Tag Archives: Bible

Spurgeon on Mixture

spurgeon

We sing, and sing rightly too –

My soul, no more attempt to draw Thy life and comfort from the law,” 

for from the law death cometh and not life, misery and not comfort.

“to convince and to condemn is all the law can do.”

O, when will all professors, and especially all professed ministers of Christ, learn the difference between the law and the gospel? Most of them make a mingle-mangle, and serve out deadly potions to the people, often containing but one ounce of gospel to a pound of law, whereas, but even a grain of law is enough to spoil the whole thing.

-Sermon No. 531, “The Warrant of Faith,” Sept. 20, 1863


Confession, A License to Sin?

Art-Of-Confession-Day-Full-Hd-Images

Is Grace a license to sin? Ask most church people and they would say (based on my experience) that preaching “too much” grace gives people a license to sin. They say, “If we tell Christians they are totally forgiven of all sins, past, present, and future, then what will keep them from sinning?” This is based on a wrong mindset which thinks that we are still the same old sinners with the same old nature, thus freedom = sin. These same people, however, use 1 John 1:9 as the “Christian bar of soap.” They say, our past sins are forgiven, but now we have to confess each new sin in order to be forgiven or stay forgiven.” Some how, this is supposed to keep people in line.

But do you see what we’ve done (and I’ve done this in the past too)? We’ve taken the Blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin, and cheapened it. By the way, how is having to confess your sins to be forgiven not also a “license to sin?” All we have done is add to the equation of Jesus + nothing to make it Jesus + us. Rather, we have subtracted from Jesus’ work and Blood and replaced it with our confession (which in the greek, homologeó, means to say the same thing, agree, or admit). But can’t people still abuse this and sin as much as they want and just confess it away? I know, for me, confessing sin never deterred me from sinning. But knowing I am totally forgiven sure has ended sin’s power over me.

“We have taken the Blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin, and cheapened it.”

By using the same reasoning behind the “Grace is a license to sin” accusation, confession would also be a license to sin. Of course, grace is NOT a license to sin. People who think so haven’t taken into account that we are new creations with new natures. Plus, we have the Holy Spirit, Who would never lead us to sin.

Let’s take a quick look at the 1 John 1:9 sandwich, verses 8, 9 & 10.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. 
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”

These verses are NOT saying, “if we say we do not sin…” Both 8 & 10 are sin deniers who say “we have no sin, and we have not sinned.” They are saying they have never sinned. This isn’t talking about Christians who say their sins have been washed away. It’s the unbeliever who says there is no such thing as sin, therefore, they’ve never sinned.

And 1 John1:9 does NOT say “if we ask forgiveness and say we are sorry.” It simply says “If we (homologeó, say the same thing, agree, confess, admit) our sins…”

Verse 9 also does NOT say we confess our sins to be forgiven, it says if we confess, He is faithful and just…

Why is He faithful? Because of the Blood of Jesus mentioned in verse 7,

and the Blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Maybe you agree with me and maybe you don’t about our need to confess our sins as Christians, but don’t take my word for it, let’s see what the Apostle John says we should do when we sin. The very next verse, 1 John 2:1, says:

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins…”

Notice how the author of 1 John doesn’t say, “if you sin, confess it to be forgiven.”

He says, if anyone does sin, ITS ALL ABOUT JESUS, our Defense Attorney, our Advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous! It’s already taken care of, He is the propitiation for our sins! TRUST IN JESUS! Trust in Him!

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So let’s stop taking away from the finished work of Christ and the power of the Blood. Let’s stop making it about us. It really is ALL ABOUT JESUS! Let’s stop profaning the Blood of the Covenant and insulting the Spirit of Grace. We are totally forgiven and cleansed because of Jesus! We trust in Him, not ourselves, not our faith but His faithfulness.

Be blessed and be transformed by the renewing of your mind in the Living Word!


Deny Yourself

deny_yourself

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

Many people who mean well will use this verse out of context as a means to control and bully people(it would seem) and put them back under some type of law(trying to earn God’s favor). They inadvertently take the focus off of Christ and His finished work, and put it on self and self efforts.

However, context shines light into this error.

Jesus foretells of His death, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” – Luke 9:22

Then after, 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it…”

26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My Words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

In the context of this passage, “deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me,” means to be prepared to be rejected and killed for the message of Christ, the Gospel.

“Deny himself” is not talking (in context) about denying “a sinful self,” but denying your own will to live as Christ did in the garden of Gethsemane. By the way, our sinful self is dead with Christ, and we have a new self that is sinless. Anyways, Jesus’ will was to live, nevertheless, He submitted and said “Not My will, but Your will be done.”

So a simply explanation of this passage is, “Be willing lay down your life to die and be rejected every day for the Gospel, if it comes to that, and follow Jesus’ example of laying His life down on the cross.”

Take_up_Your_Cross

“Not my will, but Your will be done.”

Again, it’s not about us, it’s about Jesus. We only love because He first loved us.

God has made us new creations in Christ, the old has passed, behold the new has come. And if you have Christ Jesus you are righteousness, sanctified, and redeemed according to 1 Corinthians 1:30. And just to hammer the point that we are completely new, we have what Ephesians calls, a new self, created like God, truly righteous and holy.

Be blessed, and be transformed by the renewing of your mind in the Living Word!


The Law is still relevant for Christians

“Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.” Romans 3:31 (NLT)

Just let that sink in for a min. Then go read Deuteronomy 28.

The point is that the Law is still relevant, just not how most people think. By faith in Jesus, the Law is fulfilled in us. That means the Law now judges believers based on Christ’s life and not our own efforts and short comings. Hence, we receive the blessings of the Law because the requirements of the law have been met because of our faith in Jesus’ perfect work.

“For God has done what the Law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk in the Spirit (in faith).” Romans 8:3-4

“So the Law can no longer condemn a believer, it can only bless us because of Jesus.”

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:13-14

Now that’s some really really REALLY Good News!

1. We’ve been redeemed from the curse of the Law.
2. And the blessing of Abraham has come to us in Christ Jesus…
3. …so that we receive the Spirit through faith.

The Law is also relevant for Christians to use in evangelism. You can read my other blogs about that though.

Disclaimer
And just to be clear, when I say the Law is still relevant in the life of a believer, I am in no way saying that a Christian is supposed to live under the Law, ever. The Law can only take you as far as the foot of the blood-stained cross and no further (Galatians 3). Paul is clear in Romans 7 that we are dead to the Law, and trying to keep any part of the Law ends up arousing sinful desires.

Thanks for reading!
-Chris