Tree of Life Blog

Engaging Culture with the wisdom and power of Christ!

Tag Archives: Run Through Romans

Run Through Romans (ch 5.18-21)

2

18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

This is a wonderful continuation of what the word taught us in Romans 5.17: through Adam we were all made sinners, but through Christ’s life of perfect obedience that was offered up to the Lord for us, many people shall be made righteousness.  On the cross, Jesus was made sin so that we could be made righteous (2 Cor. 5.21) – to make it more real, I like to say it like this: Jesus who knew no sin became sin with our sin so that we who knew no righteousness could be made righteous with our righteousness.

That is one powerful realization: Jesus took our sin and became our sin on the cross.  Everything you have ever done wrong, every impure thought you have ever had, every lie you have ever told, every sin you have ever committed, every time you crossed the line, every time you acted like there was no line but you knew there was a line – every sin was placed on Him and He became sin with your sin.

No wonder He told the Father: if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.  No wonder as He died He yelled “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”  No wonder the sky was black and the earth was shaking.  He took your sin.  He took my sin.  He took the sin of the world.

Adam disobeyed and his nature became the nature of wrath, he was a child of satan and therefore took after his father, satan (read John 8 – I will post some articles expanding this at some point).  Adam’s whole nature changed – he was spiritually alive created with the spirit and breath of God inside him (Genesis 2.7) , and on the day he sinned he spiritually died losing his communion and love and life, and becoming bound with fear and guilt and shame and blame.

Since then every child of Adam (that is, every single human) has been born dead in their sins and trespasses, unable to please God, unable to serve God, unable to live in victory.  The only solution for this sin issue was if someone completely righteous, someone who never sinned, someone who was born differently so they were born spiritually alive.  Someone who lived their entire life without ever sinning and therefore never dying spiritually. 

And then that someone would have to offer up their life on our behalf, to take all of our sin, to carry it all into their body, and pay the total penalty for all of our sin.  And that is what Jesus did.  Because all the price has been paid for our sin, then we can be made righteous – not by doing anything right – but by believing in Jesus and realizing what He did and then receiving His righteous and His life which then transforms our spirit.   This experience is so life shattering it is called in the Bible being born again (John 3.3,5) – your whole inner nature changes from being dead to being alive, you stop having the nature of death and satan; and start enjoying the nature of God – being a partaker of the divine nature.

 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

This is Paul re-iterating that this salvation, this life of abundance, this partaking of the divine nature, this being born again, this being made totally righteous and being able to stand before God without sin, without fear, without a sense of judgment or sense of inferiority – being able to come boldly to the throne of grace has NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR MERIT.  The purpose of the law is not to make righteousness abound, but to make offence abound.

The rules and regulations that were in the Old Testament were not to make the people good, but to show them how bad they were.  The Ten Commandments are not to make you good, they cannot make you good, they just make you want to disobey them, they just show you that you fail.  They have no power to change your heart and your attitude.

What is wonderful about this verse is that the more you sin, the more grace there is.  The more you have disobeyed, the more goodness God extends to you.  It is not your goodness that causes God to move towards you and bless you, it is His grace.  Even if you have broken all 10 commandments, and sinned in huge massive ways: God’s grace is more massive.  It is greater.

If you go back to the law and try and obey God and try and be good and try and obey God, the more you do that the more you will fail, the more you will mess up, the more you will offend against God’s holy law.  However, if you come to God and just accept that He is good, that He loves you, that He blesses you – not because you have been good but because He is good and He is kind and He is lovely, you will find that His grace is greater than your sin.  As soon as you stop trying to be good and start to trust in the fact that God is good, then you will be more holy and more loving by accident than you have ever been on purpose.  Say it outloud until you believe it from the core of your being: “God’s grace abounds more than my sin.”

 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

You see sin rules over your life before you are a Christian.  You are dead spiritually and sin is your master.  Because sin is your master, satan can come into your life whenever he wants.  You were the tail and not the head – just following around the circumstances of life.  Whenever you managed to succeed in one area of your life, you started to fail in another. 

