“There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). What a powerful statement by the Apostle Paul. The King James Version adds a last clause to that statement: “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit“. This would modify the first statement referring “to those who are in Christ Jesus” and making the “no condemnation” apply to only those “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit“. So, it then says only the spiritually mature in Christ are not condemned. That changes the whole meaning of grace, and requires us back to works.
Bible scholars believe that this last clause, which is found in context at the end of verse 4 where it refers to how “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us“, was errantly also added to the end of verse 1 due to some early scribe trying to straighten out others’ beliefs. The true meaning, then, is that the condition for having no condemnation on your life, is being “in Christ Jesus” period. We can fulfill the righteousness of the law, however, by walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. One is dependent upon Christ, the other is dependent upon our works. There is a place for them both. Don’t get them confused.
And if those in Christ Jesus are not condemned, why do we condemn ourselves because we stumble in the flesh sometimes? He knows our weakness. But it should be our earnest desire to walk according to the leading of the Spirit of God. That’s how we find real life.
Tags: condemnation, mistakes
Several years ago I was asked to officiate for the renewal of wedding vows on a couple’s tenth wedding anniversary. Everyone knew it was their tenth anniversary, and they provided a reception in the Unity Hall for the close family and friends that were invited.
In my introduction I misspoke and said that they had had five good years together. Someone asked if that was the first five or the last five and everyone had a good laugh.
If we were perfect we would never make mistakes, but since we’re all human, sometimes we do make mistakes. Its a lot easier to receive forgiveness if we let others see that we are human, than if we carry ourselves as perfect. So, make sure people see you as real. Laugh at your own errors and it makes it easy for others to laugh at them, as well.
What word blunder have you made recently that proved you were human?
Tags: error, humor, mistakes
Sometimes what we say just comes out wrong. Most of the arguments my wife and I have are simple misunderstandings. I say one thing and she hears another, or vice-verse. Communication is a big problem for some of us because we are wired so differently.
And sometimes my brain just runs a little faster than my mouth. On one occasion I was preaching to a church full of adults about marriage and was trying to communicate that giving love and respect to each other creates much success. But I actually said, “Marriage creates much sex”. Everyone got a good laugh out of that one.
Another time I was wrapping up an evening marriage-themed meeting by saying, “We want you to have a sexful marriage”. That was the end of the evening right then. People couldn’t wait to get home.
If you listen to Jesus’ teaching in the New Testament, you know that He was always thinking outside the box. Because we routinely think inside the box, everything He says catches us off guard and seems revolutionary. That’s why we should let His carefully chosen words pierce out hearts and guide our way.
Tags: communication, humor, marriage, mistakes
Don Berry is an electrician and has been very beneficial in keeping our electrical needs resolved here at the church. I’ve also used him on electrical projects at my house.
On one occasion a couple of years ago we had an electrical problem at our home. I called Don up and explained the problem and we agreed on a time when he would be there. Don is usually very prompt and I was concerned when he didn’t show up as promised.
A bit later he called me from his cell phone. He had been at the church and couldn’t find the problem I had described. We had a big misunderstanding. I was describing an electrical problem at my house and he was thinking I was describing a problem at the church. We wasted a half hour of his time over a miscommunication.
I think many of our problems are either mis-speaking or mis-hearing. That is the cause of 90% of the disagreements Anita and I have. I say one thing and she hears another. Then she says something and I hear another. Is there a way out of the mis-communication dilemma? Probably not until we learn to speak the same language.
Let’s try a little harder to hear what each other is saying today.
Tags: hearing, mistakes, misunderstanding
Today is a rare February 29. People born on this day don’t have many birthdays, but keep getting older, anyway.
Wisdom is lacking in the world. For example, consider the man who walked into a Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled – leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The police report said the total amount of cash he got from the drawer was $15. Wisdom was rare on this guy!
In another example of unwisdom, a few years back AT&T fired President John Walter after nine months, saying he lacked “intellectual leadership”. He received a $26 million severance package. Maybe its not Walter who’s lacking intelligence.
If today’s your birthday, celebrate big. Birthdays and wisdom are rare.
Tags: mistakes, wisdom
The Department of Social Services in Greenville County, South Carolina, sent the following letter:
“Your food stamps will be stopped, effective immediately, because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances.”
Does this mean that the official South Carolina government officially endorses the possibility of life after death? I doubt it. It was likely a simple oversight. How could a person who is deceased possibly reapply when their circumstances change? Once a person has died, then comes the judgment. We get no second chances and there is no reincarnation.
The importance of that is so we will remember to make life count the first time around. Make your life count today.
Tags: death, mistakes, resurrection
While vacationing in Saugatuck, we toured a passenger ship that was open to the public. This ship was constructed in Scotland in 1906 to be used to shuttle passengers on the Great Lakes until her retirement in the 1960s. It was a short cut from the east for those who wanted to travel west to the Rockies. It was mainly the Carnival Cruise ship of its day.
When this huge ship was being delivered, she steamed up the St. Lawrence seaway to the locks that would allow her to pass into the Great Lakes. They specifically built this ship narrow enough for it to fit through the locks. However, they discovered it was too long to fit in the lock! So they had to cut the ship in half and brought her through in two sections, then reassembled her. And the ship was delivered with several kegs of replacement rivets just in case that would be necessary.
Murphy’s Law says that if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. What has gone wrong for you today and how did you fix it?
Tags: mistakes, preparation, ship