Our unpopular message for the day
So many Christians are compromising these days! It is not very popular to make a stand for holy living. You become ”self righteous” to many by doing so. It is a sad fact that many are falling while truly believing everything is just fine, because they hold a knowledge of God within them.
”Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17
Unfortunately, too many people have been deceived to think they can have their sin and be a Christian at the same time. These lack wisdom! And the Bible tells us in Proverbs 9:10 ”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom …” And that is just it. People do not fear God, and therefore they have no wisdom to lead them. So they naturally turn to fleshly pleasures while trying to convince everyone that they are Christians.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Do you allow sin in your life while trying to convince everyone that it isn’t all that bad? Do you claim to be a Christian because of a knowledge of the truth, with a form of godliness, but denying the power of it to free you completely from this world and its sins? The good news is that Jesus can set you free! There is great joy in separating ourselves from this world! It can only come by the Holy Spirit as He fills us and transforms us, making us new creatures that are set apart from the rest of this world. If you look like the world; talk like the world; act like the world; and live like the world; then you are of the world and cannot be of Christ – no matter how much you may think you are. The form of godliness is a great deception of these last days! So many believe they are right with God, but are not! The Bible says in Isaiah 5:20
”Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
This is exactly what so many ”Christians” are doing today. They will go out drinking, smoking, partying like the world, and then claim they do it in moderation. Many will cuss up a storm, get involved in bitter arguments, gossip, slander of others, and act lie the world in every way – never living according the the fruit of the spirit. When confronted about there sinful living, they will accuse the righteous person of being full of pride, self righteous, and judgmental. Some will go as far as to think they are more spiritual in their drinking and smoking, as they are more tolerable of sinners, and they are not so ”self-righteous”. They are more mature Christians and able to handle doing those things. Hogwash! It is time to rise up people of God! It is time to stand for what is right! Start with your own life. Start with your family. Be an example for others to follow. Share the love of God and the good life He offers through holy living. Otherwise, sin lies at your door – Genesis 4:7.
We are in a spiritual warfare! This is a war that is unseen in the natural, so that those who drift away from Christ cannot even see it is happening all around them. All the while thinking they are right with God because of what they once had, they slip away into the darkness of the enemy. Don’t ever think you are so spiritual you cannot be overtaken! Our ONLY hope is in Christ jesus alone. Look to Him and search your own heart in humility.
”The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33
Many Christians today are not necessarily sinning, but they are playing with a strange fire, and then offering it up to the Lord. What do we offer to Him? Is it holy or strange? Paul said that we need to examine ourselves whether we be in the Lord. Never assume it! But let us examine our own hearts as we look for the deception in our own minds that has been planted by the enemy.
Righteousness is not a gift, nor is it something we work for. It is a choice. A choice to walk in what he has provided for us. But we have a choice set before us, as it says in Deuteronomy 30:19, ”This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”.
John dealt with the issue of sin and said in 1 John 5:18, ”We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” Then in 1 john 3:3-10
3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.
6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
So, I am not talking about new converts who have not yet been sanctified. I am talking about seasoned Christians who after years of living holy lives slowly begin to turn back to sinful living while claiming to be saved. This is very dangerous territory!
When Jesus said, ”It is finished”, He was not saying that sin no longer had any power to condemn. Obviously many sinners are still going to hell. Paul’s said in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. Nothing changes this. Not even the work of Christ. The gift of God that is eternal life is through Christ Jesus. To be IN Christ is to walk in the spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Paul said that if we sow to the flesh, we will reap of the flesh corruption. He also said that if we defile the temple of God, which we are, then such people will God destroy. Many, many more warnings are given to Christians all throughout the scriptures to be careful and always check our hearts, lest will fall. In Romans 11:21 Paul said, ”For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” Obviously, we are not in the clear just because Jesus died for our sins and we are presently saved.
