Showing posts with label overcoming sin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label overcoming sin. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

What does it means to be Holy?

But you are not like that, for you have been chosen by God himself—you are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God’s very own—all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 TLB

 Have you ever had someone look at you with contempt or bewilderment, and tell you that you are different? At one time or another, all of us may have a similar experience. Maybe we just didn't fit in with a certain group, with co-workers, or perhaps someone we knew and over time we realized we were two different people with differing likes and interests. 

 As we continue in our study we are going to see being different can really be positive. Today, it seemed good to look at holiness and examine it in light of the Gospel of Grace. Some tend to think holiness and Grace are contrary to one another. That is an untruth.

 Grace gives us the power and desire to walk out our true identity in Christ. Grace is what actually made us holy. The challenge with holiness is that tradition and religion have defined holiness as some somber joyless life where keeping all the rules and even finding new ones to observe is what holiness looks like.

 The other challenge with holiness is that the Church still believes holiness is something we aren't and is something we must obtain. Some teach Righteousness is what He did but holiness is what we do. We can't walk out holiness in our life if we don't even know what it is.

 Hebrews reveals the Grace that already made us holy. Hebrews 10 details this Finished Work of Grace. Hebrews tells us those who believe are already made holy.

For by one offering He has forever perfected those who are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14 MEV

 We are perfected and sanctified already because of Jesus. We are in Him. 

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse them from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 MEV

 We are already cleansed by the Blood. We are redeemed. We are His. We are set apart. This was done at the Cross. This was realized and received when we partook of His free gift of Grace by Faith.

 So why do we still sin? Why do we still miss it? Why do we still have bad habits and make poor choices? These aren't deep questions that take much pondering, extended times of fasting, and isolation in prayer to search for an answer. 

 We blow it sometimes, we miss it, and we still deal with bad habits. Does this mean we aren't holy? Some would say yes. However, that contradicts what the Word proclaimed. We still make mistakes, but that isn't a reflection of our identity in Christ.

 Why do we miss it? One thing we must continually do is renew our minds. Right believing is the key to right living. We miss it when our mind isn't renewed in various areas of our life. We miss it when we forget our true identity. We miss it when we allow legitimate needs to become perverted, and/or try to get legitimate needs met apart from God and His Grace.

 The problem with religion is they consider the Christian life as an easy bake oven. That the proverbial cake should be done in an hour. As soon as one is saved they should cease all the stuff they are involved in. That's not God's way.

 Our Father paid a high price for us. He recreated and reformed and refashioned us from within. We are brand new in Him. We are made Righteous, we are forgiven and sanctified or set apart for Him when we believed. We are progressively maturing into who He already made us. The focus is on our own growth and no one else's. Relax and enjoy the ride.

 Now, what does this look like in daily life? How do you know you are maturing? Recall how I mentioned being different. This is the real holiness of God. What do I mean?

 Where religion only focuses on rule-keeping God sees our whole life as growth in holiness. I want to encourage you and show that you're more holy than you realize. Holiness means we aren't common, we are uncommon.

 Holiness practically realized is that we are uncommon people. We are different! Though we may still be overcoming in differing areas of our life, I want to show you how you are progressing. 

 When others are out golfing, or day sailing, or sleeping in, usually on Sundays you're found in the house of God fellowshipping with other saints, exalting God corporately. That's being different. When others are spending money on new gadgets, or the latest and greatest new thing, you're sending money to support missions. You're sending money to help feed and clothe orphans. You're funding ministries and Bible schools. That's being different!

 When the doctor's report is of a negative nature, your response is one of trusting in God and not one of fear, panic, and giving up. Whereas others are feeling hopeless, you know where your trust resides. You speak the Word of Faith where others are speaking fear and dread. That is different!

 Are you walking in holiness? Take a second look at your life. Examine it in light of Grace and the Finished Work. You're going to see how different you are in comparison to those without Christ. That is walking in holiness. 

 God is not looking for dutiful servants who mind all the rules. He's not looking for slaves, He's looking for sons and daughters. God's Love for us is overwhelming and unconditional. We speak of the first love, the amazing truth is that we are God's first love. He has a fire burning in His heart for you and me. His heart beats out of his chest when He thinks of you and me. He is Holy and He is Love. 

 In summation, be glad we are different. Being different is a good thing. It reveals our minds are being renewed and "updated" if you will. It serves to remind us we are the Righteous and the ones made holy because of the Blood, the Grace of God, and His Finished Work. Be different, because He is different! This is Good News! 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Grace vs Law: Jesus' temptation

 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 MEV

 We've begun a study contrasting Law and Grace. Grace became a much-studied topic over the last few years. Yet with all the emphasis on Grace, many believers and various ministries still cling to Law in some form or fashion. 

