Getting a Grip on Reality

Coming to grips with some of the deeper truths of Scripture can be life-changing… to say the least. For example, when Paul, Peter, James and John pen their letters to believers striving for faithfulness in their day, some statements stand out as, not only difficult, but impossible if placed against the backdrop of the entirety of God’s Word.

We hear statements like, “be holy as God is holy,” and “be perfect,” and let’s not overlook verses that proclaim, “those who abide in Him do not sin (1 John 3:6).”

What the believer must first do is come to a realistic admission of sin in their own life. Yes, even as a believer. Our problem is we do not recognize our own sin. Oh, we see other’s sin easily, but not our own. As Jesus unfolded the deeper truths of God’s Law, He made it clear that we don’t understand the depth of God’s Holiness and Righteousness. If we did, we could do no more in this life than fall to our knees in awe as Isaiah, and proclaim, “Woe is me!”

Jesus gave us a glimpse of this Holiness, as He unfolded the truth of the Law regarding adultery and murder (Matthew 5). But He meant for us to understand these truths to extend and open our minds and hearts to the absolute unachievable perfection of God’s righteousness.

To those who inquired of the most important of commandments, Jesus made it clear. Love God with your absolute everything. And running right along beside it, love your neighbor as yourself. Does anyone out there reading this really claim they keep these commandments? If so, I’m afraid, you have completely missed the message of the gospel. We do not meet the requirements of God’s standard!

Paul was so sure of this that he penned his seventh chapter to the Romans, and scolded the church at Galatia for thinking they had arrived at some special place of privilege in God’s eyes (Galatians 3). John said, if we proclaim to have no sin, we are just plain liars (1 John 1:8).

So what do we make of those verses that seem to vision us as people with no sin? Exactly what they say. Friends, in Christ, we have no sin. He paid our sin debt… past, present, and future. But that doesn’t mean our flesh (the old man) isn’t pleading and begging day and night for our attention. And it doesn’t mean we will never again sin. If Paul could be honest enough in the seventh chapter of his letter to the believers at Rome to acknowledge he still gave in to the old man and committed sins, then aren’t we being very arrogant to insinuate to anyone that we have mastered something that even the apostles themselves couldn’t?

Please understand that I am not insinuating in any shape or form that a person who has been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ can simply live in a blatant lifestyle of sin. They cannot. The struggle between the new creation and the flesh is a very important evidence of the new birth. We live as a people who have been declared victorious over sin and death (Romans 6). We are more than conquerors!

But only in Christ Jesus! He is the only perfect One. We can’t be holy… but He is. We can’t be perfect… but He is. We can’t be sinless… but He is! We place our faith in His finished work, and we have no confidence in ourselves… none! And when we fail (and we will), if we are resting entirely in His grace, we love and appreciate our Lord even more as we realize our hopelessness without Him.

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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16 Responses to Getting a Grip on Reality

  1. davidbibee says:

    Such a beautiful truth, that Christ has accomplished what we need, and that we can rely fully on that truth!
    I recently wrote a blog concerning the importance of Christ’s active obedience. You might enjoy it!

    http://thebereanway.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/christ-centered-cross-centered-pt-2/

    • Freedomborn says:

      Thank you for sharing David what you have heard but not really understood

      Thankfully J. Gresham did finally come to understand the full Gospel which is shown in his saying…. I’m so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it. -J. Gresham Machen

      He realised that in Christ Jesus, we are Born again of God’s seed and that we no longer have the carnal Nature or flesh which is the seed of Adam it is no longer part of us as the Scripture below confirms to be True, which means we not only don’t sin but we can’t sin – Seek the Lord while He may be found David and read again what your friend was trying to share with you… Christ’s active obedience in us is shown by our full obedience.

      Yet this is the glorious truth: “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God…” (Gal. 2:20). If you do not have faith enough to believe that you are dead to sins and so will no longer sin ….you need to ask God to increase your faith and for His Wisdom and then thank Him that you have received it.

      1John 3: 1- 11 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. ( Check out the Greek for cannot it means absolutely never )

      John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

      If you would like further Scripture in regard to being set free and perfected in Love in Christ Jesus through the empowering of The Holy Spirit please e-mail.

      Christian Love Anne.

  2. Freedomborn says:

    As much as people try to ignore God’s Truth concerning living in freedom and righteousness not just sometimes but all the time it cannot be changed God’s Truth it stands firm, as TikkTok shared repentance must come from the heart and it will be shown in our lives. Even if we can get many many people to agree we are right and God is wrong, its still all about walking in righteousness and being perfected in God’s Love not of our flesh but through The Holy Spirits empowering… we don’t sin so we will be saved but because we are saved we don’t sin.

    1 John 3: 1-11 No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.

    I must go, I’m a day ahead, it’s Sunday, Church awaits – Christian Love Anne

  3. TikkTok says:

    “Repent and be baptized….” (Acts 2:38)

    I think it’s really easy to forget about the repenting part, particularly the part about doing something to amend one’s life- it’s easy to think it’s just about being sorry for sinning, and thinking that because you are sorry and believe in Christ that that’s all you need to do…..

