Sin: Hidden or Forsaken?

Proverbs 28:13   (KJV)   13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Hiding or concealing sin has an adverse effect or consequence: it causes some kind of failure. Conversely, confessing and forsaking sins has a positive or favorable consequence: mercy—withholding of corresponding punishment or penalty.

Proverbs 28.13 - Sin - Hidden or ForsakenInstead of regarding or hiding sins in our hearts and being more concerned about effectively covering them to avoid being caught, we confess them quickly and sincerely. There may be discussions as to the extents of the meaning of “not prosper,” but regardless of anyone’s interpretation, we would like to avoid it at all cost. We sin—that alone is always heartbreaking as believers, why linger there?

For others to come to a point when they would rather cover their sins than confess them is a proof that they’re already treading a very dangerous ground in their Christian walk—it’s a clear indicator that there’s a part of their walk where they are already off-course—they’ve been derailed and need to do everything to get right back on track as quickly as possible. We don’t hold on to sin; we discard and throw away every sin from us because they weigh us down and sidelines us. We don’t want to miss out on anything that our good God has for us. We desire the prosperity He wants us to have.

The more we’re tempted to cover our sins, to sugar-coat them, the greater the need for us to get rid of them as quickly as we would a burning coal or a ticking bomb in our hands. Mercy is a better choice than failure. Some people feel like they get away with it because they’re still succeeding even as they continue secretly sinning. But they don’t know what much greater benefits the Lord would have poured out on them had they chosen to walk faithfully instead. Besides, there really is nothing hidden; men may not see everything, but God sees all things. He already declared that there’s nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and that our sins will find us out. Why risk it?

Truth be told: we don’t ever want to find ourselves with a slightest inclination of covering our sins. We’d rather live in His pleasure.

Indispensable Faith

Romans 4:20   (KJV)   20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God

We “give” glory to God when we’re strong in faith. Yes, faith matters. It’s worth is certainly upheld and emphasized when it comes to salvation.  My proposition is to keep on maintaining its value and worth in our lives as believers.  I’ve heard that there have Romans 4.20-21 - Indispensable Faithbeen extreme teachings about it from a certain group bearing something as important as faith in their name.  I’ll be quick to point out: I’m not a part of their group, nor do I identify with them.

This is also not in any way a rejection or denunciation of the group or any individuals from their group often presented as heretics and false teachers.  Personally speaking, the worst, most extreme, and most heretical teachings I’m aware of that they purportedly teach are those I’ve heard and read quoted by their “attackers.”  Truth be told, even those with audio and video clips, it’s possible to understand the logic in what they teach when taken in proper context.

Pardon me for always trying to make sense of the teachings of our brothers and sisters in Christ in areas where we may differ.  In the non-cardinal, negotiable doctrines, I firmly believe what I believe is true, but then again, they may be right, and I may be wrong. Why fight?

Going back to faith: it’s indispensably essential in our lives.  With it, we appropriate God’s grace for our salvation; we live by it instead of sight and feeling; without it, there’s no way we can please God, and as we just read from the above passage, with it, we give glory to God.  Many of our desires and prayers are answered by God according to our faith.  A quick clarification: we ought to not presume our prayers are not answered because of lack of faith.  I won’t cower from saying this though:  it’s possible that it’s also because we do lack faith.  That statement is in no way for the purpose of condemnation; it’s to encourage us, just in case we really need to step out and step up in faith and we just haven’t done so.  If we know we already have, that’s great; that part is at least already taken care of.

The Lord encourages us: “Have faith in God.”  It’s direct: it’s something we have to do; it is also suggestive: we may not have the faith we ought to have, but none of us dare call out our Lord as being condemnatory.  We understand what He’s saying; let’s extend the same gracious attitude to our brothers and sisters who encourage others to walk in faith. With love as the greatest motivation, our walk as believers is by faith—from start to finish.

 

On Pleasing God

1 Thessalonians 4:1   (KJV)   4 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

It’s easy to understand our brothers and sisters who teach us and assure us that God loves us so much and is already pleased with us just as we are.  Some believe this in the light of our relationship with our precious Lord Jesus, i.e., the Father loves His Son and is 1 Thessalonians 4.1 - On Pleasing Godperfectly pleased with Him, and because we’re in Jesus, He’s also pleased with us.  Others take it a little farther, i.e., with or without Jesus, He already loves us and is already pleased with us.