 What is the Law? What is Grace? The Law refers to either the Ten Commandments or the whole of the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch. Some mistakenly claim the Law was only the Ten but tradition made it into the 613 commands Jesus lived under. Not so, the Law has 613 commands given by God, not tradition.

 So what is the Law? The Law is the 613 commands given by God to the Hebrews. The Law is God's perfect standard. It is rigid and unbending. It demands and never supplies. Being under Law is living the Christian life legalistically. This speaks of one who follows, keeps, and abides in outward rules and regulations that produce no inward change. The Law is also any action, performance, or behavior engaged in, with the intent to gain God's love, goodness, favor, acceptance, mercy, and blessing.   

 What is Grace? Grace is the unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor of God. When this unearned favor is received, it produces empowerment, releasing His divine influence upon the heart. Jesus is the person of Grace. Jesus is the center of it all. Grace reminds us that the work is already done, finished, and has nothing to do with us, our part is to trust in, believe, and just freely receive.

 With this understanding, we can further examine the contrast between Law and Grace. With this rooted in our hearts and minds, we can readily see the dangers of mixing Law and Grace. 

 As we study the Scriptures, we can see illustrations of Jesus (Grace), and the Law. How Jesus is greater than the Law. How Jesus came to fulfill and finish the Law bringing a new and living way to our Father. 

 Look at the temptation of Jesus in Matthew's Gospel chapter 4. Jesus was in the wilderness and the enemy came to tempt Him. Note the first thing the enemy said to Jesus. 

 And the tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones be turned into bread.” Matthew 4:3 MEV

 The enemy is crafty and clever. Note how the enemy addressed the Lord Jesus. The enemy said, "if you are the Son of God..." This is the first clue the enemy gave away about his works of temptation. The enemy didn't call Jesus what the Father called Him. 

 This is what the Father Said to Jesus;

And a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17 MEV

 The enemy didn't want to remind Jesus of what God said about Him. His temptation wasn't to break the fast. It's not a sin to eat or break a fast. Where was the command the Father had given Jesus to not eat for more than 40 days? So often tradition has read it into this passage that the temptation was to eat and break the fast. 

 Still others claim the temptation was to perform a miracle at the whim of the enemy. To prove His Sonship by doing a miracle. This is not plausible because of the response Jesus gave to the enemy satan. 

 What exactly was this temptation then? The enemy, refused to refer to Jesus the way God, the Father did. The enemy told Him to turn stones into bread. The temptation was for Jesus, the person of Grace, to find sustenance and life through the stones, that is the Law. 

 Take note of Jesus' response;

But He answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4 MEV

 Jesus knew what the Father spoke over Him. He rebuked satan. He showed him that He was sustained by the Words spoken by God and not by performance, not by following the ministry of death and condemnation written on stones.

 Jesus showed us a powerful point that will help us walk in victory during times of temptation or seasons of accusations by the enemy and religion. We must come out of agreement with the lying words of condemnation and death. We must come into agreement with what God declared over our life. He said we are His children. He said we are the Righteousness of God in Christ. He said we are accepted and approved. He said we are forever forgiven and made new in Him. He declared He is Faithful, even when we are faithless. We are secure in Him for all eternity.

 The enemy wants to tempt the Church into finding its sustenance and nourishment from the Law. Some teach that we need the Law to grow. That we are saved by Grace but sanctified by Law. 

 The enemy tries to convince believers that sure we begin by Grace, but our nourishment spiritually is to follow and abide under the Law. This is why so much preaching and teaching isn't centered around Jesus' Finished Work, but rather on our works, and performance. Jesus is removed from the focal point and our actions, achievements and accomplishments are exalted to center stage. 

 Grace counters this by reminding us of who we are, and what He said about us. Grace compels us to place Jesus back to the central focal point of our Faith. Grace reminds us we can't live up to the demands of the Law, but Jesus did and fulfilled it. We are no longer under Law but Grace. 

 In summation, let's not continue looking for our sustenance and nourishment and growth by living under Law. Let's live by the Words spoken by our Father. he declared it is Finished. Let's agree with that. Let's live life loved by our Savior, not by trying to become our own savior through, our doing more, performance, or good works. Jesus is our Savior not our behavior. Grace!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

More Good News: All your sins have been forgiven

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings good news of happiness, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 MEV

In our last study, we began sharing some Good News truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In a fallen, fractured creation we all need to feed on Good News not bad news or sad news. We need to shift our focus on the good things God has done through Jesus and is doing each and every day of our lives, and not on the schemes of the enemy or the lies of tradition, or the fallen world system.

 Last week, we shared the Good News that our salvation is fully secure in Christ. That Jesus is more than enough. Today, I want to continue sharing how secure we are in Him by proclaiming the Good News that in Christ all our sins are forever forgiven.

