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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

TALKING OF SIN part 1



Often the world sees Christians as hypocrites and fakes because we sin and miss the mark in being perfect. But that does not make us anything other than human. We are still Christians when we sin. God's grace knows no bounds. The Holy Spirit will convict us of sin, and on repentance of that sin, we are forgiven. It is because we all fail and sin that we need our Saviour. Where sin abounds, God's grace abounds even further. I believe that we can overstep the mark and become so far from the ways of God that we will not heed the conviction of the Spirit, and that is a dangerous place to be, but to say that someone who is sinning is not a Christian and has lost his/her salvation is simply not true.

We sin every day. All of us. We live by God's grace and are saved by His blood and faith. We don't earn it- it is a free gift of God. To be that far away from the things of God that you are in danger of losing your salvation is a very rare occurrence, Praise God. My belief from the Scriptures is that we will always have the Spirit yearning over us and bringing us back into the fold. Backsliders always have God's eye of concern over them. He doesn't love the sin, but loves the sinner. It is not as if one day we are tucked up in the bed saved and roll over to land on the floor unsaved. God's grace and love is deeper than we can imagine- which one of us would have willingly sent our only Son to die for anyone as He did? I sin every day- for I am not perfect! But I repent and get right back on track! We all sin- because there is only One Who is perfect! Thank God that He is our Judge, and not man! What a sorry state we all would be in!

God’s Word says, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick...For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Matthew 9:12-13)

God's Word also says that, "There is none righteous, no, not one." (Romans 3:10)

God's Word also says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Grace is God working in us to accomplish His purposes at the expense of Christ. Would we doubt that He has that power? Would we belittle the sacrifice He made on the cross for us?
Certainly a Christian can sin - much of the New Testament is an instruction manual for Christians, because God knew we would need it. And backsliding, well I guess that depends on perspective. In God's eyes, all sin is equal. Murder is equal to a less than pleasant thought about another person. So when is backsliding, well, backsliding? Is it when you or I deem it so based on our own personal standards? Or is it when we sin at all? Backsliding is when we stop walking in the Spirit and walk in the flesh. We go our own way! But it is forgiven as soon as the backslider repents.

God's Word also says that we inherited Adam's sin nature, death. (Romans 5:12-13; actually all of Romans 5 really explains this well) We are born sinful, and as long as we are on this earth we cannot separate ourselves from our inherited nature.

When we become Christians, God's Word never promises we would be without sin, just that we would have the Holy Spirit ever-present in our lives to help us (Romans 8:11) and that Jesus would be sitting at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven pleading on our behalf to forgive our sins (Romans 8:34). Furthermore, God's Word says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12)

We have been given an amazing gift that none of us can comprehend from who else but the all-powerful, all-knowing, holy, righteous, sovereign, and perfect God. Will any one of us ever be deserving of this gift, this honour? Absolutely not. But He has given it to us regardless of what we have done or what we will do, because of His inexplicable love for us.

The scripture teaches us that we were bought by Christ through His redemption of us by His Blood. We belong to Him. We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. Christ dwells in us and we in Him. However, because we are human and flesh, we DO sin. We all sin everyday- no matter how hard we try not to. We try not to sin and be perfect even as the Father is perfect- yet we cannot help ourselves. Sin can be anything- thoughts, words, actions- some so subtle that we don't realise that we have sinned. Even to gossip, look at anything unsavoury in a book or film, cuss or just feel a sense of selfish anger or pride- is sin. We can't help but sin. That is not to say we all go out and murder or have adulterous affairs or whatever. Sin is a part of our life- no matter how hard we try not to.

If we deny that we sin, then the truth is not in us! Christians do sin- we are not perfect- just forgiven! Because Christ has redeemed us on the Cross, we belong to Him. He promises that whoever eats and drinks of His flesh and blood will have Everlasting life. I believe that! God's forgiveness and compassion is there for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ who backslide- backsliding is repented of as soon as one returns to God. The Holy Spirit never leaves us- God promised that to us. He said, I will send you the Helper! Why? Because we need His help! He said He would not leave us orphans- He didn't. And although it sometimes feels like God has deserted us, it is always us who have done the moving! That is a good time to check our life and pray through it. God does not leave us because we have sinned. He convicts us and yearns jealously over us! Why? Because we belong to Him and He loves us. He tells us that we can never be separated from His love.

I used to battle with fear over the Unpardonable Sin. I didn't understand it. But there is only one way you can commit that-by totally turning away from all things of God, Forever. God just can’t reach you. I don't think any of us who worry about sinning need lose any sleep over this. We obviously still are tender to the things of God. I believe that it is an extremely rare thing for God to reject that which He has redeemed and sealed with His Spirit. Backsliding is not the Unpardonable Sin. There is always hope for the backslider, in fact, as long as we live, there is hope for everyone who has breath!

It seems to me that some Christians are dwelling on some theology that is grounded on fear and until you come to realise how loved we all are in the LORD, you will not enjoy that glorious feeling of acceptance, love and forgiveness in all its fullness. Don't let Jesus's invitation of peace and joy in your salvation be spoilt by misunderstanding the scriptures. I did that for years. We have God's grace and are covered by His Blood, adopted as joint heirs with Christ as Sons (or daughters) of God, and we are justified through that covering. However, we continue to be under a state of grace and justification because God keeps us redeemed and sealed by His Spirit.  More next post.... © Glenys Robyn Hicks

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