But when grace entered your life because you heard and believed your entire nature changed, your entire life changed.  You stopped being spiritually dead and started being spiritually alive, you stopped being a sinner and started being righteous.  You started enjoying eternal life, you started enjoying a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

You stopped being the tail and started being the head – you can speak to mountains and they move, you can walk in victory, you can rule and reign and love life.  That is the joy of being born again, that is the fun of being a Christian: being in right relationship with God (His Son), being in right relationship with the world (it’s dominator) and being in right relationship with satan (your foot on his head, not the other way around).

Now you might read this and say: hold on Ben – I am not experiencing this.  This does not describe my life.  Well it should.  It is what you are in the spirit.  If that is not manifesting and not flooding out of you then you need to do three things:

1. Think it.  Spend time in the Bible reading Scriptures about you reigning in life. 

2. Believe it.  Let your mind paint pictures of you reigning, of you enjoying a great relationship with God, about you walking in health and wealth and victory and joy.

3. Say it.  Mark 11.23: For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 

You need to speak to everything in your life that is in your way, and you shall have what you say.

Next time we will begin to answer one of the most important questions that a study of Romans 5 brings up: if we have peace with God because of what Jesus did, and no matter how much we sin, God’s goodness and graciousness is more than our sin, can we live however we want and sin as much as we want?  The answer will probably not surprise you, but the Biblical reasons for the answer probably will.

If this has blessed you or if you have any questions, please comment on the post and I will respond to all comments.

Blessings and love,

Benjamin

Run Through Romans (ch 5.17)

1

17For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5.17 is one of the most powerful truths in the Bible.  Adam sinned.  The consequences of this action was that he died spiritually and eventually died physically.  However, Jesus Christ gave us two things: abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.

Abundance of grace means completely undesevered access to God.  Abundance means more than enough.  God’s grace is His goodness that we don’t deserve.  Grace is the power of God to enjoy Him and His goodness.  Everyone of us through Jesus’ death on the cross has received utter and total access to God.  An angel cannot keep you away from God’s presence.

It is totally undeserved which means it doesn’t matter how you have lived today, it doesn’t matter what you have done wrong, all that matters is that Jesus paid the price.  You have free unlimited access to God.  Whatever you ask for in prayer will be done for you.  Whatever you say, He will hear.  Whatever you call for, He will answer.  You can walk in His presence and life every single day.

And if that wasn’t enough, we also are given the gift of righteousness.   The gift of righteousness according to Romans 5.17 means we can reign in life.  According to the dictionary, reign means “Exercise of sovereign power, as by a monarch”.  You can reign in life.  Do you get that?  In every area of your life you can exercise sovereign power – you can act like a king and a queen.

Is sickness bothering you?  Act like a king and command it to leave you alone.  Is poverty making living month to month difficult?  Act like a king – command it to leave, command money to come in.  Walk into your place of work like a king, work hard and expect payrises and promotions.  Is there a habit in your life you are trying to kick?  Command your body to not enjoy it anymore.  Boldly declare your freedom.  You can reign in life.  Say outloud: “In every situation in my life, I AM A KING, AND I REIGN”  Start to enjoy life – you don’t think kings enjoy being in charge?  You should enjoy life because you are in charge because Jesus has made you righteous.   You can calm storms, you can heal the sick, you  can ask what you will and  it will be done.

Run Through Romans (ch. 5.13-16)

0

Dear All,

I am going to continue our run through Romans series.  I apologise in advance that it has been a couple of months since the last post on this, but I have been really busy with the church and with work and with planning the gospel crusade.  I would love for all of you to be at the gospel crusade in August – I know we are going to see so many signs and wonders, healings and salvations and it is going to be absolutely awesome.

