If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1Jn 1:8
No artificial ingredients
Contains no additives
Not a genetically modified food product
Made with all fresh ingredients
Made with 100% all natural…
Grown without pesticides, herbicides or fungicides
Water drawn from the bubbling springs of …
Such are some of the adjectives and label descriptions we find on the food products we purchase. They are meant to send us a signal that the food we are about to purchase is pure, healthy and will be good for our bodies.
Eating the right foods and being cognizant of one’s health is good stuff. We should take care of our bodies and be mindful of what we ingest or decide not to ingest. But, oftentimes we do not consider the more important aspect of our being; the eternal spiritual element. Thus, we neglect or fail to navigate what we allow or disallow into our spiritual being. Let me explain.
The Acid Test
Our stomach lining contains gastric juices that have a pH in the range of 1.5 – 3.5. In comparison, battery acid has a pH of less than 1.0. Literally, we harbor in our stomachs what amounts to a pH level almost equal to that of battery acid. Have you ever wondered and find it strange that this acid resident in our bodies does not harm our health and destroy us?
Let’s take the battery acid analogy and parallel it to the sin issue. We all have sin resident on our bodies. It is an inevitable and undeniable fact of life:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
It is inescapable that sin be resident and an occupier in our bodies, but it does not have to be the property manager! The blood of Jesus is our antidote, the blood is the attacking and neutralizing agent we have at our disposal that enables us to be conquerors and victors over the sin issue:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1Jn 1:7
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, Rev 1:5
True repentance means to sincerely ask God for forgiveness and TO MOVE ON. It is the Lord’s desire that we all mature in faith and not let the weaknesses of our flesh dictate our course in life.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Hebrews 6:1
The Bible lets us know that sin is serious business and not to be taken with a cavalier attitude:
And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. Isa 35:8
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Rom 8:13
The Cross and The Conscience
The way of holiness and the cross are intertwined. They are both needed to orient us down the only path that leads to the Pure Life, a path whose landscape is strewn with crosses; Jesus’ cross, my cross, your cross and your brother and sister’s cross. Life is meaningless outside the cross. It just cannot be circumvented.
When we can get to the place when our own personal cross becomes the only thing we cling to, the fixture and focal point in our spirit that we know we must embrace in order to make it through this life; it is then that we can begin to take in “healthy” spiritual food and head towards the Pure Life; a life that is whole and “Just” before the God of Creation.
A pastor recently elaborated on a powerful Bible passage dealing with the human conscience:
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Acts 24:16
As he explained, the word “conscience” is derived from a Greek word meaning “co-perception”. In essence, our conscience is comprised of two parts; our perception and the perception of another. When our perception is coupled and in synch with God and His Word, nothing will offend us:
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psa 119:165
When something other than God is in partnership with our conscience (do the words carnality or satan ring a bell?), our perception is flawed, our conscience becomes tainted, and inevitably offense results. In this scenario, offense blocks God from bringing true peace, and thereby, prevents repentance and forgiveness to mend a conscience gone awry. This is always not good.
Living a whole and Pure Life before God will lead one to live offense-free and have a pure conscience before both God and men (i.e. humanity). This is what a “Pure Life” is all about.
It all comes down to perception and perspective, perception of the cross of Jesus Christ. What does that cross really mean to me? What influence does Jesus’ cross wield in my life? It is a question we have to keep asking ourselves over and over again. Will what I am about to do glorify the Lord? Will this action lead me down the road of regret and condemnation?
And a cross-less Christ is a powerless Christ. Some desire the admonition and to bear the label of being a “Christian”, but deflect the discomfort of the cross-bearing that is included in the job description:
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Php 3:10
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luk 9:23
Outside the safeguards and protective perimeters one’s cross provides, making money will become more attractive, jobs and career ascension will grip our heart and sap our spiritual drive, worldly ambition will be our demigod, we will bow down to the goddesses of lust and pride, and be found worshiping in the groves of carnality.
Oxen Ain’t Pretty
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. Pro 14:4
Oxen are dirty and not so attractive creatures. But, they are the workhorses on the farm, nothing gets done without their sheer strength and determination. But, there is a price the farmer must pay for their labor; dirt, waste, stench and inconvenience.
Let’s face it, life is messy, we are sometimes messy and people business is almost always messy (this includes church’s !).
Such it is with us. Nothing can be done without people; ministries cannot mature, church’s cannot be built and people cannot be shown the way to eternal life. We have all fallen and come up short at times. But, is this the expected norm for a child of God? Do we just except our fallen nature and continually make excuses for our failings and shortcomings? Is this what the Lord desires for our lives?
There are four things the Lord takes particular pleasure in: His people (Psalm 149:4), in the prosperity of His people (Psalm 35:27), those who fear and honor Him (Psalm 147:11), and those who live a “Pure Life” above reproach (I Chr 29:17, Psa 5:4, Eze 18:23, 32).
This tells us that the Lord wants His people to be successes. He wants to be glorified by the life and testimony of His people. But, this is an impossibility while the sin factor maintains a commanding presence in the chemistry of our spiritual composition.
We should find it repulsive and fall below our expectations to allow sin to rule and manage our lives, and ultimately, defeat God’s will and what He purposes us to accomplish for the Kingdom of God.
The power of God’s holy spirit and the forgiveness that is available through the blood of Jesus is more than enough for us to live overcoming lives and be the Victor and not the Victim. God’s grace is sufficient for all of us!
Pure Life – may the Lord grant us the grace and strength to be overcomers and live victoriously in this present challenging world.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Rom 6:14
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb 9:26