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  #1  
Unread 30th December 2010, 04:54 PM
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Mastering Sin

Thursday, December 30, 2010, 2:02 p.m. – The Lord afforded me the opportunity today to examine three passages of scripture in relation to this topic of mastering sin. What I will share here will be from my own experiences with temptation and with sin and from what I learned from them – both from my failures, as well as from my successes, by God’s grace.

Genesis 4:7:
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

My Understanding: If we do what is right according to God’s Word, he will accept us. This begins with believing in Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior, by his grace through genuine faith – repentance and obedience. When we do this, we are accepted by God as one of his children and as forgiven and made righteous via Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins and his resurrection from the dead, in which he conquered death, sin, Satan and hell.

Nonetheless, when we do what is wrong in God’s eyes - which I believe implies willful disobedience in this context - it opens the doors of our hearts to further sin. Sin desires to have us, in this case, because we have already “been had”, which thus makes sin believe it can conquer us again. James 1:13-15 says this:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

The solution to this situation of sin crouching at our door because we have not chosen to do what is right, and sin desiring to have us, is that we must master sin. I believe these are the necessary steps that need to be taken if we are to truly master sin in our hearts and lives:

1. We must agree with God about our sin (call it what he calls it) – confess and repent to God and to those whom we have sinned against by our words or actions.

2. In order to do this, we must first of all be willing to go through a time of heart examination before God to see what sins are in our lives and what is at the root of them (heart issues), and then be willing to do whatever God requires of us.

3. We must be honest with ourselves, with God and with others concerning our sin – “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (Jms 5:16).

4. If we are not willing to take these initial steps, then the process ends here.

5. Next we must examine any stumbling blocks or hindrances to our faith and obedience and be willing to eradicate them from our lives, if necessary, in order to gain complete victory – “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Mtt 5:29). This is saying we must rid our lives of those things that cause us to or that contribute greatly to us stumbling and falling into sin.

6. In other words, I need to evaluate the things or situations in my life that might provide me the opportunity to sin (especially related to sinful habits), and I should be willing to rid my life of any of these sin triggers or opportunities, where necessary, in order to gain complete victory over sin.

7. Lastly, I need to make a plan to not fail again – “If we fail to plan, then we plan to fail” (don’t recall who said that) – this is so true! If we don’t have a plan in motion as to what to do in the eventuality that we will be tempted again in the same or a similar manner, then we are just asking to be led right back into the same sin.

8. We must put on the armor of God daily (see Ephesians 6:10-20) in order to fight off these attacks of the enemy against our minds and hearts, for this is where the battle truly begins. This will take serious attitude against sin, i.e. we must have the same attitude about sin that God does. And, we can’t fight temptation just with the shield of faith. We must pull out that sword of the Spirit and we must fight temptation with the word of God and let Satan know we mean business!!

1 Corinthians 10:13:
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
My Understanding: We are all tempted to sin. The Bible says that there is no one righteous, no not one – Romans 3:10-11: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.” Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Isaiah 53:6: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

And, there is no temptation that comes into our lives that we cannot overcome or that cannot be conquered by God’s grace and via his provisions for defeating sin in our lives, if we choose to take advantage of those provisions afforded to us by Jesus’ grace to us. His Word teaches us how to get out from underneath the temptation to sin so that we can stand against sin and can stand for righteousness, so we need to know the truth so that the truth can set us free, which means not just head knowledge, but heart knowledge and obedience.

2 Peter 1:4:
“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

My Understanding: God has given us so many precious promises that help us to live godly lives and to forsake sin. Some of them are:

· He has promised to be faithful to us
· He has promised to not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear
· He has promised to provide a way out from under the temptation so that we can stand up under the temptation against sin and stand for God and righteousness
· He has promised to accept those who accept Him
· He has promised his grace, mercy and forgiveness to those who believe on His Name – “By grace we are saved through faith, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
· He has promised to heal us and to restore us if we will cooperate with his plan.

