by Michele Rayburn
NOTE: The following was written in response to a discussion about a prominent Pastor known for his course, foul language in the pulpit.
"Filthy speech puts those who are guilty of it among the chief of sinners, and to them will certainly be meted out a terrible vengeance in that day when God shall solemnly curse those who have so glibly cursed themselves."
-Charles Spurgeon, "A Great Gospel For Great Sinners"
[There seemed to have been some confusion among believers as to whether Spurgeon was speaking to believers or to unbelievers, that is why I said the following:]
Charles Spurgeon appears to be speaking to the unbeliever about his sin in this particular passage.
But what is the solution, the remedy, for the believer? What this Pastor in question needs is what we all need because we all sin just like him. James reminds us that "no one can tame the tongue".
Galatians 5:16 says:
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."
Galatians 5:25 says:
"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."
I think that part of this Pastor's problem might be, like so many of us, that he was raised in a legalistic sin-focused church and was never truly grounded in the knowledge of God's grace and of spiritual living, but instead was taught to stop sinning in his own strength rather than relying on God to work that work in him by His Spirit.
I think his sin problem may be a backlash, a rebellion if you will, to the legalism that says "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch..." (Colossians 2:21)
In context, Colossians 2:20ff says:
"If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!"... in accordance with the teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence."
What is the Biblical solution then?
"Therefore if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is...not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God...Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed...and in them you once walked, when you were living in them...put them all aside: anger, wrath...abusive speech. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him...Christ is all, and in all."
And Isaiah says:
"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You." (Isaiah 26:3)
I like to paraphrase it by saying that God didn't say to keep your mind stayed on sin. He said to keep your mind stayed on Him!
I was looking at a blog called "Herescope". And it said a very interesting thing in an article entitled "The Dominionism of Sin" (Aug. 4, 2007):
"This blog [Herescope] spends a considerable amount of time examining and exposing the swift rise in our age of the false doctrines and practices of Dominionism.
"Indeed, it is human nature to seek human solutions to overcome the fallen nature of man. And that, in brief, is precisely the temptation of the heresies of Dominionism.
"Dominionism promises that mankind can better himself, perfect his nature, change societies, cultures and governments; and even reverse the effects of the Fall, build the kingdom of God on earth, bring Jesus back as King, and restore Paradise.
"It is easier to look outwards at the world and try to fix it than to look inwards at the heart. For it is the heart, and the dominion of sin over the heart, that truly must undergo transformation."
And that really sums it up for me. We can try to tell people what to do, do, do all day if we want to, but it will not change the person's heart unless he is told how to be, be, be.
It may seem easier to tell people what to do, but it cannot change the heart. There will usually only be a temporary fix, if anything. Only God can change the heart, and, with regard to a particular sin, that may take time...and in many cases, a lifetime.
The biggest problem with sin in the Church is that too many of us do not know who we are, so we don't know how to be. And until we do learn who we are (in Christ), and how to be (in the Spirit), we will not be able to control what we do, because that control can only come from God's Spirit, not by "the will of man".
As we learn who we are, and how to be, and our focus is on Him, He will control our sin, by His Spirit, and in His time...in His perfect timing.
Who Are We In Christ?
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..." (1 Peter 2:9)
And we are Saints. Paul never said "To the Sinners who are in Ephesus..." He called us what we are, not by what we sometimes do.
Now, go and "be" that Saint by walking in the truths of who you "are".
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
The First Sunrise of the New Year 2009
compiled by Michele Rayburn
Behold, He makes all things new...a New Covenant, a new creation in Christ, a new identity in Christ, a new spirit...
Psalm 40:3 He has put a *new* song in my mouth. Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.
Psalm 96:1 Oh, sing to the Lord a *new* song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Isaiah 42:9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, And *new* things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.
Isaiah 62:2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a *new* name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
Isaiah 65:17 "For behold, I create *new* heavens and a *new* earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind."
Jeremiah 31:31 "Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a *new* covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah."
Ezekiel 11:19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a *new* spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a *new* heart and a *new* spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a *new* heart and put a *new* spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Matthew 26:28 For this is My blood of the *new* covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Mark 14:24 And He said to them, "This is My blood of the *new* covenant, which is shed for many."
Luke 22:20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the *new* covenant in My blood, which is shed for you."
John 13:34 A *new* commandment that I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in *newness* of life.
Romans 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the *newness* of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the *renewing* of your mind...
2 Corinthians 3:6 God...who also made us sufficient as ministers of the *new* covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being *renewed* day by day.
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*.
Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a *new* creation.
Ephesians 2:14-15 For He Himself is our peace...having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one *new* man from the two, thus making peace...
Ephesians 4:22-24 ...put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts, and be *renewed* in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the *new* man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.
Colossians 3:9-10 ...you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the *new* man who is *renewed* in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.
Titus 3:5 ...according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and *renewing* of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 8:8 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a *new* covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah..." (Jer.31:31)
Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, "A *new* covenant," He has made the first obsolete.
Hebrews 9:15 He is the Mediator of the *new* covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a *new* and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh...
Hebrews 12:22-24 But you have come...to Jesus the Mediator of the *new* covenant...
1 Peter 2:2 ...as *newborn* babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby...
2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for *new* heavens and a *new* earth in which righteousness dwells.
1 John 2:8 Again, a *new* commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
2 John 1:5 And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a *new* commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning; that we love one another.
Revelation 2:17 And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a *new* name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
Revelation 3:12 And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the *New* Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God. And I will write on him My *new* name.
Revelation 14:3 And they sang as it were a *new* song before the throne...
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a *new* heaven and a *new* earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
Revelation 21:2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, *New* Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things *new*."
Morning Has Broken - sung by Cat Stevens