Saturday, September 27, 2014

Victory ... then the crash

And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this
 great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst? 
 (Judges 15:18)

Samson was thirsty and ready to die. The difficulty was totally different from any which the hero had met before. Merely to get thirst assuaged is nothing like so great a matter as to be delivered from a thousand Philistines! but when the thirst was upon him, Samson felt that little present difficulty more weighty than the great past difficulty out of which he had so specially been delivered. It is very usual for God's people, when they have enjoyed a great deliverance, to find a little trouble too much for them. Samson slays a thousand Philistines, and piles them up in heaps, and then faints for a little water! Jacob wrestles with God at Peniel, and overcomes Omnipotence itself, and then goes "halting on his thigh!" Strange that there must be a shrinking of the sinew whenever we win the day. As if the Lord must teach us our littleness, our nothingness, in order to keep us within bounds. Samson boasted right loudly when he said, "I have slain a thousand men." His boastful throat soon grew hoarse with thirst, and he betook himself to prayer. God has many ways of humbling His people. Dear child of God, if after great mercy you are laid very low, your case is not an unusual one. When David had mounted the throne of Israel, he said, "I am this day weak, though anointed king." You must expect to feel weakest when you are enjoying your greatest triumph. If God has wrought for you great deliverances in the past, your present difficulty is only like Samson's thirst, and the Lord will not let you faint, nor suffer the daughter of the uncircumcised to triumph over you. The road of sorrow is the road to heaven, but there are wells of refreshing water all along the route. So, tried brother, cheer your heart with Samson's words, and rest assured that God will deliver you ere long.  


- - - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Morning and Evening

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Muhammad Rapes Again

Another heartbreaking example of the way women and girls are treated by "the religion of peace," this time in Syria.  Here is Rawan Milad Al-Dah, who was 16 years old at the time this video was made in 2013.  In addition to the automatic curse of being born in a Mohammedan country, Rawan was also caught up in the struggle between President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian rebels attempting to overthrow him - - - the same rebels being provided with aid and materiel by the Obama administration.  The rebels used Rawan, and only God knows how many others, as unwilling "temporary wives" in their "sexual jihad" (Jihad Al-Nikah).  When they were done with her, they presumably went back to using American weapons to attempt the overthrow of Assad. Listen as Rawan describes, yet again, the fruits of Islam:

video

Make no mistake: there are no "good guys" involved in this conflict. Assad himself is one of the nastiest characters in the Mideast, which is saying quite a bit, and everyone from the United Nations to the Obama administration despises him, which is why America has been arming his opponents.  But now, within the past year, the greater threat has come from ISIS.*  ISIS and the Syrian rebels are now battling for supremacy, while Obama and other Western leaders wonder if they shouldn't join forces with Assad after all.  But that's a geopolitical matter; the treatment of women and children by all Mohammedans, even when the women are coming in from "civilized" countries and whoring themselves out voluntarily, is more personal, and more horrific.  It's impossible to sympathize with Assad or his enemies, but anyone who doesn't curse the name of the demon-possessed Muhammad, when hearing Rawan's story, has a cold heart indeed.


That's Islam, praised by Western leaders as "a great and peaceful religion," and even now engaging in sexual slavery as far from the Mideast as England.  The "religion" of Muhammad: coming soon to an area near you, if it's not already there.


*ISIS, the members of which refer to themselves as "the Islamic State," stands for "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria."  However, such sympathizers as Barack Obama refer to the group as ISIL, meaning "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."  What's the difference?  Very simple, and very telling: the Levant encompasses the West Bank of Israel.  When the Muslims in these various groups quit killing each other (itself a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, Genesis 16:11, 12), they will certainly move on to destroy Israel.  That is the sworn duty of every Muslim alive.


Monday, September 22, 2014

"All the Advantages"

Have you ever known a man or woman of whom it could be said, "They had all the advantages?" Someone who had, not just the necessities of life, but all the "extras," from childhood on?  Money .... fine schooling ... loving parents ... travel ... the "right" friends and contacts ... and, apparently, everything that anyone would need to create a happy, successful life?  Of course you have. We've all known such people.  And have you ever seen such a person simply squander it all, and end up a shipwreck, a "loser," an unmitigated failure?  Yes, you've probably seen that, too.  Or lived it.

We often say that such people were "born with a silver spoon in their mouth."  For the vast majority of the human race, of course, it's not that way.  As The Who sang, years ago: "I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth!"  And some people have no spoon at all.

