The Write Place- Curtis Bruce Kessler

November 27, 2010

Enter the “No Sin Zone”

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 11:45 pm

According to Bill O’Reilly’s signature tagline “No Spin Zone” his show seeks to cut through the rhetoric and get to the real issue- the truth. Some folks would argue that he successfully follows through with his tagline while others would argue that he’s more spin than anyone. Please don’t panic friends for this is not a religious critique of O’Reilly’s show. His tagline has caught my attention though. Let me explain why.

While watching football or other TV programs I find myself many times listening to commercials and turning their taglines into religious slogans. For example; Home Depots “More saving, more doing, that’s the power of the Home Depot” I would turn that into “More saving, more doing, that’s the power of the church” or the Government’s tagline “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” I would rephrase to say “Friends don’t let friends die in sin.” There are many such taglines where you could turn the world view into a spiritual perspective. Try it. I think you would have some fun. This was the case as I realized how that in Christ I have entered the “No Sin Zone”.

1 John 3:5 “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.”

Romans 8:1-2 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

Romans 6: 6-11 “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

These are indeed awesome an exciting truths. In Christ we are covered by His cleansing blood. In Him we have entered the “No Sin Zone” because God looks down and doesn’t see our ugly stained sin-sick soul but His Son’s blood instead. No condemnation, no sin, no death sentence. But, as O’Reilly would say, “Caution, you are about to enter the “No Sin Zone”. Why caution? The Bible word is debt or obligation. As you enter the “No Sin Zone” there is a Godly expectation or a spiritual accountability that your life reflects the cost of God’s free gift!

Romans 8:12 “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.”

Romans 6:12-14 “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

1 John 3:9 “No one who has been born from God practices sin, because God’s seed abides in him. Indeed, he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born from God.”

Have you entered the “No Sin Zone”? If you have, does your life reflect faithfully the gift of God’s Son? Are you in the “No Sin Zone” or the “Spin Zone” rationalizing and justifying your sinful conduct? Christ wants to cut through all the rhetoric and get to the truth- your sin!

Bruce Kessler
South Canadian Valley church of Christ

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I Thank God …

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 2:47 pm

Thanksgiving Holiday is here. Alright! A great number of families (including mine) will gather together during Thanksgiving Day and eat, socialize, watch football, play games, or simply be thankful we can come together as a family and, oh yea, did I say eat? I know you are probably a lot like me in the sense that we have been blessed with many special memories associated with this tremendous holiday. But, as with many things, we can get so use to something, so apathetic, that it becomes routine. By doing this we rob ourselves, our families, and our churches of something special, even magical.

Surely there are things to be thankful for, right? If you would make a list of just three things you are thankful for, what would that list look like? Start the list with “I Thank God for …” Who or what would be on that list? My list at the time I asked this question included my granddaughters, wife and Jesus. What or who is on your list? But, I can hear you protesting. A list of three is too short! Well, research shows that people remember better when given information in threes. Also, we preachers realize that three bullet points are more effective than two or four (many put this to test every Sunday). So, your list of three is important and will help you prioritize. But you may want to revise it.

I came across a thought by the Apostle Paul that truly caused me to reevaluate my list. In Philippians 1:3 Paul said to the church family at Philippi, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” Such a short but beautiful and powerful statement of thanks! I can’t tell you the number of times I blew past this verse without giving thought to thankfulness. At first I wondered if this was just a one time thought expressed by Paul and I was making too much of one verse. But remarkably I found this was high on Paul’s list! If you search in all his epistles you will find him giving thanks to God for the church family quite regularly. Why was this so critical and a priority of Paul? Listen to his own explanation in verses 4-6 of Philippians 1, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Think of this! Paul recognized that the relationship he shared with his church family was such a rich superior blessing (remember he said partnership) and nothing short of giving thanks to God would do. I wonder. Was your church family on that list?

I thank God for …

Bruce Kessler
South Canadian Valley church of Christ

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