How should someone that is saved deal with sin?
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“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (that’s everyone of us. But look at the next verse.) 24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
Now you all know what redemption means? That’s the process of God buying us back out of the slavery of sin. When I teach Romans chapter 3 I always use the analogy of the Roman slave market, and I think it’s a very appropriate one, because it was very real. As the Romans would go out with their legions and they would conquer other people they would bring back, especially the younger people who were capable of slave duty, to Rome and they would end up in the slave market. And I drew the analogy, here we have a young blond, blue eyed fellow from northern Europe who finds himself in this market. Now that slave market was awful, because if you were bought out as a common slave you could end up doing any kind of horrible slave labor to include being sold to shipmasters to row their ships. It was awful, it was hot, and when they died, they just pitched them overboard. And if these slaves were not bought they could end up in the coliseums as meat for the wild animals. So that was the prospect of a Roman slave market.
But there was also the good side They could have a benefactor come and buy them out of the slave market. Say a benevolent slave owner would buy a slave and clean him up, give him a whole new set of clothes, give him light duty around his estate of trimming the lawns and so forth, and remember the Romans lived sumptuously. So here’s this young slave who’s been bought out of that horrible situation, and given this beautiful place to work, and have all the best food. Then one day this benevolent Roman owner comes and says, “Young man I’m going to go one step further, I’m going to give you your freedom. I have bought your citizenship. You are free to go and do whatever you want to do.” Now the analogy I’ve always used before is, “What’s this young man going to say? ‘Listen you’ve done so much for me, and I have learned to love you so much, I don’t want my freedom, but rather I want to stay here and serve you the rest of my life.’”
Now that’s where I’ve always left that analogy. But you know what a lot of Christians are doing now? What if this same young man would say, “I want to stay right here and serve you, but once a week can I go back into the slave market?” Now isn’t that ridiculous? Isn’t that as ridiculous as you can get? Here he’s been spared the horrors of the slave market, and that’s where every lost person is, they’re in Satan’s slave market. Christ paid the price of redemption, He bought us out of it, and then we have the audacity to say, “But can’t I just go back and get a taste of that sinful world once in a while?” Listen that’s what Christians are doing when they go back into the world! And to me it just does not fit. I’m not saying we’re going to be perfect, of course we’re not. We all fail, we all sin, but to go back into gross sin, and just glibly say, “Oh well, I’m saved and don’t have anything to worry about.” I don’t think a true believer can look at it that way.
When a true believer sins, they’re going to be convicted as David was. And when David saw his sin, what does the Book of Psalms say he does? He wept tears of repentance, and oh how he bemoaned the fact that not only had he sinned against the humans that were involved, but against God. And when we sin, this is what we have to come back and realize. Well all of this I just sort of lob into the “Unsearchable Riches of Christ.” It’s beyond human comprehension. I can’t understand it, and I don’t think anyone else can. But does that mean, we just close our eyes, and say, “Forget it, I can’t understand it anyway?” No. You just keep digging, and learning, and keep getting more and more excited about what Christ has done for us. And not only just for the here and now, but for all of eternity to come. Just like Paul says in I Corinthians chapter 2.
I Corinthians 2:9
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
And that’s about as much as it tells us about what we’re going to enjoy in eternity. We don’t know because the Bible doesn’t tell us, but we know it’s going to be fabulous. What God has in store for us is going to be a million times better than the things you and I like to do down here, and it’s all because of the “unsearchable riches of Christ.“ Oh to have the knowledge that we can come into the very throne room of heaven in prayer and petitions is simply incomprehensible. Isn’t it? Just think we can immediately come into the very throne room, without having to go through any rituals. We don’t have to go into some prescribed place, at a prescribed time or God won’t hear us. As you sit there and as I speak you can be in an attitude of prayer, and you’re right in the throne room. Now that’s all part of the“unsearchable riches of Christ.”
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II Corinthians 7:12
“Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, (I Corinthians) I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, (although certainly that man was involved) nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.”
