Cease from sin


Last week I spoke about the topic of legalism and I made the assertion that most people will call you a legalist if you call sin, “sin”.  How do we balance grace with works?  John MacArthur says there are only two religions in the world.  There is the religion of human accomplishment and there is Christianity.  You can lump every false religion into the first category.  This religion of human accomplishment says you must do this to make yourself worthy of heaven.  You must do something to appease your “god”.

True Christianity says God came in human flesh and did the doing.  He lived a perfect, sinless life so sinful man could be reconciled to God.  There is nothing you can do to earn God’s redemption without the work of Christ.


No prayer, no amount of sacrifice, you cannot be “good” enough to earn God’s favor; you can’t be part of a special group.  Jesus Christ went to the cross to drink the cup of God’s wrath to pay for the sins of those who would believe in Him that they could turn from their sin.

This IS the true gospel.

If you think you can do something to earn God’s forgiveness you are wrong.  If you think that being baptized or saying the sinner’s prayer or being part of a certain religious group will save you from the terrors and torture of hell, you need to stop and consider, carefully what you are counting on for salvation.

The gospel tells us we are dead in sins and trespasses, unable to save ourselves (Ephesians 2:1).  The gospel tells us we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).  The gospel tells us it is not of works so no one can boast (Ephesians 2:9).  Clearly, we can do nothing outside of God’s work.

1 Peter 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Here is the rub…  This is the difference between false conversion and true conversion.  Do you now cease from sin?  If you claim to be saved and claim to be a follower of Christ, you must cease from sin.

Disclaimer, you won’t do this to perfection.

However, if you are not striving against sin, you are not saved.  If your sin does not sicken you, you are not saved.  I hope this sounds harsh.  I would rather this be harsh and have you see your sin than live in a world of illusion and deception.

If you claim to be a Believer you will resist and fight against sin.  It will be a lifelong battle but you will grow or you must examine your life.

Believer, you are under grace, you are no longer under the law (Romans 5:1-2).  This is not a license to willfully live in sin.  Romans 6:1 What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Are you striving against sin in your life?  Hebrews 12:3-4 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.  You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

If this is a concept that is unfamiliar to you, I hope you will sit down and examine your life by the truth of God’s Word.  God has supplied the world with the gift of His Word and the glorious sacrifice of His Son that some will be saved.  If you are saved, you now have work to do.


A troubled soul…

John 12:27-28 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.  “Father, glorify Your name.”

This is one of my favorite verses.  Can you imagine what the Lord was going through?  His time had come.  This was the culmination of His earthly ministry.  Something that had been planned before time began and it all came down to this moment.

All of human history and redemption hang in the balance of what is going to happen.  Jesus Christ, the only man to live a perfect, sinless life is going to pay for the sin of all those that would believe, past, present and future.  This is too much for my mind to comprehend.  To understand all that is involved in this moment in time is un-imaginable, but it was God’s plan.

If you are a Believer, can you think about your life after salvation, and consider what this means to you now?  Think about the physical pain, the mocking, the beating, taking on the wrath of God and then the separation from His Father?  The only time in all of eternity the Son was separated from the Father.  It’s incredible to consider.

What do Believer’s do with this verse?  It is certainly something to be admired but should we admire the words of the Lord and not allow it affect us significantly?  I see (4) great lessons in this very simple prayer.

My soul is troubled. 

We all experience troubled souls.  Maybe it’s because of our sin or maybe by life’s circumstances; whatever is troubling you we can call on Jesus.  Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Father, save me. 

The Lord did not ask to be delivered from His trial.  He embraced His trial and accessed the power available to Him.  Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  When you are tempted to sin in your times of trouble seek the One that can truly help.


Believers have a purpose and we need to be focused on the mission.  Despite the hardships and trials Jesus embraced His mission.  Our job is also to embrace the mission.  2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word!  Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  Whether the message is popular or unpopular our mission is to preach the word.

Glorify the Father.

Why did Jesus suffer so much shame and reproach from sinful men?  I hope you know the answer.  Brothers and Sisters we have a simple job.  We are to bring God glory.  Ephesians 1:12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

Consider what that time must have been like for the Lord Jesus as He agonized over the shame that was set before Him.  Yet He went willingly that those who would trust in Him would be saved.  I am crushed by the weight of this thought. Who am I that He would consider me in the hour He prayed to His Father that I would be saved.

Yes I benefit from it but it wasn’t for my benefit.   To the praise of His glory… and that’s too much for me to comprehend.