"I believe that if the Church of Jesus Christ as a whole would realize that they can live a balanced life of victory, the world would then see the glory of God like they've never seen it before. In addition, many people who have struggled with sin for so long would be freed by the principles found in God's Holy Word."
These are words taken from today's BIBLE MESSAGE written by my 28 year old son John.
After reading through this message, I believe that you will agree that this is VERY GOOD PREACHING. This "word" from the Lord is so liberating. It offers the "key" to victory that so many have struggled to find.
Many readers who have struggled in their walk with the Lord are going to "taste" victory for the first time. This "word from the Lord" is going to set you free - making you FREE INDEED!
Tap into the RESURRECTION POWER that is available for you today - through Jesus Christ - the Risen Savior!
Praying that His Life will conquer all sin and death in your life,
Balancing Your Life
Christianity is based around the death and resurrection of Christ. After all, the most important work that Jesus did while on earth was not what He did in the thirty - two and a half years prior to His death. The most important work that He did was in the last moments of His life on earth - His dying on the cross and being raised from the dead. These events are the basis for the whole of Christianity.
The preaching of these events was what caused such persecution to come on the early church. The events themselves are what separate the Christian dogma from that of other faiths and religions. No other religious belief system has ever had a leader who died and then came back to life again. This can only be said of one man; and that man is Jesus Christ.
When sceptics and scoffers attack the Christian faith, they most often attack the death and resurrection of Christ. They know that if they can prove at least one of these two events to be wrong, they will shipwreck the whole of Christianity; for it is based solely around Christ's death and resurrection.
There is much emphasis on the significance of the death of Christ in Christianity, yet little emphasis (apart from at Easter) on the significance of Christ's resurrection. Many churches have crosses for steeples. Others have crosses at the front of their platforms or above their baptisteries. Some have pictures in stained glass windows of Jesus dying on the cross. Many believers also wear crosses around their necks as a sign of their faith.
These things are all good, because they remind believers that their debt was paid - in - full by Jesus on the cross. They are also a help to remind them to walk the crucified life (a life of death to self, and of relinquishing one's will to do the will of God, as Jesus did).
Yet sadly, in the church today little emphasis is given to the resurrection of Christ. Even less emphasis is given to the significance of the resurrection.
Now most of us know that the resurrection of Christ sealed the deal. It was the event that proved that Christ had power over death, hell, and the grave (Romans 1:4, Revelation 1:8). After all, if Christ had not risen, our faith would be in vain (1 Corinthians 15:14-15).
But how many of us realize the significance of Christ's resurrection with regards to balancing our lives and making them line up with God's Word?
The resurrection didn't just prove that Jesus is God. It also proved that there is no excuse for not being able to live the Christian life.
Romans 6:4 - 11 says - "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 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. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (NKJV)
Jesus is our example. In the above verses, Paul tells the Romans that just as Jesus died to sin once, believers must also die to sin. (Now let me make it clear that Jesus didn't die to sin in the same way they have to. He was the spotless lamb of God Who died for the sins of the world. He who knew no sin, took on Himself the sins of the world, so that they could be made righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21) ). Just as Jesus had to die physically, they must identify with Christ in a death to their pasts and old natures of sinful rebellion.
We all know that a person that is dead cannot sin. Romans 8:7 brings this out - "For he who has died has been freed from sin." (NKJV)
Once a person dies, they are freed from sin in the sense that they are unable to do anything else good or bad to affect their destinies of either being sentenced to heaven or hell. Even the greatest despots like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin can no longer affect society (or even themselves) by their sins. They are dead. Their bodies have decomposed long ago. Their spirits are in hell, awaiting the day of the Great White Throne judgment - when God will open the books and judge the unbelieving and the wicked (Revelation 20:11-15). They can no longer rebel against God or kill the innocent. They are dead.
So the first point in living a balanced life is that you must die.
Of course, I'm not talking physical death here, but figurative death. You must die, as Jesus did - to the flesh, the life of sin, or the life you once lived.
You may be asking, "What does this have to do with living a balanced life?"
Just hold on because it will make sense at the end of this message.
You must be crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).
Now let's look again at Romans 6:6 - " 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." (KJV)
The Amplified Bible says it this way - "We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin."
Now many people stop right here. They try to live a crucified life, without ever trying to live a resurrected life. They try to deny themselves and discipline themselves into living a holy life. But this doesn't work. They fail to realize that just as Jesus had to be raised from the grave, so they must also be raised from being spiritually dead by the power of God.
This death and resurrection with Christ is to happen simultaneously at the point of salvation. It is demonstrated to the world in Baptism.
Romans 6:3-4 states - "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (KJV)
There would be no benefit to us if Jesus had simply died on the cross and was never raised from the dead. Likewise, there is no benefit to the person who wants to die with Christ, but does not want to be raised with Him to walk in newness of life.
