Monday, June 4, 2012

Born To Overcome

Lately, I've heard a lot of talk about sin not mattering much to Jesus. The story goes, as long as you have love in your heart and believe in God you're ok... just the way you are.

         Kind of like Lady Gaga right? Because... baby you were born that way.

I don't think so.

The idea of finding freedom through Jesus Christ, is that we overcome, through His power within us, the condition we were born into. We were born into the condition of sin.
     Every one of us.

I don't like to think of myself  of being born as sinful, because seriously, I was a adorable baby. Look!

                                     I think my mom was trying to get me to smile.
                              I think my dad was saying, "Honey, if I set her up here do you think she'll fall? 

I was a cutie;  I was also born sinful, greedy and selfish.

     As a baby, my first word was Master Charge - no joke!

                                                         now it's called Master Card, and isn't that the truth!

I spent the first part of my life in a quest for things:


          good looking guys

                nice cars

                      and anything I could use to make me feel successful.

I did good stuff too: I volunteered with the Red Cross helping old people, I was a good friend and was good to my parents. But I was never satisfied, and always felt like something was missing.

Forgiveness and God was missing. And when I found Him, or rather when I finally admitted I needed Him, I felt differently. Over time, he worked the greed, selfishness and addictions out of me. I work on other things as they emerge, but it's up to me to keep myself pure, so my old nature doesn't creep back in.

Sin separates us from God. But instead of arguing it through my own filter of feelings, I'm going to show you some verses from the Bible so you can see for yourself:

"Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins. There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible expectation of God's judgement and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. Anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God and have treated the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy. Such people  have insulted and enraged the Holy Spirit who brings God's mercy to his people."  Hebrews 10:26-29 (emphasis mine)

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven." Hebrews 12:2 (emphasis mine)

"Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery." Hebrews 13:4

"For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what makes a man 'unclean.'" Jesus - Matthew 15:19-20

"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tiled around the neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It is better to enter the Kingdom of God half blind than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 'where the worm never dies, and the fire never goes out.'" Jesus - Mark 9:42-48

After reading these passages do you believe Jesus doesn't care about sin - all of it? This is a problem today and was a problem in the early church as well. Apparently, people thought that since they were reconciled to God through Christ's sacrifice, they were free to do anything they wanted. In fact, the apostle Paul had to clarify it multiple times. I leave you with these last verses:

"Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives." Romans 6:1-4

"For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin." Romans 6:7

Dear God, thank you for forgiving us for the bad things we do and for sending your own son to die in our place. May we never take advantage of it and trample over the grace you've freely given us. Amen

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