  4. lambskinny says:

    And what’s funny — like you mentioned another time, I’d not read your post before I wrote mine. God is awesome!!!

  5. lambskinny says:

    T-h-A-N-K-s M.T. I needed this today. You ‘say’ this truth so much better than I did earlier — i.e. this morning. God bless you, brother. Carley

  6. singingsinglev4 says:

    Great Post! I am personally struggling in this area of where to find balance between Grace and the Law and this put some insight in this area.

  7. I am a sinner saved by Grace, but I am more than a conqueror because He has given me everything I need for life and Godliness! We run the race reaching for the prize that is Christ Jesus. Not that we have already attained it (perfection). We press on, knowing He is faithful to complete the good work He began in us on the day of salvation, and He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.
    Great Post!

  8. mtsweat says:

    Respectfully submitting a response. The seventh chapter of Romans is written in only two tenses, present and future. He is not claiming that this battle with his flesh went on before he was saved. He was saved on the Damascus road, but “the things I don’t want to do are the very things I do” is taking place 25 to 30 years later, as a saved man. When he cries out in the final verse, he does not say, “who saved me from this body of death,” but “who will save me from this body of death?” He does not say “O wretched man that I used to be,” he says, “O wretched man that I am.”

  9. freedomborn says:

    Reality must be based on God’s Truth not man’s understanding. We can’t ignore Scripture because we don’t understand it or it doesn’t fit in with our agenda but why is this so why are we not understand God’s Truth, no where in Scripture does it tell us we sin till we die but if you think you know some please share it. Yes it is God who conforms us into the Likeness of His Son so we walk as He walks do you understand what this is saying and also that when He tells us He cleanses us from all unrighteousness, please ponder on theses Scriptures again and those below, when we stop making excuses for our sin then we will come to heart repentance and be perfected in Love.

    James 4:8-10 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

    Romans 6:17-19 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    1John 3:4-10 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the Children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not Love his brother.

    Christian Love Anne

  10. Great post Mike. As I hammer out 10 Chapters of the bible day after day now, scripture is starting to interpret scripture for me. I am beginning to “connect” things. It is God who perfects us, not us. A wise man once told me that being a Christian does not mean we are sinless – it does mean that we Sin – LESS! You are right, Christ paid for our past, present and future sins on the cross. God may not always approve of what we do, but nothing can separate us from his love because we are in Christ Jesus – (Romans 8:38-39) Great post Mike!

  11. freedomborn says:

    What we need to remember Mike when we are Taking about Spiritual realties that there are also worldly ones such as it’s understanding about Perfection. We all have weaknesses and shortcoming but they are not sin.

    Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.

    1John 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world

    Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    1Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

    Phillipians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

    2 Corinthians 7 1Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast Loved them, as thou hast Loved me.

    2Timithy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    2Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in Peace; and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

    1 John 4:17-19 Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

    Christian Love Anne

  12. A wealth of reminders here, MT. The word “sin” has its roots in an archery term meaning “to miss the mark.” Perfection, as Jesus was perfect, is the mark or target. We humans just aren’t perfected archers.

    Shalom, Art
    aliveintheword

  13. freedomborn says:

    Sorry typo error….

    Romans 7 shows Paul is batter-ling with the flesh nature, he called himself a wrenched man and asked who woulds rescue him and joylessly he tells us Jesus will and he did, as Paul shares in Romans 8 and 6 and 1 John 3:1-11 and many other Scriptures. Paul put his flesh Nature to death and it is this that causes us to sin and then our spirit is washed clean having been poluted by the flesh nature.

    Anne.

  14. freedomborn says:

    We can’t walk in sin Mike and in Christ Jesus or can we have the mind of Christ and choose to sin. we also can’t reject Scripture because we have been taught differently or believe it is not true.

    Some Cults use Sinless Perfection to claim you have to work for your Salvation this is error it is a free gift but we will show in our words and actions if we have it, as the Scriptures tell us we will be known by our good fruit as false Teaches are know by theirs. Galatians 5

    Romans 7 shows Paul is batter-ling with the flesh nature, he called himself a wrenched man and asked who woulds rescue him and joylessly he tells us Jesus will and he did, as Paul shares in Romans 8 and 6 and 1 John 3:1-11 and many other Scriptures. Paul put his flesh Nature to death and it is this that causes us to sin and then our strip is washed clean having been pouted by the flesh nature.

    1 John 1:8 If we say we don’t need Salvation by claiming we have never sinned we are calling God a liar and if you read this Scripture in context it tells us we don’t continue to walk in darkness or sin once we have been Born again of God’s seed and so does 1 John 3:9 the cannot in this Scripture in the Greek means absolutely never. And there are many more Scriptures that confirm this Truth if you would like them.

    Galatians 3 is showing us that the Law could never set us free from the bondage of sin Jesus alone set us free and by by the empowering of the Holy Spirit we walk as He did in Holiness.
    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.
     
    2 Corinthians 7 1Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God.

    Philippians 1:9-10 And this is my prayer: that your Love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.

    1 John 4:17-19 Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.
     
    Christian Love Anne

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