, you stained your body with unclean acts and allowed lawlessness to gain supremacy in all of your conduct; in exactly the same way, I now encourage you to present your faculties and person to the supremacy of righteousness to find unrestricted expression in your lifestyle.
20 You were sins’ slaves without any obligation to righteousness.
21 I know you are embarrassed now about the things you used to do with your body; I mean was it worth it? What reward or return did you get but spiritual death? Sin is a cul-de-sac. (Sin is the worst thing you can ever do with your life!)
22 Consider your life now; there are no outstanding debts; you owe sin nothing! A life bonded to God yields the sacred expression of his character, and completes in your experience what life was always meant to be. (Lit. The life of the ages, aionios; traditionally translated, “and the end, eternal life”.)
23 The reward of the law is death the gift of grace is life! The bottom line is this: sin employs you like a soldier for its cause and rewards you with death; God gifts you with the highest quality of life all wrapped up in Christ Jesus our Leader. (A soldier puts his life on the line and all he gets in the meantime is a meager ration of dried fish for his effort! opsonion, a soldier’s wage, from opsarion, a piece of dried fish.)
Interesting read, possibly sarcastic but pretty much spot on..
The church today has become…. well spurious. As Ghandi said (rough rendition) “your Christ I like, your Christians, not so much.” It’s time to not necessarily do but to find Christ fer realz!
So before you get completely upset at the end of this read, I will put out the press release now…this is not going to end the way you think it is.
It never does though, right?
Already the prophets are giving us the new word for 2014, unless of course they are the upgraded prophetic voices who have all shifted over to the Jewish Calender and it is now the year of the Gimel or camel or door, or I dunno, I don’t speak Hebrew…but then neither do they.
I started to read a word about the great awakening that is definitely coming this new year and as I did I felt that instead of waking up, this year we would actually see the church go deeper into slumber.
There I’ve put it out there for everyone to see, I am prophesying that instead of a great awakening the sleep…
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