Tag Archives: Faith

Spurgeon on Mixture

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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

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Confession, A License to Sin?

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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!


A Mixed Message? Are We Okay, or Not?

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We hear that we’re okay and that we’re not okay. We hear that we are sinners and that we are saints? We hear that we have a new heart and Christ dwells there but also that our heart is desperately wicked? We’re told we are forgiven but also that we’re not totally forgiven. We are righteous but we’re not “practically” righteous. We’ve heard that the devil is the accuser of the brethren and at the same time however, the Holy Spirit is the one convicting me of sins. We hear we’re not under the law but we still have to keep the law… well, just the moral law… uhm, just 90% of the moral law. We’re saved by grace through faith not of works… until after we’re saved, then it’s up to us? So did the gospel got worse once we believed?

We’ve heard we have eternal and everlasting life, that is unless we mess it up then it’s not eternal or everlasting. Or that Jesus lives in us and the Holy Spirit will never leave us or forsake us, but we can still be out of fellowship with Him? We hear Jesus became a curse to redeem us from the curse, then we hear you’re cursed if you don’t give. We hear grace is unearned favor, then hear if you don’t “fill in the blank” God won’t bless you. We talk about being new creations in Christ, but still think of ourselves as old creations trying to be better versions of our old selves. We sing about the power of Christ’s Blood and the cross, then talk and act as though It changed nothing. “What can wash away my sins, NOTHING but the Blood of Jesus.” …oh, and confessing them each and every time or it doesn’t count.

What does 1 John 2:1 say to do if we sin again?

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.

What are we supposed to do if we sin? Oh, right. Keep trusting in Jesus Christ, our advocate, our righteousness, the propitiation for our sins, the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world(not that just temporarily covers).

The problem is this: We haven’t rightly divided the Word of Truth.
We are putting new wine in an old wineskin and wondering why it’s bursting. We’ve tried to balance Law and Grace, mixing cold and hot become LUKEWARM! Its time to pick ONE and stop being double-minded oh faithless generation of ours! Either follow Christ or the Law, but they DO NOT MIX!

Brothers, if we continue to talk out of both sides of our mouths, and wonder why churches are dying and people are falling away in droves then we are as blind as the pharisees of Jesus’ time. We search the scriptures for in them we think we have life, totally missing that they are all about Jesus. To rightly divide the Word of truth is to view it in light of the finished work of Christ on the cross.

I know grace is scary. It gives people a freedom to fail. (And how are they doing without that freedom?)  But what I’ve seen is that the freedom to fail actually frees us to succeed.

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The gospel is not just for unbelievers, its for believers in EVERY STAGE OF CHRISTIAN GROWTH! The moment you’ve out grown the gospel of God’s grace, you’ve out grown Christ.


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