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Time to Go

Time to Go

Some battles are not worth fighting. We are often told in Scripture to stand our ground… we contend with the flesh, the world, and the powers of the air… but when it comes to certain sins, the only course of action is to run! As Charles Spurgeon says in today’s Morning and Evening

I am to resist the devil, and he will flee from me; but the lusts of the flesh I must flee, or they will surely overcome me.

1 Corinthians 6:18 issues the command to “flee from sexual immorality.” 1 Corinthians 10:14 says to “flee from idolatry.” Paul instructed Timothy to “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness” in 2 Timothy 2:22. We must actively desert wickedness in order to pursue righteousness. To dwell in the comfort of the flesh is to forsake the liberating reprieve of the Spirit. No man is stronger than the weakness of his flesh. 1 Corinthians 10:12 warns:

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

Let’s not kid ourselves, but recognize our weaknesses… forsaking all filth and clinging to Christ for strength. We are simply not strong enough to overcome our own lusts, so let’s flee from them into the arms of our Savior. Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

But he left his garment in her hand
and fled and got out of the house. — Genesis 39:12

In contending with certain sins there remains no mode of victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them easy victims; so the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn danger. He who would be safe from acts of evil must hurry away from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes not even to look upon the cause of temptation, for such sins only need a spark to begin with and a blaze follows in an instant.

Who would carelessly enter the leper’s prison and sleep amid its horrible corruption? Only he who desires to be leprous himself. If the sailor knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious navigators have no desire to see how near the quicksand they can sail or how often they may touch a rock without springing a leak; their aim is to keep as nearly as possible in the midst of a safe channel.

Today I may be exposed to great peril; let me have the serpent’s wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be of more use to me today than the jaws of a lion. It is true I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company, but I had better leave my cloak than lose my character; it is not needful that I should be rich, but it is imperative for me to be pure. No ties of friendship, no chains of beauty, no flashings of talent, no shafts of ridicule must turn me from the wise resolve to flee from sin.

I am to resist the devil, and he will flee from me; but the lusts of the flesh I must flee, or they will surely overcome me. O God of holiness, preserve us like Joseph, that we may not be seduced by the subtle, vile suggestions of the temptress. May the horrible trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil never overcome us!

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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Happy Monday: ACTS Body Spray

Because it’s difficult to share your struggles and surrender your sins…

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Video

 

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Morning Coffee – 06/13/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • Upon This Rock
  • To paraphrase Jesus’ words, the Lord told Peter, “I say to you that you are a small stone, and upon this bedrock I will build My church.” It was a play on words that made a significant spiritual point.

  • A Passion for Preaching: An Interview with Steven J. Lawson
  • As the pulpit goes, so goes the church. The deeper the preacher takes his flock into the Word of God, the higher they will rise in worship. The stronger they are in the Scripture, the stronger they will be in the pursuit of holiness.

  • When Sin Looks Delicious
  • Do you ever have those days where you just want to sin? Sin looks delicious while righteousness looks distasteful. Sin looks satisfying and holiness looks frustrating. You wake up in the morning with a desire to do what you know you should not desire to do.—What do you do on a day like that?

  • How to Overcome Sin
  • Yes, we are given the Holy Spirit who conforms us into the image of Christ. But our old nature, our built-in-at-conception sinful nature still lives within us. So what do we do with these sins? How can we overcome our sin?

  • The Difficulties Of Being Honest About Our Sin
  • Despite the somewhat recent host of preachers and teachers suggesting that the gospel frees us to be responsibly transparent about our sin, I still wonder how free some people have actually become.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2014 in Links

 

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Hating Sin

Hating Sin

This morning’s Morning and Evening is taken from Psalm 45:7.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.

Sin is serious. It should anger us, disgust us, and drive us headlong to the feet of Christ. Charles Spurgeon’s short devotional is excellent today.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. — Psalm 45:7

Be angry and do not sin.”1 There can hardly be goodness in a man if he is not angered by sin; he who loves truth must hate every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation came! Three times it assailed Him in different forms, but He responded with, “Be gone, Satan.” He hated it in others, no less fervently by showing His hatred often more in tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could be more stern, more Elijah-like, than such words as, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers.”

He hated wickedness so much that He bled to wound it to the heart; He died that it might die; He was buried that He might bury it in His tomb; and He rose that He might forever trample it beneath His feet. Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in fine clothes and imitates the language of holiness; but the precepts of Jesus, like His famous scourge of small cords, chase it out of the temple and will not tolerate it in the church.

So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, what a war is waged between Christ and Satan! And when our Redeemer shall come to be our Judge, those thundering words, “Depart from me, you cursed” that are, indeed, but a prolongation of His life-teaching concerning sin shall manifest His abhorrence of iniquity. As warm as His love is to sinners, so hot is His hatred of sin; as perfect as is His righteousness, so complete shall be the destruction of every form of wickedness. Glorious champion of right, and destroyer of wrong, for this cause God has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.

