I woke up the other day with the phrase “reject sin” floating in my mind. There are a couple temptations that it seems I have to deal with on an almost daily basis. There are times where I am really good about resisting these temptations and there are other times when I give into them. As I laid in bed thinking about what it means to reject sin I started looking up scriptures that I could use to remind myself in times of temptation what my relationship to sin really is and how God has provided a way for me to deal with the temptations I face. Here are the scriptures that came to mind, plus one that I have been meditating on this week along with a few propositional statements for rejecting sin.
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I had the chance this past week to spend some time with my oldest daughter at her college in Lakeland, Florida. The photo above is a statue that is on the campus there that depicts Jesus washing the Apostle Peter’s feet. I was really moved moved by this depiction. It is easy to forget that Jesus existed in real relationships in real time with men and women just like myself. The whole account of the foot washing is contained in John in 13:1-20. After reading it, I have highlighted verses 12-17.
46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
There has been tons of buzz in the blogosphere over the last few days over universalism. Just Google the name Rob Bell, Justin Taylor, John Piper, or Kevin DeYoung to catch up on all the action. I say action because it has been maelstrom of activity all week centering on this question of whether at the end of our life God separates us into groups of those who live and enjoy Him forever and and those who are forever punished. Not that I have much to offer to the discussion other than to say that in my studies of the scriptures I am inclined to believe that there is a division of people into groups that will dwell eternally with God and those who will not. Read through Matthew 25. Jesus finished each of these parables about the end of the age indicating that some will join Him and some will be left to eternal punishment. I don’t see a universalist message in Jesus’ teaching that says everyone will be reconciled to God. I think we have to be cautious when we start questioning the teaching of our Lord. I think it is arrogant to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and then turn around and dismiss His teachings. I feel like I am on a bit of rant today and that is usually not a tone a take here, but this is important stuff. How are we to live as strangers and aliens, set apart for the work of God’s advancing Kingdom, if we do not believe that a separation between kingdoms exist? How do we righty glorify God when we say that all gods are equal? And how do we appreciate and honor the sacrifice of Jesus, beaten, broken, bloodied, and dying on a cross if that sacrifice is just one road to eternal reconciliation to God? Lay down your ideas of what you think makes sense or is right and search for the deeper truth of Jesus. We are flawed. Left to our own devices we tend to worship ourselves. We are not gods. There is no eternal life in our own morality and self-determination.
Father, thank you for your kingdom and your plan of reconciliation. I pray that you would touch all who read this with your truth and that you would save us through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. In His name, Amen.
Christian Audio is offering R.C. Sproul’s classic “The Holiness of God” for free download for the month of March. You can get the download here.