I am really looking forward to continuing this series as well, especially as we are about to look at Romans 6-8, which is easily some of the most neglected teaching in the whole of Christianity about how we can live holy and why we should live holy.  Most Christians are still mixed up in the law and do not realize we are under grace.  But before we reach those chapters, we are going to hammer the message home that Jesus Christ has paid the complete price for all of us and we are under grace and not law:

13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

This is so important for all of us to realize: where there is no law, sin is not imputed.  Imputed means held against.  You have to realize that there are two categories of consequences to sin.  Most Christians never ever realize this.  There are resultant consequences to sin and legal consequences to sin.

Resultant consequences are the things that happen when we sin: if you steal something and are caught, you will be fined or jailed. If you offend someone you care about, you will never have the joy of their company again.  If you swear a lot and are lazy, you will not be promoted at work.

This things have always happened.  As we will find out in Romans 6.23, the wages of sin is death.  If you sin, death will always result.  Adam and Eve sinned and death resulted.  Sin is stepping away from God and His glory and His goodness, and if you sin, you leave that life and wonder and beauty, and you end up in death, and ugliness and loneliness.  God cannot make you make a choice, but if you choose sin you choose death.

When God told Adam and Eve that they would die spiritually and that Eve would be in pain in childbirth and that Adam would be in toil working the ground, God was not cursing them: He was simply explaining what the resultant consequences of sin would be.  God was on their side, He loved them, He clothed them and He looked after them.

Legal consequences to sin are much worse.  A legal consequence to sin is when God judges you for your sin.

When Cain murdered his brother Abel, God didn’t strike Cain dead, He actually offered to protect him.  This is because the law had not been given.  When there is no law, sin is not imputed.  In other words, before the law was given by Moses there were no legal consequences to sin.  God did not judge Cain for His sin, God simply protected him.

After the law of Moses was given, people had their sin imputed to them.  In other words, there were now legal consequences for sin.  A man was stoned to death for picking up sticks on the wrong day of the week!  If you lied you would be stoned to death.  Achan stole some precious metal and was stoned to death.  Read through the laws of Moses and look at what you would be stoned to death  for: almost everything.

However, what most Christians still don’t realize is that Jesus Christ on the cross completely dealt with every single legal consequence for sin.  God is not angry with us, God is not after us, there is no more wrath of God for us.  Hallelujah!  We could kill our own brother and God would not judge us.  That is what it means to be righteous by faith.  It is entirely through what God has done that we are righteous, not by anything we have done.  Any and every sin we commit has no legal consequences whatsoever.  It won’t make you lose your salvation, it won’t affect your fellowship with God at all.

14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Even though there were no legal consequences to sin, there were resultant consequences to sin.  Adam died.  Every one of Adam’s descendants died. This is before the law.  Death is a resultant consequence to sin.  If you sin, you will die.  The more you sin, the faster you will die.

15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

This verse is telling us first of all that the gift of righteousness is different from Adam’s sin because it is better.  You see because of Adam’s sin, the resultant consequence is that we all die.   But because of Jesus’ redemptive, we all live.  Grace triumphs over sin.  Jesus’ death means that death does not lead to hell for us anymore!  We can enter heaven when we die because we are righteous right now.

16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

This verse is telling us the second difference between Adam’s sin and Jesus’ redemption.  It only took one sin from Adam to lead us all to death – but Jesus’ death and redemptive gift of righteousness erases many offences.  It doesn’t matter how many sins you have committed, how many you are committing right now, and how many sins you ever commit Jesus Christ has completely and totally paid the price for them all on the cross.  If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will.

Sin has no more legal consequences for the Christian.  You are not under the law of Moses anymore.  You don’t have to worry about sin causing God to be angry for you, you don’t have to worry about hell, you don’t have to be concerned about losing fellowship with God ever again.  He paid the price!  Hallelu Yah!

Run Through Romans (ch. 5.12)

0

 12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5.12 introduces a new topic for Paul. 

