Grace of God vs. spirit of the Age
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. NKJV
If the grace of God has truly appeared to all men, then why are not all men saved by said grace and living daily by said grace? Paul spoke of the grace of God in Ephesians 3. He first referred to the “dispensation of the grace of God” that he received for the sake of the non-Jews. He later said that he had received the “gift of the grace of God” by the effective working of Christ power. Therefore, this “grace of God” has appeared now through our Lord Jesus Christ and is free to any person willing to receive it by repentance and faith.
The spirit of the Age:
A brother in Christ who writes a blog entitled “Intentional Warriors” placed an excerpt from a Playboy Magazine interview with Musician John Mayer. He got the post from XXXChurch who put it on their website. Here is the actual interview, note I have tried to clean up some of the language for your reading but it is hard to leave out some words to get his full intent (I apologize for it being coarse, but it is what it is):
MAYER: I’m a self-soother. The Internet, DVR, Netflix, Twitter—all these things are moments in time throughout your day when you’re able to soothe yourself. We have an autonomy of comfort and pleasure. By the way, pornography? It’s a new synaptic pathway. You wake up in the morning, open a thumbnail page, and it leads to a Pandora’s box of visuals. There have probably been days when I saw 300 [naked girls] before I got out of bed.
PLAYBOY: What’s your point about porn and relationships?
MAYER: Internet pornography has absolutely changed my generation’s expectations. How could you be constantly synthesizing an orgasm based on dozens of shots? You’re looking for the one photo out of 100 you swear is going to be the one you finish to, and you still don’t finish. Twenty seconds ago you thought that photo was the hottest thing you ever saw, but you throw it back and continue your shot hunt and continue to make yourself late for work. How does that (porn) not affect the psychology of having a relationship with somebody? It’s got to.
PLAYBOY: You seem very fond of pornography.
MAYER: When I watch porn, if it’s not hot enough, I’ll make up backstories in my mind. My biggest dream is to write pornography.
PLAYBOY: Masturbation for you is as good as sex?
MAYER: Absolutely, because during sex, I’m just going to run a filmstrip. I’m still masturbating. That’s what you do when you’re 30, 31, 32. This is my problem now: Rather than meet somebody new, I would rather go home and replay the amazing experiences I’ve already had.
PLAYBOY: You’d rather masturbate to an ex-girlfriend than meet someone new?
MAYER: Yeah. What that explains is that I’m more comfortable in my imagination than I am in actual human discovery. The best days of my life are when I’ve dreamed about a sexual encounter with someone I’ve already been with. When that happens, I cannot lay off myself.
The Grace of God:
Imagine if you would have a chance meeting with Musician John Mayer and tell him that the “grace of God” can transform him and give him a different view of lust, premarital sex, and pornography 180 degrees different than his view today. (It is my opinion) He probably would tell you how there is nothing humanly wrong with viewing sexual images because we are sexual beings and he would most likely say that his personal sexual relationships with women does no harm to other people, nor does his pornography and masturbation and most of all that he is a good person. Maybe he would go on and on about his foundation and other charities he supports.
A Google search revealed a who’s who list of women John Mayer has dated and in all likelihood had sex with them all. “When asked how many woman he's slept with since splitting with Aniston, Mayer estimated, "four or five. No more. But even if I said 12, that's a reasonable number. So is 15. Here's the thing: I get less blank now than I did when I was in a local band. Because now I don't like jumping through hoops."” (by Monica Herrera, N.Y. | February 10, 2010) This is a man highly respected for his song writing and performing abilities, but his heart is far from the One True God who created him. He is separated by the wall of his sexually charged lifestyle as he is blinded by the god of this world.
