(See the first Spring Rain letter at https://jondavidbanks.com/2020/12/14/the-spring-rain/)
I have noticed several Christians coming out of the closet and saying that in Romans 7 Paul was speaking about being under the Law without Christ and being set free from the Law through faith in Christ in Chapter 8. This points to the beginning of maturity and the growing up to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. This moves my heart in a way that is indescribable.
I have known for decades a spring rain was coming. The spring rain is the latter rain that is sent to prepare the wheat for harvest. I believe it is beginning to sprinkle now.
People have used Romans 7 and parts of 1 John to convince themselves and others that we will never stop sinning until we die.
For instance, 1 John 1:8-10,
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
These three verses have been used inappropriately to excuse continual sinning. But the next six verses say,
1 John 2:1-6,
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
3 And by this we know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commandments.
4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
John 15:1-11 speaks of abiding in Jesus,
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.
3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.
8 “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
9 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Peter says in 1 Peter 4:1-2,
1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
In verses 7 & 8 he says,
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
Dear ones, to stop sinning is all a matter of discipline we learn from our Father as He teaches us to trust Him. He leads us through trial after trial so that we might learn to obey Him. When we are tempted He gives us a way of escape; when we are without friends, He befriends us, and sometimes the creation befriends us also (see https://jondavidbanks.com/2018/03/28/birds-frogs-and-butterflies/)
We are the most fortunate people on the face of the earth. Our God, the creator of all things, loves us and leads and guides, and directs us in His kingdom.
If we would trust God to supply our every need, we must be willing to give away even that which we need. If we would trust Him to deliver us from sin, we must be willing to turn away from ourselves and walk in obedience to Him through the Holy Spirit.
The spring rain will soon pour, but few will be refreshed by it, for it will only pour in the hearts of the righteous and obedient.
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
25 “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.
Soon the saints will be on their way to taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and attaining to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. No longer will they be tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, they will be growing up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ.
Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org