is good for us to spend time in the Old testament of the bible and be reminded
that God has zero tolerance for sin. This is portrayed graphically in his
dealings with Israel and Judah, he allowed them to be taken into exile because
of their rebellion and sin (2 Kings). We are also exhorted to hate evil (Ps
the new Testament we are told that sin causes spiritual death (Rom 6:23), all
people sin (Rom 3:23) and that sin separates us from God. Jesus paid the price
for our sins by his sacrificial death (1 Peter 3:18) and won justification for
us (Rom 3:24). This simply mean that if we repent, ask his forgiveness and ask him
into our life as Lord and Saviour we are forgiven and made just as if we had
never sinned. Our sins were washed away by his blood (Rev 1:5), the price was
paid and God sees us as righteous in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:21). To be righteous
is to be in right standing with God.
this mean God has gone soft on sin? Absolutely not (1 John 1:5). We are told as
Christians that we should not go on willfully sinning (1 John 3:6-9). However,
we are still flesh and blood and we will sin (1 John 1:8), but if we repent and
ask God’s forgiveness, he is quick to forgive (1 John 1:9). To repent is to
simply turn from our sins and do what’s right.
next question is, as Christians, are we soft on Sin? Do we have things in our
lives that we wink at or ignore? Well, you know, God knows I get it mostly
right but a few minor issues I am sure He can tolerate? God is still black and
white on sin and he tells us to take of the old man and put on the new (Eph
4:22-24). That’s all of the old man and all of the new. Let’s not limit God in
our lives by ignoring sin. Now don’t get condemned, God knows our hearts (Ps
44:21) and as we desire to be everything he wants us to be, he will provide
grace to help us to change (Eph 1:7-9). The apostle Paul never claimed to be
perfect (Phil 3:12) and God does not expect us to change overnight. Keep on
keeping on, the blessings are amazing.
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the epistle to the Colossians 3:12-13 (KJV) Paul basically exhorted them to put
on the character of Christ. To put on means to become. “Put on therefore, as
the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind,
meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any
man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye”.
reminds us all as Christians that we are holy, beloved of God and the elect of
God. We are only Holy because Christ made us so and to be elect means to be
chosen; God chose each one of us and Christ died for us so we could be born
again and made Holy.
exhorts us to put on bowels of mercies (this is the greatest compassion we can
muster), kindness (this is not just having good thoughts toward someone but
goodness in action), humbleness of mind (simply put, this is not having any
arrogance about us), meekness (I love this one; this isn’t being a mouse but
knowing who you are in Christ and yet being perfectly humble about it),
longsuffering (this is patience, especially in the face of adversity). In verse
13 we are told to bear with each other and commanded to forgive.
tall orders, but in Christ we can do all things (Phil 4:13); he enables as we
walk by faith.
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book: “On the Way: Basic Christian Training”, including how to purchase it and
also to see more encouraging Bible based blogs. Please recommend our book to
love Paul’s humility in 1 Cor 2:1-5. He gets to the very crux of the source and
power of Christianity. He says I came preaching the Gospel with fear and
trembling; speaking only God’s word, not man’s wisdom and not with elegance of
speech. Paul dared not insert himself but focused on Jesus; allowing the Spirit
to give him the words to share. He gave pre-eminence to the power of the word
of God to affect and change men’s hearts and lives. His preaching was
accompanied by clear demonstrations of the power of the Holy Spirit; signs
wonders and miracles.
preach, as the word is defined, is simply to proclaim, publish or herald. As
the word is preached, the Holy Spirit takes it, reveals it to the sensitive and
receptive heart and provides the power for the word to impact, bless and change
the receptive listener (1 Cor 2:10). Paul was bold enough to say that as we
preach in obedience to God and as directed by the Holy Spirit, then the father
will demonstrate his power among us.
word, his power, humility, fear of God and obedience, as exemplified in Paul’s life
and ministry, are a recipe for change. We really need to meditate on this and
get it down in our spirits.
Jeremiah chapter 23 we see that Israel listened to the false prophets because
those prophets tickled their ears. To have your ears tickled is to hear things
that please and appeal to our carnal or fleshly nature. Jeremiah warned of God’s
anger with sinful Israel but they would not listen. Do we take heed of God’s word,
his whole word or are we selective, hearing only our favorite words? If we want
to move on with God and be all he wants us to be he will need to change us and chasten
(to discipline or instruct) us with his word (Rom 12:2; Heb 12:5-11).
we pray but the results don’t come or we make decisions and they prove to be
the wrong ones. We must hear from God with our spiritual ears not just our
physical ears and minds and be changed (Matt 13:14-16; 1 Cor 2:14). We need to
humble ourselves and repent (1 Peter 5:6), plough up the fallow ground of our
hearts (soften our hearts toward God; Jer 4:3). God’s word can break and change
us if we let it (Jer 23:29), but we have to allow this to happen. To fail to
submit to God in this way assigns us to the status quo, mediocrity and
frustration. To allow God to change us maybe painful, but it leads us on to his
highest and best: “above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3: 20-21; KJV). Wow, I
want that, what about you? Let’s press into God’s word and let him change us;
nothing held back.
all get excited about Mark 11:24, where we are told that if we believe when we pray,
we will receive. In other words, faith is believing you have something when you
pray, not just when you actually physically receive it.
the 15th chapter of John always catches my attention when we think of using our
faith to receive from God. In verses 7 and 16 God puts some conditions on our
getting our prayers answered. We need to abide in Christ and let his words
abide in us and we need to bear fruit, then God can answer our prayers. Abide
is to tarry or remain continuously. Fruit is the life changed by God and the godly
works that result.
other words, a casual relationship with God doesn’t cut it, we need to have genuinely
asked Christ into our lives as savior and Lord (Rom 10:9-10). We need to have a
genuine desire to press in to him, to allow him to change us, grow us and use
us. The life surrendered to God and sold out to his will and purpose will be blessed
do we press in? Well, how do you grow any relationship? You spend time, you communicate
and you get to know the other person. With God, you spend time in the bible,
you pray, you praise him, worship him, and give him thanks, you just spend time
in his presence; there are no short cuts. God’s greatest joy is to bless his
children (Ps 115:13). Walk and talk with him today
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