Jesus, Either a Fence or Offense
Romans 9:33; I Peter 2:7-8), even to some who claim to serve Him. They don't want sin exposed.
"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than
his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if
they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin." John 15:20-22
Jesus' existence necessitates dealing with sin for such is why He came, to pay for the sin of the world and pave the way for our victory over it. His very presence removes any cloak man might seek for sin. For the believer, that is good news! In fact, as believers walk with God, He will point out more and more within us which is not pleasing to Him as we are perfected in Him. It is a continual walk of faith, but also of repentance. We must be sure not to be offended by this for that offense is the evidence of things contrary to God within our hearts.
God is making us a vineyard whereby our fellowship with Him, and the flow of His life through us, can continue uninterrupted.
"Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his
vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it
with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also
made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth
grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in
it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought
it forth wild grapes?
And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will
take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down
the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there
shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that
they rain no rain upon it." Isaiah 5:1-6
Jesus has fenced us unto Himself and cleared out the debris in our hearts so that we can bring forth much fruit. Yet, when He looks at the vineyard, it is producing wild fruit. The question then becomes, "What is perverting the fruit?" It is certainly nothing the Lord has done, or left undone. He asks, "What more could have been done to equip my vineyard to bring forth good fruit?"
"Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the
chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall
go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts,
and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah 5:24
The problem is that the vine is feeding from a source other than the life of God. Instead of being rooted in God's word (our bread of life), the people are portrayed in the Chapter as being drunken - which is often symbolic in Scripture of entertaining the wisdom of the world. The result is that the people are overrun with sin and the fence or hedge of protection Jesus placed around us is removed.
How foolish would we be to have been planted the "choicest" of vines, and yet seek nourishment from the filth and degradation of the world, expecting it to generate life in us. Rather, we will be feeding death to our souls and will be given over to a life of sin.
The following sermon is from Pastor Gary C. Price of Omega Church & Ministries Center called "The Power of a Selfless Life", as he deals with what sin is, where it came from, and how to overcome it.