WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 7, 2020
TOPIC: ARE YOU LIVING A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS?
BY T. O. BANSO
“We know that those who have become part of God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot get his hands on them” (1 John 5:18 New Living Translation).
When someone accepts Jesus as his Saviour and he is saved, his sins are forgiven. Old things have passed away, and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). He has been delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of God’s Son, the Son of His love, in whom he has redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14).
But it is not enough to receive forgiveness of sin; every forgiven sinner must turn over a new leaf. He cannot continue to live as he was living before. He must live a new life in Christ Jesus.
If you’re born again, you must stop fornication, adultery, anger, lying, backbiting, drunkenness, robbery, kidnapping, gossip, etc. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians said, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 New King James Version).
Stop sinning. It is true grace has forgiven you, but you must stop sinning. That was what Jesus preached, and that is what preachers today must preach. More importantly, that is how Christians today should live.
John the apostle puts it this way: “Those who have been born into God’s family do not sin, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they have been born of God” (1 John 3:9 New Living Translation).
Writing to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul said, “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another. ‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need” (Ephesians 4:25-28 New King James Version).
He continued: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (verses 29-32 New King James Version).
True Christians don’t practise sin – they don’t make a habit of sinning. “We know that those who have become part of God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot get his hands on them” (1 John 5:18 New Living Translation).
If they slip into sin, they quickly repent. They don’t enjoy sin – they feel sorrowful and repent. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation” (New Living Translation). They don’t sin and continue with their lives as if nothing is wrong. No.
I’m not preaching sinless perfection. I acknowledge that it’s possible for a Christian to sin but his attitude to sin is different from the attitude of sinners. He doesn’t sin deliberately. Hebrews 10:26 says, “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins” (New Living Translation).
And even if a Christian sins unintentionally, he doesn’t justify it or continue in it. He genuinely repents and seeks God’s help for victory over that sin. “If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts” (1John 1:8-10 New Living Translation).
This scripture is not encouraging believers to sin but it acknowledges human weakness. It is not an expression of believers’ helplessness – God’s help is available to him.
That is why the apostle John offers some clarification immediately in the next chapter. “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely” (1 John 2:1 New Living Translation).
Everyone who has accepted Jesus as his Saviour and Lord is called to live a victorious life over the devil and sin. We can’t be making excuses for our sins. We need to repent of our sins and live a life of holiness. “But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:22-23 New Living Translation).
You cannot say you’re a Christian and continue to sin because you’re under grace. No. That’s an abuse of grace. Hear the apostle Paul: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:1-4 New King James Version).
Are you living a new life in Christ Jesus?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I repent of my sins and receive grace to live above sin in Jesus’ name. I shall do things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. I have victory over sin and death in Jesus’ name. I shall not keep on sinning so that God can keep forgiving me. I have died to sin and shall not live any longer in it.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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