Read Romans 4
Before we "do right" we have to "be right" with the Lord (Rom. 4:16-25). Faith brings joy (5:1-2). Jesus transforms us from enemies to family and friends, from death to life (5:10,17). With sin's power broken (6:1-14), we are free to obey God (6:15-23).The battle between the flesh and the spirit (7:7-25).
The more we understand the horrible suffering and death of Jesus and the glory and power of His resurrection, the more we will desire to walk in newness of life, daily expressing the life of Christ within us. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (Rom. 6:4-6).
Our Lord pays attention to everything we say, and said: A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things and . . . Every idle word that men may speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matt. 12:35-37). Because of this we need to recognize the seriousness of smutty, questionable "jokes." The Word of God warns: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifiying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Eph. 4:29). Note that Paul isn't saying we can't joke about last night's weather and a million other wholeseome subjects.The purpose of our conversations is to build people up.
Paul was primarily referring to improper joking concerning sexual or other other evil and questionable matters when the Holy Spirit led him to write: But fornication, and all uncleanness ,or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolator, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God ( 5:3-6).
It is the glorious indwelling power of His physical resurrection that not only frees us from sin's control but also daily inspires us to walk in newness of life. Followers of Christ are dead indeed unto sin. . . . Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof (Rom. 6:4,11-12).
Our old "natural" man is still capable of yielding to the sinful desires of the flesh. But, Christ has made it possible to be more than conquerors through Him (8:37).
Thought for Today:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof (Prov. 18:21).
4:8 will not impute sin no longer regards as a sinner; 7:8 concupiscence evil desires or lust; covetousness.
For Rom. 4:3: See Gen. 15:6. Rom. 4:7-8: See Ps. 32:1-2. Rom. 4:17: See Gen. 17:5. Rom. 4:18: See Gen. 15:5. Rom. 7:7: See Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21.
Pray for Government Officials: Vice-President Joseph Biden, Jr., Gov. Matt Blunt (MO), and Rep. James McGovern (MA) • Country: Ireland (3.7 million) off the coast of western Europe • Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) • Religious freedom • 92% Catholic; 3.7% Anglican; 1% Other Protestant; .2% Muslim; .1% Jewish; 2% Other; 1% None • Prayer Suggestion: Seek God as more important than food to satisfy your hunger (Prov. 3:13-18).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Timothy 4:5