Victory Vitamin Blog – Romans 7:15-21

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 

-Romans 7:15-21 NIV

 

By almost any standard, the apostle Paul was a pretty solid Christian.  Not that there is some hierarchy of Christians based on performance, I’m just saying that Paul would be worth imitating.  In spite of Paul’s maturity as a follower of Jesus, he admitted that he still struggled with sin.  He strait up says, “what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.”  Paul knew the Word and will of God.  But knowing it and doing it are two different things.  He struggled to translate knowledge into action.  When it comes to Christian living, there are two extremes we need to avoid.  The first, is thinking that we’ll achieve perfection.  It’s not gonna happen.  The other extreme is thinking that since we can’t be perfect, we shouldn’t try.  We should try.  We should try, knowing full well that we’re going to fail.  The key is in the struggle.  We are to fight against sin every day.  Not because we’ll be perfect, but because it’s what God wants, and we owe God everything.  Jesus lived a perfect life, and gave it up so we could be forgiven.  In response we fight against the sin, and struggle to live lives that will glorify God, and make us happier.  We’ll win some and we’ll lose some, but thanks be to God!  He gives us the ultimate victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Matthew 10:29-31

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Matthew 10:29-31 NIV

 

It’s easy to think that God is unconcerned, preoccupied with bigger things, or just generally not mindful of our everyday struggles.  Jesus’ words above should put such foolish notions to rest.  There is nothing remarkable about Sparrows.  Their appearance and song are bland.  They reproduce in high numbers.  And yet, God is mindful of a single sparrow.  He knows where they fly, He knows when they die.  There is nothing in God’s creation that is beyond His concern and control.  God’s eye is on the sparrow, and His eye is on you.  He knows how you feel, and what you need.  Which is why He proved His love and concern by becoming human to pay the price for our sinful rebellion against Him.  When Jesus died, your slate of sins was wiped clean.  Through faith in Jesus, death no longer has the final say.  You will live, after you die, in the perfection of heaven.  Life can be hard.  But don’t be afraid; you are worth more than the half cent sparrow.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Romans 5:11

“we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” 

-Romans 5:11 NIV

 

There’s a TV commercial that portrays a man in a bank in a security guard outfit.  When the bank is robbed, he tells the customers, “I’m not a security guard.  I’m a security monitor.  I only notify people when there’s a robbery.  There’s a robbery.”  What’s the point in monitoring a problem if you aren’t going to fix it?  Thankfully we have a God who doesn’t just monitor, He fixes.  It’s one thing to have an auditor come in and point out financial discrepancies in your books.  It would be highly unusual to have the auditor take money out of their own pocket to make the books right.  That’s what God has done for you and me.  Our sin was the problem.  God pointed out the problem.  God fixed the problem.  The wages of sin is death.  We owed that debt to God.  God became human in Jesus to reconcile the books.  Jesus paid the price of death so that we could live forever.  Balance paid in full by Jesus.  We are reconciled to God through Him.  God loves you, God forgives you. Let that thought bounce around in your head for a while.  I hope it makes you smile!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Matthew 28:19

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

-Matthew 28:19 NIV

 

 

This Sunday is Holy Trinity Sunday.  You won’t find he word “trinity” in the Bible anywhere, it’s a word we humans use to try to describe the way God describes Himself.  I won’t waste your time trying to explain the inexplicable to you.  God is, in many ways, incomprehensible.  One God, three persons?  That’s how God reveals Himself.  He is ONE.  There is ONE God.  And yet this one God reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  I don’t get it.  I don’t have to.  I would expect that the almighty creator of the universe would be beyond my comprehension.  I’d be disappointed if God weren’t beyond my comprehension.  But not everything about God is incomprehensible.  God is love.  1 John 4:16  God forgives.  Isaiah 43:25  God is with you always.  Matthew 28:20.  God’s in control of your life.  Romans 8:28  What more do you need to know?  God loves you enough to die for your sins, forgive you, be with, and protect you, and take you to be with Him in heaven one day.  God is largely, but not completely incomprehensible and for that reason He is ineffably sublime!

Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 Peter 3:21 – Victory Lutheran Church

“and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

-1 Peter 3:21 NIV

 

I don’t like to rock the boat. Ever.  But baptism is a controversial topic among Christians and I can’t help but speak the Truth.  Most Non-Catholic and Non-Lutheran Christian churches today believe that baptism is merely a symbol, an outward act that conveys nothing, but symbolizes one’s decision to accept Christ into their hearts.  Problem is, the Bible never says anything about making a decision for Christ, or accepting Him into one’s heart.  The Bible does say a lot about how baptism saves us.   For starters, look at the first 10 words above.  Couldn’t be more clear.  But one might ask, HOW does baptism save me?  Fair enough.  Acts 2:38 teaches that through baptism we receive the Holy Spirit.  1 Corinthians 12:3 teaches that without the Holy Spirit, no one can say “Jesus is Lord.”  Since we need the Holy Spirit in order to believe, and since baptism gives the Holy Spirit, it is truly good, right, and salutary to say “Baptism saves you (not to mention the fact that the Bible says the very same thing).  It saves us by giving us the Holy Spirit who enables us to believe.  Rejoice that you are baptized.  Rejoice every day in the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in you and enables you to believe that Jesus is YOUR Savior.  Rejoice that because you believe and are baptized, you will be saved.