Awake to righteousness!

1 Corinthians15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

awakeHow do you overcome a sinful habit or addiction? Is it by applying law, self-effort or discipline? Many of us have tried that and no; it doesn’t work. Why? Because, by focusing on the sin you give it power. Indeed, the fact that you don’t like what your doing and you want to change (even though you can’t), is actually a good sign your saved!

God doesn’t want to leave you there though, like the man under law in Romans 7; He wants you to awake (in the original as out of a drunken stupor) to righteousness. It is only as you awake to righteousness that you actually have any power to stop sinning and that is why that awakening must precede any attempt to stop sinning.

Consequently, awakening to righteousness means that we become righteousness conscious rather than sin conscious. How do we do that? We begin by exercising faith through believing God’s word about us and even though we maybe don’t feel righteous, we confess the truth of God’s word nevertheless: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ” – even when we are still sinning! 2 Corinthians 5:21.

For example: When your sick you don’t get healed by confessing your sickness. Likewise, when you are trapped and enslaved  by sin you don’t get delivered by confessing your sin!

This is the problem with constantly confessing the same sin to God and going round and round in circles – we become increasingly sin conscious and failure conscious rather than righteousness conscious. Of course, there is nothing wrong in admitting you’ve sinned but God doesn’t need your confession he needs you to believe in his ability to set you free.

Even repentance therefore, can become a dead work if not mixed with faith. What do I mean? Well, if you repentance is sorry – I won’t do it again, then this is a dead work because you are saying: “God I can do it; I can change; I can beat this habit or sin”.

Grace is for the people who admit they have a problem but know they are powerless to fix it. That is what grace is – God’s ability and resources which are received by faith.  God wants us believe that when his word says: “that where sin abounds grace even more abounds” (Romans 5:20),  it really does mean that there is no situation, problem or addiction that is beyond the power of God to deliver us from – if we turn to him. In other words, there is no cut off point to grace. Romans 5:20 doesn’t say (as I think some who speak against so-called hyper-grace believe), that where grace abounds sin even more abounds!

Self-consciousness

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