Many Christians say they listen to his music and some absolutely love it (maybe there is nothing wrong with that). I found a website by Jon Acuff (article entitled “Mayer” Christianity) who said that one of Mayer’s songs (Say) was performed at the Church he attends. I read the lyrics and listened to the Mayer song Say and it is a nice song with no vile or degrading language in it at all. The lyrics are very nice, however, they make no mention of the Name, Majesty, and Glory of our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ. This (in my humble opinion) is not the will of God. Church is not a place for concerts or music shows, but for exalting the Name of Jesus and singing praises from our hearts to His Heart. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not leave His Majesty, Splendor, and Glory of Heaven to become a poor Carpenter and be beaten beyond looking human, take sin upon Him, die on a tree, and rise from the dead to give us nice words in a song. He came as a substitute for sinners and to confront every sinner with the sinfulness of their hearts.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." NKJV
Every person is sick (spiritually) in sin before the new birth. John Mayer is sick (spiritually) and he needs the healing touch of the Great Physician to make him well. Mayer (due to is music success) happens to live in the so-called public eye, but there are millions or billions of John Mayer’s all over this world who believe this lie from the pit of hell that the more female sexual conquest you have the more of man it makes you.
I am convinced that the addiction/sin to sex is far greater than all legal and illegal drug addiction combined. Every person (man or woman) who views pornography and has sex outside of marriage regularly are addicted to sex and the gratification that comes from completing the sexual act. It is the most destructive addiction/sin we human beings are confronted with on the earth. Paul wrote in Romans Chapter 1 that it produces a reprobate mind. This type of mind refuses or is unable to see/behold what acceptable behavior is from that which is unacceptable. I believe that the reprobate mind is influenced by demonic powers that drive the behavior and the pull to pornography, lust, fornication, etc. until a holy supernatural intervention takes place through the “grace of God” by the gospel. Remember the quote from Mayer above about masturbating to an old sex encounter rather than having sex with a new woman and he said, “Yeah. What that explains is that I’m more comfortable in my imagination than I am in actual human discovery.” Where do you suppose this type of skewed view comes from? It is sensual/devilish.
How must one overcome this destructive addiction/sin? First, it is by no human effort, but it can only be defeated by the “grace of God.” Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is step 1, the beginning. After the soul has been saved, then the “grace of God” is needed daily as the human body needs food and water daily to sustain physical life. This exact phrase “grace of God” is found 24 times in the gospels and the New Testament. Every occurrence of the word grace is from the Greek word charis, which means favor of God, but its meaning as it applies to living by this grace daily is divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude. The “grace of God” is so much more powerful than the destructive addiction/sin of lust, fornication, pornography, masturbation, etc. The “grace of God” is what makes a man a real man. No man can ever be a man of true substance (no matter his status on earth) until he has experienced the grace of the only God and Savior Jesus Christ through regeneration and the new birth and then daily receives the outflowing of that grace through its divine influence upon the heart. This is what John Mayer needs, it is what I need, and it is what you need to live a life of freedom that has meaning, purpose, satisfaction, and brings Glory to Jesus Christ.
Paul said in Galatian 2:21, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. NKJV In essence what Paul is saying is that there is no way for a soul to have right standing before All Mighty God and live in a right manner before Him except by receiving the “grace of God.” This is also reflected in the words from the Apostle John in 1 John 3:7-8 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. NKJV
"Disposition And Deeds" — My Utmost For His
Highest for 07/24/2012
Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew 5:20
The characteristic of a disciple is not that he does good things, but that he is good in motive because he has been made good by the super-natural grace of God. The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right-being. Jesus Christ came to put into any man who would let Him a new heredity which would exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus says - If you are My disciple you must be right not only in your living, but in your motives, in your dreams, in the recesses of your mind. You must be so pure in your motives that God Almighty can see nothing to censure. Who can stand in the Eternal Light of God and have nothing for God to censure? Only the Son of God, and Jesus Christ claims that by His Redemption He can put into any man His own disposition, and make him as unsullied and as simple as a child. The purity which God demands is impossible unless I can be remade within, and that is what Jesus has undertaken to do by His Redemption.
No man can make himself pure by obeying laws. Jesus Christ does not give us rules and regulations; His teachings are truths that can only be interpreted by the disposition He puts in. The great marvel of Jesus Christ's salvation is that He alters heredity. He does not alter human nature; He alters its mainspring. By Oswald Chambers
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book will be available soon…
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