GRACE TO BE HONEST ABOUT OUR SIN

“I am not really that excited about grace. Why? Because I have convinced myself that I don’t really need the rescue and forgiveness that grace offers. And to the degree that I am able to work myself into believing that I am righteous, I have less esteem for the perfect righteousness of Christ, which is the only righteousness with which I can stand before God. [S]elf-righteousness stands in the way of that grace having functional and transformative value in my life” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, May 18th).

“Here was my functional theology of my life as a child of God: I knew that by grace I had been granted God’s forgiveness and I knew that I had been graced with an all-inclusive pass into eternity, but I thought that between now and then, my job was to just gut it out. It was my responsibility to identify sin, to cut it out of my life, and to give myself to living in a much better, more biblical way. I tried this, trust me; I tried it and found it didn’t work” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 7th).

“How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort” (Gal 3:3 NLT).

“[I]t is a right affection if we desire to do well; if we hate sin, though we falter, seeing our purpose is good; and if we strive to go forward in the fear of God and in obedience to his will. Jesus Christ then accounts us as though we were just; he frees us from all our faults and does not charge them to our account. The faithful, though they are not entirely perfect and though they have many sins, are considered to be God’s children. Jesus Christ considers it no dishonor that they are called by his name, for he causes the goodness that is in them and through his grace makes them acceptable to God” John Calvin (ref#164, Nov 10th).

“We must keep going back to His grace. Only the grace of God revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ will give us the courage to get up again and keep on going even after we have failed for the umpteenth time. It is only grace that will allow us to be as honest about our sin as David was about his” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p206).

 “[J]ust as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification” (Rom 6:19 ESV).

“Here is one of the most beautiful fruits of grace—a heart that is content, more given to worship than demand and more given to the joy of gratitude than the anxiety of want. It is grace and grace alone that can make this kind of peaceful living possible for each of us” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 6th).

“Make no allowance for sin, frame no excuses for inactivity, shrink from no cross, be disheartened by no difficulty, give place to no temptation, yield to no excessive grief” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Mar 28th).

SINNERS SAVED BY GRACE

“Grace has given you a fleshy heart, one that is moldable by transforming grace. [W]hen you sin your conscience bothers you. [O]r you can erect some system of self-justification that makes what God says is wrong acceptable to your conscience. We are all so good at doing this. We are good at pointing to something or someone who justifies what we have done. What is deadly about this is that when you convince yourself that you are righteous, you quit seeking the grace that is your only hope in life or death. We are all in daily and desperate need of forgiving, rescuing, transforming, and delivering grace” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, March 30th).

“The battle with indwelling evil is still waged, the loving chastisement of a Father is still experienced, self-condemnation is still felt yet ’No condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom 8:1). The freedom of the believer is just what it is declared to be—entire exemption from condemnation” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 5th).

Today you are not alone against temptation because the One who is your Savior is also your fortress, your hiding place, and your defense. [Y]ou live in a world that has been dramatically broken by sin and does not function the way God intended. Because the world you live in isn’t operating as per God’s original design, it presents you with temptations everywhere you live. These temptations play to the sin and weakness that still lives inside you and that is being progressively eradicated by God’s transforming grace. [E]ven though we are God’s children, we lack the power on our own to fight the spiritual battles in which the world of sin and temptation engages us. As we face our vulnerability and weakness, there are things you and I should pray for regularly. We should pray for purity of desire, wisdom to recognize the enemy’s tricks, and strength to fight the battles we can’t avoid. [W]e need protection, not just from external temptation but from our own blind eyes and wandering hearts. [W]e are never, ever alone. God is with us He provides the safety we could never provide for ourselves. He fights on our behalf even when we don’t have the sense to resist” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 2nd).

“We know that none of the God-born makes a practice of sin—fatal sin. The God-born are also the God-protected. The Evil One can’t lay a hand on them. We know that we are held firm by God; it’s only the people of the world who continue in the grip of the Evil One” (1 John 5:18-21 MSG).

“Your sins and mine do not any longer belong to us; they have been taken from us; He has made Himself responsible for them. He is bearing away my sins and yours” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p55).

“[H]e walked through my death. And he didn’t simply die. He was condemned. He didn’t simply leave heaven for me; he endured hell for me. He, not deserving to be condemned, absorbed it in my place—I, who alone deserved it. That is his heart” Dane Ortland (ref#382, p192).

