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Tag Archives: sin

You Lying Little Snake (Part 1)

Bible Verse

Genesis 3:1 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Your Discipleship Minute

Doubt. The part of our selves that is always looking for the loophole.

Satan used it in the Garden to tempt Eve with disobeying God, and Satan has been using it ever since to tempt mankind into doing the same thing.

Doubt is a powerful thing because it is the opposite of faith.  Peter walked on the water by putting his faith in Jesus, but when he doubted, he sank like a stone.

Action Point

Faith is the key to living a victorious Christian life.  Ask God to show you areas in your life where doubt has replaced your faith and then confess those areas and give them to God in faith once more.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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It’s All Good

Bible Verse

Genesis 1: 31 –  And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

Your Discipleship Minute

It’s easy to look out of the window to see abandoned buildings, streets full of potholes, cans of garbage and all sorts of damaged and diseased parts of our world.

But that is what we have done to the world.

When God first created the earth, He saw everything that He had made and pronounced it very good. So, what made the difference between God’s “very good” and what we see today?

Sin.

Sinful men spoiled the earth with hatred, violence, spilled blood from wars, and prideful and lofty ambitions that take precedence over relationships and people.

But soon, God will exercise His creative power once more and this world will be destroyed and remade in the image of its former glory.

2 Peter 3:10 – But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Action Point

Are you ready for that day?  Would you be ready if Jesus returned this very hour?  Take some time to consider confessing and repenting of your sins and failings and asking God for His great power to enable you to live a victorious life.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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Be Conformed to Christ

Bible Verse

1 Thessalonians 4:3 – For this is the will of God, your sanctification.

Your Discipleship Minute

For Christians, praying to receive Christ is the beginning of a lifelong commitment to God and the Bible.

Or, at least, it should be.

Sadly, once they pray to accept Jesus as their Savior, they stop there and think they can go back to their regularly scheduled life.

This is not how God means for it to be. Accepting Christ is not the final step in becoming a Christian – it’s the first step in a lifelong process called sanctification where we eschew sin and become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ Himself.

Sanctification is the result of daily discipleship practices and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Action Point

You’ve trusted in Christ for your salvation.  Now trust in Him for your sanctification.  Allow the Holy Spirit to change your heart and draw you in to a closer relationship with Jesus.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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Who Gets The Glory?

Bible Verse

Galatians 1: 23-24 – “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.

Your Discipleship Minute

We all have a past.  It is filled with things that we enjoy sharing as well as things we would rather keep secret.  Too many things we would rather keep secret.

But God doesn’t save us from our sins for our own glory.  He saves us because it brings Him glory.

So when we try to hide our sinful past from other Christians and the world because they may judge us and make us feel bad about our sins, what we are really doing is trying to make ourselves sound better than we really are.

And that robs God of the glory that He so rightly deserves!

Only when we admit and share our greatest shame can people see the great power of God working in our lives.

Action Point

Stop worrying about your reputation and what people will think of you and start concerning yourself with making God famous and giving Him glory for the great things He has done in your life.

Share an embarrassing secret about your past that God has delivered you from today. Be sure to give Him the glory for delivering you from your sin.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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Seek Wise Companions

Bible Verse

Proverbs 13: 20 – Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Your Discipleship Minute

Have you ever seen a rotten apple turn back into fresh fruit? Even if you surround it with fresh fruit, the best of the best, the bad apple will corrupt the good every time.

It’s the same with people.  One bad apple spoils the bunch.

The reason is simple.  All of us have a sin nature within us that corrupts every part of our life. We struggle, not just against the temptation that Satan brings to us, but against our own hearts (James 1: 14-15).

So what can we do?  One thing  is to choose our friends wisely. For example, would it be wise for an alcoholic to associate closely with friends who spend their time drinking?  Of course not.

In the same way, Christians need to surround themselves with friends and associates who are going to encourage them to live a Godly life and who will hold them accountable to the Word of God.

