Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 October 2022 Romans 6:23.

Romans 6:23.       The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ah friends, can you believe it’s already the last day of October; what we term Halloween Day, a pagan ritual to darkness, evil and the making of money! Yes, the dark night will be filled with young children going around their neighbourhood dressed up in ghoulish, ugly costumes, crying, ‘Trick or treat!’ hoping to get some candy from the house owners. At one stage it also involved fruits, but then wicked people began putting things like razor blades and other sharp, harmful objects in the fruits, so now it’s mostly a candy-based operation. 

Remember how once upon a time the dentists would caution us against too much candy? But apparently those days are over, for the dentists, like the retailers, also seem to welcome the brisk business they get from Halloween. Hn! It’s all about the money, and any evil or foolish scheme that will fill the coffers is fair game. But as true believers, we have to resist the devil and his deceitful schemes and instead of accepting his darkness and lies, seek, accept and nurture within our souls the light and truth that’s Jesus Christ! 

And He said it out loud and clear. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6). Then there’s this other concrete pronouncement to the unbelieving Pharisees. ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) Thus, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ‘the way, the truth, the life and the light’ of this troubled world. If you want to come out of the darkness and into the light, and find the way, which is based on truth, that leads to eternal life, then He is the answer! 

Now, that’s why Bruh Paul warned the Corinthians thus: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship (in common) hath righteousness and unrighteousness (lawlessness)? And what communion (fellowship) hath light with darkness?’ (2 Cor. 6:14) Now those are very good questions, but the answer to both of them is absolutely nothing in common! Although light and righteousness should be always trying to invade darkness and turn unrighteousness around. That’s one of our jobs as a disciple of Christ. We don’t hook up with those who don’t believe in hope and goodness, don’t let their toxic energy cannibalize our godliness, but do our best to turn them around. 

And these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus also remind us of the great care we need to take regarding darkness and unrighteousness. ‘Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord: walk therefore as children of light. (For the fruit of the Spirit (Light) is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ (Eph. 5:6-10) 

Excellent words for us to remember and live by! And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:8. Darkness indicates that the readers used to be spiritually unenlightened and accompanying this ignorance was immorality with its resultant guilt and misery. Light denotes that the recipients are now to be religiously informed. Their knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness.’ ‘5:10. Because of constant temptations and solicitations to evil, believers must always be proving or discerning what is and what is not acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Then these words of James anchor us even more to the truth and the light. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried (has been proven), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust (desires), and enticed. 

Then when lust (desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin: and sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death. Do not err (be deceived) my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:12-18) 

Yes friends, the unchangeable Father of lights made us with the word of truth to be the shining light of His creations. But the devil, the prince of darkness tries to mess up our witness with his evil temptations, not God. And please note that the temptations that James is speaking of here are different from the ones in verses 2-12. In our verses ‘the source is identified as internal, from one’s own lust, and the outcome is death. 

In verses 2-12 the “temptations” or trials have an external origin in that they fall on man. Those trials cannot be avoided, so believers are encouraged to endure them, and mature as a result. The temptations of verses 13-15 must be avoided, according to God’s express commandments (Rom. 13:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22). The progression of sin, from temptation to death, has an analogy in the physical life cycle: conception, birth, maturity, and death.’  

Wow! Isn’t that last sentence rather interesting? It surely is! That’s why Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: ‘The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) In other words: ‘Wages: Emphasizes what we deserve. Gift of God: Emphasizes God’s unmerited favour.’ And sadly, right now our world is in a terribly sinful state, so you know what we are looking at; death, rather than life. But there is always hope when you believe in Christ, so let’s call on that hope right through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now it’s time to turn from our sinful ways, keep on praying and asking for forgiveness, so that we receive eternal life and not death. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…life…or death…your choice… 

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