THE NEW BIRTH

“for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed our cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer 2:13 ESV).

“How wonderful is the love of God in giving his Son to die for such wretches! And how strong and absolute is the necessity of a new birth, if we would be happy. The propensities of fallen nature are not eradicated in the children of God, though by grace they are made partakers of a new principle, which enables them, in the Lord’s strength, to resist and mortify the body of sin, so that it cannot reign in them. [E]vil is latent in the hearts of the best men” John Newton (ref#322, p111).

“[W]e know that we are children of God when we are deeply aware of sin within. Next there is a desire for God and a desire for the things of God and a desire to walk in the ways of God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p28).

“[T]hough believers still have this indwelling propensity to sin, the Holy Spirit maintains within us a prevailing desire for holiness (1 John 3:9). The believers struggles with the sin God enables him to see in himself” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p60).

“[P]ut off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:22-24 ESV).

“In every believer’s heart there is a constant struggle between the old nature and the new. The old nature is very active, and it loses no opportunity of plying all the weapons of its deadly armory against newborn grace; while on the other hand, the new nature is ever on the watch to resist and destroy its enemy. Grace within us will employ prayer, faith, hope, and love to cast out the evil. It takes to it the ‘whole armour of God’ (Eph. 6:11) and wrestles earnestly” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, June 2nd AM).

“The spiritual healing of the Great Physician is only ever esteemed by those who acknowledge that they still suffer from the spiritual disease of sin” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 24th).

“[P]ut on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom 13:14 ESV).

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” Dane Ortland (ref#382, p190).

/

THE SOUND CONVERT

“The sound convert takes a whole Christ, and takes Him for all intents and purposes, without exceptions, without limitations, without reserve. He is willing to have Christ upon any terms; he is willing to have the dominion of Christ as well as deliverance by Christ” Joseph Alleine (ref#225, Oct 16th).

“The general condition and appointment of their life, the whole level of their existence, is one of righteousness; they are righteous people, holy people, not perfect people” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p78).

“Although Christians are free from the condemnation of the law, sin nonetheless continues to dwell within, and all genuine Christians should be profoundly aware of how far they fall short of God’s absolute standard of righteousness. Christians are delivered daily from the indwelling power of sin by walking ‘not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit’ and by the indwelling presence of ‘the Spirit of God [who] dwells in you’” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2169).

“We are growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord; we are increasingly being made to conform to the image of His Son. We are being delivered—we have been, we are, and we shall be ultimately. The glorification is coming when He will take away our sin altogether” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p56).

“[T]hey fall into sin occasionally, but they do not stay on the ground—they get back to the high level. They know that they have sinned; they hate sin and repent and confess their sin and the blood of Jesus Christ again covers them, and back they go walking in the light. [T]hey know there is a seed of righteousness in them. [T]hey have been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p79).

FORGIVEN SINNERS

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (Ps 32:1-2 ESV).

“[T]he psalm is about forgiven sinners, not about perfect people. [T]he righteous and the upright are not perfect. They are persons who confess their sin, hate it, and trust God for forgiveness and help” (ref#200, p214).

“Because I am a sinner, I need mercy, and because God is merciful, I can face the reality of my sin. Maybe it’s a thoughtless word, a selfish act, a prideful thought, a moment of envy, a flash of lust, a willing act of disobedience, an attitude of vengeance, or a minor moment of thievery. [W]e all give daily proof to the truth that sin still lives inside us. [I]t’s only when you admit how deep and comprehensive your problem is that you get excited about the rescue that only God’s mercy can supply” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 16th).

“The knowledge that we are sinners should not keep us from fighting for God’s truth. If the accusation of sin was enough to silence God’s children, no one would be left to herald his truth. Having confessed our sin we should not be afraid of calling our cause righteous and go forward in God’s strength” John Calvin (ref#164, Jan 27th). “[W]e are vindicated in the eyes of God” John Calvin (ref#164, Jan 28th)!

“[Y]ou must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:11 ESV).

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:geraldfaurote:Desktop:Screen Shot 2021-10-18 at 9.47.25 AM.png“[S]alvation through Jesus Christ has given us complete separation from the oppressive dominion of evil. We may be people who can still sin and most certainly do, but not because we are still in the grip of sin. We no longer live where we are forced to do what we do not want to do. If we often feel that way it is only because we have not learned how by faith to count ourselves as ‘dead to sin.’ Nor have we learned to no longer offer our bodies to sin, but to be slaves of righteousness.” Doug Newton (ref#166, p84).

