Romans 6:12 reads, “ ... do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lust."

That verse should be a “self-check” reminder for any of us who claim the title “Christian." Very often we can find ourselves behaving contrary to what God’s Word unmistakably explains are the fruit of HIS Spirit. Sometimes, and hopefully most often, when we identify ourselves as being opposite of HIS clearly defined description of real Christianity, we would immediately repent, not trying to justify the pride in us that keeps up separated from God. Romans 6:13 goes on to read, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God."

When you look at these two verses, the two opposite directions being spoken of should be crystal clear: one which pursues Christlikeness, the other which pursues self. It is Impossible to have any comfort of assurance of a professed relationship with Jesus Christ when the story of your life consists of the evidences described in passages like Galatians 5:19-21. Those items are called SIN, and sin separates you FROM God. Sin in no way endears you to Jesus Christ. You CANNOT be a doer of Galatians 5:19-21, and have assurance of a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

But, you can lie to yourself while attempting to mislead the naïve.

On the other hand, how does one present their members as pleasing to God? It’s really simple to find. Look at Galatians 6:22-25. Those are the attributes you will find consistently in the life, talk and walk of the believer. Let’s repeat this: the Life, the Talk and the Walk of the real believer. Not everyone who professes Christ has Christ. In fact, according to the Bible, most “professors” do not know Him.

What about you? Looking at the preceding passages of scripture and being truthful to the image in your mirror, where do you consistently find yourself standing?

If you can’t come to terms with your answer, try this one: Matthew 7:16. If that one isn’t clear enough, perhaps this one: Matthew 7:20.

There is no need to debate scripture, it’s always right, and it always means what it implies.

And that’s the good news because it also means your wretched soul still has hope of being introduced to a loving, merciful and forgiving Savior. In John 8:12, Jesus is speaking to the “religious” people who have the terrible Galatians 5:19-21 behavior problem. Yet He still is showing them the correct path to take, even as they scoff at Him.

He, Jesus Christ, is doing the very same for you. However, you must be truthful to TWO people regarding this: Jesus Christ and the reflection in your mirror.

What does your reflection say of you?

Robert Templeton is pastor of Cope Baptist Church.

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