2017 Summer Series
Our Summer Series will features speakers from our area throughout the summer. Click here to view the schedule.
2017 Bible Reading Plan
Commit to spending some time each week in 2017 paying attention to the message of the prophets! Download the Bible reading schedule here. This week's reading is Jeremiah 32-35.
From the desk of Joshua Creel
It's Not A Sin If You Don't Act?
Being tempted isn't a sin. I've said that many times to many people. I've said it to people who were struggling with sin, seeking to encourage them that not acting on the temptation is itself a victory. And this is true... in part. After all, we know our Savior was "tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4.15). Being tempted isn't a sin.
However, we might have mistakenly lumped temptation in with desire. Temptation arises from an external stimulus and seeks to arouse our desire. And when our desire is sufficiently enticed, we sin (James 1.14-15). So, it's not just the actions that are wrong, but the condition of our heart which make those actions possible. This was Jesus' point in the sermon on the mount when He emphasized that true righteousness warns against more than the actions of murder and adultery, but must govern the hatred and lust within (Matthew 5.21-28). It is why He said our sinful actions proceed from the heart (Matthew 15.19).
We cannot prevent temptation from coming our way; the world is filled with them. But our aim is to condition our hearts so that not only do we refrain from acting on temptation, our hearts don't even desire to act! Then we will truly be "pure in heart" and have the hope of seeing God (Matthew 5.8).
From the desk of Taylor Pickup
“And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized Him…and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard He was. And wherever He came…they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored Him that they might touch even the fringe of His garment. And as many as touched it were made well.” (Mark 6:54-56)
In healing all of these people, Jesus was returning their bodies to the condition in the beginning when Adam and Eve were created, a time when there was no sickness or disease or death. But as astounding as these healings were, they were just shadows of the real healing Jesus could offer. The real ailment is sin, something we have brought upon ourselves. Yes, Jesus could heal sickness and disease, but far more superior to that is the power He has to heal mankind from their sins. (Rom. 3:23-25; Heb 13:12). By healing us of our sin, Jesus returns us to the condition man had in the beginning before sin existed.
Because of the redemption from sin, we can also look forward to the redemption of our bodies from the consequences of sin: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord JesusChrist, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” (Phil 3:20-21)