“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification” (Rom 6:17-19 ESV).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

OUR ONLY HOPE IS IN THE LORD

“…let your compassion come speedily to meet us…” (Ps 79:8 ESV).

“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake (Ps 79:9 ESV)!

“Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved” (Ps 80:3 ESV)!

“…give us life, and we will call upon your name” (Ps 80:18 ESV)!

 “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name” (Ps 86:11 ESV).

“…let me not wander from your commandments” (Ps 119:10 ESV).

“…teach me your statutes” (Ps 119:12 ESV)!

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Ps 119:18 ESV).

“…give me life according to your word” (Ps 119:25 ESV)!

“…strengthen me according to your word” (Ps 119:28 ESV)!

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (Ps 119:37 ESV).

“Confirm to your servant your promise…” (Ps 119:38 ESV).

“Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise” (Ps 119:41 ESV).

“…give me life” (Ps 119:40 ESV)!

“…take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth…” (Ps 119:43 ESV).

 “…be gracious to me according to your promise” (Ps 119:58 ESV).

“For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy” (Ps 92:4 ESV).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

ASSURED OF HEAVEN

“It is not one or two good actions, but a consistent conduct, that tells whether a man is a true Christian….A Christian may stumble, he may even fall, but he gets up and walks on in the way of God’s commandments; the bent of his heart is right, and the scope of his life is straight, and thus he is considered sincere” George Swinnock (ref#225, Dec 11th).

A characteristic of a Christian is: “A man who is born again does not use the world’s opinion as his standard of right and wrong.  He does not mind going against the world’s ways, ideas, and customs.  What men think or say no longer concerns him….He finds no pleasure in things which seem to bring happiness to most people…He fears offending God more than offending man” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).

“I start…from the standpoint that I have been made a child of God by the grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am destined for heaven; I have an assurance that I have been called to go there and that God is going to take me there, and it is because I know this that I am preparing now.  I must never regard that as contingent and uncertain in order that I may make it certain.  It is exactly the other way round: it is because I know I am going to meet God that I must prepare to meet Him” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p41-42, underlining mine).

FATHER, I am “…spiritually and vitally united to Christ…” Charles Ross (ref#241, p120) therefore I behave like Him.  I don’t try to act like Him.  I am like Him.  In my walk with CHRIST I no more strive to be like Him.  That no longer concerns me; CHRIST has taken care of that.  Instead my walk is to prepare to meet Him in heaven.

A characteristic of a Christian is: “A man who is born again is careful of his own soul.  He tries not only to avoid sin but also to avoid everything which may lead to it.  He is careful about the company he keeps.  He knows that evil communications corrupt the heart, and that evil is more catching than good…He is careful about the use of his time; his chief desire is to spend it profitable” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).  And to spend it profitable is preparing to meet Him in heaven!

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

HYPOCRITES_4

“The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: ‘Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire?  Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?’  He who walks righteously…” (Isa 33:14-15 ESV).

“There are two kinds of persons among God’s professing people: the one is those who are truly godly, the other kind consist of sinners in Zion, hypocrites…. hypocrites…make a profession of the true religion; they attend God’s ordinances and make a show of being the worshippers of God, but all is in hypocrisy.  Fearfulness will surprise them.  The wrath of God is in His Word manifested against the wicked, but it is ten times as much manifested against those sinners who make the profession and enjoy the privileges of the people of God….The reasons for this are chiefly these: they sin against such professions and vows, and they sin against so much greater mercy” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p59).

“Abstaining from sin.  This abstaining may be from restraining grace, not renewing grace.  Men may leave gross sin and yet live in more spiritual sins; leave drunkenness and live in pride; leave uncleanness and live in malice” Thomas Watson (ref#48, “The Counterfeits of the New Creature”).

“Many a man’s knowledge is a torch to light him to hell.  You who have knowledge of God’s will, but don’t do it, in what way do you excel a hypocrite” Thomas Watson (ref#225, May 23rd)?

“…a mighty supernatural power is needed if I am to come to Him who ‘justifieth the ungodly.’  None but the all-mighty Spirit can lift a stricken soul out of the guilt of despair and enable him to believe to the saving of his soul” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p93).

