The New Year finds Betty and me in India. I will spend some time in the hospital for treatment and evaluation and then move on for a full year of travel, beginning right here in India. I first came to this hospital for exhaustion. Two years ago nearly everything on my blood workup was out of sync. Today, everything is within the range of “normal.” I still will receive treatments and a strict diet, because weight loss is a must.
Starting in March I will be ministering from the South of Argentina to Mexico City and many places in between. We will post the schedule as soon as it is finalized. There is much afoot in the Kingdom and things are getting more and more exciting. I will be reporting along the way. For now, just a quick thought. Your friend, Mike
In the photo are some friends that I first stayed with in 1986.Varghese, Susan, and their son, Vijay (He was much smaller the last time I saw him!)
The Unbeliever’s Sin vs. The Believer’s Sin
II Corinthians 2:7,Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessivesorrow.
James 1:13¶ When tempted, no one should say, “Godis tempting me.” For Godcannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; “God is not the author of evil.”
It must be said from the beginning that sin is a result of man’s action and therefore not something created by God. God is the author of man and man is the author of sin. Now I want to look at this thing called sin. A Christian cannot sin in the same way that a non-Christian does, and here is why. Sin and punishment are one, since when we invite sin into our life, the LIFE that holds us together (Colossians 1:1-15) withdraws, and the absence of LIFE is death. If the punishment is taken out of sin, is there still sin? The unbeliever will sin and experience punishment (death where there once was LIFE), but Christ has taken the punishment out of sin for the believer. The believer merely must confess, for the blood of Jesus has cleansed and will continue to cleanse him. Therefore the believer will sin and not be punished, for Christ became his and every other believer’s punishment on the cross. This gives sin a new meaning and a different purpose in the believer’s life as opposed to the unbeliever’s. If sin brings punishment to the unbeliever, what does sin do for the believer? Imagine sin like cars with no steering wheels, headed for instantaneous wrecks. People are on the wrong road in out-of-control vehicles, and each day the trips are repeated, ending in constant punishment and death. Sin is also like a train, but unlike a car without a steering wheel, it has tracks leading to a sure destination at the end. We are not to be traveling in sin, either the car or the train. However, only the believer can crawl aboard the sin train, which does not go out of control but heads on tracks to its destination determined by God. The Bible is the greatest encyclopedia of failures in the world. We see over and over again how saints, riding the sin train, ended up understanding the grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, and goodness of God. Most of the Bible would never have been written if the people of God had not been on the sin train and God had his own destination that He used the track to get them to. I am working on a book called, “Why This Place?” Why earth? Why man? Why sin, why failure? Well, it all puts us on the sin train, but there is a God-determined destination for the believer that is redemptive; the unbeliever does not have this, because he is not allowing God to be redemptive. Another example is the caterpillar and the butterfly. Both have the same DNA, but they are not the same. The Caterpillar is trapped in a tomb of his own making and lives in darkness. The butterfly is free and yet tossed back and forth by the smallest breeze. Again, the unbeliever is like the caterpillar; sin has trapped him in complete darkness, and he is easily captured or crushed. The believer is like the butterfly, and when he sins he is tossed back and forth by every little move in the atmosphere, and yet somehow he can travel across a continent. The wind that the butterfly fights against is actually taking him to a God-determined destination. God is using sin in the believers’ lives to take them to a revelation of Him. To echo Paul, we are not teaching that we should sin so grace will abound. However, “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20). If this is not true and God cannot use our failures and be redemptive, then what is the option? We can look at our own lives for the witness and test it. It was sin that brought us to Christ; as unbelievers we got sick of the car wrecks! Then it has been sin that was used by Him to reveal who He really is and the “why” of obedience: to make us happy. God is fighting nothing and using everything.
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