Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hate Evil. Cling to Good.

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
1 John 3:7-8

Be careful. You have an enemy who wants to lead you astray, to somehow lure you off the narrow path into the thorns and briers of spiritual ineffectiveness. One of his favorite means of doing this is to send others into your life to speak his words to you: wolves in sheep's clothing. How can you spot them? Look at their walk. Just as a wolf doesn't walk like a sheep, so a person's walk (their actions) reveals their true character. If they claim to be righteous but don't do right, they're a liar. 

A recent trend has emerged in Christian circles that values authenticity and genuineness more than righteousness. In the name of being "more real" and in an attempt to connect with lost people, Christians are opening up about their sins and often even curse openly. 

Honesty is good. Of all the people on earth Christians have the least to hide because of the unfathomable grace that has been afforded us through Christ Jesus. And Scripture tells us that we ought to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16). But when we openly name our sin it should be done in repentance. We don't wear our sins as a badge of pride to show how "real" we are in an attempt to win the lost. We dare not use filthy or vulgar language (which Scripture speaks against in Ephesians 4:29) in an attempt to be edgier than other Christians. Certainly we know by now that this world will not be won for Jesus by Christians who have become more like the world they are trying to save. 

No! There is nothing righteous about sin. There is nothing admirable about it. The entire reason that Jesus came to earth was to destroy the devil's work, and to do so especially in us. He died in order to sanctify the hearts and lives of believers. We cannot, we dare not coddle our sin, brag about it, use it to grow our churches, or give sin any refuge or foothold in our lives. To do so is a slap in the face to Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Jesus gave His life to free us from the enemy's grasp, to rescue us from sin. Let us never make light of the sin the remains in us. Let us openly confess that sin to one another, but let us hate even the garment stained by it (Jude 23). And as we lead the way in honesty let us all the more lead the way in mourning over our sin, repenting of it and pursuing life change. May Romans 12:9 light our path: "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." So be sincere, but not at the cost of hating evil or clinging to what is good. 

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