Bible Study

This is a copy of the Sunday School Lessons presented to an adult class each Sunday.

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States

Retired, Lobbyist in Washington,DC - Management - BS Chemistry and various continuing education courses

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bible Study - Victory (5) - Victory over Fear - Romans 8:31-39 - April 2, 2017

Bible Study – Victory (5) – Victory over Fear – April 2, 2017

This is lesson five (5) in our series entitled “Victory.”

Our focus scripture is Romans 8:31-39.

Separation from GOD and HIS love is something we need never fear.

The grace of GOD transforms us from sinner to saint through the process of 
sanctification. Sometimes life can make us fearful but our assurance is in the victory has already been won. Christians have nothing to fear.

Christians coming out of the pagan culture feared that the One True GOD as represented by JESUS would abandon them as did the false gods they had been worshiping. The false gods were fickle and could not be trusted. These were figments of their imagination. Of course, they are false. Christians must be careful not to embrace false idols e.g. horoscopes, astrology, four leaf clovers, rabbit’s foot, lucky shoes and the list goes on. The steps of Christians are ordered by GOD. HE alone cares for us, protects us and guides us through life until we go home to be with HIM in Heaven.

Dr. Gregory T. Pouncey, Senior Pastor of Tillman’s Corner in Mobile, AL, wrote the lessons for the Advanced Bible Study, spring 2017, LifeWay, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN. On page 60, Dr. Pouncey gives an excellent overview leading up to our focus scripture.

[Romans Chapters 1-7 describes Paul’s theology of salvation, and chapter eight reveals the blessings and benefits of that great salvation.

It begins with a declaration that there is no condemnation for those who are in CHRIST (Romans 8:1). Paul then demonstrated how the Holy Spirit liberates the believer from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-11). In Romans 8:12-30, Paul detailed some of the works of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. The Holy Spirit puts to death the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13), testifies that we are GOD’S children (Romans 8:15), helps us in our weaknesses by interceding for us (Romans 8:26), and causes all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28).

In light of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer, Paul assured the Romans that they could live victoriously (Romans 8:31-39). They did not have to live in defeat because of sin and death. JESUS had conquered both sin and eternal death. Now, a Christian can live a life that rises above all the things that threaten peace and joy.]

Let’s explore!

The three major sections that we will explore as defined by our focus scripture are:
GOD is greater than anything that tries to come against us as Christians.
GOD is greater than anything that tries to condemn us as Christians.
GOD is greater than anything that tries to separate us from HIS love as Christians.

Let’s read Romans 8:31-32: (GOD is greater than anything that tries to come against us.)

The Believer's Triumph

31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

What things was Paul writing about? It was:
-         Christians are no longer slaves to sin and eternal death.
-         Christians are no longer orphans, they have been adopted/born-again into the family of GOD through faith in JESUS.
-         As GOD’S Son or Daughter, through faith in JESUS, he or she has the full rights and privileges GOD desires for HIS Children as children of the King of Kings.
-         Christians are citizens of Heaven.
-         The Holy Spirit intercedes for Christians. Since the Holy Spirit is the third part of the Trinity, HE knows the will and purpose of GOD.
-         The Holy Spirit indwells every true Christian and leads them to obediently serve GOD according to HIS plan and purpose for the lives of Christians.
-         GOD’S goal for every Christian is for them to be made into the image of JESUS.

Paul admonishes Christians to ponder these truths. Since GOD is for Christians, HIS children, who can be against them? It is a question with a positive answer, no one, power or thing, seen or unseen.

32 He did not even spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?

Our salvation cost the life of GOD’S only Son, JESUS. The key is that JESUS willingly gave HIS life that all, who place their faith in HIM, will receive forgiveness for their sins and the gift of eternal life. JESUS did this because HE loves us. John 3:14-17 captures the extent of GOD’S love for all who will place their faith in JESUS.

John 3:14-17:
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9), so the Son of Man (JESUS) must be lifted up,
15 so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.
16 "For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

In verse 32 of our focus scripture, the phrase “offered HIM up” is also translated “delivered HIM up.” The phrase carries the idea that after careful consideration and thought GOD, like a judge, chose to allow HIS only SON, JESUS, to go to earth and give HIS life to pay, in full, the penalty for sin. JESUS in obedience to GOD’S plan willingly chose to come to earth and be born and live as a human. HE was subject to all the temptations that we as humans experience, yet HE was without sin. That made JESUS to be the acceptable sacrifice to pay, in full, for the sin of mankind. In doing so, JESUS would conquer sin and its consequence of eternal death for all who would place their faith in JESUS.

