Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The War Within

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.1 John 3:4

We are all sinners, and at times we all fall into sin. But when true Christians fall, they soon come back, turn around, and struggle against the sin so that they won't offend their neighbor. To illustrate, it's difficult to avoid being wounded in times of war. Yet it's an honor if one stands up to fight again. But it's a disgrace if someone retreats. Similarly, even if Christians are completely surrounded by sin, they should still fight against it. Some people think they're Christians because they've been baptized. These people give their desires free rein and don't care about conquer- ing their sins. They merely follow their own cravings.

Committing sin comes from following the enticement and desire to sin. Many give these sinful desires free rein. They don't want to repent or stand up to fight again. Today they commit adultery; tomorrow they want to live purely. It's impossible for these people to avoid offending their neighbor. If they don't offend them by something they do, then they certainly will by neglecting what they ought to do for their neighbor.

An important part of Christianity is love, and love is not self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13:5). Insisting on our own way is not loving our neighbor, but following our own desires. So not showing love is the same as being disobedient. Those who aren't pure, who don't struggle daily against themselves, will give in to sin and do wrong. Those who don't have the fruit on the inside won't show it on the outside toward their neighbor. If we have not died to ourselves so that we can disregard our own desires, how can we seek what's best for others?

From Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional by Martin Luther, James C. Galvin. ©2005 by Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced without written permission from Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49530. Sent from the Martin Luther's Faith Alone Devotional. For devotionals like this one for your iPhone, visit us at 43rdElement.com

Grace, Freedom, Laughter! 

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