Christians in a Covid World

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Jeremiah 28:5-9
Psalm 89:1-18
Romans 6:12-23
Matthew 10:40-42

Here you will find four versions of Romans 6:17-18.


But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousnessESV
Thank God that you, who were at one time the servants of sin, honestly responded to the impact of Christ’s teaching when you came under its influence. Then, released from the service of sin, you entered the service of righteousness. Phillips
Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom! MSG
But thank God that while you used to be sin’s workers you later gave voluntary obedience to a type of teaching in which you got carried away. So, having been released from sin’s job, you have been employed by goodnessCotton Patch Version


Paul had no problem with being a slave, but he insisted on being a slave of God. As Saul set out from Jerusalem to track down the Jesus people in Damascus, he was sure he was doing the work of God. When Jesus met him on the way and blinded him, Saul began to realize that he was indeed blind to the true Word of God.

God does not want His followers to attack people. The OT is filled with the words, righteous, justice, help, and similar words. God is the God of love as was his Son.

To illustrate using events current as of this writing, let’s look at the SARS CoV 2 pandemic which causes a disease called Covid 19. Thousands of people are upset with the way things have been handled—stay at home orders and mandated mask wearing in particular.

The claims that Covid is a hoax are beyond comment. It is as real as Malaria and the common cold. Other claims do require Christians to pause and consider WWJD question.

SARS CoV 2 is a new virus and when it first appeared last December, we knew little about it. Once it was identified as a new SARS virus, research turned to trying to discover how it attacks humans. That research had to be done as people were being treated for the disease. In the last week of January, the first case was identified in the US. On April 24 there were 36,138 NEW confirmed cases, the largest single daily increase to this date. By June 1, the new daily cases had dropped to 16,073, with the trend going down. However, the trend in now going up. June 18 saw 27,082 new cases. Total US deaths have topped 120,000. That is way more than all the military deaths for the US since 1955.

What does this mean? It means that we are all in this together. One of the dangers of living in the USA is being infected with the freedom bug. We hear and see people claiming that their freedoms are being violated if they are required to wear a mask when they enter a public business. Yet, those same people expect the building to meet all safety standards and would quickly sue the business if they were injured in the building.

Living in society, Christian or not, involves agreeing to give up some individual freedoms in exchange for the common good. We are required to give some of our income to the government to build and maintain decent roads. We are also required to drive within a set of rules that are intended to provide the most safety for the most people. (Still, 38,800 people died on the roads in 2019.)

As Christians, we have a powerful mandate to make sure that every human in the world receives fair treatment in all encounters with us.

I wear an extra sturdy mask in public so that I can avoid being infected. If I should come down with Covid 19, I will isolate myself until I have tested clean and clear. There is no other position for Christians currently. ONCE IMMUNISATION arrives, we can relax. For now, don’t be stupid.


Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

Shall We Sin to Our Heart’s Content?

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Jeremiah 20:7-13
Psalm 69: 8-20
Romans 6:1-11
Matthew 10:24-39

The struggle within Christianity between saved-by-grace or saved-by-works has been going on for 2,000 years. Jesus made it clear that we cannot do what needs to be done to please God. Jesus and Paul made it clear that we can only be saved by the grace of God.

But doing good deeds feels right.

Paul deals with the question of sin and salvation in the masterpiece of theology we call the Letter to Rome. It is a little unfair to just drop into chapter six and there is no short way to describe what came before.

Paul writes, Shall we sin to our heart’s content and see how far we can exploit the grace of God? Phillips That question arises from chapter 5. Paul makes it clear that we are not saved by anything we do; we are saved only by the grace of God. What shall we say then? ESV

As you read these verses, you should note that baptism plays a key role in the theology. For Paul, baptism is no mere spectacle, no allusion to what is happening. In baptism, we join with Jesus. We join in both his death and his resurrection. We do not get one without the other. We must die before we can live.

There is nothing mystical in Paul’s—or Jesus’—words. I stand in the world as a sinner. Jesus offers me a chance to join him in the battle against sin. He says to me, “I want you to join me in the fight against sin, evil, God-lessness.” “But, Jesus, I am a soldier in the army of sin.” “You can join my army by saying, ‘Yes’ and being baptized.” “But what good does getting dunked do?” “You will be killed under the water but raised up a new person from the water.” “Will I never sin again?” “As long as you live on earth you will sin. But if you fight against sin, I will be with you.”

Perhaps you have heard of Yang Kyoungjong. If not, he was a Korean who was forced to join the Japanese army in 1938. He was captured by the Russians soon after and spent time in their camps until they forced him to join in the fight against Germany. He was captured by the Germans who held him in a camp before sending him to help defend Normandy where he was captured by the British who sent him to a US camp. When the war ended, he decided to remain in the US.

That is not a perfect example of the picture Paul writes for us, but it is not far off. It was only at the end of his near-decade of forced labor that Yang was allowed to make a choice: return to his old life or begin a new life.

Jesus has given us the chance to live a new life. We still live in sin, but we fight against it. Sin rules the world and we live in the world, so we cannot avoid sin. But we can see sin for what it really is, and we can choose to oppose it. We will not always win. There were tens of thousands of Koreans who fought for the Japanese, but Yang was the only one who ended up in the States. Most of the others may have made the same decision he did, they just didn’t have the chance.

In the same way, many people die in sin because they don’t know they have a choice. People are even forced into sin against their chosen way. We do what we can knowing that in the end, Jesus will wield the sword that will win the final battle. We only attack the devil with flea bites.


Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence