Frustrating the Grace of God


In this basic doctrine series, we are now continuing and we have been concentrating recently on opening the channels to receiving divine communication. It would be foolish for us to go through a series of doctrinal instruction that you are, as a human being, not in a position to receive. The Word of God gives us a technique for receiving, and for continuing to receive God's Truth. We have pointed out that the believer in Jesus Christ possesses great spiritual assets, and these are provided for him to be able to live a supernatural way of life. There is, however, in each of us, the presence of an old sin nature which poses a threat to the production of divine good.

We have thousands upon thousands of church members who are in good bible believing churches who are going around producing human good. Nobody has ever warned them that their old sin nature has a side that produces good as well as sins, and nobody has cautioned them to the disastrous effects of having un-confessed sin in the life, and so they blandly go long doing the program of the church, going to various functions, and actually performing what is nothing but human good and, well, someday they're going to get a shock of their lives to discover, has been burned and destroyed at the judgment seat of Christ. In the book of Romans, the eighth chapter, if you will turn there for just a moment, we have three laws presented. Romans, chapter eight, three laws presented. This morning, we want to look at the subject of frustrating the Grace of God.

Frustrating the Grace of God

Romans, chapter 8, verse 2: Paul says “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” and this is the first law that I just briefly want you to notice, the law of spirituality in Christ Jesus is a positive position of salvation. It is positional Truth. It is the position that God, the Holy Spirit places into when we are united to Christ at the point of faith in Him. Now, no-one can be spiritual until you are first a Christian, and salvation makes possible your being filled with the spirit, which is the law of spirituality, and this is the basic condition for the production of divine good in your life.

The law of Spirituality

Now the second law in verse two is that this law of spirituality had “made me free from the law of sin and death,” the word sin here refers to that old sin nature which is within us, and this is the thing that produces spiritual death in a person as per Romans 5:12. Now, in the Christian, the old sin nature is still present and it produces temporal death, or temporal separation from God, the Father. It breaks fellowship; it does not break union. But, this is the condition for producing human good. So, all the people who are running around as Christians who are in fellowship with God are producing divine good, and they are operating under the law of spirituality. All those who are running around under the control of the old sin nature are producing human good, and they are operating under the law of sin and death.

Now there's a third law in verse 4, “That the righteousness of the law,” and this is the Mosaic Law, “might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The Mosaic Law was a system of human self-righteousness, of doing things to gain God's blessings and that's legalism. It was an outward system of rules, which in themselves were good, but which could not control the individual on the inside, where the old sin nature lay and where the problem really resided. So, the solution here is that the righteousness of the law be fulfilled in us who walk not in dependence upon the old sin nature, but in those who walk in dependence upon God, the Holy Spirit who in dwells us.

Now when a Christian sins, he is backed under this law of sin and death, and in order for him to return to the law of spirituality, he has to confess that known sin, I John 1:9. But then he has to do something else, and this is what we've been centering on for these two Sundays, because many Christians confess their sins, and then they fail at that point because they fail to do one other thing. In Philippians chapter 3, along with confession of sin, it is necessary that you move one step more. Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, to have arrived: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We are concerned this morning for Christians who have done something in the past that is perhaps in their viewpoint a very grievous sin, but which they have confessed, but which they have not forgotten. Once you remember a sin, and develop guilt over it, a whole complex of guilt in your soul, you have started a series of sinning, lighting one sin from the other like a series of lights, one on a string lighting from the other, and you never enter that inner circle of temporal fellowship, you are out and you stay out. Now the problem is to neutralize the sin that you have confessed.

Now, while you are out of fellowship, while you are out of the inner circle of fellowship, God is going to discipline you. In Hebrews chapter 12, which I'll ask you to turn to because that's what we are going to look at this morning, Hebrews 12, versus 1 through 15, deal with God's disciplining of his children, and how he deals with them. Now, once we have confessed sin, this passage indicates to us, that the discipline may do one of three things: it may continue, God has a purpose in teaching us something, it may be less, or it may cease. But if it does continue, the discipline is now a blessing. The Bible tells us that we suffer for about 11 different reasons; only one of those reasons is for punishment, and that's discipline; all the others are for blessing, and once we have confessed sin, they all become for blessing. God never brings trials, never brings difficulties, except for blessing into our lives. Hebrews chapter 12, verses 10-11, “for they verily,” speaking of our human fathers, “for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he God, for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised by it.” So, that our punishment, our discipline, if it continues after confession, becomes blessing.

