A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR STEVE
Due to our videographer being out of town, for Table Time today, I am sending a written message, with the desire to encourage and exhort you.
It is good to be done with Genesis 38, where God was completely left out of all thought and actions. However, there is one very important aspect of that study, which I did not mention in Sunday’s message. While it is imperative for us to be aware of the world’s pull on us to drift away from God’s intent, plan, and purpose, it is even more crucial to know how we are set free from the sin that so easily ensnares us.
Judah had two besetting sins when he left his father’s dwelling of faith and befriended the world. One was the failure to keep his integrity with Tamar. The other was his sordid sexual encounter with her. Let’s not be naïve. Both of these sins have enslaved our nation and the church has fallen prey to them far too often.
It is impossible for anyone to simply decide, and then just stop sinning, even if it is with great determination. That is why we need a Savior. That is why Jesus came. That is why He suffered so cruelly for us on the cross. Our sins are truly forgiven. But He also gave us victory over sin. He is the only one who can do that. No other religion even offers that. That is why there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) That is also why no one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6) It is a work that truly “Is Finished!” as Jesus said on the cross. So the question is, how then do we get rid of whatever sin we fall into in order to have victory over it?
Let’s focus on just one verse, 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse of all unrighteousness.” He is speaking to believers. Our sins were truly forgiven at the cross in Christ’s finished work. However, it is in the receiving of that forgiveness that is critical.
Here is the reality. We do not need to ask for forgiveness. That took place at Calvary with, “It Is Finished!” Receiving forgiveness comes with confession of our sins. That means we agree with God that we have sinned and declare that we have. Genuine confession always involves the sorrow and brokenness of that sin which then brings true repentance. We were forgiven at the Cross, and in our present-day confession, The Holy Spirit lifts the guilt of our sin. (Psalm 32:5)
His forgiveness means we were are placed in a state with God as though we had not sinned. Cleansing by the Holy Spirit’s work goes deeper and actually brings about transformation and newness of heart and mind practically. With that combination, the sin is truly in the past so we can move on to all God desires for us, intends for us and plans for us.
Are you willing and ready to move away from the world and into His astounding grace and victory? (Romans 12:1-2)