Tag Archives: Sanctification

MacArthur Monday

The true work of the Holy Spirit happens through the word. So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

Dr. John MacArthurSalvation happens through the scripture!

Sanctification happens through the scripture!

Hope of glory happens through the scripture!

Understanding of sound doctrine happens through the scripture!

The knowledge of scripture make you an effective evangelist and disciple!

Everything happens through the word of God

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Full Pardon

SpurgeonOh! rejoice in the richness of our salvation!

When the Lord pardoned our sins, he did not
pardon half of them, and leave some of them
on the book- but with one stroke of the pen
he gave a full receipt for all our debts!

When we went down into the fountain filled with
blood, and washed, we did not come up half-clean,
but there was no spot nor wrinkle upon us-
we were white as snow!

-Spurgeon, “The joy of salvation” HT: Grace Gems

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. Isaiah 1:18

no spot nor wrinkle upon us-
we were white as snow!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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MacArthur Monday

We are a race of Lazaruses, spiritually dead.

We are a race of Lazaruses, spiritually dead.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to give us life. That’s what “born again” means. And the reason the Lord uses this analogy is because it expresses to us the fact that we have no participation in this birth. You had nothing to do with your first birth, your physical birth. And you will have nothing to do with your spiritual birth. It is a divine work of God. Theologians call it monergistic rather than synergistic. You don’t participate in it. I didn’t participate in it. No person who is born again makes a contribution to that. There isn’t a way to make that happen. That is a divine work of God.

To look at it in perhaps an unforgettable illustration, remember what I said about Lazarus. Lazarus is dead. He’s in the grave. He’s been dead four days. His body is in a state of decay. The Lord comes to his tomb and raises him from the dead. He does it by a call. He says, “Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus comes to life, comes out of the grave a new creation. The grave clothes are taken off of him; he is fully alive.

We are a race of Lazaruses, spiritually dead. God gives us life and He does it through a call, through a call. Jesus gave life to Lazarus, and He declared that life through calling him out of the grave. And so it is with those who are given life by the Holy Spirit. It is by a divine call. God speaks and life comes to us.

Dr. MacArthur goes on to say “Salvation is not in any sense a human work. Human methods, human techniques, human strategies can’t accomplish regeneration. Faith is not produced in our unregenerated human nature. We receive faith, we receive a new mind. We receive a new will.”

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Why Do We Do The Things We Do?

WhyWhy do we find ourselves in places we shouldn’t be? Why do we act the way we act in front of people? Why are we not always a light on the side of the hill? Why is our speech not always seasons with salt? Why do we sometimes want the best for ourselves and not for others in Christ? Why do we put on a fake holiness sprinkled with pride-full humility in front of people and then at home act another way? Why?

What I am doing, I do not understand, for I do the very things I hate! Then I read Romans 7, thank you God for Romans 7 and Paul’s struggle with sin. I’m not going to give you an argument on whether Romans 7 is talking about and un-believer or believer because I’m convinced Paul is referring to a mature believer who he calls “I” For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15

Here’s a mark of a maturing spiritual disciple of Jesus Christ, they have a repentant heart who cries out to God I am not practicing what I would like to do! Now I guess this is a good time to point out if you’re reading this and you are a professing Christian but still loves your sin and claims you’re not really sinning then Romans 7 isn’t for you and you need to pop over to 1 John 1 and take the test whether you are truly a believer in Jesus Christ, because every true believer in Christ recognizes their sin and confesses it 1 John 1:9.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. Romans 7:17. You see there’s a battle that rages in us, one writer puts it this way…

Jesus said“After salvation, sin, like a deposed and exiled ruler, no longer reigns in a person’s life, but it manages to survive. It no longer resides in the innermost self but finds its residual dwelling in his flesh, in the unredeemed humanness that remains until a believer meets the Lord at the Rapture or at death. “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh,” Paul further explained to the Galatians; “for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Gal. 5:17). In this life, Christians are somewhat like an unskilled artist who beholds a beautiful scene that he wants to paint. But his lack of talent prevents him from doing the scene justice. The fault is not in the scene, or in the canvas, the brushes, or the paint but in the painter. That is why we need to ask the master painter, Jesus Christ, to place His hand over ours in order to paint the strokes that, independent of Him, we could never produce. Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).”  Romans: TMNTC

Good_asPaul says “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” It’s not that we don’t do good as Christians, because I would guess most Christians reading this will say I do things that are good and pleasing to the Lord and that glorify Him, but there is a battle raging in me, because sometimes the good that I want to do, I do not, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Romans 7:18,19 and 20. Paul says then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.

