Grace Teaches!

“It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,”(Titus 2:12 NIV).

One of the most difficult things I try to get across to students is to never start a sentence with “it” unless they can explain what the antecedent is. The antecedent (the noun for which the pronoun is replacing) in this passage of scripture is found in the verse eleven–the Grace of God. The same grace that opens the door to salvation, the same grace that provides us with opportunity to do what is right at all times, the same grace–the favor we receive from God when we could not earn it–teaches us to say, “no” to ungodliness-when we have a teachable spirit!

I have often heard people (men and women) say, they would live right if the temptations were not in the picture. Some have tried to excuse their behavior by saying, “I’m a preacher, but I’m a man first” (D. Haddon from “Preachers of LA”) as if this gives them permission to sin. I can only conclude that he forgot that Jesus–the man–was tempted just as he was and did not give into it or make excuses. I’m not judging; I’m simply emphasizing what has been made public. No one is perfect but The Lord, certainly not I, but I don’t make excuses for giving into temptation when I fail to do all things well. I repent and thank God for His mercy, giving me another chance to get things right. That is what our attitude should be when we “fall from grace.” We should repent and keep seek God’s mercy, thanking Him for forgiveness, not bragging about what we do because of our “gender.”

If grace teaches us to say no, when we fall from grace–are we listening or do we not have enough of the Word hidden in our hearts so we won’t sin against God? Or do we simply make a mockery of grace when we boast about openly living a sinful life?

I am convinced that when we allow The Word to dwell in us richly, that when we “think” we want to do something that does not demonstrate godly behavior, we are convicted in our spirits “before” we “do anything.” Now, in order for us to hear our spirits speaking, we must make sure that we have teachable spirits. Perhaps then, the reasons for falls from grace could be that many do not have teachable spirits.

Father, in the name of Jesus, speak to our hearts and soften them to hear You. Help us to set flesh aside and allow our spirits–so entangled with Holy Spirit–we hear and obey–Holy Spirit and not flesh.


What Did Jesus Say?

“…She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11)

Jesus, in this verse, is speaking to the woman brought to Him by the Scribes and Pharisees (the religious leaders) who “claimed” the woman was caught in the “very act” of adultery. Under “the law” given by Moses, both the man and woman guilty of adultery should have stoned to death. But they (the religious ones) only brought the woman. If she had been caught in the act, and if they had a right relationship with God, they would have brought the man as well.

Jesus understood what they were doing, which is why he ignored them for a spell as He wrote on the ground. I believe (some could argue) that He was writing the list of sins for which man had been guilty which is why He told them, that whoever had no sin, let him cast the first stone. When they saw what he had written, they all went home. But notice, He told the woman, “go and sin no more”; He did not say, don’t commit adultery again. What He said, included all sin–if we remember who He is, The Son of God, He who was with God from the very beginning–we would have to know that Jesus knew exactly what He meant. Anything The Father had already said was sin, He included in this statement to the woman. All “sin” references were included in His comment to her.

So, when the false prophets, preachers, and other religious folk (without relationship with God) say that, “Jesus said nothing about homosexuality,” they have either been deceived or they are influenced by their true father, Satan and they lie.

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:15 NIV) Though this scripture pertains to those falsely predicting Christ’s return, it is appropriate to use in this instance, since all scripture is apt for teaching God’s truths.

The label, “homosexual” or “homosexuality” does not appear in most translations; however the graphic description of the act does appear and only a fool could be misled into believing that the Bible does not address the issue. It is addressed in both Old and New Testament and a person would have to be paid to misunderstand it.

But then there are other words or “labels” that don’t appear in the Bible, but acts are described. Does that mean that those acts are not sin either? It is amazing to me, the lengths that people will go to, trying to justify their acts or beliefs when they know, they are lying to themselves and then influence others to believe them.

God will judge them as He will judge us all. But the ones who deliberately influence people into believing a lie; especially turning the truth of God’s Word into a lie; that person will be judged even more harshly. Don’t take my word for it. Read the Bible with understanding and then develop a right relationship with God and ask Him for yourself, but believe what He says. It will line up with His Word. Jesus said, “He can only say what The Father has said.”

And before anyone gets their underwear bunched into knots, I’m not gay-bashing nor am I homophobic. I simply believe God’s Word to be His truth. If you have a problem with that, then it’s your problem. I am simply tired of hearing people lie on Jesus to justify their unwillingness to abide by God’s Word. Every one of us chooses our final destination–we choose–based upon our conduct and obedience or disobedience. I know where I’m bound and no devil in hell will change or deter me from God’s Truth.

If this message was too much for you today, I suggest you take two aspirin, read God’s Word and pray that I learn to be more tactful in the future.

Father, help us to stand firm in the knowledge of Your Word, knowing Your intent so we will not believe a lie or perpetuate one. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!