Resurrection - Communion and the Family - RR164A2
The media player is loading...
[Local Minister] Hear now the Word of God as it is given to us in Colossians 2: 8-15.
“8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” May this reading of Scripture be to the glory of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. Amen
This Easter afternoon (we are happy) to have Rev. R.J. Rushdoony here with us from California. A man whose value to the church will be known only as history writes the history of American the American church in the 1900’s. When that history is written in the future Rev. Rushdoony’s name will be a very important part of it, [00:02:59]
in bringing about the reconstruction and reformation...
in bringing about the reconstruction and reformation that is now in process in this country. We find ourselves in a tremendous privilege today of having him come and speak to us from the Word of God. And it is a privilege that with each passing year increases in our own estimation recognizing the value of Rev. Rushdoony and the work that he has started in America and the implications of terms of the church worldwide. He understands the implications of the gospel message in ways that most of us have still many, many years to find out about. I guess I am saying that it is a tremendous privilege and blessing to have him here with us minister to us with the Word of God and I ask him to come forward now. [00:03:43]
[R.J. Rushdoony] We are told by James in his epistle 2:19, “Thou believest that there is one God. Thou doest well. The devils also believe and tremble.” The sad fact is that all too many Christians are in about the same state as the devils James spoke about. They are like the ones of bare belief and not even the trembling is there. They believe in the resurrection but they do not understand its meaning and its implications and the power it conveys. Paul tells us in the verses from Colossians that we read that in Christ and His resurrection we find our completeness, our fulfillment. It begins with the fact of our regeneration. His atonement. The fact that the handwriting ordinances it was against us which was contrary to us has been taken by Him, out of the way, out of sight, nailed to the cross. Moreover He has spoiled principalities and powers and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. The image there I am afraid is lost on most of us. It has reference to a conqueror, someone who moves against a powerful enemy and lays him waste, confiscates all of the wealth and the power of the enemy, openly manifests his triumph and shares all the bounty and the power with his realm, His kingdom. The resurrection is not merely the empowering, and not merely the resurrection and our salvation, but our empowering by Christ. It is a victory over sin and death [00:06:13]
But it is also our empowering...
But it is also our empowering. All principalities and powers are spoiled and we are told by the prophet Isaiah that the wealth of the world and all that it builds up will be for the benefit of God’s kingdom and His people. The meek shall inherit the earth, the meek, the tamed of God, those who are broken to harness, those who are made a new creation in Him, empowered by Him are enriched by Him. So these, the tamed of God, the blessed meek shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in the abundance of peace. All this was set forth from the beginning. God delivered Israel from Egypt with a mighty Hand, with ten plagues. So, the parting of the Red Sea was the destruction of the hosts of Egypt. And then set forth the implications of it all in the Passover. When we turn to the original account of the Passover in Egypt in Exodus certain things are very clearly evident. First of all there was a sentence of death on all Egypt and all Israel that would not come over the blood of the Passover Lamb. Only where the blood was on the lintel on the two side posts did the family, whether Hebrew or Egyptian, escape the death of the firstborn. Some Egyptians and others believed in the Lord and later left with Israel. The sentence of death by God upon the ungodly is the beginning of the deliverance of His people. And, times of judgment are times of salvation. The supreme instance of judgment is the cross, the great exemplar of salvation. Second, those who were spared were saved by the atoning blood of the Lamb signifying the Christ who was to come, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. Then, third, the decision to believe and to obey God rested on families. It was the duty of the family to sacrifice the Passover Lamb. It was the duty of the family to put the blood on the lintel and the two side posts and to celebrate the victory in the very presence of death. It was the families that decided, not individuals, not tribes nor congregations, the families. Then, fourth, to survive this judgment was a kind of resurrection in the first Passover. It led to freedom and the Promised Land. It set forth that which the resurrection must mean to the church, deliverance towards the Promised Land. The meek shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in the abundance of peace. [00:11:09]
Then, fifth, the redeemed nation became the people...
Then, fifth, the redeemed nation became the people and the family of God. All these things are strongly emphasized in the New Testament. St. Paul tells us that the power of the resurrection is so great that an unbelieving husband or an unbelieving wife is sanctified, set apart as holy and protected, by the faith of the believing part. So, we are plainly told in 1 Corinthians 7:14. If the unbelieving partners do not war against the believing partner’s faith or desert the marriage they are set apart as both clean and holy. This does not mean eternal salvation but present protection by the grace and mercy of our God. Now, this is both an important and a startling fact. Too often interpreters try to lessen the meaning of this text. A family in Egypt during the ten plagues might have had and probably did in many instances members skeptical of the declared coming judgment. If, however, someone with a strong faith sacrificed a lamb and placed its blood on the side posts and lintel death passed over that family. Similarly Paul tells us, the family that is in communion with Christ if only through one member of that couple is a protected family. It belongs to the resurrection community of Jesus Christ. It is a very personal fact. The true form of the Apostles Creed begins with “I believe”. It is the faith of the Christian community but it is also a very personal faith. If a thousand are repeating the Apostles Creed together they still way, “I believe”. It begins with my regeneration and expresses itself in a personal confession of faith. At the same time it is a family matter because ours is a covenantal faith. We enter into a God created community as a part of a community, with responsibilities in that community. [00:14:28]
And when we as husband or wife move into that community...
