Wednesday, February 26, 2020 -
I have been praying for the right opportunity of sitting down with my cellmate, “MM” (he calls me “Bunkie”), and going through the Scriptures to lead him to a place of salvation in Christ Jesus. However, I have a terrible weakness of not remembering the Scriptural references for specific verses. I have seen and used in the past other methods, such as the “Romans map” and “Four Spiritual Laws,” but through my own recent studies of Scriptures, I have felt them to be in some ways incomplete and possibly a lack of emphasis on repentance. Besides, I do not have any of those plans with me here in prison. And so, after putting it off for many months, and it being a rainy day, I decided to just do it. Now I need to pray for the Holy Spirit to move and provide just the right opportunity. Here’s what I put together and mapped out in my prison Bible:
- Romans 3:20 says, “Through the law comes knowledge of sin…”
- But what is the law? We find it in Exodus 20:3-17:
“You shall have no other gods before Me
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship or serve them for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children from the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord gives you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
- But God says in Deuteronomy 6:29 we are to “keep all My commandments always.”
- In Matthew 5, Jesus Christ elaborates. “Do not think that I come to abolish the Law or the prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished…You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother ‘Raca’ (without cause), shall be guilty before the Supreme Court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into a fiery hell…You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;’ but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart…Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:17-18, 21-22, 27-28, 48).
- So we see very clearly that this is impossible in and of ourselves – i.e. perfection. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). David said of God, “For in Thy sight no man is righteous” (Psalm 143:2).
- “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Chris Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
- “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (I John 1:8-10).
- For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).
- “Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ (Messiah) appointed for you…God raised up His servant (Jesus), and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways” (Acts 3:19-20, 26).
- “IN this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10).
- “Christ dies for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).
- “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices the truth comes to the Light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:16-21, 36).
- Jesus Himself said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him DENY HIMSELF, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS, and FOLLOW ME” (Matthew 16:24).
- He also said, “Unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 18:3). To become like a child, we must “humble ourselves” as a child (Matthew 18:4). And as a child is totally dependent on his parents, we must become totally dependent on God, and not on our own efforts.
- “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin” (Romans 6:5-7).
- There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
- Jesus’ last words on earth before His ascension were, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
So there you have it. In a nutshell, we all must recognize our sin and depravity, repent of our sin, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ, becoming like a small, totally dependent child. And the Christ will dwell in our hearts and fill us with the Holy Spirit whereby He will provide the power over sin, making us free indeed!