I mean don’t we always want to do good, and are we not capable of doing good? Then boom it happens and we do the very things we hate. Because we are not perfect and we are unable to live perfect lives as Paul said to the church at Philippi, but we press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12, 13 and 14. Robert Murray McCheyne said “for every look we take at ourselves, we should take ten looks at Christ.”

The more we mature as Christian the more we will recognize the sin in our lives and we will grieve over it and confess it like David in Psalm 32 and 51 and 1 John 1:9. So Paul cries out… Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:24, 25

work_outJust as we should be, Paul is frustrated with his inability to obey God and His law, he shouts out our deliverer Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So what now? Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. Galatians 5:16 Romans 13:14. You continually renew your mind… Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1, 2. If you are thinking you have no part at all in your walk with Christ, just let go and let God you will be sadly mistaking, we are called to work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12, 13.

God’s Holy Spirit and grace is where we get the strength for holiness as one writer rightly says “Grace does not grant permission to live in the flesh; it supplies power to live in the Spirit”. It was Augustine who said “For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them..” And by His grace we do what is right in His word and not what seems right in our own eyes (Judges 21:25) for He is our strength, our King and our Lord. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1.

Keep yourself in the word of God, read it, study it and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh.

Thanks be to God through
Jesus Christ our Lord!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

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What I Learned This Week In Romans

I learned in Romans that the Law has nothing to say to a dead man Romans 7:1, we read in Romans 6:14 that sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. We see here that Paul gives us an illustration of marriage Romans 7:2, 3 , No one can loosen the bonds of marriage until someone dies.

Let me give you a personal illustration of this, when my dad died the bonds of marriage was broken and my mom was free to marry any one she wanted, so after grieving for a few years she met someone and they were married 1 Corinthians 7:39. The death of my dad ended their relationship and allowed for my mom to have a new relationship. My mom as a widow was free to marry again as Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:14… Paul’s plain and simple point here is death breaks the marriage relationship.

Here comes the therefore… Paul says Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4

Just as we who are believers died to the Law, we now have a new relationship with Christ in His death and we are now joined to Christ in His resurrection, Christ suffered the penalty of death that the law demanded. We are now joined to Him 2 Corinthians 11:2 in His life.

Why? In order that we might bear fruit for God!.

Our relationship with Christ produces FRUIT… As Tim showed us in John 15: 1, 2, 5 and 16.

Lets look what Jesus said in verse 16 “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. We have new attitudes Galatians 5:22, 23.

It says in Ephesians 2 verse 8 and 9 Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Then in verse 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

James Boice in his Romans commentary says writes… What is Paul’s point? Simply that the object of God’s having freed us from the law, to which we were bound, was that we might be joined to Christ and be fruitful. In fact, it is even stronger than that. In Greek the sentence ends with the words “in order that we might bear fruit to God,” which means that in this case it is the fruitfulness of the Christian, rather even than his union with Christ, that is emphasized.

Donald Grey Barnhouse writes on fruit… One of the most important purposes of redemption is that we might bring forth fruit unto God. We were transplanted out of death and rooted and grounded in His love so that we might bring forth fruit. Fruit is the expression of life, and in the Word of God fruit is indicative of converts, character, and conduct.

I end with another quote from James Boice’s Romans commentary, because he says it a lot better than I can…

One day the great God of the universe is going to throw a party. It will be the most magnificent party that has ever been held. The banquet will be spread in heaven. The guests will be numbered in the billions. The angelic legions will be there to serve these honored guests. Jesus, the Bridegroom, will be seated at his Father’s right hand. And you will be there, too, for this is the great marriage supper of the Lamb. You will be there. Do you understand that? You will be there. Nothing is going to keep you from that great celebration—if you are really joined to Jesus Christ.

So what are you doing? Are you living a halfhearted life for Jesus Christ now? If you know where you are headed, you will be preparing for that day with every spiritual thought you have and with every deed you do. You will be bearing fruit for God, because on that day of celebration you will be able to lift it up and offer it to him with pure hands and with joy unspeakable.

Nothing is going to keep you
from that great celebration
—if you are really joined
to Jesus Christ.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Romans 6- Know This and Knowing That

I have read Romans 6 over and over lately, I think I feel a little bad that we’re leaving it and going on to Romans 7, which I can’t wait for by the way. But Romans 6 has changed the way I think. The last month it has engulfed me as Paul challenges me 3 times to know, then to think about the facts to consider by presenting myself to God (as in Romans 12:1, 2).

Let me explain, look at 3 of the first 9 verses in Romans 6.

