READINGS: Proverbs 14:34. Psalms 1:1-6.
Deuteronomy 10:12; 23:21. Micah 6:8.
“Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people”. Proverbs 14:34.
In concluding our conversation on: Living To Please God, it’s important we address the issues of righteousness and sin in the life of man. First, for sin : A mortal man cannot please God because he is a product of sin right from the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the Forbidden Fruit, thereby incurring the curse of God upon all humanity. Given that we are the offspring of Adam and Eve, the curse placed on them by God was transferred to us vicariously.
It therefore required the new Adam Jesus Christ to come, nullify the curse and restore man back to His Maker through His death and resurrection on the Cross of Calvary. This is the divine transaction in Genesis 2 and 3, and John 1. And until mortal man understands , believes and receives this simple message , it will be impossible to live a life worthy of all pleasing before God.
But what is SIN?
Sin is a violation of God’s word or law. It’s acting or doing things contrary to God’s word and will . Sin is willful disobedience to established order, rule or command. Sin entered into the world through Adam as captured in the book of Genesis. Today, man born of woman is still battling with the failure of Adam and Eve to obey God. Yet, God requires us to live in obedience to His word and will. He commanded Abraham, the father of faith thus: I am the Lord thy God, walk before me and be thou blameless .Genesis 17:1. But how does man overcome the challenge of sin?
In Romans 5:8, the Bible says that God was reconciling the world to Himself as Jesus was dying on the Cross of Calvary. For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Similarly, the Bible says that as many as believe on Him , they are called the sons of God. When you do not belong to God through His adoption, it’s not possible to be a child of God. Or to live the kind of life that would please Him. Sin originated from the first Adam . Sin was judged , cleansed and annihilated by the second Adam Jesus on the Cross of Calvary. When you put your faith in this simple work of grace, you are saved. And at this point , you can begin to daily live with faith in God to please Him who has saved you, and given you eternal life.
Only faith in Christ can secure anybody eternal life. Jesus says in John 14, that He has gone to prepare a place for us – who are His own. Thereafter, He will come to take us home. This home that is under preparation for over 2000 years must be worth it — to both wait for and to inherit. As a child of God, I encourage you to remain faithful to the end because only the PATIENT will inherit this promise: Hebrews 10’35-39. You must remain resolved, resolute and determined to get there. He is faithful who has promised. God is a promise keeper.
The point must be established that the path to eternal life is unipolar, very single. John 14:6 : Jesus said to him, “I am the way , the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”.
Apostle Peter also reaffirmed it in Acts 4:12: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”. Apostle Paul summed it up this way in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
When you are saved, you become a new creature with old things passed away in your life. Yes, the old Adamic nature will disappear for a ‘NEW YOU’ to emerge. You are delivered from these evils partly enumerated in Colossians 3:5-11: 5 – “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; 6: Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 – in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8: But now, you yourselves are to put off all these – anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
9: Do not lie one to another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 – and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him; 11 – where there is neither Greek, nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”
A sinner cannot please God. Included as sinners are those who make and create lies like jesters, bipolar personalities , cross dressers and all kinds of 419ners who make bougus claims to perpetuate frauds. Also men and women who re-create themselves in ways other than God had created them including , same sex lovers or live – in mates The Bible also says in Romans 1 that those who support these pervasions shall receive the same punishment with those who actually commit them. These are cowardly individuals who lacked courage to stand for truth, and to contend for the faith.
Today, we have some fake, fringe and contemptuous players in Christendom who teach and accommodate all kinds of falsehood to feed their tommy while sending many to hell. Jude verse 3 , Revelation 22:15. If you find yourself in such false religious groupings, better escape for your dear life. Jesus is the Only Bread of Life. He is the Only One who died for you that through Him you might have eternal life. John 10:10. Any addition to this simple message of salvation is satanic, devilish and meant to deceive those for WHOM Jesus died. Escape for your dear life if you must live to please God.
As a believer, being born again and being filled with the Holy Ghost give the Christian man or woman the added burden to manifest Jesus Christ in their lives as long as they live on this side of eternity– in line with the teachings of the Scriptures. The Christian must maintain right living. The Bible tasks us in Romans 8:1 ” There is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the flesh”. Although several versions omit: ‘who do not walk after the flesh’. King James Version captures it and that makes it clear that BELIEVERS must add righteousness to their lifestyle and profession as Christians.
Come to think of it, the Bible records that believers were first called Christians in Antioch because they behaved and acted like Jesus Christ. Acts 11:26. Righteousness is indeed living according to the way of Jesus. Those who negate to live in line with the word of God and the prescription of Jesus– that we should be the light of the world and salt of the earth–are operating in error. Such believers should be reminded of Proverbs 14:34 which teaches us that sin is a reproach to anybody.
Consider Judas Iscariot. He was part of the 12 and 70 disciples who were sent to preach and to heal. They came back rejoicing that Satan saw them and obeyed. Sadly, sin found Judas Iscariot out . Consider also the couple named Annanias and Sapphira. This couple believed and was baptised and filled with the Holy Ghost. Yet the sin of greed, covetousness and self pride gave the couple away for death and destruction. Both husband and wife were slain under the power of the Holy Ghost. What a tragedy. What a reproach. Acts 5.
God through The Preacher Solomon identified these seven things as being detasteful to God . Proverbs 6:16-19.
“These six things that the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look. A lying tongue.
Hands that shed innocent blood. A heart that devices wicked plans. Feet that are swift in running to evil.
A false witness who speaks lies. And one who sows discord among brethren.”
These checklists were penned down several centenaries back. Yet, they remain deeply relevant and keenly active today as ever. Do you wish to please the LORD, take a marathon away from these evils .
And whereas sin drives you farther away from your God , Righteousness makes you His darling.. the apple of His eye. Deuteronomy 10:12: “And now, Israel what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him , and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul”. This was God’s command to Israel as they settled in their new Homeland in Canaan. Today that injunction still stands because God loves Righteousness and hates sin. Besides, God does not change. He remains the same today, yesterday and forever.
Years later, God also reminded His people not to lose focus of His demand for Righteousness. Hear Him in Micah 6:8: “He had showed you , O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you: but to do justly , and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”?
The Bible firmly submits that Jesus was highly anointed above His fellows because He lived without sin. He submitted to the will of His Father. Hear the testimony of the Bible about the Messiah in Psalms 45:7: “Thou lovest righteousness, and hates wickedness: therefore God, thy God , hath anointed there with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
The book of Philippians 2:5-11 also added that God honored Jesus with His exalted name because He obeyed His Father by dying on the Cross. To please God is to totally obey Him. And to totally obey Him begins with repentance from sin and acceptance of Jesus as Saviour, LORD and Master. And until a man or woman does this simple procedure, living to please God will remain a mirage, indeed, like a marathoner racing with his shoes intact.
Happy Sunday and God bless.
PASTOR OKORO can be reached on: 08051000462.