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1.) Grace Doesn’t Mean We Don’t Have to Fight to put Sin to Death

March 6, 2013

Ali-24x24-1-(2)I have spent much of my life, attempting to allow God’s grace to soak beneath my surface. I want it to transform me, it can’t be just head knowledge I want it to work it’s way to my heart. This takes time.

I know that God has chosen me, not because of anything in me, but because of something in Him. My justification has been achieved not by my own good deeds and behaviour but by the work of Christ. His sinless life, and sinners death and subsequent resurrection was enough.

Ephesians chapter 2:4-10 says this:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved usevenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

7006229897_5fd577413a_cJesus won my victory and God the Father vindicated His work by raising Him back to life again.

I have tried to live accordingly, not motivated by guilt and fear, but by faith and love. Pursuing God not because I have to but because I now get to.

However, out of a desperation to avoid ‘working for my salvation’, I forgot the importance of working to put sin to death.

Here’s the issue. As a Christian who has been set apart by God, to live a Holy life, I no longer need to earn God’s approval. God the Father loves me and accepts me, as I am in Christ – end of. BUT I still need to take action to put sin to death in my life. I cannot sit back and expect that it will just naturally happen – because it won’t.

Justification means to be declared righteous by God because of Christ – I had no part in that.

Sanctification is an ongoing process by which the Holy Spirit makes me more like Christ – I have a HUGE part to play in this.

Yeshua upon the Tree - pencil before paintIt’s no longer an issue of justice, God’s righteous anger has been FULLY satisfied on the cross. This isn’t an issue of naughtiness but an issue of welfare.

That’s not to mention the fact that whilst God’s wrath as a Holy God might be satisfied, that doesn’t mean we can’t incur the discipline of a holy and loving father. I still love my son when he disobeys me but it’s that love that causes me to discipline him.

I need to put sin to death in my life, not because if I don’t God will stop loving me, but because if I don’t I might stop loving God – this will hinder my well-being, which could result in discipline from a perfect father.

See my earlier post for a discussion on the impact of sin; Why I think Sin is Like a Vampire.

Such is the devastation of sin, such is its pollutant potency that if I am not aggressive with it, I will fall sick in my heart and could fall away and turn my affections to something that will not benefit me. As Jeremiah 2 shows us we may ‘chase after worthlessness and become worthless.”

God will faithfully watch over me and bring me back but what sorrow my heart will know if I spend days, weeks maybe years away from His feet.

People of God don’t be fooled by this. Sin is dangerous and deadly, hold fast to Christ and put sin to death.

This is what it says in James 1:12

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life,which God has promised to those who love him.”

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