"Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me."

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Let us be encouraged to live in Christ

So a few months back I wrote a post on "Grace." I like to write posts on what I am trying to learn in my walk with Christ. I am a child in Christ at this point and feel like I am just learning what it is to be a Christian beyond the salvation aspect. But I enjoy sharing what I am learning or thinking about. Anyhow, I am thinking back to my post on Grace and I know that I left a lot out. I want to add more here. I just am reminded how easy it is for myself and other Christians to be led away by false teachings or the love of the world (sin, materialism, etc.) 

If we are saved by grace (through faith), and God's favor is free, then where does holiness come into play??? That is what I left out in my previous post. If someone is teaching that "we are saved by grace, so by all means go and enjoy every sinful pleasure that this world has to offer," than I do believe that they are either a false teacher or they themselves have been led astray by false teaching. 

A couple of Scripture passages that come to mind:

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

This is so beautiful. Praise God. Jesus loved me and gave himself for me. The old Julia is dead but Christ lives through me now.

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. . . In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.  For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace." Romans 6: 1-4; 11-14. 

Sin is no longer my master, but Christ is. Dead to sin, alive to God. This is the new life.

"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:20

Verses that warn against false teachers:

"These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.  For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.  They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”  If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.  It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.  Of them the proverbs are true: 'A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.' " 2 Peter 2: 17-22.

Yes. This. Those that preach we are free by grace (which we are) so we can indulge in our sinful desires. It appeals to our flesh. But this teaching, instead of giving freedom, only makes us slaves to sin again. We are not "free to sin" but "freed from sin."

"Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers."
James 1: 13-16

How fun sin seems. The life this world offers really does glitter like gold. But in the end it will destroy us. It isn't worth it; it will not fulfill us. Jesus is the living water that can quench our thirst. He is the bread of life, the lover of our soul. Sin will never satisfy but bring death. 

 "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."
2 Peter 3 10-14.
He has given us everything we need. Grace to be saved by, His Word to live by, prayer to strengthen us in temptation or trials, the presence of the Holy Spirit to comfort. How He loves us with great love! And we can look forward to spending eternity in His presence. God, Three in One. Praise His name.

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