| Why simply saying no to sin may not work|
Simply saying, "No!"? No.
When fighting sin, we can't simply say, "No!" We need an alternative to turn to. Sin wants our focus. But we can't redirect our gaze to nothing.
So what do we turn to? God.
Now, this is where grace comes in. We will not turn to God without understanding grace. Rather, we will be terrified of His awesome holiness.
We will run. But guess what?
When we ran, Jesus came into this sin-sick world to embrace us. How can perfect holiness walk among us? Truly the glory of His name is merciful and gracious. His love endures forever!
So we need to understand we are forgiven and counted righteous apart from works. Without this understanding, we will always feel we are not worthy to turn to God. Those of faith say, "Christ is my worthiness."
Next, understanding we are adopted through Christ's work, our heart opens up with confidence to receive all the blessing in the heavenly places.
Do you see how Christ is the foundation here?
Without Him, there can be no unwavering confidence to receive.*
We also need to learn that apart from Him we can do nothing (Yes, we can build the Tower of Babel) but not live by the Spirit. We learn that needing God honors Him, for He alone will be exalted for the victory!
So you see, grace must be focused on, expounded, expanded upon; otherwise, telling people to turn to God when tempted won't work.
They won't turn to Him. They'll feel they have no right or worthiness to do so.
But those grounded in grace will say Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Though I die, yet will I live.
* People don't overcome because they have wavering faith. People waver in faith because they are not grounded in Christ who alone gives us perfect confidence. People put faith in themselves and their faith, thus they waver. They lean on their own shadow.
| 2015/5/24 6:55|
| Re: Why simply saying no to sin may not work|
If you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." - Colossians 3:1-3
Corrie Ten Boom shares this true story in her book, The Hiding Place:
It was a church service in Munich that I saw him, the former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there -- the room full of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie's pain-blanched face.
He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. "How grateful I am for your message, Fraeulein," he said. "To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!"
His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side. Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.
I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness. As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened.
From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.
And so I discovered that it depends not on our forgiveness nor on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.
| 2015/5/24 8:22||Profile|