April 22, 2010

The World's Lifestyle is a Deathstyle

Any lifestyle that does not have Christ at the center or lead to Christ is a deathstyle.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ~John 14:6

The more we sin the more we die. The atoning act of Christ justifies us. This get us back to the "0" line. Sanctification moves us into the positive side of the line.

Death/Sin (-10 . . . . 0 . * . . +10) Life/Holy

Increment by increment we move closer to holiness in our relationship with Jesus. Please notice I said relationship. It is a love of person/God not a religion. In our Christian walk we should be moving closer and closer to Christ in action and deed. It is not the deeds that save us they are only manifestations of the Spirit at work in us. Removal of God from our lives allows death in. Allowing sin in kills us because sin is worthy of death.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ~Romans 6:23

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. ~Ephesians 2:8-9

It is rather simple to deduce from the readings. If it isn't life, the eternal life promised us for our faith through grace, it is then death. The death that condemns us to eternal separation from a holy & magnificent mighty God. Putting it into practice everyday is another story. When we call on God to assist us in this pursuit of life it should remain easy...but we don't always do that do we? No. We cave in to the flesh. The fleshy nature of our fallen being wants to take charge and we stumble.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~Ephesians 2:8-9

Man is dead in sin (spiritual) but when he approaches Jesus on the cross and accepts what Christ did man becomes dead to sin. For no man continues to sin habitually/willingly after being saved because he has Christ in him. We can best avoid our "slip-ups" by staying in constant relation with the Lord.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world... ~Ephesians 2:1-2

Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in Him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. ~1 John 3:9

Like the analogy of a seed. His seed (God's) germinates in us, grows and like the seed in nature it pushes outward forcing everything else out that is in you (corruption, unrighteousness) until there is nothing but what the seed produced (holiness, righeousness). If the seed was Jesus than only Jesus will be in you if you allow it to grow to full fruition. You will also produce fruit. Fruit that a plant produces is actually an overabundance of life in the plant or self. Fruit also carries within itself the mechanism to produce more life also.

God/Christ = Holy Path
No God/antichrist = Worldly Path
Holy Path & Righteousness = Life
Worldly Path & Unrighteousness = Death
Holy Life = Lifestyle
Worldly Life = Deathstyle
Christ's Death gives life
World's Life gives death

Supposing we do finally accept what Jesus did for us, this still isn't the end of the story...

Christians will all stand before judgment by Christ and give an account of what we did in the body/flesh after being justified and receiving salvation. Our works will be tested with fire, which means tested according to God’s righteous standards and what remains, if anything, will be our rewards. 1 Corinthians 3 makes this abundantly clear.

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

The foundation we build on is Jesus; (v. 11) and what we build on this foundation will be gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble. (v. 12) The wood, hay and stubble (done in the flesh) will be burned up with fire. (v.13) Gold, silver and precious stone (things in the spirit) will withstand the judgment of fire because these will be the things done in the spirit with the right motive. Some may have nothing but wood, hay or stubble, and will have no rewards other than their salvation.

The true and real danger lies in-wait when we begin to adapt to the surrounding deathculture instead of just trying to engage it. We begin to allow the world's deathstyle to infiltrate our churches and fellowships. We are warned throughout the Bible either by analogy/metaphor or direct statements that we are to be on guard against getting sucked into this mindset. Toning down the impact of the gospel to appeal to non-believers is dangerous. To not preach and speak what is in the Bible is well...not biblical. Preaching a Bible emptied of miracles and supernatural events because it insults people's scientific "sensibilities" is foolishness. Starting the Bible at Genesis 12 and ignoring the stories of creation, the flood and the tower of Babel because it sounds too far fetched undermines the entire unity and cohesion of the Bible. We need to know what we believe and why because the world will challenge us...on our own ground. Stand firm.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. ~1 Corinthians 16:13

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