Action Point

Do you spend your time with people who are encouraging you in Christ or with people who are tempting you with the sinful things of this world?

Choose to seek out wise companions as you journey through your life.

Your local church is a great place to start meeting people who are seeking Christ, just as you are.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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Victory Over Personal Sins

Broken Chains

Broken Chains

Bondage (again!)

If you are a true Christian, then you can see from the last Victorious Christian Life series post that the bondage of sin has been broken in your life through simple faith in Jesus Christ.

But even if your simple faith in Christ is authentic, you are probably still in bondage to sin.  In fact, I know you are.

A Different Kind of Bondage

Have you ever wondered why you still continue to sin and be drawn into temptation when the bondage of sin has been broken in our lives?

It’s because there are two very different types of bondage that sin draws us into.  The first type is the spiritual death that passed to all men and women from the Garden of Eden when sin first entered the world.  We dealt with that type in the last post.

The second type of bondage is the type that we will deal with until the day we die.

It’s the bondage of temptation.  But if we are freed from the bondage of sin, where does this temptation come from?

Two places.  External and internal.

The External Source of Temptation

First, the good news.  We have an enemy who desires to destroy us.  He can’t destroy us, of course (that’s the good news) but he can make us ineffective.

1 Thessalonians 3 tells us:

1Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, 2and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, 3that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. 4For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. 5For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.

Our labor would be in vain.  Not “our salvation would be taken from us” or “our souls would perish in hell” or “our faith was never real” but “our labor would be in vain.”  Paul is talking about becoming ineffective for the Gospel because of the damaging effects of personal sin in our lives.

Because our personal sins break our fellowship with God.

Because our personal sins drive us deep into guilt, shame and depression.

Because our personal sins draw us back into the world we are to be separate from.

Because our personal sins, if not confessed and cleansed, make us more susceptible to the enemies next attack.

That’s why our enemy works so hard to attack us, even when he knows that he cannot win our souls.  Because he can defeat us in our lives.  The lives that we should be living to the glory of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

But before we get too haughty, thinking that we sin only because we are attacked and tempted by the enemy, let’s move on to the other source of temptation in our lives.

The Internal Source of Temptation

It would be so easy (and so self-righteous) for us to conclude that temptation only comes from our enemy.  We would have to conclude that our sin is never our fault if that was the case.

But the Bible, our only source of complete, infallible truth, informs us that our own hearts are wicked and despicable.  We don’t believe it, but the same verse that tells us about the condition of our hearts tells us why we don’t believe it.

Jeremiah 17:9 says:

9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

We don’t believe that our heart is deceitful and wicked and sick because our heart is deceitful, wicked and sick and won’t acknowledge the truth of our condition!

And because of this condition, even when it seems like the enemy is sleeping (he doesn’t) or not prowling around like a roaring lion (he always prowls around), we have our own heart lying to us and leading us astray.

How do I know?  The Bible tells me so!

James 1: 14-15

14But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire, when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

His own desire.  Not a thought planted by the enemy to lure us away, but our own desires lure and entice us into sin.

Winning Both Wars

We might conclude that we don’t have a chance in, well, you know.  But the victory has already been won on both fronts.

And again, not by anything that we did for ourselves.

Jesus Christ won the victory over the bondage of sin and He also won the victory over the daily temptations and sins that we give in to through the power of His death and resurrection.  His perfect life and death on the cross broke the bondage of sin in our lives and His resurrection broke the power of temptation and daily sin in our lives.

So Why Do We Still Sin?

Its because freedom from the bondage of sin does not equal freedom from sinning.

We must confess daily our need for Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit.

We must die to the flesh and learn to walk in the Spirit, for that is the only way that we can have victory over temptation and sin on a daily basis.

We must pray earnestly that Jesus will strengthen us moment by moment, day by day.

