Day Visitors not allowed in God’s Kingdom - 9 July 2019

Ewald Schmidt

“Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8 (NIV)

Can people who do not know God, do any good deeds? I think that every one of us knows someone who would not describe themselves as a Christian, but who still lives an exemplary life. There are people who would not want to have anything to do with God who still are generous and kind to other people, and whose lives speak of the highest moral standards.

So how must we interpret today’s verse? Remember that every verse needs to be read in the context in which it was written. The whole of Romans 8 teaches us about the new life we, as Christians, experience when we allow the Holy Spirit to take control, to lead and guide us through our journey of life. This chapter is addressed to people who are “in Christ”, people living in a relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord. This verse does not intend to say that only Christians are able to do good things. That would not be true, and we know it. But the verse teaches us about a life that pleases God.

People who have not committed their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ, and who are not being led on the journey of life by the Holy Spirit, do not have a relationship with God yet. They have not yet experienced the most important relationship that God has created us for. Of course, they can do good deeds. Of course, their lives could be exemplary, and they could contribute much to the common good for mankind. But that does not mean that they live and strive to honour God by their existence.

When we are “in Christ” we became part of the family of God. Through faith we became God’s children (John 1:12). We became citizens of the Kingdom of God, where Jesus reigns as Lord of all. As God’s children we belong to his family, his kingdom. We are not just visiting once in a while, like a day visitor at a holiday resort. We are children of our Father’s house. Any parent understands this. There may be so many wonderful people around, but our children enjoy special status in our hearts that no one else can ever replace. Our children bring us much greater joy than most other people in our lives. The same is true with God. He is a Father. He enjoys his relationships with his children. We were created in his image. God is love, as revealed in 1 John 4:17. We were created to share God’s love with this world. And when we do that, we honour God.

God loves all people. He desires a relationship with everyone. But he finds special pleasure when his children are living their lives, bearing his image, and doing God’s will to change the world for the better.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that I may be part of your family. Help me to lead a life that is well pleasing to you by the power of your Spirit. Amen

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