Welcome to the May 13th newsletter.
Friday the 13th
Happy Friday the 13th. A lot of people are afraid of this day, but some of the research I have read concerning its origin is very interesting. Briefly, the Jewish day changes at sunset. Non-Jewish days change at midnight. When Israel was in bondage in Egypt, and when God sent the angel of death to kill the firstborn, that occurred on the 14th of Nissan, just after sunset. This means for the Egyptians it was the 13th, a Friday. Hence, it was a bad day for Egypt. Now, I am not absolutely sure of this information but I have heard it from more than one source. At the very least, it is interesting.
The Austin "Faith and Reason" conference was a success. I spoke on the topic of "Theology in Sneakers." It is a class where I leave Christian theology into everyday relevance. In the process, I try and convict and encourage the listeners to study their theology. It is very important for Christians to know why they believe what they do. Unfortunately, far too few Christians know the doctrines of their faith very well. Anyway, it was a great conference and I had the privilege of meeting several great speakers. I'm already looking forward to the next conference in Austin, Texas. Oh, one last thing, I hope to have the recording of my class available on CARM in the next few weeks.
Shall we continue in sin?
The sanctification of our souls before God is a very serious thing. This is true because our sanctification is ultimately insured by the blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, for those of us who are redeemed, for those of us who have trusted in Christ, for those of us who claim to follow Jesus, we are not to continue in the ways of the world because we have been bought with a very costly life.
In the text, Paul had just got through mentioning that where sin increases, the grace of God abounds all the more. But Paul is quick to clarify that we are not to be careless in our walk with God. We are not to sin more so that more grace is received. This is not the point of our salvation. Rather, Paul is telling us that even though there are small sins and greater sins, God's grace is sufficient to cover the greatest of sin. He's not giving us a license to sin. On the contrary, through Paul, God says "May it never be." We are not to abide in sin. These words should speak to our hearts because we need to be careful that we are not becoming complacent in our habits. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins so that we might turn from them and bring honor and glory to God through repentance.
Look at what Paul says in verse two above. He says "How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" Have you died? Have you died to sin? If you are a Christian, then you have. But you might ask, "If I have died to sin, then why do I still struggle with it?" The answer is simple. In God's eyes, because you are in Christ, and because Christ so perfectly represented you, that when Christ died, God sees you as having died with Him. God certainly knows that you struggle with your sin, but because you are so perfectly represented in Christ, it can be said of you that you have died to sin. Victory is already realized!