Tuesday, May 6, 2014
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17 KJV).
Today’s Scripture is the key to being delivered from and guarded against today’s apostate Christendom.
Christendom’s greatest blunder has been to willfully disregard Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, and prefer other Bible books and/or extra-Biblical church tradition. Beloved, once we abandon Paul’s epistles, we have nothing but the Bible’s legalistic (Law-keeping) passages—almsgiving, food restrictions, water baptism, fasting, tithing, prosperity prayer promises, confession of sins, Sabbath-day and feast-day observances, et cetera—the very practices and ceremonies Christendom loves. No wonder Christendom avoids Paul—the doctrine God revealed through him does not profit their denominations (yea, that doctrine would literally bankrupt their systems instead)!
In the books of Romans through Philemon, Paul, “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13), tells us what the risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ has to say to us on this side of Calvary’s cross (not in the Old Testament); in this, the Dispensation of Grace (not the Dispensation of Law); as members of this, the Church the Body of Christ (not the nation Israel); in this, the mystery program (not the prophetic program); and in this, God’s heavenly plan (not His earthly plan). Dispensational Bible study—“rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)—allows us to recognize the passages that describe how the Christian life operates today.
Just as we trusted Paul’s Gospel—Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the fully-satisfying payment for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—to be saved from everlasting hellfire, so we trust in it to be saved from daily sins. When Jesus Christ resurrected, He was raised to give us new life, eternal life (Romans 6:1-23, the context of today’s Scripture), life “filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11). We are righteous before God in Christ; by Jesus Christ’s resurrection life, God will produce fruit in our lives to reflect that identity. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the Person who (literally!) “brings to life” the life of Jesus Christ in our lives….