Our New life in Christ: Our Goal is to become holy (Romans 6:19)

Paul explains our new life in Christ with an illustration of slavery-  you decide if you want to be ruled over by sin or ruled over by righteous living. We each chose to be either a slave to sin , which leads to death,  or a slave to righteous living in Christ which leads to eternal life.

It seems this new life of being born again begins with baptism, it is the spark that makes everything move into place. Acts 5:32 says the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey. This act of Baptism plus obedience with a pure heart of sincere love of the brethren (1 Peter 1:22-24) is the total act of being born again in a purification of the soul through the Word of God, which endures forever. Therefore! lay aside all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, evil speaking (I’ll go on with.. evil shows, music, movies, words, news) and instead, desire God’s word so you can grow.

This reminds me of the verses:

Be simple to what is evil and wise to  what is good
(Romans 16:9)

So you must commit you soul to Him, your faithful creator, in doing good
(1Peter 4:18)

There is NO DOUBT that life is full of temptations everywhere we turn. Even though we have died to sin through Christ’s death and resurrection, sin still stands at the door with enticing sweetness yet hidden so deceitfully is the stench of death . As Jesus said: the way to life is narrow, it is difficult and few people find it. The road to death is wide and broad (easy way) (Matthew 7 and Luke 13)

So, I tell you as the Lord warned Cain in Gen 4;6-7, If you don’t do what is right, sin lieth at your door, it desires you rule you, but you must rule it. Sin wants to control you, rule you, devour  you, reign with a power over you.

Now in Baptism:

  1. You are joined with Christ
  2. You died and were buried with Him
  3. United now with Christ in His death and raised to new life with Him
  4. Sin no longer has power over you
  5. You are no longer a slave to Sin, you have been set free from the Power of Sin
  6. You have the ability to live a NEW LIFE under the freedom of God’s grace
  7. Your old sinful way was crucified and put to death

just as Jesus died once to break sin’s power, and now He lives for the Glory of God,

  • we too, must live for Him
  • give ourselves completely to God
  • we must not give into our sinful desires (yes, they may still be there)
  • do not let your body be an instrument of sin – don’t let your mouth, eyes, hands, feet, ears become instruments of sin – I’m going a step further and don’t let the way you dress, speak, etc.. become an instrument of sin either – God see’s our motives !

Sin is NO longer your master.

However, sin and the power of sin don’t take a nap because you’re saved and baptized.  The power of sin is still at work, remember satan is god of this world, and this sin/power wants to destroy you. It’s not all over after you say the sinners prayer.  Yet God has given you everything to be victorious,

 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58

(Posts on spiritual warfare: 1- Shoes of peace, Eph 6:13  2- Eph 6: Put on your armor, 3-Eph 6: Put on the belt of truth  4- Eph 6, know your enemy  5- Eph 6 Armor of God new discoveries )

Now that the Holy Spirit is in you, live a life that does not grieve Him. The Holy Spirit is like a best friend but even greater. He will never leave you.  He will guide you, comfort you and direct you, but when you don’t obey, it grieves  and saddens Him greatly.  This is because the Holy Spirit wants what is best for you, He directs you according to the Father’s will and cares deeply for you.

So it’s up to you.

You become a slave to whatever you obey

Remember the term slavery is used as an illustration to help us , in our human weakness, to understand this concept.

You can be a slave to righteousness or a slave to sin

You can set your foot on the difficult narrow path to life that few find or you can easily jump on the wide broad easy path that leads to death.

The freedom of Gods’ grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit are given to us as free gifts,  but for what?  So we can get salvation and keep on sinning? Did Christ die for nothing? Can we keep doing everything we desire? No, these great gifts given to us because God wants us to become HOLY!

