Freedom Is Never Free!

80s Christian Metal Blessings! 

The Pastor Brad Rocks Ministry is not about politics.  It’s about Jesus.  I will never be in the business of telling you who to vote for.  My aim here is all about Jesus and discipling you in your faith.  


But my heart is super heavy right now.  And I need to be transparent with you about what's on my heart.


If you are an American and you're paying attention, you know, we are at a crossroads as a nation and this Presidential election will have a huge impact on our future.  


So, I’m going to take just this ONE email and reflect a bit upon what the BIBLE says about FREEDOM and then offer you a little challenge from my heart about the election coming up. 


Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."


TWO TRUTHS ABOUT FREEDOM:

TRUTH ONE: FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE! 

The freedom we have in Christ—was bought and paid for BY JESUS on the cross.  It was given to us at great cost and sacrifice to our Savior—His name forever be praised! 


In Christ, we are free from sin, condemnation, death, and fear!  We are more than conquerors in our King! 


TRUTH TWO: FREEDOM MUST BE CHERISHED & USED WELL!

In Galatians 5 Paul exhorts us to use our freedom responsibly.  We’re not to treat it flippantly.  We are to cherish it and use it, intentionally to live a life that glorifies God.  We are free FROM sin—and FREE TO live a holy life for our king! 


Anytime freedom Is taken for granted; anytime we forget about the PRICE that was paid for our freedom, we grow apathetic, lazy, and ungrateful for the amazing gift we have.  


This is one of the reasons I love taking communion each Sunday---it reminds me, each time, of the cross and Christ’s willingness to allow His body to be pieced for me and to shed His blood for me---so I NEVER forget how precious my FREEDOM (purchased for me by my Savior) truly is. 


MY CHALLENGE TO YOU AS WE APPROACH THIS ELECTION: 

Take some time to thank God for the freedom we have in this country.  Take some time to think about what’s on the ballot (i.e. the policies and plans expressed by the candidates).  Forget about “Ds” & “Rs”, instead focus, on which platform—aligns with your values—and engage in the awesome freedom you have in this country to vote. 


Here are some of the values guiding my vote this year:
Freedom of religion, Freedom of speech, Pro Life, Supreme Court Justices who interpret the Constitution as written (as opposed to legislating from the bench), Support for Police, and Law & Order, Pro 2nd Amendment, A growing Economy that benefits everyone, Low Taxes & Regulations,  Pro Business, Capitalism (as opposed to socialism).  Energy Independence, Love for country, A Strong Military (that I pray we never have to use/peace through strength), Bringing Troops Home, and policies that focus on the content of a person’s character, not the color of their skin. 


Think about your list, then I encourage you to vote for the candidate(s) who align with your values! 

Thank God for your FREEDOM today – In Christ, and in America, and use that freedom well!

80s Christian Metal Blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/

NO Condemnation For God's Dearly Loved Kids!

80s Christian Metal Blessings!


Dude, Romans chapter is 8 awesome!  I’m preaching through it this weekend.  Let me share the highlights of this AMAZING passage of Scripture with you. 


It opens with the declaration that for those who are IN CHRIST --- there is NO (as in Nada, zip, zero, none) CONDEMNATION! 


That’s HUGE!!!  Through our faith in Jesus, we are JUSTIFIED, we have PEACE with God and we stand in GRACE (Romans 5:1, 2). 


Chapter 8 ends with a wonderful declaration that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love---and here’s Paul’s point:  If you face hardship, trouble, injustice, etc. in this world---none of that means that God stopped loving you!  Jesus told us straight up, “In this world, you will have trouble.” And then he went on to say, “But take heart (don’t give up… don’t say, “Wow, I guest God doesn’t care about me.”) for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  In other words, this world is a broken place—and bad things will, and do, happen even to the most devoted Christ-followers, but those bad things do not mean God doesn’t love you---in fact, 8:28-29 tells us that God is working in all of it—for a purpose—to grow our faith and make us more like Jesus.  I.e. it’s all about preparation for eternity!!!  


There was only one perfect person in History, Jesus, and the world KILLED HIM, did that mean God didn’t love Him?  Of course not! 


FINALLY—the entire middle section of Romans 8 is about the Holy Spirit’s leadership in our lives! 


a. He AFFIRMS the fact that in Christ we are children of God (8:15) 


b. He ASSURES us of future glory (8:17-18)


 c. He ASSISTS us in times of struggle and confusion (8:26-29) 


d. He ANCHORS us in God’s love (8:31-39) 


Dude, this is an AWESOME chapter!  Be encouraged!  You are loved, free, forgiven, adopted, and indwelt with the very Spirit of God who provides you with EVERYTHING YOU NEED to live a life that brings glory to God! 


Philippians 2:13 (NLT) “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”


80s Christian Metal Blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/

We Are Rescued!

80s Christian Metal Blessings!


 Have you read the definition of the word “rescue” lately?  


Here is a definition from google. res·cue (reskyo͞o)  verb:  to save (someone) from a dangerous or distressing situation. 


Okay, so you’re in trouble deep; you’re toast and without hope---UNLESS someone acts on your behalf to RESCUE you from your despair. That’s the picture. In Romans 7 Paul goes off talking about our state in Christ.  He is dealing, in a brutally honest way, with the reality that although we HAVE, 100%, been justified (made just as if we never sinned) by the shed blood of Christ and therefore, because of our faith in Christ, are at peace with God (Romans 5:1).  And even though we now stand (continuously) in grace (Romans 5:2) and have DIED to sin (it’s penalty and power to control us) and been raised to new life in Christ—empowered by His Holy Spirit to live a new life that brings glory to God... 


EVEN THOUGH all of that is true… 


We STILL struggle with the desire to sin! 


