Thursday, May 8, 2014

SIN-LESS

Except for Christ, nobody is perfect or has lived a perfect life. Even Christians can only hope and strive to live a Sin-Less life. Matthew 6:14-15 screams this fact at the top of it's lungs! Speaking to potential believers, including His disciples, Jesus said,
  • For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Jesus was preparing to pay with His own life for the "wages of sin" (eternal death or separation from God - Romans 6:23) when He said this. Again, notice that Jesus, says to future Christians, they will still make mistakes - "your heavenly Father will also forgive you(future tense). However, note who is listed first to act in this verse - Believers. Observe what the Believer reaps, the Believer will also sow. Living the Christian life begins with us giving first not receiving. In discussing this with my dad, he agreed with it nicely by saying -

  • "We do have a part in the process. If we live in an atmosphere of unforgiveness we cannot enjoy the freedom of God's forgiveness. I believe rather than God's refusal to forgive, it is our own behavior that limits us from enjoying His forgiveness already purchased at the cross."
Matthew 6:14-15 does not touch the salvation of the Believer. Salvation deals with the saving from the eternal Penalty Box/Hell/Lake of Fire. The wrath or judgement of sin is atoned, however this does not mean Christians live a life free from sin. Jesus prophesied men will rebel and hurt you by saying "when they sin against you". He also prophesied the Believer will stumble a time or two when He said "your heavenly Father will also forgive you". However, there are "ifs" in this verse that point back to the condition of who acts first and what kind of behavior is that?

My challenge to my brothers and sisters in Christ is NOT to have you count your sins or go hunting for them to confess them. The Holy Spirit will help you in that area. My encouragement to live a more sin-free or sin-less life is from the pen of Paul -
  • Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. - Romans 12:9-18
As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ should you die with unconfessed sins I believe those unforgiven mistakes go against the Believer's Reward in Heaven.
  • But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. - 1 Corinthians 3:10-15
Notice that last sentence - "If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved,...."  The last part "he himself will be saved" is certainly the most comforting part of this passage but what is the "it" that is so closely knit to us that is being burned up?  "It" is our deeds/works/ministry for The Lord -
  • his work will be shown for what it is 
  • the fire will test the quality of each man's work 
I believe our deeds may be judged in two main areas.
  1. The first area our deeds can be judged is in the unforgiveness we hold in our heart toward others (Matthew 6:14-15). 
  2. The second way our deeds can be judged is by the misuse or non-use of God's skill/talent in us so that we miss spreading His Good News (Matthew 25:14-30).
So, accomplish the forgiveness spoken of by Christ (Matthew 6:14-15) and the additional Christian lifestyle details supplied by Paul (Romans 12:9-18) by NOT being a bench warmer (someone who is inactive all the time). That warm, comfortable seat is only a position on the team. If you have not contributed your part then you will be "as one escaping through the flames" (1 Corinthians 3:15). There is much more to be had. Are you sold out and radical for Jesus? He sold out for you! A great start is to love always, forgive often, work for Him constantly and follow the Romans 12:9-18 instructions above for a life more....Sin-Less.