ENSIGN—Senator, Promise Keeper, Professing Christian

I am saddened but not surprised. Satan, the great deceiver, caught another one in his trap. What does it say to the non-Christian world? Too many ministers, church leaders, Bible teachers and lay people have fallen for Satan’s temptations. Some have been my personal friends who have been caught up in adultery.

Could one of the answers be that if we love ourselves more than we love God it may be easier to become snared? Romans 12:1 tells us we are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship….This means our life is to be lived for God. We are to be obedient to the inerrant inspired Word of God, love God and others and have a tremendous desire to serve God. Verse 2 – “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

The hardest part of the Christian life is giving up our rights, our will and surrendering our all to Christ and living a sacrificial life. God says that He will sanctify us, set us apart so that His Holy Spirit can live in us and He can do His will through us His children. We have been given His Spirit so we may become more like Him. We are to be different and live as His testimony to the world. How else is Christ to get His message to the world if it isn’t through His believers?

But instead of some Christians living for Christ they conform to the ways of the world rejecting God’s will to “not conform”. But it is so easy to compromise our way of living with the things of the world. Therefore, Christians who deliberately sin believe their will and their rights are more important than God’s will and Word and transgress.

What does, do not conform to the pattern of this world, really mean? It means if we establish a correct belief system it will help us when temptation raises its ugly head. Therefore, I ask: DOES WHAT WE BELIEVE MATTER?

How do we choose what we believe? On what authority do we develop our belief system? Does what we believe come from our parents, teachers and friends or is it based upon the Word of God? Is God our authority? What we believe affects every decision we make. And what will be the consequences of every decision we make? What happens if we have the wrong belief system? If we believe what our family believes or what some Christian teachers taught us, could we have the wrong belief system?

According to T. Pierce Brown (The Old Paths Archive): “It is possible that the average church member does not even know what is meant by the expression, ‘situation ethics,’ but it basically means that there is no ethical standard that can be uniformly or consistently applied, for each situation demands its own standard of ethics. Under that theory, you may commit adultery (or almost anything else) if it is done in love, and no one is hurt by it. You may lie, if you think it appropriate to spare the feelings of someone, or to be socially acceptable. That is, if your host wants to know if you enjoyed the gathering, and you were bored stiff, you may say, “I had a wonderful time” for you are trying to do good to him. You may steal, if you do it to help a needy person, such as a starving child. In fact, there is no action you cannot perform if, in your judgment, the action is for a good cause, and if you have the proper motive in performing it.” In college I remember debating if it was o.k. to lie if it would keep someone from being killed. (No! Unless it was me!!!)

How do we want to live? Do we want to live using the world’s “situation ethics” as our belief system or do we want to live by God’s authority? It is said that 92% of Americans believe in God. But what God are they talking about? Is their God different from ours? How many religions teach that you work your way to heaven? Is it possible some religious zealots will miss heaven?

The majority of people believe that if you live a good life you will go to heaven. II Timothy 4:3 & 4 – “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” Do you want to rely on what someone tells you or do you want to know for certain what is required to get to heaven? Many believe you can get to heaven without going through Jesus Christ. What about those who have never heard of Christ. Will they go to hell? We will leave that up to God to judge. However, I know the Bible says no man will be without an excuse. Romans 1:20 – “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

What about the 66% of American adults who do not believe the Bible is the inerrant inspired Word of God? Do we use the excuse that many Christians believe there are mistakes in the Bible and it doesn’t necessarily apply to us today? Do we buy into, everyone is doing it? What about the homes we buy, the cars we must have or the continual eating out, which we can’t afford? How does our belief system affect also our financial decisions? The more we know about God’s Word, the more we believe and trust it, the more peace and joy will be in our lives. Instead of living worldly lives maybe we should be living holy lives based upon Biblical truths. There will be a difference in the consequences when we make the right choices. Are you willing to accept the consequences that come from conforming to the world’s ways as some have? I believe some consequences can be too devastating. I don’t want to disappoint my Lord. How about you?

If you disagree that having the correct belief system will keep you from yielding to temptations please comment.

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6 Comments

  1. davekessler

     /  June 22, 2009

    Simply having the correct belief system, as your last line asks, does not keep us from yielding to temptation. (not disagreeing with the article as a whole, just the last line asking for comment)

    As Paul describes in Romans 7:13-25, sin is part of us as humans. It isn’t the “belief system” but rather Christ living in us that has the only chance to keep us from sin. The belief system reveals our sin to us, but it cannot help us from yielding to the temptation.

    Granted, our belief system as a Christian has to be rooted in the Bible and sadly many do not have this. Many who claim Christ do not follow the Bible in it’s whole and fall to whatever their itching ears want to hear. For it easier for us to hold on to sin if we choose what parts of the Word that we want to. If we hold to all of the Bible as God’s word (2 Tim 3:16), our sin is always revealed to us.

    Sadly, even with Christ in our lives, we are in constant battle with our flesh that wants to sin. Thankfully, Christ died for our sins (past, present and future) as Christians, true believers in Him (not just those who claim it).

    I shout with Paul here: “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 7:24-25 (NLT)

    Reply
    • donaldboyd

       /  June 23, 2009

      Dave

      Thanks for your comment. I have learned over the years I learn more from those who have a different view than those who agree.

      Your reply using Paul’s Romans 7:24-25 – Don’t we as Christians place a lot of emphasis on “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? “ Then we forget the answer, “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” If my belief system is what a horrible person I am because of what I think and do, I may be more inclined to accept doing things I probably should not do. However, if I believe that God knows everything I think and do, because of the Holy Spirit that is in me, would I not hesitate in deliberately sinning? Too often Christians ignore the Holy Spirit that is within that is there to keep us from yielding to temptations. If I realize God knows everything, why would I want to disappoint Him? However, if I do not have the correct belief system I may ignore the Spirit that is there to help me. Many Christians are not aware of the power that is within them to control what they do.

      Don

      Reply
      • davekessler

         /  June 23, 2009

        Don, I think we are both approaching the same end belief, simply coming from a different approach.

        Yes, if we are truly in Christ and put our faith in Him and His Word, we should be more aware and able to choose not to sin. We should not willingly want to sin, thus disappointing God. However, we all still do.

        It doesn’t matter who we are and how close of a walk that we hold with God, even the best among us sin.

        Obviously, as the Bible points out, we should not sin so that grace can be multiplied.

        But the fact is, we still sin. Even Paul, with his direct contact with God who changed who he was in an instant, says “I do that which I hate”.

        This is why we need grace. Because even the best among us still sins.

        It really is a sad thing that has ensnared the Senator. His sin has completely tarnished everything that he represented and tarnished everything he has ever said in the eyes of the world. But God can work all things for His glory. Hopefully, for the Senator’s sake, this is not the end of his journey with Christ, but rather the beginning.

    • donaldboyd

       /  June 23, 2009

      Dave

      I hope you didn’t think I was implying we could live without sinning.

      Don

      Reply
  2. davekessler

     /  June 23, 2009

    Not at all.

    Reply
  3. Jacqueline Mertel

     /  June 24, 2009

    This was very enlightening from both of you! I am really enjoying this side of Facebook! Thank you both for inspiring me…even grabbed my Bible to verify scripture! God Bless you both!!

    Reply

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