Powerful Grace

29 05 2007

“Sin ruled by means of death. But God’s kindness now rules, and God has accepted us because of Jesus Christ our Lord. This means that we will have eternal life. What should we say? Should we keep on sinning, so that God’s wonderful kindness will show up even better? No, we should not! If we are dead to sin, how can we go on sinning?”
(Romans 5:21-6:2, CEV)

Any concept of grace that makes us feel more comfortable sinning is not biblical grace. God’s grace never encourages us to sin. On the contrary, it empowers us to say no to sin and yes to truth.

–Randy Alcorn


The Rest of the Soul (Part 2)

20 03 2007

(continued from last post)

(…in God’s eyes, our problem isn’t sin; it is trust. Jesus settled our sin problem once and for all at Calvary.) He doesn’t constantly harp on us, “This time you’ve crossed the line.” No, never! His attitude toward us is just the opposite. His Spirit is constantly wooing us, reminding us of the Father’s loving kindness even in the midst of our failures.

When we become focused on our sin, we lose all sight of what God wants most: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”* That verse says it all. Our God is a Rewarder, and He’s so anxious to shower us with His loving kindness that He blesses us way ahead of schedule.

This is the concept our heavenly Father longs for us to have of Him. He knows when we’ll repent over our failures and sins. He knows when our contriteness is coming. But He can’t wait for the due date. So He jumps in, saying, “I want to assure My Child he won’t be judged, because I’ve already forgiven him through My Son’s cleansing blood.”

–David Wilkerson
“The Preventing Love of the Lord”
World Challenge Pulpit Series, February 26, 2007

*Hebrews 11:6

(More to come from this message!)

The Rest of the Soul

19 03 2007

“Thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: Thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.”
(Psalm 21:3, KJV)

The Holy Spirit drives out all fear from us—the fear of falling, of being cut off from God—by implanting in us His joy. We are to go forth rejoicing, as David did, because God has assured us we will prevail.

Yet so few Christians have this joy and exceeding gladness. Multitudes never know the rest of the soul or the peace of Christ’s presence. They walk around as if in mourning, picturing themselves under the thumb of God’s wrath rather than under His protective wings. They see Him as a harsh taskmaster, always ready to bring a whip down on their backs. And so they live unhappily, with no hope, more dead than alive.

But in God’s eyes, our problem isn’t sin; it is trust. Jesus settled our sin problem once and for all at Calvary…

–David Wilkerson
“The Preventing Love of the Lord”
World Challenge Pulpit Series, February 26, 2007

(continues in next post…because it is worthy of our attention!)

He Died For The Bad Parts Too

4 02 2007

“But I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”
(Romans 7:23-25)

he6.jpgJesus didn’t come to save us just from the penalty for our sins; He came to save us from our sins—now, today, if we will only respond to the challenge and let Him… The Lord does not love us for our good parts and pass over the rest. He died for the bad parts and will not rest until they are put right. We must stop thinking of God as infinitely indulgent. We must begin to grapple with the scary and exhilarating truth that He is infinitely holy, and that He wants the same for us.

–Frederica Mathewes-Green
Whatever Happened to Repentance?
Christianity Today, Feb. 4, 2002, 56

Vainly Lifting Hands?

7 12 2006

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
(1 John 1:9)

Honest confession of sin undergirds and makes genuine all the other things we do as Christians. How deep can our praise and worship be if the people lifting their hands and singing have made a treaty with sin? And what good are all the Christian books and sermon tapes if they never get to the heart of the matter—the reality of our sin in the eyes of a holy God?

Jim Cymbala
“The Church God Blesses”, pp96-7