CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Does God see us as sinless?
By Pastor Brian Warner
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In the book Desiring God, John Piper most notably said that: "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." We need to guard ourselves of the false notion that, if we say YES to God then somehow we are saying NO to ourselves. We are saying "NO" to our satisfaction, our pleasures and our joy. However, Christianity is not about just "saying no to pleasure." Christian living requires finding the Creator's understanding of what pleasure is, and then "piling on" more and more satisfaction, pleasure and joy.
Hedonists say, "Life is all about pleasure." They believe "pleasure is all there is." Therefore, Hedonists live for all the sex, food, ego, money and extravagance someone can fit into their life. Sin is momentarily reverting from Christianity to Hedonism.
In one sense, Hedonists do have the right idea. We ARE built for pleasure and crave satisfaction. However, because of the fall, we have fallen and flawed "taste buds." Hedonists are right about satisfaction, but totally wrong about what fuel to put in the human gas tank. HERE'S A KEY: God calls us to pleasure and satisfaction and then gives us himself.
John Piper makes the statement, "Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God." Sin happens when we take pleasure into our own hands. Beyond overtly dishonoring God, sin pulls us away from the God — the source of Satisfaction. In the book Pleasures Evermore, Sam Storms adds to this idea when he says: "The fight against sin is, therefore, the fight to stay satisfied with God." Storms continues, "There is no way to triumph over sin long-term unless we develop a distaste for it because of a superior satisfaction in God. The only way to find sin distasteful is to eat and savor the sweetness of all that God is for us in Jesus."
Finding pleasure in Christ alone is emotionally savoring all truth about God. This is a wonderful long-term strategy for growth and weapons to fight our sin nature. However, just like the above three suggestions, it too will let you down from time to time.
4) LIVING BY THE SPIRIT: The fourth and most effective way is to walk in the Spirit. Paul tells us, "For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13) Many people hold mistaken ideas or extra-biblical notions of what being "Filled with the Spirit" or "Walk in the Spirit" really is. Many have allowed 20th century "experiences" to overwhelm the Bible truth. To walk (or be filled) in the Spirit simply means to let God control your life minute by minute. We slide over and he takes the wheel! This verse in Ephesians is the text that proves it is all about YIELDED CONTROL to the SPIRIT OF GOD. Allow me to paraphrase" Do not BE CONTROLLED (drunk) by wine, but BE CONTROLLED (filled) by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Allowing the Spirit of God to CONTROL us happens with a whispered prayer at daybreak that's repeated all day long whenever necessary. I GUARANTEE YOU no one has ever committed adultery, murder or done ANY sin, while under control of the Holy Spirit. "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
All these four techniques will help you in your daily battle with Sin. Don't think one will do. You need them ALL.
As important as fighting sin in life is, it does not begin to cover the Christian life. God wants us to gain joy and purpose in life in all the POSITIVE factors. Remember, God promises us eternal life, satisfaction, sin is important, but it is NOT the whole of the Christian life. Loving and serving Jesus is.
Remember, sins are ultimately already paid for, and we are justified and stand positionally Holy before God, now and forever. Celebrate your grace, and sin will take care of itself with a few good strategies like these. We are not just to believe the Gospel at the outset of our faith, but daily live and breathe the Gospel. It is the forgiveness of sins for our entire life, and the promise of abundant life now and forever. And we live that life by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us.
Image Credit: Photo Dean; "Arms Open in the Aproaching Storm"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | God-Father | Jesus-Christ | Sin-Evil
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