Apples of Gold

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I am not ashamed

'I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 1:16 & 17

'Not ashamed!'

A good position to be in, full of faith and resting entirely upon God for all things. But fear and trembling will be our portion today through the unbelief of not taking God at His word.

As he was about to experience shipwreck, Paul boldly stated to his shipmates. 'Sirs be of good cheer, for I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me.' He was going to witness for His Lord in Rome and neither shipwreck nor a bite from a deadly viper was going to prevent him from doing so.

God had purposed it.

To be able to take God at His word is peace indeed. It's what living by faith is all about. Faith believes with the whole heart that what God has promised in His word He will indeed perform.

Of course it's an easy statement to make, yet it can prove very difficult in practice. The Gospel is simple, but we complicate it!

For instance, God has said, 'thy sins and iniquities I will remember no more.' Are we to question whether this Word is really for us? No! As a child of God we are indeed washed clean by and through the blood of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary for us.

Clean means clean! Not almost clean with a few stains here and there, but clean. 'Come now, and let us reason together saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be as crimson, they shall be as wool.'

When first we believed, we experienced great joy when we believed that all our sins and guilt were washed away. We accepted fully what was written in His Word. We accepted that we were sinners, destined for a lost eternity, yet came as beggars and we accepted wholeheartedly God's way of escape and God's way of salvation.

We did not doubt then that our sins were forgiven, did we?

Why then when we confess our sins now do we still feel guilt, shame and inevitably sin lying at our door? Why is it that the stains now are so difficult to remove from our consciences? Has God changed? Has He changed His mind about saving us? Has the blood lost power?

Are our sins worse now than when we first believed? With so much guilt our souls are left paralyzed.

Guilt often plagues the Christian. But things are different now that we are sinning against light. We are supposed to have a clean heart and a right spirit before God. We are to be walking in the light, yet so often our paths are clothed in darkness.

And then the realization of our sinfulness makes us wonder whether God will indeed continue to have mercy upon us. We think, "Surely there is no greater sinner in the world than me!  Surely no Christian could think the things that I think, nor give so little time and energy to the things that matter as I do. Surely these thoughts should not be passing through my mind. I should be different. I should be clean yet I feel dirty!"

Often I feel guilt because I am letting God and His people down in some way or other. There is a great battle within me between the good that I would do, and the evil that I do!

My expectation is to live a perfect life, yet it is impossible. I am a sinner. I am a sinner saved by grace. Saved by grace, yet still a sinner! I still need my Saviour!

The truth of the matter is that I need my Saviour more today than I ever did. I hate sinning against Him, yet I know of no other place to go with my sin than to the feet of Jesus. Satan would prevent me from going.  Pride prevents me too.

But I am a beggar, and today I must go to Him, come what may, for He alone has the words of everlasting life. There is power in the blood.  And there is power nowhere else.

The warfare we have to accomplish is to keep looking to Jesus, not to ourselves and our own failings. Our relationship with our Lord now is a personal one. We feel the shame and guilt more just because of that relationship.

We know whom we are sinning against and thus the last place that we would want to take our sin and guilt is to the One against whom we have sinned.

But to whom else can we go?

God has not changed and He wants us to come with our sins and our guilt - just as we are - and to lay them before Him.

It is sin not to!

Our sin has been laid upon Christ. Christ has suffered the punishment due to that sin. Does God punish sin twice? Is there yet another sacrifice to be made? Absolutely NO! There is no other sacrifice available to us. It is either this way or no way.

It is either God's way or an eternity in Hell. Which will it be, dear friend? Next time Satan comes to you with accusations that give rise to guilt and shame, remember the words of our Lord to all who were weak and heavy laden. 'Come unto me!'

And God is glorified in our coming to Him. As parents we love it when our children are obedient to tell us their disobediences. God also rejoices in our confessions.
We are not to feel ashamed in coming to our Saviour with our guilt and misery. He awaits our coming with outstretched arms and with words of great comfort to our souls. 'Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.'

I believe that the greater sin is in NOT coming to the Light with our sin!

'If the Son therefore shall make you free ye shall be free indeed.' Free, from guilt, sin and misery! Free indeed through the sacrifice of Jesus for sinners just like you and me!

"One thing I know, whereas I was blind, now I see." Not only so, but "The just shall live by faith." Let us not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.

Author - Iain Mackenzie  Edited by - Pastor Al Moak