He came to set the captive free…


Jesus? Who needs him?

Millions are living every day thinking that God is taking account of not only the bad things they do but also the good and some time in the end of all things God will weigh the good against the bad and hopefully the scales of justice will tilt in their favor.

Whoops, there’s a problem. This is what the Bible says the truth is.

7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:7)

“Does not….”, “cannot” please God? Yes. If you are not trusting (having faith in…) God, that is, depending on Christ’s work on your behalf, you “do not” and “cannot” please God. Your plan is in shambles, it’s a No Go!

In the earlier verses of Romans 8 those who are God’s own people are contrasted by those who are only “flesh”, whose minds only think in terms of “flesh”. It speaks of those who only live to please themselves. What I want, what I desire, me, me, me.

Another passage also describes those who have not turned themselves in, (so to speak), to God.

14The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Here, the contrast is “spiritual” vs. “natural” man. “Spiritual” refers to one in whom God dwells by the Holy Spirit which is true of every true believer in Jesus and his work for them.

There is a reason why Christian teaching, (Bible thumper’s), is silly to you. You are “not able to understand” because you are only natural, or not spiritual.

These verses, if true, are shocking and sobering facts. Not only are you not on God’s good side, you can’t get there on your own. Your mind is captive, your will is limited to only what does not and cannot please God.

Maybe it’s time to wave the white flag! Surrender! Listen to the ancient plea.

Repent! (change your mind about the course of your life, do a mental about-face) Believe the good news about Jesus and what he has accomplished for you.

The crime for not pleasing God is a capital offence. There are no exceptions. Break one tiny bit of God’s law and you are guilty of it all. The punishment is to perish, to be cut off from God and good forever.

But God came in flesh, lived a perfect life, for you. He was obedient in every detail on your behalf. He took all your mess ups (sins) upon himself and died as a common criminal for you. He died in your place. The result is two-fold.

God, who is just and holy, can now declare anyone “not guilty” because Jesus paid their penalty in full. And He can declare them righteous based on the complete obedience of Jesus on their behalf.

You get a Get Out of Jail Free card when you put your whole trust in Jesus.

Jesus spoke the following words to a Jewish leader, one who was high up in rank in the religion of the Jews. Shockingly, though he was one of the best and brightest he was lacking what God requires. So Jesus said to him…

 16“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (John 3:16-19)

This is really, really good news!

Royce

 

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