And when we as husband or wife move into that community we bring them with us. God in His grace calls us into covenant with Himself and gives us His law, the way of life as His act of grace. The resurrection community is thus a fellowship of families, empowered families. In a way beyond our ability to grasp the Christian family is a center wherein God’s grace and protection reside. We are holy. We are set apart. We are dedicated to God. And, this protection extends to the peaceable nonbelieving members. But, there is more. We are, says our Lord, the salt of the earth and the light of the world. What we are and have from God is reflected out into the world through us. If not, like salt it is lost its savor and we are thrown out into the highways of life to be trampled underfoot by man. Judgment we are told begins at the house of God. The greater the privilege and the blessing the greater the judgment for dereliction. We are thus told, we are thus commanded to radiate power, God’s power and grace or be crushed by the forces of history. In terms of this our empowerment by God in the resurrection. He who spoils all principalities and powers and says, “These now belong to my kingdom.” In terms of our covenant membership as families.
We can better understand 1 Corinthians 11:26-29 where Paul tells us, “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup ye do show, or show ye, the Lord’s death till He come. Wherefore whosoever should eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself and so let him drink of the cup and eat of the bread. For he that eateth or drinketh unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” Now, if the marginal reading of verse 26 is correct as some believe, although most do not support it, that sentence is a command. “Show ye the Lord’s death till He come. Show ye the Lord’s death till He come.” Proclaim its meaning, its salvation power for all of life until he come and what follows then tells us the penalties of failure to show and proclaim the meaning of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and His spoiling of all principalities and powers. To eat and drink unworthily. To fail to show the meaning of Christ’s atonement and salvation of His spoiling of all principalities and powers makes us guilty and according to verse 30 brings sickness and death upon us. [00:18:57]
The resurrection community, church and family is thus...
The resurrection community, church and family is thus commanded and required not to see itself as an end in itself. We do not exist to satisfy ourselves and attain our personal goals. We are saved to serve. We live to be His instruments, not to pursue our private purposes and pleasures. Paul continues in verse 31, “For if we would judge ourselves we would not be judged.” Judgment is an inescapable fact. We are God’s creatures and He will require an accounting of us all. This verse has an important part in the history of Holy Communion. Roman Catholic circles it is basic to the requirement of confession before communion. In Protestant circles it has meant at times a precommunion service of general confession and preparation or private prayers of confession. In any case, when we confess our sins we judge ourselves in terms of God’s law. Antinomianism has profoundly weakened the place of confession in the Christian life. Paul tells us that if we do not by confession judge ourselves we shall surely be judged by God. In the life of the family this judgment by the Word must be a basic fact. It is a reminder to us of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:19-20, “Ye are not your own but ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God’s.” In the Old Testament era the Passover was observed by the family, the Christian Passover was celebrated in the church, God’s family, by the families of Christ’s congregation. The family is God’s basic institution. It is the nursery of life and a fitting center for the meaning of the resurrection to be worked out in everyday life. By Christ’s atonement and resurrection we are made members of the new creation. Sin and death as the governing forces are replaced by righteousness or justice and life. [00:22:19]
The family as the nursery of physical life is God’s...
The family as the nursery of physical life is God’s instrument for the nurture of children into spiritual life. This means that both church and family have a duty to educate their young into the meaning of the resurrection for all of life. Because both family and church are communities and intended by God to be the most important communities. The celebration of the Lord’s Supper is usually accompanied by a deacon’s offering whose purpose is to extend the grace of the community to those in need. It is an expression of love. Or, as Shakespeare wrote, “Rich gifts wax poor where givers prove unkind.” And Christ having spoiled all principalities and powers and having made us to be heirs of all creation we are to act like heirs. We are to remember those in need and to give accordingly. We are to be kings, priests and prophets and to behave accordingly. The early church took this seriously. They saw themselves as the heirs of all creation. They did things that are staggering in retrospect. [00:24:07]
For example in Constantinople under St...
