“When we submit to sin, yielding to its imperious demands, it is not a matter of yielding to the inevitable or reverting to type. We are foolishly, perversely allowing sin to dominate us when in actual fact it has neither the right nor the power to do so. We have been taken once and for all out of its territory, out of the state where it holds men and women captive and in chains. Therefore, when we submit to sin and temptation, as if it had mastery, we are like freed slaves going back into the house of their former bondage and obeying their old owner.”
~ Peter Lewis
“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life”.
~ John 8:12
“These words imply that the world needs light, and is naturally in a dark condition. It is so in a moral and spiritual point of view: and it has been so for nearly 6,000 years. For this state of things, the Lord Jesus Christ declares Himself to be the only remedy. He has risen, like the sun, to diffuse light, and life, and peace, and salvation, in the midst of a dark world. False lights on every side invite man’s attention in the present day. Reason, philosophy, earnestness, liberalism, conscience, and the voice of the Church, are all, in their various ways, crying loudly that they have got “the light” to show us. [Yet Christ] only is the true light who came into the world to save sinners, who died as our substitute on the cross, and sits at God’s right hand to be our Friend”.
~ J.C. Ryle
“Therefore, put to death whatever in you is worldly: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.”
~ Colossians 3:5
“While a darling sin lives and keeps the throne in the heart — grace and holiness will be kept exceeding weak and low. But when your darling sin is dethroned and slain by the power and the sword of the Spirit — grace and holiness will quickly grow stronger and stronger, and rise higher and higher.
When a man has eaten poison, nothing will make him thrive, until he has vomited up the poison. Beloved sins are the poison of the soul — and until these are vomited up, and cast out by sound repentance, and the exercise of faith in the blood of Christ — the soul will never thrive in grace and holiness!
If ever you would attain to higher degrees of holiness, then fall with all your might upon subduing and crucifying your most raging corruptions, and your most darling lusts!
Oh do not think that your golden and your silver idols will lay down their weapons, and yield the battle, and lie at your feet, and let you trample them to death — without striking a blow! Oh remember that besetting-sins will do all they can to keep their ground, and therefore you must arise with all your strength against them, and crush them to powder, and burn them to ashes!”
~ Thomas Brooks
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
~ Romans 5:1
Conflict has become a part of mankind’s nature. Conflict is a result of man’s original fall from grace and that a state of peace and bliss into which he was created – only to fall into a condition of depravity, dejection and despair. Since the time when Cain slew Abel, mankind has suffered under the curse of this kind of conflict that is conceived and born from sin darkened hearts filled with lust, greed envy and all manner of sin and disobedience.
Yet, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is through faith, faith in Christ, who He is and what He has done that any one will ever have peace with God. It’s interesting the word Paul uses here in Romans 5:1 that we translate “peace” is the Greek noun “eirḗnē” which is derived from the Greek verb “eiro” which literally means “to join together”. As sin has separated us from God and caused His great displeasure to befall us, and separate us from God’s blessing and favor, so through Christ we can be joined together, we can be “eirḗnē” that is, at peace with our Maker once more.
“Now the Israelites settled in Egypt…”
~ Genesis 47:27
If Israel is representative of God’s people, certainly Egypt represents bondage, suffering and sin. For 400 years God’s people languished in Egypt under the heavy hand of Pharaoh’s rule. It was there God’s people began to worship evil idols and false gods. And it wasn’t until God sent His deliverer that His people were set free. May Christians today never settle in their sins. May we never grow comfortable in the chains of iniquity. But may we always look in faith to our freedom from sin in Jesus Christ, our hope and Deliverer.
“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”
~ Proverbs 10:19
There used to be a popular old adage that said God created us with two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we speak. In a day and age where through social media and the like everyone feels the need to have a “voice”, let us remember the Scriptural wisdom of guarding our speech and restraining our lips. Because of our sinful hearts, the more the mouth speaks, the more prone it is to speak sinfully. There is godly wisdom in silence. Let us speak only when it will be edifying for others and pleasing to the Lord (Col. 4:6).
“The plain truth is, there are two distinct and separate systems of Christianity in England at the present day. It is useless to deny it. Their existence is a great fact, and one that cannot be too clearly known. According to one system, religion is a mere corporate business. You are to belong to a certain body of people. By virtue of your membership of this body, vast privileges, both for time and eternity, are conferred upon you. It matters little what you are and what you feel. You are not to try yourself by your feelings. You are a member of a great ecclesiastical corporation. Then all its privileges and immunities are your own. Do you belong to the one true visible ecclesiastical corporation? That is the grand question.
According to the other system, religion is eminently a personal business between yourself and Christ. It will not save your soul to be an outward member of any ecclesiastical body whatever, however sound that body may be. Such membership will not wash away one sin, or give you confidence in the day of judgement. There must be personal faith in Christ, personal dealings between yourself and God, personal felt communion between your own heart and the Holy Ghost. Have you this personal faith? Have you this felt work of the Spirit in your soul? This is the grand question. If not you will be lost.
This last system is the system which those who are called evangelical ministers cleave to and teach. They do so, because they are satisfied that it is the system of Holy Scripture. They do so, because they are convinced that any other system is productive of most dangerous consequences, and calculated to delude men fatally as to their actual state. They do so, because they believe it to be the only system of teaching which God will bless, and that no church will flourish so much as that in which repentance, faith, conversion and the work of the Spirit are the grand subjects of the minister’s sermon”.
~ J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)
“The best course to prevent falling into the pit is to keep at the greatest distance; he that will be so bold as to attempt to dance upon the brink of the pit, may find by woeful experience that it is a righteous thing with God that he should fall into the pit.”
~ Thomas Brooks
Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, guide me away from the edge of sin to safer and greener pastures close to you. Keep me from stumbling and falling by Thy sweet mercy and strong grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish.
~ Proverbs 14:11
God is faithful to both the wicked and the righteous. Sound strange? Think about it. His promises towards both are sure and certain. The Lord’s Word stands as true to one as it does the other. In our passage before us, we are told the house of the wicked will be overthrown. The meaning is all the wicked do, all they establish here on earth, any accumulation of power or prosperity, even they themselves, will one day come to nought. While the tent of the upright will be blessed, it will flourish and ultimately prosper under God’s faithful care.
Consider one other caveat from this text, notice the contrast between the house of the wicked and the tent of the upright. A house may appear more stable than a tent. The house may give the resident a greater sense of safety and security than the one dwelling in a tent. But in the Lord’s plans, the house will fall while the tent shall stand. Though the upright may do with less in this world, and live by humbler means than the wicked, God is faithful to both, and it is the upright who will flourish while the wicked are fully and finally overthrown.
“Our peace and confidence are to be found not in our empirical holiness, not in our progress toward perfection, but in the alien righteousness of Jesus Christ that covers our sinfulness and alone makes us acceptable before a holy God.”
~ Donald Bloesch
Prayer Life Pause: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for covering me with the perfect righteousness of Your Son, Jesus Christ. For His perfection alone is what makes sinners acceptable before a holy God. In Jesus’ name, amen.