Did you know that the only sin that can send you to hell is unbelief? See John 3:18. All other sins can be forgiven.
All marriages have difficulties, even the best of marriages. The truth of the matter is that good marriages don’t just happen. It takes work, and it takes commitment, two things that are sadly lacking where you would expect them the most, in a Christian marriage.
- The difficulty with “work” in marriage is that the wife or husband usually wants to work on the other person’s problem first. The focus of the married Christian should be working on one’s own problems first and foremost.
It is impossible to change the other person but it is always possible, with God’s enabling, to change one’s self. When focusing on one’s self under the probing light of God’s word with a yielded spirit and a willing heart, there will be change.
- The problem with “commitment” is the “we want it all right now” culture. If it is not convenient, bail out.
Unless a believer is in the word of God on a regular basis and being transformed by the renewing of his mind as a life-long commitment, the culture will leave its mark.
A Christian cannot be neutral or passive in regard to the word of God. If he is, he will revert to the thinking and values of the culture. This is the tendency of indwelling sin (Romans 7:15-25).
A believer is never free of indwelling sin until he steps into glory; that’s why it’s a life-long commitment. He can have victory over indwelling sin by reckoning himself to be dead to sin through Christ living in him (Galatians 2:20). Even the apostle Paul had to die daily.
The solutions for marital difficulties lie in one’s relationship with God. God will get the believer through any difficulty, but the believer must be true to Him and obedient to His word.
Working on self in cooperation with God, and a life-long commitment to one’s own spiritual growth, will bring the believer through any problems that are encountered in his marital journey. The key is getting the plank out of one’s own eye first, over and over again.
Character and self discipline are no substitute for godliness.
One can be a person of character and self discipline and still be ungodly.
One cannot be godly without developing character and self discipline.
Many years ago as a youngster I attended a Bible camp not far from home. Another boy from our church attended as well. The camp was in an area that is now a state park, lots of timber and a fair amount of hiking, nature trails and the like.
Near the end of our week there, we had an evening bonfire. While everyone sat around the fire, we were encouraged to give our testimony of salvation. Some kids readily shared that they were Christians while others held back. I was one of those who held back until the other boy from our church gave testimony of having received Christ as his Saviour.
Hearing his testimony of salvation made me rather indignant. Here was a kid who was an occasional church attender saying that he was saved; that he was a Christian. I was in church every time the doors were open. I mowed the church lawn and scooped the sidewalks during the winter. I sang in the youth choir, helped clean the church and even participated in church services. If he was saved, I was more so!
Well, I gave a testimony of salvation that night at the bonfire. It was simply this: that I had prayed with my mom to become a Christian. Actually, just about every night at bedtime my mom prayed with me. My testimony was not about saving grace, but saving face. For years I believed that I was as saved as the other guy because of the things I had done.
There were some fatal flaws to my thinking. One fatal flaw was comparing myself to the other guy. I thought that because I did all these church related things that I was somehow better than the other boy. I thought that if he could be saved, then surely I had to be.
I didn’t understand that becoming a Christian has nothing to do with my deeds. Salvation has everything to do with what the Lord Jesus did: dying in my place, paying for my sins, and then rising from the dead. Salvation comes only through the merits of Christ, and not by works of righteousness which I have done.
People end up in hell not because of neglect to do or perform, but because they have not believed in Christ and His finished work as their only hope of salvation.
Another fatal flaw was thinking that a prayer could make me a Christian. Many mistakenly think because they prayed at some time in the past that they are now a Christian.
The litmus test of a true believer is not whether or not one prayed at sometime in the past but where one is spiritually now, today. Is our life, as of this moment, characterized by walking in obedience to God’s word? If not, we have to ask ourselves; why not?
Often people are told that if they have prayed the sinner’s prayer, they are now a Christian. Simply repeating a prayer does not save. The act of believing on and receiving Christ is what triggers salvation (John 1:12). Many who point to having said a prayer are often no more spiritual today than they were the day before they prayed the prayer. There has been no repentance (changing of the mind). There is no evidence of saving faith or new life in Christ. A pear tree does not produce apples, it produces pears. A believer produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit not the fruit of sin.
The Scriptures say that a believer does not commit sin. It also says that if we say we have no sin, we are liars. Is the Bible contradicting itself? If not, then what does it mean when the Scripture says a believer does not commit sin?
It means that a believer cannot practice sin. He cannot live a life that is continually characterized by sinful practice. A believer is a new creature in Christ whose life is characterized by obedience to God’s word and not by servitude to sin.
A believer is still capable of committing any sin out there, but he can never enjoy the pleasures of sin again or practice sin as a way of life. The indwelling Spirit of God will not let him. The Holy Spirit is grieved by sin, which results in godly sorrow in the believer, until the sin is confessed unto the Lord.
A lawyer practices law, a doctor practices medicine, an unbeliever practices sin, a believer practices obedience to God’s word. What is the evidence in our daily living? Have we experienced saving grace or are we just saving face?
…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…
“There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.” Proverbs 30:12 & 13
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:9-11
“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.”
“Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”
“Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”
“Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean, wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:1-7
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the church) with the washing of water by the word.” Ephesians 5:26
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
“Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7
“…….Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5&6
Are you washed in the blood of Christ?