Paul’s topic from Romans 1.18- Romans 5.11 has been consistent: how God has completely dealt with the fact that man has sinned.  You and I have done unrighteous things, and we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  However, God has dealt with the problem of your sins by placing them on Jesus.  Jesus bore your sins and now you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  The correct theological term for this is “justification”. 

Justification is the process where God declares an unrighteous person righteous by virtue of the fact that Jesus died for their sins.  You cannot be justified by any action or any religious ritual, but only by believing in Jesus Christ.  This is called justification by faith.

Romans 5.12 introduces another section of this book, which continues to the end of Romans 8.  The topic of Romans 5.12-Romans 8 is not justification as much as sanctification.  What this word means and how it applies to a Christian shall be explained as we work through the next few chapters.

By now I want you to realize that in addition to the problem of your sins, you have a second problem.  A far worse problem: the problem of sin.

Sins and sin.   It is a subtle difference but one that is so important for you to live in victory.  In the previous 5 chapters Paul has expertly explained that Jesus has paid the price for your sins.  Now he is going to show you how to deal with sin.

So what is the difference between sins and sin.  A good analogy, and I am greatful to Watchman Nee for this analogy, is to imagine a factory making a product.  The product is the same as sins, but the factory is sin.  Even if you went all throughout the country destroying the product, you wouldn’t ever be able to complete your task as the factory would still be making the product.

Even, in the same way, you have committed sins.  The work of Jesus has completely dealt with your sins, by placing them all on Jesus.  Jesus paid the price for your sins.  Every single action that was selfish, unrighteous, destructive, disobedience to God, dishonouring to God, disrespectful to other humans: Jesus paid the price.    And we are declared righteous because Jesus paid the price, not because of anything we have done or could ever do.

But the fact is this: inside your heart, before you became a Christian, was nothing short of a sin-factory.  All the sins you ever committed came from somewhere: and they came from your heart.  You acted selfish because you were selfish.  You lied because you were a liar. 

This is contrary to much of modern thinking about psychology and behaviour.  Many people today will determine your behaviour by your actions: if you lie, then that makes you a liar.  That is not true: you are a liar, that is why you lie.   There are clinics and self-help programmes all over the place that are dealing with behaviour and managing behaviour.   But people do these programmes and after a few months are doing the same things again and again.   The product has been destroyed, but the factory is still there.

The beauty of the gospel message is that Jesus doesn’t just deal with the product: he destroys the factory.  He doesn’t just forgive all your sins, He gives you a new heart.  So many Christians are told that Jesus forgives, but are then left to struggle to live right and live a life of victory and joy.  Paul outlines the full gospel in Romans, and in the next few days and weeks we are going to learn how not just to know that you are righteous, but how to live a righteous life in the world.

 12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world

Like he does with the problem of sins, Paul starts in Romans 5.12 by introducing the problem.  The problem is this: by one man (Adam – who was a real person made by God in His image just as the Bible says), sin has been brought into the world.  Adam sinned. 

and death by sin

Death is brought into the world by sin.  Sin always leads to death.  If there is no sin, there is no death.  You are going to die because you sinned.  If you don’t believe in Jesus, you will be going to hell.  That is the reality of the situation.  Sin leads to death and hell, and without Jesus paying the complete price, you would die and enter hell.  But because Jesus dealt with your sin, you can enter heaven and enjoy heaven on earth.

and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Adam sinned.  Adam, like every human, was made up of three elements: spirit, soul and body.  When Adam sinned against God, immediately his spirit died.  Adam could no longer communicate freely with God without fear, without shame.  From that moment, gradually his soul started to die.  He has his first argument with his wife, one of his son’s murdered another, his thinking and his emotions became darker.  Eventually at the end of this death process, his body died.