Now, your response to this discipline, and your response to the sin you have confessed, is the issue that is at stake here, because your response to it may be of such a negative nature that while you may have popped into the inner circle again for a moment, your mental attitude toward that sin, or someone connected with that sin, or to the discipline which is continuing, may bring you right back into a state of sin again and take you right back out of fellowship. This is due to a failure to be oriented to the grace of God. So, we are going to begin this morning by looking at the basis of the grace of God. If you understand the grace of God you will be able to have a positive response to what God has promised he does when you confess sins.

The Basis of Grace

Hebrews chapter 12 verses 14-15, beginning at verse 14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness,” the word follow looks like this in the Greek, d-i-o-k-o, and “dioko” means to pursue. It's the idea of moving toward a goal. When he says follow, he means go to a goal, go to a point of being a winner. Now the Christian is to orient himself, in other words, to something, and that something is the grace of God. In this context, he is saying, “follow, or go to a goal, pursue orienting yourself to something,” and that something is God's grace. He names two things, two doctrines which a Christian has to grasp if he is going to understand grace. (Do) you want to know what the grace of God is? There are two doctrines you have to grasp, otherwise you will be as totally bewildered and disoriented on grace as you could possibly be. Number one is represented by the word peace, and that refers to the doctrine of reconciliation.

Now I would trust that by now, if I were to ask you, “What is the doctrine of reconciliation,” you have a clear image of what reconciliation is. You've been attending these Sunday morning doctrinal series. You know, yes, there was between man and God a wall, and God was on one side, man was on the other side, and there was no way through this wall; it had various blocks that separated man from God, God came in and by his own act, he removed this wall completely, so now there is only a line, and that is a line of Jesus Christ, the son of God, and a person only has to walk across that line, and he is in the family of God. He walks across that by accepting Jesus Christ as his personal savior.

Now, when he says peace, he is speaking about that which Ephesians chapter 2 speaks of. This peace, which once was a barrier between God and man, which has now, the barrier removed and the peace established. Ephesians 2:14-17, says “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you who were afar off, and to them that were near.” So God, for Jew and Gentile alike, has created a condition of peace. If you are going to understand the grace of God, you must understand the doctrine of reconciliation. There is nothing standing between you and God, nothing.

Now there's a second word here, and that is, you must understand another doctrine which is described by the word holiness, and this is the doctrine of sanctification. Remember that holiness is the justice of God, and the righteousness of God, and this speaks of a position. Sanctification is a matter of being united to Jesus Christ. That's why we're holy, because you have met all the justice of God because you are in Christ; you've met all the righteousness that God demands of you because you are in Christ. Ephesians chapter 2 describes this for us, versus 4-10, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” there's that technical term for sanctification for union with Jesus Christ, “That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

So, because of these two doctrines connected with salvation, God is able to act toward us in this spirit called grace. He is able to treat us in grace because of reconciliation, and because of sanctification, because the wall has been removed, and because you have been placed in Christ. Here is your eternal fellowship with Him, here is your temporal fellowship. You are in temporal fellowship as long as there are no known un-confessed sin. Sin takes you out, confession brings you back into the inner circle. This is the place of being filled with the spirit; this is what it means to be a spiritual Christian. Out here, you are a carnal Christian and you are producing here human good, while here you produce divine good; it may be the identical thing, but it makes a difference for the position in which you perform it. Now, no-one could come to God apart from the reality represented in these two doctrines: reconciliation and sanctification.

Now in verse 15 of Hebrews 12, you have the application of these two results, here's a Christian, he has a soul, and he has a spirit, he has a human spirit. The word of God comes into the mind of his soul, he accepts it, goes positive, and it is stored here in his human spirit. Here, the doctrines of reconciliation and sanctification have been stored. Now, this information is cycled back up into the mind and it forms this frame of reference that we've been speaking of. This frame of reference gives him guidance now toward dealing with his personal sin. Unless you have understood the doctrines of reconciliation and sanctification and unless you have been willing to accept them so that they are here in your human spirit, you will never understand grace. You will be a pasty, you will be a sucker for every preacher that comes along with some legalistic notion as to how to relate yourself to God, and you'll be struggling and breaking your neck to get God to be nice to you, never realizing where you stand in the tremendous position in which you are already related to him.

