Brought From Death to Life

While reading a devotional segment from the May issue of Impact Magazine, I read a couplet that contained am unfamiliar word.

There is a little couplet which I like so much, but it contains a good word–forgotten by many today–the word “mien” (pronounced “mean”).  It means “countenance” or appearance.  Read the couplet:

 

Vice is a monster of such horrible mien, that to be hated it needs but to be seen.  But seen too oft, grown familiar with its face, first we endure, then we embrace.

 

In my humble opinion, I think that this is exactly what happened in the minds of those who were fighting for legalizing the horrible killing of babies in the womb back in 1973, as well as in the minds of the decision makers when abortion became legalized by the Supreme Court.  Today, a second tragic Supreme Court decision may be coming down the pike…the one that will be made at the end of June regarding the unfettered recognition of same-sex marriage.

In both cases, what was once deemed as vice, became familiar.  Next, we first endured the consequences of such decisions.  Then, it was embraced by secular society so as to label those who disagree and want to follow Christ and God’s Word  as “bigots,” “homophobes,” and “haters.”

The devotional goes on to say that “familiarity with the face of the monster of vice” is prevalent in our society.  We see it raise its ugly head on most talk shows and within the new “modern family” types of TV series that embrace as “good” that which used to be considered sinful and evil.

What was once considered “sin” is now re-labeled as “happiness.”

One of the great deceiver’s best ploys placed upon the human race is the successful lie he uses upon our consciences that, “we will find happiness and fulfillment through sin and by disregarding the commandments and precepts of God.”  Letting ourselves go in order to follow sinful passions and getting us to ignore Christ and His Word is Satan’s most successful lie.  The devil would have us believe that joy comes through sin.

However, God’s Word tells us that there is happiness in holiness and it is through the submission to the will of Christ that man will find his true joy and fulfillment.  Notice how these two choices are totally and completely opposite propositions!  One is truth, the other, a lie.

Even though the unredeemed of the world would like us to join in with the lies of Satan, Christians are not supposed to seek such familiarity.  Instead, we should turn away from our old vices, our old habits, and our old sinful natures.

And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. – Romans 6:13

There is a great commentary written by David Brown on Romans 6.

Here is just a portion of it:

13. Neither yield ye your members instruments of unrighteousness unto Sin, but yield yourselves–this is the great surrender.
unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and–as the fruit of this.
your members–till now prostituted to sin.
instruments of righteousness unto God–But what if indwelling sin should prove too strong for us? The reply is: But it will not.

14. For Sin shall not have dominion over you–as the slaves of a tyrant lord.
for ye are not under the law, but under grace–The force of this glorious assurance can only be felt by observing the grounds on which it rests. To be “under the law” is, first, to be under its claim to entire obedience; and so, next under its curse for the breach of these. And as all power to obey can reach the sinner only through Grace, of which the law knows nothing, it follows that to be “under the law” is, finally, to be shut up under an inability to keep it, and consequently to be the helpless slave of sin. On the other hand, to be “under grace,” is to be under the glorious canopy and saving effects of that “grace which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (see on JF & B for Ro 5:20, 21). The curse of the law has been completely lifted from off them; they are made “the righteousness of God in Him”; and they are “alive unto God through Jesus Christ.” So that, as when they were “under the law,” Sin could not but have dominion over them, so now that they are “under grace,” Sin cannot but be subdued under them. If before, Sin resistlessly triumphed, Grace will now be more than conqueror.

The diminishing of our old nature is called mortification. The growing of our new nature is called vivification. Put the two together (mortification and vivification) and you get sanctification –one of the great glorious doctrines of the Christians faith.

Christians realize that the process of sanctification is a lifetime venture. We have never “arrived” because it is not perfected in this life. It is in eternity with Christ where the final traces or evidence of sin are removed and we are declared perfect.

1Jo 3:1

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! [fn] Therefore the world does not know us, [fn] because it did not know Him.

1Jo 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

1Jo 3:3

And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

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