Put Sin To Work


Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 

~Romans 6:12 NLT


If sin tempts us but fails to rule us, it is forced to serve us.

~Martin Luther

Luther has a list of characteristics of those who have Christ by faith. This is his list, not mine. He who has Christ by faith…[1] does not desire the things of this world…[2] He is not afraid of suffering and death…[3] He neither seeks after pleasure nor avoids adversity BUT …[4] He can be tempted and may be tried to the limit of his endurance…[5] He fears Christ more than death… [6] He loves Christ more than life and [7] he stands on the ROCK {Jesus}. If sin tempts him but fails to rule him, it is forced to serve him. When we are tempted to do something evil and vile, yet we resist with the greatest of struggles, the results is humility and not pride. Deep down, we know how much we were tempted and how close we came to yielding and we know that it was God’s grace that saved us and not our goodness. Who but Luther would have ever thought of such and I am inclined to agree.

I am thankful to be a preacher but not worthy. If people knew about me what God knows, no one would listen to me. There is only one reason that I am still preaching–Amazing Grace. I have resisted temptation, not because I am good–actually never because I was good–but because I feared God and the consequences. I was motivated by fear not love. The fact that I am still preaching is a tribute to God’s grace. After a counseling session many years ago, a person said to me–“Bro. Jack I was shocked by your empathy and understanding. I didn’t expect that from you.” When you have failed as much as I have you can be sympathetic when others fail. I think Luther has a point; I am ashamed that I was tempted so severely and ashamed of my motivation for resisting was fear but God uses that to produce something in me that could never have been fabricated by man. Don’t misunderstand, you don’t need to fail to get humility but failure and humiliation do further our sanctification. When you are humiliated by your sin and failure, you don’t desire the spot light. You feel more comfortable in the background.

The hardest part of my day is over {I hope} and that is taking a shower and getting dressed. I don’t usually do that first but I am going to see Vellene at 9:45 so I am a little late posting.

Good day yesterday, I got to preach twice and then heard a very good sermon. Scott Dawson was at DBC and he told me he would come to the POINT. We hope to settle on a date this week: Josh and I are excited.

You have to be loving this weather: isn’t it something!

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