Are you resolved to do something differently in your life in the new year? Some habit you’re tired of? Perhaps. Yet, we all know that most resolutions crumble within a few weeks! So what is the real answer? Why not have a life-changing experience?!
How can I go to Heaven? This is the question we want to address today! We could further ask, Just how good, is good enough, to enter Heaven? What’s it take? What is it that God requires? What will God say when He opens the books in respect to your life? What will your history look like? How will it read? Are you comfortable with that? What do you think God, who is perfectly holy, will say to you? What judgement will He give to you? Listen, I want the absolute best outcome possible for you, and that is why I’m taking the time to address you today! So let us see the marvellous message God has for you now!
Feel like sin has the upper hand in your life? Like it has you under its control? Been there! So there are three things we want to look at now: how to be free from being a slave of sin, victory over sin in the Christian life, and growing in the faith.
So, if you’re tired of this war with sin in your life, hang on, there is hope!
The motivational movement has become all the rage! Yes, even in Christian circles! Yet, it is incumbent upon us to take a good look at this phenomena, and make certain we are standing on solid ground! It might seem logical that we all need a good “pat on the back,” that is, a little encouragement. As it is a wonderful thing when we build each other up, particularly as believers! However, is this actually what is transpiring, or are we being misled by all the smiles and enthusiasm? Let us take a look…
Imagine, you have just come out of the most epic experience in your life! After your people have been enslaved for 400 years, and after dramatic apocalyptic type judgements, at last you and your people are walking away – free! However, as you proceed you are met with the barrier of the Red Sea, and as you’re perplexed as to how you will navigate this obstacle, you notice that the formidable enemy you just escaped from, is closing in behind you! Sheer panic takes a hold of you! Did we gain our freedom only now to die? No, no! The most climatic thing is now to occur! Before you the Red Sea opens, revealing a path of dry ground. As you proceed through to the other side, the terrorizing enemy is held back! Upon reaching the far bank, the waters close over your enemy in one dramatic moment of utter defeat! There you stand – truly free! No more, can the enemy enslave you! His tyranny is ended – forever!
Yet, what does it all mean? What does it mean for us, for you? Let us investigate these profound, liberating truths now!
In the Word of God, many dramatic battles unfold. However, the most well-known of battles, surely must be, David and Goliath! I want to take a moment and paint for us three tremendously different perspectives, with three entirely different outcomes! No question, in life, particularly the Christian life, there are trials of various kinds, some monumental! Yet, how do we react when we’re thrown into the battle? Let us march off to the battle lines and see, shall we?!
There was a man, who was clearly under the control of the evil one, whom Jesus liberated. When this fellow begged to go with Jesus, Jesus responded, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you. And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:39) This is my objective also, with this post.
“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:19) Does this sound familiar in your life? I remember being there too! You see, many of us, even from very different backgrounds and worldviews, will agree that sin is our problem. However, where we disagree is in the “how” of dealing with it. Is the concept of, “Be as good as you can, and that’s good enough,” correct? Perhaps as long as, “My good is greater than my bad”? Then again, maybe if I ask God to forgive me each time I sin, I can avert the consequences of sin. Yet, perhaps, if I turn from all my sin, then God will accept me?! There are many concepts that are believed and taught in various circles. However, I trust that we all want to know the truth, even if it could mean departing from our preconceived ideas and teachings we’ve become familiar with. So let us think these things through together…
I wonder, is your heart pure? Have you been freed from the controlling power of sin in your life? Or are you still plagued by sin’s vice like grip on your life? Are you held captive by sinful things in your life? Things like watching movies filled with violence, sexual immorality, and vengeance? Are sinful habits still master over you? Do you ever feel like, “This just isn’t working”? Perhaps you’ve thought the answer is trying harder to be a good person. Yet, as hard as you try, you just seem to flounder and fail the more! There is an answer for this! There is hope indeed! For God says He, “Cleansed their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9)
Today we want to take a look at something Paul the apostle says in Romans chapter six. Here, he makes this seemingly paradoxical comment, “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14) So, the question that needs to be raised is, how can it be that if we are released from being under law, that sin can’t have “dominion” any more? Also, Paul clearly says that we are “under grace.” So what does this mean? Let’s take a look…