But if you have this understanding in your spirit, now you have something to guide you in the doctrine of restoration of fellowship because reconciliation stresses the grace of God. He has made peace by removing the wall. How was the wall removed? Entirely by grace. The Father planned it, the Son did it, and the Holy Spirit reveals and applies it. What did you have to do with removing the wall between you and god? Absolutely nothing. When you speak of reconciliation, you're speaking of a great example of the grace of God. Sanctification stresses the grace of God. Holiness is the result of being in Christ so that we have his justice and his righteousness. You don't earn it; you don't enter this position on your own. And it is Truth to carnal as well as it is to spiritual Christians. I Corinthians chapter 1 verse 2 and verse 30 indicate that even carnal Christians are sanctified Christians, they are in Christ. Now they're not in here, in the inner circle, but they are in Christ, that's the grace of God.

Now with this information, your mind is ready to deal with personal sins, you have an understanding of how you can be restored to fellowship, how God can be fair and just and righteous to restore you to full, operational status with him, and this is what we mean by the spiritual stall recovery, and it effects all the facets of your soul so that all systems are go again. So, looking at verse 15, it says, “looking diligently.” The Greek work is “episkopeo,” e-p-i-s-k-o-p-e-o. It's this word that we get “bishop” from, “episkopeo.” What it means, “skopeo” means, first, to look, and “epi” means over, so the word means to look over, and it means to look over a thing carefully. As a matter of fact, this was a Greek military term, and it was used for an inspector. We get the word overseer from the bishop, the overseer, from this word. The overseer, or the bishop in the church is the supervisor; he is the one who is to look over the conduct of the church work and to guide it in the right way. This was a Greek military term for a person who was responsible in a military way for being an overseer, and it carries with it the idea of responsibility.

Now, the application here is that you and I as Christians are responsible for dealing with our own known sins. This happens to be in the present tense, you are always to be responsible, and in fact it's a command, and it's active, which means you are to do it yourself; somebody else doesn't do this for you, and it's a participle, which means it's a life principle. So, looking diligently means to take responsibility for your own spiritual life, nobody else can carry you and here's where a lot of Christians break down, they couldn't possibly carry their own spiritual lives. They're forever going to churches where no-one gives them any information on how to carry their own spiritual lives. And it's kind of a pathetic thing, every now and then somebody comes to me and they tell me a problem and they say, “can you give me a verse of scripture,” and they want a little shot of scripture what they are saying is, “can you give me about 2 cc's of spiritual kick.” They don't realize that God does not work like that; they need some information, and they'll be surprised at what strong, indigenous, self-function Christian they could be.

How do you get to be like this? Well, you have to take the technique of neutralizing sin in your life. And on the basis of reconciliation and sanctification there's a way for you to do it. You want to neutralize sin, and you act as an inspector over sin in your life, the first thing you do is confess it, which means that you name it; the second thing you do is forget it, which means you don't have any mental attitude sins or any guilt or anything else resulting from it. Now when you do this, you neutralize sin, and when you neutralize sin in your life, God is ready and able to deal with you. You see, the divine principle, which is based on grace, is that forgiven sin is forgotten sin.

Forgiven Sin is Forgotten Sin

Now a couple of you, three of you good Christians, I'm sure at one time or another has said, “I'll forgive that person, but I'll never forget it.” The principle is forgiven sin is forgotten sin; if it's not forgotten, it's not forgiven, Jeremiah 31:34, Isaiah 43:25, Psalm 103:12, God says he puts it in the depths of the sea, moves it as far as East from the West, he forgets it for his own sake. Now since God forgets it, you and I have to do the same thing, but if you don't forget it, now you have entered an attitude of mind that God calls sins, and not only is it sin, but you set up the condition for a series of sins, one sin going to the other. Because if you are taking care of yourself in this way so that you confess and forget, what kind of a mind do you have? Well you have a mind which is filled with that agape love. That's a mental attitude love. It's a mind of esteem. It's a mind which is free of ill will. And when you have a mental attitude, you have a relaxed mental attitude, and unless you have a relaxed mental attitude, you haven't neutralized sin. If something right now is bugging you, or somebody is bugging you, you don't have a relaxed mental attitude. You don't really know what it is to rest upon the Lord and to let him care for you. You don't know what it is to respond to the promises of the Word. The result of being filled with the spirit is a relaxed mind attitude and you will have this agape love, and it comes through confession of sin; it's the result of being filled with the holy spirit, Romans 5:5, Galatians 5:22, the whole chapter of I Corinthians 13. And this kind of a mind attitude neutralizes all sin.

