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​26 Common Ways We Hinder our Growth in Sanctification

1 Sep

(1) Thinking some (little) sins don’t matter or aren’t a big deal. 

(2) Not watching out for and actively avoiding the temptations that might lead us to sin. 

(3) Whether out of pride or desire for acceptance, allowing the presence of our peers to lessen our vigilance against sin. 

(4) Allowing ourselves to dip a toe in sin so long as we don’t pass a certain self-defined line. 

(5) Thinking we don’t need to fight against certain sins because culture has redefined them as acceptable or even admirable. 

(6) Thinking sin matters little because we’ve been forgiven by God’s grace. 

(7) Easing our guilt and shame by passing the blame for our sin on another (e.g. My accountability partner didn’t call me, my elder didn’t check on me, my wife didn’t give me the attention I need, my coworker pushed me over the edge, my children were just exhausting today, etc.) 

(8) Not approaching Scripture with an eye to revealing our sin. 

(9) Forgetting to consider the sins in the Bible as opportunities of warning and instruction.

(10) Failing to pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal and root out unknown sins in our lives. 

(11) Rejecting the exhortations and rebukes of the Church. 

(12) Brushing off all criticisms by those who are not currently Christians. Their eyes are often keenly trained on the Church and can reveal our sins as well. 

(13) Not actively praying and desiring for an abhorrence of our sin. 

(14) Trying to win over sin by our own efforts and forgetting that it is the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that frees us from the power and bandage of sin. 

(15) Forgetting that Christ yet interceeds for his people. 

(16) Not caring that we are to be making ready for our Beloved’s return. 

(17) Only focusing on putting off our old sinful self without remembering to actively be putting on the new self. 

(18) Not enjoying, living, desiring, relishing in our union with Christ. 

(19) Not faithfully engaging in the means of grace given us (Sacraments, Prayer, and the reading, preaching, teaching, meditating, and praying of the Scriptures) and wondering why we show no progress. 

(20) Withdrawing from the fellowship and corporate worship of the Body of Christ. 

(21) Thinking some sins are more powerful to condemn than Christ’s blood sacrifice is to save. 

(22) Forgetting how loving our heavenly Father is and that his discipline is an outworking of love. 

(23) Failing to realize that the Father desires for us to depend upon his mercy. 

(24) Letting shame, self-pity, guilt, or anger keep us from praying and reading the Word. 

(25) Not seeking help and prayer from a trustworthy brother or sister in Christ.

(26) Thinking that you will deal with the sin later. 

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As Christ Forgave You

26 Jul

Colossians 3:12-14 NASB

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”

I was recently pondering forgiveness, and more specifically the forgiveness we have of our sins in Jesus Christ. Along with many others, I believe Christ’s death definitely accomplished something on that cross – not just potentially, but certainly. That something was the forgiveness of the sins of his people, his body, his bride; that death was once, and for all time, for those tresspasses – past, present, and future.

It was three days later that Christ was raised again for our justification – to make us holy before the father as if we hadn’t sinned (Romans 4.25). What man could not do, God did (Isaiah 59). Having cleansed us and made us righteous before the Father, in and through the righteousness of Jesus, our sin is separated from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103). Hallelujah!

In our Colossians text, Paul instructs us to forgive one another as Christ has already forgiven us. Now if Christ has forgiven us of all our sin (past, present, and future), ought not we to forgive fellow believers in the same manner? Are not we to forgive our brothers and sisters 70 x 7 times, as Jesus instructed Peter (Matthew 18.21), so that there may be unity within the body of Christ? Truly as humans, we are fallible and incapable of living this out to perfection, but are we as Christians not to work toward this end? Can we labour to forgive and accept our brothers and sisters for sins they have already committed, currently are committing, and may yet commit? Can we devote ourselves to one another with this level of commitment?

With this mindset, how many marriages, families, church families, and friendships would be saved? Although this is not so easily carried out, as evidenced by countless societal examples, we can look for hope and guidance in the model set before us in Colossians 3.14, where we are instructed to “put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity”.

To this end, and until He comes again, may we love one another as Christ loved us (John 15.12).