  1. Romans 6:3 says “Or do you not know”
  2. Romans 6:6 says “knowing this”
  3. Romans 6:9 says “knowing that”

Knowing what we have in Christ…

Knowing that we were who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3, 4

Knowing that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. and we who have died is freed from the bondage of sin. Romans 6:6, 7

Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Romans 6:9, 10

Paul says to consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11

Consider (logiðzomai) to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over… This word deals with reality. If I “logizomai” or reckon that my bank book has in it, it has in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions. (The New Testament Greek Lexicon)

Romans 6:11 is an exhortation, Paul’s urging, warning us to do something consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

“THINK!” I must have always in mind what the Lord Jesus has done on the Cross… The finished work of Christ, no halfway here, He does half and we meet Him and we do the rest, NO! He is the author and perfecter of our faith, fix our eye’s on Him Hebrews 12:2. He has provided us with the perfect ultimate example of a life of faith… As one writer put it “At no time did He falter or turn back. He kept His eyes fixed on the coming glory when all the redeemed would be gathered with Him eternally. This enabled Him to think nothing of shame and to endure suffering and death.”

Jesus said in John 19:30 “It is finished!”  It is crucial that we fix our eyes on Jesus because we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory  2 Corinthians 3:18. Its He who began the good work in us Philippians 1:6 YES! there is a sense we work out our salvation, but that’s because it is God who is at work in us Philippians 2:12, 13, we follow His lead because we are “In Christ” presenting ourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness to God. Romans 6:13

I needed to “KNOW THIS” and remind myself that just as I could do nothing for my justification, so I also can do nothing in myself for my sanctification,  I’m already set apart for Christ, I just need to behave like I am… by His doing we are in Christ Jesus, Christ has done it all, I just need to follow His lead and fix my eyes on Him as my Lord and Master Jesus Christ and the cross… Walking in newness of life.

We walk by faith, not by sight– 2 Corinthians 5:7

After all I have been raised from death to life so I should walk in newness of life Romans 6:4

Though sin remains in me, it shall not reign in my life… O Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

… and that’s why I look forward to Romans 7.

After all I have been
raised from death to life

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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What I Learned this week in Romans

We are about to end the first of three chapter that deal with Sanctification (Romans 6-8) with only the last two verses left, Romans 6:22, 23. In the first three chapters of Romans Paul has to literally get us lost as he shows us in detail that the whole world is guilty Romans 3:1- 15. Then there’s the greatest paragraph in the bible Romans 3:21-26, where Christ is our propitiation. Then we hear a “Therefore” from Paul in  Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, The same thing happens at the end of chapter 5:21  so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If Jesus Christ is truly our Lord now that we are saved, Then He is Master of our life, He is in control of our life and our walk as Christian, That’s why Paul can say “so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. Romans 6:19.” Look at Hebrews 2:11 and 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Paul says come out 2 Corinthians 6:17 through the word of God John 17:17, 18 and 19 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Paul has taught us in Romans 6 that believers are delivered from the penalty of sin, being justified and from the power of sin, being sanctified. We have learned so far that believers are dead to sin and sin is no longer our master, though sin will remain in us, it will no longer reign in our life… We are now slaves to righteousness Romans 6:18. Paul can say in Romans 6:19 so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

This week we look at Romans 6:20, 21 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. When sin was our master we were free from living a right life and the control of righteousness, we didn’t care about being righteous, we cared about ourselves and the pleasures of sin.

Look what Jesus said in John 8:31-36…..

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

When we were slaves of sin we didn’t care to live a right life, we liked our sin, but now the true mark of a Christian is we hate our sin and sin no longer has dominion over our lives. Jesus Christ, He reigns in our life as Lord and (new)Master. I told the class I think its impossible to have Christ as Savior without Him being our Lord Romans 10:9 and 1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.. and only true believers have the Holy Spirit.

Paul asks in Romans 6:21 what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? The word benefit is Karpos, which literally means fruit, so the obvious answer would be none, no fruit, so as we who are believers look back, we are ashamed, we are ashamed of our past life of sin and our lack of God and Christ in our life and the outcome would have been death.

Even when we were dead in our trespasses and sins God in His sovereign grace saved and rescued us from His wrath Ephesians 2:1-4 and prepared us beforehand to bear fruit and that we would “WALK” in them,  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 we have gone from death to life, a life that has Christ as our Lord and Master, to do His will in our lives, not perfectly, but we have been sanctified, set apart for God’s use. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work 2 Timothy 2:21.