 Admittedly, I once struggled some with this notion. It wasn't that I didn't believe it in my heart. I had heard this truth when God captured my heart with the truth of the Gospel of Grace. My spirit immediately received this. My head was a little hesitant. I wanted to see more Scripture on this.

 In one sense, that is commendable. We must establish and confirm the truth with the Word of God. God is so Good and is THE Truth so He quickly took me on a journey through the New Covenant. Upon searching the Scriptures, my heart and mind were even more refreshed. The Word established over and over that all our sins were forgiven once for all time by Jesus.

14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins Colossians 1:14 TLB

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. Colossians 2:13 NLT

12 I am writing to you, little children (believers, dear ones), because your sins have been forgiven for His name’s sake [you have been pardoned and released from spiritual debt through His name because you have confessed His name, believing in Him as Savior]. 1 John 2:12 AMP

He is the one who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins, and not only ours but all the world’s. 1 John 2:2 TLB 

32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NLT

13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. Colossians 3:13 AMP 

 Through Christ, God has forgiven us of all our sins. God is not keeping scores or tabs on how often we screw up or fail. Our Father has accepted the Work of Jesus. His precious blood was enough.

 These powerful passages reveal the heart of God and the Love of our Savior. It displays plainly the clear truth that God in Christ has in fact forgiven us of all our sins. These passages exhibit the fullness of the work of Jesus on becoming a curse for us. He has forgiven us of all our sins.

 One may say yea but for how long are we forgiven? How much are we forgiven of? Don't these passages simply state we are forgiven only of our past sins? Are we forgiven of our sin if we continue committing the same sin?

14 For by one offering He has forever perfected those who are sanctified... 17 then He adds, “Their sins and lawless deed will I remember no more.” 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Hebrews 10:14,17-18 MEV

This passage answers these questions. Couple this with the ones we just shared and it eliminates all doubt and settles any disputes. God has through Christ and His precious perfect blood forgiven us of all our sins once for all time.

 We are forgiven of all our sins for all time and eternity. God has accepted the work of His Son. We are forgiven of all our sins, past present, and future. The Word clearly declared we are forgiven of all our sins. All means all. All of our past has been wiped clean and all our future sins have already been paid for and forgiven. There is no more judgment and condemnation and punishment for our sins the moment we believed. 

 This is the Good News. We are forgiven forever. What about those sins we commit and sometimes keep committing? The Finished Work of Christ, the once for all sacrifice and payment for sin is not some vessel that runs out eventually. This work of Grace is an endless well of love and mercy and forgiveness that never runs dry. Rejoice that your failings and foul-ups will never exhaust His supply of mercy and Grace and forgiveness.

 In summation, we can rejoice in the Good News. It is good news that we are forgiven of all our sins. We are forgiven and have perfect acceptance before the Father. We can approach God with boldness. We can have a bold, and loving expectation of mercy and relinquish a fearful expectation of judgment and condemnation. Focus on the Good News of Grace. Turn away from the bad news and lies of the enemy, the world system, and the religious tradition of men. The Blood has cleansed you of all your sins and shortcomings. You are accepted and loved and forever forgiven in Christ Jesus. 

Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Receiving Righteousness: Walking by sight? What are you looking at?

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

For if by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 NASB

Receiving of the Gift of Righteousness. We've been in an extended study of God's great Gift of Righteousness. We are examining the vital importance of not just knowing once you believe you are the Righteous, but also of actually receiving of this Gift of Righteousness in all areas of your life. 

 Righteousness received coupled with God's abundant Grace causes us to reign as kings in this life. When we receive of the Gift of Righteousness relationships are empowered to prosper and succeed. Healing and wholeness become more and more real to us and it frees us to receive apart from our works and performance.

 Today, I want to continue examining this great Gift of Righteousness and the benefits of actively receiving of it. We know who the Righteous are. Those who have trusted in Christ alone, receiving His new life and forever forgiveness. Let's look again at what Righteousness means.

 Righteousness is God's gift of no condemnation. Righteousness is that gift whereby we can stand before God without any sense of condemnation, guilt, shame, insecurity, or inferiority. Righteousness is that gift where we who believed are in perpetual right standing with God. Righteousness is that gift that grants us perfect acceptance and approval with our Heavenly Father. Righteousness is that blessing David spoke of, the person who God no longer imputes sin or uncleanness. This is the Gift of Righteousness.

 In our last two studies, we focused on the truth that when we need healing or any answer from God we need not look at ourselves. That is focusing on how many good deeds we have done. How much we prayed or gave or volunteered. No, we don't look to our goodness to receive from God but rather we focus on His Goodness alone and freely receive.

