Reprehensible

August 15, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
(Romans 8:1-2 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to think about what condemnation means?

The definitions mean to blame or the state of being condemned.

Don’t you just love when a definition of a word uses the root of that word to define it. I thought that I would go ahead and look up the dictionary definition of the word “condemn” and the language is stronger than I realized. According to Merriam-Webster, “condemn” means

to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation; to pronounce guilty

To be honest with you, using the word condemn to mean being found guilty is what I think of when I hear the word. This in and of itself is wonderful news, for we are not found guilty through our faith in Jesus. However, the first part of the definition caught me off guard!

Reprehensible

Wrong

Evil

We all like to think of ourselves as minimal sinners in that we have not murdered or stolen, yet, we are all guilty of sin. In the eyes of God, we were reprehensible. We were wrong. We were evil. The evidence weighed heavily against us and there was no hope.

What do you think of when you hear the word “reprehensible?”

Is it the most vile and foul thing that you have ever imagined?

Through our sin, that is what we were. We had no hope. Still, God loved us even in our reprehensible sin.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Jesus did not come into this world to find us guilty of the reprehensible sins that we commit. He came, because of God’s love for us, to offer us grace and mercy. He came out of love.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

Think about this. Think about your understanding of something that is reprehensible in your eyes. Would you do what Jesus did in order to save the reprehensible?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Judgment belongs only to Jesus

August 3, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:1-11 (NIV))

Then neither do I condemn you.

Can we, as the church, say the words that Jesus said and mean them?

Think about that for a moment.

It is not our place to condemn, for we are all sinners. Sometimes I think that the church forgets this. Sadly, the non-believing world sees our human faults and equates them to Jesus. How many times do you think Jesus literally shakes His head and thinks, “Will they ever learn?” I know that I have caused some of those episodes.

Just as the church forgets the part about not condemning, the non-believing world ignores that part about leaving your life of sin. To be honest with you, this is not limited just to the non-believing world. The individual members of the Body of Christ all sin. Some of us even have our own little “pet” sins. Still, we try to follow Jesus and give up our sins.

What is the difference between not leaving your sin and trying to leave your sin?

What is the difference between condemning others and reaching out to others?

What is the difference between being a witness for Christ and being a stumbling block?

When do we, as the Body of Christ, need to hold our tongues and hold our actions and when do we need to speak out?

The Body of Christ is made up of many different backgrounds and many different races. We are as different as night and day, yet we all share a common faith that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, that He died and on the third day He arose, and that He now sits at the right hand of God the Father.

We share a common faith.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Just who does the world comprise?

It is not made up of people only like you. God loves us all. He loves the sinners who have claimed redemption and He loves the sinners who have not claimed redemption. With what is going on in this country right now, the Body of Christ needs to be in prayer about what God would have us do. We need to listen to that still, small voice and be the Light that He is calling us to be.

And, we also must remember that all sins are equal in the eyes of God. And, yes, that means our own little “pet” sins.

When I think of my sins each day, I am eternally thankful for God’s grace.

It is that grace that we must be showing to the world. Don’t allow the world to shake your faith and do not judge. Judgment and condemnation is not ours to show. Judgment belongs only to Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you guilty of this?

June 4, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
(John 4:4-21 (NIV))

I love my Sunday School class!

This morning, I was leading a discussion on a new chapter in the book that we are studying, and, true to form, we got off topic. I must admit that we often get off topic, for we use the topic as a springboard for discussion and questions. The questions often lead to very interesting and deep answers. Today was no different.

I raised the question about how does society’s view and the Biblical view on Hell compare. After much discussion, someone asked a question about certain denominations claiming that those who are divorced and remarried would be going to hell. It was also asked if it is Biblical to withhold communion to these individuals.

This passage came to mind a few minutes later once the class was over.

How many husbands had the Samaritan woman had? Was she married to the man that she was living with at the time of this encounter with Jesus?

Did Jesus refrain from offering her salvation – living water – even though she was a Samaritan and a sinner in the eyes of the community?

We, as the Body of Christ, cannot place restrictions upon those who would come when Jesus did not put any restrictions on those who came to Him. We are not able to judge whether someone is worthy, for our judgment is human judgment. Only God can judge. Only Jesus can offer grace. Grace is freely given to any who would simply accept.

We, as the church, cannot put restrictions and limitations on what God has freely offered.

I can hear the thoughts that some may be thinking – that these people are sinners. I have some news for you. We all are sinners.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

How can one sinner tell another sinner that they are not worthy to receive what God has freely given?

I pray that I am not guilty of this!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Politically correct?

April 5, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

Do you consider yourself to be politically correct?

I know that those words bring many different thoughts to light, but in the way that our society would have you believe, do you fit that definition? Do you even want to fit that definition?

Think about that in relation to the things that Jesus did while He walked among us.

Was Jesus politically correct when he ate with tax collectors? Was He politically correct when He performed the miracles that we all know? Was He politically correct in His dealings with the religious authority? Was He politically correct when He overturned the tables of the money changers in the Temple? I realize that the political climate was different then from now, but the same concept applies.

Did Jesus say that we must embrace each other’s sins because they are ok, or did He say that we must stop sinning? Why do so many people today make the false claim that Jesus did not teach that certain sins are wrong?

To use a saying that became popular a few years ago, let’s honestly think about “What would Jesus do?”

How would Jesus react to those who wish to modify His teachings in order to support their own agenda? How would Jesus react to people embracing sin because we are too worried about what people may think if we confront the sin?

Don’t get me wrong. We are to love the sinner, but hate the sin!

That does not mean to sit back and accept the sin because it is their right to sin. Think about this in relation the story of the woman caught in adultery. Did He tell her that it was ok to do what she was doing, or did He tell her to go and sin no more?

I honestly do not think that Jesus would ever be labeled politically correct.

How about you?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you free from the condemnation of sin?

November 18, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
(Romans 8:3-4 (NIV))

Did you catch this in the middle of all that Paul wrote to the Romans?

God condemned sin in us, sinful man, so that we could be made righteous!

Think about that statement. It is a rather unique way to explain what we have been given.

We were condemned because of sin. We were held accountable to the laws that explained what sin is. We were found guilty because sin was free to condemn us.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

Here is the interesting twist to this that I had never thought of before, and that is if sin could be condemned and its power removed, then all who had been condemned by sin would have nothing to condemn them. Sin, in all of its arrogant, God defying nature had the tables turned upon itself. God condemned sin to an eternity of separation and death.

Think about that in different terms. Suppose that you are being held accountable for something that was done and you are being threatened by someone to expose you. You are being judged and condemned as a result. Now, lets take this one step further and the police arrest the person who was threatening you. This person is jailed. He has been condemned for his actions. He no longer has control over you because of your actions.

You are free!

Jesus came to teach, to die on the cross and to be resurrected. He came to set us free by condemning the power of sin. Sin has no authority over those who call upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. He has set us free and condemned the sin that condemned us. Our accuser has no authority if we accept the atoning blood of Jesus Christ and the grace and mercy that it brings.

Are you free from the condemnation of sin?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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