Editorial View Point:
Someone asked me why my posts are SO long. There is a specific group I am targeting. They like the information I provide. If you are not one of them, I am grateful that you work your way through my posts. I am working at developing several styles to convey Biblical truths. I suppose I could give you those “FB” style one liners, or even a daily devotional style of writing. And I am working on that. But when the subject is as important as the one below, I would rather include something that will bore you, the educated Christian, than leave out information that someone seriously desiring to hear God might miss. For that, I make no apologies. I simply write about what I, myself, had to go through to understand the difference between a religion and a relationship to God.
I had a very interesting, and fulfilling, conversation with a brother in the lord, last night (Thank-You, Casey).
The subject was over what I had written in my post, “The Grace of God”. That post dealt with how Satan tries to trip you up, and how God carries you through this experience. My brother, Casey, correctly pointed out the dangers of the belief that God’s grace is like a giant bandage to all sins you will commit. That you may mistakenly fall under the same error that the Romans did, that it is OK if you sin because God has already covered that sin.
The Grace of God – Part II will cover this case. This post is also in two parts. In Part A, I will cover what God does with your sin if you are an unbeliever, and how he offers us hope through Christ. This part is the cornerstone of what it means to belong to God through Jesus Christ.
The second part of this post deals with what to do about sin AFTER you are saved, and what the believer should do about specific sins. Thank you for reading it all the way through, and please, leave a comment. I am very interested in your opinions.
SIN and sins – Or what was the whole Jesus thing for, in the first place?
In my post, “The Grace of God”, I described what happened in the first place to separate Humans from the face to face presence of God. We were given free will, because God didn’t make a bunch of robots. The Angels have free will, which is why we had the wars of the angels in the first place. God gave Humans free will because he literally wants only people who want to hang out with him to be with him. The down side of our having this free will is, we bought the lie that Satan gave us, and ended up just as condemned as Satan. Satan’s eternal abode will be Hell. This is the second death. SIN brought real death, real decay, and real evil into this Earth. The eternal covenant God has with ALL of his creation is that God will not tolerate Sin in His presence. It isn’t like he is allergic to it. It is more like, God is HOLY and will only have HOLINESS around His home, which is in the highest heaven. SIN = death. GOD is life. You can look at world history to see how all that turned out.
We are born separated from God. While you are an unaccountable child, you live in a kind of grace. When you reach the age of accountability,then all bets are off.
So, now is the right time to ask “WHO really needs salvation, anyway?”
Short Answer: Humans.
All the World Guilty
…as it is written,
So, now is the right time to ask “WHY do we really need salvation?”
How Do We Receive this Salvation??
“…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:9-10 NASB
“Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
When you believe in your heart that Jesus died in your place for your sin, and confess with your mouth (Say it out loud), you are saved from eternal death. You have been rejoined to fellowship with the Living God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. The Holy Spirit will come to you, and will guide you. You have peace with God, now. You are no longer His enemy, as Satan still is, but you are now, eternally, God’s own beloved child.
Our Victory in Christ
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1 NASB
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
You have admitted that your SIN separates you from God. You understand that as a sinner, you deserved eternal separation from God (This is the second death). You believe that Jesus Christ died in your place, on the cross, to free you from the curse of SIN and death (The second death). You have repented by turning from your old life of sin to a new life in Christ. And you have received, through FAITH in Jesus Christ, His free gift of Salvation.
OK, But what about all the sin I keep committing???
I am glad you asked. I will tell you. Jesus promised you that He will send the Holy Spirit to you.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “ John 14:16 NASB (Words of Jesus are in red).
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:21 NASB
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:23-26 NASB
Once you are sealed in forgiveness by the Blood of Jesus Christ, you will not be able to be removed from His hand. But you will still be able to be tempted by your old habits, and by Satan. As long as you are on this Earth, that is how it is. We are called to be IN the Earth, not OF the Earth. We are still here after we were saved so that we can tell others how it is we have eternal life, how it is we have such joy in our hearts, how it is that we suddenly are at peace.
Now that you are saved, God’s grace covers all your sin, past, present and future. THAT IS TRUE! There is a heresy being taught today, that was being taught in the Apostle Paul’s day. The heresy teaches that you can sin, and it will be covered by God’s grace, so don’t worry about it. This doctrine is a religious point of view that God never allowed for.
The truth of the matter is that God’s grace covered all your sin from the foundation of the world. But that is not a license to sin, in order that God’s grace can be demonstrated:
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? ” Romans 6:1 NASB
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. ” Galatians 2:20 NASB
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:20
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. “ John 15:4-5 NASB
The evidence of your salvation will be revealed in your life. If you abide in Christ, you will grow to be like Christ. Yes, because you are human, you will slip and fall, occasionally. That is why Jesus promised you the Holy Spirit, so that when you trip up, the Spirit of God will LOVINGLY convict you, and you will be led to repent, and you will have learned from that lesson, and will grow to be like Christ.
Any unconfessed sin is a barrier YOU place between YOU and God. Has God covered it? In his sovereignty and foreknowledge of you, he knew you would sin. In His grace, he allows that sin. In His mercy, He forgives that sin. But it is not a license to continue in sin. Jesus pointed out that if you continue to live in sin, you are not His. If you ABIDE (A word that means to move in with, or literally “Pitch your Tent”, establish your dwelling with), then you have willingly given up YOUR own way to pursue the way of Christ. We are to become like Christ. This takes a daily effort. This takes you intentionally laying aside YOUR will in the pursuit of the will of God for you.
God’s grace is not a license to sin. It is the covering God gives you so that when the Spirit of God convicts you, you will be able to go to God and confess, and repent, and be restored. If you are intending to be like Christ, and His Spirit has filled you, then you will not WANT to sin.
Let’s put it this way: If you are still living a life of sin, chances are you have either never been saved, or you have intentionally chosen NOT to walk in a life to be like Christ.
Grace is not a license to sin, it is your opportunity to repent when you do.
Go and sin no more.