We cannot miss the good news in this message, which is that God will cast our sins as far as the east is from the west and remember them no more. But we need to understand that this ONLY refers to past sins that have been confessed through repentance, and not to present or future sins. No scripture says anything close to the idea of future sins being cover under our first repentance. It is not an issue of being completely sinless. We know that is not possible. It is an issue of not committing sins we know are wrong, and thus being in rebellion to God – which the bible says is as the sin of witchcraft. And we know that no witch will be saved. But as we turn to Him after we have examined our lives and allow Him to purify our lives, we will be transformed, becoming new creatures. And such a creature will hate sin as much as God does and will want nothing to do with it.
James spoke of a sin unto death and a sin not unto death. The sin not unto death are those little things that we are not aware of that are buried deep within and only pop up on certain occasions. These are a part of our spiritual growth. A sin unto death is a sin of rebellion, when we do something we know is wrong but just don’t care. We can try to justify and deceive ourselves, and then our conscience can be seared – causing us to think all is fine, when in fact we are backslidden in heart.
Jesus will take us just the way we are – no doubt! But He will not keep us the way were are. This is what being ”born again” is all about. We start a new life in christ and we are transformed as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17. The old is passed away, and all becomes new.
What married couple will say that because they are married they do not need to work on their relationship, but that their married alone makes the relationship? This kind of marriage is one that winds up in divorce. Their is always work involved in a relationship. a relations takes two parties both working together to make it work. We know God is always faithful to do His part in this. His part is never in question! It is our part that has to be questioned. Are we talking to Him? Are we listening to Him? Are we submitting to Him? Or are we doing our own thing and then calling it a relationship?
Any person who allows sin in their life needs to fell bad, low, and unworthy. This is called conviction. This is not condemnation. However, the bible does that that those who live in sin are condemned already. The great hope is that Jesus came to set men free. And He who the Son sets free is free indeed! He came to take away the guilt, to lift up our spirits, and to make us worthy! It is only in Him that we can have all of these things. If we turn to sin, we are not turning to Him. And if we are not turning to Him, then we cannot have what He offers – which is freedom from sin. This is not a superficial freedom, and a real life changing freedom. How we live our lives is a direct expression of what Christ has done and is doing in our lives. And this is something He has put in our own power to receive and walk in, or to reject and walk away from.
The same lie exists in the Church today as many will teach that you shall not surely die (spiritually) as God has said. That sin has completely lost its power to damn the soul of the Christian to hell. Sin has not lost its power! Sin still brings death! But the gift of God is eternal life through CHRIST JESUS. Not a one-time confession, but a daily confession through an obedient walk in the spirit.
There is plenty of good news to put behind this entire message. But it is all in Christ Jesus alone! It is not in a doctrine. It is not in a one-time confession of sins. It is not in a previous relationship with Him. It is in a continued walk with Him, in obedience to His commands, as we are ”free indeed” from sin and the walk of the flesh. He is ever present to make intercession for us. But we must be willing to confess our sins so He can do that.
In Romans Paul makes it clear that if it had not been for the law then we would not know right and wrong. Jesus said that He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. It is in Christ that we receive power of sin and to live holy lives. Law is fulfilled in us as we walk in the spirit and do not fulfill the lists of the flesh.
Jesus took away the burden of animal sacrifice and penalty for sins in this life. Now, through Him, we have access to the throne of grace, whereby we may receive forgiveness of sins. But forgiveness can only come through repentance. We know that true repentance means to turn ourback on our past sins. This is a choice we have to make. And as we make the choice, God gives us the ability to overcome. Repentance of sins is first of all an act of obedience. And Jesus said, ”if you love me, keep my commandments”. Jesus has done the work! But He leaves the choice up to men whether they will follow and obey His commandments. If we do not obey His commandments then we are denying Him. We are saying we do not trust Him or believe in what He said in His Word. And if we deny Him, He will deny us before His father in heaven. Our lives must be a walk of faith or we cannot please Him.
[Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. 1 Peter 1: 14
If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12: 26
It is through Him that we have received grace and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake among all the nations. Romans 1: 5
Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)? Romans 6: 16
If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. John 15: 10
But He said, Blessed (happy and to be envied) rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey and practice it! Luke 11: 28
For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead. James 2: 26
But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. Romans 7: 6
For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God? 1 Peter 4: 17
And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him. 1 John 3: 22
Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him.
1 John 2: 4
[Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. 1 Peter 1: 14
The wise in heart will accept and obey commandments, but the foolish of lips will fall headlong. Proverbs 10: 8
Since by your obedience to the Truth through the [Holy ] Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart. 1 Peter 1: 22
Jesus said that no man can serve two masters. The devil is a thief who has come to steal, kill, and destroy. He cannot steal what one does not have. Sinners have nothing he wants to take or end in their lives. It is Christians he is after. He wants to steal our peace and joy and the abundant life we have in Christ; he wants to kill us spiritually; and then it is his final hope to destroy our souls in hell if he can. Many have been deceived into thinking they can serve two masters and still be okay. If this was an easy thing to see, then it would not be a deception. People who call themselves Christians and even go to Church every week are perishing in the pews of the Church. This is because they live like the world during the week, and with this deception have come to believe that they are saved all along.
As much as we would like to strip satan of all his power, and claim that he has be completely defeated by the work of Christ, this simply is not at all what the scriptures teach us. He is only defeated for those who abide in Christ, walk in the spirit, and obey Him daily as they take up their cross and follow Him. But satan is hard at work for a few different reasons. One, because he knows he only has a short time to get his job done. Second, it the fact that he knows he is able to deceive even Christians and pull them away from a walk with Christ. Otherwise he would be totally wasting his time and efforts to no avail.
Not too many Christians are going to take the bait of blatant heresy and lies. If they knew they were lies then they would turn away immediately! But satan is very slick at what he does. He will make sin appear to be ”not so bad”, as it sucks the spiritual life out of people without them even realizing it. This is why Jesus told us to be watchful, be on the guard, to beware, and to diligently seek Him. The bible says that satan walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Obviously this is not referring to sinners. He already has them. It is Christians he is after. He is looking for those who have put their guard down; who have lain down their spiritual armor. This is why we need to go thru our spiritual armor check list and make sure we have it and keep it on all the time. Satan is looking for the one he can catch off guard. And then he will come in subtly so that we do not even realize it is him.
This is why Paul said that when you think that you stand, take heed, lest you fall. An overconfidence in the work of Christ without doing our part will lead to spiritual death. We can believe we are saved all we want. But faith without works is dead! We can have COMPLETE confidence in the work of Christ – as long as we walk in obedience to His will and commands. But if we allow sin to creep in, then death lies at the door. Faith then becomes nothing more than a presumption, without any true power to save. And just as the devils in hell believe and cannot be saved, so it is with those who claim Christ and willfully and in rebellion live in sin.
All the promises we have are ”in Christ”. We must understand what it means to be in Christ. It is not a one time prayer that magically transfers us from death to life without any further conditions. It is a transformed life! The old is passed away, and all is become new. So as John said, we no long live in sin, but we walk in the spirit and by true faith thru obedience.
Through Jesus Christ we are no longer under the condemnation of the law?
Let’s not forget one major thing here. We must be “in Christ” in order to be free from these things. The devil is given back his rights the moment we give in to willful sin and do not repent. The cross DID NOT disarm him! It is only through our faith in the cross that he can be disarmed. And just as we can have faith, we can lose faith. This is a fact that has be proven to be true with many backsliders.