What is the proof that JESUS accomplished this? GOD raised JESUS from the dead on the third day after HIS crucifixion. The resurrection of JESUS is a Christian’s guarantee of his or her resurrection at the second coming of JESUS. Until JESUS’ second coming, Christians will have a special body fashioned by GOD for them to use while they are in Heaven. When JESUS returns to earth, those in Heaven will come back to earth with HIM and in an instant receive their Glorified bodies. Their Glorified body will be like JESUS’ Glorified body after HIS resurrection.

The love of GOD for all is captured in the words “For GOD so loved the world.” The world includes everyone who has ever been born or will ever be born until JESUS returns and establishes GOD’S Kingdom upon earth.

Let’s read Romans 8:33-34: (GOD is greater than anything that tries to condemn us.)

33 Who can bring an accusation against God's elect? God is the One who justifies.

Paul raises a very valid point. Since GOD is the judge and those who have complied with HIS plan for salvation are GOD’S elect, will HE condemn them? The obvious answer is a resounding “NO!” GOD is the One Who Justifies. GOD is the One Who declares a person righteous. What is our go to verse? It is 2 Corinthians 5:21:

21 He (GOD) made the One (JESUS) who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

34 Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.

Let’s read Romans 35-39: (GOD is greater than anything that tries to separate us from HIS love.)

35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Christians are secure in their faith in CHRIST. Satan is our enemy and he will do all he can to first prevent us from becoming a Christian, which is our choice. Second, if we choose to become a Christian, Satan will do all he can to keep us from living the victorious life in CHRIST. Satan’s desire is for Christians to live defeated lives.

Paul knows the struggles that Christians face and raises an important question, “Who can separate us from the love of CHRIST?” Then Paul continued. Notice the “us.” Paul included himself. Then he continued to raise issues that he had likely faced in his journey with CHRIST. Such as:

-         Affliction – types of distress brought on by outward circumstances. It carries the idea of pressure; pressure that causes you to question the love of GOD for you.
-         Distress – describes something that was narrow or closing in on you causing anguish. Such distress puts limits or narrows our understanding of the love of GOD for us.
-         Persecution – relates to suffering and can result in a Christian questioning GOD’S love for him or her.
-         Famine, nakedness, danger or sword – relates to outward circumstances related to poverty or persecution.

The Jews thought a person who suffered had done something wrong and GOD was punishing him or her. Paul wrote in Romans 8:17:

17 and if children, also heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ-seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

36 As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. (Psalm 44:22)

Later, Christians came under severe persecution and some put to death. Even today, ISIS is putting Christians to death.

37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.

Paul admonishes Christians to focus on the fact that JESUS has already won the battle over Satan, sin and death. In CHRIST, Christians are victorious. Paul continued to reveal the conclusion he has come to by obediently serving JESUS. Victory has been accomplished by JESUS and to prove it – HIS resurrection from the dead and HE holds the keys to death and Hades. JESUS rules!

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!  

Paul covered quite a list of circumstances, supernatural beings, powers, and many other things that a person might dream up that might separate Christians from the love of GOD. These fail to separate Christians from GOD’S love.

Such absolute tenacity assures Christians of the eternal love of GOD.

Do you know this love? Only you can prevent yourself from experiencing this eternal love by saying no to the call of JESUS to accept HIM as your Savior. Today is your day of salvation. Will you accept eternal salvation by asking JESUS to forgive you for your sins and asking HIM to come into your heart and life or will you reject HIS invitation by saying “NO” or “Wait?” Satan wants you to wait because he wants you to go into eternity separated from GOD, HIS love and care for you through eternity. The choice is yours to make. Choose wisely! Blessings!!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bible Study - Victory (4) - Victorious Faith - Hebrews 11:1-6 - March 26, 2017

Bible Study – Victory (4) – Victorious Faith – March 26, 2017

This is lesson four (4) in our series entitled “Victory.”

Our focus scripture is Hebrews 11:1-6.

My faith in GOD makes me victorious.

We do not know who wrote Hebrews. Some speculate that is was Paul. 

