What Must I Give Up?

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

If you were to go on stage of a large assembly of people who believe themselves to be Christians, quote these two passages, and then teach that we are required to give up a certain lifestyle or habits in order to have a relationship with God; You would get booed off the stage. I recently read an article titled “Repentance Not A Condition For Eternal Life” by Jeremy Myers. Let me put a direct quote that was put in bold text of his article.

“Eternal life is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Turning from sin is not required.” – Jeremy Myers

I want you to understand something about people like this man. There are numerous warnings about false teachers like these men. We need to take these warnings very-veryvery seriously. I will give you three guesses as to why this man teaches this nonsense and the first two guess do not count. It is because he wants to remain engaged in his sin. He wants to draw a crowd of people to the doors of his “church” and just provide them with a warm, fuzzy feeling on the inside. It is absolutely sickening and pathetic when I come across these kinds of teachings. Do not be deceived by these heretics! Consider the rich young ruler for example in Matthew 19.

Matthew 19:20-22 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.

Why would Jesus ask this rich young ruler to sell everything and give to the poor? Why was he asked to give up his possessions? If we are not supposed to give up anything, then Jesus was wrong for ever making this man feel this way! Why even suggest such a thing if it is not required? Clearly there is principles in God’s word that we must give up something. What about our family?

Matthew 10:34-39 Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. “For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

If our family stands in the way between us and God, we must reprioritize everything. False teachers present this idea that we all believe the same thing and I completely disagree. It is not for the purpose of being contentious, but for the sole purpose of standing for what is right. We should be careful not to allow even those that we love dearly, to cause us to drift away from God. For some strange reason, I have seen many walk away from God because of their family. If this is the case, why not stand firm in your faith and draw your family to God? What about ourselves?

Matthew 16:24-25 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

When Paul became a Christian, he became dead to himself but alive in Christ (Galatians 2:20). This is not something that only the apostles had to do. This is true for anyone desiring to become a Christian. The old man of sin is crucified and that means that the body of sin is destroyed. When this happens, we no longer serve the flesh with its passions and desires. We become a new man, a new creature. This requires us to give up ourselves.

In giving up ourselves, this means that there are certain things that comes with that and we have already discussed some of them.

  1. Give up the world
  2. Give up the desire to sin
  3. Give up bad relationships

Paul makes it abundantly clear that we should not be conformed to this world and that we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. While we live in the world, we ought not to be of it. The reason this is so important is because the worlds values and principles are not the same as God’s. This can be challenging but it is not impossible.

Giving up the desire to sin is something that many struggle with. As Christians, we will make mistakes. We will sin from time to time. What is our response to realizing our sin? This is what I want us to consider. Do we desire or enjoy the sin? Paul says in Romans 12:9 that we need to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. One way of pursuing this reality is to love God and establish a relationship with Him. The more we obey God, the more we will hate sin.

James 4:7-8 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

by Lee Elkins