Saturday, October 19, 2013

Reason Not To Sin - 1 Peter 2:11 - Strangers and War

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul.
1 Peter 2:11 

Why not sin?

(1) Because we are strangers here. Jesus said in John 17:16 that we are not of the world, even as He is not of the world. We have a new origin: from God in heaven. Our lives shouldn't be conforming to this world. If we think our heart is with God, but treasure things of the world, Jesus has this to say: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:21). Where is your treasure of time and money placed? That's where your heart actually is. (See also 1 John 2:15-17.)

(2) Lusts of the flesh wage war against the soul. Sin in our flesh fights to control us. Our soul is superior to the flesh, so when we give into fleshly urges (anger, lust, sometimes even eating!), we are letting our body win over our soul. This is not how God has created us in Christ! Rather, we now have God's resurrection power to rise above the deadness of the lust of the flesh, and our bodies now can be properly submitted to God's control. (See Romans 8:9-11, NASB).

One more way lusts war against the soul is there will be an increasing deadness in our lives the more we sin (Rom 8:13, NASB). One sin leads to another, or to a new branch of sins. Sin separates us from God and his renewing influence (Rom 12:2). Sin takes you farther than you ever want to go. But Jesus can restore you quicker than you think possible!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Reason Not To Sin - 1 Peter 2:9 - Into the Light

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9

Why not sin?

Because you were called out of darkness into His light. Have you known the darkness of sin? Maybe it left you feeling trapped or imprisoned. Maybe crushed and cast aside like highway litter. When sin rules our lives it can feel like we're at the bottom of a pit where the light can't reach. Habits are impossible to break, attitudes hopeless to change. Joy in the Lord impossible to manufacture.

There is hope, however. Lazarus should never have seen the light of day again. He was dead and entombed. But Jesus called him out of darkness into light. 1 Peter 2:9 is saying you are already in the light. "For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness," says 1 Thess. 5:5. "At one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8). Have you known the light of true fellowship with Jesus? Our sins cloud our way, but to walk in the light begins with bringing our sins to Jesus (1 John 1:7,9).

After a week of clouds and rain, when you've had enough of depressing weather, how welcome is the sun peeking through the clouds? How much more the full brightness of a cloudless day! That is God's love for you! He came into your darkness and said, "I'll take care of this. You go free; You're forgiven." And He became your sins and died in your place once for all.

You, however, must keep coming into the light before Him when you're dirty. You don't have to cleanse yourself, though, because God promised if you confess your sins, He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Reason Not to Sin - 1 Peter 2:5 - Holy priesthood

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:5, ESV

Why not sin?

Because in these last days, God chose you, in Jesus Christ, to exemplify how man ought to worship God. About 350 years after the priesthood was instituted, the priests despised God's rules, fattening themselves off the sacrifices and committing adultery with the female servants of the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22). nearly 1000 years after the institution of the priesthood, God rebuked them for their contempt in Malachi 1:6-14. "Better to make no sacrifices at all than to keep up the charade!" God laments in Mal 1:10.

But God wasn't satisfied with dissolving the priesthood. Malachi 3:1-3 describes His plan. The Lord would come to the temple and refine—purify the Levites to offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness, no longer in show! This is a picture of us. The Lord Jesus sacrificed Himself, entered the Holiest of Holies by His blood, and there made atonement for our sins before the Father (Heb 9:11-12, 14). Now we are purified from our former sins (2 Peter 1:9) and are fit to offer to God sacrifices in righteousness, acceptable to Him: "the fruit of lips giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15, KJV).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Reason Not To Sin - 1 Peter 1:23-25 - Born of Incorruptible Seed

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
1 Peter 1:23-25, KJV

Why not sin?

You have been born. Again. This time not of Adam, characterized by a flesh destined to perish because of sin, but of the Word of God. This was planted in our hearts when we first heard the gospel. The "flower of youth" lasts more briefly than your whole life, just as wildflowers bloom for a shorter lifespan than the stems beneath, which soon wither. Corruptible seeds are good for only so long, but the incorruptible Word of God bears eternal fruit. Your eternal life with God is its fruit! You don't have to walk around characterized by the corrupted flesh, because you are the one who was born brand new!

Verse 24 is quoted from Isaiah 40:6-8. Isaiah 40:26-31 continues from that starting point: don't bemoan your limitations due to your weak flesh. Let God raise you up to run and not be weary, and walk without becoming faint.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Reason Not To Sin - 1 Peter 1:22 - You Have Been Purified

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart
1 Peter 1:22, ESV
Why not sin?

Because you are already pure in God's sight. Do you remember being convicted of your sin, seeing it as revolting as God does? Didn't you want to be delivered from its judgment and effects? In turning to God for His salvation, you found a purification of your soul. Where once it only brought forth corruption, at salvation you were purified! Did you know that, in God's sight, you have never stopped being pure?

Maybe you think, as one brother put it, "I've done too much [sin]. I don't want to trudge back through all that junk to get back to God; I'm just going to live over here." Don't throw your life away in sin, giving up on atoning for each sin you piled up before God. Sins after salvation do not corrupt our standing before God, because our standing is based on Christ, not on ourselves. Simply confess to God that you have sinned, and He promises to forgive (1 John 1:9). The atonement is already complete. Remember Jesus' words too: "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean" (John 13:10, ESV).