Friday, September 12, 2014

Just a Thought "17"

Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? There are two reasons given in response in the hallways of religion, judgment and chastisement. Those are the traditional answers as to why Christians should not think they should continue to sin. Yet, Paul gives two entirely different reasons to that very same question, identity and slavery, Paul does not side with religion. If we continue to yield the members of our body to serve the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, we can fall into a snare in that we become addicted to the manner in which we satisfy those lusts. 

We are going to become enslaved to that which we choose to put ourselves in servitude. Choose to serve sin, and we can soon become addicted to the manner in which we have chosen to serve sin, is the principle. Paul is not talking about a believer losing salvation, he is talking about what those who pursue the satisfaction of the sinful lusts, we reap what we sow, not from God, but through that to which we are reaping. The sin nature within us loves sin. There is something attractive about sin to mankind, something that is pleasin’ for a season when it comes to that issue of sin, something that appeals to the flesh. 

Does God want us to set ourselves apart unto righteous behavior in order that he might have cause to consider us to be righteous? A quest for righteousness before God through performance is the wrong motivation for doing the things that Paul calls on every believer to do and for abstaining from the particular behavior Paul would have us avoid. We all miss the mark, we all come short, some of us may come closer to it than others, but none of us completely and consistently eliminate sin in our lives.

Most people think that victory over the law’s demands can only be achieved by obedience to the law’s demands. We that believed Paul’s good news, our being set apart is not contingent upon the degree to which we set ourselves apart. The only ones who can take up any piece of God’s armor, and the only ones who are involved in this struggle against the enemy, are those who have been placed into Christ. The fact that the helmet is related to salvation indicates that the enemies blows are directed at the believer’s security and assurance of being placed into Christ. Two dangerous edges of the enemies broadsword are discouragement and doubt.

With the helmet of salvation firmly on, we see ourselves for who we really are, and when our faith in God’s omnipotence and care is strong, it is impossible for the enemy to break through our shield of faith and land an attack. Our enemies are actively involved in trying to distract us by peppering our mind with their thoughts and ideas. They are always hurling their fiery darts of fear, doubt, and worry in our direction, but the only time they can his us is when we let our shield of faith down. A shield deflects, it keeps the darts of the enemy away from our mind, the shield moves with the attack.

Our understanding of the identity that Adam had before the fall, that identity has been restored to us, that restored identity is the critical foundation for our belief structure and our behavior patterns. It is absolutely vital that we put on the breastplate of righteousness, so that we can resist the persistent accusation of the enemy, they never give up trying to get us down and keep us down by hurling one false accusation after another. Wholeness and meaning in life are not the products of what we have or do not have, what we have done or have not done, we are already a whole person and possess a life of infinite meaning and purpose because of who we are in Christ.

The inevitable result of God’s grace to the believer is true peace because every believer is without blame before him in love. If we fail to understand that we are blameless and what being blameless is all about; God sees us in Christ and Christ was blameless. To be positionally in Christ makes a person a saint, because we have the very righteousness of God himself freely attributed to our account. It is difficult for the human mind to lay hold of the magnitude of what the grace of God is all about and what that grace has accomplished on behalf of every signal person who has trusted what Christ accomplished.

For a person to have to make his own peace with God would be nothing more than an exercise in futility, it could never be done. To say that any person could make their own peace with God would be to limit God to his mercy. Every miss deed, every miss step, if we are making our own peace with God, every failure no matter how large or small to our way of thinking would require a new act of mercy on the part of God. Mercy simply withholds that which is due, mercy simply withholds that which we deserve. Grace on the other hand, bestows freely that which we could never earn and could never deserve.

We need to cease attributing our righteous standing before God to our performance and keep our mind focused solely on how God views us IN Christ, that is what grace-life is all about, and we will be victorious in that God’s power can now produce it’s fruit in our life. There is a glory that belongs to God’s grace, and it is to be praised on the bases on what God’s grace has accomplished. What an ingenious salvation plan, to take someone else that is righteous and join us to that person. God has a purpose for those who believe, he predestinated us to be conformed to the image of his son. 

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