Chapter 11 has been referred to as the “Hall of Fame of Faith.” The writer began Chapter 11 with a definition of faith.

We read in Genesis 15:6-7 how GOD viewed the faith of Abram/Abraham:

6 Abram believed the Lord, and He (GOD) credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, "I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess."

The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
18 Now everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God."
21 He (GOD) made the One (JESUS) who did not know sin to be sin for us (All who will place their faith in JESUS), so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

When a person asks JESUS to forgive him or her for his or her sins, JESUS does. HIS shed blood cleanses that person of all their sins and makes them whiter than snow as recorded in Isaiah 1:18:

18 "Come, let us discuss this," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.

A person’s faith in JESUS and what HE did, willingly, upon the cross unto death and HIS resurrection, GOD accrues righteousness to him or her. Yes, Christians do sin but all of their sins are covered by the shed blood of JESUS. But we as Christians are to confess our sins as written in 1 John 1:8-10:

8 If we say, "We have no sin," we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say, "We have not sinned," we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

GOD not only redeems those who place their faith in JESUS but HE also gives them a guarantee. It is a guarantee warranted by GOD. It is a covenant. We read about this warranty/guarantee in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22:

21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us,

22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

We also read in 2 Corinthians 5:5-7:

5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,

7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Once a person asks JESUS to forgive him or her for his or her sins and asks JESUS to come into his or her life, JESUS comes into that person’s life. CHRIST in you is what makes a person a Christian not joining a church. That person experiences the miracle of rebirth in his or her spirit and he or she is born into GOD’S family as GOD’S Son or Daughter. When a person asks JESUS to forgive him or her for his or her sins, GOD forgives his or her sins and the Holy Spirit comes into his or her life as the guarantee that he or she belongs to GOD for all eternity.

Christians walk by “faith” and not by “sight.” The faith of our salvation is confirmed by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:14-17:

14 All those led by God's Spirit are God's sons.

15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father!"

16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children,

The Holy Spirit is the third part of the Holy Trinity and dwells in all Christians and confirms and guarntees that they are GOD’S Sons or Daughters by the miracle of rebirth. They have born into GOD’S family and their citizenship is in heaven. They have eternal life and are righteous before GOD because of their faith in JESUS and HIS cleansing blood shed for them.

17 and if children, also heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ-seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Now, let’s explore more!

There are three main points in our lesson:
-         Faith gives substance to hope and assures us GOD’S promises are true.
-         Faith is expressed in our worship of GOD.
-         Faith pleases GOD.

Let’s read Hebrews 10:34-39: (Introduction to our focus scripture.)

34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

37 For, "Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;

38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him."

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Christians must keep on keeping on by faith. Christians are encouraged by the fact CHRIST is in them and they have the guarantee of the Holy Spirit. This leads us to the “now” in our next scripture.

Let’s read Hebrews 11:1-3:

Heroes of Faith

1 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Christians are secured by their faith in JESUS and that faith is confirmed and guaranteed by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Faith is the reality of GOD’S presence in the lives of Christians.

2 For by it our ancestors were approved.

Faith is the cornerstone or building block upon which GOD has built HIS Kingdom upon earth. This cornerstone is JESUS and HE aligns all the parameters for the building not made with hands but a Spiritual building, the Kingdom of GOD. GOD’S desire is for HIS children to worship HIM in Spirit and truth that comes from hearts of true faith. Faith is a gift from GOD to all who seek the truth in JESUS.

What is faith? Faith means “conviction of the truth of anything, generally with the included idea of trust.” Faith can vary from one Christian to another. Faith can grow and that is what GOD desires in the lives of all Christians. HE desires for our faith in HIM and JESUS to grow.

What grows our faith in GOD and JESUS? As Christians read the Bible and apply what they read as led by the Holy Spirit, they grow Spiritually and in confidence and trust. Christianity is on-the-job training. There will be ups and downs but through it all, we will learn of GOD and JESUS. We will learn to trust GOD and JESUS more each day as we obediently serve as led by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible.

We can begin to define our faith as we look around us to see the handiwork of GOD. GOD spoke and the world and universe come into being. GOD’S voice made something from nothing. The power of GOD is manifested in the voice of GOD, HIS Word.

We must keep in mind that we can place our faith in something or someone that will not measure up. When tested the object of our faith falls apart and we are disappointed or shattered.

