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CAT | Grace Swallows Up Sin

Nov/11

14

Grace Swallows Up Sin Pt 6

BREAKING FREE!

1 John 1:7
The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. (KJV)

In my last Blog, we saw how at the cross, Jesus was offered ‘ONCE’ as a sacrifice to forgive and take away all our sins, past, present and future. (1 Jn3:5, 1Jn 1:7). Hence when we sin, we need no longer ask for forgiveness, we simply receive it. It was all dealt with 2000 yrs ago.

So instead of being sin conscious (inward looking), which brings guilt and condemnation, we have now been set free to be righteous conscious (outward looking) in Christ (2 Cor 5:21). We look to the cross to see where Christ has set us free.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  (NKJV)

Using the Scripture above, let’s look at an example from life to see the different ways law (sin consciousness) and grace (righteous consciousness) can be applied to a problem area.

Eg: A man is a Christian but still struggles with an alchohol addiction. How can he break free from sin’s grip?

The law says, in order to please God, he must be victorious over his sin. The law says he must put God first in his life (Ex 20:3). He tries every remedy available to conquer his habit:  prayer, fasting, not placing himself in temptations way, councelling etc. But they all end in failure because his desire for alchohol is all consuming.

The inability to overcome his sin brings  hopelessness, defeat, shame, guilt, condemnation, and a sense of failure of falling short of God’s law. What’s happening? Sin has dominion over him. He is at the mercy of sin. Sin is his master.

You see, all the law can do is point out his sin, but it can’t deliver him, it can only condemn him. In fact, it is the law that is keeping him trapped in his sin. Let’s turn the Scripture around: For sin shall have dominion over you, for you are not under grace but under law.

But what does grace say……………………………………………………..

Rom 8:1-4  There is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus.  For the power of the life-giving Spirit- is mine through Christ Jesus and has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death.  We aren’t saved from sin’s grasp by knowing the commandments of God because we can’t and don’t keep them, but God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours-and destroyed sin’s control over us by giving himself as a sacrifice for our sins.  (TLB)

Grace has now deposited the life giving Spirit of Christ into our hearts, and it is His role to bring victory over every sin. So……………..

1) This man can now ask Jesus (prayer) to do what he himself couldn’t – bring deliverance from alchohol addiction; and to stop wrestling with it and give it to Christ and rest in His delivering power and confess that he is looking to Christ to set him free.

2) As this process is taking place (however long that may be), if he slips and has a relapse back into drink, instead of coming under condemnation and shame, he receives forgiveness, throws off guilt and condemnation, confesses that he is still the righteousness of God and puts his trust back in Christ to deliver him and moves on in peace.

What’s happened: Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Rom 5:20),  and sin is no longer reigning over him because he is under grace not law Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are under grace.

As he stands in this grace, God will begin to work in him and ultimately bring deliverance and set him free from alchohol, or drugs, or homosexuality, or pornography, or any addiction or sin.

Friends, until we allow the grace of Jesus to set us free, the law will keep us trapped in our sin, and the world, instead of seeing a victorious, beautiful, glorious bride, will see, a defeated, barren and shame filled church.

Meditation Point: To experience freedom from sin’s dominion, I must come out from under law and come under grace.





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Nov/11

7

Grace Swallows Up Sin Pt 5

1 John 2:1
If you sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. His name is Jesus Christ. (TLB)

Many Christians are crippled in their relationship with God because they have what the church calls, ‘A besetting sin’. This is a sin they keep repeating.

Because they keep repeating it, they think God won’t keep forgiving them because they should by now have conquered it. This plays havoc with our belief system,  and because we are not sure if God will continue to forgive us, we are plagued with intense guilt and condemnation.

This way of dealing with sin is an Old Covenant (O.C.) Law approach to resolving sin and will always keep us trapped, never to break free from it. Under the O.C., every time a person sinned, a sacrifice would be offered on their behalf. Hence over their lifetime, many such sacrifices would be repeated. This knowledge would make the people sin conscious because it would be a reminder to them that they were sinners (Heb 10:1-4)

Sin consciousness means we are always looking inward at our failures, defeats and sins, triggering guilt and condemnation. But we are no longer under the O.C. sacrificial system of law, we are under the New Covenant (N.C.) of grace.

Step forward Jesus Christ. When He died on the cross, Jesus took the full punishment for our sin, past, present and future; His blood cleansed us from all unrighteousness, and whereas, under the O.C., the same sacrifices would be offered again and again to deal with sin, under the N.C., Jesus offered Himself ‘ONCE’ for sin, for all time and eternity.

Therefore, if all our sin has been dealt with, we no longer have to be sin conscious because all our sin has been forgiven and cleansed away. It doesn’t matter if we repeat the same sin 5000 times. At the cross, God looked forward up the corridor of the future, saw us committing all our sin, and took the punishment for it out on Jesus.

In the next Blog, I will look at how the sacrifice of Jesus, breaks the power of besetting sin.

Meditation Point: Heb 10:1-4. We are no longer sin conscious because of the ‘once’ for all time, sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

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Oct/11

24

Grace Swallows Up Sin Pt 4

Gal 5:1
So Christ has made us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get all tied up again in the chains of slavery
(TLB)

The key to experiencing the revelation that ‘Grace has swallowed up sin’ is found in Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (NKJV)

Let’s unpack those 3 words, ‘now, no condemnation’:

1) NOW – Now is in the present continuous tense, it is always taking place. Therefore if we sin today, tomorrow, next week, next year; the moment we sin, there is ‘NOW’ no condemnation. The word NOW is always operative.

