License to Suffer


                James Bond is the fictitious agent 007 of the British Secret Service. This super agent is entrusted with the most dangerous and seemingly impossible missions. In order to achieve success, James has at his disposal a myriad of fancy cars, weapons and gadgets and he also has a license to kill.

                A license to kill allows government agents to use lethal force in the delivery of their objectives. A license to kill must be used with extreme care and only in extreme cases, where life is threatened by the actions of the criminal. It should never be abused by anyone.

                Christians also have a license to kill. We have been entrusted with the mission to eliminate sin and the flesh. As “agents” and soldiers of the Lord we have a clear command from Christ to kill or as the apostle Paul says to:

                put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

                Sin is our mortal enemy and it must be destroyed at all costs. If we kill sin we will live, if we don’t, it will destroy us. Sin always leads to death (Romans 6:23; James 1:15). Therefore it is imperative for us to kill sin in order to live for Christ.

               “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)

               As Christians we also have many other licenses: The license to worship God; the license to serve Jesus Christ; the license to proclaim the Gospel; the license to pray and study God’s Word and the license to suffer for Christ.

               A license to suffer?

              Suffering is not the most popular license or calling for Christians, but it is an integral part of our lives. We have been called to follow Jesus in his steps of suffering (1 Peter 2:21) and to walk through a narrow gate and a difficult way (Matthew 7:13-14). In addition to this, the Bible compares our suffering with the blessing of believing in Christ:

              “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29)

              If you don’t want to suffer for Christ, do not attempt to serve, obey or follow Him. On the other hand, if you are a faithful believer, expect all kinds of sufferings, trials and tests. These sufferings will be used by the Lord to transform us according to the image of Jesus Christ and to purify us as gold is refined by the fire.

              A. G.

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