I am going through The Walk of Repentance Bible Study for the second time and have been focusing a lot on Galatians 5:16: “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” Galatians 5 goes on to list the lusts of the flesh versus the fruits of the Spirit. There is no doubt which list I would like to define my life but I am very aware that, without the Spirit, I will be doing those things that I do not wish to do.
As Christians, we cannot use the excuses so many do, such as “God knows I’m human” or “Nobody’s perfect.” God does know those things but He also gives specific commands as to how we should live. They are not suggestions. He tells us to be holy as he is holy (Lev. 11:44, referenced also in 1 Peter 1:16). Probably the most sobering portion of Scripture is Matthew 7:21-23: “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.” Those verses alone are enough to send me to my knees crying out to God to remove the sin in my life that displeases Him and replace those areas with His Spirit so that I don’t hear those dreadful words.
If it were easy to be a Christian, everyone would be one. Unfortunately, the world sometimes has more of a handle on how Christians should act than those who profess to be Christ’s followers. If you are truly following Him, you will be like Him. You may not be perfect but you will fight the good fight, you will fall on your face in repentance when you do things that grieve Him, you will see your sin as He does. In the words of the old song, “It’s a battlefield, Brother, not a recreation room. It’s a fight; it’s not a game.”
I plead with you today: do not hold on to the sin that is pleasurable for a season but will end in spiritual death. Cling to the One who gives you life and that more abundantly. Let nothing be more important than pleasing Him and being a Light on this earth so that others can know Him as well.
Life is short. You never know when it may be your last day. Don’t waste your remaining time on earth living for self. Decide today to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.
Amen. Very well said…convicting as well. Thanks for the reminder.
It is possible to walk in victory over sin. The scriptures that convict you (and myself, and all Christians) of sin, also hold the key to victory over sin. Faith that delivers us from sin obeys God. You are correct, the “I’m not perfect” excuse is just people saying they don’t want to or are too lazy to walk in the Spirit.
Excellent reminder! Yes and amen – no excuse or coddling sin should be the norm, though each of us has done so.
Alan – we all have victory over sin, but none of us will be without sin in this age. If anyone say he is without sin, he is a liar and the truth is not in him.
Manfred, don’t we know from your bio that all you have to offer Christ is your sin? Is that really all you have to give to Christ? That doesn’t compute with what you are saying in my opinion. Read 1 John 1. I don’t think you really believe what I am saying or what you are saying. In my opinion, the false humility that comes with glorifying the fact that we are sinners is also a false righteousness. His blood cleanses us from all sin. If we only have sin to offer him, and not obedience, then perhaps we have not really been cleansed by His blood in our own minds and hearts (i.e., we really don’t believe and become sons of God). If we walk by the spirit, we do not fulfill the desires of the flesh, i.e., sin.
Alan – the good works we do, the obedience we give, are the fruit of the Spirit and not ours, per se. What do you have that you were not given? Even those good works are tainted by our sin. It’s not as black and white as I stated it in my bio, but that’s the way I see it.
I was given the ability and the right to choose to obey God or not. Read Romans Chapters 1-8. Pay particular attention to Chapters 6 through 8. It is black in white. If you are redeemed by Christ you have the choice to obey or disobey. We have been set free from the law, which is the strength of sin. I will leave you with this… If we are participants in the divine nature, why would sin even be a part of our lives unless we are not diligently laying down our lives and seeking the kingdom of God?
God wants sons and daughters like his Son Jesus, willing to obey, not robots who have no choice or decision in what they do. Jesus is the first fruits of a kingdom of those adopted and transformed into his children.
Read this over and over again and let it become a part of you.
2 Peter 1:1-11
1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Confirming One’s Calling and Election
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Finally, it seems that Calvinism is what Paul was talking about when he wrote this to Timothy.
2 Timothy 3:5 …having a form of godliness but denying its power.
Calvinists should seriously consider revising its TULIP dogma. I is obvious it holds back Calvinists from truly walking in the fullness of God. We are to be growing up into the full stature of Christ (Ephesians 4), yet I get the feeling Manfred you do believe that is God’s will or even possible with the Holy Spirit indwelling us.
Take care brother.
Alan – those who are redeemed can choose to do good works, because the Spirit of God dwells in us and wills us to do them (Phil 2:12 & 13). If He was not with us, we could not do good nor want to, because we would still be depraved.
What do you have that you were not given? (1 Cor 4:7).
I agree that the TULIP is not an optimum summary on soteriology, one to study it in detail. I would prefer another summary, even if it didn’t form an acrostic.
Before I was born again I did lots of good stuff and bad stuff. Doing the good stuff just didn’t do anything to make me righteous before God or secure my salvation. To say that no one could do what is right before being saved is really a stretch. If that were true, we should be seeing lots more criminal activity than we do because you claim, “If He was not with us, we could not do good nor want to, because we would still be depraved.” Lost in sin and death, yes, but unable to do anything good? The lost who rely on good works to soothe their conscience do what is good, it is just worthless. Think about it. We are not robots without a free will. Get over the false humility.