King Solomon, with all his God-gifted wisdom and splendour, fell out of favour with God. Solomon disobeyed God’s commandments when he acquired too many wives (pleasure – lust of the flesh), excessive amounts of wealth (possession – lust of the eyes) and a large stable of horses (power – pride of life) that Deuteronomy 17:16-17 forbids. 1 Kings 11 tells us of Solomon’s grievous sins of letting his heart be led astray to other gods by his many wives. This led the Israelites into idolatry, and eventually caused his kingdom to split into two.
God spoke to me through the church’s recent series of sermons which pointed out the marks of spiritual whoredom I should be wary of – on how I have the propensity to fuse God with other gods (i.e. forms of pleasure, possession and power), which can lead me to forget about God and ultimately, to forsake God.
Praise God, by Christ Jesus’ amazing grace, 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16 provides for confession of sins and repentance, forgiveness and healing. But I am reminded to keep away from presumptuous sins (Psalm 19:13), and not to take God’s amazing grace that saved a wretch like me for granted. I must recognise sins for what they are, and all sins big or small are offensive to God (James 2:10).
Just like one must be wary of “buy now and pay later” schemes, a believer must never think that one can “sin now and repent later.” We can never pay for our sins, but Christ Jesus has paid for them on our behalf.
Sins grow in us and has consequences, and these are recorded in many places in the Bible for us to study and to avoid. Even though we are saved by our belief and faith in Christ Jesus, we still have our sinful nature with us on this side of heaven. Even the apostle Paul grappled with it and learned how to deal with it (Romans 7:25).
We all have our own shortcomings, and I am painfully aware of mine and wary that some may remain hidden waiting to be revealed. I believe the salvation of a born again person cannot be lost, unless the person has never been born again. The apostle Paul has encouraged us to work hard to show the results of our salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear (Philippians 2:12), to exhibit the faith we have in Christ Jesus so that we may glorify God. The Day will come when we all have to give an account of our life before God (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
What do we do then, when we have the urge to sin? God tells us in Philippians 2:13 that He has not left us alone in our struggles to do his will. He wants to come alongside us and be within us to provide help. God gives us the desire and the power to do what pleases him. In our struggle against our sinful nature, we must ask God to help us both to do his will and have the desire to do his will.
Dear God, You began a good work in us; help us to work with You to bring to it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). Amen.
by brother Lum Weng Kiong