We live in an age in which many people who claim to be "Christian" think that holiness and godliness are optional choices - available for those who want to be "super-spiritual," but not needed by people who want to be just "normal Christians." They may say that they shouldn't sin, but it doesn't bother them much when they do - at least not enough to cause them to do anything about it. The word "repentance" is not really a part of their vocabulary. Neither is the "fear of God."
A disciple will reject such an attitude, for it is the characteristic of a fake. His life will not be characterized as a life of sin (whether it is sin committed or righteous conduct omitted). He won't be "sinlessly perfect," but he will continue to strive for it. And he will eagerly look forward to the day that Jesus will return - the day when complete perfection will finally arrive.
A person who truly wants to be without sin will strive for it, because it reflects his character - a new character that comes when God changes his heart. The person who doesn't strive for it doesn't have this new character. He is still a slave to his old ways.
Genuine disciples will have the ultimate victory over sin and everything associated with it. There is no other possibility. This is a study of the New Testament Words that are translated as "victory" or "overcome" - with additional study comments added. In addition to a focus on the victory that Jesus' disciples have, there is also a section about Jesus' victory (which makes our victory possible), as well as the temporary "victory" that evil sometimes has. (We need to remember that evil sometimes does have a victory of sorts... but it is only temporary. Therefore, we don't have to lose heart or give-up.)
Each disciple of Jesus has struggles with his past way of life. This article examines some of the reasons for this. It also shows the contrast between our situation before and after we become a disciple.
Holiness is our greatest obligation - as well as the one thing we are least capable of obtaining. We may find it somewhat confusing, trying to "reconcile" these two facts. Ultimately, we need to encourage each other to keep on striving to be holy - and to totally rely on God for the power to do so.
This article - intended as humor - illustrates our tendency to go back to our "old ways." It's a struggle in just about any area of life!
A study that looks at the word "deceived." It contains an outline (with the verses arranged into four basic categories of deception), additional comments about these four types of deception, and questions for self-reflection. The verses chosen for this study are based on the NIV. (Other translations may use similar words, such as "misled" or "delude.")
The main article is entitled, "Reflections on Romans 8:28," and focuses primarily on what happens when a genuine disciple of Jesus sins. It also warns us to not presume we are disciples, if we willingly choose a lifestyle of sin. (All this accomplishes is to deceive ourselves.) A second article contains quotes on this topic from a theologian of the past.
A look at some of the things that are and aren't issues. (Example: The fact that you are tempted isn't the issue... but what you do with that temptation is.)
What the Bible says about those who "abide" (who "live") in Jesus ...
No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:6-9)