As a Christian, my salvation through Jesus has many levels to it. Of course there’s the initial level of forgiveness of my sins and reconciliation with God by faith and acceptance of the gift of grace through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
A second level is the acceptance of the “Lordship” of Christ over my life. Having accepted God’s grace I now commit myself to an eternity of submission to doing His will, obeying his commands, and bringing Him glory. There is no compartmentalizing of my life any longer. There are not areas my life where I submit myself to God’s will and others that I do not. It’s an “all or nothing” commitment. If you are a Christian your life has been bought and paid for through the blood of Jesus Christ. He is now Lord of your life; or He should be.
Another level is repentance. When I recognized the fact that I was a lost sinner separated from God I accepted Christ as my savior and repented from all sin. In the song "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus" when the song writer penned the lyrics "no turning back, no turning back" he was referring to never returning to his old sinful ways. God gave me a change of heart through the Holy Spirit. Part of this change happened at the moment of salvation. This is the “new creature” Paul writes about in 2nd Corinthians 5:17.
An important facet of my changed nature is the continued turning from sin in my life through the work of The Holy Spirit. Specifically this means, while I am still a sinner, I have made a continuing commitment to God and a promise to turn away from sin, all sin, in order to grow closer in my relationship with Him. While it is against my nature to repent, the Holy Spirit has been at work in my life; helping me turn way from the sin that continues to entangle me. This journey in a Christian’s life is known as “sanctification.” It’s a slow and some times hardly detectable work but it’s always there. As a Christian I need to recognize God’s convictions and repent from the sins He shows me are still part of my life.
It is with that in mind that I found “Respectable Sins” such a help to me. Jerry Bridges discusses things in our lives the Bible clearly identifies as sin yet are not considered so in today’s main stream Christian culture. In 14 chapters of this book he using scripture explains the sinful nature of a variety of “habits”, “traits”, or “behaviors” that hardly any Christian today would think are sins. No one would think the things discussed inhibit a Christian’s relationship with Christ, yet they do.
I will not take the time to name all those he deals with. However I will mention one that I believe encapsulates them all: Ungodliness. A Christian can be ungodly whenever he fails to recognize the love, sovereignty, authority, presence, or any other aspect of God in his life. After reading the book, although there are specific means of dealing with each sin mentioned, I believe that if I focus on keeping my heart and mind on God first and continually recognize His presence in every aspect of my life the “battle” with all the other sins will be half over before it begins.
I could go on for a lot longer about this subject and this book. Let me conclude by highly recommending this book to anyone who wants to deepen their walk with God and become more Christ like in their lives.
You can order this book on Amazon.com or through the website: navpress.com. You can also order by phone 1-800-366-7788. My prayer is that you should you order this book it makes a difference in your life like it has in mine. God Bless.