"Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, "'He will command his angels concerning you,' and "'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
~ The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 4, vs 5-7 ~
In these verses, we have Satan trying to get Jesus to sin: To willfully put his safety at risk, in an attempt to verify that Father God would send angels to save Him at the last second, before this incident results in His death.
This is a marvelous picture of us and our lives. Prior to knowing Christ, we willfully sin. We place our desires over everything else as paramount. But when we come to Jesus, we set ourselves under his discipleship (learning as adiscipline and to discipline ourselves) – whether we know it or not! At thatpoint, we begin learning what is and is not sin. As we learn, we become accountable. The grace of God? It saves us. It is by His grace that we can be forgiven when we sin. But whenever Jesus would rescue someone, He would always tell them “Go and sin no more” and “Or else something worse can happen to you.”(John 5:14, 8:11)
The Apostle Paul also tells us in Romans: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Heaven forbid!” (Rom 6:1-3).
What happens is sometimes, people who come to Jesus are either not properly taught that sin is to be put down, and/or they decide to use God's grace as an excuse to continue in their practice of sin, against Paul's advice! May we be a people who rather than continue in sin because God saves, decide to obey Christ and put away our sin, because Christ saved us, we love Him and we want to live for God for the sake of love and God’’s glory!
Remember though – as we fight the fight of holiness, we will sometimes fall short, for our flesh is not yet perfected. But when this happens, we have Jesus as our advocate. He stands in the presence of the Father, declaring our innocence in His righteousness in the face of Satan’s arguments that because we fell short, we no longer deserve the grace of God. In Christ, there is now NO condemnation (Rom 8:1)! We are no longer condemned for our shortcomings in this struggle!
We are being made holy...day by day - Shine forth this day in the light of Christ!
Love, Pastor Chris