I know, weird concept, me? be holy? be perfect? YES.  I know church likes to bring people in with “no perfect people” marketing, but the reality is, that Jesus told us to be perfect as He is perfect (Matthew 5). We are to be holy as He is holy. (1 Peter 1:16, Lev 21:8) He will make us Holy. Yeah, not many will tell you that, but don’t let this message scare you away. Think about it, what an amazing life goal. What? give up on anger? malice? deceit? hate? greed? impatience? lying? evil words? watching filth? lusts of the flesh? Is there really a sin you want to cling to? The devil wants you to think this goal of being righteous and holy is a boring life, but this is a LIE! God wants you to live in abundance, in joy, in peace- yes, even in difficult times, hope and eternal life lie ahead.  You must continue to fight the good fight

run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.
1 Tim 6:11-12

Work hard to show the results of your salvation,
obeying God with deep reverence and fear.

Phil 2:12

The Lord isn’t an evil master beating you down reminding you of all your sins. He gives you His Holy Spirit who is kind and gentle. He will lovingly convict your heart of things you need to change and eliminate from your life. He will not condemn you nor will he crush you, but gently take you by the hand and show you the way to go. You never need to fear.

Be aware of the enemies lies. Remember:

  • You are worthy ( who you are in Christ)

  • You are loved

  • You are chosen

The Lord desires to be with you, to walk with you and be one with Him and in Him building up the temple of the Lord.


The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.



Return to the Lord “Return to me and I will return to you” (Malachi 3, Zechariah 1:3)

The Lord says;

My people are foolish,
they do not know me,
they are stupid children with no understanding,
they are so clever at doing wrong
and have no idea how to do right!”
(Jeremiah 4:22)

You have left me as a prostitute leaves her husband;
    you are utterly defiled.
 Your deeds won’t let you return to your God.
    You are a prostitute through and through,
    and you do not know the Lord.
(Hosea 5- to the priests and leaders)


This scripture isn’t directed at the world or unbelievers, it’s directed at believer’s, God’s people , His leaders, priests and teachers. Check yourselves for foolishness, falling astray or following the world and it’s ways.

Consider carefully the parable of the seeds, have you gotten off track with worries, cares of life, materialism – have your ideas of right and wrong gotten twisted? Remember also the craftiness of satan in the garden, be careful and continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.(Read Phil 2) Consider Matthew 13, think carefully…..

A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed:

(1) some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up
(2) Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
(3)  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants
(4) Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:
(1) When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
(2) The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy,  But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
(3) The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
(4) But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Which one are you?
Which one do you want to be?
Which one do you need to be careful of?


  • Open your bible and read it, make it part of your every day
  • Test everything you see and hear (even at church, tv-televangelists , at bible studies)
  • Do not join in the worlds wicked ways
  • Do not be like the world,  remember satan is god of this world (2 Cor 4)
  • Be wise to what is good and simple to what is evil (Romans 16)
  • Our sin defiles everything we do (Haggai 2)
  • Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish (joel 2:13)
  • Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for your sins have brought you down. Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord. Say to him, Hosea 14:1-2
  • REPENT Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.(Luke 3:8) ” I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” Luke 5:32
  • REPENT if you’ve done wrong ” “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”
  • BE QUICK TO FORGIVE (Read Matthew 18)

I had a dream a few years ago, I stood on a bank of a fast flowing river. It seemed like I had just watched a live version of the bible stories up until Noah’s day. In the water, I saw bits and pieces of wood, people’s material things – just everything scattered among the people moving quickly in the water’s current. It was a great and strong current moving very quickly, everything had been engulfed in it. I was standing and watching everything moving past me, I looked up I saw a man on the other side of the water. He was dressed in white and had his hands outstretched .I heard him say “I call them back, I call them back”



Consider your ways! says the Lord. Haggai 1-2

Haggai was a prophet to the people rebuilding Judah after their captivity. A remnant of Jews were returning to the land.

(Contemporaries of Haggai: Ezra, Zechariah of Iddo, Zerubabbel, Jeshua, Darius, possibly Xerxes, artaxerxes- kings of Persia, possibly Daniel and more..)