 


But it doesn't always work out, does it? People write stories and poems about people who had "all the advantages," but came to unhappy ends, like Edwin Arlington Robinson's "Richard Corey." Tragically, there are plenty of real-life Richard Coreys. I've known some.  Maybe you have, too.  I knew a man who was the Mayor of a small Southern town, owned his own business, had a lovely family ... and ended up a suicide. I know a man who was a respected judge in California, and ended up in federal prison. And, apart from such dramatic examples, we've all seen lives that started out with a flash and a happy burst of power ... but ended in misery, anguish, and poverty.

 
We've also seen, or heard about, the apparent opposite: people who were born with none of the advantages, but through hard work and vision, enjoyed great worldly success.  Many professional athletes fit into this category.  We admire their stories ... but even then, some of them can't handle the success, and go into a downward spiral of poverty or drugs or multiple marriages, none of which seem to work out.

 
How different it is for the man or woman who knows Jesus Christ!  For those who have received Jesus Christ according to John 1:12, the beginning doesn't determine the end, and they're not reliant on their own talent or cleverness or "advantages" to achieve what God wants in their lives.  Of course, this also applied to those people in the Old Testament who, while not knowing Jesus, followed the true God faithfully.  Life isn't a bed of roses for such people, of course, and God often leads a Christian from one problem to another .... but God is leading, and controlling the situation.

Do you remember Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, and grandson of King Saul? He was certainly born into a distinguished line, but things fell apart quickly. Saul and Jonathan both died at the Battle of Mount Gilboa, when Mephibosheth was only five years old (1 Samuel 31). His nurse, in a panic, fled the royal palace, and accidentally dropped the child, causing him to be permanently lame (2 Samuel 4:4).  Now he was an orphan, injured, and on the run, at five years old!  "All the advantages" had disappeared overnight ... except one.



Because, years later, King David was thinking about Jonathan, who had been his dearest friend, and wanted to do something for him. And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake? And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet .... Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am? Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house. Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table (2 Samuel 9:1-10, selected).

That's how Mephibosheth had come to see himself: as a "dead dog."  But David blessed him in a way he had never dreamed possible, simply for the sake of someone else.  Just as God the Father blesses every Christian, for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ.

We may never eat at the King's table in this world, but we have the King's constant and eternal Presence with us.  Talk about an "advantage!"

 
There was another man who was apparently born with "all the advantages," and didn't lose them. But he never received the blessing that Mephibosheth had .... because he rejected it.

 
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich (Luke 18:18-23).

He was rich, was some sort of "ruler," and, apparently, an upright man, at least morally.  He only had one problem.  He wasn't willing to meet Jesus on Jesus' own terms. He was drawn to Christ; he recognized His authority.  But when Jesus got to the "bottom line," he rejected him.  And there have always been more "rich young rulers," who are unwilling to receive God's kindness, than Mephibosheths, who are willing.


Jesus doesn't want us to sell all of our possessions, of course: at least, not as a condition of salvation.  (He may lead individuals to do certain things after conversion, or He may not.) He wants us to be born again, by an act of the will, as described in John 3:3-8. And after we've done that, we have an advantage that even some of the greatest heroes of the Bible didn't have.

Moses was used of God as few people in history have been used; but, apart from a few conversations with God, he didn't have constant access to, or fellowship with, the Lord Jesus Christ.  We do.

 
King David never had the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit, nor did anyone else before Jesus' Resurrection.  But we do .... even when we mess things up.

The disciples of Christ, who walked with Him for three years, never had constant, intimate, uninterrupted fellowship with him ... but we can.

Perhaps you were born with a plastic spoon in your mouth, or no spoon at all.  Perhaps you had "all the advantages," but blew them all, and disappointed so many people, yourself most of all.  But once you come to Christ ... or even fifty years after you've come to Christ ... none of that matters.  Every day is a new day, every failure brings us closer to God's next great victory in our lives, and His blessings are "new every morning."

In the words of my grandfather: "The past is prologue, the present is unparalleled, and the future is as great as our faith in God."

Keep going!   Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (1 Corinthians 2:9)!

