Presuming Upon Grace

I just listened to a chapel sermon by Dr. Steven Smith preached at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on January 19, 2010.  Dr. Smith is bringing his message from Psalm 19:12-14 and, although he and I would differ on at least one point of his theology, the message of his sermon is powerfully poignant and applicable.  In our attempt to live fully in the freedom we find in Christ, we must be careful not to think lightly of sin…not to sequester sin in our hearts.  To do so will disqualify us as followers of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

In case we need a concise list of biblical reasons not to sequester sin in our lives, consider the list written by Jim Eliff and quoted by Dr. Smith in his conclusion.  I challenge you to listen to the sermon, consider these reasons and respond to God’s Spirit as He speaks to where you are.  The greatest way to experience the grace of God is to celebrate it by allowing His grace to enable us to “keep back…from presumptuous sins.”

35 Reasons Not to Sin

by Jim Eliff

  1. Because a little sin leads to more sin.
  2. Because my sin invites the discipline of God.
  3. Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted.
  4. Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me.
  5. Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders.
  6. Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart.
  7. Because I am doing what I do not have to do.
  8. Because my sin always makes me less than what I could be.
  9. Because others, including my family, suffer consequences due to my sin.
  10. Because my sin saddens the godly.
  11. Because my sin makes the enemies of God rejoice.
  12. Because sin deceives me into believing I have gained when in reality I have lost.
  13. Because sin may keep me from qualifying for spiritual leadership.
  14. Because the supposed benefits of my sin will never outweigh the consequences of disobedience.
  15. Because repenting of my sin is such a painful process, yet I must repent.
  16. Because sin is a very brief pleasure for an eternal loss.
  17. Because my sin may influence others to sin.
  18. Because my sin may keep others from knowing Christ.
  19. Because sin makes light of the cross, upon which Christ died for the very purpose of taking away my sin.
  20. Because it is impossible to sin and follow the Spirit at the same time.
  21. Because God chooses not to respect the prayers of those who cherish their sin.
  22. Because sin steals my reputation and robs me of my testimony.
  23. Because others once more earnest than I have been destroyed by just such sins.
  24. Because the inhabitants of heaven and hell would all testify to the foolishness of this sin.
  25. Because sin and guilt may harm both mind and body.
  26. Because sins mixed with service make the things of God tasteless.
  27. Because suffering for sin has no joy or reward, though suffering for righteousness has both.
  28. Because my sin is adultery with the world.
  29. Because, though forgiven, I will review this very sin at the Judgment Seat where loss and gain of eternal rewards are applied.
  30. Because I can never really know ahead of time just how severe the discipline for my sin might be.
  31. Because my sin may be an indication of a lost condition.
  32. Because to sin is not to love Christ.
  33. Because my unwillingness to reject this sin now grants it an authority over me greater than I wish to   believe.
  34. Because sin glorifies God only in His judgment of it and His turning of it to good use, never because  it is worth anything on its own.
  35. Because I promised God he would be Lord of my life.

Is there sequestered sin in your life?  Take a moment to confess and repent.  Seek another believer to come along side you to help you find victory and celebrate grace through that victory.

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