The first step needed to walk victoriously in the abundant life God has given us is to remember, remember, remember, that we are redeemed. Sin is no longer our master.
False teachers/doctrine can be identified. The only remaining question is whether or not we care to identify them and contend for the faith. It is easier to go along with the status quo than to challenge it. And standing up for truth requires that we ourselves know the truth. However, to fail to contend for the faith is to be derelict in our service to Christ.
…since we are unable to come to God, God draws us, God invites us: This is God’s grace. To overcome our incapacity, our depravity and our impotence, God must use His infinite capacity, His singular purity and His almighty power to draw us to Himself.
We must contend for our faith, by fighting for holiness, standing against false teaching and demonstrating, by the obedient lives we live, the truth of the Gospel: that it is possible for a man to live for God, it is possible to be holy.
In the end, the battle is fought on the grounds of FAITH: do we believe that Jesus did all for us, that He will manifest His righteousness in us despite all apparent evidence to the contrary?
As long as we try to tackle sinfulness by focusing solely on the sinful acts, rather than the lusts that produce them, we will live in frustration. The only way to stop a weed from sprouting is to kill it at the root. God provided us with the best (and only) sin killer available to man: His Word. God’s Word of truth will transform us inwardly so that our very desires will change. And when the root of a sin is gone, the sin goes with it: No root no sin, no problem.
I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.
Rest assured, I do believe there are systemic issues plaguing black men. These issues are violence, criminality, and immorality, to name a few. And all of these issues are rooted in and connected to the epidemic of fatherlessness. Any truly gospel-centered response to the plight of black men must address these issues first and foremost. It does no good to change the way white police officers respond to black men if we don’t first address the fact that these men’s fathers have not responded to them appropriately.
Fellowship with God requires a total commitment to exclusivity in the Believer/Disciple/Worshipper. Fellowship with God requires, demands, absolute purity of heart and mind, absolute purity of one’s being. There is no possibility of fellowshipping with God if there is any trace of sin in my heart (my emotions), my mind (my thinking) or my attitude (my approach).
…when deciding to sin we must take God out of the picture, we must assume even just for that moment that God is not “at hand”, that God is “afar off”. We make ourselves believe that somehow, while sinning we are hidden from Him, that He cannot see us.