The Christian Home
and The Old Nature
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (1Peter 3:8-9)
WOULDN'T IT BE GOOD... If people who gather in houses of worship could be as nice and orderly as the building? From the wording in these verses two thousand years ago, whatever is flawed in human nature was flawed a long time ago. It also appears that getting saved, even truly saved, does not eliminate the old depraved nature we drag around with us all the time. Paul was troubled with this. He said: I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (Romans 7:21)
THE CHRISTIAN HOME IS GREATLY IMPACTED by the old fleshly nature that remains and clings to us ‘till death. The old sin nature of each family member is alive and well in every Christian home. Would to God we could park our old sin nature at the front door of our homes so that we have nothing but wonderful people living in the Christian home. The Christian home is a gymnasium, a work-place where the Christian faith is being worked into the lives of each family member. The process of wrestling with the old nature and overcoming it, is called: “sanctification.” It continues until we die.
DO YOU EVER HAVE TROUBLE WITH THIS WILD PERSON who looks back at you from the bathroom mirror? When the phone rings, does it ever strike your match? Christians everywhere recognize the Apostle Paul as the leading Christian of all times and he had to say: O wretched man that I am! A saved man said that. He didn’t feel like singing hymns all the time. People got on his nerves. In fact, he said: For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (Romans 7:18)
But he said he had a solution for the wretched man that dogged his steps: I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord… (Romans 7:25). …Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Colossians 1:27). The best portrayal of his struggle is:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) This could be translated: “by the faithfulness of the Son of God.”
I CAN'T LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. I must let Christ live His life through me. How do I do that? Two words: seek and surrender. My job is to aggressively surrender to Him; To be sensitive to His leading in my spirit. If someone crosses me like a pagan, I don’t have to join in. We are to go beyond our own plans and think of others. Most people are having a hard time with something. A crabby waitress may be carrying a great burden she can’t handle. We are to: Bless them that curse you and pray for them which despitefully use you (Luke 6:28). Sometimes that’s hard to do. Flying off the handle is easier… isn’t it?
Paul said that in his struggle to triumph over his wretched self, he had to die to self. He said: … I die daily (1Corinthians 15:31). Death was all around him. He might be killed any day, and this reminded him to forget about petty things and to focus on his mission and who he belonged to.
JESUS PUT IT THIS WAY: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal (John 12:24-25). I memorized this 50 years ago, but I was forced to realize that this death-to-self-thing is a daily exercise.
Paul tells us that the end result is to: Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. (Romans 12:16) Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: (Romans 15:5)
There is much to be gained by realizing the nature of “struggle” within the Christian home. It’s the same struggle everyone has with the world, the flesh, and the devil. But, in the Christian home, it is bigger and more complicated. We get the opportunity to deny self and to benefit others instead of our selves. Do you live in a Christian home?
When we say: Christian home, we are using “Christian” as an adjective and not as a noun. A Christian is always one person, a noun. Christian music is an adjective. Music cannot be converted. But, there is something about the music that fulfills the ideals of the Christian faith. A Christian home is patterned after the ideals of the Christian faith. It is always a piece of on-going work. It is never finished in its quest for Christ-likeness. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
FEBRUARY 16, 2018 – FRIDAY
A.M. Leviticus 22-23 P.M. Mark 1:1-22
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1Corinthians 10:31)
Song for Today:
He Washed My Eyes With Tears & We’ll Talk It Over (4:44)
(Ira Stanfield and Gaither Group) (Ira gives his testimony behind the songs.)
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