“…especially the sin that so easily trips us up.” (Hebrews 12:1b NLT)
The battlefield on which a follower of Jesus will live and die, is between our ears. The most dangerous mine field of our existence as a believer is our mind. To keep our thoughts focused on Jesus while pursuing the sinful ways of Satan is an impossibility. You must choose one or the other.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Paul writes: “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people – none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.”
Then notice what he says in verse 11: “Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Remember, the context of this post is the sin that trips us up in our race to live for the Lord Jesus. Verse 9, when it speaks of “those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God“, Paul is referring to those who are continuing to sin as a habit, a lifestyle choice, a deliberate decision to follow these paths as opposed to living for Jesus. He clearly says in verse 11: “Some of you were once like that.” “WERE once like that!” With the clear implication, BUT YOU ARE NO LONGER!
To profess faith in Christ, and to believe you can continue to live like the devil is to believe a lie from the pit of hell. Acts 3:19 records the words of Peter when he said: “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” To repent means to change your mind. It’s a military term that pictures a soldier doing an about face. We’re walking in one direction, but deliberately make the decision to turn around and go in a new direction. The word implies that what motivates the decision of our mind to change directions is an abhorrence of the things in which we were once involved.
To believe we can run the race of faith while habitually engaging in things that displease and dishonor God, is to spurn God’s grace and make a mockery of what it means to be His child. Jesus clearly said: “No man (person) can serve two masters.” (Matthew 6:24)
Am I saying we will never sin. No, of course not. But it’s our goal. Sin must become the exception, not the rule. John writes: “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin.” (1 John 2:1 NLT) We must hate our sin and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to cleanse our heart and mind, enabling us to choose to obey God, rather than the ruler of our sin nature. Sin is a willful decision to do what God has clearly instructed us not to do, or to not do something He has clearly instructed us to do. This is why it’s so vitally important to stay rooted in the Word of God.
We don’t accidentally climb into the sack with a person to whom we’re not married. We don’t accidentally cheat someone in a business transaction or steal something that isn’t ours. Sin is a choice we make, the consequence for which we will pay an eternal price. OR, we can allow the Lord Jesus, our Advocate (1 John 2:2), to pay the penalty for our sin and in the strength of the Holy Spirit, walk away from a lifestyle of sin and evil into a life of holiness and purity in Jesus.
There will still be consequences in this life for your sin, as there have been for mine, but your eternal destiny can be changed. The choice is yours, but please don’t believe you can live on the proverbial fence, loving sin and loving Jesus. THAT’S NOT AN OPTION!
Trying to live for Jesus while walking in an ungodly lifestyle is like driving your car forward while staying focused on the rearview mirror. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Blessings, Ed 😊