Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Does My Sin Really Matter?

{Note: I have been told that my devotions are too long – that people want to read something short so they can move on to something else.  Making no apologies, I write what I feel the Spirit is prompting me to write – trusting that the ones who need a Word from God will hear the Spirit speak to them. Charley}

The short answer to the question is “Yes”!

For I [Jesus] tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:20

The Pharisees and teachers of the law were considered the religious elite.  People that were living right and right with God.  Jesus said they were but white-washed tombs filled with dead men’s bones. (Matt 23:27) They looked good on the outside.  They held a position among the common people that commanded respect from the common people. But the Pharisees and teachers positions and their practices were not enough to save them. What the people thought was the ultimate in religion fell short of the kingdom of God.

There is none righteous, no, not one.” – Romans 3:10

There is no amount of effort that can make us right enough for heaven.  Are you thinking that you know that already?  Then why do we insist on trying to be good enough?  Very often settling to be like the Pharisees – if we can’t stop sinning then at least we can look good to other people! It is really crazy thinking. Thinking that other people don’t know about our struggle.  All of us struggle.  All of us are tempted. We are made to be righteous not through personal effort – but by faith in Jesus.

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” – Romans 5:17

The righteousness necessary to “enter the kingdom of heaven” is found in and through Jesus. So what does that mean for our day to day living. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10

There is that word “gift” again.  Righteous is something that is given by God through Jesus – because we can never be good enough.  We cannot overcome sin or the temptation to sin on our own.  Living a righteous life is a spiritual notion, not something derived from an intense desire to do the right thing.  When I consider my own life.  When I look around and see other Christians and how they live. I am reminded of my need for Jesus.  I am right before the Father because of my faith in the Son by the grace and mercy of the Father.  We are transformed into the image of the Son by the power of the Spirit and the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2)

Listen – there are some who would tell you that your sins do not really matter – that living like the world – those who are lost – well it’s OK. That is a lie.  What is true is that God knows we have feet of clay.  He has given us the Spirit as a promise, a teacher and a help to live our new life. As the world gets darker – day by day – the pressure to put our light under a basket – to take it off of the lampstand is greater and greater. Our light – whose source is from the Spirit and faith in Jesus – the Light of the world – hurts the eyes of the lost and they want it to go away.

You don’t have to be sinless to be useful in the kingdom. But at the same time – you should not be content - satisfied with your sin.

Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” – Romans 6:1-3

I have been crucified with Christ; 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, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

Pray about this and let the light of Jesus shine through you.

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