Lie # 3 – “And You Call Yourself a Christian?” – blog
Do you see the lie in that thought? It is the lie that perhaps you are not really a Christian. And what is the evidence for that lie to carry any weight with it? It comes from your continuing failures to stop the sexual sin in your life. You must not be a Christian because you cannot stop this highly addictive behavior.
Now, do you see what is behind that idea? It is another lie that Christians will not struggle with sin, especially with sexual sin. So, if my salvation is then determined by my actions has not the gospel of grace been destroyed, and you have replaced it with a gospel of works? Can it be true that I am saved by grace but must maintain my salvation by my works, or by being good??? A very slippery slope when we begin to base our eternal salvation on how good we can be.
Then, when we determine that our eternal salvation is based on us doing and maintaining good works then we are always going to live in the land of fear and we begin to become good little legalists who not only judge themselves by their obedience to “the law” but become excellent judges of other people’s behavior.
Congratulations, you have become a Pharisee.
In Matthew 23 Jesus has some blistering words for the Pharisees. Almost the whole chapter is Jesus condemning their behavior and attitudes but here is my favorite;
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Let me remind you that even the Apostle Paul struggled with lust. He says in Romans 7 that he struggled with every kind of covetous desires. To covet is to lust after, and then at the end of Romans 7 he says these shocking words;
“Wretched man that I am!
Who will set me free from the body of this death?”
He said this because earlier in the passage he says that he does not understand himself because he has the desire to do the good thing, but it is the sin he continued to choose to do. He knew what he should do but continued to do the sin that he hated. Sound familiar. Yet he also says thanks be to God and the Lord Jesus because with his mind he was serving the law of God but with his flesh the law of sin.
Yes, it is true that our lives should be accomplishing good works and we should see a gradual transformation into be godlier men yet even Paul, as a fully committed follower of Jesus still had to deal with his flesh by being filled with the Spirit.
Listen, your salvation was never gained by your good works and it is not maintained by becoming sin free. It is the gift of God by His mercy and His grace and it has been given to you simply because He loves you and has chosen you to be one of His children.
Yes, I struggle with sexual brokenness, but I am by grace a child of God, in whom the Holy Spirit dwells as a guarantee of my inheritance and going to heaven when I die. Until that time arrives, I have the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and need to be in close community with others who struggle with sexual sin so that they can help me and I can help them.