That happens now to every son of Adam.  Adam’s entire nature changed due to sin.  It happened to you and it happened to me.  We were born on the planet spiritually dead.  We do not care for God, we do not seek God.  Over time our soul – our emotions and our thinking and our decision making power – dies.  We lose the ability to think, we lose the ability to empathize.  We start getting pleased and having positive emotions at negative and sinful situations.  Eventually our body will die, and our sin-filled dead spirit and soul will descend into hell for eternity.The fact is that you were by nature a child of wrath.  By believing in Christ, you have been made righteous, and you can now enter heaven.  All your sins have been forgiven.

The only escape from this is to be born again.  Being born again means that your dead spirit is reborn and is now a living spirit.  Now you can hear the voice of the Lord, your conscience is restored.  Your living spirit will start to influence your soul, and your thinking will become clearer.  And when your body dies, you will ascend to heaven and enjoy heaven.  At an appointed day, your body will be re-created as a sinless and incorruptible body, and you will enjoy a new heaven and a new earth, in the presence of the Lord, forever.

 

But you don’t have to continue living the same way when you become a Christian.  Becoming a Christian isn’t just God wiping the slate clean so you can get into heaven when you die: it is God throwing the slate away and giving you a brand new life: a resurrection life, the life of Christ.  How this works and how you can enjoy this life is the theme of Romans 5.12-Romans 8.  And in the next few days and weeks, we will unpack this for you.

I hope it excites you as much as it does me,

Blessings,

Ben

Run Through Romans (5.6-11)

0

6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

This emphasises the point of the law: to show you that you have no strength.  To show you that you could never achieve righteousness on your own.  Because you could never achieve it on your own, Christ died for you.  He died in your place, becoming your sin, taking your death, bearing the punishment that should be on you.  How wonderful!

7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Before you ever tried to do anything good, before you ever prayed, before you ever fasted, before you ever read your Bible, before you tried to walk in love, Christ died for you because God loves you.  Never, ever doubt the love of God for you: while you were still unrighteous and while you were cursing His name and disrespecting His people, He sent Christ to die for you.  He loves you.  He loved you when you were a rebel.  Now you have tried and failed, do you honestly think he doesn’t love you anymore?  He loves you.  He adores you.

You determine God’s love for you not by your feelings or experiences.  If you try that you will be a yo-yo Christian up and down with your moods and your feelings.  You determine God’s love for you on whether Jesus died or not. 

You commit a sin.  You don’t feel loved by God.  Did Jesus die for you? Yes – then God loves you.

You do something great.  You feel loved by God.  Did Jesus die for you? Yes – then God loves you.

You try to do something and make a mistake.  You feel unloved.  Did Jesus die for you?  Yes – then God loves you.

You have a row with someone.  You disobey the Holy Spirit.  You let everyone down.  You lose control.  Did Jesus die for you?  Yes – then God loves you!

9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Follow Paul’s argument here because it is so powerful and will bring you so much confidence and peace.  Paul is saying that when you were a sinner and a rebel and there was nothing good in you, God loved you so much that He sent Jesus to take your sin and swap it for His righteousness. 

Now you have believed in the love of God and the death and resurrection of Jesus you are righteous.  If God loved you when you were a sinner, how much MORE – now you are justified (made righteous) by Jesus’ blood – are you saved from His wrath.  God will never punish you for sin.

Do you understand that: God will NEVER punish you for your sin.  You could go out and sin right now and God will not punish you for it.  You are righteous because of what Jesus did and are completely free from the wrath of God.

The wrath of God is the element of God’s justice and goodness that demands God punish sin.  Now when you were unrighteous, you were what Ephesians 2 calls “a child of wrath”.  Your whole nature was unrighteous and you deserved the judgment of God.  You lied, you stole, you blasphemed.  You were selfish.  When you died and were judged by God you would have gone to hell.

Now, because of your faith in Jesus you have been given a new nature.  You are not unrighteous anymore, but righteous: this change in your spirit is so monumental that Jesus Himself calls it being “born again”.  God punished Jesus for all your sins and He died on a cross taking your death.  He descended to hell, suffering your punishment.  Now you are now made righteous when you believe in Jesus.