For example in Constantinople under St. John Chrysostom a hundred thousand members of his diesis cared for fifty thousand homeless children, widows, orphans and elderly homeless men. A hundred thousand cared for fifty thousand. And St. John Chrysostom preached a notable sermon scolding the people for thinking that because this was being done by the church they were being absolved by meeting need as they encountered it. Now, I said most commentators do not read verse 26 as “Show ye” but: “Ye do show”. But in this case it is still a fact of action. In other words even with this other reading if you truly and worthily partake of the elements you are then and all your life and thought giving practical demonstration of the meaning of the Lord’s death till the end of the world. Till He come. And either reading there is an equation of worthy partaking and the expression of our faith in Godly faithfulness. In action. [00:25:51]
This expression is within the life of the family, within...
This expression is within the life of the family, within the church and towards the world around us. It is a witness of the resurrection and to the fact that we, having become members of Him who spoiled all principalities and powers are the kings of creation. We are the empowered people. We are as families empowered to exercise dominion and to extend God’s covenant of grace, law and power over all the earth. The atonement redeems us from the penalty of death. And from the power of sin and gives us life. A necessary completion of the atonement was Christ’s resurrection. The resurrection community and family become therefore sources of salt, light and life. We are commanded by our Lord. Freely we have received, freely give. We have lost that dimension and we have lost its meaning. It was a commandment to exercise what was once called and the phrase is almost forgotten now except for a few historians. This is the royal virtue. The royal virtue. What does the royal virtue mean? It means that because you are a king you don’t count your pennies. You are generous. You give. Freely you have received, freely give. Christ who calls us to be kings and priests in His kingdom requires of us that he who has spoiled all principalities and powers and will in time make us heirs of all the earth recognize our great estate and exercise even now the royal virtue. W are not called to be misers or niggardly peasants but priests and kings of the kingdom of God, the kingdom that encompasses all creation. Let us pray.
Our Father how great thou art and how great is thy calling in us in Jesus Christ. Open our eyes that we may see the full meaning of what He has done, that we be not as the devils in hell that know that thou art and tremble but are incapable of acting on it. Teach us with a holy boldness to become more then conquerors because we are members of the great conqueror Christ. Teach us to exercise the royal virtue. Teach us to be joyful in thy victory and kingdom and to know that we are citizens of no mean city nor realm and that ours is a calling unto victory. For this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Our God, we thank Thee in Christ’s name, Amen [00:31:09]
Circumcision in the Old Testament is performed on the...
Circumcision in the Old Testament is performed on the eighth day and was the means whereby all male children as future heads of households were brought into the covenant of the Lord. Over the centuries there have been differences of opinions about the mode and time of baptism. All these have evaded the central issue. What does baptism mean? Why baptize a child or circumcise a child as in the Old Testament? And, with circumcision being performed on the eighth day what child of eight days knows his catechism or knows the Apostles Creed or knows anything about the articles of religion? Those who oppose the baptism of infants make much of such arguments and forget the basic trust of circumcision and of the baptism of infants, the sovereignty of God. The sovereignty of God. Because indeed, how can we say that a child is saved by their faith or by their profession or by their going forward at a meeting? We cannot. What we say therefore as Hannah did when she brought Samuel to the tabernacle, “This child was given to me by the Lord, and therefore I bring this child and give him to the Lord.” And, in baptism we affirm God’s sovereignty, we affirm His predestinating power, His electing grace and we beseech Him to receive from us the children that He has given to us and we promise Him that we will rear them in the nurture and the admonish of the Lord. This then is the meaning of baptism. At this time will the parents and their children come forward. [00:34:23]
The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting...
The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant and to those who remember His commandments to do them. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd. He shall gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom. For the promise is unto you and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.
