If you talk of your gratefulness that He gave you life, but you're hardly willing to serve Him with it, you don't love Him as King.
Trigger warning: If accountability hurts your feelings, you won’t like this article.
Our attitude towards sin speaks volumes about our love for Jesus. The desire for holiness has dropped significantly and it's time we assume a resurgence.
I am so tired of Christians ignoring their sin, yet exclaiming their love for Jesus. I’m not talking about the nuances of Christian liberties either. I’m talking about the blacks and whites, stuff that even a new believer could distinguish. If it has an "explicit language" label, leave it alone. I'm routinely surprised by the music I hear Christians listening to, the movies they watch, the way they gossip so freely, the deception in their social media posts...and these are Christians who should be chewing on spiritual meat at this point but instead are still crawling among sin in their spiritual diapers hardly holding themselves to a standard of holiness. Eminem, Kanye West, Jay-Z etc. Not okay. How do we expect to grow in purity while filling our minds with garbage? And don't tell me you're "not effected" by the lyrics. That is an attitude of arrogance suggesting that you're above the vulnerabilities of sin. Even if it didn't effect you, it's still finding entertainment in the same darkness that put Jesus on the cross.
If you fit this category, there is a harsh reality that you must come to terms with:
YOU DO NOT LOVE JESUS.
Yea, I said it. You don't love Jesus. You can’t love Jesus without hating sin. It’s pragmatically impossible. If you love someone– truly love someone– with all you have then you cannot be apathetic towards their broken heart and you cannot be apathetic towards the source of their sorrow. You can love what they do for you, but that doesn't mean you love them. I understand we're going to sin and show circumstantial disobedience but continual sin proves a unregenerate heart.
You love Him as Savior, but do you love Him as King?
If you talk of your gratefulness that He gave you life, but you're hardly willing to serve Him with it, you don't love Him as King. You love what He did for you, but you're hardly interested in obedience. Obedience may not earn your salvation, but your salvation should demand your obedience.
You love him for the resurrection, but not for the grave.
You love that He gave you life but you intentionally keep returning to the very death He died for you. It is as if you're so in love with your sin that you're willing to dance with it as far as where the ultimate conclusions of sin leads, at which point you then invoke the cross– as if the Cross were a mere "get out of jail free card" instead of the crux of the gospel message. This cross bore the same man who loved us enough to die on it, while still being God, in order to conquer the same filth that you're continually running to.
“Nobody likes being preached at, John.”
Yea, and that’s a problem. Maybe if more Christians put their big kids pants on, took responsibility for their actions, and actually obeyed scripture the Church would be better off. People are much more concerned with their feelings than they are with truth. Church culture today boasts of weakness and entitlement where people often respond to accountability with "don't judge me," which is really synonymous with "I'd like to continue in my sin, thank you very much." Sometimes aggression is necessary AND it's harder for someone to be aggressive with a friend...which shows effort. That, to me, is love. Taking a hard route because you are concerned for someone. When someone calls you out on your sin and you get defensive, that is not indicative of apathy towards sin, it is indicative of love for sin.
Sin is sin, the smallest of which mandated the same blood sacrifice for justification as the greatest. When we minimize sin, we minimize the severity of sin, and when we minimize the severity of sin, we minimize the need for the cross. That is not a good place to be at.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. -Luke 9:23, ESV
"Deny," translated from the Greek, literally means to disown, divorce, cut-off. It's the Greek's language's aggressive form of deny. To deny ourselves means to separate ourselves from ourselves. That sounds confusing, since you must have at least two beings to be separated...and that's just it. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." To deny ourselves means to cut ourselves off from the life of our past and now celebrate the newness of life that we've been adopted into. Habits of sin, entertainment with sin, poor treatment of others...all of these things must be disowned from our lives. "Pick up his cross" is an analogy of Roman times where one who has been sentenced to death would pick up their cross and carry it to the place of their death. I'm not suggesting Christians are all going to be martyred, but the message is that if we want to follow Christ we must do so with all enthusiasm, completely sold out with no caviats. This CANNOT be done without the first part of this verse, separating ourselves from our sin. We cannot pursue Christ with everything we have if we allow ourselves to be attached to this ball and chain of sin.
Deny yourself, dear Christian. Pursue holiness while walking in grace. If Jesus wasn't God, He could not save you. Therefore we must see Him as both. He is our Savior, but He is also our King.
For the gospel //
Hi, my name is John and I love coffee. As I write this I’m sitting in a local roastery sipping a “mudslide” espresso with cream and two and a half sugars. There are few things in life that I feel merit precise orchestration with no room for error, coffee is one of them. My life belongs to Jesus. I am his son and He is my King.
I believe one area that has been greatly ignored by Christians is culture and politics. We must be active in representing our faith in these communities, but not in a relativistic or compromising way. See whole bio