Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy
Welcome to Day 1216 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
I am Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
Disciples Accept God’s Forgiveness and Study – Worldview Wednesday
Wisdom – the final frontier to true knowledge. Welcome to Wisdom-Trek where our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, to seek out discernment and insights, and to boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before.
Hello, my friend, I am Guthrie Chamberlain, your captain on our journey to increase wisdom and create a living legacy. Thank you for joining us today as we explore wisdom on our 2nd millennium of podcasts. This is Day 1216 of our trek, and it is Worldview Wednesday. Creating a Biblical Worldview is important to have a proper perspective on today’s current events.
To establish a Biblical Worldview, you must also have a proper understanding of God and His Word. On our Worldview Wednesday episodes we are in a series in which we are covering another detailed review of a book from one of today’s most prominent Hebrew Scholars Dr. Micheal S. Heiser. We are taking a deep dive and will share Dr. Heiser’s insights into the question, which is also the title of his book “What Does God Want?”
Disciples Accept God’s Forgiveness and Study
Last week we studied how disciples fast and worship. This week we will explore two more specific responsibilities for a disciple.
The first one is disciples confess sin and accept God’s forgiveness.
One of the things a disciple has to come to grips with as soon as their journey of following Jesus begins is that they will fail. None of us is sinless like Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-22; 1 John 3:5), nor can we hope to be. The Bible is clear on this point. The disciples sinned (Mark 14:30, 68, 72). One of them, John, wrote later in life 1 John 1:7-10, “But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”
It’s wonderful to know, though, that our membership in God’s family is not due to our performance. Our good works cannot put God in our debt. He never owes us everlasting life on account of any merit we might think we have. Our performance (or lack thereof) did not move him away from us. God loved us as we are reminded in Romans 5:8, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Consequently, we must remember that since salvation could never be gained by moral perfection, it cannot be lost by moral imperfection.
In light of our imperfection, the true disciple of Jesus must stay focused on the kindness and love of God. Look again at the passage from John’s letter. It tells us exactly what to do when we fail God, either by doing something that isn’t consistent with imitating Jesus or leaving something undone that is consistent with being like him, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
When we sin and fail, we must acknowledge it. That’s what confession means. We must not hide, excuse, or rationalize our sin. God wants us to admit it. Why? We need to be humbled. We need to remember that salvation is about what someone else—Jesus—did for us, not what we earn. Confession acknowledges that we are children of God because of Jesus. We can be sure that our sin will not separate us from God; we will not be kicked out of the family (Romans [8:31]-39). God knew before we embraced the gospel that we were flawed. It’s not something that surprises him. It doesn’t change how he feels about us.
An obvious question then is why we should care about sinning. The New Testament disciples came across that attitude in people. The apostle Paul brought it up in his letter to the Christians in Rome as written in Romans 6:1-2,12-16,“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it…Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.”
Notice that the Bible doesn’t say “Of course not! Don’t sin or God won’t love you anymore!” Rather, the concern is returning to the bondage of self-destruction. So, on the one hand, we will sin, but on the other hand, we should avoid sinning. This struggle is something the apostle Paul knew well as he further describes in Roman 7:7-25. Yet he was a remarkable follower of Jesus. The New Testament alerts us many times that there is a war going on inside us. Our hearts want to follow Jesus, but our unperfected selves want self-gratification and pre-eminence in how we live (1 Peter [2:11]; James 4:1).
As we seek to follow Jesus, it’s a good idea to, as the saying goes, to “keep short accounts with God.” The idea is that when we fail, we should be quick to confess it and thank God for his forgiveness. We should remember what our sin cost Jesus. We should keep following him in loyal love, being grateful that he went to the cross “while we were still sinners’’ (Romans 5:8) so we could be his brothers and sisters.
The next responsibility is disciples study the Bible.
In the early church, believers would listen to the apostles’ teaching and study Scripture. Paul and other missionary-apostles did the same thing when they started churches elsewhere (Acts [2:42]; 4:2; [5:42]; [17:10]-11; [18:11]; [20:20]). This was the more common method of learning the Bible in the New Testament era because most people did not have their own copy of the Bible. Many believers could also not read. Even though we are part of a literate culture and have access to the Bible, we can benefit from learning in community.
Learning the Word of God is necessary for following Jesus. How else can we learn about sin (behaviors and attitudes to avoid) and Spirit-filled living (the way we should behave)? Scripture teaches us in Ephesians 4:22-24 to “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” When we become part of God’s family through faith in the gospel, the Spirit indwells us (1 Corinthians 3:16- 17; 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:22) and helps us live fruitful lives. Fortunately, we have a list of character traits we should possess when the fruit of God’s Spirit is manifested in our lives. This is found is found in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Disciples learn and live out the Word of God in their lives. This is how Jesus showed he loved God—he obeyed God’s will. Community is a significant help in doing that. In a community, we come into contact with mature believers who have followed Jesus for many years. We can learn how their lives changed as they learned to “put off the old and put on the new.” We can go to them for encouragement when we struggle in our pursuit of being like Jesus. They can remind us of God’s love and forgiveness. They understand, since every Christian struggles to turn from sin and do what’s right (I John 1:5-10). Even the apostles struggled against sin and doing what was right (Romans 7:7-25; Galatians [2:11]-14). Community means accountability, empathy, and encouragement as we seek to be more conformed to the example of Jesus.
That will conclude our lesson for this week from Dr. Heiser’s book “What Does God Want?” Next Worldview Wednesday we will finish our review of this book as we discover our final two traits for disciples, which are “Suffering and Making More Disciples.” I believe you will find each Worldview Wednesday an interesting topic to consider as we build our Biblical worldview.
Tomorrow we will continue with our 3-minute humor nugget that will provide you with a bit of cheer and help you to lighten up and live a rich and satisfying life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along with us tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
If you would like to listen to any of our past 1215 treks or read the Wisdom Journal, they are available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player so that each day’s trek will be downloaded automatically.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all, your friend as I serve you through this Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
- Live Abundantly (Fully)
- Love Unconditionally
- Listen Intentionally
- Learn Continuously
- Lend to others Generously
- Lead with Integrity
- Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you tomorrow!