“So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.” (Romans 7:4 NLT)
This is it; a believer and unbeliever are in the examination hall. The law says, “thou shall not cheat.” If an unbeliever refuses to cheat, he is not cheating because he doesn’t want to violate the law but when a believer refuses to cheat, it is because he is a believer and not because of the law. The law has lost its power over him. He is dead to the law and by the Spirit of grace, he CAN produce good deeds. He CAN refuse not to cheat. Take note the word “can.” It talks of an ability which may or may not be put into an actuality.
The Scripture doesn’t say that a believer cannot sin, it says a believer will not sin. It doesn’t say a believer will surely produce good deeds but says he can conveniently live righteously. Being a believer doesn’t mean that you cannot sin anymore but it means you can avoid sin. The power and ability is in us! Those who are under the law don’t have that ability. They struggle and end up falling into sin.
That you are a believer doesn’t mean that if you commit sin, it should be called another name. There are preachers giving sin different names these days. They will be like: one is believers’ sin, the other is unbelievers’ sin. Some would say a believers’ sin is called weakness. It is like calling a pig a beautiful pig.
To every believer struggling with sin, I want you to know that it is an insult to your personality in Christ. The ability not to commit that sin is in you. It is called “the sanctifying grace.” That ability to overcome is in you. Joseph had no law but was able to flee fornication. God doesn’t want you avoid sin just because there is a law prohibiting it, he wants you to avoid sin because there is a power at work in you. This power was released into you by the SAVING GRACE of Christ.
Go in this might in Jesus Name.
One simple way to understand the Scripture is to know what God CAN say and what God CANNOT say. There are some passages that people use today to justify pre-marital sex. Even when someone quotes such to you and you don’t actually understand what it says, one thing you must have in mind is that God CANNOT permit fornication. That you don’t understand what that Scripture truly mean doesn’t mean you should give such devilish interpretation a second thought. And patiently wait till the time you will understand that scripture. It may take years. Yes, there are passages I didn’t understand until many years after I first came across them. I didn’t understand them but I didn’t give in to any form of misunderstanding.
God CANNOT say that a believer who gives himself to a sinful life will make heaven. God CANNOT say that when you continue in sin, the sin doesn’t affect you because you are a spirit. God CANNOT say that once you are once saved, you are unconditionally and forever saved. Salvation doesn’t remove your right of choice. It only emboldens your right for good choice. You can choose either to be controlled by the Spirit which will lead to eternal life or yield your body to sin which will lead to eternal death.
Another rule of understanding the Scriptures is to explain a Scripture in the light of another Scripture. Never build or accept a heresy inferred from few verses of the Scripture. God is consistent. You may not understand what those verses are saying today but wait, wait till the time you will get a balanced view and do not settle for a distorted view.
The book of Romans established that our immortality and eternal salvation is a hope. We don’t have it already; we are still hoping to have it. There is something about faith, you must believe that you have it already before you will have it. So, if we are to approach immortality from the angle of faith, it means, we already have it before we will have it.
“We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and CONFIDENTLY.)” (Romans 8:24-25 NLT)
From my first year in the University, I was already seeing myself as a graduate even though I was yet to be but I was sure that I would graduate. Not by my own effort but the power of God at work in me. But does it mean that I was sleeping and failing my exams? No! I read and did my part.
Works do not make us righteous but righteousness make us work.