 That is amazingly good news to the weary ones who have tried to earn the blessing and Goodness of God. This frees us from trying to deserve anything from God's hands. All that the Finished Work procured and paid for is only received by Grace through Faith, not any works on our part. That said, what about the times when we sin and walk out of love?

 Some ministers may even agree that we can't "do" anything to deserve the blessing and Goodness and favor of God. However, even fewer would dare suggest that our sins would not hinder us from receiving answered prayers or blessings. Most ministries and churches agree and affirm that sins will hinder your prayer life. They will cite passages like this.

Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things. Jeremiah 5:25 NLT

So the question I simply want to ask is when it comes to answered prayer or receiving anything from God what are you looking at? Are you looking at your sins and shortcomings? Are you looking at your foul-ups? Or are you beholding Him? Are you seeing who He has made you now? Focusing on your failure or His forgiveness?

 Remember this vital truth, the wages of sin is not unanswered prayer or God withholding from you. The wages of sin is death. It was just one sin that plunged mankind into the fall and brought the curse upon this Earth. That one sin caused God to send His only Son for us all. 

 When we use Old Covenant formats for prayer requests and trying to receive anything from God we are walking by sight and not Faith. We are Righteous by Faith, not our doing. We can't undo what only Christ could do. 

We can have bold Faith even when we fail

 As Paul was accused of saying do evil that good may come, I am of course not saying let's sin even more knowing God will still answer our prayers. Sin has consequences in this life. Sin can also hurt others besides the one committing the act. Think how shattered and emotionally wounded the man or woman whose spouse committed adultery is. We aren't encouraging sin, but are magnifying this great Gift of God's Righteousness.

 Here is the too good to be true but true Good News of the Gospel. The wages of sin is death. God's gift is eternal life through Jesus. Christ paid the price for all sin. Jesus is the once for all sacrifice for sins. Jesus has forgiven our sins, past present, and future. All of our sins, even the ones we have yet to commit are already forgiven. 

14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins Colossians 1:14 TLB

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. Colossians 2:13 NLT

1 John 2:12 is just as clear. As the literal Greek renders, we are forgiven of all our sins on account of His name. If God's Word says we are forgiven of all our sins, and Jesus shed blood was the price paid for our forgiveness, then we are forgiven of all of our sins forever.

 Here is another truth to look at concerning sin.

then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:17 NKJV

 Not only are we forgiven of all our sins, but here, the writer of Hebrews (who I believe was Paul), referencing the Finished Work of the Cross declares that God will never remember our sins again. He will never remember our sins? What about when we sin continually? He said I will remember your sins no more. What about if I sin the same sin repeatedly? He said I will remember your sins no more.

 God said He will remember our sins no more. He didn't add an addendum or a clause that states I won't remember your sins except for the times in which you pray. If He has declared that our sins will not be remembered by Him, then how can our sins hinder our receiving from God? The Father answers prayer, blesses us, bestows favor upon us because He is Good not because we are. We can freely receive because we have been made the Righteousness of God in Christ. 

 Now we can't ignore all these passages just because they remove the harsh taskmaster image of God that so many believers have when it comes to their sin. We are seeing a pattern here in the New Covenant. He has forgiven us of all our sins. He has declared He will remember our sins no more. I think God is trying to tell us something.

 Let me add one more passage to finalize what we should be focusing on when we pray or have a need that must be supplied. Look at the amazing Good News Paul proclaimed in Romans 4. This is the happiness of those who are declared Righteous without working for it. This is the benefit of receiving of this Gift of Righteousness.

just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven And whose sins are covered;  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin. Romans 4:6-8 NKJV

 Here is the complete New Covenant view of Righteousness and our sins. God has forgiven us of all our sins, past and present and future. God because of the Cross declared He will remember our sins and iniquities no more. The Holy Spirit through Paul reveals a powerful benefit of Righteousness. That God is no longer imputing our sins to us. God has already imputed our sins on the body of Jesus on that cursed tree. God is not requiring us to also pay for our sins when Jesus paid the final price. 

What is the conclusion then? God has forgiven us forever. He has declared He will no longer remember our sins. This great Gift of Righteousness includes the too good to be true, but true great benefit of God no longer imputing our sins to our account. 

With this understanding how can anyone now declare that our sins can hinder us from receiving anything from God? Again God said He would no longer remember our sins. He didn't say I will only recall them when you pray and ask me for a blessing and you will receive that blessing in correlation to how much sin is active in your life at that moment. Thanks be to God, we are Righteous, forgiven, our sins never to be recalled and never to be imputed to our accounts again. 

 So what are you looking at in prayer? Your sins and shortcomings? Your mistakes? Your foul-ups and failures? Or are you walking by Faith and seeing your Righteousness alone? 