Paul can say “I AM CONFIDENT” in Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work (Justification) in you will perfect it (Sanctification) until the day of Christ Jesus (Glorification). Paul can say later in Philippians 2:12, 13 Work out your salvation with fear and trembling… How? Well! Its God who is in you! Right? Working out what God worked in Philippians 1:6, which leads to holiness 1 Peter 1:14–16 , because it is God who works in you both to will and to do his good pleasure’ Philippians 2:13.

I can’t wait to get to next week and tie it all together with the final two verse in Romans 6 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

But then we have Romans seven and “Sin” that pops it’s ugly head, but that’s for future weeks.

“but the free gift of God
is eternal life in
Christ Jesus our Lord.”

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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What I Learned In Church This Week

Jesus who was the greatest teacher, scholar and theologian to ever live said in Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. I have to ask the question…. Who’s your Master?  Let me ask it this way…  Whose slave are you?

Paul says in Romans 6 verse 14  For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14. No person is completely free from anything or anyone, you are either doing one of two things. You are slaves either of sin and this world, or of obedience resulting in righteousness and slaves to Christ.

Here are the verses we tackled in sunday school in our Romans study… What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? Romans 6:15, 16

This might sound familiar because we had a similar argument in Romans 6:1 that was habitual sin but here Paul talks about occasional sin that is planned out because we have grace and Paul gives the same answer May it never be!

Kenneth Wuest writes… “This second question proposes a life of planned infrequent, spasmodic acts of sin, since grace makes it impossible for a Christian to live a life of habitual sin. Paul answers this question in Romans 6:16-23 by showing that the Christian has changed masters, and that serving the Lord Jesus, it is not his nature to sin.” Wuest paraphrases it…”What then? Shall we sin occasionally, because we are not under law but under grace?”

We who are Christians were once enslaved by sin but we have been purchased and redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ 1 Peter 1:18, 19. So how then can we who have been purchased and redeemed go on sinning? The answer is we can’t!

Paul’s NOT talking perfection here but he is talking obedience to our Lord and Master Jesus Christ… A persons pattern of living proves who his master is, if a person’s life is marked continually by sin as a lifestyle, then that person is a slave to Sin (Their Master).

We as true believes are the property of our Lord Jesus Christ and He rescues us from this evil age Galatians 1:4 We obey Him because we love Him who first loved us. 1 John 4:19 and He controls us 2 Corinthians 5:14… It was Jesus Himself who said “If you love me keep My commandments” John 14:15.

What was the purpose of God creating us then redeeming us if not for holiness and to be separated from this world? Peter takes this up in his first letter: “You shall be holy, for I am holy” 1 Peter 1:16, then Paul… But we are holy creatures “in Christ” (saints separate from this world) “For this is the will of God, your Sanctification” 1 Thessalonians 4:3

In Romans 12:2 Paul says do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. You see you are either doing one of two things as a Christian, that is you our being conformed to this world or you are being transformed by the renewing of your minds that is it, there is no middle ground.

When does this start, when do we start this process of sanctification? I recently ask this question to a friend of mine and he gave me the correct answer emphatically… he said “Immediately.”  Sanctification does not occur in an experience subsequent to salvation but rather coincides with it.

In Sunday School we are in Romans 6, and its filled with detail about sanctification, Paul shows us that Christians have been:

  • Freed from the power of sin
  • Enabled to live in newness of life under the reign of grace
  • Unified with Christ in his resurrection
  • Made new creatures

Christians will always struggle against sin and YES sometimes fall into sin, but a true believer is a new creature, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 who have been freed from sin and our old self is set aside Romans 6:6-7.

But then there is Romans 7 and the sin that pops up in our lives that we struggle with, that leads Paul to say these words…Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:24, 25

But we are not to lose heart and not growing weary Galatians 6:9 But we are to press on with the recognition we have not become perfect Philippians 3:12-16, but it is God who is in us that does the work of sanctification Philippians 1:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:24, Hebrews 13:20-21 and as Philippians 2:12, 13 says we cooperate with Him. As we learned in Sunday school we trust God that we are free from the bondage of sin and alive to God in Christ Romans 6:11

What’s are participation in all this? That we renew our minds in the word of God like newborn babies, we long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it we may grow in respect to salvation, 1 Peter 2:2 Paul in Romans 12:2 again but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

The great thing about “GRACE”
is that it truly alters a persons walk

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

 

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What I Learned In Church This Week

We had a great time in the word of God in our Romans class, I ended my teaching section of Romans with Romans 6:1, 2. I remember writing a post on this last January, but its an important enough issue to revisit, first here is the text we learned in Church this past Lord’s day.

so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 5:21, 6:1,2

The rhetorical question Paul is asking is… Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? Paul answers his own question, May it never be!

