Believe the Truth

Acts 4:5-12 ESV

“On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’”

Our Sin Situation Today

Rather than go into the story behind this all, I believe that I am to focus my attention today on Peter’s words and their meaning, and especially as applied to our world and to our lives today in 2022. But before I get into his words, I believe that I am to set the stage for what is going on in our present world so that we understand what we are up against.

Sin is sin. That has never changed. All people are born with sin natures, in the image of Adam, and that will never change (Rom 3:23; Rom 5:12-19; 1 Co 15:21-22,42-49). But the Scriptures do talk about how, in these last days, that wickedness will increase, and how that the love of many will grow cold, etc. And we are definitely seeing this in our day and time. But how it is impacting the church is the real concern.

Satan wants everyone sinning against God. But the true gospel of salvation was impacting that from happening. So, he and his human cohorts devised a plan whereby they could get more people to sin so that sin would increase and spread and abound. So, the traitors to the true faith in Jesus Christ (the deserters of the true faith) created a vehicle (a means of accomplishing something) to help sin to increase and to spread to all people.

What they created is often referred to as “the cheap grace gospel,” because they cheapened (diluted, altered, modified) the grace of God to where it accepts sin as a normal course of people’s every day lives and to where it does not put sin to death in the lives of those who profess to believe in Jesus. This cheap grace gospel cares nothing about Christians sinning against God, and in fact it promotes sin, not holiness and righteousness.

For many, many years, perhaps always, but definitely increasing in these last days, we have had with us those who make shallow professions of faith in Jesus Christ based on a prayer they prayed after someone else one time in their lives which they believe secures them heaven when they die regardless of how they live on this earth. They are the authors of this “cheap grace gospel” which they are using to lead other people into sin.

Basically, what this half-truth false gospel teaches is that we can make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ one time in our lives and now we are good to go for eternity regardless of how we live our lives on the earth. No repentance, no forsaking of sin, no obedience to God, and no submission to Christ as Lord required for salvation and for eternal life with God. And “faith” is reduced to words we say or to giving lip service to God only.

And right here is where the Lord then directed my attention to the internet. Ever since the creation of the internet, and especially ever since we have had personal computers in our homes, and then most grievously ever since we have all had pocket personal computers on our persons or in our purses, with easy and private access, sin has massively increased in volume and in intensity, even or especially among those who claim to be Christians.

The whole world of sin is at our fingertips, and now at the fingertips of many of our children and grandchildren, too, who are being handed these internet devices as babysitters and/or as toys and/or for school. And the people who are running the internet, who are the wealthy and powerful people of the world, who are also those who are intoxicated to sin, purposefully place ads and images on the internet on the side or on the bottom of articles, even on some “Christian” sites. These are traps being laid everywhere on the internet which are trapping many people in sexual idolatry and in addiction.

And then the “cheap grace gospel” is telling them that God does not judge them for their sins, and some are even saying that God can’t even see when they sin, for all he sees is Jesus when he looks at them, even if they are steeped in porn/sexual addiction. And so they convince them that they can “believe” in Jesus, have all their sins forgiven, including future sins, and so their sins no longer matter to God. So, if they feel guilty for sinning, they are told just to “claim who you are in Christ,” even if they are not in Christ.

The Sin Solution For All Time

Jesus Christ, and what he did for us on that cross, is our only solution for sin, but we have to have a correct biblical understanding of what that solution is and of what Jesus’ death on that cross actually provided for us. For, Jesus did not die on that cross merely to forgive us our sins, to free us from the punishment of sin, and to give us the hope of heaven when we die. And our salvation from sin is not a one-time deal and then all is well.

Jesus Christ, God the Son, who knew no sin, became sin for us on that cross that we might become the righteousness of God, not just in name, but in practice. For he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He gave his life up for us that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him. And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now honor God with our bodies.

And faith in Jesus Christ is not of ourselves, but it is authored by God/Jesus, it comes from God, and it is gifted to us by God. Therefore, this faith will be in line with God’s moral and righteous character, and it will be submissive to his will and purpose for our lives, and those exercising this faith will forsake their sinful practices to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his will for our lives, in the power, wisdom, and strength of God’s Spirit living within them.

So, when we believe in Jesus Christ with this God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. For our old self was crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so what we would no longer be enslaved to sin, but now we would live as slaves of God and of his righteousness.

Therefore, we are not to let sin reign (rule, be in control) in our mortal bodies to make us obey its passions. For sin shall no longer have dominion over us because Jesus set us free from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin. Thus, we are slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and to sanctification, which then results (ends) in eternal life with God.

But, if we choose to walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin, thinking our sins no longer matter to God, or that they won’t impact our eternal security, then we need to be aware of what the Scriptures teach on this subject. For they teach that if we walk in darkness (sin), and if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness is not what we practice, and if we are not repentant, and if we do not walk in obedience to our Lord, and if we hate our fellow Christians, that we will NOT have eternal life with God, but hell will be our destiny.

Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Matt 7:21-23 ESV

So, please take this to heart, for your life depends on you believing the truth.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Hear my Voice

An Original Work / July 9, 2012
Based off Psalm 27

The Lord is my great salvation.
He’s the stronghold of my life.
When my enemies attack me,
My heart will not fear at all.
Though a war break out against me,
Confident in Christ I’ll be.
Of the Lord, I ask that I may
Live with Him eternally.

Hear my voice, Lord, when I call you.
Merciful to me You’ll be.
Though my relatives forsake me,
My Lord God will receive me.
Teach me Your way, O my Jesus.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
I will sacrifice to my Lord.
I will sing with joyfulness.

I am confident that I will
See the goodness of the Lord.
All the richness of His blessings,
My Lord has for me in store.
He asks me to be of courage;
To be strong and to take heart,
Patiently as I wait for Him,
And from Him to ne’er depart.

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