I can hear some thinking that they have put their faith in GOD and HE did not measure up to their understanding of GOD. I know what you mean; been there and thought that. But guess what? GOD left me to wallow in my ignorance until I decided to give GOD another chance. HE led me to see that I had unrealistic expectations of HIM based upon fantasy and my desire for power. 

We define GOD by our notions of who we want GOD to be. Often we think of GOD as our very own genie that we can command to pop out and do our bidding. Or we may have heard others describe GOD in an unrealistic manner. 

For sure Satan will let you build air castles about GOD. We must keep in mind that GOD loves you and HIS greatest desire is for you to love HIM in truth.

How much does GOD love you? HE loves you enough that HE allowed HIS 
only Son, JESUS, to come to earth in the flesh and give HIS life for you. Seek HIM and you will find HIM.

Let’s read Hebrews 11:4:

4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain [did]. By this he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through this.

We know from scripture the story of Cain and Abel. They are the two sons of Adam and Eve. After the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden because of their sin, we read as recorded in Genesis 4:1-10:

Cain and Abel

1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD."

2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.

3 In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground,

4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering,

5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.

6 The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?

7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."

After seeing that GOD was pleased with Abel’s offering, Cain would do well to duplicate that which pleases GOD. Instead, Cain allowed jealousy to grow in his heart. Jealousy is a terrible thing in a person’s life.

This verse reflects GOD’S plea to Cain, “Now, you know what I expect. Don’t let the sin in your heart take hold of you and lead you to further sin. Instead, take control of the sin that is in your heart and master it. DO NOT LET IT 

Who is your master JESUS and GOD or Satan? In our last week’s lesson we studied that the members of our body, which includes our minds, leads us to obey the flesh rather than seeking the power of GOD and mastering the sin that comes our way.

So where does what is in Cain’s heart lead him? Let’s read on.

8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?"

10 And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.

Cain killed Abel because GOD regarded Abel's sacrifice as acceptable over Cain’s offering. We can speculate as why GOD made this distinction. Some believe it was because Abel had sacrificed the best and shed the blood of the first born from his flock of animals. By sacrificing the first born animal, that terminated any future animals coming from the best of the flock. By doing so, Abel reflected trust in GOD to provide for his future needs. Abel trusted GOD. Certainly, such trust was in keeping with GOD’S plan for atoning for sin through the shed blood of an animal and ultimately the shed blood of JESUS.
GOD did allow the firstfruits of a harvest to be offered to HIM.

Cain’s offering was an offering that he chose. But GOD knew the hearts of both Cain and Abel. We know that Cain proved what was in his heart because he killed Abel. Sin was the master of Cain. Apparently, Cain had a very narrow view of GOD because he thought he could hide the murder of his brother from GOD. GOD sees all and knows all. None of us hide anything from GOD. So be open and honest when confess the sin lurking in our hearts.

CHRIST in us gives us the strength to master the sin that crouched at our door. Confess it and ask GOD to help us to be the master of it.

Abel’s gift was offered with the right heart and GOD accepted it. As a result of GOD’S acceptance of Abel's gift, GOD accrued righteousness to Abel. The right gift given with the right heart pleases GOD but the right gift with the wrong heart does not please GOD.

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:7:

7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Let’s read Hebrews 11:5-6:

5 By faith, Enoch was taken away so that he did not experience death, and he was not to be found because God took him away. For prior to his transformation he was approved, having pleased God.

The Bible reveals that two people did not experience physical death; Enoch (Genesis 5:22-23) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11). Enoch was taken because he was approved by GOD and Elijah because he pleased GOD.

6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.

We cannot have faith in GOD if we do not believe that HE exists. We need to read James 2:19:

19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe-and they shudder. Or “tremble” as recorded in the King James Version.

Satan and Satan’s domain know without a doubt that GOD is real and they know that it is just a matter of time until they are judged and cast into Hell. They made their choice and it was the wrong choice.

Every person is faced with a choice whether or not to accept or reject JESUS as his or her Savior. How do you choose? Don’t delay for today is the day of salvation. Satan and his followers know that GOD exists. Do you know that GOD exists? If so, the Bible expresses what HE expects from all people. Will you believe what GOD states in HIS Word? Or reject it? Accept JESUS as your Savior and receive eternal life. Reject JESUS and receive eternal death.

