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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Running From God"

Date published: 09/16/2019

Romans 5:20-21 “The law was added so that the trespass might increase.  But where sin increased, grace increased all the more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

 

   Christians and non-Christians who have been mired in sin often allow their past to prevent their present and future.  The horrendous nature of their sin or the prevalence of their sin causes them to remove themselves from God’s presence and promises.  This is often done from not understanding God’s forgiveness and love for every human being.  There is no sin except rejecting Christ as Lord and Savior that excludes you from the kingdom of God.  To remove yourself from God’s invitation to know Him as Lord and Savior is to belittle God who humbled Himself by becoming man, lived life as a man, died for your sins, and was resurrected to seal each person’s salvation who accepts the invitation to know Him as Lord and Savior.  Today’s verse should first give hope to every person who is allowing their past to keep them from Christ.  God’s provision for your sin far exceeds anything you have ever done.  The most lost and destitute of sinners have only to deal with a God who loves them so much that their sin only increases God’s grace for them.  To think and act any other way only diminishes God while creating a false impression that you have any contribution to your salvation.  God alone paid the price for your sins, and God alone redeems you for salvation.  Our efforts throughout all history have proven woefully short of God’s standard of righteousness.  The good news of salvation is that Christ paid the price for our sin!  If you have been self-pitying in your sin, then get over it, believe what Jesus did for you, and make Him your Lord and Savior.  Remember that it is not you who makes you a new creation, or who transforms your life, but Christ alone through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. 

 

   Now an about face.  This teaching is not meant for the woefully sinful, but more for the woefully righteous!  Too often Christians overlook the woefully sinful, the physically and mentally challenged, the uneducated, those who speak different languages, the poor, and those who just may be smelly and unappealing.   We must be careful not to deny the same grace that Christ offered us when we were dead in our sins, because someone is significantly different than us.  Jesus’ disciples had a continual problem with Jesus being attracted to the down and out when He could be uplifting and teaching the leaders, the rich, and those of importance.  God calls every Christian to reach beyond the safety of those that make them feel comfortable into the lives of those with the greatest needs.  This type evangelism and discipleship will have a profound effect on you, because what you will experience is seeing grace increase more than you have ever experienced! 

 

Mark 2:17 “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." 

 

Do you know someone who needs this message on moving from unforgiveness to forgiveness or who needs to reach out to the less fortunate?  Click below to forward this devotion to them.  

 

Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area:  “Your Life in Christ” and “Satisfaction.”