Wednesday, February 14, 2024

What Sin Does to Us

Sin is a terrible thing! It is the worst thing that an individual can do because it separates us from our God (Isaiah 59:2). The Bible teaches that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If one chooses to remain in a sinful condition, then one should expect to receive the eternal death that comes as a result of it. Notice the teaching of God which says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23), and “when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15). At the final judgment, punishment will be delivered to those who are not in fellowship with God because they are in sin. Jesus has said, “I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:23 - See also Matthew 25:41-46). We all need to understand that sin, which is a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4), will bring with it an eternal separation from God when Jesus, our righteous judge, judges us based on His word at the last day. “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

How Can We Free Ourselves of Sin?
We can only be freed from sin by the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7). This takes faith in Jesus (Acts 10:43), which results in being repentant of our sins and being baptized into Christ. “Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Once we are baptized into Christ, then we need to pray and ask for forgiveness of any sins committed after we become a Christian (Acts 8:22-23). 


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Some Impossiblilities

We have all heard someone say “that’s impossible” when responding to something that someone had just told them that they could do, knowing that it could not be done. Webster defines impossible as “not capable of being, being done, or happening.” Certainly, there are many things which are impossible for man to do here on this earth.

In the religious realm there are also some impossible things to consider. God has told man that unless one has faith it is impossible to please Him. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If we are not determined to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18), gaining faith by reading His word (Romans 10:17), then we are not going to be pleasing to God. Do you think that individuals who are not pleasing to God will enter heaven? Think about it.

In Hebrews 6:18 we read “....in which it is impossible for God to lie...” Now if it is impossible for God to lie and he has told us that He is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him, then if we do not seek Him (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:2), then it is certain that we will not see Him in heaven. Again, the Hebrew writer penned, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him” (Hebrews 2:3). We see that it is impossible to neglect salvation and be saved. If we want to be saved, then we will strive to do whatever God asks of us (Matthew 7:21).

Let’s consider some other impossibilities. It is impossible to be saved without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). It took Christ’s death on the cross, the sacrifice for our sins in order for us to be saved. Therefore, it is impossible to believe in Christ and obey Him and not be saved (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-20). It is impossible to enter into heaven without a birth of water and the Spirit (John 3:3-5), and it is impossible to enter into the Kingdom (heaven or church), except through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Galatians 3:27). If you think that you can and will be saved in eternity AFTER this life is over, without being obedient to Christ while living on this earth, that’s impossible (Luke 16:19-31)! We must all seriously think about these truths from the Bible, the inspired Word of God.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Tested Faith Produces Endurance

In James 1:1-12 we read how if we persevere under trials and tribulations that we will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those that love Him. In Hebrews we read that "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Yes, it takes a special person, one that really believes in God to be faithful under all circumstances of life. James tells us in verse 2 to "consider it all joy, my brethren when you encounter various trials." Why joy? Because when our faith is tested it produces endurance. If we overcome today's trial, then tomorrow's trial will be easier to overcome, and our faith will get stronger day by day!

We read also that if we are lacking wisdom, then we need to ask God for it because "God gives to all men generously and without reproach" (verse 5). But we must ask in total faith without wavering because if we waiver or doubt that God will give us what we ask for then he will not. "For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (verse 7-8). We are also told that the "brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position; and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away" (verse 9-10). The humble will be blessed, and the rich will fade away, he and his beauty! Our faith is tested each and every day and the one that perseveres under these tests or trials will receive the crown of life promised by God.