Saturday, May 30, 2009

To Hate Sin, Consider Your Calling

Part 5 in a series

Part 1  Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

We’ve been following Richard Baxter’s line of thinking in “Directions for Hating Sin.”  Written centuries ago, these words will never lose their relevance. 

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Today we consider his fifth “direction.”

Think what the soul of man is made for, and should be used to, even to love, obey, and glorify our Maker; and then you will see what sin is, which disables and perverts it. How excellent, and high, and holy a work are we created for and called to! And should we defile the temple of God? And serve the devil in filthiness and folly, when we should receive, and serve, and magnify our Creator?

What is worth devoting your life to?  What is worth suffering for?  Dying for?

There’s more than one way to give your life for something.  You can do it all at once…like throwing yourself in front of a train to push a child off the tracks.  Or you can do it slowly…by the consistent giving of seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, a lifetime.

If you are a believer, you are called with the highest possible calling; that of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and glorifying Him with your life.  The nobility of your calling lies in the fact that it calls no attention to itself, but to the One being adored.

I like the image of “Knighting” in the picture above.  I like the humility of the kneeling man, the dignity of the ceremony, the honor bestowed.  But of course it pales in comparison to the bestowment of crowns which awaits the Humble Faithful in Heaven.  And of course the man on his knees in the picture probably earned his knighthood through brave and valiant deeds.

Yet you and I were saved through no merit of our own.  But we were purchased with the price of infinite worth, the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1:18), not in order to continue in our futile ways, but rather to walk in the Light just as Christ is in the Light (1 John 1:7).  We are called to be pure, and holy, and beloved children of the King of Kings (Col. 3:12).  We are called to live the kind of life of goodness which, by its shining, hushes the raving madness of sinful men (1 Pet. 2:15)  Like the knight, we are called to conquest…but not over other people.  We are called to a life of victory over sin and over the wicked world system that tries to woo us away from God (1 John 5:4).

Will we turn traitor?

Spurgeon says it better than I can:

Walk worthy of your high calling and dignity. Remember, O Christian, that thou art a son of the King of kings. Therefore, keep thyself unspotted from the world. Soil not the fingers which are soon to sweep celestial strings; let not these eyes become the windows of lust which are soon to see the King in His beauty—let not those feet be defiled in miry places, which are soon to walk the golden streets—let not those hearts be filled with pride and bitterness which are ere long to be filled with heaven, and to overflow with ecstatic joy.

Brothers and sisters, consider your calling, and hate the sin that would keep you from it!

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karin said...

Excellent post and words of encouragement. Thanks so much.

Sherri Ward said...

Thanks for sharing, Betsy. Great stuff!

Amanda said...

This is really great! Wonderful words to start off my day!


LauraLee Shaw said...

Deep & powerful words of admonishment. Convicting ones too. You always challenge me. Thank YOU, sis!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

At 43, I finally feel as if I'm "getting" the meaning behind my walking this earth. It is a high and holy calling to be consecrated to God's kingdom purposes. It is also exhausting. I can better understand some of Paul's "drink offering" thoughts, although I haven't yet shed my blood for the cause of Christ. In other ways, more veiled to the outsider, but nonetheless bloody!

I'd do it all over again and again. Our God is worth my feeble attempts at trying to be his. In fact, He's worth much more.

Thanks for checking in Betsy. Your kind words mean so much to me.


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