 In summation, when you believe you are the Righteousness of God in Christ. Your sins are forever forgiven. Your sins will never be remembered by God. Because of the Finished Work, your sins will never again be inventoryied and counted to your account. With this over-the-top goodness, you can have absolute boldness in prayer. You can come to God without shame or guilt and stand in Faith believing for whatever God has promised and provided in the Word and the Finished Work. Dare to take your place as a Righteous, accepted child of the King.  

.Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Receiving Righteousness: what about our failures?

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

For if by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 NASB

We have begun a new series studying Righteousness. We have seen what Righteousness is, right standing with God. We have seen who the Righteous are, those who have trusted in Christ alone. Now we are examining the importance of actually receiving of the gift of Righteousness.

 We have seen the great importance and benefit of receiving of the gift of Righteousness. For instance, receiving a brand new car is great, but profits you little if you never actually drive it. So it is with Righteousness. 

 We have seen how Righteousness received positively affects our relationships. We will continue looking at the various aspects of the Christian life that are more successful when we receive of this great gift. Today, though it seemed good to pause and address a question that many have concerning Grace and Righteousness. 

 Maybe this is new to you, this concept of Grace and Righteousness. Maybe you have heard of Righteousness but only in a religious traditional setting. Or maybe you heard of Grace but it wasn't taught well and left you with more questions than answers.

 We are the Righteousness of God in Christ. We have received the gift of perfect and complete right standing with God. We have received the gift that enables us to come before God always welcomed, always approved, and always accepted. We have received the gift that allows us to stand before God without any sense of guilt, shame, condemnation, insecurity, or inferiority. 

 Righteousness and all it encompasses is a gift. It is not a work we achieved. It is not a result of measuring up based on our good deeds outweighing our bad. It is not acquired by our performance or behavior or conduct. There are no levels of Righteousness. Either you're Righteous or you're not. Righteousness is a gift we receive not anything achieved.

 Knowing who you are, Righteous, how it is received, it is a gift and can't ever be earned, will completely answer the big question. Am I still Righteous even when I sin or fail? What about sin? What about when we fail? 

 Let me state this loud and clear. Your sin, your failures, your unrighteous deeds cannot ever undo your Righteousness in Christ. Your behavior, your conduct, your actions never made you Righteous, therefore, your behavior, conduct, or actions can never make you unrighteous.

 This is the plain truth of the Gospel. We could never achieve right standing with God by any action or work on our part. Why then do we think after we have received Righteousness we can somehow undo it now by our actions or behavior? 

 Answered plainly. Are we still Righteous when we sin or fail? The answer is yes. Righteousness is a gift. God isn't in the business of giving gifts and then taking them back. Righteousness is an irrevocable gift. 

For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:28 MEV

 Some may claim I am promoting a "license to sin." I get somewhat tired of that phrase. What even is a license to sin? All sin has consequences. Now I am not speaking of God punishing us or the do good and get good or do bad and get bad Law mentality. 

 All sin has some form of consequence. For something to be a license it would mean there is no harm, no-fault, no consequence to that action. A commercial driver's license or a pilot's license means one has demonstrated the necessary skills and know how to operate those vehicles or aircraft without any adverse reaction. 

 All sin has consequences, so to claim anyone can preach in such a way giving someone else the "license" to sin is absurd. Sin is birthed from unrenewed desire, often coupled with the temptation of the enemy. In some instances, sin is birthed by believing the lie that there is something better outside of Christ.

 Sin's consequences can be greatly measured or only seen and experienced by the offender. The one stealing may find themselves in a jail cell. The adulterer potentially loses their family through divorce, but certainly loses respect and trust in those around them. Still, most consequences seen from sin are the lack of confidence before God, and corrupting thoughts it produces.

Because there are always consequences for sin, the concept of a license to sin then is absurd. When speaking of sin, most Christians really are only speaking of certain kinds of sin. Only certain kinds of behavior.

 Holiness is basically defined then by one who isn't committing adultery, having sex outside of marriage, watching pornography, isn't drinking alcohol, isn't using tobacco, doesn't watch R-rated movies, and never listens to secular music, and doesn't use profanity. These are basically the biggies. These are the real obvious sins.

 Truth is, I have seen believers who meet these criteria. Yet they are unkind to others. They are impatient in public. They are envious of others. They gossip. They hold grudges. These are sinful deeds as well, just the ones not preached about much.

 When we look at God's definition of sin and not man's we all realize we need a Savior. We all realize we need someone who could mediate between us and God. We realize we don't always have it all together. 