JESUS said it best in John 14:6:

6 Jesus told him (Thomas), "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Choose wisely! Blessings!!! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bible Study - Victory (3) - Victory over Sin - Romans 6:4-14 - March 19, 2017

Bible Study – Victory (3) – Victory over Sin – March 19, 2017

This is lesson three (3) in our series entitled “Victory.”

Our focus scripture is Romans 6:4-14

Sin is no longer my master – JESUS is.

Salvation is not achieved by keeping the law or by human effort. GOD’S grace 
is extended to all who place their faith in GOD’S Only SON, JESUS.

Let’s read Romans 6:1-3: (Lead-in)

The New Life in Christ

1 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may multiply?

Since Christians are saved by GOD’S grace and are under HIS grace, there was an idea by some Christians that if Christians sinned more, they would have more grace. The Apostle Paul’s reply is a resounding “NO!”

2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

How can that be since all who place their faith in JESUS have died to self and JESUS lives through them!

3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Baptist baptize by immersion in water. This is a beautiful picture of dying physically to our old life and being raised from physical death to live our resurrected lives as directed by the indwelling Holy Spirit. CHRIST lives through us. Paul expands on this in our next verses.

Let’s read Romans 6:4-7:

4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.

Therefore ties back to the foregoing statement or statements to the statements that follow.

5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection.

6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin's dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin,

7 since a person who has died is freed from sin's claims.

In essence, when JESUS died upon the cross, all who place their faith in JESUS also died with HIM. When GOD raised JESUS from the dead GOD also raised all who place their faith in HIM from the dead.

That means that as true born-again Christians, sin no longer has control over us because we are dead to our human desires and have been resurrected to walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Sin no longer controls Christians. If true, why do we not have power over sin?

First, it is true. JESUS broke and defeated the power of sin when HE willingly gave HIS sinless life to pay, in full, the penalty for sin. As you may recall, once we receive JESUS as our Savior, it is the process of sanctification that brings us into conformity with what and who we are in CHRIST.

Since the fall of man, sin entered the world. Mankind has been ruled by the ruler of that fallen monarch, Satan and his team. GOD established a new monarch by sending HIS only Son, JESUS into the world to live in the flesh. 

JESUS lived a sinless life, even though HE was tempted to sin in all ways as we are; yet HE lived without sin. HE gave HIS sinless life upon the cross and HIS blood was shed. The shedding of HIS sinless blood paid the penalty GOD established to pay for the sin debt, in full. Therefore, when a person places his or her faith in the passion of JESUS, in essence, he or she died when JESUS died. But it does not stop there.

If JESUS had remained dead, we would have no more reason to believe in HIM than others who have died and remain in the grave. GOD resurrected JESUS from the physically dead and restored HIM to eternal life in a new resurrected Glorified eternal body. GOD restored JESUS’ Glory to HIM as we studied in our March 5, 2017 lesson.

In essence, when we accept JESUS as our Savior, we died physically with JESUS upon the cross but with the resurrection of JESUS, GOD also resurrected all who place their faith in JESUS. In doing so, Christians left the monarch of Satan’s kingdom and rule to the new monarch of GOD’S Kingdom and rule. This relocation is confirmed by the indwelling Holy Spirit. We have been born-again into the family of GOD and our citizenship is in Heaven.

At the moment of salvation, Christians are relocated into GOD’S Kingdom and are no longer ruled by the monarch of sin.

Victory over sin has been won!

So why do we still sin? Christians still allow the power of sin to rule. The flesh keeps Christians connected to the power of sin. Christians must live in the power of their resurrected status and that is victory over the power of sin. JESUS won and is victorious over sin and its consequence eternal death. At the instant of salvation Christians belong to GOD and HIS Kingdom through faith in JESUS but the process of sanctification begins.

Ephesians 4:22-24:

22 you took off your former way of life, the old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires;

23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds;

24 you put on the new man, the one created according to God's [likeness] in righteousness and purity of the truth.

Colossians 3:9-10:

9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices

10 and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator.

Let’s continue to read our focus scripture.

Let’s read Romans 6:8-11:

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him,

9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, no longer dies. Death no longer rules over Him.

10 For in that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives to God.

11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Claim it to regain it! GOD’S original plan was for mankind to live in Heaven with HIM and to obediently and willingly serve HIM. When Adam and Eve disobeyed GOD, sin entered the world and Adam and Eve were cast out of GOD’S kingdom.

