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Devotionals

Examining Sin and Grace

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828ministries.com H3'ed 8/15/12

So my preaching on sin is not an exercise in scaring people. It is not designed to beat people down but to prevent them from being beaten down. The enemy does not take a second off and neither should we. Does this mean that we can control our sinful nature? No, but we can be aware of it. We can be aware of it and reflect to the Holy Spirit within us. We can walk in the Spirit:

 

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. -- Galatians 5: 16-17 (NLT)

 

Paul consistently recognizes the struggle we all face inside of ourselves. We have the Spirit of God inside the flesh which desires sin. Look at the key verses and embrace the struggle Paul is detailing. He does what he hates! We can all relate I am sure because the Spirit of God bristles at the sin we fall into. Thank God for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to lead us away from what we know is wrong and into what we know is right. As the key verses state, the problem is not with the law. Sometimes grace-preaching seems to make the law out to be the bad guy, so to speak. But Paul clearly states here that the law is spiritual and good. The problem beloved is not with the law but with the sin nature within us that is always in rebellion to the law. Eternally, the grace of Almighty God has saved us and assured us that our sins are forgiven but temporally we still have a walk we are in the middle of. We still need to be prepared:

 

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. -- 1Peter 5: 8 (NLT)

 

I thank God for His grace but I need to stay alert! Our great enemy the devil has already lost the eternal battle for our soul if we are saved. But that does not stop his attacks. It does not halt his schemes. He still seeks temporal victories in our lives because the more we have to deal with our own sin issues and the consequences of what we sow the less effective we are for the kingdom of God and the works God has set aside for us. The less effective we are -- the less people come to the foot of the cross for the eternal victory in Christ.

 

Sometimes the modern church just fails to see the damage it does. We have become very adept at helping people resolve the eternal issues and don't get me wrong -- they are the most crucial. Salvation is always the first goal. Yet after salvation we sometimes are not so good at making disciples -- which is what Jesus instructed us to do. The result is a lot of baby Christians who never get off the spiritual milk. They walk without the power Christ appropriated for them on Calvary. They chase after every wind of doctrine because they are not firmly rooted in the truth. They can hear things like "just look to the cross" and lose the sin battles they have to face every day. That is how you end up with carnally minded Christians. That is how we end up with an impotent church that is over-secularized. Grace and sin. Be thankful to God for one and ever vigilant against the other.

 

 

Reverend Anthony Wade -- August 15, 2012

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828ministries.com

Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 

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