Today's blog is presented by NHE's Pastor-Teacher Ron Browning...
Let’s begin by asking a different question first. What makes any person a true Christian? Or we could ask it like this: How do sinners become saints (Christians)?
And the answer is: God rescues the sinner from their sins when the sinner obeys Jesus’ command to repent and believe (Mark 1:15). As Holy Spirit baths, all whom Father God has given to His Son, Jesus, in salvation (John 6:37), with a repentance that ignites the sinner’s heart with a Life of saving faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 11:18; Romans 1:17).
Pastor Paul wrote:
This gospel unveils a continual revelation of God’s righteousness—a perfect righteousness given to us when we believe. And it moves us from receiving Life through faith, to the power of living by faith (Romans 1:17, the Passion).
Pastor John wrote:
Whoever has the Son has eternal Life; whoever does not have the Son does not possess eternal Life.
And we know that the Son of God has made our understanding come alive so that we can know by experience the One who is true. And we are in Him who is true, God’s Son, Jesus Christ—the true God and eternal Life! So, little children, guard yourselves from worshiping anything but Him.
(1 John 5:12, 20-21 the Passion, emphasis mine).
WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY?
You see, Christianity isn’t just an intellectual decision. It’s a heart change, a passion (1 Peter 1:3-9). Requiring both God’s heart and ours (Philippians 2:13). It’s the exchange of one condition for another—our sin for God’s righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). God’s part. It’s a gift we could never earn or achieve (Ephesians 2:8-10). Because God’s gift of salvation can only be received (John 1:12) by faith, as God works repentance into our hearts. Our part. Consider—
I (Pastor Paul) refuse to be ashamed of the wonderful message (i.e., the Gospel)
of God’s liberating power unleashed in us through Christ!
For I am thrilled to preach that everyone who believes is saved…
This Gospel unveils a continual revelation of God’s righteousness—
a perfect righteousness given to us when we believe.
And it moves us from receiving Life through faith, to the power of living by faith.
This is what the Scripture means when it says: “We are right with God through Life-giving faith!”
(Romans 1:16-17, the Passion, emphasis mine)
When they heard this, their objections were put to rest
and they all glorified God, saying, “Look what God has done!
He’s giving the gift of repentance that leads to Life to people (everywhere).”
(Acts 11:18, the Passion, emphasis mine)
THE STRUGGLE OF SEXUAL BROKENNESS
Many people struggle with different types of sexual and relational brokennesses. The unsaved and the saved alike. Homosexuality being just one. But this struggle or behavior (i.e., tempting and/or acting out), doesn’t keep one from knowing Jesus and having eternal Life. For when a God-given repentance ignites the human heart with a Life of saving faith in Jesus Christ, that person is passed from death into Life (John 5:24). And that heart—spirit and soul—is saved, now and forever! Which means the body awaits its guaranteed salvation at Jesus’ Glorious Appearing (Romans 8:23). Maranatha! Lord, come quickly (Revelation 22:12).
True Christians eagerly await, with a faith working out God’s purpose in our lives (Philippians 1:6; 2:12-13). And since sexual brokenness (e.g., homosexuality) isn’t a part of His purpose—i.e., God’s created intent—it’s sinful. Holy Spirit is always working out Father God’s perfect design in us. How?
In and through a repentance that leads to Life lived by faith. In other words, we live repenting of (i.e., turning away from) sinning. Believing God and His Word. We trust and obey, exchanging the lies of sexual sin for true worship of Creator God. That’s what true Christians want to do. That’s what we are learning how to do.
So yes, CHRISTIANS MAY STRUGGLE with (and we may fall to) various sexual sins that have shattered our souls—i.e., disordered our thinking, destroyed our choices, and damaged our emotions with the brokennesses of heterosexuality, homosexuality, etc. Played out in sexting, SMS, one-night stands, affairs, etc. Including the desires for and the illegal acts of prostitution, pedophilia, hebephilia, ephebophilia, and gerontophilia, etc. Humanity (the unsaved and saved alike) struggles with porneia (i.e., sexual immorality).
But God has EXCHANGED OUR SIN FOR JESUS’ RIGHTEOUS LIFE—HIS PURE LIFE (1 John 3:1-3). So, we’re learning to live repenting of sins and sinning. Overcoming sin’s many hunts, haunts, and habits. By trusting God and His Word (1 John 2:12-14), pursuing the:
And we know that the Son of God has made our understanding come alive
So that we can know by experience the One who is true.
And we are in Him who is true, God’s Son, Jesus Christ—
the true God and eternal Life!
So, little children, guard yourselves from worshiping anything but Him.
(1 John 5:20-21, the Passion, emphasis mine).
Live Free coz' U r Free!