2) NO – This word means nothing, not now, not ever. Therefore when we sin, not even minuscule condemnation can attach itself to us because Jesus took the judgement for all our sin at the cross.

3) CONDEMNATION – Condemnation follows judgement. The judge finds us guilty and condemns us to punishment: EG – “I now find you guilty of the said crime and condemn you to death”.  Again, Jesus took all our condemnation at the cross. He was judged, found guilty and condemned in our place.

Therefore, this verse is telling us that no matter what mistakes, failures or sins we commit: There is ‘now no condemnation’.

Let’s look at how this works in practice:

We go for a job interview. We come away feeling we didn’t give a good account of ourselves. We can either turn it over in our minds again and again, telling ourselves how badly we performed and beat up on ourself OR we can say,” Father, I performed badly in that interview but I invite Your grace to come and swallow up my mistakes and turn my bad to good. I refuse to berate myself (condemn, feel guilty or ashamed) and I trust the situation to You”.

So, we may have made a mistake, but our heart is at peace and we are at rest, because, ‘where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.’

OR – we make a mistake at work that costs the company hundreds of pounds. We apologise and the boss allows us to stay in our job. Nonetheless we know it was a serious mistake and has not been received favourably by our fellow workers.

We can either, hang our head in shame and keep a low profile, hoping it will soon blow over OR we can say, ” Father, that was a serious mistake, but I thank You for Your forgiveness and know Your grace has swallowed up my sin. Therefore, I throw off all shame, guilt and condemnation and I trust You to repair the damage done to my relationships. I refuse to behave like a criminal and hold my head up high”.

Friends: When we utilise the revelation that ‘grace has swallowed up sin’, we will experience the wonderful freedom that Jesus death on the cross has provided for us.

Meditation Point: Grace has made it easy for us to live in true freedom.

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Oct/11

10

Grace Swallows Up Sin Pt 2

There are 2 great truths found in (Rom 5:20) . Truths that will help us practically to break free from sin in our daily lives:

Truth No 1Made any mistakes recently?  Had any failures?  Ruined any relationships?  Lapsed back into sin? Are we struggling with guilt, condemnation, shame, hopelessness etc as a result of our wrongs.

But doesn’t (Rom 8:1) say, there is now therefore, no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. Yes it does! So why are we still laden down with burdens we should have shed a long time ago. It’s because we are living with an Old Covenant  approach to forgiveness.

What we didn’t realise is that there are 2 parts to God’s forgiveness. There is (1) God’s forgiveness of our sins and (2) God’s removal of our sins. If we received (1) without receiving (2) we will find that although God has forgiven our sin, we’ve allowed it to remain on our conscience. And sin left on our conscience is an open door for satan to come in and play havoc in the room of our heart and use accusation to stir up condemnation and guilt etc.

Eg – We’ve recently remarried but we still carry the guilt for the awful way we mistreated our first husband/wife. We can’t seem to shake it off, and whenever we remember it, the guilt tears our heart to shreds, leaving us stressed, anxious and depressed.

It’s the remembering that’s the problem and it’s because we are living under an Old Covenant (OC) mindset with regards to God’s forgiveness of sin.

Next week we will look at how to come out from under the OC sacrificial system of law that fosters a remembrance of sin and come under the NC sacrificial system of grace that has removed and totally forgotten sin.

Meditation Point: Read and meditate on Hebrews 10:1-18.

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Oct/11

3

Grace Swallows Up Sin Pt 1

Rom 5:20 Sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down.  (TM)

When we look at the photos above of a snake and a hamster, we know it’s impossible for the hamster to kill and eat the snake. NO! It’s the snake that not only kills the hamster but swallows it whole; And I want to show in this Blog how grace far surpasses sin, and when it came to a confrontation at the cross, grace swallowed sin whole.

The moment we asked Jesus Christ to come and live in our hearts, God forgave us all our sins and the blood of Jesus Christ cleansed them all away. God also took away our heart of stone and replaced it with a heart of flesh (Ez 11:19), or to put it another way, He took away our old sin nature and replaced it with a new righteous nature and we became a new creations. (2 Cor 5:17)

Now we are no longer a sinner, we are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor 5:21). This righteousness is not second class righteousness neither is it a  low level of righteousness; It is the 100%  righteousness of God Himself. Therefore we can now approach God without fear, knowing the righteousness He’s given us enables us to stand in His presence before Him and makes us totally acceptable to Him.

Rom 8:30 Having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them ‘right standing’ with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. (NLT)

Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us ‘accepted’ in the Beloved.  (NKJV)

Unfortunately for many Christians, they know they are forgiven, saved and are a new creation, but they don’t know they have also received God’s righteousness or as Paul puts it, the ‘Gift of righteousness’. I my self have been a Christian for 35 yrs and have been teaching Scripture for 25 yrs, but it’s only been in the last 5 yrs that I have come into a revelation of God’s righteousness.

Paul the Apostle says that this righteousness is revealed in the Gospel message. Rom 1:16-17 I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for in it the righteousness of God is ‘revealed’ from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just (righteous) shall live by faith.”  (NKJV)

This revelation of righteousness is to be received by faith and gives us total dominion over all sin. In my next Blog I will show how this works in practise in a believers life and leads us to live in continual victory.

Meditation Point: The gift of righteousness is to be received as a free gift from God. It’s been given us that we might live in God’s Kingdom which is also righteous. With this gift, we can now rule and reign as a king over all sin.

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