Appropriating the Benefits of Christ's Life
November 23, 2003
INTRODUCTION: In Romans 6 Paul begins a new development in his teaching about salvation and its practical effect on those who are saved. Genesis to Revelation plainly teaches that a saving relationship with God is inextricably linked to holy living and a holy life is lived by the power of God working in and through the heart of the true believer. It is true that no believer will be sinless until he or she goes to be with the Lord by death or by the rapture, but a professed believer who persistently disregards Christ's lordship and His standards of righteousness by disobedience has no claim on Christ's savior-hood. There is an inseparable connection between justification and sanctification; between new life in Christ and the living of that life in the holiness Christ demands and provides.
2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
I read of a teenager from England that in his early teens ran away and joined the crew of a slave ship. After a few years he himself was given to the black wife of a white slave trader in Africa. He was cruelly mistreated and lived on leftovers from the woman's meals. After escaping, he lived with a group of natives for a while and eventually managed to become a sea captain himself, living the most ungodly and profligate life imaginable. Something wonderful happened, in 1748 he was converted to Jesus Christ. He returned to England and became a selfless and tireless minister of the gospel in London. He later became a pastor of a church in England, and to this day the churchyard carries an epitaph that he wrote:
"John Newton, Clerk,
Once an infidel and libertine,
A servant of slaves in Africa,
Was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior,
Preserved, restored, pardoned,
And appointed to preach the faith
He had ...
There are 10271 characters in the full content. This excerpt only shows a 2000 character sample of the full content.