Dear Woodside... You're Free!

“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34–36, ESV)

Sin is no easy task master. It dominates and directs every step of our lives. No matter how much we like to believe we are independent and free to make our own choices, still our slavery in sin is overbearing and dominating. Unless we are freed!

Romans 6 came up again in my daily Bible reading this week and I find such encouragement and power there to help us be free from the dominating, overpowering slavery to sin. Romans 6 gives us a new identity that enables us to live in freedom from sin. Listen to what God’s Word declares about those who are in Christ:

“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:9–11, emphasis mine)

“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14, ESV)

“and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:18, ESV)

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” (Romans 6:22, ESV, emphasis mine)

Do you see the identity there? Christ has died and was raised to life again. We, by faith, have been unified with him in his death and resurrection and therefore are now dead to sin! Sin has no dominion over us who are in Christ. We are free from sin! Sin has no authority or dominion over every child of God.

Experientially, however, we know that we still struggle with sin. We aren’t perfect and completely free of sin in the here-and-now, but the dominating power of sin over us is gone. Today, those who are in Christ, are free from the shackles and power of sin. I tell you these things to encourage you not to become weary or to give up in your daily life in pursuing holiness. Many times we can be confident that we aren’t growing, that we aren’t moving forward, and so the tendency is to just stop and give up. No! Keep struggling, fighting, aspiring, pressing on towards Christ.

Ray Ortlund describes it this way,

”What marks a Christian is not sinlessness but aspiration. When God’s grace opens a window into the sin-darkened prison of your soul, a shaft of pure light falls on your uplifted face. You see everything in a new way, and you can never be the same again. Before God came, you just tried to make the best of your prison, pretty much the way everyone else does. You bought your pleasures there. You built your life there. You even cultivated your religion there. But when the life of God enters your soul through the Holy Spirit, you come to realize that there is more for you than anything this world can offer. Your soul opens up to a whole new world.”

Friends, today, in Christ, we are free from sin - so let’s continue to move forward and pursue the life of holiness. If so we will see “the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Romans 6:22). We’re free, kadima on to life!

Thank You!

Thank you to so many of you who came and served at our Work Day last Saturday. We got so much accomplished around our facility and have taken another step forward in making sure we care for the physical location that God has entrusted to us so that we can be effective in our mission to make disciples.

Also - thank you to the folks to served and helped make our Family Feast on Sunday a success and a time for community and relationships to be built. It was a great weekend together last week and I am grateful for the many hands that helped cook, clean, prepare, organize, and lead us for that day!

This Sunday

Sunday we are going to be looking at how we move forward in our faith from duty to desire. We will be looking closely at Hebrews 12:2 and seek to "kadima" together. As we praise God together in song we will be singing:

  • Open Up The Heavens
  • Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)
  • Jesus, I Come
  • How Great Thou Art
  • Great Are You Lord

The worship songs are posted on Spotify for you to hear and become familiar with before we sing together on Sunday. Also this Sunday we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper together as church family.

I look forward to continuing to grow with you and am keeping you in my heart and prayers. You’re free in Christ to pursue righteousness - so let’s move forward “upward and onward” in Christ together.

Kadima!
Jeremy

P.S. Go Broncos!