Why forgive?

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Do humans get a pass on sin?

Is it okay for people to sin just because they’re human? What do you think?

How many times have we heard people who get caught committing sin announce, “I’m only human.” Why yes, we are. All of us are “humans”. We’re mortal. Politicians claim membership as humans with a flair of confidence after they’ve been caught in sin. Admitting they’re “human” seems to justify all manner of transgressions, to them anyway.

Paul reminds us in Romans 3:23 all (all us humans) have sinned and fall sort of the glory of God.

But does admitting we’re human when we sin give us a pass? Does our human condition make it okay? Where’s the remorse? Where’s the repentance? Where’s the accountability? Does being human justify sinning? Can we justify our sins by simply admitting we’re human?

We can be justified, but not by anything we say or do.  We are justified by the precious blood of Jesus on the cross. His priceless blood supplies the only justification for our sins. Not anything from or by us. It is only Jesus and his blood on the cross that justifies the sins of us humans who have a personal relationship with Him.

Let’s replace, “I’m only human” with “It is against You, and You only, that I have sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so You are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. from Psalm 51.

When is the last time you really blew it?

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Confessions of a serial adulterer

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“I wish I hadn’t done that.”

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so they hid

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Good people don’t go to heaven

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Indulged

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Misery, meet Mercy

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What’s Next For America?

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What Do We Do Now?

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The Truth About Lies

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Do We Ever Get There?

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Jesus Was Narrow Minded And Intolerant

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The Truth About Suicide

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Jesus Was Intolerant Of Sin

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Jesus Was Intolerant Of Hypocrisy

Yes, Jesus was love and peace personified. But He was also adamantly intolerant.

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What Do You Suppose Happened?

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. . .you are justified (declared “not guilty” of any sin)

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…you are free from the law of sin and death

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The Agony Of Revival

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The Agony Of Revival

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What We Do With Our Sin?–Rationalize It

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The Beautiful Tree I Despise

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Moral High Ground Eroding Fast

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God Never Allows More Than We Can Bear. Oh, Yes, He Does!

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Saint Or Sinner?

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I Could Have Drowned

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Walking Dead

A news bite I overheard on TV claimed 16.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the season premier of the new series “Walking Dead”

Our post-Jesus, post-church, post-love-one-another culture continues to glorify sin and death in the most extreme and ungodly ways.Of the 16.2 million people who tuned in to watch that gore, I wonder how many of them were really walking dead, separated from God and without a personal relationship with Jesus.

As authentic followers of Christ we were walking dead once as well.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins  in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh,  indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2: 1-3.

But then, praise be to God,

God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavens in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6

Those folks walking around out there who are dead are sinners (Romans 5:8,19); enemies of God (Romans 5:10); condemned (Romans 5:18). Do we, as the Church, draw them to Jesus or drive them away? Does the Church reach them, or repel them? Is your life appealing to those who don’t know Jesus? Do the folks walking around dead want what you have? Do they see something in you that attracts them, or keeps them at a distance?

Our answers to those questions could literally make an eternal difference in someone’s life. Is your faith alive so others can see life in you?

There Was A Little Girl, Or Singin’ Those Backslidin’ Blues

Homosexuality

By Rob Morley
Co-founder of Light and Life Ministries
Guest Blogger

While I don’t necessarily advocate demonstrations, nor do I support anything less than love for individuals who practice homosexuality, I like the truth in the caption which is a translation of one of the banners: “Say stop to raping our morality under the name of freedom”

You see, many Christians have become confused and soft in their stance toward the sin of homosexuality. While on the one hand many see it as sin, on the other, they indirectly consent to it through not wanting to take away people’s rights to practice their “sexual orientation”. This is further fuelled by the notion that in order to be loving we should “live and let live” as long as it doesn’t affect others. But, is the negative effect of even a monogamous committed homosexual relationship only confined to the two involved?

