Punishment for Believers?

1 Thessalonians 4:6-7   (KJV)   That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

1 Thessalonians 4:6-7   (NIV)   and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

The context of these verses has to do with sexual sins.  God still avenges or punishes sexual immorality or uncleanness even under the Covenant of grace. He has given straightforward warning regarding this.

Christians ought to be bold and brave in telling the truth as it is. We’re very vocal about grace and God’s forgiveness. And that’s good. But, there are those of us who put on our breaks in declaring that God still deals with disobedience. In dealing with consequences for our sins, we comfortably refer to God’s “discipline,” and that’s true too. But we’d like to avoid any possible consideration that God still has the right to deal with sin. Let’s remember: He has the divine prerogative to punish unbelievers for their sin, and (ready for this) believers for our sins.

Didn’t God punish Jesus for all our sins? Yes He has. But it seems like verses like the ones above tell us that we don’t get a free ride to sinful practices without any consequences. Jesus took all our sins that we may be saved. As saved, let’s watch our steps. Even if God forgives us for lying, or stealing, or sexual impurity, there may be consequences for our forgiven sins that are irreversible. That can be true as well in the spiritual dynamics. Let’s not buy into the lies that purity is evil and harmful and that we ought to just be free in living out all our sexual passions because it is through that that we can really enjoy the fullness of life. Powerful lies that has victimized even believers. Truth: unbridled ungodly sexual passions lead to tragic crashes.

Choose real freedom. Choose punishment-free living. Choose purity.

Dear God, thank You for Your grace and forgiveness and salvation. May our steps be that of the righteous and holy. Many of us have fallen into and excused our ungodly sexual behaviors and practices. Help us to be serious in ridding ourselves of them. Please help us to realize that You will still deal with us – punish us because of our ungodly sexual indulgences. Save us Lord from its power. Or save us Lord from our foolishness, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

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Jesus – Son of God

Luke 22:70  (KJV)   70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.

The ruling council interrogating Jesus had already made up their minds. It didn’t matter what Jesus could have said and done; they were determined to put Him down – to kill Him. They were just waiting for a viable excuse to justify their intentions and actions. Of all their efforts, nothing has worked so far – until this question. Should Jesus stay silent knowing that the truth will lead to unimaginable pain?Jesus didn’t cower; He gave His unwavering answer: He is the Son of God.

To proclaim the truth that Jesus is the Son of God is to mean hatred and rejection from the world. The world doesn’t like Him; it doesn’t like His teachings; His teachings show so much of righteousness, sin, and judgment. No, the world wants to do whatever it wants to do – good or evil without being seen as bad and without regard for possible consequences. It wants to dictate and define what’s good and what’s bad – in ways that will cater to its wild and wicked lifestyle. The world is a majority. To stand for Jesus is sure rejection, shame, embarrassment, and even pain. But this is a  no-brainer; it isn’t a matter of struggle or negotiation for true followers. Our Master declared the truth, He suffered much; we as followers ought to declare Him as He is, and suffer much if need be. Just remember: His interrogation, suffering and death wasn’t the end of His story; He rose again and now reigns. After our steadfast stand for the truth that He is the Son of God, after all the sufferings we will experience, we too will reign with Him.

Dear God, thank You for this glorious experience of knowing You – the only true God, and Jesus – the only begotten Son of God. Please give us the boldness and the courage to proclaim Him without compromise or fear of the possible painful consequences. After all, what awaits us is in exchange is worth gloriously and immeasurably more.