January 23rd

Saving Grace

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.  Ephesians 2:1-5 NIV 

This passage from Ephesians provides a sobering picture of our condition when we choose to live in sin.  Some of the notable aspects of living in sin include:

The result of such living entitles us to become objects of God’s wrath, however, when we place faith in Jesus we have new hope of deliverance from the downward spiral of sin.   God provided the way through Jesus for us to be “brought back to life,” such that we can be free of the bondage of sinful living.   

The Holy Spirit is our God-given tutor who teaches how to live the new life in Christ. Paul wrote, But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11 NKJV).  Our responsibility is to cooperate with the Spirit’s promptings and convictions each day.  If we resist the Spirit, we’ll certainly make little or no progress in living the new life.  In fact, we’ll backslide into the bad habits of our old self.   

I’ve been living porn-free for several years now.  I have moments of resisting the Holy Spirit, but have always returned in repentance and continued to walk with God.  My life now is so much better than when I was living in sex addiction.  I am no longer a slave to my old cravings and I have strength, joy, peace and hope for life in God.    

If you are not currently enjoying the new life in Christ, I encourage you to believe that it IS possible for you, no matter how far you have fallen into sin.  God loves you so much and wants you to move into the new life that he prepared for you in advance.   God will help you change your life if you ask Him to.  The solution may take time, but he will meet you where you are.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me by your grace!  Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me, bearing the wrath that was due to me.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have new life.  I believe that this new life is your will for me.  Please forgive me for following the ways of the world, my flesh and the devil.  Please cleanse me from all my sin by the blood of Jesus.  Please fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit and re-sensitize my conscience to your promptings.  I receive your life-giving and restoring power right now.  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”