Let’s consider who gets affected by someone practicing a homosexual lifestyle. Firstly, he is sinning against God and himself by denying the Creator’s design for his life. Then, just like with adultery and fornication, anyone who practices homosexuality is automatically causing his partner to sin and be missing out on God’s plan for his life. Finally, and what is often overlooked, he is sinning against the community by being a very likely, although not necessarily intentional, influence on others to do the same.

By allowing people to have homosexual relationships, whether monogamous or not, they become billboards that reinforce the idea that homosexuality is a viable lifestyle. Effectively we create an environment where other people can be more easily influenced into the same sin. Many people may fall as a result of the appeal that homosexuality may have on their sinful nature, while others may fall to the deception that homosexuality is a normal social way of life.

The permission to practice homosexuality, along with its promotion in the media and the prolific nature of the practice, can confuse and entice many vulnerable youth and adults into embracing what they may never even have thought of. Let alone the influence that it is having on kids growing up in this environment.

A few weeks ago a teenager who is very close to me and who has grown up in a Christian family and environment spoke to me of how he had wrestled with the question of his own sexuality and whether or not he was homosexual. I wonder to what extent the prevailing climate of open homosexuality that exists in this world has been an influence on his thinking.

As the ecclesia we need to be a clear voice of truth to a broken world. Love is telling the truth!

Seriously causing others to miss out on God’s best may be part of the reason for God’s harsh words

Editor’s Note: Rob and Tina Morely co-founded Light and Life Ministries, a teaching ministry in the bodymorley rob and tina of Christ helping people to understand and effectively apply God’s word, the Bible, as it relates to all of life. “While reaching people with the gospel is essential,” Rob said, “the goal of the Great Commission is to have effectively discipled believers. The Bible deals with all areas of life, but if not taught properly, believers remain ineffective for God’s kingdom in those areas.”

and punishments for this crime. These seeds are sown all around. But woe to those whose seeds germinate! And, anyone who condones this practice is an accomplice. “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! (Luke 17:1).

I have a very dear family member who has lived an open homosexual lifestyle for years with one partner. I love both him and his partner and recognize that their sin is no different to mine. Our difference before God is not that I am not a homosexual or that I don’t sin anymore, but that I was given a free pardon for all my sins, past present and future, and am now joined to Jesus.  My sins and wayward nature are not held against me anymore and although I still easily sin, it’s not in my new nature to continue in it. And, God wants to do the same for them.

I don’t condemn any homosexual just as I don’t condemn any adulterer, but I do want to warn against the destructiveness of participating in this lifestyle, both to individuals and societies. It’s not the Creator’s plan for anybody!

Finally, some may need to repent of practicing homosexuality, others of supporting it, and others of not loving those practicing it. Whichever it is, God is willing to forgive.

You can contact Rob or Tina Morley via e-mail at lightandlifebibleministries@yahoo.com

So, what do YOU think? Your opinion matters.

Gays Get A Bad Rap From “Christians”

Many “Christians” Are Among The Worst Offenders

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5

Andy Stanley¹ defined “Christians” as  “judgmental, homophobic, exclusionary moralists who think they are the only ones going to heaven and secretly relish the fact that everyone else is going to hell.”²

To me that describes some “Christians” who commented on posts I wrote on Jesus’ love. “Jesus Loves Homosexuals” drew more flak than any other post I’ve written. Many comments echoed Andy’s definition. To me readers’ comments revealed lack of scripture knowledge, a holier-than-thou mentality and pompous condescension.

Two friends who wrote blog posts on the issue received similar negative, belittling comments. Some pulled God’s word out of context to support their opinions, rather than allow God’s word to shape their thinking and comments. One friend got so fed up with “Christian” negativity they deleted their post.

Our posts attracted “Christians” who delight in pointing out others’ sins and faults. Just like the Pharisees.

Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done. Romans 2:1b-2 MSG

Homosexuals have every right to choose their lifestyle. I have every right not to. That does not change the truth Scripture speaks to it. Nor the consequences. Nor does it change Jesus’ most important commandment. He gave us God’s standard for how authentic followers of Jesus, who love God with all their heart, are supposed to treat ALL people: “Love One Another.”

