Do you believe? What does this mean to a “believer”?

Do you believe? That word “believe” carries with it the idea of total surrender, putting total assurance in what Christ did for us on the cross, not trusting our good works, not trusting our money, not trusting anything, not ever church membership, but trusting in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Second we must have a changed attitude toward sin. What does that mean? 1 John 5 v.18 says, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not. But you know that Christians certainly sin. Do you know what “sinneth not” means? It means “does not practice sin.” We don’t practice sin as sin is no longer a “habit” in our lives.

But suppose we do sin, suppose we slip and fall. Suppose we yield to temptation for a moment. What happens? We have to confess that sin. Name it to the Lord and say “Lord, I have sinned.” The Scripture tells us, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin,” (1 John 1 v.7) and “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” (1 John 1 v.9).

But not only are we to confess, we are to forsake. There’s no use repenting of sin and saying, “I’m sorry Lord, I’ve sinned,” and then going back and repeating it. That is not repentance. Repentance carries with it the idea that we do not repeat it. In other words, sin is no longer a practice in our lives. We may slip and fall from time to time, but it’s not a practice. We don’t deliberately choose to do it.

That’s the reason the Bible teaches that the Christian life is a daily life. The Scripture says we are to “exhort one another daily,” (Hebrews 3 v.13). We are to take up our cross daily. We search the Scriptures daily. And we must renew our fellowship daily. The Scripture says deny self daily. It’s hard. We are living in an age when the pressures on us are greater, perhaps more so than any other generation in history.

Third, we must have a desire to obey God. “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2 v.3). That doesn’t mean that we can keep them all the time, but we have a desire to keep them.

We are to separate ourselves from the world of evil. “Touch not the unclean thing,” says the Lord (2 Corinthians 6 v.17). When you face something in the world, ask yourself, does it violate any principle of Scripture? Does it take the keen edge off my Christian life? Can I ask God’s blessing on it? Will it be a stumbling block to others? Would I like to be there, or be reading that, or be watching that, if Christ should return at that time?

When we do sin, God does not reject us or disown us. Our fellowship with Him may be broken, but our relationship is not; we are still members of His family if we have truly committed our lives to Christ. When we sin we should immediately turn to God, confess our sin honestly, ask His forgiveness, then turn from our sin. The Bible promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1 v.9)

If we truly know Christ and are seeking to follow Him, we will not be complacent and unconcerned about sin in our lives. In fact, one of the signs of true spiritual life is the hatred of sin and the determination to conquer it. We will not continue to repeat the same sins over and over again, but will seek, God’s help (by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us) to overcome them. The Bible promises, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10 v.13). Indifference to sin in one’s life is a sure sign of serious spiritual sickness, and may indicate that one has never truly invited Jesus into one’s life as Savior and Lord (1 John 2 v.3-4).

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