Church attendance, baptism, or membership does not save anyone. Yet our churches are filled with people that “suppose” they are a Christian. They are not.
Their lifestyles, associations, and speech make it clear they do not have a relationship with Christ.
Our devotion today deals with their attitude toward sin.
One is saved by repenting of their sins, by faith accepting Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, and allowing God to have complete control of their life. (John 2:16, Ephesians 2:8-9 John 1:12, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
I belong to the church; I suppose I am a Christian
(J.C. Ryle, “Are You Born Again?“)
Are you born again? This is one of life’s most important questions. Jesus Christ said, “Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God!” John 3:3
It is not enough to reply, “I belong to the church; I suppose I am a Christian.” Thousands of nominal Christians show none of the signs of being born again which the Scriptures have given us in the First Epistle of John.
“No one who is born of God will continue to sin” 1 John 3:9
“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin” 1 John 5:18
A person who has been born again, or regenerated, does not habitually commit sin. He no longer sins with his heart and will and whole inclination. There was probably a time when he did not think about whether his actions were sinful or not, and he did not always feel grieved after doing evil. There was no quarrel between him and sin; they were friends. But the true Christian . . .
flees from sin,
fights against sin,
considers sin his greatest plague,
resents the burden of sin’s presence,
mourns when he falls under sin’s influence,
and longs to be completely delivered from sin.
Sin no longer pleases him, nor is it even a matter of indifference to him; it has become the horrible thing which he hates. However, he cannot eliminate its presence within him.
If he said that he had no sin, he would be lying, 1 John 1:8. But he can say that he hates sin, and that the great desire of his soul is not to commit sin at all. He cannot prevent bad thoughts from entering his mind, or shortcomings, omissions, and defects from appearing in both his words and his actions. He knows that “we all stumble in many ways,” James 3:2. But he can truly say in the sight of God, that these things cause him grief and sorrow, and that his whole nature does not consent to them. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?
“No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.” 1 John 3:6-7
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Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001 firstname.lastname@example.org