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02/07/2017: CAPTURED |

02/07/2017 | CAPTURED

SCRIPTURE

Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18 (NIV)

1 I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;

with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known

through all generations.

2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever,

that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,

I have sworn to David my servant,

4 ‘I will establish your line forever

and make your throne firm through all generations.’”

15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,

who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.

16 They rejoice in your name all day long;

they celebrate your righteousness.

17 For you are their glory and strength,

and by your favour you exalt our horn.

18 Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord,

our king to the Holy One of Israel.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

STUDY QUESTIONS

  • Read the Psalm as an opening prayer.
  • Do the words resonate with you as a reflection of your faith and your love for the Lord?

SCRIPTURE

Romans 6:12-23 (NIV)

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 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. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

 

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

STUDY QUESTIONS

    1. Have you heard the term “State Capture”? If so, what do understand this to mean?
    1. A theme throughout Romans is “freedom”. What do you think the Apostle Paul understands “freedom” to mean for the Christ Follower? Some verses to guide your thinking and discussion:
    • vs 12: “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”
    • vs 14: “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”
    • vs 18: “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
    • vs 23: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    1. Do you agree – “we are never free, but always captured” and the type of capture is a “matter of personal choice”?

The verse below might help:

    • vs 17: “you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness.”
    1. Freedom for Paul was not about breaking [Jewish] religious laws and then choosing the alternative which might be to live in any way one wanted to no matter how debauched and immoral (because “we are under grace and God will forgive us”); it could never be that for Paul.

Why? Because Christ Followers make the choice to be captured by God:

    • vs 22: “now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God [captured by God], the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life”.

A Christ Follower has made the choice to live in a way that shows God to the world (called sanctification); this is a life style, of faith, that faces many challenges and will be forced, by its very nature, to confront sin and evil in any form. Do you agree? How do you confront sin in your life, and in the life of someone else? In the life of your community?

    1. A practical example for this week, when confronted by sin, in whatever form;
    • stop, pray, reflect (think), then faithfully – act!
    • This is the format we should always follow; confront sin prayerfully, thoughtfully, and then in love (not with condemnation, nor self- righteous judgementalism) – but with the love of Jesus, faithfully act!
    • Show to all that you are “Captured for Jesus”!
    1. Close with a time of prayer and ministry to each other.

Have a blessed week.

Tim

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