Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.”
The Lord’s Anointed
Jesus Christ went to the synagogue in Nazareth, and he stood up to read the first half of this passage of Scripture from Isaiah 61, and when he had finished he said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Thus, he said this was fulfilled in him, that he was the one the Lord had anointed to bring forth the Good News of the gospel of our salvation and to proclaim freedom to those who are in captivity (slavery) to sin (Lu 4:16-21).
And we, as the Lord’s anointed, who are his representatives on this earth, are also to be those who are bringing forth the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ and who proclaiming freedom from slavery (addiction) to sin to those living in captivity to sin. For this is why Jesus died on that cross, to free us from our bondage to sin so that we can now walk in holiness and in righteousness in the power and working of God within our lives.
Jesus Christ, who was God in the flesh when he walked this earth – both fully God and fully man – came to the earth with the ultimate purpose to die on that cross for our sins. He who knew no sin, thus, became sin for us on that cross so that when he died he put our sins to death with him, and when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over death, hell, sin, and Satan on our behalf, so that we can be set free from the power of sin.
For when we are born into this world as babies we are born in the image of Adam with sin natures. We are separate from God and we are unable, in ourselves, to be acceptable to God and to be righteous in his sight. And we are in need to have our sinful hearts healed by his grace and mercy and to be delivered from our addiction to sin and to be given new lives in him free from the control of sin and now free to live in righteousness by his grace.
Freedom from Captivity
Thus, because Jesus died for us on that cross, for our freedom, we, by faith in him, are able to be crucified with Christ in death to sin and to be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We are able to have our old self put to death with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved (addicted) to sin but to righteousness.
Now we can live in victory over sin, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ. Now we are to no longer let sin reign (be in control) in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its sinful passions. For sin shall no longer have dominion (power) over our lives, for Jesus set us free. For we are slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and which ends in eternal life.
This is our Lord’s favor (kindness, grace) to us. For Jesus did not die on that cross merely to forgive us our sins and to promise us heaven when we die. He died to free us from our slavery to sin so that we can now walk in his holiness and righteousness, by his grace. His free gift to us is not freedom to keep on living in deliberate and habitual sin without conscience. The free gift is freedom from addiction to sin and empowerment to live holy lives.
So, we are to come to him humbly, and we are to grieve over our sins, and we are to repent of (to turn away from) our sins, by his grace, and to turn to him to now surrender our lives to him to do his will for our lives. And then he gives us new lives in him free from the control of sin. He replaces the stain of sin over our lives, from what once held us in bondage, with the joy of his salvation. And now we can walk in righteousness, in his power and strength.
And all of this is to the glory and praise of God. For we are now the Lord’s possession and he is now Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them. For Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14).
The Day of Vengeance of our God
Making a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ or repeating words after someone else in what is supposed to be a prayer to God does not save you from your sins nor guarantee you heaven when you die. It doesn’t matter how sincere you were when you made that profession or prayed that prayer. Words spoken or confessed are not enough to secure us eternal life with God. We must have a heart change and a lifestyle change.
The Scriptures are very clear that our salvation from sin is not a one-time event which takes place in our lives and then we can go on living however we want and one day we get to go to heaven. We must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness, not just once but daily. And we must continue steadfast in that walk of faith until the day Jesus Christ returns to take his bride to be with him for eternity.
We must walk in righteousness and holiness, in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant), and we must forsake our sinful practices, and we must love others with the love of God within us or we don’t have salvation from sin and eternal life with God. For Jesus died on that cross to free us from our addiction to sin and to raise us with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
So, if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we do not have the hope of eternal life with God but the promise of his wrath, instead. For we are all going to be judged by what we do in this life, and we are all going to reap what we sow. So, please make sure that your life is surrendered to Jesus Christ, to following him in his ways, and to the forsaking of your sins.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rom 3:23; Rom 5:12-19; 1 Co 15:21-22,42-49; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!