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Walk in Love, as Christ Loved Us

December 29th, 2005
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33crucifixion
We have been buried with Christ by baptism into death, and raised to new life in Him. We are temples of the Holy Spirit, purchased and won from sin, death and hell by the precious blood of Christ. How then are we to deal with popular culture that surrounds us with vile and degrading speech, sexual impurity and all manner of sinful behaviors, which are rewarded, praised and idolized by so many?

Sadly, there are some who believe that they are free to consume the sinful pollution pumping out of the sewers of popular culture. Some Christians are so confused about what lives of sanctification are all about that they mistakenly think that concern about such things is somehow "pietism" or that striving to lead holy and pure lives marks one as a Pietist. This is wrong. This is error. This is sin.

The Gospel is never an excuse. Justification is about justifying sinners, not sin. The Gospel is about forgiveness of sin, not license to sin. We are set free to live new lives in Christ, not remain in the muck and mire of sin. We are not to think that we can do whatever we want just because we can run to church on Sunday to be forgiven.

We all need to keep a close guard over what comes our out of our mouths, and what we permit to fill our eyes, and our ears. We are to be serious about lives of Christian sanctification. No excuses. No avoiding the subject. We say, "No" to anything that is contrary to God’s will in our lives, and say "Yes" to the upward calling of God that is ours in Christ Jesus. Lord, have mercy on me for those times I’ve forgotten, and neglected, my calling in Christ!

I remain concerned that in our efforts to make sure people realize they are not saved by their works, we have allowed some to believe that their behaviors and works make no difference, that they are perfectly free to wallow in the mire and muck of this world, and that they should not give their attention to striving mightily to resist temptation, to flee all forms of immorality and, by God’s grace, and with His help, to be imitators of God, even as God Word says we should. Read this, from Ephesians 5, carefully:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For
you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or
impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance
in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

   "Awake, O sleeper,
   and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

There is only one way here. It is the way of repentance. For the sins of thought, word and deed we flee for refuge to the infinite mercy of God in Christ Jesus. We pray for strength to resist temptation, to flee immorality, to not even let the works of darkness be named among us.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever
things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are
just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if
there be any praise, think on these things.
Philppians 3:8

May God grant it, for Jesus sake.

 

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