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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of April 4, 2011

The way you become free from sin is by becoming a slave to righteousness.

Paul, in one of the most quoted verses of Scripture, makes clear that every person has sinned: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Indeed, your sins hold you so deeply in bondage that they bring death to you: you were dead in your sins (Colossians 2:13).

Every one of us was born a slave to sin, but God offers to free us from that. How? We can choose to become slaves to righteousness: When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. ... But now ... you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God (Romans 6:20,22).

In other words, your default human nature is to follow sin and to consistently choose sin. The way you break free from sin is by following God and consistently choosing God; that is, you become a "slave" to God (to righteousness).

One of the results of being a "slave" to God is being made righteous and holy: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). In other words, when we are freed from bondage to sin by giving ourselves to Christ, a transaction occurs: we are changed from being sinners (i.e., slaves to sin who occasionally mess up and do something right) into being holy ones (i.e., righteous slaves to God who occasionally mess up and do something wrong).

When this transaction occurs—that is, when you become a slave to righteousness—you are made holy, made righteous, cleansed, forgiven, and freed from all sin. Therefore, the way you become free from sin is by becoming a holy one, which happens by turning your life over to Christ and wholeheartedly following Him, thus becoming a slave to righteousness.

True worship should create God-intoxicated people.

Everyone worships. Some people worship money, possessions, popularity, prosperity, or other people. They may not sing worship songs to their bank account, but by the way they live they worship (i.e. give value to) their money.

Worship is not just singing songs in church; worship is a lifestyle that places value on its object. True worship of God means that the one worshiping is placing value on God and putting him at the center of life.

That's what Jesus was getting at when he said, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24)

Notice Jesus didn't say anything about singing "worship songs." To worship in spirit and in truth means that everything in your life is centered around God and guided by him -- that your choices reflect him, that your actions are directed by him, and that you words are filtered through him.

In short, true worship is such that the one worshipping should be so enveloped and surrounded in the presence (the spirit) of God.

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