Now what's the purpose of neutralizing sin? Looking diligently, taking care of yourself as your own self-inspector, lest any man fail of the grace of God or that no-one fail of the grace of God. “No-one” is “no Christian”, “fail“ is to fall short of a standard, and “of”, when it uses the word “of” here, it's a Greek word apo, and apo is the, a-p-o, it's a Greek work that means “from the ultimate source”. Falling away from the ultimate source, what are you ultimately falling away from, the grace of God. Alright, what is the grace of God? Let's summarize.

Point number one, the grace of God is all that God is free to do for man on the basis of the cross; it's the work of God on behalf of man. It's the title that God gives to his plan. Jesus Christ provided it, he provided a complete salvation through grace, the Holy Spirit applies this salvation through grace, and the Father gives the results of it in eternity through grace. Grace is everything that God can do for man on the basis of the cross.

Number two, grace depends on who or what God is; it's based upon the character of God. It never depends upon your character, or my character; grace does not depend on man's character.

Number three, grace is God doing the work of divine good and man receiving it in a non-meritorious manor. Grace is God doing the work of divine good, man receives it.

This is the opposite of legalism, religion; see, religion is where man does the work in order to bribe God to bless him, and human good is offered to God in order to gain some merit with him for his blessing, but grace is where God is doing the work of divine good and man is receiving it without any merit to himself.

Number four, grace provides sanctification to make a Christian like Jesus Christ. Sanctification is in three stages, as you know, first, it is positional. Positional sanctification is the result of being placed in Christ, therefore all that he possesses and does is true of us, grace gave us that position. Then, it's experimental, or experiential, that's our daily experience. We walk in a way that God is able to produce divine good through us; as we are filled with the holy spirit, he produces the character of Christ in us, and then sanctification is ultimate when someday you will be in the Lord's presence, you will be in a resurrected body which will no longer have a sin nature; you'll be completed free from sin. Now grace provides sanctification in order to make us like Jesus Christ.

Number five, every believer has tasted grace at salvation, whether you don't know a thing about grace or not, you've tasted it at the moment of salvation. I Peter 2:3, “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” And you tasted that when you came to him as a sinner and He accepted you without any provision on your part except the act of believing Him. But you may remain in this grace, you will remain in this grace under God's maximum love no matter what you do. And you may not choose to enjoy that grace, but you are in it.

Number six, God is constantly waiting to pour out his grace on every believer. Isaiah 30, verses 18-19 say (that) God is constantly waiting to pour his grace out upon you.

Number seven, disorientation to the grace principle is the greatest hazard in the Christian life, and that's what we're dealing with here in Hebrews 12:15, disorientation to the grace principle is the greatest hazard of the Christian life falling short of the grace of God.

Number eight, grace is the basis of salvation, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 4:4 and 5:20, Psalm 103:8-12. Nine, grace is the basis of living the Christian life. If you want to pray, it has to be done by grace, Hebrews 4:16. In suffering, you meet it with grace II Corinthians 12:9-10. If you want spiritual power released in your life, it's a matter of grace, II Timothy 2:1. If you're interested in spiritual growth, it's by grace II Peter 3:18. You need stability in your life, it's a matter of grace I Peter 5:12. In your daily service, it's grace, Hebrews 12:28. You want to produce divine good, it's grace, I Corinthians 15:10.

So, here are some implications. What does all this mean? This being true means that God is perfect and he has a perfect plan. It means that a perfect plan can only come from a perfect God. It means that man is not perfect, so that if man has anything to do with God's plan and God's program, to that extent, the plan is not perfect. But God's plan is perfect because man is not included in it, for this reason, God excludes all human good, that would be the weak link in the chain. It's impossible for a believer to get outside of God's grace, whether God is blessing him or disciplining him, it is within grace, and grace is the opposite of mental attitude sins.