Dearly beloved, the sacrament of baptism is of divine ordinance. God our Father who has redeemed us by the sacrifice of Christ is also the God and Father of our children. They belong with us who believe to the membership of the church to the covenant made in Christ. And, confirm to us by God in this sacrament which is a sign and seal of our cleansing, our engrafting into Christ and of our welcome in the household of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Verily I say unto you, whosoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child he shall not enter therein. And He took them up in His arms and put His hands upon them and blessed them.” St Paul also declared that the children of believers are to be numbered with the holy people of God. Beloved in Christ, in presenting your children for baptism do you confess your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and do you promise in dependence on the grace of God to bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? [00:36:55]
Let us pray. Most merciful and loving Father we thank you for the church of your dear Son, the ministry of thy Word and the sacraments of grace. We praise Thee that Thou hast given us such gracious promises concerning our children and that in mercy thou callest them to Thee, marking them with this sacrament as a singular token and pledge of Thy love. Set apart this water from a common to a sacred use. And, grant that what we do on earth may be confirmed in heaven. As in humble faith we present these children to Thee we beseech Thee to receive them to endow them with Thy Holy Spirit and to keep them ever as Thine own through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. What is the Christian name of this child? ……………………… Amber Kay, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And may the blessing of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost descend upon you and rest upon you now and forever. Amen. What is the Christian name of this child? ……….Rochelle Mike I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And may the blessing of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost descend upon you and rest with you always. Amen. What is the Christian name of this child? ………. Jacqueline Bethel, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And may the blessing of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost descend upon you and rest with you always. Amen. And what is the Christian name of this child? ………….Alexander Christian, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And may the blessing of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost descend upon you and rest with you always. Amen These children are now received into Christ’s kingdom and you the people of this congregation in receiving these children promise with God’s help to be their sponsor to the end that they may confess Christ as Lord and Savior and come at last into His eternal kingdom. Jesus said, “Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth Me.” Let us pray. Almighty and Everlasting God who of Thine infinite grace and mercy has promised that thou will not only be our God but also the God and Father of our children, we humbly beseech Thee to these thy children that Thy Spirit may be upon them and dwell in them forever. Take them we entreat Thee into Thy fatherly care and protection. Guide them and sanctify them both in body and in soul. Grant them to grow in wisdom as in stature, in favor with God and man. Abundantly enrich them with Thy heavenly grace. Bring them safely through the perils of childhood. Deliver them from the temptations of youth and lead them to witness a good confession and to persevere therein to the end. Oh, God our Father, give unto Thy servants in whom Thou hast committed this blessed trust the assurance of Thine unfailing providence and care. Guide them, with Thy counsel as they teach and train their children. Help them to lead their household to an ever increasing knowledge of Christ and in a more steadfast obedience to His will. We commend to Thy Fatherly care the children and families of this congregation. Help us all in our homes to honor Thee and by love to serve one another. And to Thy name be all blessing and glory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen [00:43:42]
[Man from Audience] In the passage in Colossians that...
[Man from Audience] In the passage in Colossians that you dealt with concerning the baptism and its relationship to circumcision it has come to my attention that there are some people who have taken that and applied it as well to a circumcision of heart and teach a sinlessness on the basis of that baptism. I was wondering if you could comment on that and how the circumcision of the heart and the baptism relate to each other?
[R.J. Rushdoony] Circumcision of the heart means the inner renewal and cleansing that comes from being a regenerate person. Now, one of the heresies that has plagued the church over the centuries is to believe that the rite itself does this rather than God’s sovereign grace. So, the belief in baptismal regeneration has been very prevalent and not only in some periods of Roman Catholic history but also within Protestantism. I have known people who say they are reformed and have been members of reformed communions who believe in baptismal regeneration. The major wing of the Campbellite movement believes in baptismal regeneration. What such beliefs do is to transfer sovereignty of God to man from God’s predestination to man’s choosing or man’s right. Whenever you have a belief in perfectionism or that the rite itself is the regenerating factor rather than a witness to what God does and can do you immediately begin to build up the church at the expense of God and the people. Wherever you have a very high doctrine of the church … and a sense of a powerful church that has a thorough control of you you have a belief in baptismal regeneration and you have Arminianism because you have a transfer of power from God to the human scene. And you locate that power in the ecclesiastical body. So, in baptism we do not believe that there is a renewal automatically. We simply submit the child as we do ourselves if we are adults to God beseeching Him by His sovereign grace to work in our lives or our child’s lives. [00:47:14]
Sovereignty on the divine level and predestination...
Sovereignty on the divine level and predestination on the divine level. The Armenians believe in predestination. They believe that you do it. You chose God. You chose to be baptized. You are the deciding factor. Does that help answer your question? Very good. Is there another question?
[Man from Audience] I suppose my question is somewhat of a follow up to that. How would you respond to those who subscribe to a circumcision of the heart that is an act of God but that it is effected completely in that the work of Adam upon them, the moment of regeneration or when the process of regeneration is finished is completely undone.
