Lucia's Blog: OVERCOMING SIN THROUGH GOD'S GRACE
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, January 17, 2014

OVERCOMING SIN THROUGH GOD'S GRACE



"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.... that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." Romans 3:23-26 NASB


How you ever thought about SIN and the seriousness of it?   In the beginning of God's creation, the LORD commanded Adam and Eve to eat freely from any tree of the garden EXCEPT from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that they not die. Eve deceived by the serpent believed and ate the fruit when she saw it was desirable to the eyes and that it would make her as wise as God.  Not only did she eat of it, but she gave it to Adam to eat.  When they ate their eyes were opened to SIN.  They received the payment for their SIN and were sent out of the Garden of Eden.  So we can clearly see that SIN entered into the world through one man and death through SIN, and so death spread to all men, because ALL SINNED, Rom. 5:12. Thanks be to our God for His abundant GRACE and the gift of righteousness through the One, Jesus Christ.  It is through faith in HIM that we are made RIGHTEOUS to eternal life.

SIN is real, Romans 3:23, however GRACE is real too.  Sin causes us to die spiritually. When we indulge in the desires of the flesh and of the mind, we provoke the wrath of God. We all have to struggle with SIN, but sin separates us from God.  The question is then, do we want to do what is right or do we want to keep on sinning? NO!  We must become slaves of righteousness, although at one time we were slaves of SIN and DEATH, Rom. 6:15-18. But remember, we can never overcome SIN on our own. We need God's help through His son, His GRACE.   Unfortunately some think that God's GRACE is the PERMISSION to keep on sinning, but we know that those who have been baptized into Christ have been baptized into His death, that is we crucify the old self of SIN and no longer walk in SIN being slaves to SIN.  We must die to SIN but live to God in Christ Jesus.  The one who has tasted God's Grace must not allow SIN TO REIGN in the lust of the flesh, but must live to God as instruments of righteousness, Romans 6:1-14.

We must learn from Jesus' example.  He surrendered to His Father even dying that cruel death on the cross. He didn't want to drink that cup, Matt. 26:39. Yet even though He was God, He did not use His power to avoid the cross. He surrendered.  The only way we are going to have victory in the battle over SIN is by crucifying ourselves, that is our flesh, allowing Christ to live in us, Galatians 2:20-21;surrendering to His GRACE through the teachings of the Holy Spirit, Titus 2:10-11, and the Father; putting on the Lord Jesus and not making any provision for the flesh, Romans 13:14.  I cannot fathom any other way of escape from SIN.  We must fear and stand by our faith with God's help, His grace, lest we fall.  He is faithful and will not allow us to fall only IF we surrender to Him, I Cor. 10:12-13.

It is disturbing to me to see God's grace be abused in Eph. 2:1-10 by some brethren. They think that GRACE by its definition is UNCONDITONAL which for all practical purposes implies that we don't have to be concerned about whatever TERMS the Lord might have COMMANDED.   If SALVATION by GRACE means we CAN IGNORE or be IGNORANT of the LORDSHIP of Jesus, then the Lord Jesus is NO LORD. That DOCTRINE is by its nature LICENTIOUS.  Let's not take GRACE FOR GRANTED! We must keep on teaching and relying on it in order to stop those who abuse it.  We cannot afford to be intimidated by false teachers. Are we going to give those who abuse GRACE and its teaching the pleasure of abandoning God's GRACE?   NOT FOR A MOMENT!   We cannot depend on God's Grace to help us overcome SIN  if we do not depend on OUR OWN OBEDIENCE to the teachings of GRACE, Titus 2:11-12

The Christian must learn to grow in GRACE in order to have power over SIN.  So the question is, how does one grow in GRACE?  Let's consider what the apostle Paul says, "But grow in the GRACE and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...." II Peter 3:18. Yes, we must learn to love God's Word and desire His Word in order to gain knowledge. The only way to do it is through His GRACE that instructs us to live godly, sensibly and righteously before Him. This is the GRACE of God that has appeared to all men bringing salvation. When we allow ourselves as children of God to grow in GRACE with all diligence, the end results are beautiful qualities such as faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and ultimately love. We are COMMANDED to grow in these qualities in order to make certain our calling and never stumble. This is the only way we are going to have an entrance into the gates of heaven, where our Lord Jesus is, II Peter 1:5-11. This is such a great promise and confidence!  We must keep working out our salvation with fear and trembling, since it is God who is working in us, in order to please HIM and do His will.  This gives us such confidence even when we mess up!  Philippians 2:12.

Many argue that no one is PERFECT.  Let's consider what the apostle Paul says, "Not that I have already become PERFECT, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ....I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14 NASB. Since the apostle Paul realized that he was not PERFECT, did he consider himself off of the hook? (not accountable). Absolutely NOT !  He knew very well he was not going to lay hold of the prize, the crown of life, if he didn't PRESS ON which means live by GOD'S DIVINE STANDARDS. We must allow GRACE to grow and work daily in us in order to have victory over SIN.

With all these teachings about how to overcome SIN through GRACE, let us always remember God's purpose in saving us and not abuse Ephesians 2:1-10.  And let us be zealous for good deeds and walk in them since we are His workmanship, created in Christ for this purpose.  Remember we were once dead and lost because of our transgressions, but our Father out of His compassion gave us life again. We were lost and then we were found when we decided to return to Him as the prodigal son, Luke 15:11-32.  Let's freely extend GRACE to others as did the father in this parable. God's purpose was not simply to save us through GRACE, but to make us compassionate, forgiving and a blessing to others who are lost in SIN and are not found yet. This is God's promise of GRACE.

May our Lord bless us as we grow in His GRACE and have victory over SIN . May He help us to extend GRACE freely to others who are lost in SIN.   May we glorify God because of such indescribable GRACE to us.

Luci