Deliverance, Denial, Acceptance
“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.’ “ Luke 22:31-32
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Before we begin our study of Matthew 5, I felt lead today to address the matter of who we are now in Christ and to arm you with the truth of God’s Word so that you are not overcome by the evil one or that you are not burdened with self-pity or condemnation because of the attack of the enemy against you. We will begin our study of Matthew 5 on Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent.
Temptations may come, but I deny them the right to make me yield to them. Sin may try to define who I am by thoughts of who I was before Jesus made me a new creation by grace through faith in His name, but I deny it the power to set the course of my life. Though I may stumble and fall the Lord will pick me up and set me on my feet again and empower me, by the Holy Spirit, to fight the good fight of faith, to run on to the end of the race to win it.
In our former days many of us had our conversations with sin in a host of ways all common to every man. Jesus, like us, was tempted in all points but He did not sin. We all have sinned and we all fall short of the glory of God because that is the nature of our humanity, scarred at the molecular level with the sin of Adam.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
But now in Christ Jesus our Lord we have been made new creations. Old things have passed away and all things have become new and all things are of God where our new nature is concerned.
We are now imprinted with the righteousness of Christ [1 Corinthians 5:21] at the very core of our being and we have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. [Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9] Sin no longer has dominion over us. We are no longer helplessly sold under its power and influence. The old ways of thinking, the old lusts and passions of the flesh and the mind have been renewed and are being renewed by the Word of God. Yet one thing remains for us to do.
We must choose daily to walk in the Light as He is in the Light, to accept the gift of His grace and live with an expectant hope in the salvation that has been purchased for us through the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Then we have fellowship with Him and His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. In other words, it’s the denial of the sin that so easily besets us that keeps us in the realm of darkness. When we justify or embrace or count as no consequence, our actions and thoughts that run counter to the will of God then we are walking in darkness. And we have left the fellowship of the children of Light. When we deny the truth that would set us free by confessing our sins, we sow to the flesh corruption. Sin takes the advantage over us and death invades our hearts.
But if we confess our sins and keep ourselves in an attitude of grateful submission to the Word of God and the free gift of His grace, offered to us through the blood of Jesus Christ, then, God is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. All Unrighteousness!
We have been delivered from death unto Life through Jesus Christ our Lord. His life, death, burial and resurrection are no light religious things to be toyed with or dismissed as trivial. Nor should it be un-uniquely thrown into some pseudo-religious pool of coexistence with other religions or man made gods. Heaven forbid!!
Eternal death for every living creature hung in the balance as Jesus alone suffered and died for our sins, for our transgression, for our evil natures and death-worthy souls. Through His all-atoning sacrifice alone we now have peace with God and an entrance through His blood into eternal life and that more abundantly, by salvation in the name that is above every name, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
We are delivered from death. [John 5:24; 1 John 3:14] We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ. [2 Corinthians 5:21] We are new creations in Christ Jesus born of incorruptible seed by the will of God. [1 Peter 1:23] We are now the sons of God. [1 John 3:2] We are ambassadors of His grace. [2 Corinthians 5:20] We are a royal priesthood and a holy nation. We are a peculiar people, set apart for good works. [1 Peter 2:9] We are God’s workmanship created in Christ for good works. [Ephesians 2:10] We are more than conquerors through the One who loves us. [Romans 8:37]
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but will have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. [John 3:16-17]
God doesn’t want us dead, crushed under the load of sin. The message of the Gospel is this. God loves us. God loves you. Have you fallen into some sin and you feel the guilt and shame of having missed the mark? Have you failed to live up to God’s goodness and righteousness? Well, consider this, God was not caught by surprise when you did it. Neither is He angry with you for being weak in your humanity. He wants to forgive you sooner than you want to be forgiven. All you need to do now is trust His love and grace, confess that sin to Him and receive His forgiveness and get up and get back in the race.
God knew from the day you were born-again that this day would come and He knows the days that will come in the future and for your sake because of His love for you He has made provision for all our frailty through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is working in you to do His will and He will not stop until He has accomplished His purpose in you. You are loved and destined for good things.