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One For All And All For One

Romans 5:18-19

18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

You may or may not remember the phrase “All for one and one for all”, that was made most famous by the three musketeers who would shout this in unison before rushing into battle against oppression, corruption and evil. It's maybe a phrase that's been lost through time, but its meaning helps reinforce the spiritual principle outlined in Romans 5. 

The idea behind the phrase is that all of our actions and motivations are deeply connected to one another's well being and benefit. All of us will run into battle on behalf of one and one of us will run into battle on behalf of all. Saying the phrase before battle was the musketeers reminder that they are no longer individuals making choices to fight for their own well being. They are rushing into battle reminding themselves that they are a community committed to sacrificing for one another. The collective is as important as the individual and vice versa. It was a noble reminder that they are connected to something much bigger than themselves. This is somewhat like the spiritual principle outlined above. Although we are individuals made in God’s image, our lives are not meant to be lived individualistically. Our choices and desire to fight for God’s will in each of our lives has a spiritual impact on the lives we are connected to in community. 

It has become a culturally acceptable answer for people to justify immoral actions and choices by simply saying, "what's wrong with my choices if they don’t hurt anyone else”. The problem is that there is no such thing as a choice that doesn't affect at least one “someone else”. Of course, our individual choices don’t quite carry the same impact and weight as say the first Adam or Jesus, the spiritual principle is still applicable in each one of our lives. Your actions, whether good or otherwise, have spiritual implications for the people you are called to love and be responsible for. While maybe your choices don’t impact people physically they most definitely impact those you are called to care for in a profound way spiritually. As a husband, father, pastor, and business owner it's vital that I understand this principle for the health of not only myself but also the people I am called to do community with. If I am not walking in a place of  health emotionally and spirituality, I must repent and correct quickly so that my choices don't have a negative spiritual impact on the people I’m called to have a relationship with. The same applies to you and the people you are called to do community with. 

Take the horrific act of suicide. Of course, the tormented individual that commits to this, believes they are finding relief in applying such a terrible act against themselves. Often they reason that no one else will be affected long-term by their choice. Of course, anyone who has had a loved one or even a close acquaintance die this way, knows that this choice has a ripple effect that leaves a deep imprint on the souls of those connected to that person. Of course, this is one of the most extreme negative choices and examples we can give but it reinforces this seldom considered principle when we are making our choices. On the other side of the coin, have you ever talked yourself out of doing something in obedience to God because you didn’t believe it would be significant? I often wonder when I fail to be bold and do something I clearly know God has called me to do, how that affects those I’m called to love. The great Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, who has now gone on to be with the Lord, tells a great story that further illustrates this. Reinhard tells the story of how God reached the heart of his unbelieving grandfather in rural Germany and how his grandfather's radical conversion gave way for Reinhard to be born and raised by a Spirit filled family. Being raised in a Spirit filled Christian home would then help Reinhard foster His call to preach the gospel in Africa. A call he received while attending his father’s church at 9 years old. This call from Jesus would enable Reinhard to grow up to become one of the principle tools Jesus would use to lead over 77 million people in Africa to Jesus. A staggering feat.  How did Reinhard's grandfather come to Christ, change the trajectory for his family's legacy, which paved the way for 77 million others to receive Jesus in Africa? Reinhard credits this to a young American missionary who got lost in Germany's forests and stumbled accidently into his grandfather's village in 1922. Instead of complaining or crying for help, the missionary young, lost, and found alone, boldly proclaimed to the first villagers he encountered, “is there anyone in this village sick that I can pray for to be healed?” Of course there was… Reinhard's grandfather, who had been bed ridden with excruciating pain for over two years. The missionary prayed, the grandfather was healed, and Reinhard's entire family received Jesus and was baptized with the Holy Spirit. All because one lost missionary refused to stop choosing to honor God’s call for His life despite where that call may have led him. Because of this missionary's unwavering choice to follow God, even in the face of trials, many more received the blessing of his sacrifice and choice. 

Our choices have a ripple effect. We are either making choices that honor and build the Kingdom around us in the lives we are connected to, or we are making choices that are diminishing God’s work through our lives. Especially as believers, we must disavow the lie that we can do things in secret that will have no negative effect on the world around us. We have to remind ourselves that the choice to die to self and live sacrificially is not only a benefit for myself, but also for the community I’m called to fight the Kingdom of God with. Like the three musketeers who were willing to sacrifice for one another in their call to fight for justice, we too must realize that we are a Body called to do the same in our pursuit to build Jesus's Kingdom. 


Pastor John

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