For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1Corinthians 11:29-32)
The quote above by Charles Spurgeon (1835-1892) is stern and overreaching into our lives. He is not saying we shall die for sin in the place of Christ. He is saying that as Christians, we may bring upon ourselves an earthly death penalty for stubborn, persistent sin.
It is in those of us who believe in the eternal security of the believer, to believe that since we are eternally saved, God will always touch us in mercy and grace and He will never go against us. That is the ideal. I would to God that once we are saved, there is only the smooth ascent of the stairs into Heaven with no problems. But that is usually not the case. King David was as saved as anyone can get but he messed up, big time! God did not leave him alone. He corrected him and made him an example to the rest of us.
We have three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. These three enemies mitigate against the will of God and go against our own new nature imparted to us when we are born again by the Spirit of God.
Bluntly stated: “There is a sin unto death for saved people.” In Acts 5:1-11, Ananias and Saphira were slain by the Spirit of God for lying to God. Nothing is mentioned about them being false Christians. We may assume they were Christians and that they sinned a sin unto death. It was an example to the rest of the young church. They feared to do what this couple had done. That’s what God intended.
If God should kill every Christian that sins after they are saved, there would not be any Christians on the earth. Obviously, He does not kill every Christian that sins. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (Ecc 7:20)
And yet, John says this: We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1John 5:18) (Does not make a continual and habitual practice of sin.) The “sinneth not” here is not absolute and without exception. In a general way, the life is changed and is no longer characterized by sinful practice.
OUR NEW NATURE DOES NOT SIN AT ALL because it is created by God in the new birth. But OUR OLD NATURE CAN DO NOTHING BUT SIN ALL THE TIME. Therefore, there is constant warfare within our own souls between our new nature and our old nature. Our new nature was imparted by God at the time of our new birth. Our old nature was packaged with us when we were born. Christians are in a process of continual sanctification as we gradually learn how to yield to the Holy Spirit and overcome our old sinful nature.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Corinthians 5:17) We are a new creation that can be seen by its new direction of living. It is not perfect, but it is now in the direction of obedience to God, with a new appetite and a new loyalty.
In Pensacola, Florida a retired auto mechanic, Ed Gay, was working on my car in his back yard. He walked away from his house to a small building and picked up a toolbox in the doorway. As he was putting the tools up and wiping the grease from his hands, he told me: “This little building where I keep my tools and car parts used to be our house. When God saved me, everything changed. Before long we had enough money to start work on a new house. I never want to forget where I lived when God saved me.” That’s the best illustration I’ve found of what it means: “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Ed Gay was a new man. He was not a perfect man.
I’ve tried to lay a foundation for our text in 1Corinthians 11 and give a picture of where we are as Christians. We are eternally secure in Christ and will in no way lose our salvation, even for the worst of sins we may fall into. However, the sin of the Christian is out of character as a Christian and if we will not deal with our sin, God will deal with us. The first step is that we lose the peace of God in our spirit and feel alienated from God. Sinning Christians will feel more lost than lost people. He gives us space to repent.
The attitude of God is expressed here:
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. (Psalm 103:11-14)
In Part 2 we will continue: “If We Would Judge Ourselves.” Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
October 19, 2017 - THURSDAY
A.M. Jeremiah 1-2 P.M. 2 Thess 2
(BIBLE GATEWAY will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verses to Memorize:
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Corinthians 5:17)
Song for Today:
Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior (5:14) (Gaither Group)
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