The Bible does not teach a sin debt. It teaches “wages of sin”. Wages are earnings, not a debt. We have earned death for our sin. Christ came to die as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. But not as a literal payment. This term should only be understood as a figurative term to say that Christ took care of the sin issue on our behalf. The literal understanding of what Christ did can only be properly understood as a provision for forgiveness. When John saw Jesus coming to be baptized, he announced, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. Now we know that Jesus has not literally taken away the sins of all men. Otherwise all men would be saved already without any conditions. This actually points back to the Levitical sacrifices for the sins of Israel, as two goats were brought. One was just a sacrifice unto the Lord, while the other was the one who had sins confessed over it and it was released into the wilderness. Some believe it was led to a cliff to fall to its death. But either way it was not punished for sins, nor did it “pay” for sins. What this was is a picture of the true atonement that was to come through Christ as men are being born again through faith in the sacrifice of Christ. Then as Paul said, the old is passed away and all things become new. When we are transformed in such a supernatural way, our old life of sin passes away, and we enter into a new life of faith and holiness in Christ. If we sin, we deny this power to free us from sin, and thus deny Christ.
Sin really is not the issue at all. It is only the symptom. The root of the problem is never the sin, but a matter of our faith. If we truly walk by faith, then we will be walking in the spirit, and we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
James, in the first chapter says this: 14. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
You see, sin still brings death. Only a true Christian who walks by faith can later be “drawn away and enticed”. The end result of sin is and always will be death. The wages of sin IS death, and always will be. So it is our responsibility to discipline our own lives to make sure we make wise decisions and do not give in to the lusts of the flesh – as they can and will bring death.
There is no doubt that Satan will bring condemnation upon us for past sins that we have been forgiven of. It is at this time that we need to realize he is a liar and all that is under the blood of Jesus and cast away. But present and future sins are a completely different issue. No sin is automatically forgiven just because we are Christians.
In Hebrews 10:26 we are told, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins.”
So obviously sin still has the power to harm the Christian. “No more sacrifice” here does not mean that there can be no future forgiveness, or that the sacrifice of Christ is not sufficient. This means that the confession of a past sin in which we trusted in the sacrifice of Christ cannot cover future sins committed – without another act of repentance on our part. The work of Christ is finished! But it does not cover unrepented sins, or else the entire world would be saved. Sin is only the symptom of a much deeper issue taking place in a persons heart. And if it goes undealt with, then their soul is in danger just like the rest of the world who is in their sins. And If Christ conquered sin in the way you are saying, then sinners should not need to repent to be saved. Since sin has lost its power, all they need to do is believe in Him and believe they are save, and they can continue in their sins. All is good.
What Christ did for us is only on the sacrificial and provision part. It is man’s part to believe, continue, abide, follow, trust, walk in the spirit, etc. So many commands are given it is incredible. This is not about “works salvation” as many like to try to make it. This is about truly trusting in His work. A true faith will have a direct affect on the way we will our lives every day. But we are able to lose that faith through lust, which leads to sin. This is why we are told we must take up our cross and follow Him daily, crucify the old man, and walk in the spirit so we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Such instruction is given because of the absolute certain possibility or probability of falling from Grace and forfeiting the life we once had in Christ.
We are not talking about working on our own. We are talking about having true faith in His work, which leads to holiness and a separation from sin. Sin is only the works of the flesh that show where we are spiritually. Just as the fruit of the spirit shows where we are spiritually. Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruit”. How a person lives shows where their heart really is. And if it is after sin, the father of sin is then their master. As the scripture says in Romans 6:16, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey-either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
Any person who turns to sin is doing what the devil wants, and he becomes their master. I am not talking about sins we commit now and then, and then repent. I am talking about habitual sins that people try to justify. And notice the word “Obey” here? We are only considered the servant of God if we obey Him!
