The men on Wednesday nights at New Beginnings have been studying the book "The Resolution for Men" since the end of August. Last night we completed the last chapter of the book and then we had 20 men make a "commitment" to follow 12 "I Will" statements from the book and sign a certificate similar to the one pictured here.
After a small ceremony, they signed this certificate in front of each other as witnesses to their "commitment" They can then frame the certificate and hang it on a wall in a prominent place in their home for their family to see
If you can read each statement on the certificate above, these are not statements that are easily committed to. Have they set themselves up for failure? God gave us the Ten Commandments too. How many of us have kept them? Did God set us up for failure?
Paul said in Romans 7:5-7
"For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions operated through the law in every part of us and bore fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law.
7 What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet."
This is why Jesus Christ came to earth. Emmanuel. God with us. He came to save us from our sins. The law is just a benchmark to show us what sin is versus righteousness, being "right" with God.
We cannot keep the law without the power of the Holy Spirit. After Jesus rose again and ascended into Heaven He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, not because of any works of our own. Titus 3:5 says "He saved us— not by works of righteousness that we had done, but
according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal
by the Holy Spirit."
Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can we strive to make our commitment to follow Him. The men who have made these commitments know that they are not perfect. They know they will make mistakes. They know that the only way they can have success at keeping their commitments is through the power of the Holy Spirit.
It seems that in today's culture their is a fear of commitment. Maybe that is because their is a fear of failure.Maybe if I don't really try to keep my commitments, I don't have to worry about failure because I didn't want to make the effort. Failure is not occasionally making mistakes, asking forgiveness, and recommitting to your resolutions. Failure is refusing to commit yourself due to your fear of failure. Redemption is not just turning away from your past, it is committing yourself to bring God in to your future.
Way to go gentlemen! The future is brighter!