Imagine yourself employed in a factory. This factory is dark, the working conditions are terrible, the work is strenuous, and the pay…we will get to that later.
The working hours are long as well. The factory owner has a lot of work to do, and all of the employees he needs to keep getting it done. He gets his work done by any means necessary, and is always looking for new ways to produce his product. There are people lining up to get into his factory for work, and he employs all who apply. He has mostly full time workers, but has some that are part time and work as they please. He calls them his contractors. Funny thing about them, he is willing to pay them in the same way as he pays his full-timers.
He would have the full timers working 24-7 if he could. He is not limited by his resources to pay them and doesn’t mind paying overtime either. The workers, however, cannot work that long, so he does give some time off so that they can be better workers when on the clock.
The day-in, day-out drudgery of the work day has convinced the workers that this is what life is, there is nothing better, and they make the most of it. Some complain, but they do keep doing their job, as they are reminded of how many are lining up outside the door, so if this is what everybody wants, it must be the best that there is. This is life as they know it, and most have even convinced themselves that this is “really living”.
In the same city, another man opens a new, state of the art factory. This man invites all of the people who work in the other factory to come and work for him. He tells them what his factory is like. He tells them what he will give them to leave that dump and come to his place. Not only that, he treats all of them like his family. In fact, he has gone through legal proceedings to make them part of his family, and has already done everything necessary to make anyone who comes to him part of his family. Each employee who comes to him has share in all of the profits and benefits that he would have if he owned the place.
Many of the people in the old factory start talking about the new factory. Most brush it off. Some are curious and investigate. The old factory owner begins a propaganda ministry sparing nothing to make sure that his workers do not go to the new factory. It works on most, but not all.
Some of the workers take the free tour offered at the new factory’s open house. Those who are wise take the new factory owner up on his offer. He places his name on them so that he knows that they are his, wiping out the marks that name them as employees at the old factory. Some, sadly, take the tour, but never take the man up on his offer. But those that do, while the propaganda ministry sometimes reaches them and sometimes they think about the old factory, they are members of his family for life. As members of his family, he often calls them to get involved in the family business. The work is often hard, sometimes much more strenuous than the work at the old factory. Sometimes the propaganda films even play in the minds of these people and they consider going back to that old, wretched, sorry excuse for a place of business.
The old factory owner tells them, “I know you belong to him now, but you know that when you were working for me, it wasn’t this hard. While I can’t undo your ‘new relationship’, let me make you an offer. Why don’t you contract for me? I will pay you what I pay the full timers. It will be well worth your while, just like old times, pal!”
Several actually do this, and the owner of the new factory takes notice. One day, on the way home from their “moonlighting”, he meets them as they return home.
“Why would you go back there”, he asks, “when you know that there was nothing good about working in that dump?”
As one might guess, they are a bit surprised, and stutter as they try and throw together an answer. As they do so, the new owner continues,
“I brought you into my family and gave you a new name, even my name. I also gave you a much more honorable occupation. You don’t even need to earn a single dime here, because everything that I have is yours. What you do for me, you do because you are family and it is for the good of the family. And really, do you not remember what he paid you?”
As they thought about it, they remembered that they never really received any of that which the old sweat shop owner promised. The new owner left them with one last word as he turned around to go in for the night.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We will shortly, together, continue studying Romans in chapter 6. If we get the doctrine in the first 5 chapters right, there are some logical conclusions that we should also get right. If we have believed the doctrine in chapters 1 through 5, then Christ is our all in all, and we are identified with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection. Because of the fact of our identification with Christ, the normal Christian life should follow.
If you have not believed the gospel of Jesus Christ, hear it now:
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” — Romans 3:21–26
“…Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures…” — 1 Corinthians 15:3–4
Charles Miller View All
Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.
The old us died when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. But we are still human and vulnerable to the attacks of the evil one if we don’t stand fast in the Lord. The evil one takes advantage of any tiny opening we give him to draw from our past failings and bring them back to our mind to distract us from our Savior. Daily prayer will establish the vertical relationship we need to keep us on the right track.
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