God’s grace is a free gift to us who would believe. The Bible teaches that belief is action, not just words or not just an intellectual assent to what Jesus did for us on the cross. True faith is faith that is accompanied by repentance and by obedience to God’s commands, not in absolute sinless perfection, but true faith makes this its life goal and mission to live for God and to walk in obedience to Him and to His teachings. This is not works-based salvation. This is merely an understanding of what it means to truly believe and to accept God’s grace into our lives. If we believe Jesus died for our sins so that we could be free from sin, not just the penalty of sin, but the control of and bondage to sin over our lives, then we would not continue to live in sin. The Bible tells us this in I John and in other places. So, God’s grace does not provide us the option to keep living in sin. Instead, a true understanding of God’s grace acknowledges that his grace provides us with the opportunity to be free from under the bondage and control of sin over our lives, and that is true grace!! Amen!!

Were It Not for Grace / Larnelle Harris

Time measured out my days
Life carried me along
In my soul I yearned to follow God
But knew Id never be so strong
I looked hard at this world
To learn how heaven could be gained
Just to end where I began
Where human effort is all in vain

So here is all my praise
Expressed with all my heart
Offered to the Friend who took my place
And ran a course I could not even start
And when He saw in full
Just how much His love would cost
He still went the final mile between me and heaven
So I would not be lost

Were it not for grace
I can tell you where I’d be
Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere
With my salvation up to me
I know how that would go
The battles I would face
Forever running but losing this race
Were it not for grace
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Sue J Love

Acts 26:16-18: Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
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  #2  
Unread 30th December 2010, 05:29 PM
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Christsfreeservant,
That is very good, it looks like you put a lot of time and thinking into it. I like how you weaved the subject together with the verses. I also enjoyed your insightful comments. I like Larnelle Harris too, so the added song lyrics at the end I thought was great. I encourage you to do more in the future!


LDG
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  #3  
Unread 30th December 2010, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by LamorakDesGalis View Post
Christsfreeservant,
That is very good, it looks like you put a lot of time and thinking into it. I like how you weaved the subject together with the verses. I also enjoyed your insightful comments. I like Larnelle Harris too, so the added song lyrics at the end I thought was great. I encourage you to do more in the future!


LDG
Thank you for your words of encouragement! As always, it is the Lord who gives me the subject matter, the scriptures, the song and the understanding of his word, so to God be the glory, great things he has done!
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Unread 31st December 2010, 09:23 AM
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Dear Sue, God has blessed you with much wisdom. This is the message that He is now sharing with His bride, for without holiness, we are told, none will see the kingdom of God.

Forgiveness is but the door into the kingdom. There is a good fight of faith we must all go through and it is the promises of God that become the shield that quenches Satan's fiery arrows and accusations.

There is a great promise in Ezekiel 36, where God promises us the new covenant. We will no longer need written rules, for the character of God will be written in our hearts, and then He says:

"and I will cause you to walk after my statutes"

We have so often misunderstood the gospel of Christ. We think we need grace for forgiveness and then it falls on our shoulders to "be good". We do not realize how impossible it is. We cannot please God with our righteousnes or with our diligence or with our effort. We must put on the whole armor of God. We must put on His righteousness. We must put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.

Until we learn to put off our flesh, not by a lifetime of trying to die to it, but by a radical act of faith, believing as Paul instructed in Romans 6 that when Christ died, our old nature died with Him, we will wallow in self effort and never enjoy victory.

But when a man, no matter how weak, no matter how bound by sin, reaches out in faith to put off the old man and put on the new and then yields himself to God as now alive from the dead, the power of God is awakened and victory begins to happen. Sins that before held us tight fall to the ground and have no more power over us.

No wonder the word gospel means GOOD NEWS!

Many blessings to you. More and more are seeing these truths you share. One last word... in that same chapter in Ezekiel, where God makes the incredible statement that obedience, a necessity in keeping the old covenant, is now a promise under the new, God finishes by saying this:

"I shall yet be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them."

Ezekiel 36:37

We are just now beginning to witness this last work of God in our midst. In the midst of a great falling away, a remnant, God's true church, is going to see revival that will dwarf the book of Acts. Praise God!

Blessings,

Bruce
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"Whom the son sets free is free indeed" is not a marketing slogan invented by God. He longs to do exactly as He has promised us. Let us not limit God by our unbelief, for if we will but believe, He will do exceedingly abundandly above and beyond all we ask or even think.


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Unread 31st December 2010, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gideons300 View Post
Dear Sue, God has blessed you with much wisdom. This is the message that He is now sharing with His bride, for without holiness, we are told, none will see the kingdom of God.