A characteristic of a Christian is: “He is painfully aware of his indwelling corruption.  He finds an evil principle within himself that is constantly warring against grace and trying to draw him away from God.  But he does not consent to it, though he cannot prevent its presence” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).  “Sanctification is…dependent on God’s continuing action in the believer, and consisting of the believer’s continuous struggle against sin….Sanctification is…human effort dependent on God” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1650).

O FATHER, how I want to believe that all I pray for, who are unregenerate, are sinning in a way that does not lead to death and that eventually You will give them life.  I pray their sins are not obstinate sins, and thus, incurable.  Matthew Poole (ref#21, p941, [1 John 5:16]).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

HYPOCRITES_3

“Many in these days of easy profession are likely to prove to be tares, and not wheat; hypocrites with fair masks on their faces, but not the true-born children of the living God” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 26th PM).

Initial or preparative grace may fail: “’…those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,’ may fall away; such as illumination, external reformation, temporary faith, some good beginnings. Some die in the pangs of the new birth and are stillborn.  Plenty of blossoms do not always foretell a store of fruit” Thomas Manton (ref#225, Sept 28th).

“…enter into the spiritual state…know that there is such a spiritual life to be lived…the first thing…to do is to study and to believe God’s Word until in faith our hearts are filled with the assurance that there is such a life possible….the second step: A man must see the shame and guilt of his not having lived such a life….A man does not get converted without having conviction of sin….a man…must be convicted of his particular sin….Until this conviction of the wrongness of our carnal state as believers comes to each one of us; until we are willing to get this conviction from God, to take time before God to be humbled and convicted, we never can become spiritual men” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p16-20).

We become a brand new person inside.  Our new life has begun (2 Cor 5:17)—a life fashioned after CHRIST, renewed from the inside and able to work itself into our conduct as He accurately reproduces His character in us (Eph 4:24).  This metamorphosis is called, “sanctification” and we will keep changing for the better until the day we die (Phil 2:12).

A characteristic of a Christian is: “He may have fears and doubts.  He may sometimes tell you that he feels as if he had no faith at all.  But ask him if he is willing to trust in anything instead of Christ, and see what he will say.  Ask him if he will rest his hope of eternal life on his own goodness, his own works, his prayers, his minister, or his church” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).

FATHER, all that I pray for I pray they are not refusing Your diagnosis of their need and Your offer of forgiveness (ref#56, p1828, [1 John 1:10]).  I pray they are not chronically disobedient to Your commands (ref#125, p2437, [1 John 5:16]). For continuing in such a state leads to permanent death.

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

HYPOCRITES_2

“The highest principle with the hypocrite is fear of punishment, and hope of reward (Hos 10:11), their highest end is themselves (Hos 10:1)” Thomas  Boston (ref#267).

“To ‘live after the flesh’ is to be in love with sin, to serve it contentedly, to make self-gratification the trade and business of life.  It is by no means limited to the grosser forms of wickedness and crime, but includes as well the refinement, morality, and religiousness of the best of men, who yet give God no real place in their hearts and lives” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p111).

“You know the way of salvation.  You read it in the Bible, you hear it from the pulpit, and it is explained to you by friends; yet you neglect it and therefore, are not saved….Times of refreshing have come from the divine presence, yet you are without Christ….Affliction and prosperity have both failed to impress you.  Tears and prayers and sermons have been wasted on your barren heart” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Dec 31st AM).

“Are you ignorant of the Holy Spirit – unacquainted with his life-giving power?…You are still of the world, and what you need is to have your false peace disturbed, and to be converted to God” Charles Ross (ref#241, p93).

A characteristic of a Christian: “A person who has been born again, or regenerated, does not habitually commit sin.  He no longer sins with his heart and will and whole inclination.  There was probably a time when he did not think about whether his actions were sinful or not, and he did not always feel grieved after doing evil.  There was no quarrel between him and sin; they were friends.  But the true Christian hates sin, flees from it, fights against it, considers it his greatest plague, resents the burden of its presence, mourns when he falls under its influence, and longs to be completely delivered from it” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).

“What brought deliverance to that poor condemned sinner…in his unconverted state?  He felt he could do nothing good of himself….He saw set before him the almighty Saviour and he cast himself into His arms; he trusted himself to that omnipotent love and cried, ‘Lord, have mercy upon me.’  That was salvation” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p22-23).