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Friday, January 12, 2018

Step Two in Developing the Eyes of Faith

In review of Romans 6:4 it says, “By our baptism, then, we were buried with him and shared his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might live a new life” (GNT).

Bottom Line:
Baptism shows we are part of his family and have a new life

What this means to me:
My baptism shows that I’m part of God’s family, it symbolizes my death to my old ways and my resecurrection with Him in a new life.

When I was spiritually reborn, God opened my spiritual eyes, enabling me to see his work all around me and to see the many opportunities he places before me.

God also opened my spiritual ears, so I will be able to hear what people are really saying instead of what I think they are saying. When Jesus came into my life, God opened a whole set of spiritual senses that help me now see life from his point of view.

One simple example is when I read the Bible, a specific verse, just pops out and I realize that I had never seen or realized that before, even though I may have read that verse 15 times before. What happened? God just opened my spiritual eyes.

As seen from yesterday’s study there are some basic steps I must complete in order to develop the eyes of faith, in order to live life by faith, and I need to live by faith or I’ll never be able to complete the destiny God has planned out for me.

My first act of faith was inviting Jesus into my life, my whole life — all the “rooms”. The second act of faith is to publicly identify with Jesus. It is a vital step of faith that God uses to release his power in our lives.

Jesus wanted me to publicly identify with him, and he teaches that this is a very serious issue. Jesus says in Mark 8:38 that if I am ashamed to publicly identify with him, he will be ashamed of me when he returns in glory.

The Bible says, “By our baptism, then, we were buried with him and shared his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might live a new life” (Romans 6:4 GNT). So the power to live a new life — following Jesus in order to fulfill my God-given purpose — is empowered by the obedience I showed in being baptized.

Baptism alone doesn’t make me a member of God’s family; only faith in Christ does that. But baptism does show I’m part of God’s family. It’s like a wedding ring, a visible reminder of an inward commitment made in your heart.

Also it was not something to put off until I thought I was spiritually mature. The only biblical condition is that I believed. In the New Testament, people were baptized immediately — as soon as they believed. There are no delayed baptisms in the New Testament.

In addition, because I am united with Christ in his death, my evil desires and slavery to sin died with him. Now, united by faith with him in his resurrection life, we have unbroken fellowship with God and freedom from sin’s hold on us.  

The power of sin over me died with Christ on the cross. My “old sinful self,” my sin sinful nature, died once and for all, so I am freed from its power. Though I may often willingly cooperate with my sinful nature, it is not me but the sin in me that is evil. And it is this power of sin at work in my life that is defeated. God does not take me out of the world or make me a robot, I will still feel like sinning and actually do it. The difference is that before I was saved I was a slave to my sinful nature, but now I can choose to live for Christ.

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