It’s a classic, this lie of the enemy that is circulating again.
Over and over it comes and wreaks toxic havoc on the Church, sadly predictable yet tragically effective
God’s people freeze in the face of it, wanting to combat it but afraid of playing into the stereotype We waver, we go mute when confronted, and we justify our inability to defend the call of God to holiness by claiming to be trying to “love like Jesus” and “accept everyone.”
As a result, the church is weakened, shot in her foot by her very own, rendered useless in a dark society that is absolutely desperate for the light of Truth…the Light of Christ.
One of the main purposes of this space is to remind us to live forward…into who we will be. Into who God says we are in eternity…which began when we surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ.
And without Truth, holiness and obedience to the Biblical standards of behavior laid out in the Word of God, that goal will remain unattainable.
We cannot live a life of joy without truth. We cannot delight in the ways of God and experience the freedom of Christ when weighed down by sin.
In a recent resurgence of the argument to stay silent regarding sin in order to be appealing, a commenter made this statement:
“I don’t want to be known for what I am against, but for what I am for. I choose to be silent unless I agree with what is being said.”
May I choose to differ?
Sisters, this is so very dangerous. I get what she is saying. I understand wanting to draw people to Christ and I agree that Christians have been too eager to pass judgement on others while ignoring the planks sticking out of our own eyes. But to refuse to speak the truth, to accept sin and sinful lifestyles and go so far as to call them holy and acceptable within the church of Jesus Christ is not helping anyone.
I speak as one saved from the depths. I write as one rescued from the pit. The most loving thing any sister in Christ has ever done for me is to call the sin in my life out and force me to see the choice laid out before me…obey God or not.
If my child reaches out to grab a dangerously hot pan on my stove, is it loving to encourage them to hold on to that pan, going so far as to celebrate it (calling them brave, etc.) regardless of the heat and the burns that will surely result? Do I, out of refusal to judge their choice, turn away and just stand waiting over to the side with salve, hugs and bandages or do I grab their hands, pull them away from the stove and get down in their face with eyes of love to say, “My precious one, what you are doing will hurt you. It will leave scars that may never heal. I know you are hungry, I know you don’t understand why the handle on this pan is not safe to touch when other pans’ handles stay cool, but I promise you that this is dangerous and I love you too much to let you hurt yourself.”
This is the heart of speaking Truth in love. This is how Jesus calls us to reach out to this lost and dying world. When he healed the broken, He consistently told them to “Go and sin no more.” SIN. Jesus uses that word and so must we! I could make a list of sins but I would surely leave some out and that would detract from the heart of this message. You probably know the sins that are lurking in your life. If you profess to be a follower of Jesus and have the Holy Spirit living in you, I imagine He is bringing them to mind as you read this. It is imperative that we understand this core truth: We cannot live a victorious life without obedience to the Word of God. This is not contradictory to the doctrine of grace. Grace is always present, always a hand catching us when we fall, but to quote the words of the Apostle Paul, a self-proclaimed Chief of Sinners and once-proud persecutor of the early church,
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4
Sisters, the world wants you to believe that “your best life” is one of rest, comfort, happiness, peace, and success in work and at home. I want to tell you, in love, that this could not be further from the truth. I am a huge believer in taking time for much-needed rest but to think that is our goal? Absolutely not! Our best life is one lived in surrender. It may appear highly unsuccessful to the watching world. It may involve poverty, injury, conflict and persecution. BUT…It is a life marked by the fullness of Christ made manifest through the Holy Spirit living in us. It is a life on an upward trajectory, being refined and continually made new as we learn God’s Word and apply it to our daily lives. It is reading the whole counsel of Scripture, not just the “happy parts” or the popular verses that make us feel good. It is looking back and seeing how what once enticed us has lost it’s glimmer, realizing how far we have come in our walk with Jesus and always recognizing how far we still have to go. It is working out our salvation (Philippians 2:12) because we know that, without actively pursuing the things of God, we can too easily slip and fall. We are utterly dependent on the grace and mercy of God for our every breath. If we believe anything less we are like that child grabbing the hot pan on the stove.
And I want you to know, if you are my friend, I love you and I purpose to speak the truth to you in love. I hope you love me enough to do the same.
Our lives our not our own. This time in which we live? It is not about us. It is about God and His purposes in His eternal Kingdom. It has nothing to do with what “we” are against and everything to do with a loving God who allowed His one and only Son to die a criminal’s death in order to pay the price for OUR SIN, to pull us out of the fire. And God is for His Bride…the Church. He is making her new and preparing garments of purest white, without stain or blemish, washed clean by the blood of His Son.
We are to go, to the ends of the earth and the house next door, and share the truth…the whole truth…of God’s love. To do anything less is not like Jesus.
May we, His Beloved Bride, go and sin no more.
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(The Word of the Lord)