The Bible refers to pride as “original sin.” The Hebrew definition of the word sin means, “To miss the mark.” God created us to be like Him, but our pride and rebellion make us fall far short of that purpose. Our actions, though they may be “sinful” are only the fruit of our rebellion against God. Our outward actions merely mirror our true inner condition. It is our true inner condition that God is concerned with. He knows the “real you” better than you know yourself, because he sees “the inner man” and all your secret thoughts and motives.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8” God judges nations not only for sins committed by the leaders, but how the public reacts to those sins. It is true that we are called to forgive. Christians should be the most forgiving people on Earth because we know the full extent of forgiveness that the Lord has offered to us. We must forgive because the Lord has forgiven us. The greatest tragedy in the world today is that multitudes cannot receive His mercy because of their pride and unwillingness to humble themselves before God. Forgiveness is free, but only to those who are contrite. For those who want absolution but refuse to repent, forgiveness cannot be bought at any price. How little we know of what it means to repent. "Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" is only a slogan yelled by wild-eyed sidewalk preachers of questionable theological background. We think it means just walking down a church aisle somewhere or muttering a "sinner's prayer" under our breath.
One may feel sorrow over sin, but that doesn't necessarily equate with repentance. How do we tell the difference? Here is the acid test: Those who are truly repentant will not care if they lose the respect of the entire world, as long as they make it right with God. They are glad that their sin was exposed so that it might be dealt with. Instead of scrambling to justify themselves, cover it up or attack the accuser, they will throw themselves on the mercy of God. They will be thankful to the instrument that exposed their sin, even if it caused them pain. They will also be willing to make restoration to those they have hurt.
At the other end of the spectrum, is a shift-the-blame mentality. Our talk shows overflow with it and our public schools teach it. Sin is referred to at worst, as a "dysfunction" and at best as a "lifestyle choice." Yet, even in this the Church is much to blame. In our eagerness to "save" people, how many people have we "led to the Lord" without teaching them what it means to repent? How many churches have we filled with people who have never shed one anguished tear over their sins, and are offended at the concept? Have we forgotten to preach that our forgiveness, which we receive so lightly, was purchased by Jesus Christ, through an agonizing and lonely death on the cross? That sin is a heart condition. It is a condition of rebellion against God, which stems from pride.
Salvation from sin comes from God by grace through faith in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. "But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). "For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (II Corinthians 5:21 ). "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (II Timothy 2:15).
Ungodly men nailed Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to a cross for our sins; he had no sin of His own. He was an innocent humanbeing-the only humanbeing who was ever perfect and sinless. He never sinned, yet He took your sins and mine by taking an unjust death. Because He did this willingly, He was raised from the dead by His Father and given life and authority over the powers of darkness. God now imparts that same life and authority to all those who come receiving His provision for their sin. "...The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:7). How do we come to this knowledge of hope and salvation? "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (II Timothy 2:15).
"... thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions: but out of them all the Lord will deliver you... and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (II Timothy 3:10 -17)."
Pray to God daily.-We must fellowship and talk to God if we are to hear His guidance and learn of His nature. We are promised that all of our needs shall be met if we will only ask the Father in the name of Jesus. The Lord speaks to us through His servants and His words. “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14: 13 -15). Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).”
Are You In Need Of A Spiritual Tune-Up?
Are you in need of a Spiritual Tune-up? Have your life been filled with more disappointments than joy? If your answer is YES then you need to spend more time listening to spiritual music and mediating on God's holy word.
Prayer is always welcomed and needed. We are humanbeings serving in various positions of leadership in our hospitals, communities, churches, and country. Also, pray for our Armed Forces that God will protect them.
Is your life full of the Fruit of the Spirit of God? If not, are you bearing any of God’s Fruit? The Holy Spirit is standing by waiting to give you your gift today!How about some Love, or maybe a little joy and happiness. Oh, I think that you might like a measure of PEACE, Tolerance and Acceptance.
I hope that you do not fall into the category with most of humanity, believing that we are going to slide into Heaven on God’s Mercy and Grace. This is a faulty trick of the adversary to rob us of salvation and keep us in sin to pay the ultimate price-separation from God throughout eternity.
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Bethel Ministries International and Bethel College and Seminary is a faith baised, non-denonminational, Christ centered 501 (c) 3 IRS Tax Exempt legailly Incorporated Non-Profit Corporation. Copyright (c)1996-2008 Bethel Ministries International and Bethel College & Seminary