Don’t try to live on one-half of the facts!

2 03 2017

One of the most common issues I run into these days with Christian men is that they know they are forgiven for their sins but they still think they are sinners. As a result, they are living defeated, discouraged lives even though they believe they are going to heaven. They just hope they don’t do something “big” that will ultimately invalidate their ticket. The struggle with sin is still very much a part of their lives. shark

Apparently, having the revelation of forgiveness through the cross is not enough to help men live the Christian life and bring them victory. What is even more discouraging is that few Bible teachers are offering men anything else that will encourage them other than to tell them to keep up their faith or remain faithful to their sin management plan. One author even claims that most of men’s issues can be solved if they are just faithful to a men’s group and Bible study.

The good news is that there is more. There is the rest of the story, or as it’s been said, the rest of the Gospel. Being forgiven for our sins is just the first part of God’s plan for us and He never expected that it would be enough to help us experience the full measure of His abundant life. We need to know the rest of His plan.

Here is the whole plan: Jesus died for our sins AND we died with Him to our sin struggle (Rom. 6:6). This is why there are two parts to the Lord’s Supper. The cup of wine symbolizes the blood of Christ shed for our sins and secondly, the bread is the symbol of the body of Christ representing us, that died and freed us from the power of sin (2 Cor. 5:21). We need both parts. We need forgiveness for our sins and also freedom from the sin nature. Jesus’ death took care of both. We are forgiven and freed!

If men only have the knowledge of their sins being forgiven, will they still go to heaven? Yes, definitely, but it won’t help them with living life until then. They also need the freedom of knowing that their sin problem is over. Did you read that? It’s over! We have died with Christ on the cross. We are no longer “alive” to sin, and as Kevin O’Leary, “Mr. Wonderful”, on the ABC hit show, “Shark Tank,” says to someone who won’t take his offer, “You are dead to me!” (Rom. 6:8). Sin as a nature in man’s spirit, or inner man,  has been removed. Now, the only question is, do we really know that? Until we do we will not really live like it.

How do we know that sin is no longer a problem in our lives? By “counting on it” (Rom. 6:11) or by trusting the facts of the second part of the gospel the same way you trusted the first. You agreed with the facts. You agreed firstly that Jesus died for your sins and then you received the realization that it was true. You had a peace settle into your heart about your standing with God (Rom. 5:1). Likewise, when you agree that you have died with Christ on the cross, you then begin to know it the same way – by a realization or knowing that comes to your spirit from the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:15,16; Gal. 5:24,25). Maybe not right away, and your flesh may occasionally still trip up, but the knowing will come and you will realize the freedom that you have from the power of sin. You will know you are free and your life will show it.

Let’s make sure that we know both parts of the story or God’s plan for us. Let’s not count on just one-half of the gospel to help us live the Christian life. It won’t happen. Only by knowing the rest of the facts that we are now dead to sin and alive to God will we live the life that God intends for us.

Be free!

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Dennis


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2 responses

9 03 2017
Steve

How does this apply to temptation. I know it’s not a sin to be tempted but this also change in me..

9 03 2017
nwmenscoalition

Now temptation is welcomed (James 1:2-4) as a means to confirm who you are – dead to sin. God means it to draw out “patience” which is already in you. Patience is another character trait of Christ.

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