1 John 1:15-17, 1 John 1:7, 1 Peter 1:13-15, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Following Jesus, Holiness, James 1:12-26, JESUS, John 16:33, John 1:29, John 3:16-19, Life or Death, Repentance, Romans 3:23, Romans 5:1, Romans 6:23, Salvation, SIN, The Word, Trust, Truth
Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No.4 The Problem With LSD???
Well, for sure that title got some of you to open this page, but it’s not quite what you might expect, we’re going to talk about the danger of “lust”, “sin”, and “death” not the hallucinogenic drug—although they both have a danger that people need to be aware of—death! We’re going to see what James says about this very thing, and hopefully help us all be more aware of the dangers around us.
God sent Jesus to pay the price for sin, for all who will come to Him in repentance and faith. But no one ever comes to Jesus for forgiveness of sin and salvation until they see the reality of sin in their own lives. Why would anyone need a Savior who had no sin? Yet scripture is replete with the truth that we are all in the same boat when it comes to “sin”; we are all drowning in a sea of sin, and Jesus is the Only life-preserver. And while Jesus is the Only way to ‘life’, I think it will be helpful for us to remind ourselves and those around us of the real dangers of sin.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Jesus Christ is the “the gift of God”, coming to be the payment for our sin. But what does sin look like? Is it just a list of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’, or is it even more basic than that? We all face temptations in this world, because of Adam and Eve’s sin and the curse of death that it brought—that is called original sin. But we also sin because our flesh likes and chooses sin over God’s way? We are all dead in our sin because we are born in sin, and because we choose to sin. We don’t need to teach our children to lie, but they certainly seem to pick it up without instructions. Why? How? Because every person is born with the inclination to sin, and our weak and selfish flesh wants what it wants, when it wants it, and usually right NOW! (See Ephesians 2:1-10)
But God has a better way, He sent Jesus to give us the power to overcome sin by the blood of the Lamb of God.
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29
“These things I have spoken unto you,
that in me ye might have peace.
In the world
ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We all have tribulation and temptation in this world, but when we come to Jesus we have the power to overcome the pull and defeat of sin, all because He has overcome sin, death and hell with His own blood which made the sacrifice for our sin; He is the One who came, the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He paid the price for my sin and yours, and will He give us abundant life and peace with God, all because He loves us and we need a Savior!
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Romans 5:1
James also gives us more information that we might know the cure for sin, and how to live out our faith in Him! Knowing Jesus makes a difference, even though many today seem to have forgotten that we are called to holiness !
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,
and hope to the end
for the grace that is to be brought
at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children,
not fashioning yourselves
according to the former lusts
in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy
in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written,
Be ye holy;
for I am holy.” 1Peter 1:13-15
With that in mind, how are you measuring your living? Are you so enamored with the world that you don’t even see sin as sin? Have you listened to that ugly talk so much, that it seems ok now? Are you an example of holiness or ‘un’-holiness? Are you so compromised by the worldly speech, actions and motives that there is not much difference between you and the world? Do people know that you love Jesus by your manners, speech and activities, or is your life a picture of ‘anything’ goes? Have you bought into the lie that Satan has sold the world, that God doesn’t care about sin, and hell isn’t real? Let’s dig into James’ challenge to know and live in the truth of the Gospel—Jesus saves and changes lives still today, and our actions do reveal what we truly love! James 1:12-26
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:
for when he is tried,
he shall receive the crown of life,
which the Lord hath promised
to them that love him.
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,
15 Then when lust hath conceived,
it bringeth forth sin:
when it is finished,
bringeth forth death.”
James makes it clear that sin is not only our ‘birthright’ from Adam, but also our own choice for our own life. Sin comes form the desires of our flesh being illegitimate in respect to the heart, laws and pleasure of God. If God says in His Word that a thing is sin, then it is sin; no matter how much we dress it up, change the terminology, or get used to the darkness around us—sin is still sin, regardless of what the world may say. If my desire is to please God, why would I want to be intimate with sin? I need to be as distant from it as possible, not trying to walk as close to the edge as I can without falling! But James doesn’t stop there; he also encourages us to godly living. Not just a list of ‘don’ts’ but a call to higher ground—holy living!
“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 begat he us
with the word of truth,
that we should be a kind of firstfruits
of his creatures.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren,
let every man be swift to hear,
slow to speak,
slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man
worketh not the righteousness
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness
and superfluity of naughtiness,
and receive with meekness
the engrafted word,
which is able to save your souls.”
James reminds believers that we are to march to a different drum than the world; we are to be followers of Jesus, marching to His drum (so to speak) and reflecting the “righteousness of God” NOT the “wrath of man”! It saddens my heart when I see those who claim the name of Jesus as their own, speaking, posting and sharing things for which they need to apologize. May I simply say; if it needs an apology before you speak/post/share it, then it is probably better left unsaid. Paul asked the Corinthians a question, which I think most aptly, applies to many in our day, some good advice, which we ought to heed.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together
for what fellowship hath righteousness
and what communion hath light
15 And what concord hath Christ
or what part hath he that believeth
with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God
for ye are the temple of the living God;
as God hath said,
I will dwell in them,
and walk in them;
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them,
and be ye separate,
saith the Lord,
and touch not the unclean thing;
and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you,
and ye shall be my sons and daughters,
saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
I don’t see a lot of coming “out from among them, and be ye separate”; instead what I see is that often times the church has invited the world in, and changed their convictions to accommodate the world; rather than preaching the Good News that Jesus saves, and allowing God, through the power of His Holy Spirit to save, change and transform lives. May God have mercy on us! James gives us good instruction for our task, and how we ought to behave/look before a lost and unregenerate (unchanged, unsaved) world!
“22 But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word,
and not a doer,
he is like unto a man
beholding his natural face
in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself,
and goeth his way,
and straightway forgetteth
what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law
and continueth therein,
he being not a forgetful hearer,
but a doer of the work,
this man shall be blessed
in his deed.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious,
and bridleth not his tongue,
but deceiveth his own heart,
this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:12-26
God said it (via James) not me—but I do heartily agree. God’s Word is truth and we can believe it, and receive it; or we can defy God and His Word and allow the lust in our hearts to become sin, but that sin will lead to death. Jesus gave this same warning to Nicodemus. The Word hasn’t changed; it will never change nor will its author.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8
The choice is yours, will you choose ‘lust>sin>death’? Or will you come to Jesus and receive His life instead?
“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world through him
might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him
is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name
of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.” John 3:16-19
How about you? Will it be lust, sin and death or Jesus? And for those who already belong to Jesus, will we reflect HIS light or be dimmed by the darkness of the world? I implore you dear friends, let’s commit to “walk in the light”!
“But if we walk in the light,
as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
“Love not the world,
neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world,
the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh,
and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life,
is not of the Father,
but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 1:15-17
The choice is yours, but remember there is a test at the end!