For example, let’s look at pride. Here's a prime mental attitude sin. Here is a way of getting out of the grace of God, failing of the grace of God, the pride of the believer who rejects eternal security. Now if you talk to somebody that says “Well, I don't believe a person can be saved and stay saved, that he'll be sure he'll go to heaven once he's a Christian,” you are talking to one of the most pride filled characters that you'll find on the face of the Earth. What kind of gall and arrogance is that? For you to get up and say, “I think that I have some sins that God was no able to provide for. I have some sins that God did not include in dealing with sin in his plan,” and that's what you're saying. It is an arrogant, pride filled believer who does not believe in eternal security. Another expression of pride in a believer is one who crumbles under adversity. Any of you say “oh, why did this have to happen to me. Why to me!?” Anybody every say to you, “I've suffered so much for the Lord; I love him dearly. Not many people have suffered like I have.” What makes you think that you are unique in suffering? Pride. You're proud of your suffering. And you think that this suffering is somehow out of keeping of the plan of God for you.

Another expression of pride in the Christian who rejects the mental attitude of love is the one who has pseudo spirituality. Pseudo spirituality. Nothing is more repulsive than some Christian who comes around and has all the fake emotions of spirituality. This Christian thinks his morality, his taboos, his human good, are more valuable than the plan of God, and there's nothing better than for one pseudo-spiritual Christian to meet another pseudo-spiritual Christian. It's just somehow ironic for two pseudos to have to get hung with each other as they share the depths of their pseudo-spirituality. And this is what happens when you're proud and you reject the grace of God, because you have a mental attitude sin of pride. It'll show up in your rejection of eternal security. It'll show up in the way you meet trials that come into your life and you begin to whine, the whining Christian, or the way you put on your pseudo-spirituality, where you put on your front in your words and your little expressions. You listen to some of these radio preachers, you will see their pseudo-spirituality by certain words that they constantly interject, “halleluiah”, “praise the Lord”.

And finally there's the pride of the believer who thinks with his emotions. This is the Christian who thinks that is emphatic feelings are more important that Bible doctrine. This is the tongue crowd who is forever telling you what their experiences have been in order to prove their heresy and the delusions under which they're self hypnotically operating. Now the greatest danger, you see, to falling from the grace of God is facing this business of restoration of fellowship and then not believing it. I can go to God, and this thing that I have done, unbelievable, horrifying as it may be, I can tell him this thing, I can name it, and he forget it? And then you brewed on it. This person has injured you, and you find yourself with a bad mental attitude and so you go to God and say “this is a wrong attitude on my part, it is a bitterness,” and then you resent this person, you resent the bitterness that they led you into, that they triggered within you, and you're right back out of fellowship. This is the greatest danger of falling from grace.

Now if you understand what grace is, it's all of God and it's his doing, not of man, and it's a very relaxed position to be in because of the doctrines of reconciliation and sanctification, then you will rejoice to accept what he says. But if you do not, if you do not regularly use 1 John 1:9, and then forget it, you are not grace oriented. Now what he says here is the fail of the grace of God, and that means to be substandard. It means habitually to be substandard. It means to do it to yourself. It means it's a life principle that you can be a substandard Christian. Now why does he not want us to do this? The last part of the verse tells you, “… lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you.” And the idea here is, the root is the root of a tree, and a tree has to sprout from a seed, and a seed has to die before it can sprout.

So, you have the line of picture here and I Corinthians 15:36-37 says a thing has to die and then it sprouts life. Here you have the picture of a sin that you have confessed, with God it's dead, but you take that dead sin, that you have confessed, and you make it the ground of sprouting a root of bitterness that grows into a monstrous tree, because you don't stop just with the root. This bitterness, which is a mental attitude, for some reason, you're bitter because of the discipline that continues, the discipline you've experienced, you're bitter toward the person, you begin to want to get even, so you become vindictive, and then you go to taking revenge upon them in one way or another, and then you start talking about them, and then you start doing things outwardly, and I'll remind you again that for the mental attitude sin there is discipline, for the expression of that mental attitude sin when you start getting outward in your tongue and in your actions toward that person, there is discipline.

And then, the book of Matthew tells us that the measure that you deal out to people for their sins is the measure that will be dealt to you. In other words, what it's saying is, even if the sin is true or not; it could be perfectly true of a person, and you go attacking that person, you go judging that person instead of leaving the vengeance with God, you take the vengeance in your own hands God says, “there is a punishment for that sin, and I will put it on you,” so you have multiplied yourself a three-fold punishment. So, when you are ready to run around and attack other Christians for their sins, just be sure you are ready to take their discipline, because that's what you're asking for, God says it shall be judged upon you in the same measure. And if that isn't bad enough that you have failed through this mental attitude sin of bitterness, through a dead confessed sin, as if that isn't enough that it troubles you, the last part of the verse says that many be defiled. You have created callouses upon your own soul, you're unresponsive to God in your mind, in your will, in your emotions, and you are constantly under a troubled condition, now here you have somebody that's defiled. The word “many” out of hoi polloi.