At this time, the people had built up luxurious homes for themselves but the temple had not yet been built ( or maybe it had only laid groundwork, but it was not completed)  Looking over the last several books of the old testament,  the Jews started to rebuild many times but were always faced with obstacles . Sometimes it was the annoying pestering of locals who didn’t want the Jews to succeed ( they harassed them daily with discouraging words) and other times it was written decreed orders from the king to stop rebuilding.

Yet, Hagaii steps on the scene with a Word from the Lord to rebuild.

The people knew they had to rebuild, yet so many obstacles came in their way until they finally were so beat down, worn out and discouraged they ultimately stopped. There was no more fight in them – or so they thought. They only needed a few words of encouragement and new strength, which the Lord gave them.

Timelines: According to scripture,  the first message of Haggai from the Lord, and rebuilding began on 9/21 in the second year of King Darius (of Persia) , again on 10/17 they received another message to rebuild, be strong and be not afraid, then again on 12/18 another message of Be strong! Don’t be afraid and again we’re told the temple is rebuilt. I don’t know, and it’s not written, but I am going to guess that they often became discouraged and this is why God had to come back 3x to encourage them to rebuild.  They were always being harassed and knocked down with words… God continued to tell them to get back to work and be strong.

 This all started in the 2nd year of King Darius  and the temple was completed (according to book of Ezra) in the 6th year of King Darius, on the 3rd day of Adar. Adar is of March, it’s a special month, being the month of Purim (Esther) when the Jews were saved and it is also known as the month Moses was born and the month he passed.

Back to Haggai:

The Lord’s Message to the people

” Look at what’s happening to you! Consider your ways!”

  • You live in luxury, yet my house lies in ruins
  • You plant much but harvest little
  • You eat and are not satisfied
  • Your wages disappear as if you have holes in your pocket
  • You hoped for a rich harvest but they were poor
  • And this is because I, the Lord, blew it all away because my house lies in ruins and you busily tend to your own ways”

The people listened and GOD SPARKED THEIR ENTHUSIASM, HE STIRRED THEIR SPIRIT, HE WOKE THEM UP- how cool is that? It means to stir up, rouse, be excited, be triumphant, wake up! How many of us could use that spark to lift us up and continue on in the work God has set ahead for us. (pray for it!)

Then again, a month later, God sends another message “BE STRONG”

  • Be Strong Zerubabbel
  • Be Strong Jeshua
  • Be strong all you people
  • AND GET TO WORK! – Yes, that’s what the Lord said, Get to work, and He continued to encourage them with these words


And a 3rd time 12/18 He tells the people to look carefully at their lives. Sin defiles us and our work.

  • Look at what’s happening to you
  • You refuse to turn to me
  • Think Carefully
  • I am giving you a promise, I will bless you. Obey, Work, Be strong, Don’t be afraid!
  • I am with you, I will bless you

and so, we are told, the rebuilding  began (again)


I want you to understand that you have work to do, we all do. Some of you have been sitting dormant for too long, yes you’ve been knocked down, yes you’re weary- but God says, get up and get back to work. He will stir and excite your spirit for the work ahead, He will give you the energy, power and wisdom to complete it. Pray and make the first move towards it. We could look at this rebuilding of the temple as the rebuilding of the church- that’s us, not a building- together aiming for unity and oneness in Christ which is essential in our walk. Lift your head up friend, don’t let your adversary take you down, yes there’s a war – a war to stop your work and a war for your soul, but you’re not going to give up, no you aren’t, am I right?



Haggai is only 2 chapters long- read it, please. Also, read Ezra 4 and see how their enemies discouraged them, do this so you understand the tactics of the enemy to beat, tear down and wearied God’s people. Read Nehemiah and Ezra, notice, that in the midst of their enemies, God gave them favor from a distant King who allowed them to rebuild which infuriated their neighbors. Both Cyrus and Darius. Kings of Persia decreed for the temple to be rebuilt. Yes, the people were able to continue their work for the Lord even though everyone around them hated them, falsely accused them and continued to weary them with words. But God was with them, He strengthened them and His Spirit was among them. Today His Spirit is in us- His Power is in you. Amen