Does Sin Matter In Today’s World?

I often find Christians conflicted about whether or not sin matters in today’s world. I suppose that depends on whether or not you believe that Mosaic law is still relevant now. And there seems to be two opposing opinions on the matter, but allow me to suggest that in fact, both opinions are correct.

How? And yes, I know how it sounds but read a little further.

If you believe the entirety of the Bible, then you must account for both opinions. You can, in fact, earn righteousness with your own efforts through the law by keeping all of its commandments. So, one commandment says “thou shalt not murder, ” and one is left believing that if you don’t kill someone that you’ve kept that commandment but in fact, Jesus redefined that commandment in Matthew 5:22 (AMP)

But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice against him shall be guilty before the court; and whoever speaks [contemptuously and insultingly] to his brother, A severe Aramaic insult. ‘Raca (You empty-headed idiot)!’ shall be guilty before the supreme court (Sanhedrin); and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the A severe Aramaic insult. fiery hell. Continue reading

The Pharisees Live

There seems to be such a divide in the world today. Even in the church you can still see the same battle being fought between the Pharisees of today and the faith believers. There are those in the church who are still trying to earn their righteousness by adherence to the law of Moses as if Christ’s death, burial and resurrection had no value on their justification.

But when I read for example Galatians 2:16 which says: “Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through Faith in Jesus Christ, so we also believed in Christ Jesus in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” I see no cause to try to earn my righteousness by trying to be better.

But then good intentioned people will often say “but that’s not what Jesus said”. You’re right! He didn’t say that… well not exactly.

But He told the adulteress who was about to be stoned “neither do I condemn you, now go and sin no more.” He gave grace where the law demanded punishment giving the woman the ability to change her life and the ability through that grace not to sin.

But to the Pharisees of the day who were so steeped in religious law they couldn’t see grace standing in front of them. So Jesus constantly reminded them of their limitations to earn righteousness. For example, He said in Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”

Jesus repeatedly brought the Pharisees and other religious leaders of the time to the end of their belief in the law to expose their inability to earn righteousness through that covenant.

The Pharisees outcast sinners, punished and even killed them because their law demanded it and yet Jesus took time to sit with those very same sinners to show them love and give them grace. And it was through that grace that those sinners found redemption.

Take the tax collector that had cheated people for years. Just one encounter with Jesus where he received grace and not condemnation led him to repentance (which means to turn away from) and to restore all that he had taken. It wasn’t the law or exposing his sin that caused him to repent, it was living Grace.

I would suggest to you that if you are trying to earn your righteousness from God by focusing on your sin, you will never receive your justification because you’ll never be Jesus. He was the only man who was without sin that has any claim to or the ability to earn righteousness. The rest of us all fall short.

If you get angry, according to Jesus you’re guilty of murder. If you look at a beautiful woman or man and lust even for a moment, then according to Jesus you’re and adulterer or adulteress. If you commit any sin according to Jesus, you’re guilty of all of them. So, how are you ever going to achieve the perfect righteousness by trying to live as if you’re Jesus. We’re not him and personally I’m not trying to be Him.

Instead, I’ve realized that God loved me so much that he sent to this earth His son, who is perfect, to take my place in judgement so that I would receive His righteousness through the blood that He shed on the cross as a gift. That I would live free from the curse of the law and instead live in the victory that He paid for with that blood.

Now, I realize I’m not Jesus but I would invite you into this journey with me to discover all the benefits of being justified by Faith in Jesus Christ and not by an adherence of the law. If we focus on Jesus and His love for us, I believe that our lives can only change for the better and we can live a life of victory. The one Jesus paid such a heavy price to give us.

Faith in Jesus is the answer… period.

Why We Experience Chaos and Misery

Photo Copyright 2015 Keven Card

Photo Copyright 2015 Keven Card

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of feeling unhappy with the direction of my life. I’ve been searching for my purpose. On my own I’ve tried to define it, understand it, chase it but ultimately I discovered that I’m not in control of it… any of it and every time I try to be in control of the direction of my life I feel more lost than I was before.

But, I know I have a purpose and so do you… but, the question is: how do we discover it, define it and then live it?

I was looking at Jeremiah 29:11 very carefully and it started to become so clear to me. Check this out: “For I know the plan I have for you…”

God said He knew the plan. What plan? The plan that He has for us and the good news is if He has the plan then we don’t have to create the plan, decide its direction or try to walk it out. Our task is the easiest and the hardest of all tasks… we simply need to listen to the Holy Spirit who was sent to be our helper.

If we can just learn to listen to His direction we’ll be walking out His plan for our lives and when our plan lines up with God’s plan… that’s when nothing can stand in the way. That verse goes on to say that His plan includes a plan to “prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Continue reading

There’s No Honor In Keeping The Vinegar

What’s this have to do with vinegar? You’ll see at the end of this post. But, I have to say; I feel like a man living in the wrong era.

Why?

I look around at the world I live in and I don’t understand it and I’m not sure I want to. I definitely don’t want to participate in what the world is offering today. I mean where’s the honor in a lack of any moral code?

It seems that the world is shaped by greed and administered by liars, cheaters and those who lust for power. But, it appears that they don’t want to use that power to do good, they want it for self-gain. I’d bet if you looked back into their lives they were lorded over by some bully on the playground and this is their revenge. Or maybe they had a parent who called them a loser or abused them in some way. And in that respect I feel for them but I could never respect them if they use those experiences for revenge.

I know that this post is way outside the norm for my usual destiny posts but if you hang in there, I’ll get there I promise. Continue reading

Destiny’s Hand

Destiny.

We all have an idea of what it means, but it still remains a mystery.

To me it’s the unseen hand that directs my life. It’s gentle enough so as not to suffocate my own sense of control but firm enough to keep me from wandering too far away from my purpose. For me that hand belongs to God who I believe created me.

When you picture your destiny, what do you see? Close your eyes for just a moment and focus on it.

I’ll bet you see something glorious. A completed and successful novel or a business idea that takes off; or you on your wedding day so bright and beautiful that people talk about it for weeks. Whatever it is, I’m confident it’s something grand.

Most likely what we don’t see is the journey to get there. The road to destiny isn’t made of gold, it’s paved with tears of hardship. Columbus didn’t discover the Americas by simply sailing across calm waters and stumbling onto its shores. No, he and his crew had to brave the fear of the unknown and the unseen storms that lurked in the open ocean. And that is how he discovered his destiny.

The same is true for you and me.

I’ve written many articles on this blog about destiny but always in an abstract way and I thought they were creative but they lacked something. They lacked real life. My intention is to help people find their own purpose and for that a little reality is a necessary addition. So, here we go! Continue reading