 It's humbling, and that's where Grace comes in. We acknowledge we can't overcome in our own strength or willpower. We need a perfect gift that keeps us in right standing even when we fail. That gift has been given, it is the gift of Righteousness. 
 In the great exchange, we received this great gift. Because of the triumphant work of the Cross, no believer needs to bear their sins and guilt and shame. Think of it, if all the guilt of our sins was on Christ it has no place on us. He was condemn in our place, therefore we never need feel condemned. He took our shame, therefore shame is has no place on us or in our thinking. Christ took all the punishment for our sins, so therefore we need never fear reprisal or retribution coming to us for our sins.

 In summation, we are the Righteousness of God in Christ. It is who we are right now. Jesus won a complete victory. He arose triumphant defeating death, hell, the grave and the enemy. We who believe are forever forgiven, forever saved, and forever Righteous. Righteousness is an irrevocable gift. 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Monday, February 15, 2021

Salvation, Security, and Sin: Can we sin away our salvation?

12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:12 NKJV

12 And he has entered once and forever into the Holiest Sanctuary of All, not with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the sacred blood of his own sacrifice. And he alone has made our salvation secure forever! Hebrews 9:12 TPT

 In our last few articles posted we have been looking at the subject of sin and its relation to Grace, our salvation, and God's great Love. It really wasn't my intention to study about sin and Grace. Each time I made a brief point, it seems that as I wrote it, I noticed that it could generate another question. So I want to leave no stone unturned. 

 So in our last study, we examined more closely the idea of sin and the freedom in Grace and our liberty in Christ. It is clear that God is looking for sincere hearts, not rule-keeping hearts. A rule-keeping heart isn't looking for a relationship but more so focused on being dutiful, subservient, and obedient. 

 When I was serving in the Military, this attribute was desired and what one needed to excel in service. Certainly, because I was there to follow orders, not develop a relationship with the top brass. God is the commander of legions of Angels, He is the God of the whole Universe, yet He is my Father. He isn't looking for subjects but sons and daughters.

 Know God is seeking relationship above all else. In a sense, He sowed His Son to reap a family. God has always longed for a family. God is a Good Father, not a harsh taskmaster driving subjects to complete all the tasks He commands. 

 Looking again at sin, we must ask in all sincerity can we sin away our salvation? Is it possible to sin too much, once too often? Can we out sin His Grace? Can our behavior and actions exhaust His supply of Grace and forgiveness? 

  For in the Son all our sins are canceled and we have the release of redemption through his very blood. Colossians 1:14 TPT

13 And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross. Colossians 2:13-14 AMPC

 Can we sin away our salvation? Can we exhaust His supply of Grace? We could if redemption wasn't perfectly purchased by the Precious Blood of Jesus. We could if our redemption wasn't eternal. We could if our forgiveness wasn't once for all time. We could if we could again come under condemnation. But we know our redemption is paid for by the Blood, our redemption is eternal, we are forever forgiven and Jesus said we would never again be condemned for our sins, therefore we know we cannot exhaust Grace.

 Once we have received Jesus we are eternally His. That which He began in us He will perfect and complete it until the end. He gave us the downpayment of our eternal life by giving us His Holy Spirit. We are sealed for eternity as His very own.

Account versus accountability 

I want to bring even more clarity to His Grace and goodness and Love in relation to our sins. In our last post, I said God isn't holding anyone accountable for the sins Jesus already paid for. Does that mean God will never correct us when we sin?

 Let's gather some understanding together. When we sin, what can we do to "fix it" if you will? What can we do to warrant forgiveness? What can we do to pay for that sin? 

 When I made that statement, I was referencing the truth that no man can pay for their sins. No matter how big or small there is nothing any man can do to recompense for their sinful deeds or thoughts. What payment could any man offer anyway? The price for sin is the shedding of blood. Our blood is imperfect, that's why we have a perfect Savior who shed His perfect Blood that perfectly procured our forgiveness and eternal salvation.

 With that understanding, I want to make it understood that we can make amends for those we have hurt by our actions. That is not paying for our sins, that is genuine repentance. If you wish to apologize or replace something that was broken, that is not wrong. Just let Love motivate you, not some religious attempt to curry favor with God. 

 As for accountability, I am saying God isn't charging our sins to our accounts if you will. Remember, we can't pay for them anyway. However, there is an accountability factor under Grace. For instance, if I was committing adultery, that is a behavior that needs to be addressed. Another brother or sister should come to me in confidence and plainly say brother this behavior is wrong, it's hurtful and unloving to all involved. Someone would need to tell me, brother you're Righteous in Him but this behavior is highly unrighteous. 

 That isn't God holding my sins against me. That's God bringing correction to the situation because He loves all people involved and wouldn't want anyone to suffer such harm. I trust you're tracking what I am saying. Correcting harmful behavior and actions isn't the same as asking someone to pay for their sins. 

