“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” –The Apostle Paul 11Timothy 1:15 NIV
The Proper Attitude of Man Under Grace by William Newell
To believe, and consent to be loved while unworthy, is the great secret.
To refuse to make “resolutions” and “vows”; for that is to trust in the flesh.
To expect to be blessed, though realizing more and more lack of worth.
To testify of God’s goodness at all times.
To be certain of God’s future favor; yet to be ever more tender in conscience toward Him.
To rely on God’s chastening hand as a mark of His kindness.
A man under grace, if like Paul, has no burdens regarding himself; but many about others.
“If God justifies a sinner, it does not mean that he finds reasons to prove that he was right –far from it. It does not even mean, at this point, that he makes the sinner a good man. It means that God treats the sinner as if he had not been a sinner at all.” –William Barclay
Perhaps for Paul not to acknowledge that he is the worst of sinners would, quite possibly, be the greatest conceivable ingratitude against God.
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” –Matthew 24:3-14 ESV
The gospel message is foundational for the Christian. A good foundation becomes ever more important as you build on it. In construction, a strong foundation is essential to support the heavy loads from the weight of the building along with internal and external forces. (i.e. occupants, storage, earthquake, snow and wind loading etc.) Isn’t a strong foundation even more important when it relates to eternity?
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. –Romans 10:13-17
If the law is not preached how will men become aware of their sins?2Ro 3:20 NIV Therefor no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. If men are unaware of their sins, does the gospel have any relevance?2Ro 5:20 NIV The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased grace increased all the more Once a man becomes a believer does the relevance of the gospel increase or decrease?31Ti 1:15-16 NIV Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners –of whom I am the worst. But for this very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Isn’t it the work of the Holy Spirit to convict us so that we are aware of our need to be cleansed from unrighteousness?4Joh 16:7-11 NIV But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgement, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. How do we present ourselves to be cleansed if not through confession?5 1Jo 1:9 AV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Doesn’t the relevance of the gospel grow as our awareness of sin grows, and conversely doesn’t our awareness of sin increase as the gospel comes to fruition in our life?6Pr 4:18 AV The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shinning ever brighter till the full light of day. Since we are being conformed to the likeness of God7Ro 8:29 NIV For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. and since God is love81Jo 4:8 NIV Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.91Jo 4:16 AV And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. can we not conclude that we are being conformed to the likeness of love?101Jo 2:28 NIV And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.111Jo 3:2 NIV Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. If we are not being conformed unto the likeness of love, have we anything of value?121Co 13:1-3 NIV If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. How do we experience love in the most relevant way if not through the forgiveness of sins?13Joh 3:16 NIV For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.14Joh 15:13 NIV Greater love has no-one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends.152Co 5:21 NIV God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Since the wages of sin is death16Ro 6:23 AV For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord wouldn’t it be natural to love knowing that I’m a sinner saved from death.171Jo 4:19 AV We love because he first loved us.18Lu 7:47 NIV “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven –for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
My Prayer: Lord, I see lawlessness growing in the world, please let my life reflect the fullness of your gospel message: in my words, in my actions, and in my prayers. Worldly hostility is growing toward those who speak out against sin; please let me never side with the world against you, let me grown daily in agreement with you regarding sin. Knowing that light shines brightest in the midst of darkness, let my life shine brightly for you and my life be a testimony of your mercy and grace. Let my heart overflow love because you first loved me! Amen.
Remember, God does not forgive us because we are worthy; he forgives us because of who he is.
God gives us what we need to lighten the load, the enemy gives us things to weigh us down. Condemnation crushs us under the weight of sin. Conviction is God simply asking if we want to agree with him so he can shoulder the burden.
My Confession: Because I love my sin, I find myself going down this road over and over, seemingly without change however, in faith, I trust that God is working.
I developed a love of my sin over time, perhaps it may take time to develop a hatred for that same sin.
Hatred for sin comes through continued agreement with God by confessing my sin every time I partake of it.
For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.19Ro 7:11-13 NIV
Revelation: That’s it! The reason I struggle is because the sin in my life is becoming utterly sinful –my love for sin is but to death by agreeing with God. Yes, I’m a sinner. No, I don’t deserve mercy. Yes, I need a savior.
My Prayers: Lord, thank you for dying on the cross in my place. Please forgive me; please give me a hatred for sin. Thank you for having mercy on me. Change my heart, my thoughts, and my ways.2Isa 55:7-13 NIV Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.” Transform me into your likeness.32Co 3:18 AV But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Lord, I have struggled so long, this seems impossible, please give me the faith to believe again, with my lips I can say, “I do believe”, but my words ring hollow; please help me overcome my unbelief.4Mr 9:23-24 AV Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
My word for today is that what may be impossible for me is not impossible for you God!5Mt 19:26 NIV Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”6Mr 10:27 NIV Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”7Lu 1:37 NIV “For nothing is impossible with God.” Please open my eyes that I can see you at work and be encouraged.82Ki 6:17 NIV And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all round Elisha.