Today: Psalms 87; Romans 6:1-14; Hosea 1 & 2
Romans 6 – UNITED WITH CHRIST
“Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14
We are united with Christ in His death and in His life. His blood is the bonding agent. His blood is our doorway to God. All flesh must die; our flesh must experience another sort of death while our bodies are still alive in order to follow Christ.
While we are alive here on earth, while our spirits are encased in these cursed flesh bodies, our natural state is sinfulness. Sin is our default position. That natural state of sin must be put to death so that our souls can live in communion with Christ. We do this by embracing Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection. The more we focus on Christ, the more the Holy Spirit will make us become like Him. We will know this is taking place when our desire to do sinful things grows less and less.
Hosea 1 & 2
The prophet Hosea was a lived parable. God instructed Hosea to do things that paralleled God’s relationship to Israel.
God also speaks to US today through Hosea’s prophetic words. WE are the promiscuous woman that God commanded Hosea to marry. We are “like an adulterous wife guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD.” (v.1:2) This lived prophetic message also warns of God’s impending judgment. Each child Gomer bears represents a different aspect of God’s judgment.
God says, “I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them.” (v.1:6) He will “make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst. I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery.” (v.2:3-4)
“She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold — which they used for Baal.” (v.2:8)
So God says: “I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen intended to cover her naked body.” (v.2:9)
As in Amos, this prophecy also promises restoration after the judgment. The judgment part is to bring us to the place where we will say, “I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.” (v.2:7) And after we turn back to God, He will speak tenderly to us again, and give us back our vineyards. We will again call Him husband; He will betroth us “in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion… in faithfulness.” (v.2:20) We will acknowledge the LORD. He will respond to us and restore us!