Naked and Afraid…


It seems that shows with naked people on them is all the rage these days and I don’t find that a “good” thing. If you believe the Bible we see in the opening pages that being naked brought shame. Adam and Eve realized they had sinned against God, had been given knowledge God didn’t want them to have and they tried to cover themselves.

Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I command you that you should not eat?” – Genesis 3:9-11

Adam and Eve had no concept of their nakedness until they disobeyed God and He revealed it to them. In a society that is continuing to lose its fear of nakedness we see a searing of the conscience as it becomes more acceptable to disobey God. Once sin entered the world the decline happened quickly. It didn’t take long and God was grieved and destroyed mankind from the face of the earth with the exception of Noah and his family.

Most people in the world would not desire to go on a television reality show and be filmed naked, yet they will watch the shows and take pleasure in other’s sin and this is an approval of the action even though they don’t have the courage themselves to do so.

Romans 1:32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

There is coming a day when all will stand before the throne and give an account of our lives and everything we’ve ever done will be exposed. We will stand before the King as if naked, as He peers into our soul and sees everything we ever did and everything we ever thought.

Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Nothing can be hidden from God’s sight, nothing! Every little word you ever muttered under your breath, every secret thought you harbored hatred toward someone, yelled at that driver that zipped in and out of traffic and called them a fool, all of the thoughts and intents of your heart will be exposed in all its ugliness.

There will be shame wrought as a Holy God judges each soul down to the smallest details.   Imagine the shame that the Jews felt in Nazi Germany as they were stripped and had all their dignity and rights removed from them, how humiliating that must have been. Imagine having this happen to the ones you love, either a spouse or children.

Nothing will be hidden from the eyes of God and an account will be settled.

Where is the hope?

Will your shame come now or then? This is really the question we must grapple with today. Have you felt the overwhelming shame as your sin has been exposed? Have you dealt with your nastiness here on earth? Have you beat your chest and begged for mercy?

“And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:13-14

Jesus will cover our shame and cloth us in His righteousness, but we must come to Him broken and in need. Without it you will not see the kingdom of God, you will be as the Pharisee and placing your trust in your own righteousness.

When was the last time you cried out to God to be merciful? When was the last time you understood your nakedness? When was the last time you understood you need Jesus?

Don’t let this moment pass you by.


He who does the will of of My Father…


How can we have confidence in our claims to Christianity?  Have you ever been challenged in your own mind about your claims to know Christ.  Not just know of Him or intellectually “believe” in Him.  I mean know that you are His and your sins are forgiven.  Most Christians know what the Lord said in Matthew chapter 7 how many will claim to know Him yet many will be cast into hell.

Can we truly know?

Before I came to knowledge of my sin I would have claimed Christianity yet it didn’t exhibit change in my life to the glory of God.  I could shine myself up a bit but there was still the hidden and secret sin residing inside of me that very few knew was there.  My life was content in my self-righteousness; even though I claimed the promise.

How can we be certain?

God’s Word is the standard by which we must examine our life so today I’ll look at a couple passages that are an excellent way to see if we hit the mark.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.  For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.  Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

Sexual sin is a big problem in the “church” world today.  The ease at which anyone has access to that which is displeasing to God has never been more readily available.  And it also comes right into your living room via the television.  As this society slips further into decline sexual sin is before our eyes daily if not hourly.

We must also consider the commonality of fornication; living in sexuality outside of marriage.  This is not even looked on as a sin anymore by the populace.  If you call yourself a “Believer” do not be deceived.  If you practice this you will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

If you are a Pastor and you are reading this today, I will ask if you are preaching this in your church.  Does your congregation know this is sin?  Do they wrap themselves in their own “goodness” and righteous acts?  Or does the Sword of God thunder from your pulpit forcing people to look into the sinfulness of their hearts?

Have we compared our lives to the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18?

Luke 18:13 “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Are the Lord’s words not crystal clear?

Have mercy Oh Lord!  This man knew where to turn.

I’m a sinner!  This man knew his wretched condition.

Was justified!  This man was saved because he understood his sin and his need for a Savior.

1 Thessalonians 4:8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has given us His Holy Spirit.

If you bristle at these words you reject God and you need to turn from your sin because you are a slave to sin (Romans 6).  If you struggle and you can’t overcome your sin you are correct.  You need to confess your sin to God and you need to seek help from a faithful person in your church.  If you believe you are saved you need to examine yourself and you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

So how can we be assured of our salvation?

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Those that “do” the will of God will enter heaven.  Not just those that go to church, wrap themselves in religiosity, try to be a good person, etc…, etc…, etc…

I’m not talking about righteousness through works, but a life that has been radically transformed and only desires to please God by following His commands.  Do your old friends cringe at who you are now?  Do they see a disturbing difference in you?  Most likely they enjoyed you when you were religious.  Your religion did them no harm, but when you sought holiness and sanctification it really shakes the gates of hell and most won’t like it.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.

This is how we know!

See you next week with my final installment of “Another kind of Christ”





Colossians 2:20-23  Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations- “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using-according to the commandments and doctrines of men?  These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

What is legalism?  You hear this a lot in the world of evangelicalism.  I would assert most people use this term when trying to defend their sin.  Am I a legalist if I call sin, “sin”?  I think scripture is quite clear in most cases what constitutes sin.  Sin is ANY violation of God’s moral law.  That doesn’t sell too well today and most people really don’t like being called on their sin.

We are currently in the Lenten season and I see a lot of people that want to self-impose religion and false humilities but live in blatant sin.  I’m not sure they realize they are in sin because they’ve wrapped themselves in a religious blanket; they are deceived by the deceitfulness of sin.  However this blanket is damning unless they turn from this sin in repentance and faith in Christ.

Jesus was clear; no set of “rule following” will get you into the kingdom.

Then Jesus looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack:  Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”  But he was sad at this word and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:21-22 

He requires all of you, your entire devotion of heart, soul and mind.  Not just conforming to a ritual or a doctrine of man.  This is man’s response to feeling better about himself.  Doesn’t it seem easier if we could just do this or do that and then be okay with God?  If I say this prayer, or bow my face to the ground twice a day facing east then it’s all going to be okay?

Weren’t the Pharisees the most religious and righteous of the day?  What did the Lord mean when He said He desired mercy and not sacrifice?  Then He told them that He came to call sinners not the righteous. (Matthew 9:13)  How much more offensive could He have been to their neat little religious system?

Conforming our lives to God’s Word and following His commands is not legalism.  It’s love.  John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commands.”

Keeping a ritual in an attempt to make you right with God is legalism.  Jesus clearly shows us this truth.

Luke 18:9-14 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, an despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’  And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

This is every bit as clear and in your face as it appears and raises questions for us all.  Are you made righteous by your deeds?  Or are you made righteous when you recognize your poverty and your need for Christ as Lord of your life and the only One that saves?  Do you trust in yourself?  Know today that won’t save you.  No religious system will save you.

Isaiah 29:13 Therefore the LORD said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men.

Let’s not be legalists.  Let’s be servants of the Most High God; the God that wants your heart, not your lip-service.