I am dead to sin...
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Daily Word with Pastor Jack Graham
May 5, 2011
"History books tell us that when the slaves were liberated at the end of the Civil War, many of those who had formerly been under the bondage of slavery refused to leave their slave masters and pursue a life of their own. They chose to remain under bondage because it was the only thing they’d ever known!
"There are many Christians today who are still under the bondage of their past. That’s why every believer must always ask himself as he considers doing something: ‘Is this thing becoming my master? Is this controlling me? Does it have the potential to control me?’
"In my years of ministry, I’ve seen pastor after pastor lose his job and his congregation because of this very issue. So many believe they’re above becoming a slave again to sin and they simply refuse to acknowledge their potential weakness.
"So when it comes to sin, don’t buy into the lie that you’re immune to falling back into old patterns of behavior. But when that temptation does come, remind yourself that you’ve been freed already through the death and resurrection of Christ. Live each day on the offensive knowing that, while the enemy prowls around, you have victory in Christ!
"LIVE ON THE OFFENSIVE AGAINST SATAN SO WHEN TEMPTATION TO SIN COMES YOUR WAY, YOU CAN KNOW THAT YOU’VE BEEN FREED FROM SLAVERY TO SIN"
One of the most heartbreaking things I have to deal with daily is hearing Christian after Christian telling me that they are sexually involved with someone – and they’re not married. They’ve somehow convinced themselves that it’s "OK" – that God doesn’t really care that much – that His COMMAND to be sexually pure "isn’t something that’s possible in this day and age." What they don’t realize is that they are IN BONDAGE to the sin of promiscuity – and God DOES take it very seriously. He won’t "wink" at it – He won’t ignore it – and He won’t tolerate it. The Bible says that God is not mocked – we can’t practice sin and think we’re getting away with something. Just because we don’t see immediate consequences (although many of the women I talk to ARE facing the consequences of their choice) doesn’t mean we won’t pay the price at some point.
Now – God WILL forgive – praise be to the Father of Mercy! But He requires something – repentance. To be forgiven we must sincerely agree with God about our sin – and when we can do that, He will forgive us. "Agreeing with God" will be evidenced by a change in behavior. That means that we no longer give in to the temptation to sin – that we flee from those temptations and rely on Him to be the strength we need to live a holy life. How does someone do that? They make plans to avoid the temptation! If you’re a drunk, you don’t hang out in a bar! If you’re struggling with sexual sin you don’t hang out in places where it will be easy to fall! Thank ahead – create and ENFORCE boundaries! Seek accountability – find a mature Christian who will hold you accountable for what you’re doing. Be in fellowship – you can’t thrive in your relationship with Christ if you’re doing your own thing – in your own strength and wisdom! That’s a recipe for disaster! We all need to be accountable to someone – we all need to be surrounded by fellow believers who will pray for us – love us – encourage us – speak the hard truth to us.
Jesus paid the ultimate price for our freedom – and He deserves – and DEMANDS our allegiance! He has vanquished sin – why would we CHOOSE to live in bondage to sin anymore? He LOVES you – and He has GOOD plans for you! Don’t let the enemy rob you of all that God has in store for you! Live a holy life, in full submission to Him! Sharon
Sharon Pearce, Director
Silent Voices International