I had a pastor that preached a sermon one time and he said “God will offend your flesh to save your spirit.” Man what a deep revelation. It really brings tears to my eyes. We have a father in heaven that loves us so much that He will not allow us to continue to live in our sin and thus end up in hell. I want you to pause for just a second and let that sink in. God loves you! His love is so unmeasurable that He will do whatever must be done to save your spirit. I don’t know about you but that realization is beyond huge. To have someone that would move mountains to ensure that I have an eternity with Him. Man that is love.
We think that love covers up sin or love overlooks sin, but that is a lie. True love tells us the things that we don’t want to hear. True love sacrifices so that the one that is loved can be set free. That is what God did when He sent His son, Jesus. He demonstrated His true love for us, by sacrificing His most precious thing, His son. God’s love at times can be painful, Jesus’ death is the perfect example of that. But in the end, the pain of true love is worth all of the suffering because the victory is eternal.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:15 KJV
Giving His Son, was the final step for God to show us His true love, accepting Jesus as our Savior is our first step. But that is the starting point not the stopping point. Jesus accepted us just as we were. We came to Him full of sin: living in it, walking in it and reveling in it. But once we ask Him to come into our heart the process of sanctification started. This process involves us “putting off our old self, which belongs to your former manner of life” (Eph 4:22 ESV) and turning to God.
God is not speaking to the unsaved, when He tells us to put off “our old self”. He is talking to Christians. In order for us to follow Christ fully, a dying to flesh MUST happen. Yes we will stumble and fall and that is where the grace of Jesus comes into play. His grace gives us the strength to “do and be” what we can’t do on our own. His grace allows us to come before Him and ask forgiveness for our sins and be strengthened to become stronger through Him and in Him. His grace and salvation does not give us a pass to continue in our sinful ways. His grace gives us the strength to overcome our sinful ways.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corth. 12:9
However, even with grace we still have to make the choice to follow after Jesus and allow God’s word to shape us. Salvation is the first step in our journey with Jesus. Once we have accepted Him as our Savior, the work of sanctification starts. Salvation is not a guarantee that we will not sin. It a promise that when we do, our Savior will be there to help us through it. Jesus wants us to follow after Him freely, but that does not cause us to lose our free will. Even after salvation, we can struggle and fall into sin. But praise the Lord that we serve a Savior that is still there even when we fall.
1 Corinthians 5 speaks to just such a situation. Paul addresses a matter that was brought to his attention regarding a member of the church at Corinth that had fallen into sexual sin. The church had chosen not to address the member’s sinful behavior thus allowing the sin to continue unchecked. Those actions not only harmed the brother that was in the midst of the sin, but the body of believers that worshiped with him. Open sin was being allowed to flow unchecked and Paul, in the wisdom of the Lord, recognized the danger that was occurring because of the refusal to acknowledge the sin in love.
Paul not only took a stand against the sin, he dealt with it.
Are we dealing with our sin, whether it be individual sin or corporate sin? The bible is the manual all Christian are commanded to follow. God allowed each word that was placed in His precious book to be “a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). The bible teach us and show us how to live the life of a Christian. It is not a life of do’s and don’ts, it is a love walk. And just as you love your children enough to show them right and wrong, God loves us even more. God allowed Paul to write of this situation because God knew the power of unrepented sin in the life of believers.
Many today would have a problem with Paul’s actions, but your problem really is not with Paul, the bible or the actions that were done. Your problem is that you don’t want to submit your will to God’s will. Paul told the church at Corinth to “deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” 1 Corth 5:5 ESV Paul did not seek this action so that his brother would fall away, but so that his brother would recognize his sin and allow God to save him from it.
We are constantly hearing how God is a God of love and how He accepts us just as we are and that is true but it is not the whole truth. God accepts us and loves us despite our sin, the fact that He sent His son Jesus to die for us even while we are in the midst of our sin proves that. However, there is the other side of this fact that we don’t want to talk about or even recognize. Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, we now are to live a life free of sin. You are “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” Eph. 4:22-24 ESV
The walk of a Christian is a daily walk. Some days we get it right and some days we missed it. God knew that we would never be 100% perfect and because of that He gave us Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us in the ways of the Father. And on those days that we miss it, Jesus who seats on the right hand of the Father, intercedes for us. (Rms 8:34) Don’t allow sin to rob you of the life that God has for you. Seek Holy Spirit to search your spirit and if He shows you sin, repent. The life of sin will never be greater than the life that God has planned for you. Sin will rob you of your greatest gift.