Thursday, March 8, 2012

Remembering what we need to remember the most

Sin is a wretched and deceitful thing. It draws us away from Christ by its false promises of happiness and plays on our flesh's desire to seek pleasure and gratification for ourself. sin is fun. if it were not, why would anyone do it? But we also know that sin has many consequences, first and foremost that it leads us to death. Sin focuses on the instant gratification, irregardless of the consequences. 

Sin takes something that God intended for good, and perverts, twists, and distorts it to become something that appeals to our flesh sin nature, and when accepted, we find that it is filled with the deadly poison which ultimately separates us from God.

4 But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved! 6 He also raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavens, in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:4-9

Our enemy wants to condemn us when we fail, when we sin. He takes a truth and twists it into a lie. Yes, because of our sin, we are condemned. But because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, our sin- past, present, and future- was justly dealt with on the cross, and we are now clothed in righteousness and seen as blameless in the eyes of God, if we put our trust in Him and if His Spirit lives in us!

When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we become a new creation, made holy and blameless before a holy and righteous God. Because of Christ sacrifice and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we are justified before God, just-as-if we have never sinned, for all time! We experience the grief and guilt of sin so greatly because it troubles the heart of God, and Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:16 that we have the mind of Christ! As followers of Christ, the Spirit dwells in us and makes us conscious of sin in our lives.

However, just as Paul explains to us in Romans, God's mercy and grace does not give us a free license to sin just because we are covered in His grace. Because the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we have received a new nature, one that wants to please our Heavenly Father, and one that despises sin.

I know many of you reading this probably already know all this, and are wondering why i am writing this... Here is why: because as Christians, we can easily be led astray to believe that we are saved because of the good things we do, and falsely believe that the sin we commit will somehow undo the salvation that Christ Jesus has freely offered to us. I do not want you to be held in bondage to that false belief. "By grace you are saved!" And if it is by grace that you are saved, then your performance, or lack there of, has nothing to do with your permanent adoption in Christ. We can't undo our salvation. it is a gift of God. His grace is sufficient for me, for you, for all that put their trust in Him. When we sin, we should as Christians feel deeply troubled and be filled with remorse for our choice to sin. But at the same time, we must remind ourselves that our performance, whether good or bad, has no part in our salvation. As we mature in Christ, we will see the evidence of God working in us, producing the fruit of a fully devoted follower of Christ, as we pursue Christ (not the fruit) with everything we've got! Christians are not sinless, but the do sin less.

Receive His grace. it is sufficient. it is more than enough. we cannot out sin the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ, nor can we run out of grace. 

Margin serves us well because it provides us a boundary to keep us from those dangerous places that subject us to temptation, to sin. But we do not live in a bubble, and our best efforts to construct safe boundaries from sin are unable to insulate us from the sin nature of this world. Sometimes, we have to follow Joseph's example, and just RUN! Do whatever it takes. avoid those dangerous places, those temptations at all cost. when attacked, do NOT see how long you can withstand it. You will be captured by the lure of temptation, and apart from the supernatural protection and/or empowerment of the Holy Spirit, you will not be able to resist sin.