Forgiveness is but the door into the kingdom. There is a good fight of faith we must all go through and it is the promises of God that become the shield that quenches Satan's fiery arrows and accusations.

There is a great promise in Ezekiel 36, where God promises us the new covenant. We will no longer need written rules, for the character of God will be written in our hearts, and then He says:

"and I will cause you to walk after my statutes"

We have so often misunderstood the gospel of Christ. We think we need grace for forgiveness and then it falls on our shoulders to "be good". We do not realize how impossible it is. We cannot please God with our righteousnes or with our diligence or with our effort. We must put on the whole armor of God. We must put on His righteousness. We must put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.

Until we learn to put off our flesh, not by a lifetime of trying to die to it, but by a radical act of faith, believing as Paul instructed in Romans 6 that when Christ died, our old nature died with Him, we will wallow in self effort and never enjoy victory.

But when a man, no matter how weak, no matter how bound by sin, reaches out in faith to put off the old man and put on the new and then yields himself to God as now alive from the dead, the power of God is awakened and victory begins to happen. Sins that before held us tight fall to the ground and have no more power over us.

No wonder the word gospel means GOOD NEWS!

Many blessings to you. More and more are seeing these truths you share. One last word... in that same chapter in Ezekiel, where God makes the incredible statement that obedience, a necessity in keeping the old covenant, is now a promise under the new, God finishes by saying this:

"I shall yet be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them."

Ezekiel 36:37

We are just now beginning to witness this last work of God in our midst. In the midst of a great falling away, a remnant, God's true church, is going to see revival that will dwarf the book of Acts. Praise God!

Blessings,

Bruce
Thank you, Bruce! I appreciate so much those thoughts you have shared here. I wish I could say that the "wisdom" I have gained came completely from obedience to God, but a lot of it I learned through falling flat on my face, but then realizing the things you have stated here and then God picking me up, restoring me, and setting me on my feet and leading and guiding me each and every day, teaching me his will. I thank the Lord all the time that "Love Lifted Me"! I am so eternally grateful for God's grace!!
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Unread 31st December 2010, 04:38 PM
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Yes i agree, very good, well put together and right to the point, i good guide to follow.

No. 7. It talks about us making plans. I totally agree and want to add one thing. The bible says man makes plans but God guides his steps. This is comforting to me because i don't plan very well sometimes.

Thank you for the teaching, it is good. I found that it describes my relation to god and his path for me. I can see i am heading in the right direction and i must praise our lord God. I get confused sometimes with all the things going on, all the many ways of religion and my battle with worldly desires and Satan who lies to me.

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Unread 31st December 2010, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Christsfreeservant View Post
Thank you, Bruce! I appreciate so much those thoughts you have shared here. I wish I could say that the "wisdom" I have gained came completely from obedience to God, but a lot of it I learned through falling flat on my face, but then realizing the things you have stated here and then God picking me up, restoring me, and setting me on my feet and leading and guiding me each and every day, teaching me his will. I thank the Lord all the time that "Love Lifted Me"! I am so eternally grateful for God's grace!!
It is clear to me that anyone who has truly understood that we can do nothing outside of Christ empowering us has a sense of true humility that is never lacking.

When we finally see our complete powerlessness to please God as long as we walk in our efforts to be good, or to stop sinning, and then see God's amazing gift, a new nature, a salvation that goes far past forgiveness to actually do for us what we could never do, it puts us on our face in thankfulness.

I love the way Paul said it.

"Where is boasting then? It is excluded."

What do we have, what have we accomplished outside of the grace and mercy of God? Nothing, and it is that revelation that sets us free and allows us to walk in victory and love others, even those who withstand us. We know we deserve nothing and yet possess all things.

I remember my own breakthru two years ago. For 36 years, I had tried every tactic known to man to get free from an addiction to porn, and one night I just gave up and cried out to God:

"Your way is too high, too hard, impossible. You say that without holiness, no man shall see the lord, and after all these years, I still do not have a pure heart. You say without holiness, no man shall see the Lord, and Father, I am not holy and will not see you!"

I do not want to get all spooky here, but the presence of God came to me and spoke as clearly as any human and He said;


"For this my son, I am well pleased with you."