[R.J. Rushdoony] Yes, you have had two extremes with regards to sanctification. Those who believe that when you are sanctified you are immediately perfected. The best argument against that are the people who believe it. They certainly do not manifest a sinless perfectionism. The other aspect of that which arose in the German Reformed community is called (Colbrogianism?) The name is, I am happy to say, not too familiar now because it has pretty much died out. But, with (Colbrogianism?), when you were baptized God sanctified you to a limit and there is no growth after that. So, you remained what you were at the time of baptism. So, if you were a stinker at the moment and God did not sanctify you out of that you remained a stinker the rest of your life. Both positions are ridiculous and have done a lot of harm because it is a process and one of the problems with these people is that they think that somehow the minute we are saved we are outside the realm of time. So, they dispense with time and it is with time by the hour, day, week, month, year that we grow in grace that we grow in our faithfulness, in our obedience. And, they want to dispense with time. So you are saved and what do you do? You sit around and wait for heaven. So, when you find these aberrations, they are usually among people that believe that between your salvation and heaven there is nothing for you but to do but sit around and maybe witness to somebody else. It creates a very sterile kind of faith. [00:50:37]
[Man from audience] I was wondering if you could respond...
[Man from audience] I was wondering if you could respond to a question about the Passover and Paedo Communion. As far as there are many Presbyterian’s who hold that children cannot discern the body as far as when communion happens.
[R.J. Rushdoony] Well, the argument of those who oppose Paedo communion based on modern premises and it is very similar to the argument against infant baptism. What we do know is that the youngest male child capable of understanding could be five or six or younger in some instances who could speak was to ask the question, “Father, what is the meaning of this that we do?” And then the meaning of the service was explained to them. God’s great salvation of Israel from Egypt. Now, in the early church and there is no one who can dispense with the fact because it is there in all the records. The early church observed Paedo communion. As a matter of fact in the church instead of one child asking the question before communion they had a group of the youngest boys of about, oh, five or six from the various families get up and sing a song sometimes or recite a portion and then ask the question, “What is this that we are about to do?” In one form or another, it varied in place to place; it was the small children of the various families that raised the question in the church. So, the evidence is clearly there. As a matter of fact if you go to Bingham’s Antiquities of the Christian Church, Joseph Bingham, he gives you the most complete index to the patristic literature that we have. It’s two thick volumes and all he does is index under various subjects, everything in the patristic literature such as Paedo communion that is everything to do with the life of the church. [00:53:30]
[Man from Audience] I’ve never heard Easter, the resurrectio...
[Man from Audience] I’ve never heard Easter, the resurrection talked about as an empowerment, I was wondering if you could elaborate a little more on the resurrection as an empowerment and what are the differences and similarities of that and Pentecost?
[R.J. Rushdoony] Yes, let’s start from the latter part of your question. At Pentecost the church received not the gift of the Spirit, they had already received that, the Lord after the resurrection breathed upon them and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” They received the gifts of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. And so there were all kinds of supernatural manifestations that followed. Now, to get back to the matter of the empowerment of the church. If you were required to, let us say, run a mile carrying a hundred pounds you would not last for very long. You would not get very far. You would be severely handicapped. Now, that is a very poor comparison [00:57:47]
To the empowerment, the impediment that sin provides...
To the empowerment, the impediment that sin provides. It limits us, it clouds us in our minds and in all our being and it is a far greater impediment to our being then say a fifty or hundred pound weight on a mile run. Now suddenly we are divested by our Lord of the power of sin and death. We now are freed so that our life is one of justice and righteousness. “Lo, I come and in the volume of the book it is written of me to do thy will oh God.” This was the prophetic statement about what the life of Christ would be and our life in Him. So, whereas once we sought what was contrary to God’s will whatever we could get away with, now it is our delight to do the will of God. That is what we seek to do. So there is a complete reversal of direction. There is an empowerment to do good to do justice. That in itself is a tremendous factor. Then there is the fact of knowing that “Whosoever believes in Me shall never die but has everlasting life.” The implications of that are enormous. As one writer in the forties wrote analyzing the situation of man and Western civilization, he was not a Christian, he said we believe that once we rid of ourselves of the Biblical believes in God and life after death the quality of life would be vastly improved because we would prize life so and we would use it with great caution. He said we are seeing something dramatically different. Because we no longer believe in God and justice of God as basic to the universe life is no longer worth prizing. So, we are seeing man more and more on a suicidal course, a will to death overpowering them. By the resurrection we are rid of the burden of sin and guilt. [01:00:49]
We are delivered into righteousness and life...
We are delivered into righteousness and life. It’s a tremendous freedom. It enables us to live and to function much better. One of the things that I thought very interesting and I believe I cited it in passing in one of the volumes of the Institutes. Count Eric (Qunelt La Dean), the political scientist and Austrian count, a brilliant scholar, analyzed the productivity of various cultures and he found that nonChristian cultures men worked ten to fifteen hours a day and their productivity compared with those in a Christian society would amount to about forty-five minutes. But what he also said that was very sad was that the Western countries have lost their faith, their productivity per man hour has gone down. So, you function better as a Christian. You are free from the burden of sin and guilt, from the fear of death; you are delivered into life and righteousness in Christ.