1 Ephesians 4:26

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Sin Explained

R.C. Sproul offers a simple method for explaining sin to an unbeliever…

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Video

 

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The Great Exchange

The Great Exchange

All Scripture is breathed by God and profitable (2 Tim 3:16). (Yes, even the genealogies.) But some verses tower above the rest. For them, a great density of truth is tightly packed into a compact economy of words. This morning’s Morning and Evening stems from such a mountain of a verse.

For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:21

This truth has often been referred to as The Great Exchange: Our sin for Christ’s righteousness, and Christ’s righteousness for our sin. It is the greatest truth of all.

An understanding of this verity does not nullify all other truths we have in Jesus. We are new creations in Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit who continually wrestle with the flesh. We run to win and receive the prize before us. But what a comfort it is… to know that sin is paid for! Jesus did not begin a work for others to come along afterwards, complete it, and find salvation in the process. He finished the job by becoming sin—two thousand years ago—on the cross and conquering the grave through His resurrection.

We all need this reminder from time to time. After candidly sharing his personal struggle with sin in Romans 7, Paul’s conclusion stands as a comfort for every believer. Romans 8:1 declares,

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

May we never forget the full measure of Christ’s atonement; His endless love and obedient sacrifice. For our sake, it pleased the Father to crush Him. He became sin, though He was sinless. As a result, we might become the righteousness of God in Him. That’s good news! No wonder it’s called the Gospel.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:21

Mourning Christian, why are you weeping? Are you mourning over your own sins and failings? Look to your perfect Lord, and remember, you are complete in Him. You are in God’s sight as perfect as if you had never sinned; more than that, the Lord our Righteousness has clothed you with a royal robe of righteousness, which is wholly undeserved—you have the righteousness of God.

You who are mourning by reason of inbred sin and depravity, remember, none of your sins can condemn you. You have learned to hate sin; but you have also learned how that sin is not yours—it was laid upon Christ’s head. Your standing is not in yourself—it is in Christ. Your acceptance is not in yourself, but in your Lord; you are just as accepted by God today, with all your sinfulness, as you will be when you stand before His throne, free from all corruption.

So I urge you, take hold of this precious thought—perfection in Christ! For you are “complete in Him.”1 With your Savior’s garment on, you are as holy as the Holy One. “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”2

Christian, let your heart rejoice, for you are “accepted in the beloved”3—what do you have to fear? Keep a smile on your face! Live near your Master; live in the suburbs of the Heavenly City; for soon, when your time has come, you will rise up to where Jesus sits and reign at His right hand; and all because the Lord Jesus was made “to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

1Colossians 2:10, KJV 2Romans 8:34 3Ephesians 1:6

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Devotional

 

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A Little Thing Called Sin

A Little Thing Called Sin

The Morning and Evenings this week have been great, but Tuesday’s entry (03/11) is certainly the most memorable.

Sin. We all do it. According to 1 John 1:8,

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Thankfully, verse 9 adds,

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The consequences for sin are severe. James 1:14-15 states,

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

We should never forget (as enticing as it might be) that sin always results in death. Ultimately, the supreme penalty for our sin has been paid in full by Christ’s death on the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 says,

We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

If we take Spurgeon’s advice and “look upon all sin as that which crucified the Savior,” we will see the face of death behind temptation’s mask. Is sin a light or trivial thing? Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

It was sin, producing death in me . . . sinful beyond measure. — Romans 7:13

Beware of thinking lightly of sin. At the time of conversion, the conscience is so tender that we are afraid of the slightest sin. Young converts have a holy timidity, a godly fear of offending God. But sadly very soon the fine bloom upon these first ripe fruits is removed by the rough handling of the surrounding world: The sensitive plant of young piety turns into a willow in later life, too pliable, too easily yielding.

It is sadly true that even a Christian may grow by degrees so callous that the sin that once startled him does not alarm him in the least. By degrees men get familiar with sin. The ear in which the cannon has been booming will not notice slight sounds. At first a little sin startles us; but soon we say, “Is it not a little one?” Then there comes another, larger, and then another, until by degrees we begin to regard sin as but a small matter; and this is followed by an unholy presumption: “We have not fallen into open sin. True, we tripped a little, but we stood upright for the most part. We may have uttered one unholy word, but as for most of our conversation, it has been consistent.” So we toy with sin; we throw a cloak over it; we call it by dainty names.

Christian, beware of thinking lightly of sin. Take heed in case you fall little by little. Sin a little thing? Is it not a poison? Who knows its deadliness? Sin a little thing? Do not the little foxes spoil the grapes? Doesn’t the tiny coral insect build a rock that wrecks a navy? Do not little strokes fell lofty oaks? Will not continual drippings wear away stones? Sin a little thing? It put a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head and pierced His heart! It made Him suffer anguish, bitterness, and woe. If you could weigh the least sin in the scales of eternity, you would run from it as from a serpent and abhor the slightest appearance of evil.

Look upon all sin as that which crucified the Savior, and you will see it to be “sinful beyond measure.”

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Devotional

 

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