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

True Allies

As the United States furthers its attacks on the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), many nations seem to be allied in the fight – nations not usually thought of as American partners. Writing at The Times of Israel’s blog, Ari Ingel warns that these “allies” are only using the U.S. for their own interests, and that Israel is America’s only true ally:
For all the hoopla that America has a coalition ready to do battle, privately, all of these countries are acting more in their own self-interest than supporting America in this fight.
While Saudi Arabia may help train and funnel some weapons to the Free Syrian Army, numerous wealthy Saudi families provide funding to ISIS and other Islamic Fundamentalist groups in Syria and Iraq. Many young Saudi men are also flooding to Syria and Iraq to fight on behalf of ISIS.  These are the same sort of men that took down the World Trade Center on 9/11 and who will be fighting against America in the Levant. 
Qatar is currently engulfed in a political war with Saudi Arabia and Egypt for influence in the region and view everything they do through this lens. They have also been one of the biggest sponsors of Islamic Fundamentalism in the region, funneling money and support to various groups. Remember, they are the only country in the region where the Taliban are welcome and essentially have an embassy.
In Iraq, the Shiite rulers are using America’s muscle to once again help defeat their former Sunni rulers and are much more closely aligned with Iran, Assad’s regime in Syria and Hezbollah, than America.  Meanwhile, Hezbollah, who essentially controls Lebanon, will turn their guns on America like they did in the Marine barracks bombing in 1983, as soon as they have a chance.
Turkey on the other hand has openly rebuffed America’s invitation to join their coalition. The Islamification and dictatorial rule of Turkey continues to grow under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey’s borders remain the major entry point for radical Sunni fighters fighting in Syria and Iraq, as Turkey works to counter both Kurdish and Shia power in those countries. Turkey was also a major supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and is currently no friend to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Don’t be confused; this is not George H.W. Bush’s coalition from the first Gulf War, but rather an imagined alignment of competing interests who all distrust the “Great Satan” and are using American muscle only so far as it suites their own national interests …
Israel on the other hand, will once again be America’s only true ally in the region and remains the only country in the region that shares America’s values. Israel probably has better intelligence on what is going on in Syria than any other country and will be counted on greatly behind the scenes in this battle against ISIS. Israel also has supplied military equipment and training to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces currently fighting ISIS in Iraq and has even stated that they will come to Jordan’s defense in the event ISIS decides to expand the battlefield there. America will also undoubtedly have to employ many of the same tactics Israel just used in Gaza, as ISIS is heavily embedded into the civilian populations of both Iraq and Syria. For some reason I doubt we will see the same media storm in the West when America is on the attack, although you better bet ISIS will try to exploit these attacks as a major recruitment tool...
The defeat of ISIS is also only just the beginning. Once defeated, the questions of how to achieve peace in Syria, Iraq and beyond will still have to be tackled, in addition to dealing with the thousands of European and American jihadist fighters returning to their home countries to cause chaos. To do that, it will take a true coalition.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Following

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me ...  (John 10:27-28)

We should follow our Lord as unhesitatingly as sheep follow their shepherd, for He has a right to lead us wherever He pleases. We are not our own, we are bought with a price - - - let us recognize the rights of the redeeming blood. The soldier follows his captain, the servant obeys his master, much more must we follow our Redeemer, to whom we are a purchased possession. We are not true to our profession of being Christians, if we question the bidding of our Leader and Commander. Submission is our duty, objecting is our folly. Often might our Lord say to us as to Peter, "What is that to thee? Follow thou Me." Wherever Jesus may lead us, He goes before us. If we know not where we go, we know with whom we go. With such a companion, who will dread the perils of the road? The journey may be long, but His everlasting arms will carry us to the end. The presence of Jesus is the assurance of eternal salvation, because He lives, we shall live also. We should follow Christ in simplicity and faith, because the paths in which He leads us all end in glory and immortality. It is true they may not be smooth paths - - - they may be covered with sharp flinty trials, but they lead to the "city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." "All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant." Let us put full trust in our Leader, since we know that, come prosperity or adversity, sickness or health, popularity or contempt, His purpose shall be worked out, and that purpose shall be pure, unmingled good to every heir of mercy. We shall find it sweet to go up the bleak side of the hill with Christ; and when rain and snow blow into our faces, His dear love will make us far more blest than those who sit at home and warm their hands at the world's fire. To the top of Amana, to the dens of lions, or to the hills of leopards, we will follow our Beloved. Precious Jesus, draw us, and we will run after Thee. 


- - - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Morning and Evening

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Death of Sweden

Here's an interesting video from Sweden, which describes some of the changes that have taken place in that unfortunate country. We'll have more to say about it momentarily.

video 

Nothing in that video is particular shocking, of course, except for the raw statistics.  The entire world has been observing the Muslim conquest of northern Europe - - - and, because of cowardice and political correctness, "observing" is all that the world's been doing.  But the most striking thing about the video is that it was created five years ago, in 2009.  That was before ISIS, the "Islamic State," and the rise of the so-called "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria.  Although rape, murder, and pedophilia inevitably accompany Mohammedanism wherever it goes, the video was produced when the Muslim rape gangs were just getting started, and long before they became such a horrific problem in England.  And it was before countless individual acts of sexual assault, murder, and every form of barbarity known to man became quite so commonplace.  Those were happening five years ago, but not to the degree that they are today.  Why?  The answers are simple: more Muslim immigrants, and more cowardice and inaction by the governments.  As the video points out, and as the daily headlines remind us, European politicians who oppose Islam in an outspoken way are shouted down and marginalized by their "moderate" colleagues - - - exactly as they are in America.  There is one difference: in Europe, there are more brave politicians than there are in the United States, and no European leader actually wants the Muslims to prevail.  Barack Hussein Obama does.

Europe and America needs more leaders, true leaders, like Oskar Freysinger.  Europe has a few; America and Canada have virtually none, although Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a bright light in this regard.  But he can't shine too brightly, or speak out too boldly, or the Parliamentary system will replace him.

I could post much worse videos than the one above: truly graphic videos of beheadings, stonings, and other atrocities.  But I prefer not to inflict them on the readers of this blog.  The five year old video above, which merely represents one European nation. should be enough for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear.

Islam is the filthiest and most unspeakably barbaric "religion" in the history of the world.  Even the idolaters of the Old Testament can't surpass it.  Islam cannot, and must not, be allowed to "co-exist" with civilized societies.

If "the Islamic State" wants a war, we should give it to them: not in a stupid, endless ground invasion like Iraq or Afghanistan, but by bombing and assassinating every Muslim stronghold and every Muslim "religious" leader in the Middle East, and stopping all Muslim immigration to any Western nation.  They will understand nothing else.  It's them, or civilization. 



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dead Reckoning

It's a simple enough question ... and one that virtually every Christian has asked himself or herself at some time.  Too often,  it's a question that comes up again and again, and it deals with one of the greatest frustrations of the Christian life: how do I get victory over sin?

I'm not talking about being saved from sin: that was made possible by the victory that Jesus won on Calvary. I'm talking about the daily, mundane, nuts and bolts issue of resisting and avoiding a particular sin, or sins, to which you might be prone.  We all know that "will power" isn't the answer, except in isolated instances; but that's usually not a lasting solution. For the man or woman who has received Christ according to John 1:12, there are several very good answers: we're not without hope, and God has shown us how to deal with various temptations.  One way was described in our earlier post, Bloodbath.  We need to allow God to purge our conscience from dead works by the blood of Christ, as explained in the earlier post.

But there's another method, and we might call it "dead reckoning." Actually, that's a navigational term: it refers to a method of calculating a ship or plane's current position by a previous position, the speed of the vessel, etc.  It's rarely used any more, but, along with celestial navigation, is one of the oldest methods of plotting a course.  But that's not what it means for a Christian: which is good, because it can be complicated!


This means of resisting or avoiding sin is found in Paul's epistle to the Romans: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 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. 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. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God (Romans 6:1-13).

Now, if you've never received Jesus Christ as your Saviour, if you've never been born again, that passage of scripture means nothing to you.  It's nonsense; it's just empty words. For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned  (1 Corinthians 2:14).  For you, the issue is not how to get victory over sin; the issue is "What are you going to do with Jesus Christ?"  Are you going to receive Him, or are you going to reject Him as you've been doing? Until you've actually been saved, you might as well quit reading this post; you may be very intelligent, but you won't understand it.

Every Christian has two natures.  His "old nature" is the one he was born with: the one who is well-behaved at times, and misbehaves at other times; the one who may have a "kind heart" but a sharp and hurtful tongue; the one who often wants to do the right thing, but instead chooses to do the wrong thing.  This is a man or woman in their "natural" state, before they are redeemed and transformed by Jesus Christ.  When a man or woman is saved, they get a new nature: they become, literally, a new person. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). That's why receiving Christ is called being "born again"  (John 3:3-8).  

But the "old nature" doesn't go away.  It stays with the Christian until the day he or she dies.  In the Bible, this old nature is also called "the flesh" - - - and it's with us until our body is dead.

(I should acknowledge that some Christians, notably Pentecostals and some "truly Reformed" theologians, dispute the idea of two natures.  But we won't worry about them.  When the Bible is clear, "theology" can go straight to Hell.) 


