Three Things First: 1) Please hang in with me here. Even if it seems strong or scary. We have a-ways to go. You need to STICK with me, and NOT QUIT at any time. 2) Each Part of the Series will be a different length. 3) The essence of the first Message in this most Serious Series is easy enough for you to GET I reckon. However it's NOT quite so easy for me to EXPLAIN how the matter of our sinning ACTUALLY works! But I'll do my very best, because the Message is HIGHLY IMPORTANT in order FOR YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE to work properly and effectively.
By the end of the Series we'll reach a place with INCREDIBLE BLESSINGS of having LESS and LESS SIN in your life, but MORE and MORE RIGHTEOUSNESS and GODLINESS and actually KNOWING THE LORD GOD! How's that for a WOW!!! But let's do a RECAP first. Sin is:
.. Rebellion against God
.. Selfishness and self-centeredness (the "I, me" syndrome)
.. Wilfully going our own way
.. Disobeying God's commands
.. Not acknowledging that HE IS GOD
THE SIN PROBLEM DEFINED:
Our PROBLEM - MAJOR, and apparently IMPOSSIBLE - is how to FIX all of this!!! But first, understanding how it actually works will HELP YOU A LOT!!!
• By nature (naturally) I look after ME always, in all parts of my life. That's my FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS!!
• By nature (naturally) I really DON'T care about God, OR what He wants, or what He COMMANDS - or even WHO HE IS!!
So in a nutshell that's the GREAT DIVIDE we somehow have to solve - AND WHEN WE SUCCEED, IT WILL CHANGE OUR LIFE DRAMATICALLY!! Consider that really difficult SIN you had - so how did you go getting rid if it? Found it rather impossible, right! Because... it's our NATURAL WISH to CONTINUE this "desirable" sin!! Therefore we have NO WAY of ridding ourselves of it. EXCEPT... via a TRANSFER of FOCUS: away from MYSELF, and towards the LORD GOD!!!
You'll immediately recognise that this is a MAJOR STEP to take, and because we're so obviously CONTENTED with our way of life, then where's the INCENTIVE to change my SELF-Focus over to a GOD-Focus? FACT: Only if you're one of the RARE ONES who've made the CHOICE that you WANT to be TOTALLY GOD'S will you FACE and MAKE THIS CHANGE!!!
CHANGING OUR LIFE-FOCUS: WHO COMES FIRST?
BUT HOW?? In Gethsamene, in total agony of heart and soul Jesus PERFECTLY expresses what we have to first SAY, then DO: LUKE 22:42b ...nevertheless not MY will [Father], but YOURS be done. SO....
:: You CHANGE OVER to a LIFE of becoming a GOD-PLEASER and not A SELF-PLEASER.
:: To living ALL OF YOUR LIFE for HIM, not for YOURSELF.
:: To being a SERVANT of the Most High ALWAYS - and that's NO MATTER WHAT THE COST!!!
:: To GOD being at the CENTER OF YOUR LIFE, not YOU!! An ENTIRELY NEW LIFE-FOCUS!!
:: To REPLACING a life of constant SELF-CENTEREDNESS and SIN with a life of RIGHTEOUSNESS (right-living and obedience), and GODLINESS, and HOLINESS!!
BIG STEP TO TAKE? You BETCHA!! Can you really DO THIS? You BETCHA!!! And we MUST ASK THIS: what then is the ALTERNATIVE?... A continued life of Christian FAILURE, of never measuring up - and KNOWING it!! Knowing that this is NOT HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE. And there's a most DREADFUL sting in the tail if we FAIL at all of this:
1 JOHN 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
If I were to ask you, I'm pretty sure that you are going to ASSURE ME that you ARE "born of God", born again, saved, a Believer in Christ, a Christian man or woman. Definitely! No problem, right!! Then what do you say to the verse above: if you're a 'born of God' person, then you don't sin! Yet you know that you DO sin! And so do I!! Okay, that verse was the from New King James Version. And this is exactly WHY OWNING and READING THE RIGHT VERSION IS SO CRUCIAL: let's check it in the Amplified Version of the Bible:
1 JOHN 3:9 No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God's nature abides in him; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.
Now THAT makes it a lot plainer! If we are TRULY BORN OF GOD with (HIS) NEW LIFE FLOWING THROUGH OUR VEINS, then we will NOT, in fact we CANNOT, BE CONTINUALLY and HABITUALLY SINNING - that is, actually WILFULLY SINNING BECAUSE OF our SELF-CENTERED LIFE-STYLE!!! Rather we will be HIS MAN, HIS WOMAN, TOTALLY HIS!!
GETTING FULLY INTO THE KINGDOM IS WHERE WE'RE GOING!!!!
So... if you're NOT there - then what? Well, God says it right there in 1 John: YOU DON'T/WON'T HABITUALLY AND WILFULLY SIN when you're (TRULY) BORN OF GOD. Therefore if you ARE CONSTANTLY SELF-CENTEREDLY SINNING, then you have to most SERIOUSLY consider the likelihood, the strong possibility that you are NOT actually BORN OF GOD!!
But, c'mon now BM, if THAT'S the case, then millions who call themselves Christians are NOT born again, aren't actually Christian at all! Well, haven't I been saying that here over and over and over!!! - giving the serious WARNING (COS I CARE!!!) about church-goers BELIEVING they're on the way to heaven, WHEN THEY ARE NOT!!! VERY, VERY SERIOUS, I believe you'll agree!!
BUT... before you either close this page in panic OR get into a DREADFUL FLAP that maybe YOU are not actually BORN OF GOD, then please DON'T, okay!!! This tragedy is so widespread that some or many reading here now will certainly have NEVER BEEN PROPERLY (FULLY) BORN AGAIN, BORN OF GOD - but instead sort of PART BORN AGAIN! (I'll be fully explaining this.) This happened to ME too - but it wasn't my fault, and it's almost certain that this is NOT YOUR FAULT EITHER!!!
And so NEXT we go to GOD'S Holy Word in the New Testament Scriptures to see HOW TO FIX THIS!!! What to do. How to do it. What to look for, and what to expect. DETAILED, CLEAR, SCRIPTURAL, LIFE-CHANGING! You will want to follow it word by word by word - missing NOTHING!!!
We will be being very careful to EXPRESS the TRUTHS about the NEW BIRTH in SCRIPTURAL terms and SCRIPTURAL words and phrases, because every step we take AWAY from the actual Words of Scripture puts us on a slippery slope towards ERROR - and worse!!!
Continued in Part 2, "There's a 'Normal Christian Birth' - but Most of Us Have Missed It!"...
- BM, with his Lady-Love