DAILY DISCIPLINE #159
By Colleen Donahue
In these two verses of Matthew 18 Jesus is speaking to his disciples about sin and the need to get radical in dealing with it. He uses an illustration that makes us "wince", yet shows us how serious sin is. In this study we'll see that Jesus himself has radically dealt with sin on our behalf, but each of us still need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in our own lives as we.....
Get Radical With Sin!
Studies continued from Matthew 18: 8-9
Day 1- Just as we amputate a diseased organ to save a life, so Jesus uses this same picture to show what is needed to save our souls.
Matthew 5: 29-30 / Matthew 18: 8-9
Day 2- There will be no sin or practicing sinners in Heaven. Jesus himself was God's radical means for dealing with sin.
Isaiah 53:5 / John 3:16-17 / 2 Corinthians 5:21
Day 3- Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins committed with our eyes, mouth, hands, and feet. It's only because of HIS death in place of our own can we enter Heaven.
Hebrews 2:9 / 1 Peter 3:18
Day 4- Of course Jesus is speaking here BEFORE his death and telling his contemporaries they must radically deal with the root of their sin (as well as the occasions that cause them). But for those of us alive after his death what is true for us?
Romans 6: 6-7
This means that our old nature as the instigator of all sin, has been made ineffective or inactive for evil. We can still choose to sin BUT we no longer have to sin.
Day 5- Picture this....... You are in a store. A man with a loaded gun stands behind you. He wants you to steal a camera for him. You steal it because you have no choice if you want to live. There is a power forcing you to do it even when you think that stealing is wrong. Now picture a big policeman surprising and overtaking the gunman. He takes the gun and handcuffs the man (rendering him inactive). This is a picture of Christ as he overcomes Satan and his power.
Hebrews 2:14 / 1 John 3:8
Day 6- Now, you no longer have the gunman forcing you to steal. The power forcing you to sin has been broken (Satan is bound). But .... the fact remains that you can still go ahead and steal the camera any ways! Keeping with our analogy.....
You saw the camera and you began to think about how useful it would be to you and fun too. You don't have the money for it and so you rationalize that just this once stealing would be OK. So when the clerk isn't looking you take the camera and run for the door.
Christ has done his work of tackling Satan but now we must do our work in making right choices.
Romans 6: 11-14
Day 7- Therefore Christ's words to us in Matthew 18:8-9 are still important. What sins belong to our earthly nature?
Colossians 3:5, 8 / 1 John 2:16
Day 8- Notice that even though the power of Satan has been broken to force us to sin, he can still influence our minds with his lies and half truths. It is our mind that directs our eyes, mouth, hands, and feet. Therefore our "will" needs to "set some rules" for what our mind thinks about.
Romans 8:5 / Romans 12:3 / Philippians 4:8 / Colossians 3:2
Day 9- When our minds are set on God, we get better and better at recognizing sin, evil, and even those things that are "good" but not God's "best".
Day 10- Remember, we are under no obligation now to "steal that camera" or (list your own besetting sin). How are we instructed to "put to death" the misdeeds of the body?
Day 11- The Holy Spirit has been given to us to help us. Let's go back to our analogy in the store. The store security officer has seen the whole affair of the gunman and his apprehension. He has seen the trauma you have been through. BEFORE you even have a chance to covet the camera on your own he walks over to you and offers to drive you home. The Holy Spirit is a little like the security guard. He sees our situations and stands ready to act on our behalf. He is there to bring us to safety (to God). So too he will be there to guide us in making right choices and to strengthen us to act on those decisions. Thus our lives will become clear vessels for Christ to use.
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