Tag Archives: sin

Love Held the Nail

I didn’t hold the nail or the hammer, nor did anyone else living today. 

My sin did not force Jesus on the cross, truly I had no part to play.

It was the love of God the Father, who made the call. 

To send His son to die for us all.

No, not one thing that I have done or said could force Jesus to his death. 

Yet it was death He paid, that I might be saved. 

His love extended to great and small.

Love held the nail

Love wielded the hammer

Love thrusted the spear

Love rolled the stone

Love rose the dead

Love saved us all

Copyright 2017, Johnathan Sexton

The Conspiracy of the Prophets

What will a person do to maintain the status they have achieved in life. At what point does a Christian leader forget why they chose to be full-time in the work of religion? I say “chose” because those who are truly called to the ministry by the Lord do not do the work of religion, but the work of God. Yet those who choose the work of religion do so for a paycheck. Even so, I believe those who chose religious work started out with good intentions and maybe even sound doctrine.

However, at some point, those people begin to compromise on the doctrine to achieve numerical success. Congregation size, offering size, student enrollment size, book proceeds and paycheck size begin to influence these Christian “leaders” more than the rightly interpreted Word of God.

Rest assured that the Lord will first judge the church. 

1 Peter 4:17 NASB, “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

This conspiracy isn’t new. The Old Testament and the New Testament informs us of past deceivers and false prophets to come.

“There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her. Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” Ezekiel‬ ‭22:25-26‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

Our requirement as Christians and stewards of the church and the Word of God rightly divided is to vigorously contend for the truth by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:1-5‬ ‭NASB‬‬

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.
1 Corinthians 1:17 NASB

Our responsibility to share the gospel does not include tricking people into coming to church by telling them that sin is not sin. Jesus died on the cross because we sin! He did not die for nothing!

We should not allow false prophets to teach that sin is not sin to appease the masses just to increase numbers. The gospel and the truth has power to do those things on its own when the power of God is not denied that He can and does forgive sin. We must also play our part of not being a judge, but we are to share the love of Christ with no condemnation. It is not our job to condemn people for their sin, but we are not called to say that sin is not sin.

Our faith in Christ who is the son of God, who came to this world as a man, lived a perfect life and died on the cross as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sin, and was raised from the dead, and is now alive again and preparing a place for us in Heaven, allows us to be righteous in the eyes of God.

I sin yet I am saved by faith. You sin and can be saved by faith. Telling people that their sin is not sin does not save them from the punishment that is required for sin.

From Failure to Failure

From failure to failure
his mercy remains
will you get back up
or hide in your chains

Who are you?
we will fall
we will cause shame
we will disappoint
we will have pain

But the Love of our God
will always contain
the mercy sufficient
and the restoring refrain
to raise us out of the punishment
which we have gained

Are you David? Lustful! Murderer! Adulterer! Repentant! A man after God’s own heart!
Are you Peter? Angry! Losing focus! A denier! Repentant! Upon which Christ built His church!
Are you Paul? Murderer! Persecutor! Repentant! Evangelist to the Gentiles!
Are you Judas? Betrayer! Greedy! Remained in His sin! Hanging from a tree!
Are you Saul? Disobedient! Jealous! Remained in His sin! Fell on His sword!

From failure to failure, who are you?

The flesh is weak

Why am I writing this blog post today? I don’t know, it just came to me. Maybe this is for you, maybe it is for me. Let’s just see where it goes.

When you think about the vices that weigh most people down, you really have to place the blame on our inability to tame our flesh and rise above the primal desires that were designed into these mortal bodies we live in. Financial issues, non-medical obesity, adultery, laziness, theft, the need for the next electronic gadget; all of these things relate to an issue with controlling our fleshly desires for things, physical pleasure and comfort.

This is not just a modern day issue. Even the apostles had to deal with these issues. Look at what Jesus said to them. It was the night that Jesus would be betrayed by Judas Iscariot (sold him for some silver coinage). Jesus had took his closest disciples with him up on the hill to pray, but they fell asleep instead. Mark 14:37-38 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,”he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Bible.com) After all the miracles of healing, casting out demons, feeding the multitudes and walking on water, how could these guys fall asleep when Jesus asked them to pray? 

At some point in your life you are going to have to decide that you are not going to give into the desires for things that bring no lasting benefit to you physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Sometimes you also have to decide if something that will benefit you physically is really beneficial to you in the complete sense of your personal wellness when  the spiritual and emotional benefits must also be included in the calculation. The most obvious answer to which of these three things is most important relies heavily on the fact that our spiritual well-being has eternal consequences. Doing anything for momentary pleasure or short term benefit, without first thinking of the long term consequence, can have long lasting impact on ones life. Especially if those short lived pleasures are partaken of frequently.

In the book “Smart Money Smart Kids”, Rachel Ramsey states that winning with money means “learning patience, delayed gratification, and contentment” (p. 201). I would contend that these principles are important for winning in many areas of ones of life. Yet, these principles of living are not necessarily strengthened by the fact that we are advertised to almost constantly by all these electronic devices all around us. Then these advertisements put small subconscious messages in our minds that tell us that these things we see are acceptable and normal to have or do. I’m not saying these things are all bad, they are probably not. But the problem comes when you start to think that you must have these things to be content with life.

This is why we must continually be mindful of why we are doing the things we do each day. What is the real reason why you are going to buy that new iPhone? What is the real reason why you are eating that third plate full of spaghetti? What is the real reason why are are dashing on a little extra cologne today? We must make sure that our actions are being governed by something other than our own flesh. Sometimes you can’t follow your own heart or your mind alone, but you should have your heart, mind and the Spirit working together to make the bigger decisions in life.

The apostle Paul in the book of Romans says it this way; “Romans 8:7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” (Bible.com)  Knowing this, that the flesh is not able to submit to the law, our Lord the creator sent His son Jesus in the flesh to be a sin offering. Because Jesus, in the form of sinful flesh, was sacrificed as an offering for our sins, if we believe in Jesus he will be faithful to send His Spirit to us to help us make the right decisions in life. Our job then is to make sure the we are listening when the Spirit is guiding us.