“Are You a Bitter Person?”

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The Christian life is full of countless and joy-filled blessings and also numerous and very sad surprises. 

The chief feature of all those countless and joy-filled blessings is the realization that we truly became, at conversion, the recipients of Christ’s own righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6). Just listen to the apostle Paul explain this truth, “For what does the Scripture say? ‘And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’” (Romans 4:3), and “He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin, on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). However, as Christians, we have also encountered some very sad surprises subsequent to our glorious transformation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Chief among those numerous and very sad surprises is the realization that we are still capable of committing the vilest of sins (2 Corinthians 4:7). Yes, even though the believer can now say no to sin, and even choose to flee from it (whereas before his conversion he could not [Proverbs 6:26]), he still does not always do so. In fact, he not only does not do what he can do, he actually delays what he must do (Psalm 32:3 illustrates this well, “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long”). He’s always in a state of spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Galatians 5:17; Ephesians 6:10-20). Now, one of the most wasting of such sins is the sin of bitterness. Beloved, such a sin should not even be named among God’s people, but sadly it is, and far too often!? A bitter Christian? The Bible seems to indicate that this is an oxymoron (that is, an impossibility). For in describing the godless, the apostle Paul said, “Whose mouth is full of curses and bitterness” (Romans 3:14). Further, the apostle Paul said that believers are sensitized to this sinful tendency, and therefore, are always to be pro-active in not allowing it to exist in their personal lives, let alone in their churches, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). And this goes specifically for our relationships with others in the workplace and in the public square (Matthew 5:13-16), in the church (James 3:14), and especially, in our own homes (Colossians 3:19). Beloved, are you bitter about anything or toward anyone in your life? If so, then repent of it, at once! And call this resentful spirit what God calls it, sin (1 John 1:9), yes, even demonically-motivated sin (James 3:15)! God Himself calls every professing believer to seek to kill (Romans 8:13) all seeping bitterness at its very root (Hebrews 12:15); then, God will be truly glorified through and in His church (Ephesians 3:10, 21). And remember, our ability to forgive others is a sure mark, of whether or not you have been forgiven (Ephesians 4:32). And do not just forgive someone in word only, but also in deed and truth (1 John 3:18; 2 Corinthians 2:7). Oh dear saints, may our hearts be prepared today, to encounter the living God tomorrow morning, in our public Worship, through the praises and prayers of His people, and through the reading and preaching of His Holy Word! Soli Deo Gloria!

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