Now think about these things. What’s Paul saying? If Paul would have treated this as the congregation was and just glossed over it, what would that have said to the congregation about him? Well he’s no better than the rest of us. He looks at like we do so it must not be all that bad. But when Paul dealt with it, and he dealt with it severely, when he told them. “You deal with this man, and turn him over to the power of Satan that Satan can touch the flesh unless he turns around in repentance and gets right with God.” I mean it’s just a perfect picture of how you and I, even today, deal with sin because God hates it. God will never wink at sin even though He has paid for it and forgiven it through His death on the Cross, yet God is never going to wink at sin. He can’t. So Paul tells us that all of us profited from this situation. Paul did, the congregation did, and certainly the guilty party did.
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“Put on therefore, (as a result of all that Christ has done) as the elect of God, (the ones that God has saved by His Grace) holy (set apart) and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (now verse 13. This is part of the Christian Grace.) 13. Forbearing one another, …”
You know what I’ve always said? You don’t have to like everybody, but you’ve got to love them. I mean there are some people that you like to be with a lot more than others, and that’s perfectly normal. But whether we like them or not, we’re to forbear them, and not be all angered and upset and have nothing to do with them, because everyone of us that have things that irritate others. I know I probably irritate people, but I thank God that they forbear with me, and that’s what we have to do with others. But the one thing we can never compromise is our love. We love them regardless, see? Now reading on in verse 13, I’m going to go rather quickly now, because I think we can finish Colossians this lesson. These are all just plain logical, common sense admonitions from the pen of the apostle as to how to walk and live with a child of God.
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: (and we’re going to, because we’re human. We’re going to have differences of opinion. We’re going to have some unhappy situations, but don’t let it destroy your relations. And if you have a quarrel,) even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Now what does that tell you? We’re forgiven, we’re totally forgiven, and I don’t have to go back everyday and say, “Oh God forgive me.” That’s all done, it was done at the cross. A lot of people can’t quite agree with me on that, and that’s all right, but forgiveness is a done deal. Now I know we have to still recognize our sins, and see them as God does. And I think we have to ask God for cleansing, and my whole approach to that is, the night that the Lord was washing Peter’s feet. He came to Peter and what did Peter say?
“Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10. Jesus saith to him, he that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit and ye are clean, but not all.
Peter had already been saved. He’d had his bath already, but by virtue of walking from that bath house to his home in the ancients, the streets were filthy, and before he could go into his own home, he would have to wash his feet. Well the picture of course is where we are. We’ve been saved, we’re forgiven, we’re cleansed, but we’re still in this old world, and as we go though this world our feet are getting dirty, and so what do we need? Cleaning!
We don’t need forgiveness, that’s all done, but we need cleansing, and how do we cleanse? I just told somebody on the phone yesterday. How do you wash a strainer? A gravy strainer or a tea strainer, how do you wash it? You certainly can’t run a piece of cloth through every little opening, so how do you wash a strainer? Oh you just swish it through the water, isn’t that right? You just simply cleanse it with the washing of water. Now that’s what Paul uses in Ephesians, and this is what we have to do. We get daily cleansing, by the washing of the water, but what does Paul say the water is? The Word of God! Do you see that? Boy isn’t that beautiful,? We don’t have to come crawling to God every time we do something that is wrong, and plead that He forgive us. He must get tired of that, and tells us, “I’ve forgiven you!” But we do need cleansing. We have to see our sin as He sees it and then be cleansed from it by the Word of God.
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“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day (while we still have this kind of an opportunity); lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Always stop and think. How do we recognize sin, and how do we deal with sin? I want it in only one word. Faith. Because, unless we can believe what God says about certain activities or certain acts, we don’t know that it’s sin. But when God says it and we believe it, then we know what it is. Our whole daily walk is prompted by faith in God’s Word. Think about it. When Romans 3:23 says that “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” I always said that’s the first step to salvation, to believe that I am what The Book says that I am. And that is, short of the glory of God. It’s taking God at His Word concerning myself, concerning you. So faith is that which guides us not only into salvation, but all through our Christian experience. It’s all based on what The Book says. Not what someone else says. People have told me and I appreciate it, “You know, you don’t condemn this and you don’t condemn that. Do you notice that?” I don’t have to. I don’t have to tell people, “Stop doing this and stop doing that” because as soon as they get into The Book and see what The Book says, by faith, then they’re going to take appropriate action. I still maintain that if you get people into The Book, you get them to believe in what God says, and all those things that a lot of people scream about; they’ll take care of themselves.