Dear Apologetic Christian
You are not a natural person.
Let me try to describe this to you.
As Christians, once we’ve come to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are justified before God (Galatians 2:16) and receive the promised Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:14).
The same Spirit that existed since the creation of life (Genesis 1:2)…
The same Spirit which rose Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11)…..
The Living Water that will never make you thirsty for anything else in life again (John 4:10-14; John 7:38-39)…..
This same Spirit of God, himself now literally lives in you (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Really let this sink in…
So believe me when I say “you are not a natural person”.
Having known all this, consider the following
Aim for nothing but perfection
Precisely, aim high in fighting for holiness and righteous living.
Here’s the common issue we have as Christians.
We have come to believe in the death and resurrection of Christ and understand that through Him we are made righteous and reconciled to God. However, when we deal with repetitive sin, we often use lines like these in justifying our actions.
“God understands my struggle”
“I’m just not strong enough to overcome this”
“God’s still working on me” or
“*insert name of Christian* is also dealing with this sin, so it’s ok”
Yes, our salvation is not based on our works, but those who are truly his sons and daughters will obey him and grow in repentence. (Galatians 2:16; 1 John 2:3). Paul clearly speaks concerning this issue of misinterpreted grace in Romans 6:1-14
We have to develop an unapologetic approach in pursuing righteous living, especially when we know that God’s Spirit is working in us. This pursuit was never made to be easy, we see this to be true, because even Christ himself suffered in temptation (Hebrews 2:18).
But here’s the harsh reality. Nothing on earth ever comes easy. So why do we often sell ourselves short on the one thing that matters in pleasing God through obedience?
See it from this perspective.
Have you ever heard a loving parent encouraging their kids to aim for 3rdor 4th place? In sports, do we practice simply to participate in competition or do we rather compete to win a prize?
Yet why are we, of all people, so complacent in pursuing holiness? Better yet, why are we consistently diminishing the power of God by proclaiming that “our temptation to sin is far too strong”.
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
This issue is very personal to me, and I can write thousands of words concerning this topic alone. But if I were to summarize my thoughts in a few words, I would say this
Show. No. Grace. To. Your. Flesh.
- Do not allow yourself to sit in the guilt of past sins, but rather move forward in faith (1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Micah 7:7-9)
- If possible, remove yourself from atmospheres and circles which entice you to sin (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
- Think and act through the guidance of the word of God. Do not trust your heart and mind, unless it is conformed to His word (Psalm 119:9-11; Psalm 119:105)
- Understand that temptations will never go away, but God’s grace is sufficient for us to overcome ALL sins (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
- Do not justify the sins you practice because of what the world tells you (Romans 12:2)
- Understand that you are literally a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
- You are no longer a slave to your temptations. Just because it feels good, doesn’t make it right ( Romans 8:12-13)
- Do not wait for a second conviction until you say no….because you probably won’t
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
2 Peter 1:3-9
Show absolutely no mercy to your body, to affirm to God how deeply you truly love Him
Soli Deo Gloria
Hey man, I was just looking through your posts, very good posts. I just want to make some comments about your post here and the Holy Spirit. I know many Christians believe that when they accepted Jesus as Lord, that was when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. I for one thought that was so until the truth was revealed to me these past months. You see Salvation is a process. (Acts 2:46) says “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”. So, everyone of us has to go through these 3 steps for Salvation and *each is a separate experience*: repentance, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. One can repent, but not undergo water baptism, meaning that they are 1/3 in the process of Salvation. On the other hand, one can repent, and undergo water baptism, but not receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, meaning they are 2/3 in the process of Salvation. Act 8:13 -17 is a good example of the process of Salvation. Theses verses tells us that the people of Sameria believed the word of Philip and were baptized, but they weren’t filled with Holy Ghost until hands were laid on them. (Act 19: 2 ) also shows us that these group of people believed but they never received the Holy Ghost until Paul laid hands on them. The reason I am stressing the baptism of the Holy Ghost is that many Christians believe that when they confessed Jesus as Lord, that was when they were saved and were made sons of God. But this is not true. (1 Corinthians 12:13) says “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles…”. The “one Spirit” in that verse is referring to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. We are brought into the body of Christ by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. This is the Spirit of adoption that makes us cry Abba, Father and bears with our spirit that we are the sons of God This is the law of the Spirit of life that make us free from the law of sin death. This is the Spirit that makes us a new creature in Christ in Jesus, for all things are passed away and all things are become new. The Spirit is the greater one that lives in us than he that is in the world. Be warned of preachers who say that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is not necessary for Salvation. The Bible warns every self-professing Christian that if anyone have not the Spirit of Christ then he is none of his (Romans 8:9). Jesus also said that expect a man be born of water and of the Spirit he shall not enter into the Kingdom of God. When you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, you will KNOW, for it is a *physical experience*. You see when the Spirit comes on people, some will shake, others would hear voices, others would feel like their body is set on fire, others would be singing, others would speak in tongues. These are all different manifestations given by the same Spirit (1 Corin 12-7). When they Spirit fell on the disciples on the days of Pentecost they spoke in tongues ( *a physical experience*). However be warned of those preachers that say that you must speak in tongues when you receive the Holy Ghost. The Bible clearly teaches that not all we speak in tongues (1 Corint 12:30). You see after you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost a gift must operate in you later. The Spirit of God in you would start operating either one of these gifts: the gift of wisdom, knowledge, healing, divers kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues , prophecy etc. You may operate one or several of these gifts as the Spirit wills. The Spirit chooses which one(s) He operates in you. Finally, you may receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost through one of these ways; hands being laid on you, or through prayer (you asking God for his Spirit). Sometimes the Spirit has fallen on people unexpectedly when a sermon is being preached. This is Biblical as it happened in the book of Act while Peter spoke to Cornilus. So, this may happen to you. You should also read Ezekiel 36: 24 -28. In these verses God outlines the process of Salvation. In v.25 – the clean water here is the Word of God. God cleanses you by his Word in preparation for you to receive his Holy Spirit. The new heart spoken of in V.26 is a new desire, you will have a new desire for the things of God. In verse 27, the spirit here is the Holy Spirit received through the baptism of the the Holy Ghost, The Spirit in you would cause you to walk in his statues. The Spirit is what makes you a child of God, the Spirit is Christ in you which the to hope of Glory. The Spirit is Jesus living you, and it is the Spirit that will quicken your mortal body for the rapture (Romans 8: 11).
Hey!! Thank you so much for the insight, was very well written. Will be sure to cross check these scriptures. God bless you