Because you are righteous, you are not under the wrath of God.  In fact, it would be wrong of God to punish you for your sin.  God has already punished Jesus fully for every sin you have committed or ever will commit.  If God punished you for your sin, He would be unjust.   If Jesus has legally taken all the punishment for every sin you have ever committed you are not under the wrath of God.

Put in simple English: God is never going to punish you.  He is not mad with you.  He is not angry with you.  You are righteous.  The Lord God loves you.

Isaiah 54.9 says: For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

Ask any Christian: do you believe that one day there will be another worldwide flood?  They will tell you not a chance – God has promised He will not judge the world with water again.   Ask any Christian: do you believe that God will ever be angry with you or rebuke you again?  They will most likely say: probably lots of times. 

Why? They are basing God’s love for them on their performance and not on the work of the cross and the grace of God.  Read Isa. 54.9 again carefully: as surely as God has promised that there will be no more worldwide floods, He will NOT be angry with you or rebuke you.  Ever.  That is what the Bible says.

You are righteous.  You are right with God.  You are at peace with God.  God is not angry at you.  Stop running away from God, He loves you.  He is not judging you for your sin, He is not holding your sin against you – He already held it against Jesus.  You are free and delivered and safe from the punishment of God.

This is the good news of the gospel!10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

If you realize this, you would joy in God too.  When you were God’s enemy and you hated God, He didn’t wipe you out: He sent His Son to die for you.  Now you are God’s friend, you shall be saved by the life of Jesus.  Jesus lives in you, and God loves you as much as He loves Jesus.  You should be shouting about now if this is sinking in.

We have now received the atonement.  Atonement is a terrible translation of the Greek word katallagē. It should be translated: exchange or reconciliation. 

You have received the exchange: Jesus took your sin and gave you His righteousness.  Say it out loud.  Get used to thinking that you are righteous with the righteousness of God.  That is the truth.  God is not angry with you, God is not going to punish you because you have received the exchange – the greatest exchange in history.  His righteousness for your sin.  God will never, ever deal with you according to your sin.  Most Christians don’t believe that, many ministers don’t preach that but it is the message of the gospel.

You have received the reconciliation: you and God are no longer at war.  The sin issue has been dealt with by Jesus.  You and God are at peace.  God is not about to punish you or rebuke you and that is sealed in the blood of Jesus.

So start to joy in God.  The word for joy here in verse 11 means to boast gladly about.  Boast gladly that you are saved, not because of yourself, but because of Jesus.  Boast gladly that God will never punish you, not because of yourself, but because of Jesus’ blood.

Praise His name forever,

Ben

Soundly Saved (Kirk Cameron)

1

http://www.wayofthemaster.com/mp3/KirkHBKS.m3u

http://www.wayofthemaster.com/mp3/KirkHBKS.zip

I was listening to this sermon this morning when I was stranded on the tube train for 45 minutes.  It was so powerful.  It linked up all the things I have been thinking about as I have been doing the Run Through Romans about the point of the law and how we can be righteous and why Romans is written in such a logical order.  Kirk is easy to listen to, clearly a very humble person, and uses some of the most clear illustrations.  I wish I could communicate this well!

The top link will allow you to listen to the sermon, the bottom link will allow you to download it.

Enjoy,
Ben

Run Through Romans (5.2-5)

0

2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

You see, when we know that we are righteous and that we have peace with God we have full access to the grace of God.  That means we can stand no matter what is going on around us.  Does it really matter who or what declares war on you when God is at peace with you?  You can rejoice no matter what happens because you know that God is at peace with you.

You might have done something selfish and stupid today, but God is at peace with you.  So rejoice!

3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Not only can we stand no matter what happens, we can rejoice in tribulations.  What does this mean?  It means that when you know God is at peace with you, you can declare war on any situation or circumstance.

I remember a long time ago, when I was a little child about seven or eight, I was in the supermarket and I was causing trouble.  I had escaped my mother’s careful eye and I was peeling the oranges around the fruit section and having a right giggle.

