1 Corinthians 5:1-8 Before we get started today we need to take a look at the difference between the ceremonial laws & moral laws God had, and… Read more “Scandal: Sexual Immorality 6-24”
Having been given new life we are now enabled by the Spirit to overcome sin. We are told in 2 Peter to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must be seeking to grow and gain knowledge.
If you are following Christ you will end up with Christ, if you are following the world, you will end up where those of the world will end up. That decision is made in the steps you take each day. Each of us are all on this journey called life and once we have received new life in Christ we must stay the course. We stay the course by, and in, the grace, love, and mercy of God!
In Experiencing God Day by Day we are told that “Biblically, waiting on the Lord is never passive; it is always active. Waiting requires us to cease form our own pursuits and give God our complete attention.” We are to be doing what our lord and master commands us to do. We are to be ready for His return (See Luke 12:36-48)! How can you be ready if you are not His, not walking in faith, not obedient to what you know to do? Listen, I am trying my best to warn and equip you; Jesus is coming back!
Pornography use in the U. S. is at an all time high and that has bled into congregations throughout our country and the world… “Pornography hurts adults, children, couples, families, and society. Among adolescents, pornography hinders the development of a healthy sexuality, and among adults, it distorts sexual attitudes and social realities. In families, pornography use leads to marital dissatisfaction, infidelity, separation, and divorce.”
We need to understand that our faith works through God’s love for us – not our love for Him. When we understand the depth, width, and length of His love for us, how much He loves us, then He will be able to do more than we can ask for or think according to the power (Love) that works in us!
The Galatian Church was floundering, they were turning back to what they had come out of, they were stagnant, lukewarm, and turning from what they were called to be and do. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, was and is warning the church not to turn back to the law or the world.
We are all equal in the sight of God, the man-made dividing walls can only be removed by the witness and work of the Spirit through God’s people who practice, and work for, equality, justice, and love for all. The foundation of our unity is love of God and neighbor. Since God’s word clearly teaches that we were all created form the same substance, “Dust you are and to dust you shall return,” should we not behave towards each other with love and fellowship and offer the same grace that was afforded us (Genesis 3:19)?
The Old Testament practice of circumcision had value only if you obeyed the Law. But if you didn’t, or don’t, obey God’s Law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised gentile; an unbeliever. If anyone counts on works of the Law for salvation/grace today, they have failed to recognize what Jesus accomplished on the Cross, failed to understand the blood shed for their sin, failed to accept the grace and the life given for their redemption. They are still dead in their sin!
Faith is a prerequisite for hope and love, “Now these three remain-faith, hope, and love…” (1 Corinthians 13:13). So in a sense, faith is belief in something and a requirement to possess other things. Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, “…if you have faith as small as mustard seed…” you can accomplish amazing things for God. The mustard seed needs to be watered each day for it to grow. Seemingly, nothing happens for a very long time, but one day it sprouts and grows into a large tree.
Why do people turn from Christ and His Church? Does the world hold more promise? More love? Or is it what I said earlier, that many do not have a strong spiritual foundation and so fall victims of a lie of Satan? Have we forgotten, as Francis Chan writes, The Holy Spirit? It is The Spirit of Christ that is empowering our salvation and enabling our walk in this world. It is the Helper, the Spirit of the living God who convicts of sin, who reveals the Gospel, who teaches and guides, it is He that intercedes for the saints, cleanses, indwells, seals, fills, and empowers Christ followers.
If I, through works of the Law, by following it to the letter, could get to heaven, then Christ died for nothing! I cannot get me to heaven! I/ego gets in the way! Ego: self-esteem, self-importance, self-worth, self-respect, self-conceit, self-image, self-confidence. The Big I! I/ego must be crucified in order to follow Christ! Can we, with Paul, proclaim, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). If not, then deny yourself and humbly come and pray. Crucify the flesh with its passions and pride!