Freedom #29: Sharing and Bearing With One Another
God is Holy and He commands us to be holy. How holy are we to be? I Peter 1:15 tells us, “As He which has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. The same command is given in Leviticus 11:44, 19:2 and 20:7. After dealing with heart issues of lust and anger, Jesus commanded us in Matthew 5:48 to be a perfect as our Father in Heaven. That’s quite a tall order! So the same standard of moral perfection is given in both the Old and New Testament. You and I must face it and measure our lives by it.
Why is holiness so important? Hebrews 12:14 answers that question. “Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Did you get that? Unholy people will not see God. They will not go to Heaven.
The Christian’s struggle with Satan and the Old Man
The problem is we all sin. No one is sinless and perfect. See I John 1:10. To deny the fact that we sin is to deceive ourselves and make God a liar. We all offend others at times. James 3:2. Satan, our enemy, tempts us to sin. Learn how to stand against him. Read Ephesians 6:10-13.
As Christians, we not only face Satan as our enemy, but more commonly, we constantly struggle with our fleshly nature as it tries to pull us down. Paul describes that struggle in Romans 7:14-25. James also writes about that struggle in James 1:13-15. Paul describes our flesh nature as our old man in Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22 and Colossians 3:9.
The Affects of Sin
Sin in the life of a believer not only affects us, but it also affects our relationship with God and with others.
It affects us.
It causes us to lose joy. Psalm 51:12
It causes us to lose peace. Isaiah 38:17, Colossians 3:15
It causes us to lose confidence and anticipation of Christ’s return. I John 2:28
It affects our relationship with God.
It hinders our sweet communion with Him. I Corinthians 10:16-21
We become useless to God. II Timothy 2:20-21
We become fruitless, barren Christians. John 15:4,6
Sin also hinders and can ruin our relationship with others.
Picture in your mind a triangle with its three points.
The top point is God. The second point is you and the third point is another person
Notice that as you and others draw closer to God, you both draw closer to each other. That other could represent your spouse or anyone else with whom you are at odds.
God’s Provision for Victory over Sin
Thank God that His perfect righteousness is imputed to all who come as guilty sinners to Him and trust His Gift of Christ as our righteousness. His perfect righteousness is imputed to us. It is put to our account. Read Romans 4 and James 3:23 to learn more about imputation.
But this righteousness is not only imputed to us; it’s also imparted to us through the Holy Spirit who comes to live in every Christian. Romans 8:9 says that if we don’t have the Holy Spirit, we are not Christians.
God’s righteousness is imparted to us as we who are Christians learn that we have been crucified with Christ and have been raised with Christ to walk a new resurrection life in our earthly, physical bodies. No Christian will be perfect until he arrives in Heaven; however we long for perfection. To learn how to enjoy consistent progress towards that goal, go to the VICTORY link on this web site.
God’s righteousness is imparted to us as we pursue it and follow after it as we read and study God’s Word, determining to obey whatever we understand and as we spend time with Him in prayer. That’s the way we follow after holiness without which no man can see God.
Are Holy People Perfect?
A holy person is one who is painfully aware of his sins. He is quick to confess them as sins and not make excuses for them. He rejoices in Christ’s provision of forgiveness and cleansing from sin through the shedding of Jesus’ blood two thousand years ago. A truly holy person is one who hungers for God’s Word. He seeks for a church where He can be fed the Word of God and can be made aware of his sins. He is in church whenever possible, soaking up the Word of God. He learns to feed Himself, but in so doing he “does not forsake the assembling of himself from church as the manner of some is.” Heb. 10:25. As he is made aware of sin in his life, he is quick to confess it as sin to God and rejoices in the cleansing of Christ’s blood. I John 1:6-10.
David, when made aware of his sins through the prophet Nathan, confessed them and was forgiven and cleansed. Read his prayer of confession in Psalm 51 and let it be a pattern when we confess our sins.
The most effective evangelism is the overflow of a godly life. See the promise of this in Psalm 40:1-3. It is important that you be in a church where sin is clearly dealt with so that you can confess that sin, be cleansed and be an effective testimony for Christ. It’s not only important that holiness is preached in your church, but that Biblical steps be taken to deal with those who are set on a pattern of sin with no intentions of changing.
Dealing with Sin in the Church
What does the Bible say about this? You’ll find the answer in I Corinthians 5. Read the entire chapter and you will see that it is God’s plan for churches to deal with the sins of Christians in the church and let God deal with the sins of the lost. The purpose of dealing with sins of church members is to get rid of the leaven of evil that contaminates a whole church. Another reason for dealing with Christian’s sins is that the offender might be broken before God, repent and be restored to Christian fellowship. Matthew 18:15-20 gives detailed instructions for dealing with sin in a Christian. Matthew 7:1-5 warns Christians to deal with their own sins first before attempting to deal with the sins of others.
Restoring a fallen brother or sister
When they repent, we gladly receive them back into fellowship with open arms as II Corinthians 2:4-8 teaches us. We restore them. We do not hold them at arm’s length. We are not to crush them by refusing to receive them. We best help a weak Christian by helping him to see his sin, by confessing it to God as sin, by encouraging him to forsake it and by helping to build him up in the Word of God. We are restore in a spirit of meekness, considering ourselves. We are just as liable to trip and fall as our fallen brother.
We who are stronger are to help a weaker Christian bear his load, Galatians 6:2 teaches. We can’t do that without getting close to him. Do you feel too good to get close to him? Maybe it’s because as Galatians 6:3 says, ” We think we are something, when reality we are nothing!”
Don’t Excuse Your Sins
We deal with our own sin by simply agreeing with God that it is sin. We don’t make excuses for it and call it a weakness or a short-coming. We just call it sin. When we come to God with a broken heart over our sin, God immediately forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Read the promise in I John 1:5-10. You don’t need to confess your sins to a priest or a preacher. We can’t forgive and absolve your sins. Yes we can forgive you for offenses towards us; but only God can forgive your sins which are all against Him. If you have already confessed it as sin to God, go to the one you have offended and confess your fault to him or her. When you take this step, you are forgiven and cleansed. God wipes it from His memory, so you might as well wipe if from your memory. Jeremiah 31:34 It’s gone forever!
Sin Leaves Scars
I’m not saying there will be no scars. Sin leaves scars. Ruined health, broken friendships and broken families are some of those scars that we may bear to the grave. That’s why we warn young people of the dangers of sin. They may see their parents or other adults ruin their lives, but they don’t have to make the same mistakes and go down the same paths of sin as their parents.
Sharing with others how God is working in our lives.
The teacher/learner experience is more than just sitting in church or in a Bible class taking notes and intellectually learning objective Bible facts. It is moral, subjective personal instruction in living. Sin is exposed and confessed and lives are changed to become more like Christ. Teacher and learner confess their sins. They mutually bear one another’s burdens. We share our lives and bear our souls. We restore the fallen. All of that may be what Paul is talking about in Galatians 6:6 when we writes “Let him that is taught in the Word communicate (share what God is teaching him) in all good things.”
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