42 LawlessnessPosted: November 21, 2012
As we let go of rules and learn to trust God instead of our own performance, we can go from legalism to lawlessness. Even in legalism we can be rigid about some things and very lax about other things. We need to find moderation, letting go of overly high expectations while listening to God and obeying Him.
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. 1 John 3:4-6
“Continues to sin” in the Greek implies a constant and habitual practice of sin, seeking to sin rather than avoiding it. Yet, even in our avoiding sin we can fall into another trap. This trap is struggling against sin and seeking to become free in our own power. We need God’s power (next blog) to be free.
We practice lawlessness when we misuse freedom and put ourselves above the law, thus giving our legalistic enemy the right to hold our sin against us. This leaves us open and vulnerable. He is a beguiler and wants “to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) He will take advantage of our every vulnerability. We delude and put ourselves at the mercy of the father of lies when we say, “Oh, I can get away with it this one time.” When we sin, we give inroads to the enemy’s condemnation. For example, an apartment complex may have a walking path which says for residents only. Non-residents may rationalize walking it, but they make themselves trespassers. Rationalizing opens us to the enemy’s arrows. We need to be aware of his wiles.
Even small temptations can lead to lawlessness. In all the above keep in mind, conviction comes from the Holy Spirit and condemnation comes from the devil. “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans 6:20-22) God wants to forgive us and to give us His peace! “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:7-8, emphasis mine) God made a way for us. We need to live in Christ and walk in the works He prepared for us in advance to do.
Learning to submit to the Master,
Noah & Marguex Woodrich
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