Romans 3:25, “Whom God hath set forth to be an atoning sacrifice through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”
Only past sins can be forgiven. Present sins have not godly sorrow if they remain. And future sins – lets get real. If I slug a brother in the face and I say I am sorry and ask him to forgive me – does that mean that if I do the same thing every now and then that he should automatically forgive me each time without me ever being truly sorry? Or if I punch him today, but tomorrow I steal from him, should my stealing be forgiven because I asked for forgiveness for punching him? Yet this is what this idea says of God and salvation. Sin has offended God. He is holy and He cannot be in the presence of sin. If men want to abide in His presence, then they have to separate themselves from sin. The work of Christ in no way changes who God is. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And He see’s sin in the same way as always. Having law or doing away with it changed nothing. Men sinned and offended God long before the law came. God judged Cain, He flooded the earth in Noah’s day, He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and so much more before the law ever came along. So after law we cannot expect Him to have any different of an attitude towards sin. Sin is not covered up. It MUST be removed from us through the work of Christ, and by repentance. If it isn’t it will damn the soul. This is just a simple Biblical fact. It was taught by the early Church very boldly for hundreds of years – before the corruption by the Catholic Church. It is a truth that we must take heed to today. This is why Paul said that when you stand, take heed lest you fall. Sin still has the power to destroy the soul. We are completely safe “In Christ”. But if we step across the line into sin, we give up our protection.
“John 1:29 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! that word sin is a noun ( person place thing), John knew that Jesus came to take sin the whole thing from the world, it doesnt say who comes to take away the past sin of the world, current sin of the world, but ”SIN of the world” What a waste of time it would have been to have God send His only Son Jesus to do a work like that,”
As already mentioned, atonement is a provision, not a literal payment. And sin is not a substance that can be literally removed. It is an issue of heart that has to be changed. The figurative always leads to a literal meaning different than the figure itself. This is why we must be “born again”, which we know is not a literal entering back into the womb, but a new life in Christ that starts as we are changed – transformed. So of course not part of the sin of the world is taken away – because it is not talking about a substance of sin, but an issue of heart that is changed when a person puts their faith in Jesus. And this can only happen when there is faith in Christ. The sins of millions will take them to hell still, regardless the work of Christ. So did Christ’s work fail or fall short? Of course not. It is men who failed to not put their faith in Him. Jesus dies for ALL sins, past, present and future. But forgiveness of these sins can ONLY come through repentance of them. And until there is repentance, there is not forgiveness or taking away of sins – since the heart of the person has not been change when they continue to sin.
”He who the son sets free is free indeed”
Absolutely! But what is freedom? It is not freedom in sin, but freedom FROM sin. Huge difference here. There is not “freedom” in sin. That is called bondage. The word “indeed” is like an exclamation point on the “free”. This shows it to not be a superficial freedom from the power of sin to condemn while still committing sin, but a real and complete freedom from both sins power, effect, and existence in our lives. In Romans 6 Paul made it clear that sin will no longer have dominion over those who are in Christ and remain in Him. A true freedom from sin is the completely changed life where sin no longer has any controlling power. If we do sin, we will confess that sin. But we will not live under it.
I wrote a book called, “Faith without Works” years ago that is full of hundreds of scriptures against this doctrine. Since then I had studied and read through the early Church writings that had proven what they really believed on the issue, confirming everything I am saying here. Then after that I did an in-depth study and research on the Levitical sacrificial system and how it pointed to the work of Christ. It is from false ideas of atonement that so many false teachings arise. But this work shows through the sacrificial system how sin has always been the issue with God, and that Christ took care of it in the provisional sense – but not as a payment as so many assume. The Bible does not teach a payment in the literal sense at all. The fact that WE are bought does not speak of sin, and it is figurative – as no money was exchanged or deal made between Satan our old master and Jesus our Atonement. It is through the OT that the NT is revealed. Yet so many try to teach atonement from the NT perspective without understand the OT system. When we really look into the OT, then we can see what atonement is really all about in Christ. And now, it is by faith that we are able to obtain Grace, as we confess Him and our sins in repentance as the people were told by Peter in Acts 2:38. A one-time repentance can never cover future sins! This is been show by scripture and simple logic.
Thanks to LYNDON CONN