I found an old message from my church while on my cleaning binge the other day. It was from five years ago. Sometimes, when we find old things like that, we tend to shrug them off, or at least I do. I think to myself, "Oh, that was from 2007, it's 2012, what could that message have to say to me now?"
I found out it had something very important to say. Something that I am ashamed to admit, I have not really learned yet, even after knowing Christ for the greater portion of my life.
The book of Romans is a foundational book. I need to understand Romans in my spirit for victory in my spiritual life. It tells me what Christ did for me, it tells me what happened that day when He took my sins upon His body on the tree. But it also tells me that I was crucified there with Him when He died, that my old sinful body was put away permanently.
Is that true or isn't it? Most of my life I have not believed it is true. But Scripture says I am dead to sin (Romans 6:11) but alive to God. That doesn't mean I won't sin anymore, but if I do, its because I chose it, God has made a way for me to be free from that old life forever.
I think it has to start with thinking about what Christ did for me, and not only me, but everyone else too. Seeing people differently than I have before. Like layers of onion skin, God slowly peels layer after layer away to reveal the truth about mankind and His great love for them.
There are two categories of people really. One is bound for heaven. Earth is the closest to hell they will ever get. The other group is blinded by the evil one for whatever reason. Let us have compassion. They may do us great harm. Let us have compassion. This is the only heaven they will ever see.
Its not about "trying" to be nice to them. It is about begging them to be reconciled. (II Corinthians 5: 20-21) We don't deserve redemption either. It is realizing Christ took their sin burden just like He took yours and mine. He paid for their crimes too. That is what makes "hell" hell. They could have had heaven as a free gift. But they said no.
If I stand here and judge by my own human judgments than I am just like the rest of the world. But Jesus said "Judge the righteous judgment." (John 7:24) Jesus judged nothing by appearances, how much less so then should I?
It boils down to this: Everyone I see is "a dead man walking." Now hear me out. You are either dead to sin and alive to God like the Bible says if you are in Christ,(Romans 6: 11) or if you are not yet born again you are dead in your trespasses and sins.(Ephesians 2:1-3) But, and here is a BIG but, you can change that destiny, however, in ONE moment, by a moment of personal faith in Jesus Christ.
Lord, help me reckon, moment by moment, I am dead to sin and alive to God... Amen.