“Look on my affliction and deliver me,
for I do not forget your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;
give me life according to your promise!”
Many people are professing faith in Jesus Christ, and they are believing him for their salvation from sin. They want the Lord to deliver them from the penalty of sin, and from the shame of sin, but not many truly are willing to let the Lord deliver them from their bondage (addiction) to sin.
They want to have eternal life with God. They want to claim the promises of God over their lives. But they aren’t willing to do what the Word of God teaches they must do to have eternal life with God. And, this is not works-based salvation.
The Scriptures teach that faith in Jesus Christ is humbling ourselves before God, that it is surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ, making him Lord (owner-master) of our lives. They teach us that salvation from sin is death to sin and it is living to God and to his righteousness (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; 1 Pet 2:24).
They teach us that the gospel according to Jesus Christ means that we leave our lives of sin behind us, and that we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and that now we follow our Lord Jesus in surrender and in walks of obedience to his commands (Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 8:1-17).
However, one of Satan’s biggest lies, which is permeating the gatherings of what is called “church,” is that we can’t be free from our slavery to sin, and that the best we can hope for is just to be forgiven our sins. But Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).
So, you don’t have to live in bondage to sin. You don’t have to give in to temptation time and time again, making sin your practice. Jesus died to free you from addiction to sin. Don’t believe the lies that tell you there is no way out. There is!! Freedom is possible by faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:1-23).
Satan wants to keep you trapped in sin feeling there is no way out. He wants to keep you feeling hopeless. He wants you to believe addiction is something you can’t be free from or that it will take years to be free. Don’t believe the lies. Believe the truth that Jesus can/will set you free! (Eph. 4:17-24).
“Salvation is far from the wicked,
for they do not seek your statutes.
Great is your mercy, O Lord;
give me life according to your rules.”
But not everyone has faith. Not everyone is willing to believe Jesus for salvation from sin. Even many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ don’t truly believe him for salvation from their bondage to sin, because they don’t truly want to be free. And, they don’t want God to be in control of their lives.
And, the reason for this is that they want to retain control over their own lives. They want to retain the option to sin if they want to sin. For, they want to live in self-indulgence and in self-pleasure when it suits them. They don’t want to have to give up the self-life. But some of them also want the “Christian” life, too. So, they try in their own flesh to be good, at times.
But they find it futile to try to conquer sin in their own flesh, because they can’t, because flesh cannot put flesh to death, and because it is not really in their heart to be free from slavery to sin. Mostly they just want to perform, to look good to others, so others will think they are good Christians, but while they still maintain power and control over their own lives.
So, although they claim to have faith in Jesus, and even though they may even be claiming to be a Jesus follower, they are still the ones in the driver’s seat, manipulating, scheming and maneuvering how things are going to go. Thus, they are pressing forward in their own strength, not in the strength of the Lord, which is why they continue to fall back into sin.
For, they are unwilling to obey the Lord. They are unwilling to take full responsibility for their own lives, to do what they know they ought to be doing. So, they are spiritually lazy, slothful, and apathetic regarding holiness, righteousness, and obedience to the Lord. Thus, they are fruitless regarding God’s eternal kingdom, too.
They are self-centered, self-absorbed individuals who are living immature and irresponsible lives, unwilling to submit to the authority of God over their lives, but who make a pretense of living the Christian life while they continue to hold on to their sinful practices, rather than to give them up and to allow the Spirit of God to truly set them free.
For, we can’t make up the rules. We can’t decide what we will do or not do for our Lord. He is the one who sets the rules. He is the one who determines the boundary lines we are not to cross over. If we want to have eternal life with God, then we must submit to his rules (his commands).
And, he says that we must forsake our lifestyles of sin, that we must allow him to change us in heart and mind, and that we must now walk in obedience to his commands, and no longer live to gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
“Consider how I love your precepts!
Give me life according to your steadfast love.
The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”
As followers of Jesus Christ this is where our heart is to be, but not on a surface level only, and not to impress others with our spirituality, but in truth, and in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
We must be those who (agape) love (prefer) the commands of our Lord. Now, we are not under the Old Covenant, so we don’t have to obey all the same rules and regulations as did the Jews. But under the New Covenant we are still to obey God’s moral laws, which he explained in much further detail in the New Testament.
For example, Jesus said that we are not to commit adultery, but then he expanded on that by saying that to lust after another (not your spouse) is to commit adultery in our hearts. And, he said that to hate someone is the same as to murder someone.
And, Jesus and his New Testament apostles both taught that to love God is to obey him, and if we don’t walk in obedience to our Lord, we don’t love him, and we don’t know him (Jn. 14:23-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).
They also taught us that to be in relationship with Jesus Christ and with the Father means to die with Christ to sin and to live to Christ and to his righteousness, and that if we don’t die with Christ to sin, but we keep on living in our sin, that we won’t have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8).
So, we need to be those who (agape) love (prefer, obey) the commands of our Lord Jesus. For, in them we will find freedom from sin and life everlasting with God in heaven, all to the glory and praise of God!
Listen to Our Hearts
Songwriters: Geoff Moore / Steven Chapman
So listen to our hearts.
Hear our spirit sing
A song of praise that flows
From those you have redeemed.
We will use the words we know
To tell you what an awesome God You are.
But words are not enough
To tell you of our love,
So listen to our hearts.
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