Friday, July 12, 2019

GRACE OR SIN

Grace or sin



The Apostle James changes his tone about the subject of temptation. If we are tempted with a sin --- an enticement as it were according to James 1:14 we can never say "I want to sin" is from God.

First of all God can never be tempted with evil nor does He ever tempt any person for any reason. This does not come from God. The first truth we as Christians need to understand is when demons tempt us that is not a sin but it is a test. The only time the enticement becomes a sin is when that person is drawn away because of his or her lust. This is the only way the enticement will be effective so the obvious answer to not committing transgressions is to not be drawn away with our own lust. The choice is up to us but the command is from God to not let this happen which means we have to be on guard all the time.

The second step is when lust is conceived we sin. A basic principle in the Bible is sin brings forth death. James urges his readers not to be deceived but then James once again changes his tone and says every good and perfect gift is from above. Let me just stop there because when demons tempt us with sin that is from below. These good and perfect gifts come from the Father of lights and there is no variableness in God; however, this is in demons. There is no shadow of turning in God and yes I have heard many heaven testimonies where they all testified that when they were traveling down the streets of Paradise they never saw their shadow. 

Whenever God does something it is of His own will and He decided to give us the word of truth. The reason why the Triune Godhead did this is because we as Christians are to be a kind of first fruits of His creatures. It would only stand to reason that if we listen to the enticement of demons and allow ourselves to be drawn away of our own lusts we are for all practical purposes second fruits of sin that leads to death. James is making a comparison of us being tempted and perhaps caving into the transgression against Jesus Christ or keeping our focus on the Father of lights. I am going to expand on this passage but first let me quote the original text of this passage so you can read it and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.

(13) "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: (14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (16) Do not err, my beloved brethren. (17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (18) Of His own will will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." James 1: 13 - 18. 

God is not the author of any person's transgressions but some Christians may fall in their hour of temptation. The Bible warns believers in Jesus Christ not to live a life of sin. Whether we sin every once in a while or give ourselves to a lifestyle of transgressions the blame of this conduct lies entirely on the Christian that made a choice of being drawn away of his or her own lust. If you feel you are living a lifestyle of sin / sins do what you have to do to stop. The believer in Jesus Christ that constantly transgresses against God is in serious trouble before divine authority. Pray that Jesus Christ gives you the conviction in your heart that sin is wrong. There is nothing in the nature of God where we can say, "God made me do this transgression against Him."

The Bible clearly says that God can not be tempted with evil so it would have to be obvious that Jesus Christ will not be a tempter to other people. Sinning is bad enough but to blame it on God as opposed to taking responsibility for our transgression / transgressions is not only incorrect but the real problem is we do not have strong conviction in our hearts against something destructive in our life. When God sends afflictions and pain in our life the end result is to trust Jesus Christ and rely on His grace, not go the other way into corruption.

We need to ask ourselves a question and that would be where does the true cause of evil lie or where should the blame be put from a biblical prospective? When it comes to temptation, evil and sin it is originally in our hearts. It is born in us but outward causes may tempt us to be enticed into a full blown episode. First it is in us, then it draws us away and finally entices us into sin. This whole process carries us from good to evil. We could literally have a strong fellowship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and then fall into sin which is usually measured in degrees if we allow the temptation to draw us away and entice us into a transgression against God. The term drawn away is to be forcible compelled so at certain points of our life it will be very hard to abstain from sin. The word enticed means to be beguiled so the power of sin could never have victory unless something cunning takes place from the corruption of our hearts. 

Sin excites desires in us and then we consent to the transgression but at this point it is conceived. Unfortunately this brings forth death. First this death takes place in the soul and then it is manifested in the body. The moral is we need to be careful with what goes into our minds and hearts. I can guarantee you that we will be tempted at our weakest moments so in advance Christians may desire to pray for those inevitable times when enticements will come into our life. If we know we sinned it should be obvious that repentance should take place before God through His Son Jesus Christ.

I like the way James changes his tone and says God is the Father and fountain of all good. If we have a wrong misconception of God this can be very dangerous to our spiritual walk with Jesus Christ. Sin is evil but we serve a good God. When James says do not err or wander we need to remember God is not the author of anything that is evil. Just the opposite is true because Jesus Christ is the cause of everything that is pure and holy. God does not change but our off course directions are not altered by God. If this happens in our walk with Jesus Christ we must look inside ourselves and even be more determined that we are going to do the will of God.

When we look at the Father of lights with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning understand that every good gift is from Jesus Christ. He is the only one that can give us as believers in Christ the light of spiritual reasoning. This is a vast contrast from temptation and sin but James understood that unless we on a regular basis seek the Father of lights that gives spiritual reasoning we will fall into transgressions. This "Light" teaches us biblical principles and divine revelation which we desperately need because our sin nature will take center stage if we as Christians do not position ourselves before God in a proper way to receive this gift through His Son Jesus Christ. The bottom line is we will receive nothing good unless we as believers in Christ get this pureness from God. We were redeemed by Jesus Christ and certainly do rejoice but the benefits of being born again Christians is His "Light" which involves spiritual reasoning, learning and as a result comfort. 

When we accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts we became a new creature in Jesus Christ but we must remember this was not because of our skill, power or good works. This happened to us because of the goodwill and grace of God through the redeeming power of His Son Jesus Christ. This is why we as Christians are able to proclaim the word of truth or the gospel of Jesus Christ because His resurrection Power conquered sin and we or anyone who desires to come to the Lord has power over sin through the Son of God who died for our sins. If you feel deep down that you have not made that all important eternal decision now may be the time to accept Jesus Christ into your hearts by repenting of all your sins and inviting the true Messiah into your life. This decision will produce real and lasting effects in your life. 

If you just made this decision rely upon the renewing grace of God through His Son in the empowering work of the Holy Spirit. Like the passage says in this article if we do not then we are far more susceptible to fall into sin. Remember Jesus Christ died for our sins so we could be set free from our transgressions.

James also talks about that we should be a kind of first - fruits of His creatures. Without getting to deep into this subject Jesus Christ is the first - fruits of His children. He is the head and we are His body. The most popular interpretation is Christians are the first - fruits of creatures. Our primary focus should be Jesus Christ is the first - fruits of His children. Praise the Lord because we serve the head who is sinless and pure and desires to impart this in our hearts.

God Bless You,
Bob D.

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