Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Savior that is greater than all our sin!

20 When the law came into the picture, sin grew and grew; but wherever sin grew and spread, God’s grace was there in fuller, greater measure. No matter how much sin crept in, there was always more grace. Romans 5:20 Voice

20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21 NLT

  Which is greater? Our sins or God's amazing Grace? Honestly, the way some ministers teach, it appears our sins and misdeeds outweigh the mercy and Radical Grace of God. Yet, God's Word states with clarity and simplicity that where sin abounds Grace much more abounds. His Grace far exceeds our sin and wrongdoing. 

What are the wages of sin?

 This is a simple but pivotal question. The answer we hold to this question shapes the way we relate to God and how we see ourselves before Him. Refining the question may assist in how one answers. Just what exactly occurs the moment when a believer sins? To answer this, we first must distinguish what the wages of sin aren't.

Withdrawn or lost fellowship isn't the wages of sin

 Too many leaders and ministers and believers teach and cling to a concept that the results of our sin are that God withdrawals fellowship from us. This concept is a warped view that is rooted in a misunderstanding of 1 John 1:6-7;
  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin1 John 1:6-7 NKJV
 Some believers reason in their mind that whenever we sin we are walking in darkness. Therefore, when we don't walk in the light we have no fellowship or forgiveness of sins. This concept is erroneous because as believers we don't walk in darkness. We are children of light. God abides within us. Paul contrasted believers as light and unbelievers as darkness in his writings. 

 John is contrasting the standing of the believer against that of a non-believer. Those walking in the darkness are those who have yet to receive new life in Him. The writer of Hebrews is clear, He said He would never leave us or forsake us. There is never a time when we as believers are out of fellowship with God. He lives within us and is ever present with us.

Unanswered prayer isn't the wages of sin

 Another concept some hold to is that when we miss it, our prayers go unanswered. God seems happy with us and willing to hear and answer our petitions, but suddenly, we have fouled up. We have blown it. We have crossed that line. Now God "closes up the Heavens", He stops sending the "rain", He begins withholding your provision. He waits for you to "get right with Him." 

 Is this concept Scriptural? Sin may weaken a believer's confidence in prayer but God isn't ever withholding any provision from His kids. Look at the Apostle Peter's words after the healing of an invalid from birth. 
 12 Why are you so amazed, my fellow Israelites? Why are you staring at my friend and me as though we did this miracle through our own power or made this fellow walk by our own holiness? Acts 3:12 Voice
 Peter rightly affirmed his personal holiness or lack thereof had nothing whatsoever to do with this work of God. He pointed all the glory to God. He acknowledged his ability or inability to remain sin free was never the source of this miracle. 

 Jesus in His Finished Work freely and perfectly purchased our complete redemption. We don't earn any of redemption's provisions by our actions. If our performance didn't garner the provision to begin with then how can our performance cause the provision to be withdrawn or cease to flow towards us? 

What are the wages of sin?

 I may seem to be making light of sin. I am not. I am rather  exposing the erroneous concepts of man. The wages of sin isn't the loss of fellowship or unanswered prayers, it is death!
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NLT
 Ministers seem to think after the Cross there is some different spiritual consequence of sin. There is a reason many think this. They can't understand redemption and the Finished Work for one. Secondly, many are fearful of the truth of the New Covenant.

Either it is Finished or it isn't!

 The only consequence or wage for sin is death. Adam fell and died that day he disobeyed the Lord. What happens when we sin? Before the Cross, spiritual death was the only possible result. After the Cross? It may come as a shock but death is still the only wage of sin. Does this mean I am teaching we lose our salvation each time we sin? Absolutely not. I am pointing out the spiritual reality God was faced with when mankind fell.

 If death is always the result of sin, what is the solution? The solution is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Finished Work, the gospel.  Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection are the answer. He came, He died and rose again for you and me. Because He tasted death for us and we received that free gift (Romans 6:23) there is, therefore, no more wages or consequence spiritually for our sins.

 Certainly, poor choices may carry natural consequences, but to attribute any wage or consequence to sin coming from God's hands to you is to say that He isn't satisfied with Jesus once for all time sacrifice for sins. This is why many cling to these concepts like sin breaks fellowship or hinders our prayers. They are afraid to reveal to people the truth that there are no spiritual consequences to their sins. They fear the people would pursue sin freely. 

 When we know the high price Jesus paid for us and truly understand it, this eternal, unconditional love cascading upon us produces a love to follow Him more and lay aside the fruitless and unprofitable lifestyles of sin. Certainly, sin is wrong and brings pain in the World we live in. But we must know God isn't punishing us or withholding His love or blessings. 

 This resurrected King living within proves the vital truth of our eternal redemption. The wages of sin is death. He tasted death for us, He took our place. He died so we could eternally live. Now if we sin we just simply rest in the Finished Work. We confess or agree with God we are the righteousness of God and that we are forever forgiven freely by His Grace. We identify with the risen Christ and not the sin, there we find true and lasting freedom. We can be refreshed, resting knowing that we truly have a Savior greater than all our sins.