Tuesday, 8 July 2014

When You Leave the World of Sin...

Many Christians reckon that when one talks about sin then he’s probably wallowing in depression, rejecting the finished work of the cross. However, I believe that everyone saved by Jesus has a desire to see the world turning away from sin, although new believers might express this desire immaturely.  Daniel, as we all know, was a man who worshiped God and had purposed in is heart not to defile himself. Yet on many occasions he is seen weeping bitterly for the world’s sins. “All this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn away from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.”- (Daniel9:13) “As at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.”- (Daniel9:15) Notice that he doesn’t say “The world is busy sinning, but I’m righteous” rather, he is standing on behalf of the world by including himself in that prayer. Daniel was not weeping for born again Christians who really struggle with sin, for as long as they remain standing in the faith their victory is assured. He was weeping for those who relentlessly pursue sin regardless of having heard the gospel of Christ Jesus.

What’s your definition of sin?

For an ex-fornicator sin would be fornication. For an ex thief, sin would be theft. And for many people, sin would be anything wrong that others are doing. People define sin in various ways, “To miss the mark”, “To displease God”, “To bow to the devil”, etc. Bare in mind that these are human definitions, they could either be right or wrong. Looking into God’s Word sin is not what many define it to be. Daniel9:5 states, “We have sinned, and committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments.” The word precept simply means a guiding rule on which behavior, thoughts, or an action is based. The verse states that indeed we have sinned, not by committing fornication or by stealing, but by departing from God’s precepts/laws/commandments. Watchman Nee’s definition of sin comes in handy-“Sin means not being in right standing with God.” When we are not in right standing with our Creator, we rebel against the commandments He has set in His Word. On the contrary, obedience flows naturally when we are in right standing with Him. The question to ask ourselves is simply; “Are we really born again?” because sin is a big deal. Those who attend church every week yet passionately pursuing sin should have a questionable salvation.

God’s Grace and Goodness

Many Christians like hearing about God’s goodness, about themselves, about their dreams and I am no exception! Personally, I find no fault with preachers who preach these vital truths. A lot of people come from religious backgrounds where all they were taught was to expect the worst from God. Many were told or made to feel that they will never amount to anything; hence I believe God places such preachers who instill hope in the lives of His people. Phenomenal changes occur in the sinner’s heart after hearing about and experiencing God’s grace, it is not a forced event. The problem with many Christians is that they want to force people to love Jesus. Grantley Morris’ words are always throbbing in my heart, “You cannot be forced to love Jesus or to desire purity of heart. Jesus has done all he can now it’s over to you.” Why do we become so restless when the Lord pours out His blessings on his people, not seeing it as a way for Him to lead them to repentance? Is it because we are so bitter by attempting to attain salvation with our good works, so because we don’t “sin” we deserve the blessings alone? Is it because like the brother of the prodigal son, our hearts have grown cold towards the Lord leaving us with traces of self-righteousness? You cannot turn people into lovers of God. You cannot lead anyone to repentance only the Holy Spirit can do that. Your only ability is to go out into the world and make disciples and the Holy Spirit’s ability is to produce converts. Mind you, you don’t suddenly rock up and go make disciples; you’ve got to be a disciple first, submitting to God’s Word and church authority.

God’s Precepts

God places a certain “picture” of a world in the hearts of those saved- A world where evil and sin is eradicated, a world where people are living about in Godly freedom. Formerly all that the believer knew was the evil way and that was his only way. Suddenly a light flashes and he is made to see another way, Jesus’ way. After experiencing this new way for a while it becomes natural for him to desire such a life for others out there. Truly saved Christians don’t go around telling people to stop sinning (keeping in mind the definition of sin according to Daniel) because they want to feel better about themselves, but because they have a clear “picture” of the benefits one receives when they stop sinning. For all of us, Jesus saw that our lives were heading to disaster. So he provided a way out by offering us his love. We had to make the choice of either accepting or rejecting his offer, bearing in mind that the choice we make will determine our destiny. When we accept the offer we should understand that this way has laws or principles or precepts that are laid down for us. The Christian life becomes wide when it’s all about us and what we can gain from the Lord, yet narrow when we deny ourselves and take up our cross. I honestly admit that I did not choose the abstinence way for myself, Jesus chose me because if I had my own way I’d still commit fornication despite the negative consequences I experienced. Jesus gave me power when he offered me the choice to either accept or reject his offer. It’s like he says, “I am giving you a choice today; it’s either you continue living in sin which leads to anarchy and destruction, or you step into the new life I have already prepared for you. In this new way you can’t live however you were trained to live by the flesh, but there are precepts you have to adhere to.”

Leaving the world of sin…

After recalling the kindness the Lord had lavished on me when the world was cruel and when I least deserved His goodness, I chose to accept the offer. As I grow in the Lord I discover that there’s more to salvation than the superficial things I was targeting such as honor, fame, acceptance with humans and etc. I realized that Jesus got into a covenant relationship with me where he abided in me and I in him. He took with him my fornication, my shame, my failures, my sin and traded all this for his purity, his kingdom, his holiness, and much more! I don’t always walk according to His will. I get upset, at times I feel restrained yet He Jesus never goes back on the covenant he’s made with me. “And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments.”~Daniel9:4 Sure God shows His goodness to everyone, saved or not saved but only keeps His covenant with those who keep His commandments. Now covenant is way better than the common blessings that anyone can get. An amazing life unfolds for those who leave their way of sin and accept the most pure love ever-Jesus Christ.

“To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.”~Daniel9:9

“Oh Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.”~Daniel9:8

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