Somebody recently said “Oh, I didn't know that's what hoi polloi mean, I thought hoi polloi meant the ritzy and the snooty,” but it doesn't. The hoi polloi, the “everybodies,” the common, everybody around you, that's the hoi polloi; you people are the hoi polloi if it'll make you feel any better. You can go on and tell all of your friends, “I'm part of the hoi polloi.” And because they don't know, they never go to church to learn anything, well they'll think you're something really special, and you can be humble while you're doing it. This is a way to be humble and exercise your pride. Now these people, who are the hoi polloi, everybody around you, you see, is going to get in on the act because you're growing a root from this dead confessed sin of yours and you have this bitterness or some other mental attitude sin and one thing leads to another, but the whole thing has a very strong Greek word here, it's defiled, and it’s a Greek word “miaino,” m-i-a-i-n-o.

Now miaino is a word, that here it means basically to stain, to contaminate, but what it meant in the Greek work is this, in the Greek world, the streets were narrow, sanitary facilities were very primitive, so every morning it was the custom to take the sewage pot, up in Alaska they call them the honey pots, Mr. Lee said this was one of his chores as a missionary but he didn't think I should take a movie of him carrying out the honey pot, so I didn't, but the sewage pot was emptied right out the window, right out the window into the street, that's the only place to put it, and if you happen to be walking by with your best girl on your hand, you got “miaino-ed” as the stuff hit the street and you got splattered; now that's what the word means, and it because a pretty smelly date from then on.

And what God is doing you see, God the Holy Spirit is using a terrifically strong word to tell you and me that when you and I are going to go and get all these cute little mental attitude sins, here's something that's happening in my life, you know why this is happening, five years ago I did this and God is punishing me for this. You who have confessed and he says “I forget upon forgiveness,” but you remember and now you've done another sin because you've created a guilt for yourself and a guilt complex is a grievous sin. And one thing leads to another from these mental attitude sins because we don't have a relaxed mental attitude, which is the attitude that the Spirit of God gives us, and so we're chopping away at people, and the result of our mental sins, that we have refused to accept forgiveness for, as God has given us forgiveness, is that we start smelling up everybody around us with our own contamination and pretty soon, some awfully nice Christians begin to act like a bunch of hound-dogs because you have tossed your sewage out into the street and they become “miaino-ed” as the result of it.

Now we're talking this morning about the falling short of the grace of God, and if you run your eye through the points of what grace is, how it is all of him, it is not of us, how it is all of his character and nothing of us, and how it is all complete and provided and perfect, and a relaxed place for us to accept, you will see what a horrifying thing this is that we should participate in contaminating other Christians through our refusal to neutralize our past sins. So, whatever you have this morning that you have done and confessed and it's still bugging you on your mind, God is no longer disciplining you for the sin which you confessed, he's disciplining you now for the fact that you're still remembering it and the fact that it is still bothering you.

This word “defiled” here is in the aorist tense, which means a point of time when the believer has this mental attitude condition, it is passive, which means that other Christians around you are publish patsies, they are the recipients of your contamination because you know you go to them, you say, “hey, what do you think about what the pastor said?” You don't really care about what they think of it, you didn't like it so you want to get somebody to sympathize with you and maybe they never thought it was out of line or maybe they never thought there was anything wrong with it, and you begin pointing out something and they begin to wondering, and they begin to be contaminated.

Or you go against some Christian and you begin telling something, even if it's true, but you're slandering, and you now set one Christian against another Christian and you bring division into the body of Christ because you have not learned how to have a relaxed mental attitude to live and let live in the tradition of the word of God. This is subjunctive, which means it doesn't have to be this way.

So, this morning, we lay the burden upon your heart, it says that you look diligently as a self-inspector of your life and you understand the grace of God which is based upon the doctrines of reconciliation and sanctification, and if you understand what God's grace is free to do for you now, you will not permit some old sin to keep cropping up into your life as the cause of mental attitude breakdowns so that other sins spring from that and many believers around you, as well as yourself, are troubled…

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971

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