Summary: At the core of the Christian are these three things.
“At the Christian’s Core”
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. “
Last week, one morning in my devotional time with the Lord, I was reading the story of Samson again. I felt sort of sad for old Samson. He was a special man of God. He was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, yet he showed so much human weakness. He was a man’s man – but he had a thing for the ladies. He wasn’t so good at picking his woman. One tricked him into revealing a secret that cost him a bet. Another tricked him into revealing the secret of his strength – and ended up costing him his sight and then his life.
But he died well. He died gloriously. He gave his life to take the lives of thousands of his peoples enemies. And I thought, “I want to be able to die well”. I would rather rise up to meet the Lord in the air, or be beheaded for my faith in the end times – but even if I die naturally, I want to be able to say I lived and died well. Paul said,
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:6-7
Wouldn’t you like to be able to say that one day? I would. I look at Samson, strong and mighty, yet his life was so flawed and weak in ways. David was a mighty warrior, a handsome man, a talented musician, and a man after God’s own heart, and yet he had that huge glaring sin. He fell. He recovered. But his pure life was scarred by his adulterous affair and murder.
One of the lessons of the bible is that man is of a fallen nature – but it also teaches that God can protect his own from sin. The Bible teaches that sin is strong within us – but that God is stronger. His grace is sufficient to carry us through and bring us to repentance. Paul says,
“where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” Romans 5:20 KJV
“Where sin increased, grace increased all the more” Romans 5:20 NIV
Isn’t that a great Scripture? Grace is the enabling power of God. And although sin is strong within us; although Satan is a tremendous adversary; although temptation is overwhelming at times – God is more that able to help us handle it. The Bible says,
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
“He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Satan has so many weapons to defeat us – but God is more than able to handle them all. His grace is sufficient. His power is sufficient. He will never allow us to have so much temptation or trial in our life that we can’t handle it. We have the victory.
So if we fall; if we weaken; if we given in – is it God’s fault? No. It is because we did not use all the spiritual power that was available to us. The power of prayer; the power of the Word; the power of resisting; the power of fellowship.