“I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”
-Galatians 2:21 (NIV)
Please let me start with a quote by Michael DiMarco, author of God Guy, The God Guy Bible & Devotions For The God Guy. He writes, “This kind of thinking goes like this: ‘I really want to do this sinful thing, and since it’s too hard to say no, I’m just gonna’ do it and then ask for forgiveness later’.”
You know what’s funny about that statement? We as Christ-followers would probably read that aloud, chuckle and say, “Ha! Every ‘good Christian’ knows we can’t really do that.” Yet, we turn around and enter back into LUKEWARM LIFE and do just that! Our actions, whether engaging in sexual immorality or drinking excessively when pressured by our so-called ‘friends’, reflect that exact statement above! What’s worse is most of the time we are doing so without even realizing it!
We subconsciously or consciously begin to play this game we’ve created with God where in the end, we call the shots, usually aware of our disobedience to Christ we are displaying and mind you the consequences soon to follow, and afterwards apologize to the Lord thinking we don’t deserve even a ‘slap on the wrist’. And let’s be honest, how sincere are those apologies for real? Last I checked, replaying the same behaviors over and over while being convicted consistently by the Spirit IS NOT REFLECTIVE OF A REPENTANT HEART. (And trust me, I’ve been there and not too long ago either.) If this defines where you’re at, I recommend sitting down with God having a ‘heart to heart’ consisting of an examination OF YOUR HEART. (I’m sure I’ll get around to a blog at some point discussing that process more in depth.)
My brothers & sisters in Christ: Do not fool yourselves with this highly idolized misconception by our lukewarm Christian culture for Proverbs 14:11 says:
“Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.”
Now to the point I finished off with in my initial blog. Heck, let’s state it:
The human mind is an incredibly stubborn, strong-willed source that seeks to rationalize and excuse just about anything that could be a desire of the flesh or tool of Satan.
So why do I tie this concept in with taking advantage of the Lord’s grace upon our constant sin? Because it is one of the main reasons we find ourselves often being “okay with sinning”. The longer we arrive at this place of ‘false contentment’, the more we submit to Lucifer’s lies. The more we fall to his lies, the more we will find ourselves attached to the spiritual landslide of this modern day culture. And to be blunt, no Christ-follower belongs on the side of the temporary, flesh-fulfilling world. We BELONG to our Heavenly father above and we belong to His house in Heaven for eternity after this life passes away.
Reader- we may have never met. But guess what? Christ-follower or not, I love you. As ‘creeped’ out as you may be from that statement, let me explain. I love you because God loves you and He has sent me here with a divine purpose to love you the way He loves you though I can never come close to that level of love. Yes. This is me attempting to relay the ‘truth in love’ Larry talks about in his first blog. Again, I restate that because He loves you dearly He desires for you to be on HIS side, not on the world’s. That may sound like a war or fight between the world and God and that’s because IT IS. But eventually, like every good battle story between good and evil, one stands victorious in the end. Listen to 1 John 5:4-5 and contemplate the winning side:
“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the son of God.”
Now let me apply the verse from Galatians that got my whole impression of this particular blog ‘running on all fours’. When Christ went up on that cross, we should have learned something about the law of the Old Testament. What we should have realized is that God’s agenda with sacrificing His only begotten Son had an incredibly deeper meaning than what it appeared to be externally beyond Jesus’ death and resurrection. If B.C. life had continued with no A.D. life, people’s mindsets would have remained the same with thinking that following God’s laws and commands makes us right with Him. There’s an error in that mindset. Something had to take place to fix that common misconception.
You see, Christ’s moment on the cross MADE A WAY (John 14:6- He is the way, truth & the life) for us to become right with God regardless of our sin which He died for. Galatians 3 builds more on the end of chapter two: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be?” Oh, look. The term ‘foolish’ used again as in the Proverb I mentioned earlier. So readers, please do not be foolish in thinking you can take advantage of the Lord’s good grace and excuse your sinning to do whatever you’d like when you’d like to. If you do, think of it not just as a slap to God’s face. He sent His Son to die a brutal, and I mean a brutal death to break your chains from eternal condemnation because of your sin. For us to take advantage of the blood shed on the cross, we exceed a ‘slap on the face’. I encourage you to ponder this next time you find yourself sinning or about to sin whether or not you feel the guilt or conviction.
In Christian rap artist Trip Lee’s book ‘The Good Life’, he concludes his chapters with lyrics from his songs to emphasize and confirm his message throughout the book. Now I am as far away as could be from possessing a talent for ‘dishing out rhymes’ but before this blog began I attempted a few lines so to speak regarding this lukewarm generation (If you must know, I desired to be known as ‘YungWaltz’- Ask Jodel and Nate for more on that one). With that said, let me amuse you with a few.
Believers thinking it’s okay, Lower morals to a world of shame.
Culture blinded & corrupt, Once you’re in it forever stuck.
Trip says ‘we fallin’, I’d say we sink.
To the bottom with the knowledge, Of who we outta’ be.
But life ain’t a cash out, No dippin’ just when we’re low.
We think, “Oh hey, I’ll go to God. He’ll fix me when I’m broke”.
He’s not a system you can cheat, And use when it’s convenient.
Blow Him off when life’s good, Enough to say, ‘Yo beat it’.
Aside from how corny those lines are as well as how much they do ‘not flow’, take into consideration the meaning. God’s love and grace is not part of a system we can cheat and use when it’s convenient folks. Scripture in Galatians backs that up. This is not a matter that He takes lightly I assure you. I encourage you again to pick a side, God or the world. At least contemplate it and give it some thought. Lukewarm Christians are falsely believing they can take advantage of God’s grace while serving both masters: God and flesh. Matthew 6:24 (You can’t serve two masters). Hop off that fence because it’s one or the other.
In all this, I have not even had the time to cover unintentional sin and premeditated sin especially in their relation to God’s grace. For the time being, focus your attention on Hebrews 10: 26-31. No, really. Read it. Right now! Trust me!
Ryan Walters. ‘98.6 Too Cold’ Founder, Blogger