Posts Tagged ‘romans 6’

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Hello-I Am a Slave

June 11, 2009

In my day to day job, I live for the introduction.  There is much in an introduction.  Think about it for a minute.  In someone’s introduction, you could easily determine the following (even if it were over the phone):

  • Age – help you make inferences about how they are interpreting what you are saying.
  • Nationality – easily determined by accent or dialect
  • Job Title – may help you understand what motivates this person like ego, thrill of the kill, or the numbers
  • Last Name – again, a little about the heritage and perhaps, depending on the town, you could tell some about their “rank” in society

As you can see, there is a lot you can discover about a person in their introduction.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to prepare for teaching the book of Romans.  It has been a while since I have actually taken some time to study the book, and I believe now is the providential time for me to do so.

In preparing for the first lesson, I could not move past the first verse for a while.  Read Romans 1:1

1 Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God…

slave

Now in thinking about how I introduce myself, I usually mention that I am a husband, a father, and where I work and attend church.  Paul truly taught me how flawed my introduction was in Romans 1:1.   Let’s look at this a bit deeper.

1.  Paul introduces himself as a slave to Christ.  In his day, slaves were not even human, more like property, owned by someone else.  Their will and very existence depended upon their master.  In this short phrase, Paul is identifying himself as one who is not in control.  He names his master later in the passage as being Jesus.  Think for a second.  If you were to add this to your introduction, would it be true?  Could people honestly look at how you live your life and see that Christ was the “master” of your life and that your will was not your own?

2.  Slaves were bought by someone else.  Again, in this phrase, Paul is ultimately setting up his case for Christ.  By identifying himself as a slave of Christ, he is also implying that Christ paid for him.  In2 Corinthians 5:21 is states:

21 Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Wow, how humbling is it to know that the sinless son of God took on our sin as ransom for us?  He purchased us out of the slavery of the world to become slaves for Him.  Paul knew that better than most and it should not surprise us that he first identified himself as being “owned” or paid for by Christ.

3.  In saying all of this, Paul was identifying himself in Christ.  In Romans 6, Paul delves deeper into his identity in Christ.  Do you identify yourself in Christ?  I know there are times I do not and then again, the times I do, I am quite sure I should not.  Paul’s identity was not even his own.  He identified his master.

So the next time you go to introduce yourself, I hope you think of Romans 1:1 and give yourself a little “self-check”.  Those are always good to have, especially at the beginning of a new relationship.  Helps set the bar for how others may interpret you, and who knows, it may even introduce them to your master.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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A Father’s Love- King Triton

April 21, 2009

The Little Mermaid is one of my daughter’s favorite movies.  From the crazy one-liners to the fantastic musical scores, this particular movie ranks #1 with many little girls.  I particularly like the wonderful correlation of this movie to Scripture.  We are going to explore several of the themes present in this film, but today, we will start with a father’s love using King Triton.

The parallels between King Triton’s love and devotion to his children and that of Christ’ love and devotion to us is almost too overwhelming.  Granted, King Triton is one of the Greek Gods, just indulge me as we go over possible lessons for you to teach your children about our father’s love.

1.  King Triton’s overprotective nature. One of the first attributes one picks up from King Triton is his apparent phobia of Ariel going to the surface.  We can see his true motive is love for his daughter and concern for her safety, but just like all of us, Ariel seems to think there is more to it.

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will hover over Jerusalem  and protect it like a bird protecting its nest.He will defend and save the city;  he will pass over it and rescue it.”  – Isaiah 31:5

We often forget how our God urges us to stay away from those environments potentially harmful to us.  In the verse above, God’s protection is compared to a bird protecting its nest, ready to defend and save the occupants.  Unfortunately, like Ariel, many of us do not heed the protective words of our Savior, choosing rather to chase our own inhibitions.  We soon find out that our bad decisions still affect our father.

2.  When we go missing, the Father calls an all out search. I love the quote from the movie where King Triton tells one of those searching for his missing daughter, “Leave no stone unturned, no one rests until my little girl is found.”  Wow, what a statement about a father’s love.  When we “go missing” from our Father’s will, there is a similar search for us.  In fact, Christ mentions how God will search out for the 1 lost lamb, bringing it home gently on his shoulders.

As a child, I often heard of God’s wrath or his disdain for my sins, but rarely did I hear of how he would “leave no stone unturned” when I would go missing from his will.  We need to convey this aspect of Christ’ love for us to our children.  Daily, they experience the sometimes fickle nature of human love, but we fail them in teaching them how Christ’ love truly surpasses our understanding.  Jesus came and turned over the one stone that kept us from him… in fact, he it was rolled away Easter morning!

3.  When our sins seemed to bind us to the Enemy, our Father gave himself as a ransom. Perhaps the most compelling scene of the movie was when King Triton, against the wishes of his pleading daughter, signs the contract with Ursela in her stead.  After all, this is what the great enemy wanted after all.  The evil sea witch was no more interested in Ariel, but rather, sought to bring down Triton the entire time.

Our Enemy works in much the same way.  Explain to your children how God sent his son to sign our contract.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Romans 6:23

What a great verse to use when explaining this particular concept, using this particular scene.  Christ paid the ultimate costs of our bad decisions.  Like the character of Triton, our Heavenly Father made this decision without a second thought.  He signed for our transgressions so that we might live.  What a mighty lesson to instill in our children.

Of course, King Triton is not in any league with our God, but it does provide us a great platform to open dialogue with our children about the depths of our Father’s love for us.  There are so many more similarities in the movie that I have not covered in this post.

Here’s a great idea for you to consider.  Let your children know prior to watching the movie the similarities of Triton’s love to our Heavenly Father’s love.  Have them be on the look out throughout the movie for different instances where the similarities are apparent.  You might be surprised what they come up with.  And better yet, you might just learn something new yourself!

If you would like more in this series, please be sure to check out the other articles in Using Movies to Witness.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.