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God always has a standard: Meditation for second sunday after trinity

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Princewill O. Ireoba


Introduction
The world we live in and what are in it are ever changing – times, tides, values, styles, fashions, trends, etc. It is said that everything changes except change. Everything is, therefore, categorised into old and new, outdated and current. What was good and acceptable yesterday becomes archaic today, hence the concept of “new morality,” modern lifestyles and values.

But God does not change in His essence. He says in Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” Hebrews 13:8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Even when every other thing changes, God’s nature, principles and standards never change. God does not have a standard for a people of a time and another for people of another time. Therefore, as we live in a changing world, we shall do well, as Jimmy Carter, a former President of the United States of America put it, to “change with changing times but still keep with changeless principles.” God’s holiness and righteous standard or requirements are changeless.

Relativism Of Today
The unfortunate situation today is that there appears to be no longer a standard. Some people hold to the concept that right or wrong are not absolutes, but can be determined by each individual. It is now for people to decide what is good for them. Consequently, people, including Christians, now sin with impunity. But as Charles H. Spurgeon put it: If you can sin and not weep over it, you are an heir of Hell. If you can go into sin, and afterwards feel satisfied to have done so, you are on the road to destruction. If there are no pricking of conscience, no inward torments, no bleeding wounds; if you have no throbs and heavings of a bosom that cannot rest; if your soul never feels filled with wormwood and gall when you know you have done evil, you are no child of God.
(http://www.truthsource.net/quotes/?q_sort=authors_list&sort_author=C.H._Spurgeon)

Called To Obedience And Submission To God
God’s calling is to obedience and total submission to His demands. God’s covenant with the people of Israel, when He called them, was such that He dictated the terms. He simply told them what to do and they only responded: “Everything the LORD has said we will do.” (Exod. 24:3). There was no ground for negotiation or the liberty of choosing what was suitable. The situation did not change with the call of the new Israel, namely, the Church. Some people misconstrue the concept of law and grace, such that it appears that Christians are no longer obliged to obey the laws of God.

The Epistle: Rom. 6:3-11
The Epistle for the day is Paul’s exposition on the Christian’s freedom from the tyranny of sin. This is a very important issue because the gospel is based on the free unmerited grace of God through Christ (3:21-5:21). It is evident that some conceived freedom as a licence to live as they liked (6:1). The Jews wanted to assure godly living by demanding that new converts conform to the Mosaic Law. But Paul taught that the indwelling Spirit, not an external code, would produce godly Christ-like followers. In reality, this is the difference between the Old Covenant (cf. Deut. 27-28) and the New Covenant (cf. Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:26-27). One exposes sin, but the other gives power for overcoming sin.

The keys to overcoming sin in the Christian’s life are:
• Know who/what you are in Christ consequent on His works. You are dead to sin!
• Reckon your position in Christ into your daily life situations.
• We are not our own and so, must serve/obey our Master.
• Don’t play around with sin. Call it for what it is. Turn from it and flee from it.

Conclusion
God has a standard. He is of purer eyes to behold evil (Hab. 1:13). Sin is sin and must be overcome. ‘…the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”’ (2Tim. 2:19, cf 1Pet. 1:15 – 16; 2Cor. 7:1).
Ven. Dr Princewill O. Ireoba is the Rector,
Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
www.ibrucentre.org


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Princewill Ireoba
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