Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not perfection, direction

Before we get started with tonight’s reading, let’s first look at the definition of the word abide:

abada, to be, or exist, to continue; W. bod, to be; to dwell, rest, continue, stand firm, or be stationary for anytime indefinitely.
-To rest, or dwell.
-To continue permanently or in the same state; to be firm and immovable.
- To remain, to continue.

ABI'DE, v.t.
-To wait for; to be prepared for; to await.
-To endure or sustain.

Jesus commands us, and John reiterates it in 1John 2, to abide in Christ:

 John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

John 15:6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

Jesus makes it very clear, if you do not abide in Him you WILL NOT bear fruit for the Kingdom of God, not only that, if you DO NOT abide in Him, you abide in darkness:

John 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

Over and over again in the Word of God we read verses that warn against “walking in darkness”, “practicing sin”, “walking in the flesh”, “living for the lusts of the flesh”….it is AMAZING how many times the  Bible warns of this and in how many ways God says it.  I am fairly sure He didn’t want this missed or confused, yet there are so many that try to play word games with the Truth.  This morning I was reminded of this, while I was exchanging emails with a fellow brother in Christ, that until the Holy Spirit lifts the veil from our eyes we are ignorant to the Truth.  I remember when I thought I was saved I NEVER noticed words like obedience, surrender and repentance; I was blinded to it.  When we repent of our sin, when we surrender our life to Jesus Christ, when we are obedient to His Word, when we strive to enter His rest, when seek first The Kingdom of God and His righteousness, when we abide in Him we cannot, and will not, practice sin.  If this were not true, why would John tell us this is one of the main reasons he is writing 1John?:

 1John 2:1a  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.

This is where some Christians miss it….we are not talking perfection, we are talking direction!  John basically says DON’T SIN!  But, since we will not be completely without sin until Christ’s brings us home or He returns, John follows it up with:

1John 2:1b But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Check this out; it is very important to make this distinction.  God’s Word warns that those that practice sin WILL NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.  We know that God does NOT contradict Himself and He is NOT the author of confusion.  So, clearly there is more going on here than, “well, if you sin (wink-wink) you are covered.”  It seems clear that there is, literally, an eternal difference betweeen practicing sin and stumbling.  Let’s try to bring this a little closer to home….when I thought I was saved, I would make plans for the week-end, knowing that I would ask forgiveness in the morning.  I was a fake Christian, deceived and confused of the Truth.  I praise God He didn’t leave me in that condition, because He could have and I would have died condemned.  So my question to you is, do you have plans this week, or this month, or this year that you know will result in thoughts, words or action that will be outside of the will of God?  As you consider that question, also consider that with the answer gives us a small example of the difference between practicing sin and stumbling.

1John 2:6  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

 If you abide in Him, you WILL NOT love the world and everything the world says you should love:

1John 2:15-16  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16  For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

 Verses 25 and 26 make two amazing points. One – God has a promise for those who abide in Him, and He has ALWAYS fulfilled His promises.  Two – there are going to be those that will try to deceive you from the Truth.  Some of them maybe well meaning, some of them might be flat out evil; but either way, Satan is the author of this deception and the end result is the same; if you are deceived in to denying the Truth, you will fall for a lie.

 1John 2:25-26  And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.

1John 2:29  If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

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