Thursday, August 3, 2017

Salvation Assurances 2

Chuckle: A Sunday School teacher said to her children, "We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But, there is a higher power. Can anybody tell me who it is?" One child blurted out, "Aces!"
Quote: "For a saint to desire sin is as ridiculous as a rodeo where cowboys ride calves to rope horses. Not only is the experience unnatural, it is also extremely unproductive."Unknown source
"No one who is born of God will (want to) continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he is born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are. . . . . ." (1 John 3:9-10 NIV).
Last time we saw that our obedience to God's commands indicates that we belong to Him through faith in Christ and gives us assurance of our salvation. Today, we see another way we can know for sure that we have eternal life. This passage does not mean we will never sin as a Christian. Rather, it means we have no desire to sin. We don't want to sin and when we do, we're genuinely sorry and repentant. Those who are habitual sinners with no remorse are under the control of Satan - those whose lifestyle is includes indulgence in sin. Satan's existence has always been characterized by sin and rebellion against God.
Unfortunately, we all sin, even when we don't want to: "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8 NIV). But even though we all sin from time to time, as Christians, sin should no longer be attractive to us. "He or she cannot go on sinning" means that true believers do not make a practice of sinning, and neither do they become indifferent to God's moral laws. Even though all believers still sin, they are striving every day to be victorious over sin. Our genuine desire is not to sin, and when we do, we are deeply disturbed and immediately claim the promise in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
We are "born of God" when the Holy Spirit comes to live within us and gives us new life in Christ. Being born again is much more than just a fresh start; it is a rebirth -- receiving a new family name based on our faith in Christ who died with for us. When this happens, God forgives us and totally accepts us. The Holy Spirit also gives us a new mind and heart, and begins helping us to become like Jesus. Our perspective changes because we have a mind that is renewed day by day by the Holy Spirit.
So, if you, as a Christian, abhor sin and want to avoid falling into its trap, here are three steps that will help you find victory over prevailing sin: (1) Seek daily the power of the Holy Spirit and God's Word; (2) Stay away from situations where you will be tempted to sin; and (3) Seek the help of other Christians -- be open to their counsel and willingness to hold you accountable for your actions as they pray for you.
"It is always a somewhat surprising characteristic for believers who have grown in holiness to increasingly feel themselves to be sinners. Why? Consider the air in a room. It looks fresh and clean, but when it is penetrated by the sunlight we see that in reality it is full of dust and other impurities. In a similar way, as we draw nearer to God and are penetrated by His light, we can more clearly see our own impurities and begin to feel something of the same hatred for sin that God feels." --Illustrations for Biblical Preaching; Edited by Michael P. Green
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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