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A letter to you

I was studying the first 8 chapters of Romans and I learned so much and I think I will learn my whole life from these truths. I want to share with you some of the things God gave me the opportunity and grace to start to "understand". It's like a heavenly letter:

You are so proud of knowing what you should and shouldn't do, what God wants and likes, but you still dishonor God by doing what does not glorify Him. No wonder the Bible says: "The world blaspheme the name of God because of you". No one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing things He commands. For the more you know what He requires, the clearer it becomes that you aren't doing them. You are made right in God's sight only when you trust in Jesus Christ to take away your sins. And all are saved in this same way, no matter who they are or what they have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God's STANDARD. 
Thank God! Once you were a slave to sin, but now you're free from sin. For you died and were buried with Jesus by baptism. And just as Jesus was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the best Dad, now you may also live a new life. Since you have been united with Him in His death, you were raised as He was. Your sinful self was crucified with Jesus so that sin might lose its power in your life. It is no longer you who live, but Christ lives in you. So you live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved you sooo, sooo dearly and gave himself for you. So you should consider yourself dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through JESUS Christ. So this is the point: The things you should do no longer hold you in their power, because you died to their power when you died with Christ on the cross. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, you can produce good fruit, that is, good deeds for God. You now CAN really serve God, not in the old way by obeying the law which told you what you should do or not do, but in the new way, by the Spirit. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for your sins and to satisfy God's anger against you. You are made right with God when you believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for you. Have you forgotten that when you became a Christian and were baptized to become one with Jesus, you died with Him? Was it because of your good deeds that God accepted you? If so, you have had something to boast about. But from God's point of view you had no basis at all for pride. If you claim that God's promise is for those who OBEY God's law, which tells them to do what they should or shouldn't do and think they are "good enough" in God's sight, then you are saying that faith is useless and in that case, the promise is also meaningless. The ONLY WAY to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break. So that's why faith is the key! God's promise is given to you as a FREE GIFT. You only have to receive it by faith. You only have to turn from your sinful nature (self) and its evil deeds...not by your power, hm...but through the power of the Holy Spirit (*amazing*). But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

The world claims to be wise, but they are becoming utterly fools instead. And God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result they suffered WITHIN themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. God loves you dearly and He has called you to be His very own. You are among those who have been called to belong... BELONG to Jesus. Since God did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for you, won't God, who gave you Christ, also give you everything else? You are so blessed, you received all the riches of this world and this isn't based on obedience to what you should do or shouldn't do, but on the new relationship with God that comes by faith. The sin of one man (Adam) has put you in the prison of sin, which caused death to rule over you. But all who receive GOD'S WONDERFUL, GRACIOUS GIFT of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this ONE man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Did you do something to deserve the punishment with the prison of sin? Did you do something to deserve the gift of God through Jesus? NOTHING!
The battle is for your mind: letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death, but letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Therefore, since you have been made right in God's sight by faith, you have shalom with God because of what JESUS your Lord has done for you. You are in a place of highest privilege where you now stand. He won't disappoint you by any means, because God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.

I pray and ask God, the glorious Dad of your Lord Jesus, to give you spiritual wisdom and revelation, so that you might grow in your deep and intimate knowledge of God. I pray that the eyes of your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future He has promised to those He called. I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of His power for and in you who believe Him. This is THE SAME mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms. 

PRAY this prayer over me, too ^_^

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