When the Lord Jesus healed the man born blind by His right hand of grace, the doubters and naysayers questioned this blind man vehemently and put him on trial trying to prove what happened to him really didn’t happen at all. The Scripture states that the healed man said to the doubters, “Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears them.”
I want to take the first part of his statement of truth and ask the subject question of “How can a saint live like a sinner?” Since the ascension of our Lord and Savior, the gospel that He left to the Apostles to spread throughout the earth has been massaged, shaped, and moulded to fit every new age. As man has increased in knowledge (as the Prophet Daniel told us in Daniel 12:4), he has also decreased in truth.
Here is a quote from an Author whose name escapes me at this time and he said “Truth without love has no decency; it is just brutality. On the other hand love without truth has no character; it's just hypocrisy.” I personally agree completely with that statement. This world has draped itself in this condition right now in this present era or generation we live in now. The world’s idea of truth is that which feels good. This cannot be and must not be the definition of truth for the saint of God.
The truth for the saint is Christ, His gospel, and His word. Christ prayed to the Father for the disciples and surely for us as well that He would sanctify us with the truth and that His Word is truth. The Word of God is under a vicious attack right now. Well, to be clear it has always been under the attack of the enemy, however, today he has shot most of his fiery darts from within the visible body of so-called believers.
The denial of Christ Diety, denial of the bodily ressurrection, denial of the virgin birth, the acceptance of homosexuality as an alternate lifestyle approved by God and the ordaining of openly homosexual pastors, priest, and other clergy clearly shows us that the enemy has set up camp within the visible body of so-called believers to distort, confuse, and pervert the truth of the Word of God. This is nothing new for the devil. He seduced Eve into doubting the Word of God and subsequently she fell into sin and so led Adam in with her. The Apostle Jude gave us a clear warning of what was present during his time and what would continue in progression to become even worse in the last days (we are in them now I believe) as he wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Jude 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)
Now I did a word study on this word lasciviousness and found that it is ripe with so much that is distasteful, dispicable, and flat out disrespectful before Almighty God. However, this is the heart of man (everyman). Man’s heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Here is what the full meaning of this word is and consequently what these men Jude refer to want to see happen in the Church of Christ within His body.
It is hard to imagine that men would want to see these things permeate themselves in Christ body, but the fact that Jude tells us that they are really ungodly men (that is men without God or the Spirit of God living in them and controlling them) it becomes much easier for us to digest. Simply put they just do not know any better.
Therefore, instead of us as true believers (saints) arguing doctrine with them we need to be in loving and fervent prayer that some will be snatched or pulled from the fire as Jude tells us later in verse 23. This must be our response for we will get nowhere disputing false doctrine. It is a waste of time to argue with these people because their mind is still defiled and corrupted. Their minds are full of the following:
The word means licentiousness, filthy, wantonness, disregarding of sexual restraints, lacking moral restraints, moral depravity, moral corruption or defilement, lustful, sensual, and hard to control sexual behavior. Now these are the character traits that these men live by and want to see present daily and continually in Christ body the Church.
From a personal perspective, I am not speaking bluntly about these things to be unloving, for Christ Jesus my Lord has delivered me (His son) from the enslavement and bondage of much of this unclean behavior. It is my loving desire and response to my Lord and Savior that this character not linger in me (as He washes me with the water of His Word) and for other men ever to defile His body.
It is as a saint that I live in such a manner of loving obedience to Christ that others may see and feel His love flowing from me and by His grace freedom from such horrible bondage and enslavement occurs. We as the saints of our Lord and Savior must rise up, be soldiers of the cross of Christ, and show others how to live so that they can find Christ. He will bring them out of all darkness.
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (NKJV)
The men who believe in this false way are not saints they unfortunately are still sinners and they like all sinners practice sin. This is what sinners do they sin. However, as Christ so lovingly and eloquently puts it above in John 8:12, those who become His followers (saints) by the miracle of the new birth will never again practice sin because He will not suffer them to do so.
Christ told us that the practice of sin is enslavement and a saint of His cannot serve to masters. Christ saves us and makes us saints for us to become His slaves; therefore, we cannot be His slave and the slave of sin at the same time. Selah. Let us together right now just pause and give the Lord Jesus Christ an awesome shout of praise for this truth.
