I WANT TO LIFT THE BAR HIGHER
As the title says I want to lift the bar higher today (in line with the Word of God). I start by repeating John Piper’s awesome definition of Grace. Do you agree with it?
GRACE IS NOT SIMPLY LENIENCY WHEN WE HAVE SINNED, GRACE IS THE ENABLING GIFT OF GOD NOT TO SIN, GRACE IS POWER NOT JUST PARDON.
I have never come across a definition on grace that for me spells out so clearly what the grace of God is to the Believer. Do you agree with these three statements ?
SIN IS NOT INEVITABLE
SIN IS NOT INSIGNIFICANT
SIN IS NOT INSURMOUNTABLE
I am not sure where I found these three statements, but I sure agree with them. What about the statement?:
NOT THAT WE CANNOT SIN, BUT WE NEED NOT SIN
I also totally agree with this statement. I think you can see where I am coming from today, and I write this blog to not only challenge you, but to challenge myself to reach higher, and declare the words the Lord spoke to the Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 12:9
MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, FOR MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS NKJV
MY GRACE IS ENOUGH; IT’S ALL YOU NEED. MY STRENGTH COMES INTO ITS OWN IN YOUR WEAKNESS MESSAGE
We often use this verse when we are going through some difficulty or problem or sickness, but seem to overlook it (or don’t believe it) in the times of temptation.
I guess I should ask the question “What is sin” we are all products of our particular church environment, and all churches seem to create its own list of “sins” sadly they are often people’s private inventions and do not always relate to the Word of God. I was brought up on the understanding that a Christian did NOT go to the movies, we could miss the rapture. That to drink alcohol was a wicked sin, I was told I should never go into a shop on Sunday as this caused a person to violate the Lord’s day and the list went on and on with a list of “thou shall nots”. Before Vatican 2 Catholics were told it was a sin to eat meat on a Friday, and to miss Mass was a mortal sin. So many Christians can have an uneducated (not knowing what the Bible says) conscience and because of what they have been taught they feel guilty if they commit one of the church’s sins. As far as the Bible is concerned what is sin?: here is my definition:
ANYTHING THAT VIOLATES THE WILL OF GOD, AND THE WORD OF GOD.
We of course need to be men and women of the Book (of books) so we know what God says, not just man.
The Psalmist (66:18) tells us that if we have sin in our heart, God is not listening, that is why King David prayed (Ps. 139:23-24) “Search me O God, and know my heart, ; try me and know my anxieties (thoughts); and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” NKJV
I guess the majority of our sins we commit are covered in this list:
Thoughts, words, actions, reactions. sins of omission, that which is not of faith, the mixture in our motives and attitudes, and wilful sins.
The reality is that sadly we commit sins every day, some we don’t even remember, that is why we need to “clear the decks” when we begin our Quiet Time. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if after praying for the Lord to “search our hearts” there were no stains of sin on our heart.
GOD WANTS THIS TO BE THE NORM FOR A BELIEVER
For through the work of the cross and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ WE CAN LIVE ABOVE SIN. Now I know the depravity of my heart (Jer. 17:9) but I need a greater revelation of the FACT I can live and walk in victory and purity and holiness before the Lord. We need to ask the Lord to open our eyes to this glorious fact, and to ask His forgiveness for not living in the power of the Cross.
In all the above there is NOTHING for us to boast about, for it is all about Jesus, the challenge for us, that constantly (minute by minute) we must be reaffirming He is the Lord, the Boss, the Master, the King, the Ruler, the Owner of our lives,
Let me remind you again of Paul’s words to the Corinthians (2.3:18) that God wants to transform us, it is the Greek word metamorphoo where we get t he English word metamorphosis. We use the illustration of the caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly. When we were born again, we received God’s divine sperma into the womb of our heart we now have God’s DNA within us, as we do as the Word commands us the beautiful butterfly within us will shine forth and we will seek to appropriate God’s grace continually and live above sin.
The title of this blog, is lifting the bar, or simply coming into line with the Word of God and the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and rejecting the lie of the evil one that we cannot help but be sinning.
Please receive this as an encouragement, may the Lord give us illumination (turn the light on) so we can see His glorious Salvation plan not just to save us from eternal hell, but that we can live and walk in the light of His Word.
I would truly appreciate your feedback please ?