 In summation, let's herald the Good News for all to hear. We cannot exhaust or out sin His Grace. His Love and Grace are eternal. His Love unconditional, His Grace greater than all sin, and His forgiveness is once for all time. The Cross worked, it is finished!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Sin, Grace, and our Liberty in Christ Jesus


For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 MEV

 We've concluded a series answering the question, what are the laws God has written on our hearts. In the last post of that series, I touched on a controversial topic. Freedom and sin. 

 Today, I sense the impression to continue examining this subject more closely. With a topic so sensitive and controversial it is important to give it the proper attention so as not to lead anyone astray. So is it ok to sin, knowing we are forever forgiven? are we free to sin? Is it even possible to sin under this New Covenant? We will fully answer these questions in depth. 

 First, is it possible to sin under this New Covenant? Some reason that since sin can be defined as transgression of the Law, and the Law having been fulfilled in Christ, therefore there can be no sin. That is a foolish and ignorant assumption. This is the result of a lack of understanding and study of all the New Covenant Scripture. 

 Paul defines sin this way in Romans. James defines sin this way in James 4. John defines it this way in 1 John. So we see, wrongdoing, knowing to do good but refusing to, and doing something apart from Faith are all defined as sin. The Greek word for sin is hamartia. It simply means to miss the mark. What is the mark? God's perfect standard. Since He is Love it may be defined as missing that mark of perfect love, love toward ourselves or others. 

 So can we sin under the New? What does Paul say in Romans 6? How can Paul admonish us not to let sin reign in our bodies if it is impossible to sin under the New? Don't follow foolishness, we can sin under the New.

 Having then established the truth that we can in fact sin under the New, let's dig deeper and answer these hard questions, is it ok to sin, and are we free to sin? Is it ok to sin? To answer this, we must really ask what do you mean by ok? 

 Having it be ok to sin would mean that there would be zero consequences or repercussions for sinning. We only have to read a newspaper or watch television news to know that is not true. People robbing a bank go to jail. 

 Yet when you answer the question are we free to sin it seems there is a contradiction. If I answer we are free to sin, then it appears as if I am saying it is ok to sin. Nothing can be further from the truth. Why?

 Having the freedom to do something doesn't necessarily mean it is an encouragement to do so. In America, we have the freedom of speech. Does that mean the founders were encouraging me years and years ago to go curse my neighbor with my words? That's absurd, of course not. 

 So it is with the liberty and freedom we have in Christ. 

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23 MEV

 Are we free to sin? Does Grace give us the freedom to sin? The hard answer is yes. Don't stop there though. Though you are free to sin, you are also free to reap the full consequences of that sin. 

 I liken this freedom to a flame. It's like a lighter, a match, or a torch in our hands. With this flame, we can provide warmth to someone by lighting a fire. We can cook someone's food to bring nourishment to them. We can use this flame to light the path so that others won't stumble. It's up to us.

 We can also use this same flame, to burn their house down, of course injuring ourselves in the process. We could take this flame and lead someone down the wrong path, getting lost ourselves. We could take this flame and start a forest fire thus hurting many others including ourselves. The freedom of choice is ours, in essence, we are dangerously free. 

 Why does Grace give us this dangerous freedom? Because God looks upon our hearts and our thinking. He desires above all else sincerity. Look at Paul's prayer here.

 God looks for sincere hearts. Not mere rule-keeping hearts. A heart motivated only to keep the rules, observe the regulations, and obey the laws, is not a heart moved by love. It is a heart moved only by the rules. If the rules change, then one's actions will surely change. A heart motivated by love is only moved by love. No matter the rules or laws, love will always be the guide, and that is the heart of Grace and Righteousness.

 So can we sin under Grace? Yes. Is it ok to sin? It is if you are ok with negative consequences, harming yourself and hurting others. Obviously then it isn't ok to sin. Are we free to sin? Yes, God looks for sincerity. 

 Why do we sin? Because we want to. We have allowed an unrighteous desire to reside in our thoughts and we look for ways to act on this desire. The enemy can't make us sin.

 Now if we do sin, is that it? Are we out? Are we done for? Are we going to experience eternal damnation? 

 I've heard preachers declare if they were sinning the moment Christ returns they'd be going to hell for all eternity. They truly make light of Grace and magnify sin's power over God's Love.

 When speaking of sin we must always be reminded of the eternal security of the Believer in Christ. Why? Because we have all sinned and missed the mark. Secondly, as soon as we sin or are reminded of our faults, flaws, and failures, the enemy is quick to move in with accusation and condemnation. Why? So you will draw back from God's Love and Grace and stay in the place of shame.

 Let the Words of Jesus be a refreshing stream to your soul.

“Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24 MEV

No matter your sin, no matter how often you've sinned, no matter when you sinned, you will never come into condemnation. Jesus bore all the pain, the shame, and punishment for all our sins once for all time. Jesus' Blood was enough, God isn't going to hold you accountable for the same sins Jesus paid for. We are eternally secure in Him.

 Again, this freedom isn't an encouragement to sin. Sin will cost more than you want to pay. Sin will take you further than you want to go. Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay. Thank God under Grace we aren't under the dominion of sin.

 In summation, rejoice in the freedom we have in Christ. Rest in the eternal security His Finished Work procured for all those who believe. Enjoy the power and dominion we have in Christ over sin and the works of the enemy. We are free in Him, forever free. 

Image by Briam Cute from Pixabay 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Finding Freedom from pornography by Grace through Faith.

 36 Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36 MEV

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 
Galatians 5:1 NKJV

 God's Grace is greater. God's love is stronger, deeper and never failing. God is faithful even when we are unfaithful. These are Gospel truths rooted in the Grace of God and the Finished Work of Christ.

 These truths need to be firmly established in our hearts. Especially when dealing with sinful, destructive habits. We are beginning a series on finding freedom from pornography. And if you are free from this terrible habit, then apply these truths to any area of life the enemy is trying to convince you that you're not an overcomer. 

 This habit is wreaking havoc in the Church, the Body of Christ, today. Stats show that 47% of families in America say it's a problem in their home. Another shows 56% of divorces involve one party's obsession with pornography. Still, another says 68% of church-going men and 50% of Pastors view pornography on a regular basis. The most staggering statistic from this source reveals only 7% of pastors say their church has a program to help those struggling with pornography. 

 So we can see people are not walking in freedom. Too often, ministers don't want to talk about this issue in the Church. Unless of course, they want to preach at people and put condemnation on others. 
"Christians look at porn! Pastors the night before they preach look at porn! Oh, look at all these sinners in Church. We need a revival!"

 Wonder how many men and even women deal with the same habit in these churches but are too ashamed to admit it? Wonder how many are too fearful to seek help, lest they are called worthless sinners who don't really love Jesus enough? Instead of condemning these believers why not pray for them? Why not take a step back and see how they see themselves? Feelings of unworthiness, feelings of hopelessness, feeling like God is fed up with them? 

 Let's establish some truths to find lasting freedom. Is pornography sin? I know with some counterfeit-grace groups they redefine sin based on what secular lost society deems right or wrong. Reject all forms of counterfeit-grace. Jesus when He walked on Earth, detailed the commandments. He didn't give a higher standard under Grace. He revealed that this was always the standard, but religion diluted it.

 Paul, under Grace, showed us that the Love of God within wouldn't lead us to walk in immorality. He lists the moral aspects of the Ten Commandments and reveals when we love others we won't steal, won't lie, and won't cheat them. He also speaks of the adultery command. As we mentioned, Jesus detailed what adultery is, it's not just a physical act, it's a lustful thought. Pornography is a lustful activity. Thus, it is in fact sin, it violates God's Love and demeans human sexuality and the marriage covenant. 

 We've established it's sin. Now we must also establish another truth. Even when we sin, we are still the Righteousness of God in Christ. If we don't walk in this revelation condemnation and guilt and shame will flood your thoughts. 

 Jesus made us Righteous. Not by our efforts or by our obedience, or our performance. This is His Righteousness, not our own. Therefore we are just as Righteous as Jesus. This Righteousness is irrevocable. Our Righteousness in Christ doesn't fluctuate based on our performance or our behavior. 

 Another truth we must establish within is the truth that we are forever forgiven. Jesus' Blood washed away all our sins. Not just the ones we committed before we received Jesus, but all of our sins. Paul and John affirm our complete and total forgiveness, past present and future. 

 Finally, one major truth we must also establish is the truth that those in Christ are in fact eternally secure. Eternal security is not light on sin, just big on Jesus and His Finished Work. To find freedom from sinful habits, you must know you're still Righteous, forever forgiven and eternally secure. If you know God is never going to disregard or disown you, you have confident hope that He is with you no matter what. He is there with you in the muck and mire leading you out to full freedom. God isn't finished with you, what He began in you, He will complete it. 

Jesus affirms our eternal security;
24 “Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24 MEV

 In summation, I want to reaffirm who you are in Christ to begin your journey of freedom. Knowing who you are in Him, now, right this moment, no matter your behavior, will compel you to see there's hope. Addiction and habits try to eliminate hope. Sin likes to keep us hopeless. God says He isn't fed up or finished with you. His plans and purposes are irrevocable, unchanging! He's not done with you, He's just getting started! It's not over! There is hope! Jesus is the waymaker! Our freedom! 
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at