Believer, let me ask you; are you living a life worthy of the high price Jesus paid for it? Is a life where you continue to willfully do wrong, continue habitual sins, and hold onto secret immorality and indulgences commendable? Jesus lived, suffered, died, and rose again to give you eternal life. Does the life you live merit that price?
In his letter to the Romans Paul addressed the problem, he was seeing in the church. People were claiming grace and living just as they had before they knew Jesus. They kept on sinning and when a brother or sister tried to exhort them, they shouted, “grace.” Does that sound familiar? Are you getting drunk watching porn, or otherwise willfully ignoring God’s will and proclaiming grace to excuse living in your carnal desires instead of in walking in the Spirit? Romans 6:1-14 reads,
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Sure, you may want to give in to your carnality, sensuality, and fleshly appetites but in awe and gratitude to the LORD for His salvation, you can quench the flesh instead of quenching the Spirit. You are able to choose righteousness over iniquity. If you can choose an apple over potato chips, why do you think you can’t choose truth over deception? Each time you choose not to sin, you proclaim Christ. Lovely Family, you are free! You are free from sin and bondage to sin. You are free to live righteous holy lives as a new creation with a new heart and a new mind, sealed with the Holy Spirit who imbues you with the power to be transformed to the image of Christ.
You belong to Christ. He bought you and He paid a hefty price. You are valuable, worth the cost of the worst kind of death. 1 Corinthians 6:17-20 reads,
But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
You belong to God, He has proof of ownership in that He put His Spirit in you as a guarantee of your inheritance, that your life exhibits, exalts and extols Him. Treasured Possession, God is with you and He has not and will not forget you. In Isaiah 49:15-16 the LORD says,
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.”
You are engraved on the palms of God’s hands. This is much deeper than you might imagine. The proof of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the cost of your sin and His redemption of you, is in the wounds on His hands (John 20:24-27). Recently, I was presented with another picture of being engraved on His hands. Imagine grasping something tightly in your fist. When you open your hand, you can see the imprint of the object in your hand. Even an idea held tightly will leave the imprint of your fingernails on your palms. Jesus holds you so tightly in His hands that nothing can take you out of them and you are not only imprinted but permanently carved into His hands.
Whether you are owned by the world or by God, it is evident on and in you by the testimony of your life. I don’t mean the words of your story of redemption. I mean the proof of your redemption in actions and works. Who is being glorified in your life? Is it you, Jose Cuervo, Harry Potter, or Jesus Christ?
In Mark 12:13-17 the Pharisees were trying to come up with charges against Jesus to have him put to death and asked him a question which they assumed he would have to speak against Caesar or God.
And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. 14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone's opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” 15 But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar's.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” And they marveled at him.”
The coin was engraved with Caesar’s image, it belonged to him and so taxes were due to him. You, believer are engraved with Christ’s image and so your life belongs to Him. Are you rendering your life to Him? We, Brothers and Sisters are the glory of God, meaning that when people look at us, they should see Him. 2 Corinthians 17-18 says it like this,
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Cherished Sons and Daughters of God Most High, we praise God for the grace which gives us freedom. It is not permission to sin, it is liberty to live holy lives. Why don’t we claim righteousness instead of “grace” as the reason to live our lives in emancipation from sin? There is no sin in Christ (1 John 3:5) but rather than a permit to continue sinning, it is a call to be holy.
We are commanded many times in Scripture to be holy as God is Holy.
For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. 45 For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”
Leviticus 19:2, Leviticus 20:7, Leviticus 20:26, Leviticus 21:8, and Deuteronomy 23:14 are a few of the places where God commends and commands us to be holy as He is Holy. Are you saying then that it is the Old Covenant to live holy? Guess what. It’s also in the New Testament to be holy. 1 Peter 1:13-16 reads,
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Let’s continue reading from Peter’s letter in The Message. Verses 17-25 read,
Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.
22-25 Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That’s why the prophet said,
The old life is a grass life,
its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers;
Grass dries up, flowers droop,
God’s Word goes on and on forever.
This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.
1 John 3:4-11 says it this way,
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
So, let’s examine our motivation and the evidence of our lives. Are we living testimonies to Christ? Are we living lives worthy of the price Jesus paid for us? If not, remember, “See, you are well! Sin no more.” (John 5:18).