On top of being flat on my face in the presence of the almighty, and then to hear these words, words I had longed to hear for so many many years and then to couple it with total confusion as to why He would say that when I was a total failure to please Him by self discipline and self effort...well, I was close to being a basket case. But as He allowed me to understand, it is that final breaking of my will He longed for. It is when I finally came to the "O wretched man that I am" experience of Romans 7 that I could truly enter Romans 8 and believe with my whole heart. At least this has been my experience.

Since then, my walk has literally been on a different plane. God can indeed keep us from falling, and it is through our believing the amazing promises of God that this can happen. As long as we still have confidence in our fleshly efforts, it makes overcoming faith impossible.


Sorry to ramble....


Blessings, Bruce
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"Whom the son sets free is free indeed" is not a marketing slogan invented by God. He longs to do exactly as He has promised us. Let us not limit God by our unbelief, for if we will but believe, He will do exceedingly abundandly above and beyond all we ask or even think.


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"May God bring us to a level of hunger for Him and brokenness for our lack of brokenness as we all begin to search for the secret of walking pleasing to Him."
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  #8  
Unread 31st December 2010, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by godisreal36 View Post
Yes i agree, very good, well put together and right to the point, i good guide to follow.

No. 7. It talks about us making plans. I totally agree and want to add one thing. The bible says man makes plans but God guides his steps. This is comforting to me because i don't plan very well sometimes.

Thank you for the teaching, it is good. I found that it describes my relation to god and his path for me. I can see i am heading in the right direction and i must praise our lord God. I get confused sometimes with all the things going on, all the many ways of religion and my battle with worldly desires and Satan who lies to me.
You are indeed on the right path. Many will try to make salvation so complicated that it takes a theologian to understand it, but in my experience, He hides His truths from the wise and reveals it unto babes. Take God's word as face value. Use it as a weapon and a defense and put no confidence in yourself to wield the sword. The power is in the sword and in the shield.

I love this scripture, for it is full of so much truth.

"And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.


No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

Isaiah 35:8-10

Praise God for His goodness!

Blessings,

Bruce
__________________
"Whom the son sets free is free indeed" is not a marketing slogan invented by God. He longs to do exactly as He has promised us. Let us not limit God by our unbelief, for if we will but believe, He will do exceedingly abundandly above and beyond all we ask or even think.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

"May God bring us to a level of hunger for Him and brokenness for our lack of brokenness as we all begin to search for the secret of walking pleasing to Him."
--Gideon
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Unread 31st December 2010, 05:42 PM
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"Dear Sue, God has blessed you with much wisdom. This is the message that He is now sharing with His bride, for without holiness, we are told, none will see the kingdom of God.

Forgiveness is but the door into the kingdom. There is a good fight of faith we must all go through and it is the promises of God that become the shield that quenches Satan's fiery arrows and accusations."


O Lord Jesus...the closer You draw me too You by Your Holy Spirit living within me! The more i see how truly wretched and sinful i really am!! Not the other way around as a self-righteous delusion of worshiping my own golden image to gain Your exceptance and approval unless i be perfect!! O Lord i abhorror any thought of my wretched self, and know that i shall never "be good" enough, or holy & righteous enough to gain Your approval, and exceptance into heaven!! You O Lord must be everything for me that Only GOD Can Be!! O Lord have mercy on all Your people, and Graciously Pour out More of Your Holy Spirit upon us!! For without Him everything we do is vain,and amount's to nothing!! Father God please fill us with Your Spirit & deliver us from vain glorious self-righteous,self-willed, "let's see who can be the most holy"- religion, and all the suppersitistions & endless strife thereof!! In Jesus prescious and Holy Name i pray this Amen!!!
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Unread 31st December 2010, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by gideons300 View Post
You are indeed on the right path. Many will try to make salvation so complicated that it takes a theologian to understand it, but in my experience, He hides His truths from the wise and reveals it unto babes. Take God's word as face value. Use it as a weapon and a defense and put no confidence in yourself to wield the sword. The power is in the sword and in the shield.

I love this scripture, for it is full of so much truth.

"And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.


No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

Isaiah 35:8-10

Praise God for His goodness!

Blessings,

Bruce
GOD Bless You My Brother!!! Amen, Amen...Preach it!!!!!!! You speak the Gospel aright...by what only the Spirit of humbleness can Truly Teach us!! John 3:27 (KJV) John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
John 3:30 (KJV) He must increase, but I must decrease
.
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