“What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin, that Grace may abound?  God forbid!  How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

Romans 6:1-2

If there’s truly been an inward change, it’ll soon be evident in the way we talk and walk.

Someone once said, “You can’t have it both ways,” while another sage said “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”  So true, so true.  Why, then, are there those who believe that God’s salvation is simply walking an aisle, praying a little prayer, being baptized, joining a church and then “living happily ever after”?

Nothing could be farther from the Truth.

Too often the problem is one’s wanting to be saved from the penalty of sin, but not from sin itself.  They want the benefits of Heaven without having to make any changes in their lives.  Or, somehow they see Jesus’ death on the Cross as little more than some type of “fire insurance” against hell, while forgetting His call to discipleship (Lk. 9:23-26).

But, today’s Manna flies right in the face of such “cheap Grace” as Deitrich Bonhoeffer called it.

True salvation always results in true repentance.  The first step in repentance (“arising and going to the Father”—Lk. 15:18-20a) is just that:  The first step.  And, it’s followed by a second step.  And a third step.  And a fourth one.

That’s why Jesus said “By their fruits you shall know them” (Mt. 7:16).

If there are no visible changes in a person’s life after making a profession of faith, then it’s unlikely that there was any genuine conversion at all.  Although the “fruits of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19-21) will still be there to some degree after one’s salvation, slowly but surely they’ll start being replaced by the delectable “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23).

So, woe to anyone who feels God somehow “winks at our sins” and quietly says “Now you know better than that.  Try to do better next time, okay??”

No, He is a holy and just God and demands perfect holiness (I Pet. 1:16) and knows it’s impossible for us to comply.  That’s why He sent Jesus to “become sin for us that we might be made God’s Righteousness through Him” (II Cor. 5:21).  And, it is our gratitude for this great Grace that moves us to “reckon (consider) ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11).

Spend some time today reflecting on the Father’s Love for you.  Ask His Holy Spirit to show you any areas in your life where you’re still “yielding parts of your life as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin” (Rom. 6:13).  Then, ask Him to help you turn from them and help you to “obey from the heart that form of doctrine that was delivered unto you as you become a servant of righteousness unto holiness” (vv.17-19).  Thank You, Lord.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated June 26, 2010

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