Paul is saying “Absolutely Not! May it never be!” There were these people called Antinomians and still are in some forms today “The Antinomians say they’re saved by grace but they live sinful lives, what we do doesn’t matter as long as we believe rightly. They say, “I’m under grace, I can do what I want to do! I’m free in Jesus, I can do whatever I want to do because God loves me just the way I am” 

Yes we as Christians are free in Christ Jesus, no longer under the bondage of sin, BUT! We have become slaves of righteousness Romans 6:18 says.

Then Romans 6:22 says But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. Peter tell us to Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God in 1 Peter 2:16.

Jude 4 warns us about ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 

As I told the class our goal as Christians is not perfectionism, its Holiness!  Of course the Christian life is not a straight line from A to Glorification… Of course we are going to have setbacks and struggles with our sin-life… That is why Paul wrote the conflict of two natures in Romans 7.

Though sin lives in us, believers do not live in sin…. You see, sin remains in us but sin does not reign in a believer’s life because we live in Christ!

So I have to ask the question, do we want Justification without Sanctification and without Holiness?

Peter calls us to Holiness: Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 1 Peter 1:13, 14

I have heard this so many times from people, I made a decision years ago for Christ, I walked the aisle, I sign the card, I prayed the prayer, my Pastor said I was saved, he welcomed me in the family of  God! I’m ok. I’ll be fine! I’m saved! I love Jesus and his teaching, but I just want to have fun, I’ll get back into it after.

But Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Wearing Christian Tee-Shirts and Bracelets, doesn’t make you a Christian, Tattooing your body or growing a soul patch doesn’t make you a Christian, quoting a lyric from your favorite Contemporary Christian Artist doesn’t make you a Christian! Living one foot in the world and one in Christ, so as to have the best of both worlds doesn’t make you a Christian!

What makes you a Christian is fellowship with Jesus Christ OUR Lord! 1 Corinthians 1:9 and what He’s done for you on that cross, what makes you a Christian is His free gift of GRACE and that grace will as Thomas Watson said “Alters a Mans Walk” Grace Changes you, you can no longer pick and choose and do what you want to do. We present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, we no longer conform to this world but are being transformed by the renewing of our minds Romans 12:1, 2

Spurgeon asks this question in one of his sermons… “If grace does not make you to differ from your own surroundings, is it really grace at all?”

Then he said this….

“Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin.”

Are we to continue in sin so grace can abound more? Continue is (epimeno) abide, endure, continue, stay or remain, the word continue means to practice or to habitually yield to sin. Paul’s answer May it never be!

Grace never causes a believer to love sin and pursue it, grace causes a believer to hate their sin and flee from it, grace causes a believer to confess their sins to God.

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 18-10

I think if there was a verse I could pick out that describes a professing Christian who says their saved and live their life their own way would be Judges 21:25 ”In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Are we living like there is no King Jesus in our life, doing what is right in our own eyes? That is what the unbeliever does!

I’ll close with these words from 1 John 2:15, 16 and 17.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Grace does NOT promote SIN!
Grace promotes HOLINESS!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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Growing Christians

Growing Christians think themselves nothing. Full-grown Christians know that they are less than nothing. The nearer we are to Heaven in point of sanctification, the more we mourn our infirmities, and the humbler is our estimate of ourselves. Lightly laden vessels float high in the water, heavy cargo sinks the boat to the water’s edge. The more Grace, the more the need of Grace is felt. He may boast of his Grace who has none. He may talk much of his Grace who has little, but he who is rich in Grace cries out for more, and forgets that which is behind. When a man’s inward life flows like a river, he thinks only of the Source, and cries before his God, “All my fresh springs are in You.”

He who abounds in holiness feels more than ever that in him, that is in his flesh, there dwells no good thing. You are not ripened, my Brothers and Sisters, while you have a high esteem of yourself. He who glories in himself is but a babe in Christ, if indeed he is in Christ at all. When you shall see death written on the creature, and see all your life in Christ. When you shall perceive even your holy things to have iniquity in them, and see all your perfectness in Him who is altogether lovely. When you shall lie prostrate at the foot of the Throne, and only rise to sit and reign in Him who is your All, then are you ripening, but not till then. (From Spurgeon, “Ripe Fruit” #945. Micah 7:1 Read Entire Sermon Here)

Spurgeon closes this sermon with….

May we all be housed in the garner of ripe fruit
in the King’s own Palace above! Amen and Amen.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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