Sunday, April 12, 2015

If We Love, We Seek To Obey

I have noticed a certain, common line of self-justification repeated over and over among unbelievers when they are caught or found willingly engaged in blatant sin; and it is also quite common among purported believers . . . and, I suspect, falsely converted types ("Cino's"/Christians-In-Name-Only's).

It's a real sneaky one--a super effective trick of the devil. . . .

Several examples which I have seen, go like this:  A "Christian" is going to an abortion clinic or helping someone (ie., driving them) to go into the "abortuary."  They are confronted by "pro-life" "protestors" and respond with something like, "Hey, yeah I know this is a sin . . . but we all sin don't we?  And all sin is the same to God.  If you break one law, you've broken them all, sooo. . . ."

This kind of self-justification and defense of deliberate, conscious sinning . . . I see a lot in the homosexuality debate, used by those who want to allow for gay practicing/marriage members full inclusion into the Body of Christ.  "Hey we all sin, right?  He who doesn't, cast the first stone!  And since one sin is as bad as another and worthy of damnation in God's eyes . . . well . . . then we can't exclude or correct people based on a particular sin they are committing, right?"

But as always, the devil expertly uses partial truths to help slip in the big lies.

While it is true that the breaking of a single law causes a person to be ineligible to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven . . . as no unclean thing can enter there--we must be perfect to be with God--this does not mean that we are not then suppose to strive and please God and seek to obey His commandments.

Although it is Christ's perfection that gets us into Heaven . . . it also follows that when we are born again, we do not seek to grieve the Holy Spirit.  Yes we sin, but it pains us when we do.  We don't want to.  We want to be washed completely clean, living in righteousness in daily practice. 

Those indwelt by the Spirit are not able to glibly shrug off their conscious, deliberate sin with the remark, "Hey, we all sin--one sin is no worse than another."

If that defense were correct . . . in this world, at this time . . . then . . . a "little white lie" we commit (ie., telling someone they look good in some new pants when they really don't) is no worse than if we walked out our door, broke into our neighbor's house, raped and murdered their 6 year-old girl.

Jesus Himself made clear that there will be different degrees of punishment according to different degrees of sinful rebellion (see Luke 12:42-48, Matthew 11:21-24).  Peter also addresses this and affirms the truth of it (2 Peter 2:20-21).

Just as there will be degrees of eternal reward, so too are there gradations of punishment according to the evil done in a life, is unsaved.

So it DOES matter whether you, ie., take a paper clip from work that doesn't belong to you . . . versus . . . drive your friend to the abortion mill to help her have her baby violently murdered.

Indeed, what especially typifies the whole walk and progress of sanctification . . . is that we stop doing the (sinful) things we once did, albeit little by little sometimes . . . AND we also stop even desiring to do them.  Sometimes through old habit and momentary stumblings . . . we fail and make a sinful mistake.  But we certainly aren't pleased or nonchalant about it.  It hurts us to the core.  We repent.  We want to do better.  We are moving in the direction of increasing holiness. 

To one saved, in whom the Holy Spirit has taken rightful residence . . . disobeying God is never a cavalier, shoulder-shrugging proposition.  It is a battle.  War is waging.  We strive, we wrestle.  When we fall, we dust off, turn to God . . . and get back to it.  We know that Christ's perfected work is what saves us . . . but this does not leave us lukewarm and undesirous to do better ourselves.  On the contrary, we are more and more wanting to please God and NOT grieve the Spirit within.

This is no justified excuse: "All sin is the same, so you might as will go ahead and sin because you already are."  This is something someone says when they are yet unconvicted, and I suspect, yet unsaved in the first place!

This is someone who is NOT working out their salvation with fear and trembling.

"Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear."  --Phil. 2:12

If we truly love truth, love God Who is Truth and the standard of Righteousness . . . then we will seek to obey His commandments--and desire and work to be pleasing to Him.  To claim His Name and then go on to ignore or openly flaunt His will is as if spitting in His face.  Who is not FOR Him is against Him--simple as that.

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