Thursday, April 27, 2017

Can Grace Increase?

Here's a funny story for you from when I was a young man. The year is 1995, I am 19 years old and recently out of high school and working full time. I moved out of my Mom's house and was living on my own for the first time.
I had recently started attending church and had gotten baptized. I wanted to get my life back on track with God.

Sarah and I weren't officially living together but she was staying with me at my apartment more than she was staying home. I was in love with her and enjoyed her staying with me but I knew it was wrong and my conscience was starting to really bug me.
We continued like that for a while until I could take it no longer. Convicted and in emotional turmoil I prayed and asked God he would give me permission to keep sleeping with my girlfriend (even though I knew the answer). I heard nothing.

A friend had recently told me about something he had done in a similar situation where he was wanting to hear from God, he put his bible on the table, spine down while he held it closed with both hands. He then pulled his hands away and let the bible fall open to whatever page it fell to and that was what he was supposed to read. I had a new bible I had never read and didn't know where to read anyways so this seemed like a good option for me so I did it. Here is the where it fell open to:

Romans 6
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

I was blown away. It was like God was talking directly to me and my situation. To say I was scared and intimidated would be an understatement.

When I think back on it now I laugh, what a cool thing God did for me that day.

I wish I could have understood what I was reading that day because there was a lot more to Romans 6 than I understood at the time. I've never done that bible falling open thing since and I'm not suggesting you try it. There are better ways to hear from God.
Did we continue sleeping together? Yes we did, my desire for sexual intimacy was stronger than my desire for holiness. Which opened up a Pandora's box of problems later in life but that's a story for another time.

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