What’s my humble take?  I believe God’s love for us is from everlasting to everlasting—this is even before our saving relationship with our precious Lord Jesus.  It was because of His love that Jesus willingly came to save us and reconcile us to our heavenly Father.  His pleasure is different. He has always loved us, but He’s not always pleased with us.  I believe that if God is pleased with us in a constant and an unchanging way, meaning, He always loves us, it is only because of His pleasure in His Son.

Scriptures like the one above encourages us as His people to walk in a manner that pleases God.  In fact, even when we already do, we’re encouraged to keep growing in it—to do so even more.  This has to do with our practical daily living or walk with and in God.  This makes it very clear that it’s possible, even for us believers, to displease God.  In Christ, He’s always pleased with us; in our walk, we restfully and diligently strive to please Him.  This isn’t a burden; as I’ve repeatedly stated:  as children of God, we find our greatest pleasure in pleasing our Father.

Faith Gaps

1 Thessalonians 3:10   (KJV)   10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

We desire to effectively and efficiently disciple our brothers and sisters in Jesus.  We want to do the best we can to help each other grow in our walk.  And spending time with each other is essential to this.  Discipleship somehow works better when our disciples see 1 Thessalonians 3.10 - Gaps in Faithus and are able to not only read and hear about what we teach, but see how we exemplify our teachings. They see how our beliefs transform us from glory to glory.

We all still need to grow.  Each one still has this “gaps in faith” that are slowly filled through continuous learning of the Word.  God has provided us each other.  God is an omniscient Father desiring to teach us, instruct us, lead us and guide us.  He left us with the written Word and sent us His Holy Spirit as more than sufficient helps in this.  He wants us to live the best life we can live—one that’s fruitful, growing, and powerful,

We need divine guidance.  Forks in the road are everywhere; convincing voices abound; it’s very easy to stray from the straight and narrow.  We humbly admit: as long as we’re on earth, even to the best of our abilities, we’ll continue having blind spots—gaps in faith.  It’s just right that we first and foremost humble ourselves and receive faithful instructions from those our loving Father provide as our disciplers.  Then freely we give what we freely receive. As we’re helped decrease our faith gaps, we help others to do the same.  Altogether we grow in our doctrine and practice.  Deceptions come, hardships hit, but we remain straight and strong.

 

Doubly Righteous

Revelation 19:8   (KJV)   8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Righteousness matters. We as people made holy by God are also made righteous by God. That’s the kind revelation-19-8-doubly-righteousof righteousness that’s all God’s work. We don’t have anything to do with it. When we grabbed hold of our Lord Jesus in full dependence on Him as our Savior and our Lord, He made us righteous. He gave us His righteousness, meaning, we are as righteous as He is. There is of course a different kind of righteousness, and that is, righteousness based on our deeds. We have a choice to do, think, say, and choose what’s right, good, and godly. We can walk righteously or unrighteously.

The fine, clean, white linen—the righteousness of saints is interpreted differently by Bible teachers. Some refer to that as positional righteousness—that imputed to us by God, void of any deed from us. Some believe it to be practical righteousness—the good deeds of God’s people. It could go either way, but it could be both. This is something that’s worthy of acceptance and balanced treatment.

Positional righteousness doesn’t prohibit practical righteousness. In fact, the opposite is true. As people made righteous by God, our walk ought to be righteous; our thoughts, words, deeds, and choices ought to flow from who God has made us to be. Our “doing” ought to naturally flow from our being. The tree bears its corresponding fruit. That’s why genuine Christians or impostors are known by the kind of fruit they bear. Our Father is righteous; there’s no right option but to live righteously. We understand that temptations abound and they will continue to come, but our minds are made up. Our beings have been reprogrammed; our spiritual DNA is that which is righteous. We trash and throw off everything evil, every fruit that doesn’t belong to a person made righteous. We have been made righteous, and we’ve got fruits—proofs to show it.