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"Grace" continued...

Nobody regrets obeying God. It is the most fulfilling life you can have. You “love the Lord thy God with all your heart”, you “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-39), and you strive for peace (Romans 12:18). You have healed families, healed bodies, healed minds, and riches that are not of this world. Obeying God does not come naturally to the flesh, but it comes naturally to the person that allows the Spirit to lead their life.

So can we sin after we are saved? The answer is an absolute “yes.” We will always have the ability to sin while in these earthly bodies. Any person that is honest with their life has to admit this. We may not be committing the sins that we often point out from the people around us, but we all have our imperfections.

Don’t believe this? Think about your mouth. Have you been pouring “salty” or “sweet” words (James 3:9-12) from your mouth? James said that both waters cannot flow from the same spring. If you are running your mouth, you are out of God’s will, and that is sin.

What about hatred? Do you hold a grudge against somebody that has wronged you? The Lord stated that if you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you (Mark 11:26). Do you hate others because of the color of their skin or their country of origin? We are all created equal. The Bible teaches that if you have hatred towards another, then you’ve murdered them in your heart (1 John 3:15). Murder is sin.

Have you felt God’s grace in your own life? Do you realize He still loves you despite your shortcomings? Here’s the beautiful thing. In Christ, we are new creations, “behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Not only that, we now have the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) that guides us to a life of righteousness. Jesus said that we would be known by our fruits (Matthew 7:15-20 & Luke 6:43-45). Obedience may be a grateful response to salvation, but it is actually what characterizes a Christian. Living a holy life is not done alone. The Holy Spirit is always working within, leading and guiding us.

If someone who claims to be a Christian is living a life of unrepentant sin, the Bible states that they are not a Christian. How can they be? “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). It’s not that we will not have our struggles. Paul said that in his battles, he didn’t do what he should, “but what I hate, that do I” (Romans 7:15). There is an ongoing war between flesh and spirit. We choose to submit to the Spirit’s leading, or be led away by our own lust.

God’s not giving up on us if we drift though. Conviction comes to the heart of the Christian who sins. We then choose repentance the easy or the hard way. The “still small voice” comes to us and gently leads us to repentance. If we refuse to heed, God will continue to pursue us. If a Christian is not staying in tune with God through prayer and study of the Word, he will become weak. That still small voice can easily be drowned out by our own desires.

If that conviction does not easily lead to repentance, God will chastise/punish us like a loving father (Hebrews 12:9-11). Why do we punish our children when they do wrong? We do it because we love them and do not want to see them get hurt. God will break us if it is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The Holy Spirit’s call of conviction is always ready in a Christian’s heart, we just “have to confess our sins, and He is faithful to forgive” (1 John 1:9).

Oh, how we need God! He loves us with an unconditional love that cannot be measured by human standards. We cannot meet His holy standard on our own, but He gives us grace. Just by putting our faith in Jesus Christ, it is counted to us as righteousness. God remembers our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12). We begin eternal life at the moment of salvation. He wants us to have life and “life more abundant” (John 10:10).

Are you grateful for God’s sacrifice, or have you even accepted His sacrifice? Are you living an obedient life, or have you turned your back on the Spirit’s leading? A Christian should live a life that is represented by holiness. We should give no one opportunity to put a charge against us, for we represent the true and living God. Grace is “the state of being protected or sanctified by the favor and love of God.” Israel received grace as they were freed from the bondage of Egypt. We receive grace as we are freed from the bondage of sin. Obedience. We owe it to God.

From: Volume 2 - Issue 2


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