God’s Provision for Our Sin

This Friday we are discussing Chapter 3 of The Excellent Wife. It’s not too late to join us. Furthermore, I don’t consider it too late to comment here and/or write your responses to previous chapters on your blog. The internet is always “on.” Just jump right in!

Chapter 3
Martha Peace begins with an emphasis on how important it is for women to understand sin and God’s provision for sin. She explains four basic characteristics of sin:

  1. Sin is universal. No one is exempt.
  2. Sin may be open and obvious to others.
  3. Sin cannot be hidden from God.
  4. Sin is justly penalized.

Peace continues, “God, out of His heart of love and mercy, provided a payment for the penalty of sin. God’ provision was the Lord Jesus Christ” (author’s emphasis). It matters not whether you are kind and good, whether you have known about Jesus for all of your life, whether you teach Sunday School, or whether you’ve been baptized. The only thing that matters is knowing Jesus and trusting that He is your sole hope for salvation. If you do and He is, then you can rest in the assurance that your sins — “past, present and future” — are forgiven. It is important that we believe God makes us new when we are born again by His Spirit. Our past sins are forgiven, but we still sin. Peace writes that we are responsible to repent of our present sins. It would be detrimental to our relationships to allow a sin to become a long-standing habit. No only that, but it will take more repentance work. So, nip it in the bud early.

Finally, Peace gets practical in her description of how to “put off” sinful thoughts and desires and “put on” thoughts and desires that honor God. “How godly we become depends on how hard we work at it. Old habits of sinful thoughts and responses do not just disappear. They have to be replaced with new, godly ways of thinking and responding. Christians have to be “…transformed by the renewing of their minds” (Romans 12:2, author’s emphasis). As we work at it, the Holy Spirit supernaturally enables us. Eventually the godly response becomes the automatic response.” This is not an easy process. It is likened by Paul to the strenuous exercise of an athlete. Even in this, God has not left us to ourselves. He gives grace to save and He gives grace to help us every single day.

My thoughts
Again, Peace is straight to the point, oftentimes not even offering any more commentary other than the scriptures to prove her point.

On dealing with sin, I think her point that wives must forgive their spouses is an important one. Jesus teaches that we will be forgiven as we have forgiven. Forgiveness is a mark of God’s children. If we are going to have healthy, happy marriages, and be wives who glorify their Father, then we are going to be women who forgive. I’m looking forward to chapter 9.

The charts for “putting off” and “putting on” are very helpful. (They reminded me of Ginger Plowman’s “Wise Words for Moms” chart). I spent some time earlier in the week writing my own that speak specifically to my most frequent sins and sinful thoughts. Peace writes, “How hard you work at putting on the right thoughts and actions will directly affect how much like the Lord Jesus Christ you become in this life.” This statement reminded me of something the minister of our wedding said to Karl and me during our counseling session.

As he was encouraging us to make sure to spend time with Jesus daily, he said something to the effect of, “Our display of Jesus is directly proportional to the amount of time we spend with Him.” In other words, the more time I spend in prayer and in God’s word, the more I will be like Him. To the degree that I spend time focused on worldly things, that much less will I resemble Jesus. That’s pretty much the only important thing I remember from our premarital counseling session.

I was reminded again that the path of holiness is not an easy one. For a more detailed study on spiritual growth and maturity, I highly recommend you pick up Jerry Bridges book and accompanying study guide, The Practice of Godliness. It is insightful and helpful! God actually wants us to have victory over our sin. Peace said in the first two chapters: I have been set free so that I have a choice to sin or not, and I have been granted strength to stand firm. God has done the hardest part. What sin is so precious that I will not cast it off? What idol(s) am I cherishing in my heart?

This chapter helped me focus my prayer times this week on sin and some scriptures to use to encourage me to choose the narrow way. I simply wrote the scriptures out and read over them again in the mornings. That seemed to work well (as opposed to carrying around a chart) for me this week. So that when I was tempted, the Holy Spirit used those to check my heart and mind since they were fresh in my memory.

Your turn!
I want to read your response to chapter 3. Please email me or leave a comment. Or not. There’s no pressure to participate. We’ll meet back here next Friday for Chapter 4, “A Wife’s Understanding of Relationships: God’s Pattern.”

Women who’ve written posts for chapter 3:

Related Posts:

Keep reading! Click for Chapter 4.

12 Comments on “God’s Provision for Our Sin

  1. Sorry I missed last weeks post, but I’m back now! This weeks chapter was great – I loved the charts as well, though my post on the chapter took a different turn. This book is giving me a lot of time to consider my relationship with my husband and ways that I can improve our relationship.


  2. My lame post is up. Time is short, so my post is very brief.If you have time, read the post just under that. I’m interested in your thoughts.


  3. I found it interesting that Peace pointed out that Adam & Eve knew right from wrong….before sin entered the world. Even though they couldn’t possibly have known the consequences of their sinful action (& neither do we most of the time) – they essentially had a perfect world, a perfect existence all around them – they still took the chance & made a wrong choice. How human of them! :)I found the top paragraph on pg. 20 to be a good reminder that God did not MAKE me sinful – it’s ALWAYS my choice when I sin – no matter what.I was a bit disappointed with the section that discussed past sin on pg. 22 – I think Peace could have put a little more guidance & scripture into the area of dealing with past sin. I think she is assuming too much of her reader – that they understand what can happen if past sin isn’t dealt with, regardless if they decide to include their spouse in the process.”…graciously bestow forgviness upon their spouses…” OUCH. I definitely need to practice that more! I also like the reminder that I need to WORK at being godly! That it’s essential to replace bad thoughts with good, righteous thoughts.Leslie, thanks for sharing about reading the scriptures Peace referenced in the charts on a daily basis – a great way to remember such important truths!


  4. I like how you pointed out that we should nip sin in the bud so it won’t become a long-standing habit.I also like how you personalized the charts. Good idea. I need to spend some time on that myself. Thank you for sharing that practical thing! I want so much to personalize what I’m learning, not just intellectually understand it – a weakness I know I have.


  5. I have my post up now.Chapter 3 at Writing and Living


  6. I haven’t time for reading & participating this time around, but I’m lurking and taking in all the comments. I love this post… very well written!!~MariaJubilee on Earth


  7. Thanks again Leslie for hosting, I’m a bit late this week but I finally got my post up. What a great chapter! This really challenged me and I am so glad I am doing this with you ladies because I think otherwise this week I wouldn’t have gotten around to reading the chapter. I look forward to getting around to reading all the posts.I love your idea of doing a personal put off, put on chart!


  8. Leslie,Your chapter summaries are always very well done. I too thought your idea of doing a personalized put on/put off chart was excellent. I’m imagining doing mine and thinking it won’t be pretty to see those thoughts written down on paper, but I’m sure it will be beneficial.


  9. I was really struggling to have a working daily schedule. However, although i inputed prayer time in there, I sadly realize that it get sacrificed too easily in place of other things. As Peace said living a Godly life is not easy. I need to make prayer a priority in my life. I am working on it…I just posted my thoughts on this chapter on my blog…thank you for sharing.


  10. My post is up now. Sorry for the delay :-). I will start reading all of yours now. Linda


  11. Thanks for leading this Leslie. I haven’t written anything yet but I have been challenged. You know it’s good when I read a chapter and have an opportunity to be kind and servce my husband, but then blow it by blowing up over little things?! Gotta love it!


  12. Thank you Leslie, Your comments on forgiveness are so right on. And thanks for suggesting the Jerry Bridges book, I have not read it but I would like to. Committing scripture to memory is one of the things I am working on this year. Linda


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