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The Holy Spirit Doesn’t Talk Like That in Traffic
Being a Christian is NOT what the world seems to think it is. In fact, strangely, being a Christian is NOT what most of the church world thinks it is either. There are several viewpoints. First let’s start with the world view. Simply being a Christian makes you their enemy; no matter whether they say it or not…but they’re saying it more and more these days. You may think I’m being dramatic. You may think I’m just trying to add Christians to the ever-growing list of populations bent on extorting those that don’t belong to our group into showing us blind, unquestioning respect and unfettered liberty to do as we wish. (Yes, that was social commentary.) Nonetheless, I stand by my statement. Well, it’s actually not mine. It’s Jesus’.
If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:19
It’s that hatred that shapes the world view or opinion of what a Christian is. The world disapproves of our outlook on life. They see us as intolerant or rigid or conservative or unloving and even racist! But then they refuse to let us be human. One failure and the label “bigot” is replaced with the equally ugly “hypocrite”. To the world, Christians are merely a people who claim to follow a set of rules they themselves disagree with but will quickly condemn when they see us misstep.
We’re actually not much better off inside the walls of the church, to be honest. There is just as much judgment and condemnation from the pulpit and the pews as there is from the populace. Our fellow parishioners are ever ready to point out our bunglings as soon as they become known while calling for patience when their own failures surface.
And then there’s that segment of the church world that seems to think that freedom from sin is the same as freedom TO sin. “If it feels good, do it because Jesus died to give you that right.” To that crowd, forgiveness is equal to permission. They view Grace as pre-payment for future self-indulgence. And then there’s that increasingly influential group within Christianity that declares that we must “evolve”; that we must throw away what we once thought was right and wrong and “modernize” our outlook on things we once held as immutably sacred such as the authority of Scripture and the sovereignty of God. They feel the church and God must yield to societal pressure when judging what’s just and holy. If we seek the answer to some thorny moral question don’t consult the Bible or the Holy Spirit, just ask the world; do an Instagram survey; post a Facebook question; tweet, text or tag. That’s the path to truth…but beware, that truth is subject to frequent change.
So, what’s a sincere Christian to do? How are those of us that are interested in what Jesus thinks supposed to live? Well, any of you who know this ministry will anticipate my answer. Like we do for ALL other matters, we turn to the Word.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.Galatians 5:16
“But, John, how does that apply to me? My problem isn’t sexual sin.” “I get angry.” Or “I have a drug problem.” Or “I just find myself going back to my old destructive ways.” Well, then this verse does apply to you. In fact, this verse applies to all of us. Galatians 5:16 is far more encompassing than you think. Although we talk in detail about this in today’s episode let me just say here that “lust” and “flesh” mean a lot more than we’ve been told. Whenever you are pursuing your own way…and the Bible makes it clear that we ALL do that (Isaiah 53:6, Philippians 2:21)…saved or not…then we are attempting to fulfill the lust of the flesh. Our sins don’t have to be prurient in nature for this verse to mean something to us.
In this podcast we discuss the persistence of sin in our lives, the need to remove it and how to do that. Sin must be dealt with both before AND after we’ve been saved by Grace and there is only one way to do that and that is what we talk about in this lesson.
However, before you begin, seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Pray that God will assist you in this most important aspect of the Christian life. Pursue God’s Mind on what sin is and how to handle it and He will most certainly open His Word up to you.