A Changed Lordship
Most Christians have a desire to live their lives for the Lord. However, many find themselves agonizing in prayer, seemingly without getting victory over sin and without enjoying the promise of Romans 6:6-7, “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”
Scores of books have been written on how to live a victorious life. Many church attendees are reading books that teach, “just stop trying and start trusting” or “let go and let God.” Sadly, most Christian books are like eating your favorite candy, satisfying the taste buds but only clogging the arteries. Even after digesting the best selling Christian books, most Christians are living with the frustrations that come with pride, jealousy, materialism, impatience and lust. Most Christians eat too much, waste their time, criticize each other, shade the truth just a little, and indulge in a dozen other sins, all the time robbing themselves of an intimate relationship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Jerry Bridges wrote, “Years ago, a Christian friend warned me, ‘Satan will confuse the issue of what God has done and what the Christian’s priorities are.” Lack of Biblical understanding on the truth of pursuing the holiness of God is what is keeping the children of God from enjoying God’s holiness.
The whole of Scripture teaches that dominion of sin has been broken for those who have Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. Christians have been set free from the realm of sin, so they can choose to live a life of righteousness. (Romans 6:18) The Bible teaches that people not under the Lordship of Christ are dead in their transgressions and sins, because they follow the ways of the world and the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 2:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:26)
Our modern day style of presenting the Christian life has given the children of God a wrong perspective. Before Christians can grasp the need of total surrender to Christ, they must believe that Jesus won the battle for them. (Romans 6:18; Colossians 1:13-14) However, there is still an enemy who wants to devour their relationship with God. (John 10:10; 1 Peter 5:8)
The Christian battle on earth is like warfare. In any nation any two competing factions can be fighting for control of a country. Eventually, often with the help of an outside army, one side assumes control. Rather than giving up, the losing side changes their tactics, sometimes adopting guerilla warfare. Guerilla warfare is so aggressive that the country supplying the outside help cannot withdraw its troops. Galatians 5:17 describes the Christian’s constant warfare, “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”
In this realm where bad things happen, and sin so easily ensnares there is only one solution, choose not to say as Christ’s enemies, “We do not want this man to be our King.” (Luke 19:14) Christians who say “No” to lord sin and “Yes” to Lord Jesus turn lust into healthy natural desires, indulgence into natural appetites, immorality into healthy sexual desires, materialism into practical clothing and shelter. Let Christ have Lordship of your entire life!
Dictionary dot com has this definition for Litmus Test, “a crucial and revealing test in which there is one factor.” Meghan McCain wrote, “The Democrats seem to have mastered inclusiveness – whereas Republicans, like a country club, seem to require a litmus test.” Inclusiveness means “including everything concerned.” God’s Word requires Christians to do a litmus test. The Bible says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.” (2 Corinthians 13:5-6).
One key truth to examining yourself is checking your love for God’s correction, direction and protection. Jesus, the person Christians proclaim to serve said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) The Bible says Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. (John 1:14) “Word” (λόγος logos) meaning divine revelation and declaration. (The Complete Word Study of the New Testament) If you love Jesus Christ and are surrendered to His Holy Spirit’s leading, there will be a hunger and thirst for the written Word so you may know God’s will for you. Christians who are hungry for God’s Word have more noble character than those who are not wanting or willing to do the hard work of study of God’s Word. (Acts 17:11) The Apostle Paul told Timothy “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteous [living].” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Kohl’s Kicking Camps have determined, the kicking specialist who goes the farthest in the place kicking field, are kickers who do the hard work of reading about and studying the place kicking game in football. Kohl’s Training Camps are seen by ESPN as being the best in finding place kicking specialist for college and the NFL. The individual who makes the time to search out and learn what he needs to know so he can do what is right – has noble character.
According to the Bible, Christians are called to be specialist in handling, teaching and living out the whole counsel of God’s Word. (2 Timothy 2:15) The Bible says the person who lives out the written Word of God will be blessed. (James 1:25) The fact is, a person’s love for the Lord grows as he or she reads the Bible. Christians, allow the Holy Spirit of Christ to bring illumination of the Bible and seek His enablement to live out what is revealed to them through the written Word.
To many churches today have become club houses, they gather together miss-appropriating the verse, “meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25) Their church gatherings have become social meetings, talking about themselves, their community events or political views. There is little desire to examine themselves to God’s Word, which says Christians are to “guard their [heart when they go the house of God]. [They] are to draw near to listen” (Ecclesiastes 5:1) to men or woman who possess the Christ appointed gifts for the unifying the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12) True Christians leaders possessing one of the five gifts from Jesus Christ speak spiritual “words” (ta rhemata ) for your spiritual health. The heart of true spiritual leaders reflect the prayer of the Apostle Paul which, “is your perfection [in God’s sight].” (2 Corinthians 13:9)
What is your litmus test to determining if your are a true Christian? Does it line up with the whole counsel of God’s Word?