Now this next part is important, because I feel like way too many times people make excuses for themselves and then start blaming God for stuff. People feel like God is distant or they get jealous of other people when God is working on their behalf and blah blah blah blah. What I mean is that people start convincing themselves that certain things are OK to do and they aren't REALLY sinful. For instance, the issue of drinking (as in alcoholic beverages).....Christians say that it is OK to get drunk because it's not a sin to GET DRUNK, it just makes you more vulnerable to other sins WHILE you're drunk. So as long as you don't do anything stupid when you're drunk, then it's not a sin. Well......that is wrong, and as the famous rapper Nas once said, it ain't hard to tell. Paul says this DIRECTLY after talking about living by the Spirit as opposed to living by the flesh/sinful nature: Galatians 5:19-21 -
"The acts of the flesh are OBVIOUS: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; DRUNKENESS, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, THOSE WHO LIVE LIKE THIS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD."
As you can see, I emphasized a few words in there for you guys. Paul claims it as obvious, like it isn't even a question. It's simple. Duh. He states being drunk as one of those OBVIOUS sinful acts. He also (and everyone reading this, this is the most important part) says that anyone that lives this way WILL NOT inherit the Kingdom of God. This is what I'm talking about when I say people make excuses and then wonder why they are not partaking in God's Kingdom or in God's power. 9 times out of 10, it is because of this right here. Living in sin like this, taking advantage of God's grace, using your freedom to satisfy the sinful nature.....it cuts you off from inheriting God's Kingdom. Living this way, you may experience God every once in a while when you really need it, fully out of His grace, but not nearly as much as He would like you to be. This makes people believe that God only shows up when you REALLY NEED Him. I can tell you firsthand though, even when I don't NEED Him, when I am just chillin', God shows up and does extremely tight things for me and for people that I'm praying for. I am not saying that I am perfect, because this stuff that I'm talking about right here is the same reason that I, myself, am limited in my inheritance of God's Kingdom (a combo of my sin and my lack of faith, but mostly my sin). I sin WAY too frequently. I admit that, but I can take solace in the fact that I at least KNOW WHY I am not seeing miracles done every day. It is MY fault. I am not making excuses as if it is GOD being distant from me, or GOD not caring enough about me, or GOD not following through on His promises, or GOD not being real, or GOD this GOD that....like it's His fault instead of mine.
If we live in this sinful garbage, we should not expect to see the kingdom of heaven. We should not expect to live a life of miracles, signs, and wonders. We should not expect to be used by God in the mighty ways that we hope for.
I will now give you my personal translation of Galatians 6:7.....(BTdub, my man Jason called me out that I was going to write this after only knowing that I was going to be blogging about Galatians)....here it goes anyway.
"Don't get it twisted, God's not a chump. If you do bad stuff, bad stuff will happen to you. If you do good stuff, good stuff will happen to you." (The actual verse says...) "Don't be misled, you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant."
In a nutshell, if you keep sinning, God's grace isn't going to magically cover over it and make it all like it never happened. You will reap the consequences. Likewise, if you do good deeds on God's behalf, out of love and NOT self-promotion, God will reward the crap out of you and bless you beyond what you can even contain.
How many of you knew that you can fall from grace?!? The whole idea that "once saved, always saved" is a lie. I will just be blunt about it. It is not true. You can definitely have your name "blotted from the book of life." I am not just guessing on this either. It is in the Bible. God talks about how people that take advantage of His grace and think they are still saved are going to have a rude awakening when the day of their judgment comes like a thief in the night.
In addition, how many of you know that the blessings of God, while ultimately under the grace of God, are actually determined by our actions and our heart towards God?!? God gives more blessings to those who are more worthy of them. Hold on Braeden.....wait!......are you saying that the blessings of God are deed-based!?!?!?
YES! Yes I am. And I'm not afraid to say it because it is the truth. It is all over the Bible. One example is the parable of the talents (spoken out of Jesus own mouth in the gospels).
I'm not trying to scare anyone into doing good deeds to prove yourself to God, because He actually hates that. In fact, that is what the book of Galatians is all about. We do not have a set of rules to obey to please God. We are made righteous by faith in Jesus. We are set free by faith in Jesus. But I say we stop making excuses for ourself and start being responsible for this incredible gift we've been given. Let's not use our freedom to remain slaves to sin. Let's use our freedom to go out and set others free. Can I get an amen on that?!
Until next time, PEACE!