So it’s March 1st or for many it’s Lent. Lent is when someone gives up food, behavior, or specific sin for 40 days to please God. Here is why I will not be participating in Lent. (This will be short and not an exhaustive representation of my beliefs on this topic)
I have nothing against going on diets, giving up bad habits, or giving up a sin but I do question the motive. Traditional Lent seeks to gain God’s favor by doing/giving up something. Now at first glance this might seem like a good even great concept but the Bible clearly disagrees!
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are you save through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a Gift of God. Not of WORKS, lest any man should boast.”
Let’s first take note of the word “gift”. Mercian Webster’s dictionary defines gift as “something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation”. So in a nut shell you can’t do anything to get a gift. So why do we constantly think that we have to do something to be saved? Christ paid the cost already! He did the “work” by dying on the cross; we only need to receive the gift of salvation. I’m not going to make this complicated so I’ll keep it short. We can’t do anything for salvation and God doesn’t want us to. If we had a part in salvation then as the prideful people we are we would uplift ourselves and not Christ. So in seeking Salvation we can not gain God’s favor through works.
Now for the born again believers who have a different motive, I still believe Lent is unnecessary . Lent is a 46 day long period of giving up your “guilty pleasure”. So why is this unnecessary for a Christian (Born again believer)?
Colossians 3:5-10 “5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
These verses all addressing Christians never once say “On March 1st and the next 46 days be more like Christ and refrain from wrath/idolatry/ evil!” No! We are to be living a Christlike life EVERYDAY! So if you have sin in your life turn away from it now and don’t return to it in 46 days! God doesn’t want you to give up chocolate, meat, or cupcakes in his name He wants you to totally give your all on a daily bases in for Him. Why? Because He died for you the least you can do is live for him 365 days every year instead of 46 days!