November 11: “Sin and Salvation”

10 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Ezekiel 23:1-49
Hebrews 10:18-39
Psalm 109:1-31
Proverbs 27:13

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Hebrews 10:26-27 (NLT): “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.”

Reflections from Scripture:

I recently started re-reading Eric Metaxas’ latest book, “Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World.”

One of the things that the author points out is that God is viewed very differently in our current culture than in Luther’s. Today, God is seen as overwhelmingly gracious and loving, but little attention at all is spent reflecting on His holiness, justice, and wrath. In Luther’s day, it was just the opposite. God was to be feared and dreaded, and little attention was given to His love, grace, and mercy.

Both of these views are flawed. Both of them are ditches on either side of the road that we need to avoid. To understand God more accurately, we need to hold them both in balance.

So, what’s up with God’s holiness and wrath? Should there be a seriousness in our Christian life that we might not currently have? And if so, what would help us to develop it?

Hebrews 10:26-27 (NLT): “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.”

Simply stated, these verses say that if we claim to be saved but then persistently go on sinning willfully, then we have misunderstood what it means to be saved. You see, Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection provide us with the potential to overcome sin and the grave. It is made effectual in us when we receive it by faith.

But, it’s not simply a mindless prayer that supposedly gets us a ticket to Heaven so we can get back to satisfying our sinful desires, presuming upon God’s grace. No!

Romans 6:1-2 (NLT): “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?”

Friend, when we get saved, it changes everything about us. Our ‘old self’ dies, and we are born again (John 3:1-21). Old things pass away, and all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). In a moment, we are changed, and our desires for sin are undermined.

Before we are saved, we sin because we have to. While we certainly exercised restraint, sinning was something we did because it was our very nature. Yet, after we are saved, our “want to” is dealt a mortal wound. The Holy Spirit within us convicts us when we sin (John 16:8), and we find within us a desire to run the other way – to pursue holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16).

So, there is no room for a belief that says we can get saved and then continue in willful, persistent sin. If this is our experience, then we are illustrating that the saving work of Christ has never actually happened in our hearts. We are not saved and are still on the broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

Have you been saved, my friend? If your answer is ‘yes,’ then my next question is: “Has it changed your life? Is your desire to sin going down as your desire to know and obey Jesus is going up?” If you answer ‘no,’ then you need to do some serious reflecting on where you stand before God. You don’t want to think you are headed for Heaven when you are headed for Hell.

2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT): “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.”

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, You have said that we will know true and false converts by their “fruit.” Whether or not someone is truly saved will show up in words and actions that others can observe. That is also true of me. So, Lord Jesus, while I recognize that salvation is grace through and through, I also realize that if I am truly saved, it will change my life from the inside out. As someone who is genuinely trusting in Jesus, it is my desire to bear the fruit that demonstrates that faith. So help me to make progress on the road toward greater degrees of holiness. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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