As long as we are in this sinful body, our flesh will war against the Spirit.  We need to place our trust in Someone who has walked where we are walking.  Someone who has traveled this path and defeated the enemies of temptation and death.

Hebrews 2: 14-18:

14Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he mightdestroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

For true victorious Christian living, first the bondage of sin must be broken. Through authentic faith in Jesus Christ, it has been.  Then we break the bondage of temptation and daily sin through the power of Jesus by that same, simple, authentic faith.

But it is a bondage that must be broken again and again, day by day, moment by moment.

We fail, we confess, we repent, and we lean on the strong arms of Jesus to uphold us, for He alone has broken the power of sin!

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2010 in Bible Study & Application

 

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Victory Over The Bondage Of Sin

shackles

Bondage.

It’s a word that conjures up images of medieval-looking dungeons with heavy chains. It is a word that makes us feel helpless and hopeless, because we are helpless and hopeless.

Throughout history, there have been groups of people in bondage to other groups of people. In our own cities across the United States, we are still reeling from the sting of slavery that our country allowed just 5 generations ago and still affects us today.

Bondage. It speaks of inherent evil that overwhelms us and overcomes us.

And it has a name…

Sin.

Where did this bondage of sin come from?

It all started in the Garden of Eden. God created perfection but we allowed ourselves to be tempted by Satan and we disobeyed the only commandment that God had given to us. From that one sin comes from the fall of all mankind. You can read about it here.

But that was just Adam, you might say. How does that affect me here today?

Paul tells us in Romans 5 that, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”

Death was the consequence for sin and it spread to all men because Adam was our representative in the Garden of Eden. And he was the best representative of the human race that could have been chosen for the Garden of Eden.

Why?

Because he was the only man (except for Jesus Christ) who was made without sin. You and me? We were born into sin, because “death spread to all men because all sinned.” We wouldn’t have needed Satan to come tempting you and me. We would have been drawn away and enticed by our own lust for the forbidden fruit and our sin nature would have led us to fulfill the temptation in our hearts for what the Lord commanded us not to eat.

Adam was different, though. Adam didn’t have a sin nature. He was created to be perfect. God pronounced him and all of creation “very good.” That’s why we could not have asked for a better representative in the Garden of Eden.

But it didn’t matter because when the temptation came, we still chose to disobey even though we had our best representative in the Garden of Eden.

What can we do to finally be free from it?

Now that we all understand where sin comes from, what can we do to be free from this bondage of sin?

Is it keeping the 10 commandments?

Is it being circumcised?

Is it joining a church?

Is it being baptized as a child?

Or is it something else?

What is it that we can do to free ourselves from this bondage of sin?

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

This is where the dividing line between rescue and religion begins. Religion tells us that there must be something we can do to earn favor with God. Religion tells us that if we work hard enough, do enough penance, do enough good works, give enough money, know the right people, or say the right words, we can work our way back into the favor of God.

But it’s still just bondage.

If my salvation depends on me and the things I do, then I know I am doomed to fail. I will be in bondage forever because I can never get at the root of the problem, which is not the sin we commit but the sinful nature of our hearts.

Freedom from the bondage of sin means true freedom.

Jesus did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He won the victory over sin and broke the chains of bondage that we were in. Think about this: if there was some way that we could have worked our way back to God, then why did God Himself come out of heaven, be born in a manger, live a perfect sinless life, be betrayed by one of his own disciples, be beaten without mercy, be spit upon, and then horribly crucified on a Roman cross to die?

Why would God Himself do that if there was some way we could save ourselves? Because mankind didn’t need religion, mankind needed to be rescued!

And we are rescued through simple faith. Nothing that we have to do. Nothing that we have to say. Just simple faith.

Simple faith that frees us from the bondage of sin. Simple faith that frees us from the bondage of religion.

Jesus paid the price. Jesus did the work. Jesus did everything we couldn’t do for ourselves.

Jesus.

Jesus is the victory from the bondage of sin!

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2010 in Bible Study & Application

 

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