¹Andy Stanley is Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

²from Andy Stanley's video series, "Christian"

Walking In “Newness” Of Life

Do we know what newness of life truly means?

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Don’t Fish Off The Balcony

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Putting Your Heart Before The Course

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Buck Nekkid, Right There In Front Of God And Everybody

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Will Your Sins Find You Out?

By Dr. John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

“Be sure your sins will find you out.”  I have heard that growing up.  It is true.  Richard Eggers discovered it recently.

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Jesus Loves Homosexuals

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Who’s Your Spouse?

Who’s your spouse? Everyone has one. Continue reading

Emmanuel

Emmanuel. God with us.

God is always with us. No matter where we are, who we are or what we do.

If we stray from His presence, He is with us.

If we praise Him and worship Him, He is with us.

If we fail, He is with us.

When we reach the mountain top, when we succeed, He is with us.

When we disavow Him, He is with us.

When we’re glowing on the mountain top, He is with us.

When we’re groveling in the valley, He is with us.

When we don’t trust Him, He is with us.

When we struggle with temptation, He is with us.

When we live out of our flesh, when we choose our way over His way, He is with us.

When we are sick, He is with us.

When we give up, when we turn tail and run, when we show cowardess instead of courage, He is with us.

When our loved ones abandon us, He is with us.

When people cheat us and treat us unfairly, He is with us.

When death invades our world, He is with us.

When our world falls apart, He is with us.

No matter who we are or what we’ve done or who we’ve sinned against or how we feel or what we think, God is with us.

Emmanuel. “God with us” has taken on a whole new meaning for me this year. And as I face 2013 I am confident that the God who created me, the God who loves me, protects me, provides for my every need, He is with me.

Emmanuel.  Emmanuel.   Emmanuel.  Is that an awesome thought or what?

Our Christmas Scandal — Part II. . .from the archives

In Part I of Our Christmas Scandal we said, “When we think about Christmas we certainly don’t think about scandal. Christmas today is all about celebrations and bright lights and traffic jams and parties. But if we don’t admit and acknowledge the Christmas scandal, we will never fully understand what Christmas is truly all about.”

The true story of Christmas originated in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned. Fast forward Continue reading

Our Christmas Scandal — Part I . . .from the archives

When you hear the word “scandal”, what comes to mind? Lots of folks may think of Bernie Madoff, or the current political scandal swarming around presidential candidate Herman Cain, or the sex scandal Continue reading

What’ The Cure?

By Dr. John Ed Mathison
Director, John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

There are problems in today’s world. The sad thing is that sometimes people choose a false cure to the problem. Oftentimes this is Continue reading

My Sin Is That Bad

By Ron Hutchcraft

“Christ died for our sins…” (1 Corinthians 15:3) The Gospel is a message about Christ, about sin,about Christ’s death, about Christ’s Continue reading

Big Bad-Boy Sinners

We all know them. The big bad sinners. The scumbags we love to hate. Murderers; cruel, deadly dictators; embezzlers; hit men; adulterers. The more public Continue reading

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Give Up.

How often have we heard someone say something like, “I’m trying to be a good Christian.” Have you overheard some church folks say Continue reading

Brokenness

Ohhhhhhh Noooooo!  Not brokenness!
Please don’t talk about brokenness.
Let’s talk about love or God’s grace or hope or peace or heaven.

But Not brokenness. That’s one of those icky topics like Continue reading

Can You Be In Two Places At Once? Yes!

Most parents support their teenagers’ sporting events. We go to games, volunteer in the concession stand, serve on boards, umpire, coach, et al.

When three of our kids were teenagers, we tried to go to all Continue reading

Where Are You On God’s Acceptance Scale?

Acceptance is a big deal for lots of folks. We want to be accepted by our co-workers, by our managers, by our friends, our spouses, our children. Some of us crave acceptance Continue reading