Because as His saints we can take no credit for the truth that we no longer desire to practice sin (of course we are not sinless, but no longer slaves of sin) this was just one of the many wondrous things Christ accomplished on the cross for each of us. For centuries, man has been distracted with the cares and affairs of this life to keep him from contemplating the next life. Today the distractions have gone high-tech with many activities, gadgets, and widgets all to pollute man's heart and mind from the fullness and all-sufficiency found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 2:3&9-10 In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. For in Him (Christ) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (NKJV)
As saints, we are fully complete in Christ Jesus our Lord. We need know amusement from neither this world nor a pat on the back from this world. This world has nothing for the saints of God that can satisfy us beyond, better, or above our full and complete satisfaction in Jesus Christ.
The Psalmist tells us to “Delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desire of our hearts.” Simply put, when we saints delight ourselves fully and completely in Jesus Christ, then He (and intimate fellowship with Him) becomes the sole desire of our hearts.
The Apostle Paul through inspiration of the Holy Spirit teaches us in the entire chapter of Romans 3 that every man born into this world is born a sinner. This leaves none out no matter the race, wealth, culture, education, or any such thing that is external.
Well, these facts being true that all are sinners, then the question of “How is a sinner turned into a saint?” is of paramount importance. Today many of the visible churches and the entire secular world are adamant about keeping church and state or Government separate. However, the United States of America founded on the inclusion of God and Government needs to be unfolded.
This is a very important issue to many people, but more important is the distinction from saint to sinner in the lives of men and women being lived down here on this earth. A sinner is born a sinner and will always be a sinner unless or until he receives Jesus Christ. A saint only becomes a saint by believing or obeying the gospel (which is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4) and then and only then is he reborn spiritually and made a saint by the amazing grace of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
The sinner is still dead spiritually and he cannot here God speak to him because of the separation due to his sin remaining upon him. Consequently, he can only live by his five senses. Whatever feels good to the sinner he does without asking whether it is right or wrong. The sinner is only capable of doing what he or she knows. Paul states it in the following manner;
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. (Quick Amplified Bible)
The sinner has no power within him to do or perform what is right. The Lord Jesus said, “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” Now are we to believe much of this liberal garbage being taught and espoused today that are in total contradiction to the revealed Word of God. I say we cannot and we must not. There must be a visible difference in the unregenerate soul (sinner) and the regenerate soul (saint) in the course of daily living while still on this earth in these bodies.
What is it about the saint? What is it or who is it that makes him or her so different? Jesus Christ and His grace by which He saves us, teaches us, and keeps us saved. No saint is better than any sinner anywhere is. Every saint should be the humblest and most gracious person on this earth. Saints are not to walk around as some sort of spiritual snobs with their noses in the air declaring that they are better than the rest of rotten humanity. Not anyone that behaves daily in this manner is truly a saint of God at all. What that type of person is only a Pharisee (a religious hypocrite) who knows nothing of the wonderful grace of God.
Charles Spurgeon said this about Christ as He makes Himself very real and visible to His true saints; “In the biographies of eminent saints, you will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has been pleased, in a very special manner to speak to their souls, and to unfold the wonders of his person; yea, so have their souls been steeped in happiness that they have thought themselves to be in heaven, whereas they were not there, though they were well nigh on the threshold of it-for when Jesus manifests himself to his people, it is heaven on earth; it is paradise in embryo; it is bliss begun. Especial manifestations of Christ exercise a holy influence on the believer’s heart. One effect will be humility. If a man says, “I have had such-and-such spiritual communications, I am a great man,” he has never had any communion with Jesus at all; for “God hath respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.” He does not need to come near them to know them, and will never give them any visits of love. Another effect will be happiness; for in God’s presence there are pleasures for evermore. Holiness will be sure to follow. A man who has no holiness has never had this manifestation. Some men profess a great deal; but we must not believe any one unless we see that his deeds answer to what he says. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.” He will not bestow his favours upon the wicked: for while he will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he respect an evil doer. Thus there will be three effects of nearness to Jesus-humility, happiness, and holiness. May God give them to thee, Christian!”
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published: coming soon)