We Have to Believe It!

Egret014

Don’t Be Unaware
1 Corinthians 10:1-5 ESV

For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

It is possible to profess faith in Jesus Christ, to regularly participate in worship services with the church, to go to Bible studies, and attend small fellowship groups; to be involved in ministry, to tithe, to have daily devotions, to witness for Christ to others, and to even be a pastor of a church, and yet not have genuine believing faith in Jesus Christ that is followed with obedience to our Lord.

For, not everyone has faith. Not everyone who professes belief in Jesus Christ is walking by faith. Many who profess to believe in Jesus are still walking according to the flesh, doing what their evil hearts desire. They have all the outward appearance of being people of faith, and yet their hearts are far from God. They give lip service only to our Lord while in secret they live in idolatry and for selfish gain.

As Examples for Us
1 Corinthians 10:6-11 ESV

Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

And, who is Paul talking to here? He is writing to the church. He is telling the church – those who profess faith in Jesus Christ – that what the children of Israel of old did, in relationship to God, in disobedience to their Lord, was written down for us, as an example for us, so that we don’t follow in the way of disobedience as they did and thus were destroyed. And, by “destroyed,” he meant that they did not enter into God’s eternal rest.

So, the children of Israel had all the opportunities available to them to have wonderful walks of faith with God (with Christ), and yet the majority of them turned their backs on God and they went their own way. They became idolaters, and engaged in sexual immorality, and they desired evil rather than good. They were party makers, just thinking of self, just wanting to have a good time, playing games, and not taking God seriously at all.

They probably thought they didn’t have to. After all, they were God’s people, right? They were the chosen ones, the children of Israel. They thought they were secure because they were physical descendants of Abraham, so they thought they were a cut above everyone else in the world. They probably thought that they were indestructible and that because God had always protected them that he always would.

And, there are a lot of people today who feel the same way. They have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, they go to church, they participate in worship services, are involved in ministry, give their money to the church and think they are good to go and that how they live their lives doesn’t matter, because they are in this privileged class of people called “Christian.”

But, our Lord dispels that theory, that notion, all throughout the New Testament, and particularly he does right here, too. For these things were written down for us as examples to us so that we don’t follow in the same way as the children of Israel did and end up being cut off from God – not being one of the “frozen chosen,” because we think our sinful lifestyles no longer matter to God now that we are “saved.”

And, our Lord makes it real clear all throughout the New Testament that genuine faith in Jesus Christ results in walks of obedience, not of sinless perfection, but that sin no longer reigns supreme in our lives. Sin is no longer our master. Jesus Christ is now our Lord (owner-master), and we now follow him wherever he leads us. We now walk (in practice) according to the Spirit of God and no longer do we walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh.

Take Heed Lest You Fall
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 ESV

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

So, the caution here is for us to take heed if we think we stand secure with Christ on a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but if we don’t follow that confession of faith with walks of obedience to our Lord. For, that is what happened with the children of Israel. They made a profession of faith in God, but scripture says most of them did not follow it with obedience, which was the mark of true faith. And, so they did not enter into God’s eternal rest.

I hear many who profess faith in Jesus Christ either feel they have the liberty to keep on in their sinful practices without guilt, while claiming who they are in Christ, or else they believe it is not possible to resist Satan and to flee temptation. And, so they have bought into a lie which tells them that they will never be free. Some of them have been convinced, too, that their struggle with sin is an incurable sickness and that they can’t help it. And, so they live defeated lives, still bound in their sin, while freedom is being promised them.

So, we need to know the truth here that will set us free. We have to know that Jesus died on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins, but to free us from our slavery (addiction) to sin. He has given us the way out from underneath temptation to sin. We just have to take the way out he provided for us. We just have to want to be free, and then we need to rely on God to help us, and then take the steps he tells us to take.

Bottom line in all of this is that a lot of people are not walking in freedom, not because freedom is not available or attainable, but because they love their sin and they don’t truly want to be free. And, so they repeat the same cycles of sin over and over again while making the same old lame excuses for why they are still not free, many of them for a very long time, too.

So, if we want to be free from slavery to sin and walk in our Lord’s holiness and righteousness, we have to believe Jesus died to set us free, and we have to take his way of escape. We have to resist Satan and flee temptation, and we have to cut out of our lives all that is leading us into sin. We have to then walk by the Spirit so that we don’t fulfill the lusts of our flesh. And, daily we must die to sin and self and take up our armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us, for this is WAR!

But, we don’t have to do this in our own strength. Jesus will give us all that we need, and he has already given us all that we need to fight off Satan and temptation to sin, and to walk in victory over Satan and the flesh. And, victory in Jesus is possible! It is attainable! We just have to believe it and seize it! And, we have to walk in it in the power of God’s Spirit living within us and not give the devil a foothold. And, then we will know true peace! And, we will walk in freedom! And, we will have the joy of the Lord! Amen!

I Will Lift My Eyes

An Original Work / December 12, 2012
Based off Psalms 121-125

I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
He will not let your foot slip, and He who watches will not sleep.
Our Lord watches over you, and your life He will keep.
I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
I give thanks to Him.

I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n.
Because of His great love for us, He made us alive with Christ.
Through the kindness of our Savior, He gave us new life.
I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n;
My home, now in heav’n.

Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
Those who trust will ne’er be shaken. God will supply all we need.
Our Lord has done great things for us. He’s our friend, indeed!
Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
I can count on Him.

 

7 thoughts on “We Have to Believe It!

    • Don’t believe it is required under the New Covenant but believe it is a good and biblically founded practice. If anything, New Covenant giving could be beyond the 10%. God has to lead each of us in what to give. We have to obey him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I respect that! I won’t speak against the tenth though… in my old church, it seemed as though every one who spoke out against the tenth didn’t stay in the church much longer. And how they left really seemed to be alarming.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?””
    — 1 Peter 4:17-18 (NIV)

    Liked by 1 person

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