Simply dying with Christ and not walking out the new, resurrected life produces confused, confessing, church - goers. They walk the aisle at almost every altar call. They never can quite get all the junk out of their lives. They are always revisiting the dying process - hoping that this time maybe they can get it right. They are constantly confessing a fault or sin, but have no power to change or quit the actions that cause them to sin.
There is no benefit to living this kind of life. There is no grace to walk differently. Because of this, many of these so - called Christians formulate doctrines to ease their consciences. They believe that they can never do what is right; so they must live a life of constantly asking for forgiveness for the same sins. They die with Christ every week, then revive and go back to doing the same old things that they did before their "death."
But Paul tells us the second point for living a balanced life is to live the resurrected life with Christ.
He says "...That like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).
Jesus wasn't just resurrected so that we as believers could boast on Sunday mornings and say, "We serve a risen Savior; and no other religion can say that."
(Of course, the fact that we serve a risen Savior is essential to the Christian faith. It is the foundation of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ our mediator).
But I submit that one of the main reasons Jesus came out of the grave was to show us that we could live a new life just like He does. It was to show us that we could have power over sin and walk in victory just like He does.
You see, when Jesus came out of the grave, He didn't come out limping from the beating He received. He didn't come out crawling because He couldn't use His feet, due to the fact that the pain was so intense from the nail wounds. He didn't ask His disciples to take care of Him for months while He recovered from the effects of the cross.
No, Jesus came out of the grave with a new body - a glorified body. It was not subject to pain, sickness, disease, death, or the limitations of a normal body. He was able to walk through walls and do things that were impossible with a normal human body (John 20:19).
Although He still had the scars from His crucifixion in His body, these did not hinder Him or cause Him discomfort, as they would a normal human being. Jesus was crucified with a normal man's body, but He was raised with a glorified body. The Father raised Him to life with a supernatural body.
Now here is why Jesus' being raised with a new, glorified body is so important to you and me. Remember, the Bible says, "Like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
Just as Jesus came out of the grave with a supernatural body, we, too, were raised with Him (at the moment of salvation) with supernatural desires. We are to then live supernatural lives through the power of the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus did.
See, it is natural for a human to be obstructed by walls, but Jesus in His glorified body was not. In the same way, it's natural for us to want to sin. Since birth, we've wanted to do wrong things. But now that we have been resurrected with Christ, we are called to live supernatural lives that desire to please God and do what is right.
When I ministered in jail, many men would cry and say, "I've tried to do what's right, but I can't. I went to church, read the Bible, even prayed sometimes, but then temptation came along and I fell for it." I would then explain to them about living supernaturally through the power of Christ's resurrection.
I would say, "When you truly get saved, you are called to live a supernatural life. That means that it might be natural for you to want to lust on women and look at porn. But you must live supernaturally as Jesus did. It might be natural for you to go to parties, get drunk, get high, and get into immorality and debauchery, but you must live supernaturally through the power of the Spirit. A supernatural man wants to resist temptation and live for God. He has new desires, a new heart, and a new nature (2 Peter 1:4). He may do something that is wrong at times, but immediately he is convicted and repents because his new nature tells him that what he has done is not natural, but is wrong."
Now here's the third and last step to living a balanced life. After you have been raised with Christ, you must reckon.
I love this word reckon. It is an old English word that means - "to count or consider." It is a financial term that is used to describe balancing books or settling accounts. It is comparable to when a person writes a check, then reckons or considers that money to be gone from his account. Even though the money has not changed hands yet or been placed into another account, the person writing the check, in order to balance his check book, will reckon that money gone.
Paul says that, after we have died and been raised again with Christ, we must - "...Reckon...to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:11 NKJV).
This is how we live a balanced life. This is how we keep our spiritual check books balanced. We must consider that, even though we live in a fleshly body which gets tempted, we have died, been buried, and been raised with Christ. We are supernatural beings with new desires. We have died to sin, and cannot participate in it any longer.
The reckoning puts the nail in the coffin. It seals the deal. It says, "My sins were taken away at the cross, I was raised with a supernatural nature, and now I'm going to act like it. I may not see it totally manifested in my life yet, and I may still fight hard against temptation, but I consider it done. My sins have been taken out of my account and placed into Jesus' account; and I'm not taking them back. They have been deducted from my life's check book. They are gone. I reckon it so in Jesus' name."
So why not live a balanced life today?
If you haven't done so already - die, experience resurrection with Christ, then balance the books and consider it done.
Reckon it so in Jesus' name.
Victory over sin and the flesh is yours for the taking.
Because of Christ's resurrection, you can live a balanced life in the Spirit.
I believe that if the Church of Jesus Christ as a whole would realize that they can live a balanced life of victory, the world would then see the glory of God like they've never seen it before. In addition, many people who have struggled with sin for so long would be freed by the principles found in God's Holy Word.