This lady, I don’t remember if she worked in the shop or not, decided to tell me off.  In fact, she decided to try and put me over her knee and smack my backside.

I was very cheeky to her but I was actually very nervous, especially when she got a hold of me.  She was twisting my wrist and was about to smack me one when my mother came around the counter.  She yelled at this lady “don’t you mess with my son”, and the lady dropped me immediately.  Suddenly I felt safe again, and started making rude gestures at the lady who simply backed off.

Now my behaviour was wrong, and my mother dealt with it, but the point is this: I wasn’t that ladies’ son and she could not declare war on me because I was at peace with my mother.

You are at peace with God – so glory in tribulation.  People calling you names for being a Christian.  Get excited – what are they really going to do to you in eternity?  Nothing, because you are going to stand before God on judgment day and you have peace with God.  Gives you a chance to preach the gospel to them.

Sickness comes on your body and attacks it.  Glory because God is the Healer and you are at peace with Him.  Bills stacking up, glory because God supplies all your needs and you are at peace with Him.

What your tribulation – your troubles – do is work patience.  Patience in the New Testament simply means consistency.  Anyone can praise God for healing when they are well.  But patient people praise God for healing them no matter what their body feels like, and people like that don’t stay sick for long.  Patient people thank God for His provision before they see it, and see it they will.  There is such a joy in being consistent before the Lord.

4And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

This patience – the power of being consistent in praising God – always leads to experience.  You will experience your healing if you consistently praise God for your healing.  You will experience your freedom and deliverance if you consistently praise God for deliverance.

These verses are not about being patient in suffering, patient in barely scraping by.  That is a lie.  These verses are about being patient (consistent) in praising and glorifying God and thanking God and then experiencing what you are thanking God for.

These experiences then bring hope.  Hope is your imagination.  When you see one healing, you start to dream of other people being healed.  When you receive enough provision to meet your needs, you start hoping for the money to start meeting other’s needs.

Hope means you are a positive person.   When you know you are at peace with God you are positive.  Any trouble in your life just makes you consistently praise and thank God for helping you because you know you are at peace with Him and He is your ally and He will help you.  Your praise brings experience as you see your deliverance happen and then you are a hopeful person.

5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

When you have hope you are never ashamed.  No matter what you go through, you know that you are going through and not camping there.  And that means you are not ashamed.  It is no shame because your righteousness is based on the Lord and not your actions or your experiences.

And the other reason we are not ashamed: God has put His love in our heart.  Notice that this is present tense again: God’s love IS shed abroad in our heart.  Do you know that the full love of God is in your heart right now if you are born again?

There used to be a song sung in some churches: “More love, more power, more of you in my life.”  It has a nice tune, I grant that, but it is completely incorrect Biblically speaking.  If you are born again, the love of God is shed abroad in your heart.  If you are born again, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is inside you.  If you are born again, the Lord lives inside you.

How can you ever have more love, more power and more of God in your life?  It is nonsense.   It would be like if you gave me the keys to your car and I kept wandering around you begging you for the very keys you had already given me.  How would you answer a request like that?  You would be very confused.

I don’t think God is confused, but asking for things you already have is ridiculous.  You have the love of God inside you.

If someone near you is making you want to act unloving, don’t beg God to give you more love for that person.  It is a nonsense prayer – and if you have ever prayed like that (I have!) you will know it simply does not work!

What do you do then? Follow the Scripture: glory in your tribulation.  Notice the Bible says glory IN your tribulation, not glory FOR your tribulation.  Don’t thank God that there is someone you find difficult to love in your life, thank God that the love of God IS in your heart.  Your glory will bring patience: you will be someone who is consistency praising God.

Then your patient and consistent praising of God and thanking Him for the love that He has already put in your heart will become your experience.  You will start to feel the love that you know is inside you.  That will bring about hope.  That is how you deal with trouble in your life.


%d bloggers like this: