The biblical record never encourages us to live by our own rules. God has set a standard of conduct by which He expects Christians, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, to live.
The apostle Paul emphasizes this change in lifestyle conduct when he writes:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (I Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB)
Paul makes it clear in this passage that those who are living for Jesus live differently than those who are not living for Him. One who continues in behavior which God says is wrong cannot be a true Christian. There are many other biblical passages that say this same thing: Romans 13:13; I Corinthians 5:11; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5; I Timothy 1:10; Revelation 21:8; 22:15.
There may, almost surely will be, times when true Christians stumble into sin. However the overall direction of their life will be away from sinful habits and toward holy living. When they stumble they will have a sense of guilt that will, with the Holy Spirit's help, urge them to repent and turn back to God. Once again, we must make the RIGHT choice to follow God or the WRONG choice to turn away from Him.
We must keep in mind that we do not make the rules, God does. We seek to please Him out of the love and gratitude we have because of who He is and what He has done for us. Then, when we are following Him wholeheartedly, the Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts to guide us, to convict us when we are doing wrong, and to bear witness that we are truly redeemed and forgiven children of God.
The apostle Paul urges believers to:
present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Romans 12:1 NASB)
We must seek, through prayer, Bible study, and a submitted heart, to know God's willand thendo it. If this is not the desire of our heart, we must question whether we are truly Christians at all.
Seeking to introduce people to Jesus Christ and to help them become "transformed by the renewing of their mind."
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