Through much of the second half of Romans 7 Paul says, (my paraphrase) “Dude, I love Jesus.  I want so badly to be so good, but every time I turn around I find myself stumbling and doing, saying or thinking things I DO NOT WANT TO do, say or think!  What’s wrong with me?" 


The Principle Paul teaches us in Romans 7 is this: We die to sin when we become followers of Jesus Christ, but sin doesn’t die to us. 


This side of Heaven, as long as we live in this broken world, in these broken, fleshly bodies, we will always have to contend with the SIN NATURE that has only one desire—TO DO IT’S OWN THING (and is 100% of the time rebellious to God’s will). 


At the end of the chapter—Paul comes to his conclusion, saying, “So, I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will RESCUE me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who DELIVERS (rescues) me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:21-25).


Friend, know this: in Christ you are forgiven, justified, loved, adopted as God’s Child and free from the penalty and power of sin, and created anew to live a life of great purpose for God!  


This side of heaven, you will continue to battle with your flesh---but you have the power of God’s Spirit who will lead you to victory!  And anytime you stumble you have the promise of God’s grace that is ALWAYS greater than all of our sin (Rom. 5:20-21, 1 John 1:9).  


In other words you are RESCUED by grace through your faith in Jesus!  Receive that and rest in that awesome truth today!


80s Christian Metal Blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/

Once You've Died -- You're Ready To Live!

80s Christian Metal Blessings! 


Here’s a thought for you, "Until you DIE, you’re not ready to LIVE."


Yep, that’s Paul’s BIG POINT in Romans chapter 6. 


Now, to REALLY understand this you need to Reread Romans 5:20-21---where Paul says (paraphrased) “Dude, God’s GRACE is BIGGER than all our sin--so no matter how much sin increases--GRACE INCREASES MORE!” 


Ponder that thought for a moment before you continue… 


Okay, got it? Now, the opening to Romans 6 will make sense to you. 


Romans 6:1-5 “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?  2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” 


The rest of Romans 6 is AWESOME, but honestly, the main point of the chapter is made right here---and it is this… GRACE IS ABOUT LIBERATION from sin, NOT a LISENCE to sin. 


When you understood the GOSPEL---the truth that you are a sinner and deserve “death” (eternal condemnation and separation from God)---BUT God, in His great love for you--sent JESUS to take the punishment you deserved--FOR YOU--upon himself, so that when you REPENT (turn away from living for yourself/this world) and chose by faith to follow Jesus as LORD--YOU DIED, spiritually to your old life. 


Paul say that in baptism, you were UNITED with Christ in a DEATH to the old, and you were RAISED up (with Christ) to a NEW LIFE of following HIM! 


So…. 


Now that you’ve DIED to your old life--sin no longer has any hold on you.  The PENALTY OF SIN is gone.  Jesus paid for it. 


And, now that you’ve been born again by His Power and Spirit living in you, you have everything you need to live a NEW LIFE.  


2 Peter 1:3  "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."  


You do not have to sin anymore! 


NO, Paul is not saying you will never sin again.  You still live in the same old body, in the same old broken world---and your sin nature is still kicking and screaming and craving the junk of this world… BUT--you are not a slave to that old nature anymore!  You have a new “master,” a new KING! 


So, you wake up every day saying, “LORD JESUS, I’m new in You!  I died to my old life and now I live for you--by your power that is at work in me!” 


And--anytime you lose a battle to your flesh--you don’t hide it or rationalize it--you CONFESS it, thank God for His amazing grace that is ALWAYS BIGGER and walk on joyfully following Jesus! 


John 1:9  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 


So, have you died to your old life?  Have you been buried with Christ and raised up to a new life with Christ in baptism?  Is there anything you need to just confess, receive fresh grace for and move past today?  


Whatever Jesus is calling you to do today, say YES!


80s Christian Metal Blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/

Romans 4 Faith Like Abraham!

80s Christian Metal Blessings!


I’m having a lot of fun preaching through Romans, what an awesome book of Scripture!  In Chapter 1, Paul boldly declares, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation to all who believe!”  In Chapters two and three Paul beautifully introduces us to the bottom of the barrel as he systematically shreds every argument we try to use to justify ourselves by our own efforts to be “good enough”—then—when we’re at the bottom of the barrel with zero hope of saving ourselves, Paul declares---now look up and see what God has done FOR YOU in CHRIST! 


Romans 3:21-22 (NLT) “But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses[a] and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.”


We are “SAVED” when we place our FAITH in JESUS! 


Okay, sounds good, so……. What is faith?  


What does it mean to “put it in someone?” 


That’s what chapter 4 is all about.  


Paul uses the example of Abraham to teach us what biblical faith that pleases God looks like. Let me summarize the key point I want to make in a paragraph.


Paul refers us back to Genesis 15, where God called Abraham to leave his home and follow Him.  God promised Abraham that He would bless him greatly, and Genesis 15:6 says, “Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Okay, that’s awesome, but let me press in a little harder with this question.  How do we know Abraham believed God?  Did He just sit down and say, “Okay God, I believe in you and what you just said… and nothing else? 


NOPE.


We know Abraham believed God because he got up, TURNED away from his old life, and FOLLOWED God. 


Abraham teaches us that the kind of FAITH God blesses and recons as righteous—does two things: 1) It trusts, and 2) It obeys. 


Simply and amazingly enough—this is EXACTLY how Christ calls us to respond when He calls us to follow Him as a disciple (via The Gospel) --  we TURN (repent) away from our old life and follow Him as Lord.  We put our TRUST in Him and step into a life of OBEDIENCE—following Him as Lord.


In other words, we practice faith---JUST LIKE ABRAHAM!


. There’s more to Romans 4 than that, but wow---that alone is a pretty awesome truth isn’t it?!


80s Christian Metal Blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/