Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The POOR In SPIRIT And The 7 Deadly SINS

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:3)

Murderers, adulterers, thieves, whoremongers, prostitutes, liars, cheaters...all who have ever committed any of the seven deadly sins -- wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony -- are all sinners. We are all sinners.

But all sinners who have come to the realization of their sinfulness, their utter worthlessness -- and have truly repented, have asked for forgiveness, and have received and trusted JESUS as their CHRIST and Savior -- are freely forgiven and set free from GOD's condemnation and wrath for their sins. They are assured peace with GOD -- and their rightful place in the Kingdom of Heaven.

This amazing grace from GOD anger those who protest, "What about the good and moral people who have not believed in JESUS CHRIST? How about Mahatma icon of non-violence and goodness? Or the Dalai Lama of Tibet -- His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso? Will they go to Hell because they did not put their faith in JESUS -- did not believe that CHRIST is the Son of GOD, sent by Him to die for sinners?"
Gandhi, the Dalai Lama...and all those who seem righteous in the eyes of men (or in their own eyes) and believe that their righteousness is truly righteous in GOD's sight, do not realize that their righteousness are but filthy rags compared to GOD's blinding holiness. But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)

Pride blinds a man to his true condition -- the condition of his heart -- that no matter the many good works he has done or the great accomplishments he has contributed to the "advancement" of mankind -- his good (or even great) works will not get him into Heaven. For who will judge man's good works to be good enough in GOD's sight? What is the standard for good works "good enough" to get into Heaven? Faith in GOD is the standard by which we will be judged by the giver of faith Himself -- GOD, Creator of Heaven and Earth...and Hell.

Jesus told them, "This is what GOD wants you to do: Believe in the One He has sent." (John 6:29) Without faith in Him, it is impossible to please GOD. (Hebrews 11:6)

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Faith is the substance, and it is a reality. GOD wants to bring us to the fact of it. He wants us to know that we have something greater than we can see or handle, because everything we can see and handle is going to pass away. (Smith Wigglesworth, Faith, p. 19)

Faith is believing in Love so great, so unfathomable, and so incomprehensible that a person who has committed the most heinous crime can be forgiven by GOD. Faith is standing firm on GOD's Word that the most religious, most upstanding person will not be forgiven for wilfully rejecting the Son whom GOD sent to die for all mankind -- whether a Mother Teresa or a man on death row, whether Jew or Gentile, man or woman, heterosexual or homosexual.

Moses killed a man, Rahab was a harlot, David committed adultery, Paul murdered many CHRISTians, Mary Magdalene had seven demons, the Treasurer of Ethiopia was a eunuch -- all divested themselves of pride and self-righteousness...all came to repentance...all were forgiven their sins. The Father, and all the angels in Heaven, are overjoyed for each repentant sinner, for each prodigal son (or daughter) who returns to GOD.

Peace with GOD does not come from faith in one's own goodness: "GOD will accept me for i've done many good works in His name. i have not committed adultery -- or killed or cheated or stole. i am a good provider for my family, i go to church, i tithe, i serve my community -- all my good works will get me into Heaven. i am good...i am righteous." (Matthew 18:10-14)

No one but GOD is good. No one but GOD is holy. No one but GOD is righteous.

When a person righteous in his own eyes stand before GOD in His blinding holiness, and the person's righteousness is put to the exceedingly piercing light of GOD's scrutiny -- will he outshine GOD's purity and holiness? Never.

In man's inner heart are sins not seen on the outside. But GOD who sees clearly to the innermost core of a man's soul sees all -- to the farthest nook and cranny of a man's heart -- his lusts, motives, self-aggrandisement, and pride.

Only by the shed blood of JESUS is one made righteous in GOD's sight. Covered by His blood, pure and holy -- GOD sees the righteousness of JESUS in the believer -- for CHRIST, by the indwelling Holy SPIRIT, is on the inside. He is the One GOD sees, the personal Advocate who will stand in front of the Judge on the Day of Judgment. He will say, "This person goes free. I have already paid his debt in full."
By faith, believers receive JESUS as their Savior and Advocate. By faith they stand boldly in front of Almighty GOD who sees all their dirtiest deeds -- past, present and future. And He judges the believers righteous because JESUS has imparted to them His righteousness... for our form of righteousness is but filthy rags and will not stand up to GOD's standard of holy righteousness, no matter the good works we've done.

i know i have no good thing in me. i know that whatever good that comes out of me is not my own doing, but of the SPIRIT who does the work of the Father through me. i know i am nothing but filthy rags without CHRIST.

Pride in man is when he believes (despite all the evidence before his very eyes) that GOD does not have the power or intelligence to create man. Pride in man makes him believe that he is good enough to stand and be counted righteous in front of the most righteous and holy GOD. Pride in man is one who continues in his sin, knowing GOD hates sin.

GOD loves the sinner -- you and me. He sent JESUS to die for all sinners. (John 3:16)

But GOD hates every shape and form.

GOD hates pride...the pride that puts oneself above the Creator...pride that puts the student above the Teacher...pride that puts the servant above the Master.

GOD blesses those who recognize their bankruptcy of spirit. GOD blesses those who acknowledge that apart from the True Vine, they are nothing and can do nothing. GOD blesses those who come to Him broken and repentant, devoid of self-righteousness and pride.

Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What were his experiences concerning this question of being saved by faith? Was it because of his good deeds that GOD accepted him? If so, he would have had something to boast about. But from GOD's point of view Abraham had no basis at all for pride. For the Scriptures tell us, "Abraham believed GOD, so GOD declared him to be righteous." (Romans 4:1-3)

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