There is no thrill like the thrill of studying God's Word as His Holy Spirit filled child. To be taught by the Creator of the Universe and all it contains, to be so close to Him that you are able to hear the still small voice of the God that when He speaks the mountains tremble and the heavens roar. Well if you can even grasp that slightly it is overwhelmingly humbling!
Currently I am in the study of Isaiah and Colossians. Oh what a joy it is to learn more of the awesomeness of my God. There is absolutely nothing boring about the Word of my God. It is a book that I have not been able to put down in almost 10 years. Pouring over it and in it and the more I learn the more I want to learn because the more I learn the more I realize how much I do not know. Each word, each verse, could be poured over for a lifetime and still one would be left with their eyes searching and their mouth gaped wide open as they attempted to take in all that God could share with them concerning this one single word, this one single verse.
As I have been studying in Isaiah this verse is one of many that spoke volumes to me. Isaiah 26:13 "O LORD our God, other masters besides You have ruled us; But through You alone we confess Your name." I read this and I had to ask God, what other masters have ruled me. What exactly did the death that I died with my Jesus accomplish in me.
I received an email from a precious woman who shared with me that she had sat under a preacher as a christian for over 50 years listening to sermon after sermon, but now she was beginning to reject what she had heard. She said she knew the facts of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ but she still did not know what the death of Christ had to do with her life. I have no clue who this woman is, she wrote as from another nationality, another country, but my heart broke as I read her words, but I praise God that she was seeking truth! As I read her words my mind was pulled back to Isaiah 26:13.
So precious ones, what does Christ's death and resurrection means to us for our life? Because He died and because when we trust in Him, when we identify with Him, when we put our faith in Him and in His work on the cross, we die with Him and if we die with Him it also means we are raised with Him into a new life (Romans 6:3-5) we are a new creation (2 Corin 5:17).
In this new life we have freedom. We have freedom from all the masters that once ruled over us. So we have to ask ourselves what masters rule us? These are the masters that I believe God showed me as I opened His Word. He took me back to what I had learned through my study in the book of Romans.
(1) The lie, was once my master. The lie that the serpent whispered to Eve once captivated me. The lie that I did not need God. The lie that I could make my own choices and decisions in this world. The lie that I was my own god, I ruled my own life, I made my own way, I lived by my own rules, my own idea of right. I praise God that the Truth has set me free (John 8:32). The lie (Romans 1:25) is no longer my master. I am completely aware that my every breath only comes to me because my Creator God has allowed it to. I am not my own god, I make horrible decisions and choices when left to myself, and I have no basis on which to determine right from wrong apart from God. Why is that? Well basically because there is no freedom apart from God, apart from Christ, because the truth of the lie is that I am slave to other masters. We are never masterless. So what other masters rule us if Christ does not?
(2) The next master I saw was religion. Yes we can be enslaved to the traditions of man, their idea of holiness, their list of do's and don'ts. Lists and lists of steps to holiness. A 12 step program to getting it right. You are not saved, you are not worthy of godliness or holiness or righteousness unless you look and act like us and follow all our rules and traditions and our interpretations of the Law. In Christ man's made religion (Romans 2, Galatians 1:3-12, Colossians 2:8) is no longer our master. God tells us in Isaiah 2:22 to stop regarding man whose breathe of life is in his nostrils for why should he be so esteemed. My life is not to seek the approval of man, but only the approval of my new Master, my Jesus, for He bought me with precious blood.
(3) Death is no longer our master (Romans 6:9). Death is swallowed up in victory in Christ! Because I know that because He lives I will live. I have no longer a fear of death, because death is only now a transition into an even greater life. I am not controlled by fear of death. I will not be threatened by it through man, disease, disaster, or demon. Death simply means that I will be absent from the body and present with my Lord. He holds my life in His hands. He bought and paid for it. It belongs to Him and I trust Him completely with it. It is to take when and how He pleases in order to bring Him glory.
(4) Sin is no longer our master (Romans 6:14). Before I died in Christ I was a slave to sin. Sin had me bound. It was inherent me, passed down through the seed of my great great, plus more greats grandfather Adam. The fact that I commit sins does not make me sinner, I commit sins because I was already a sinner. As we look at Romans 6 we see that in Christ we died to sin, the sin, not sins plural. The sin is what I was enslaved to. The sin that was inherent in me, the sin that was imputed against me because I committed sins in my enslavement to it, the sin that entered the world because of the lie. This sin is no longer my master. In Christ I am enslaved to righteousness (Romans 6:18)
(5) The Law is no longer our master (Romans 7:4). Apart from Christ I was/am bound to the Law of God. If not in Christ I will be judged according to the standard of the Law of God. Why? Well it's His universe, His rules, if you can't keep them you can't stay. Now in my death to the Law and my marriage to Christ I do not become lawless. I simply am filled with an overwhelming desire to please my Master not by keeping a list of rules but out of sheer love and adoration. His Laws, His love, His life, His righteousness is now the desire of my heart. I want to keep His Law and do what pleases Him not out of fear but out of love for Him.
(6) The flesh is no longer our master (Romans 8:12-13). Yes that is right. The flesh is no longer my master. In Christ I now have the power through His Holy Spirit in me to put to death the deeds of the flesh. All those desires that sin brought in my life and awakened in my flesh, all those lusts that my flesh screamed for, all those things that I felt completely powerless to say "NO!" to, now in Christ I have power over. I have power to say "NO!" no matter how strong the desire is or how loud my flesh screams. The still small voice of the Spirit of my new Master is louder and more powerful than my flesh any day and everyday. He gave us this authority in His name and through His Spirit and by His Word it is our responsibility to use it.
(7) Satan is no longer our master (Romans 16:20). The devil no longer can make you do anything! With the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, all authority in heaven and on earth was given to Him. He holds the keys to life and death. He is the LORD of hosts. All things in heaven and on earth and under the earth must bow at His name. He is King of kings, Lord of lords, God of gods. He is all in all! Satan might run rampant in the earth and stomp about in His tyraid and deceiving those who would be deceived but God is soon going to crush him under His feet, but until this day in Christ he has no authority over me.
These are no longer master over anyone who is in Christ. Those in Christ now have a new master His name is Jesus. We are slaves to no one or no thing because Jesus calls us friend (John 15:15). Whom the Son has set free is free indeed! (John 8:36)
Oh but precious one if we know Jesus we know what He did for us. When we know what His grace means, when we grasp it fully, when we understand the extent of His mercy, we cannot be content in our freedom alone. In our freedom we turn to Him and then willingly become His slave.
Our desire is for Him, we desire to obey Him and honor Him in our freedom by doing His will. And then in this freedom, in this desire for His will, in this great love for Him, we begin to love what He loves and He loves the world and He desires that all would have this freedom, that all would serve Him as their One Master, so in this we are compelled to go out and share this truth with others that they too might be free indeed!
These other masters, these old masters, will rise up and try to take us back. We will battle them until the day that death releases us or Christ returns, but that is just it we battle! We battle as free men and women of God. We are to turn to them and tell them to get behind us because they do not control or rule us any longer our lives belong to Christ not them.
This is only a small picture, a small breakdown, of what the death of Christ means for our life. May you be blessed by the study of the glorious Word of our Creator God!
To Him be all the glory.