Titus 2:11-12 ESV For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, (12) training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
The new covenant includes the grace that will help us overcome sin and become the slave of righteous behavior.
Romans 6:22 ESV But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.
Romans 6:22 reveals that eternal life is a result of freedom from sin, becoming a slave to God, and practical holiness of personality and behavior. This is different from what is commonly taught in churches today?
I hear comments from Christians and Pastors like, "Well, we are human." We use this as so to justify certain sinful lusts and behavior that is not like the character of the Father. Then the most common statement is "well, no one is perfect." This is true, however we are commanded to be perfect as God is perfect. We cannot use cute little clichés to excuse behavior which opposes the God-called life of holiness.
Matthew 5:48 ESV You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
1 Peter 1:15-16 ESV but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, (16) since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
The new covenant includes all the commandments of Christ and His Apostles. These are to be obeyed until the eternal moral law of God is inscribed on our mind and heart. There are approximately 1,050 New Testament Commands. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand that we cannot live a Christian life. It takes Christ in us to live the Christian life. We cannot will-power ourselves into obeying 1,050 commands. No man could obey the 10 Commandments much less 1,050 commands. It takes Christ in us to do so. We choose to die to self and live the Christ-life. In so doing He writes His Word on our hearts.
Hebrews 8:10 ESV For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The end result of obeying all of the New Testament commandments is deliverance from sin and the growth of Christ in us.
Many Christian churches in America are in a state of lawlessness. This is because we do not realize the goal is to overcome sin and grow in the image of Christ. Instead, we as Pastors allow our churches to be filled with sin and we excuse it for the sake of numbers and money. As a result, when we do not eat from the right tree, we eat and encourage others to eat from the wrong tree.
We are called to eat from the tree of life. We are not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life is the righteousness of Christ. The tree of knowledge of good and evil is morality. The good on the tree of knowledge is just as evil as the evil on the tree of knowledge. God did not call us to be good or moral, He called us to be righteous. In fact, the Word teaching there is no one good but God.
One of the main emphasis of the Gospels, the Epistles, and the Book of Revelation is on the behavior in word, deed and thought of God’s people. This seems to be the one area that is neglected today in favor of novelties and entertainment. We call someone who comes to church more than once a week committed and dedicated. What are they committed and dedicated to? It is a life of righteousness or is it to a Pastor or church building?
We need to escape being deceived by the false spirits and false doctrines of man that are at work in our day and make a Biblical choice. WE DON'T HAVE TO SIN.
Galatians 1:8 ESV But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
All kinds of false doctrines have invaded the Christian church. They have as their foundation the concept that the new covenant does not include deliverance from sinful behavior. One of the foundational truths that I stand on firmly is that our Lord Jesus Christ finished our salvation on the cross. Therefore there is enough in the work of the cross so that my total man can be saved.
I am writing a book called "How Saved Are You." The idea of the book is that the blood of Jesus cleansed us and saved us so all we have to do is believe and by faith receive His life and we will go to Heaven when we die. We are saved to go to heaven but do we look and act like we belong there? Christians explain away and justify to much personal sin in their lives.
We are living in the days when the Lord He is lifting the veil of things that seemed to be a mystery to the church so we can see and understand what is written in His Word. We are beginning to understand that in salvation we changed from a sinful nature and sinful behavior to the moral and righteous image of Christ. We are learning that heaven is not the goal for the Christian. The goal is to please God and to have fellowship with Him. That is only through a faith-walk life.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Salvation is death to the old Adamic sin nature and a call to full deliverance from the stronghold of sin. Then we grow in the full measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. and growth in the moral image of Christ.
Ephesians 4:13 ESV until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
The fruit reveals the root. If I want to know the root of a tree or what kind of tree it is I just look at the fruit. God always looks for fruit wherever Christ has been sown. If the fruit is the righteousness of Christ then the root of the tree is Christ. The fruit God desires is righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. In other words, the moral and righteous image of Jesus Christ. We will know the root by the fruit.
1 John 3:9-10 ESV No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (10) By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
QUESTION FOR TODAY: Am I a sinner because I sin OR do I sin because I am a sinner?
I WAS NOT SEPARATED FROM GOD BECAUSE OF THE SINS I COMMITTED.
I WAS SEPARATED FROM GOD BECAUSE OF MY SIN NATURE.
I think maybe we, the church, need to re-evaluate some of our word usage or maybe our theology. As we are approaching the Feast of Passover (which is not Easter), whereby we celebrate the work of the cross there is a lot of talk about Christ going to the cross because we sin and do wrong.
QUESTION FOR TODAY: Am I a sinner because I sin OR do I sin because I am a sinner? If the first statement is correct "Am I a sinner because I sin" then there was a time that I was not a sinner and at some point of my life I became one. This is fundamentally and theologically incorrect. I was conceived in iniquity. I was born with the sin nature. No one had to teach me how to sin, it was the natural thing to do.
The second statement is correct. "I sin because I am a sinner." I was born a sinner. It is not WHAT I do, it is WHO I am. It is my status and position because of the rebellion of Adam and Eve.
Why is this important? Because my Jesus did not die just so I can be forgiven each day of my sins. He died so that my Adamic nature would be put to death and a new race would come forth. That new race is the first-fruits of the Last Adam (Jesus Christ). He did more then just forgive my sins, He eradicated my sin nature and gave me a new nature. He removed the corruptible seed and placed within me an incorruptible seed. I have the very nature of God within me.
Thank God that our sins are forgiven...however we need to move beyond that to the fact that we no longer have a sin nature. It is not natural for us to sin. We now have the righteousness of Christ within us. So walk in it.
Hebrews 10:11 ESV And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
The reason Christians are not delivered from their daily sins is they don't know that they have the promise in the New Testament that they can be a distinct feature of the new covenant.
I know there have been the holiness preachers and teachers who have taught instantaneous sanctification. From what I have seen by experience, this doesn’t work. Others have said that sanctification is a progressive process, and this seems more practical. However, with those who teach progressive sanctification there does not appear to be a clear statement that our salvation includes deliverance from sin or a workable program for overcoming the stronghold of sin. In other words once we are saved we seem to be trapped in some of the same junk and behavior as when we were lost. This ought not be the case.
Before we can attempt to overcome our sinful nature we must know for a certainty that the Bible teaches that believers do not have to continue to walk in sin. Therefore let's state some facts from the New Testament.
1 John 1:9 ESV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
From 1 John 1:9 we have a couple key truths. First, this verse is not to be used as a soul winning verse for the lost. The Holy Spirit is speaking through John here to Christians. So as Christians, we can confess our sins and be forgiven. However many stop there. The rest of the verse says that Jesus would cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That means to remove the sin.
Traits of the NEW COVENANT:
The new covenant does not permit continuing in sinful behavior.
The new covenant includes deliverance from sinful behavior.
The new covenant includes a workable plan for deliverance from sinful behavior.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
We do not gain full victory over stronghold sins until we learn that such victory is possible and is promise within in the Word of God. Then we have faith to pursue victory over the sins of the flesh until we obtain it.
1 John 3:4-5 ESV Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (5) You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
Victory! Think about it. Victory over behaviors, such as lust, anger, lying, gossip, slander, selfishness, hatred, unforgiveness, spite, backbiting, sexual perversion, drunkenness, the use of drugs, and other demonic chains that destroy Christians.
Does the new covenant include victory over these? You bet it does.
Galatians 5:16 ESV But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.