Posts Tagged ‘sin’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

This week we’re going to be studying the story of the healing of the man born blind. “As He [Jesus] went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, “‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind’?” (John 9:1-2).

There are mysteries in this life that we cannot answer, although many try to come up with some rational explanations. But, notice that the question arose from the disciples. Jesus had just finished a lengthy discourse in chapter 8 about His relationship with Father God and subjects eternal. With this in their minds, the disciples recognized a question they hadn’t thought about before. Thinking about spiritual things gets us thinking about more spiritual things.

The question was one of blame, or responsibility: ‘Who sinned, this man or his parents’? Worldly minded people always think in terms of cause and effect. If the result was blindness, there must have been a cause. Who was at fault to cause this result?

It is possible we fall into the same trap. Someone has misfortune in his/her life, therefore there must be some sin. But Jesus Himself proved that theory incorrect. Although He faced misfortune on the cross, there was no sin or fault found in Him. Sometimes these questions have no earthly answer. But we’ll examine Jesus’ answer tomorrow.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

…in hope. Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:20b-21). The hope of a believer is that in spite of the earthly curse on the world around us, there is a deliverance that is coming for each of us. This is “our earnest expectation” (v. 19) and “hope” (v. 20).

Jesus didn’t deliver the world from the curse when He first came. But He did give a taste of deliverance to multitudes that received a healing, a miracle, or a deliverance in their lives. They still had to live on a cursed planet, but they knew what it was to see breakthroughs in the “bondage of corruption“. In the Acts and Epistles we see again, even after Jesus’ ascension, there were numerous recorded breakthroughs in people’s empty and vain lives. And in the 2012 Year of Harvest testimonies we received, we learned that God is still bringing bits and pieces of the “earnest expectation” that we will live in fully in heaven.

This “bondage of corruption” Paul describes is translated “bondage of decay” in the NIV. As the god of this world, Satan inspires the Second Law of Thermodynamics which says (an oversimplification) everything slowly wears out and deteriorates over time. That’s the “bondage of decay” in this world. Let’s become over-comers and taste of this “glorious liberty” that Paul is about to tell us about in the coming verses and how to achieve.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Paul had just said in verse 7 that the carnal mind [natural way of thinking] is against the way God thinks, and cannot be subject to God’s ways. Our mind is rebellious by its very nature. He concludes: “So, then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8).

So, if we do what “we feel” we will always offend God. What a miserable and hopeless way to live. There is no hope in that. We are destined to go from one failed relationship to the next; one defeat after another. And to think that millions of Americans cry themselves to sleep every night. It is repeated regularly in the Facebook comments of our friends.

Paul describes this hopelessness best in the previous chapter: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing; for the desire is present with me, but how to perform the good I desire I can’t find. For the good I want to do I don’t; but the evil which I don’t want to do, I do. Now if I do what I don’t want to do, it is proof that it is not me that does it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:18-20, Pastor Diehl paraphrase).

So, although we pamper our flesh with make-up, deodorant, jewelry and tattoos, it doesn’t measure up in God’s eyes. We are all losers. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Is there hope for people like us? Yes, indeed, and Paul leads us into that light in the next verse, which I’ll comment on tomorrow.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin the flesh” (Romans 8:3).

There is a stretch of County Road 35 going past the golf course where the speed limit is 45 mph. But there is rarely a police car nearby, so what difference does it make? Usually none, until I looked in my rear view mirror and saw those flashing lights. The officer was kind to me and only gave me a warning, but he caught me doing 55 and I was guilty. Getting caught gave me a good respect for the law.

The law in itself has no power over our lives, but the penalty for disobeying is still in force. The law can’t force me or anyone else to stop speeding; it really has no power to shape how I choose to live. But, what the law could not do through fear, Jesus Christ did through His love.

When I reflect on what He did for me it humbles my stubborn pride and makes me want to follow His ways. Not because there is a law, but because He paid the penalty for me. Because we live in these flesh bodies, the law fails to control us. But when Jesus paid the penalty with His flesh, He condemned the sin in my flesh.

That’s why, “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The melody behind ‘There is a Fountain’ comes from an unknown traditional American sound. Verse of 2 of that old hymn says:

The dying thief rejoiced to see That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away:
Wash all my sins away, Wash all my sins away;
And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away.

Sometimes its good to remind ourselves that the story of the dying thief on the cross beside Jesus is a picture of us. As sinners, we all deserved to be on the cross beside Jesus. But when that thief as Jesus to remember him, Jesus immediately promised that he would be with Him in Paradise. Because Jesus was paying for the thief sin, it was washed away from him.

How about you, have you ever considered yourself spiritually like the dying thief? That’s why the story is there: its all about you and what Jesus did for you. What will you do with Jesus today?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Scott Kerman is an author of a book that describes 50 ways to sneak into concerts and sporting events. And he has thoroughly researched his topic by claiming to have attended 300 sporting events or concerts, including 25 World Series baseball games. And he did so without paying a penny.

Scott’s gate-crashing raises all sorts of ethical questions. But I think the topic of his book raises another question. Is it possible to somehow sneak into heaven? Can the gates of heaven be crashed?

I think Jesus answered that for us in John 14:6, when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus, who paid the price by shedding His blood on the cross, is the Ticket. It requires personal faith in Christ.

Blom wrote in an old hymn:

He the pearly gates will open
So that I may enter in,
For He purchased my redemption
And forgave me all my sin.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I’ve been re-reading the first couple of chapters in Genesis in preparation for the Green Garden series I’ll be speaking on this weekend. As I read and pondered I was overwhelmed again with the grandeur of God’s plan in His creation of humans. These first chapters lay out such a foundation for God’s relationship with humans that helps us understand our connections with each other, and why we are so broken.

As I will be describing this weekend, God set us up in the perfect environment to thrive and succeed in life. It was the fall of man that raped man’s spiritual security and ousted us from the Green Garden. Broken marriages and families is the inevitable result.

With God’s grace and the sacrifice of our Redeemer we have hope of a reconciliation and restoration of everything we’ve lost; including damaged relationships.

Pray with me as I speak words of life to hurting people this weekend.

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