Verse of the Day

My Musings, Observations, etc.


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January 2, 2011
In some churches, you will see a group of people at the alter every Sunday morning. It seems as though it is always the same group of people. Now, don't get me wrong. If you are struggling with some sin, you need to take it to the altar. You need to go to the Lord and get it right. I am not speaking about the ones who are genuinely struggling with sin. I am speaking of the ones who are trampling on the grace of God. These are the ones who believe they can plan to do whatever they want and then plan to run to God to claim His grace. The perfect example of this is in the song “Small Town USA” by Justin Moore.
Give me a Saturday night my baby by my side A little Hank Jr. and a six pack of light Old dirt road and ill be just fine Give me a Sunday morning thats full of grace A simple life and I'll be okay Here in small town USA
-"Small Town USA" by Justin Moore.
Recently, we saw this song mentioned on the blog of a young man who faithfully attends church. How many people do we all know who claim to be saved, yet walk daily in the world? Is it ok to park on a dark road on Saturday night with a six-pack and a girl, then, on Sunday morning, go running to the alter to confess it all to God? Does God honor that? No. What does God say about the matter?
Romans 6:1-4 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
In Romans chapter six, God asks the same question. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” In other words, when we are saved, should we continue to sin so that we can see the grace of God in our lives? He then goes on to answer that question immediately in verse two saying, “God forbid.” The grace and mercy we see in God every day is truly astonishing. However, simply because that grace exists does not mean we should rely upon it. We should not plan on sinning knowing we can rely upon the grace of God. He continues in verse two by asking “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Once we are saved, we are no longer living as sinners. When we are saved, God gives us the tools we need to live without sin in our lives. As saints of God, we literally have the ability to choose whether we will sin or not. He is trying to show us that we do not need to live continuously in sin. We can easily decide or choose not to sin. As believers, we are dead to sin. True, we can choose not to sin, but we should literally be dead to sin. Baptism is a picture of this. The immersion into the water is symbolic of our death to sin and coming out of the water is symbolic of our resurrection from death (to sin). We are symbolically being raised from death to walk in a new life as a new person.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 reinforces the point being made in Romans 6:2. We are new people. The problem comes in when people mistake the grace of God for a license to sin. Nothing could be further from the truth. When God saves us, we are made into new creatures. God changes us! God does not change us so that we cannot sin. Instead, if we allow Him to, God begins to change us into someone who does not want to sin. This is where I get concerned about the country-music Christian. The country-music Christian is someone who plans to sin. For example, as the lyrics to the song say, they plan to park on a desolate road with his girl and a six-pack. When they plan their sin, they also plan to confess the sin(s) sometime after they have enjoyed the pleasure. This is a pure trampling of the grace and mercy the Lord offers us. This person is using the mercy the Lord offers us as an escape from the penalty of their sin. If they were in a trial where they had to prove they were a Christian, this attitude could be used to prove they are not truly a changed person. If they are not truly a changed person, are they truly saved? The Lord had another name for the country-music Christian.
Mt 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
The Lord takes a pretty hard stand with these people. He told them they were focused on how they looked more than their walk with Him. They were claiming to be Godly, and basing that on what they did or how they looked. Their hearts had never changed. They had never really submitted themselves to God and they were never saved. The best they could ever do is, well, what they could do. The Holy Spirit of God was not in them and they did not have the power of God working in them helping them to live right, to do right and to be God-like. On the other hand, the saint, the person who is saved, has the Holy Spirit of God dwelling in them. The Holy Spirit is there to help us and the Holy Spirit is there to change us into someone who wants to do that which pleases God! So, how does a country-music Christian, or, as Jesus described them, a hypocrite, become Godly? The hypocrite simply needs to be saved. Are you one who knows to do right, yet plans on claiming the mercy God offers after you sin? Are you a country-music Christian? Perhaps you need to be saved. Will you take a moment to read another article that explains the free gift of salvation?


Anonymous said...

That sounds like a lot of baptists I know...

Randy Ross said...

Yes, you're right, it is like a lot of 'Baptists' but it is not like any real Christian. A real Christian is genuinely changed, genuinely different. Yes, any Christian can fall, but a genuine Christian will not abuse the grace and mercy of God by falling with the plan of repentance.