Grace Through Faith

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Our lives consist of body, mind and spirit.  Sin exists in our spiritual condition.  In Matthew 15:18, Christ taught that sin is in the spirit, in the heart.  He said, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man;”  He called the religious rulers of the day, “white washed cups, and hypocrites”.

In Matthew 23 He says, “… hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.  You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.  “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

It is at the spiritual level where we need cleansing.  Being born-again means a spiritual rebirth.  To try to change our spiritual condition by doing anything is an attempt to change ourselves from the outside in.

It is similar to trying to fix an internal engine problem your car is having, by washing the outside of the car.  It doesn’t fix the problem.

No action/activity performed by you will change your spiritual condition.  No church, no denomination, no giving, no volunteer work, no baptism, nothing your parents did, no depriving yourself of things.  Only one thing will change your spiritual condition.

Galatians 2:9 states “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.”  It is faith in Christ, given to us by God’s grace that we can be saved.

You spiritual re-birth, being born-again, comes from accepting God’s gift, Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross for your sins.  If you receive Christ into your heart, He sends His Holy Spirit to re-birth your spirit, to clean it of the sin.

You are cleaned from the inside out.  It will be noticeable by you and others, because your spiritual condition affects your mind, and your body behaves as your mind thinks.  Your spiritual fruit will be evident.

In Galatians 5, God’s Word says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”  This Christmas, enjoy the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and all of the fruit of a new spiritual condition, by accepting God’s gift to you.  Enjoy the true meaning of Christmas this year, be born again, in Christ, and enter into a personal relationship with God.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

johnherrmann

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