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Wednesday, September 28 2011
What Two Things Must We Overcome?
From the Christian perspective, "overcome" means to repent of the ways of the carnal-minded world and live according to the right way of God. The ministry of John the Baptist was a call to repentance, in order to be able to truly "walk" with the coming Messiah (see Friends Of Jesus). Their "confessing their sins" wasn't a matter of seeking forgiveness by confessing to some other sinner, but rather actively repenting before God so that Christ's Sacrifice would be applied to them (listen to our Sermon What Was Nailed To The Cross?).
"3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
According to the Word of God, without repentance, there is no salvation.
"20:11 And I saw a great white throne [see What Will Heaven Be Like?], and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works [see Works Means Obedience]. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15 KJV)
"He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous"
We must first strive to overcome sinful behavior by repentance - an active and deliberate effort to obey the LORD, according to His Word, not our own. That is what makes a true Christian (see the Fact Finder question below). But true repentance ironically produces something else that must be overcome - the ever-present trap of self-righteousness that is found in unrepentant people.
The apostle Paul was a repentant Pharisee who became one of the greatest servants of Christ. But Paul recognized that he was still a sinner - a repentant sinner living in a world that paradoxically makes it easier to sin when one is trying the hardest not to sin (see Concupiscence).
"7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 7:10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Paul was a truly righteous man who knew that he was far from perfect, not a self-righteous man who claimed to be perfect. A prime example of the principle was that of a self-righteous (and therefore unrepentant) Pharisee, and an honestly-repentant, but imperfect (as all people are) publican.
"18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
True Christianity is as much about first, truly repenting, as it is ever thereafter not sinning by self-righteousness.
"4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Fact Finder: What are the Biblical principles of true repentance?
The Way To Salvation: Step 1
This Day In History, September 28
1066: William the Conqueror invaded England. He was later was crowned king after defeating and killing Harold at the Battle of Hastings.
1542: Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo "discovered" California (it wasn't a discovery to the native-born people who were already there).
1867: Toronto became the capital of the Canadian Province of Ontario.
1871: The Parliament of Brazil passed the Law of the Free Womb, thereby granting freedom to all children born thereafter to slave mothers.
1895: Louis Pasteur died at age 73. The French chemist made many important discoveries involving bacterial diseases and vaccination against them.
1922: Amidst strikes and general political turmoil, Benito Mussolini and his Fascists marched on Rome. King Victor Emmanuel III had him form a government.
1928: The Parliament of the United Kingdom outlawed cannabis with the passing the Dangerous Drugs Act.
1928 Scottish biologist Sir Alexander Fleming discovered a bacteria-killing mold growing in his laboratory. It was later named penicillin.
1953: Astronomer Edwin Hubble died at age 63. The Hubble Space Telescope is named after him.
1961: A military coup in Damascus, Syria ended the United Arab Republic, a union between Egypt and Syria.
1978: The Israeli Knesset ratified the Camp David Peace Accord that had been signed between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
1987: Palestinians ("Palestine" is an English word that originated from "Philistine") began their "Intifada" against Israel.
1995: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat signed an accord to transfer much of the West Bank to the control of its Arab residents.
2000: Riots by Palestinians began when Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.