When we're saved, however, our  new nature, in the Image of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is supposed to be in control.  But it doesn't always work out that way, does it?  We find ourselves stumbling into sin, or walking into it with our eyes wide open: and the sin can be anything from envy or self-righteousness to gluttony to actual crimes.  People think of "sin" as murder or adultery, and those things certainly qualify, but it's not that simple.  (We often have a nasty tendency to think of "sin" as "what the other guy does.")  If your old nature had a tendency toward sexual matters, then sexual things will always be there to tempt you.  If you were a lush (pardon me, a "social drinker"), liquor might always tempt you. The desire to please the flesh, to indulge the old nature, is the same, whether you're tempted by a lottery ticket, a crack pipe, or just an "extra" chocolate éclair.
gluttonous

But this constant battle between the old and new nature, which is described so vividly by Paul in the 7th chapter of Romans, isn't really necessary. Because not only did Christ defeat the Enemy to save our souls at Calvary, He also provided a way for us to escape temptation.  And we might as well call it "dead reckoning."

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (Rom. 6:3)  Paul is referring here, not to our water baptism, if we've had one, but to our baptism, our immersion, in Christ Himself at the time of our conversion.  (Water baptism is simply a symbol of that, and has nothing to do with becoming a Christian.)  This is the "one baptism" of Ephesians 4:5.  And it means that in a spiritual sense, our old nature, our "old man," was nailed to the Cross with Jesus, and died with Him.

Think about that for a minute.  Think what that means.

The old nature - - - the part of me that sins, or is tempted to sin - - - was crucified with Jesus.  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20). Our crucifixion with Christ wasn't just a one-time thing: our old nature was slain with Jesus, but, to have daily victory, we must recognize and realize and appropriate that fact. (That's why Paul said, I die daily, 1 Corinthians 15:31.)  We need to remember that our old nature is dead.  We have to "reckon ourselves dead."

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. For he that is dead is freed from sin (Romans 6:6-7).

We need to see this very clearly.  We are new creatures in Christ, made in His Image, with all the power of the Holy Spirit living inside our bodies. But we're still carrying around the corpse of the "old nature."  As long as we're alive in this world, that corpse will be riding on our backs.  But we need to remember that it's dead.

Because it doesn't act dead!  It yells in our ear and jabs us in the ribs all the time.  My flesh says, "I'm tense.  I've got a lot on my mind.  I need a drink.  How about some dark Bacardi?  Or maybe just a few beers.  I need it!"  But the "new man," the new creature in Christ, replies, "Shut up! You're dead!  You don't need anything!"  A woman's husband acts like a fool, and her flesh says, "Why, who does he think he is?  I have every right to smack him across his stupid face!"  And her new nature says, or should say, "You have no rights.  Hush up.  You're dead!"  A sexual temptation presents itself, and our flesh sounds off, whining like a child: "I need it!  I really need it!"  And the new nature replies, "You need nothing of the kind. You're dead.  Be quiet."

old

Someday, our bodies will die, and this "old man" will finally shut up. He'll be dead and buried; we won't be carrying him or her around any more. And he'll join the other dead folks in the cemetery.  And when you look at the little cemetery  pictured above, or think of a bigger, more lush, "scenic" cemetery, you can be assured of one thing: nobody in those graves is having any problems with temptation.  None of them are looking for their next hit of dope, or their next drink; none of them are having sexual thoughts about each other. The only time there's temptation or sin in a graveyard is when living people are present!

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:9-11).

Consider the implications of those three verses!  Paul associates Jesus' Resurrection from the dead - - - the very centerpiece of the Christian faith - - - with our ability to resist and avoid sin.  Just as death has no more control over Christ, sin has no more control over us - - - unless we allow it.

"Dead reckoning" involves more, however, than being dead to sin.  Yes, it's good to know that we don't have to hate or gossip or kill or steal; but, really, that's not saying much.  You could say that much about a rock.  The real secret of victory is not in what we're dead to (sin), but what we're alive to: the Lord Jesus Christ, His Person, personality, and power.  He's present with us too, just like the corpse of the dead man; but He's alive, and powerful, and eternally loving, leading us through this world with strength and purpose.  We need to recognize that we're dead to sin - - - but that we're alive to Jesus Christ.  Alive to His word, and His Spirit, and His people.  When we realize that, and get excited about that, life will be all that it can be - - - and all that God intends it to be.

Sad to say, many Christians, on a practical level, act as though they're dead to Jesus Christ, and only excited about their passions and fancies.  They spend their lives serving themselves, i.e., their old selves.  As one preacher said, they're spending their lives running errands for a corpse.

But that doesn't have to be true of you and me.  If we "reckon ourselves dead to sin, but alive to Christ," we'll experience a continuing victory over our temptations that will  last until we see Jesus face to face!

What a Christ!

Ecstatic girl