Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I Declare War

The following post is by Terry Washington. I've know Terry personally now for almost five years, and he is always a joy to be around. Whenever you're around him, you're always encouraged and convicted to live the life God has called each of us to live. I've had the pleasure of reading this post, and I hope that you find joy reading it also. Terry, thanks again for this amazing post!

Photo: Gundina (morgefile)

Good afternoon everyone! My name is Terry Washington, and I'm truly honored to be a guest on Ashlee's blog post. I don't take this for granted. For this first topic, I have had to sit down, think very hard about it, and saturate myself in Scripture. So, with that being said, I've titled this, "I Declare War."

In my childhood days when I was younger, my sister, my friends and I thumb-wrestled, which is a game to see not only who has the strongest thumb, but also to pin the opponent's thumb in a three-count. My record was 0-50, which is an all-time low, but set a world record because I was so horrible in that game. Before we began, we had to move our thumbs side to side, then say, "1, 2, 3, 4, I declare war." In addition, the more I think about it, the more I believe that as believers we must declare war not only on our flesh, because it's weak , making our flesh collide with the Spirit of God within us, but also over sin - even our current sin struggles.

In Romans 6: 3-6, 10-11, Paul says this to the church of Rome, which was filled with Jews and Gentile Christians. 

"Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. 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. 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" - Romans 6:3-6, 10-11

First, let's talk about considering ourselves dead to sin, which is very important in this Christian walk. Within verses three through six, Paul mentions baptism, which is very symbolic of why we must consider ourselves dead to sin. If you've been baptized before, going down in water represents Christ's death, and raising from water represents Christ raising from the dead - his resurrection. Baptism cannot save us because only by placing our trust in Jesus, by faith not our works, save us, and make us a new creation in him (Ephesians 2:8; 2 Corinthians 5:17). 

However, baptism is an outward expression to an inward conversion as Christians. In addition, it this is true, and while we were still sinners in the sight of God - Christ died in our place so we can be made new - be no longer a slave to sin and be free in order to be in unity in him. We must then consider ourselves also dead completely to sin. If we can truly be honest with ourselves, sin still lurks in us whether you believe it or not, because our hearts are wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) - we're prone to wander, and that's why we must crucify our flesh daily.

In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul says this which I am going to paraphrase, "I beat my bond under 'til there's nothing but Christ left." He doesn't mean to beat his flesh physically, but spiritually in the Word. Our response should be the same as we not only pursue Christ, but also pursue holiness. Colossians 3:5-11 says,

"Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."

For example, the Olympics starts every four years for an athlete, rotating between summer and winter every two years, and every athlete from different countries use this time to train in order to stay in top condition or lose weight in order to increase stamina, endurance strength, and muscular endurance. In the same manner, we must crucify our flesh by daily being transformed, and renewing our minds in God's Word as we put off sin and put on new Christ-like characters in holiness. 

Lastly my friends, I encourage all of you to have community with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, who, can encourage you, pray for you, and equip you in the Word so that your hearts won't become so hard to the deceitfulness of sin like Hebrews 3:12 mentions. You can't walk this Christian life on your own because we are not called to live in isolation, but to be in fellowship with other believers. I pray that this blog not only encourages, but also challenges your walk as well. Let's declare war on our flesh and be killing sin as we strive to pursue Christ and put on holiness. 

Grace and peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment