The recent tragedy of the shooting in Florida reminds us once again of man’s depravity and his need for salvation through Jesus Christ to receive a changed heart.
The wake of this egregious crime certainly has spurred debate about guns, but common sense recognizes the truth of the adage, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Would there have been a Parkland tragedy if teachers at that public school were armed and committed to protecting students and staff—and people knew it? The issue is not guns. The issue is the heart, the intent of those holding guns.
Ironically, there is a similarity between the right view on guns and the right view of sanctification. Romans 6 depicts two principals holding mastery over man and leading him through different means and in opposite directions. These two masters: indwelling sin and the indwelling Christ.
Prior to salvation, the unregenerate human spirit is joined in a slave-like relationship with the old master of indwelling sin. This forced bondage is broken through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross who not only died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), but also died unto sin (Rom. 6:10). When we believe on Jesus as our Savior from sin, not only are our sins forgiven, we are placed into Christ—into His history, His death and resurrection. We are crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6), and crucified with Him, we are set free from the old master of indwelling sin. We literally die with Christ unto sin (the old master). The essence of death is separation, and therefore separated from sin, we are unshackled from forced bondage to the old master. Our human spirits, in turn, are regenerated with divine life, and it is here, in the spirit of man, that the Holy Spirit of Jesus now dwells. As believers, we have a new master, the indwelling Christ.
The old master drove man along a godless, profane course. The new master of the indwelling Christ seeks for us to follow Him in faith—but with His headship there is an absence of the compulsion that marked our previous servitude to sin. Believers are confronted with a choice. Though freed from union with the old master, we find that indwelling sin still lingers in our soul and body levels and beckons us to obey once again. Our choice then: yield to the call of a former master or trust to obey the indwelling Christ, our real master. More specifically, to whose control do we yield our bodily members? The correct choice is obvious. Put the instruments of your body parts into the hands of the new master to be used for righteousness, not the old master for unrighteousness (Rom. 6:16, 19).
Your tongue can be used for good or evil. Your eyes, ears, hands and feet can be used for good or evil. The determining factor is the master to which you yield your bodily parts. The issue here is not your body members, but rather, to whose hand you yield them. If you have a heart for God, yield yourself to Him, and your members will be enabled by God for righteousness.
With a gun, the true issue is a matter of the heart of the one holding the gun. The direction of that heart, whether good or evil, is made manifest in the person’s choices regarding the gun’s use. For believers conducting themselves in the world, it’s the same. One can put the instruments of body parts into the wrong hands for evil or the right hands for good. May we understand more of the depth of His love for us and choose the good.
John Van Gelderen
About This Blog
Hello, I’m John Van Gelderen. I am an evangelist and the president of Revival Focus Ministries, an organization for the cause of revival in hearts, homes, churches, and beyond, and for evangelizing. This blog is focused on experiencing Jesus. I believe in order to really live, you must access and experience the very life of Jesus Christ.