Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thought for the Day

Once we are down the path of James 1:14-15, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." we reach some inevitable point of no return. The good news is there is also a point where we can turn ("we" meaning Christians - sinners cannot). At the point of temptation, we can still turn and not sin. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." - I Corinthians 10:13

Note the conditions of temptation: lust AND enticement. These are powerful things. Lust comes from within ("his own lust"). Enticement may be internal or external. It is the hook. Temptation is a three-stage process from which escape is possible at any point without sin. But the further you progress in each stage, the more difficult it will be to take the escape that God provides.

But at the point of sin there is no return. Sin brings death. Inevitable. No turning back. No resistance, remedy, or remission can stop it. We cannot help it. Once past the point of enticement we cannot escape the hook, the old man does not struggle at all but naturally does what satisfies his lust. It is the panging of the lust and the sharp point of enticement that wakes him up. He sins. He cannot but speak of and do the thing which his lust demands.

There is a similar process for the Christian who is awake. God says of us in Acts 4:20, "For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." What process got Peter to the point that he could not help but speak to the glory of God?

The answer immediately preceeds this starting in verse 7, "And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye."

There is a Name. There is power. That Name is our Lord Jesus Christ. That power is the fullness of His indwelling Holy Spirit. The result is boldness, an inevitible, point of no return confession before men the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Truth, and the demonstrated power of His resurrection.

Just as we cannot help but sin when the old man is alive, so we cannot help but speak boldly the Truth when God is alive. "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 6:11

Share with our readers today some comment about how you just could not help but do or say something that brings glory to Jesus.

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