Smythe is the preaching and writing site of Peter Smythe. Here you'll find a stout gospel, one that emphasizes the believer's identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection, and life in the Spirit.

Tender-Hearted

Tender-Hearted

Many Christians believe, probably because it's preached all the time, that God condemns them when they sin. He doesn't do that. He convicts the world of sin, not the body of Christ.

And by this we know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God. (1 John 3:19–21)

Many Christians believe, probably because it's preached all the time, that God condemns them when they sin. He doesn't do that. He convicts the world of sin, not the body of Christ. 

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment. (John 16:7–9)

When the Christian sins, when he falls outside the Word's prescriptions or fails to walk in line with his reborn conscience, it is his own heart that condemns. He doesn't lose his salvation, he's still part of the family, but he falls out of fellowship with the Lord and with others in the body. He becomes subjective, and shrinks from his walk of faith because of his own condemning heart.

If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

But the Word provides that when believers sin, they can confess their sins to the Father and they'll be forgiven. And not just forgiven, but the believer will be cleansed from his unrighteousness. This cleansing hands him back his confidence toward God and restores his fellowship with the Lord and with his body.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the hypocrisies of liars whose consciences are seared with a hot iron. (1 Timothy 4:1, 2)

As Christians, it's vitally important that we remain tender-hearted, running for forgiveness any time that we fail to obey our consciences and sin. Here Paul writes to Timothy, a younger evangelist, and warns him about former Christians who have ignored their consciences to such a degree that they've renounced their faith. Instead of listening to their consciences they listened to deceitful spirits. Paul says that they got so far afield that their consciences were seared with a hot iron, so calloused to the walk of the Spirit that they couldn't distinguish the differences between good and evil any longer. We can avoid this end by following Paul's example of living with a clear conscience before God in whatever we do.

Photo: "Wga 12c illuminated manuscripts Mary Magdalen announcing the resurrection" by Unknown - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Feelings: The Voice of the Body

Feelings: The Voice of the Body

Conscience

Conscience

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