Our life upon earth is our opportunity to be restored to GOD’S original intent. 
GOD made mankind with the freedom to choose. Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They had a choice then and now, mankind has a choice. The choice of every human is to be restored to eternal life with GOD through faith in JESUS or to reject JESUS and eternal life with GOD and suffer the consequence of sin, which is eternal death. How do you choose?

Victory over sin and eternal death or remain in your sentence of eternal death?

Victory over sin and eternal death means salvation from the power of sin and eternal death. Faith in JESUS imparts to Christians the power of JESUS’ resurrection the instant we accept JESUS as our Savior.

Let’s read Romans 6:12-14:

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires.

Christians decide who rules their lives. Will it be the power of sin or the resurrected power of JESUS? The power of sin is in the desires of our flesh. It is like, when we are on a diet if we are weak, we must stay away from the foods that attract us.

13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness.

The desires of the flesh, sin, are weapons Satan uses to prevent Christians from living the victorious life in CHRIST.  Christians are in a daily battle. Paul gave us the secret of living victorious lives. We already have victory but we must trust the power of that victory.

Paul helps us better understand what Christians face each day in Ephesians 6:10-18: (Each day we get up we must suit up because we will be in a battle that has already been won by JESUS! Christians are to let their light shine on the dark battlefield of earthly life to rescue those wounded by the enemy and those who want to change monarchs.)

Christian Warfare

10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength.

11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.

12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.

13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.

14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest,

15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.

16 In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God's word.

18 With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and stay alert in this, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
Christians must pray for each other!

Let’s continue reading Romans 6:14:

14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

The law has no grace, it is rigid. A couple of weeks ago, I was told that one of the employees working for the person who does my lawn had been arrested and was to be shipped back to Mexico. I have known this young man who has a wife and 2 children for a number of years. He came to the US at the age of 5 and graduated from a local high school. He was working on his citizenship. He did something that resulted in the police being called and the feds happened to be in the area. Zip, off he goes. That is what the law does. Violate it and you are guilty.

That is why Christians live under GOD’S grace. But living under grace does not mean Christians have a license to sin. Christians are to live in the power of the victory JESUS has won.

Do you remember what JESUS told the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos as recorded in Revelation 1:17-19:

17 When I saw Him (The Glorified JESUS), I fell at His feet like a dead man. He laid His right hand on me, and said, "Don't be afraid! I am the First and the Last,

18 and the Living One. I was dead, but look-I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.

19 Therefore write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this.

JESUS wanted John to write this down because it would be valuable information to all Christians throughout the ages until JESUS returns. JESUS has defeated the holder of the keys of death and Hades. Faith in JESUS frees those who place their faith in HIM from the clutches of sin which is eternal death and Hades.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10:

Awaiting the New Body

1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,
3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.
4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.
7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

In John 5:24-30: (JESUS is speaking.)
24 "I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.
25 "I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself.
27 And He has granted Him the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man. (The promised Messiah)
28 Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice
29 and come out-those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment.
30 "I can do nothing on My own. I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

All who have asked JESUS to forgive them for their sins and invited JESUS into their heart have the blood of JESUS over the door posts of their hearts and the death angel passes over. All of the sins of Christians have been blotted out by the shed blood of JESUS and when we come before the judgment seat of GOD, HE only sees our righteousness because of our faith in JESUS.

When we accept JESUS as our Savior, all mentioned earlier takes place but we remain upon earth to be the light of salvation to those in the darkness and rule of sin. Christians are to be examples of the power of the resurrected life they receive at the instant of salvation. 

Christians are a work in progress through sanctification. 

Christians are reconciling what is true, that is the power of the resurrection with living as a human upon earth. It is through the renewing of our minds as we yield to the presence and work of the Holy Spirit reconciling our humanness to the power of our resurrected life while still in the transitioning human mind. 

Do not listen to the ruler over the monarch of sin but rejoice in the victory of living a resurrected life in GOD’S kingdom upon earth. Christians must be vigilant to not allow their flesh to lead them into the desires of the flesh. 

Christians must allow the indwelling Holy Spirit rule in their lives. The Holy Spirit is the power of the resurrected life upon earth for all Christians. Blessings!!!