Sunday, March 19, 2006


Christians are called to resist the world the flesh and the devil. We are called to fight against the sins of the flesh. However, we do not do this immediately or perfectly. Our growth in grace is exactly that, growth in grace. We are to grow up into all things in the Spirit of God. We do have an advocate with the Father. We are not perfectionists even though perfection is our goal. We do not require a man to be sinless in order to be a Christian. No, he must be a sinner in order to come to Christ. And he remains a sinner in Christ, but a new kind, one with grace and hope and forgiveness.

Last week, in the exhortation, I reminded you that Christ has overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. All of you need to hear this but some of you hear it strangely. All of you, if you are indeed, in Christ, struggle against sin. Some of you feel like immense failures for this fact. But that is not how it should be. If there was no struggle against sin, if you had acquiesced to it, were not sorry for it, and did not repent of it, then that would be shameful. However, if you were in that condition, you likely would not feel the shame that leads to repentance.

The struggle against sin is one mark of the true believer. Instead of this being a discouragement to us, it should be an encouragement. Yes, we get tired and weary and we wonder if we will persevere until the end. But if we struggle, as a Christian, the fact of our perseverance should be becoming a more thoroughgoing reality for us. The reason is that while we fight sin, we learn to fight the right way. We stop taking credit for our victories and give the victory to Jesus. We realize that our only hope eternally and our only hope in this life is the power of Christ, not only for daily living, but especially for cleansing and restoration.

Our boats are constantly besieged by storms, storms of trouble, storms of enemies, storms of sins. But Christ is in the boat. He speaks, "Peace be still." So, look to Him, and like the calming waves, be at peace.

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