Christsfreeservant

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Sunday, October 22, 2017, 6:22 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “To Be Like Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Proverbs 15 (quoting select vv. NASB).

Good and Evil

3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.
10 Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
He who hates reproof will die.​

There is a popular teaching these days which indicates that, once we are saved, God the Father no longer sees when we commit sins against him, but he only sees Jesus when he looks at us. Because of God’s grace to us, and through our genuine faith in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven our sins, and we become the righteousness of God, because Christ’s righteousness is credited to our accounts. This means that we are no longer under condemnation, and that, if we do sin, we have an advocate to the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (See 1 Jn. 2:1-2). But, does scripture really teach that God the Father can’t see when we sin?

Well, if God is all-knowing, which he is, and if he chose us in him even before the creation of the world, then he knows everything about us, and he can see everything that we do. Also, for God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit - to be completely sovereign over all that he has made, he has to be all-knowing, too, which means he can see everything, even when we sin. It is abundantly clear by the teachings of the apostles and by the prophecies written in the book of Revelation that God sees everything that we do, and that he does indeed see when we sin, for we read in the NT many words written to the church warning, scolding, and counseling them to put off their sins and to follow our Lord in obedience. So, God sees, he knows, and he calls for repentance and for obedience (See: Rev. 2:1-3:22, for example).

So, God can see not only what the ungodly are doing behind closed doors, but he can see what we are doing, too. He knows who truly knows him, and who doesn’t, too. He can see who is genuinely following him and who isn’t, and who makes a pretense of sacrifice to God while secretly sinning against him. This popular teaching that says God can’t see our sins is based in a lie, the purpose of which is to allow people to believe they are saved and going to heaven, while permitting them to continue in sin, supposedly sight unseen. Yet, scripture is quite clear when it says that if we hold on to our old lives of sin, and if we walk in darkness and according to the flesh, and if we persist in sinful practices, we will die in our sins without hope of eternity with God, but with a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire.

Upright and Dishonorable

16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
Than great treasure and turmoil with it.
17 Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.
18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.
19 The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.​

So, we need to test ourselves to see if we are really in the faith, and that test is not with just a few select scriptures at hand, which, taken out of context, seem to say what our flesh wants to hear. We need to look at the whole of scripture, in particularly the whole of the New Testament, if possible, by reading in context the books of the Bible one verse and one chapter and one book at a time. This way we will get a true picture of the character of God, his will for our lives, and of his holiness, righteousness and justice. And, we will see a common theme throughout both the Old and the New Testaments, and that is God’s requirements of both repentance and obedience as part of genuine faith, which is required for salvation.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to walk in the fear of the Lord. This means that we are to honor, respect, revere, follow and obey Him. To worship God means we give ourselves to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing (acceptable) to him, that we are no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but that we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sin and to walking with our Lord in faithful obedience. This means we are putting away (to death) the sins of the flesh, by the Spirit of God, and that we are now walking according to the Spirit.

God’s will for our lives is that we walk in holiness, which means that we live separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being transformed into Christ’s likeness. So, we put off hatred, hot tempers, laziness, gossip, immorality, sexual addiction, pornography, sensuality, cheating, lying, stealing, and the like. And, we pursue righteousness, uprightness, honesty, morality, kindness, compassion, love, and wisdom.

Righteous and Wicked

29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
31 He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.
32 He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.​

So, just because you have prayed a prayer to receive Christ as Savior, or you have acknowledged who he is and what he did for us in dying for our sins, or you have accepted his forgiveness of your sins, it does not assure you that heaven is your eternal destiny. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. When we believe on him with genuine faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. His grace to us is not carte blanche to continue in sin without guilt or remorse. But, his grace instructs us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions (lusts) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (1 Pet. 2:24; Tit. 2:11-14; Eph. 4:17-24).

If we continue in sin, hold on to sinful addictions, and think God doesn’t notice or that it doesn’t matter to him, we need to think again. That kind of thinking makes a mockery of what Jesus did in dying on a cross so we could go free from slavery to sin and so we could live to his righteousness. If we think our salvation is merely a free ride to heaven and that God requires nothing of us, that also is a slap in the face to Jesus Christ who laid his life down for us so that we would be free. To love God is to obey him. To fear him is to revere, respect and honor him with our lives. If he is truly LORD of our lives that means he is owner-master and we are his bond-servants. To know him is also to become like him, and it is to obey him.

To Be Like Him / An Original Work
March 16, 2014 / Based off Scripture

Crucified you are with Jesus.
To be like Him, oh, you’ll be,
Because He died at Calv’ry,
So from sin you’d be free.
Oh, what joy He brings into your life,
Giving life with Him endlessly.

Oh, what plans He has for your life.
Share the gospel faithfully.
Show the people He loves them.
Now His witness you’ll be.
Tell the world of sin about Jesus,
How He died for them on a tree.

Purifying hearts, He saves them,
Who believe on Christ, God’s Son.
Turning now from their idols,
New lives they have begun.
Jesus saves from sin; we’re forgiven.
Over sin, the vict’ry He won!

When He comes again to take us
To be with Him evermore,
There will be no more crying.
Gladness will be in store.
Heavens joys will now overtake us:
We’ll be with our Lord evermore.

 

rrobsr

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Sunday, October 22, 2017, 6:22 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “To Be Like Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Proverbs 15 (quoting select vv. NASB).

Good and Evil

3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.
10 Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
He who hates reproof will die.​

There is a popular teaching these days which indicates that, once we are saved, God the Father no longer sees when we commit sins against him, but he only sees Jesus when he looks at us. Because of God’s grace to us, and through our genuine faith in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven our sins, and we become the righteousness of God, because Christ’s righteousness is credited to our accounts. This means that we are no longer under condemnation, and that, if we do sin, we have an advocate to the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (See 1 Jn. 2:1-2). But, does scripture really teach that God the Father can’t see when we sin?

Well, if God is all-knowing, which he is, and if he chose us in him even before the creation of the world, then he knows everything about us, and he can see everything that we do. Also, for God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit - to be completely sovereign over all that he has made, he has to be all-knowing, too, which means he can see everything, even when we sin. It is abundantly clear by the teachings of the apostles and by the prophecies written in the book of Revelation that God sees everything that we do, and that he does indeed see when we sin, for we read in the NT many words written to the church warning, scolding, and counseling them to put off their sins and to follow our Lord in obedience. So, God sees, he knows, and he calls for repentance and for obedience (See: Rev. 2:1-3:22, for example).

So, God can see not only what the ungodly are doing behind closed doors, but he can see what we are doing, too. He knows who truly knows him, and who doesn’t, too. He can see who is genuinely following him and who isn’t, and who makes a pretense of sacrifice to God while secretly sinning against him. This popular teaching that says God can’t see our sins is based in a lie, the purpose of which is to allow people to believe they are saved and going to heaven, while permitting them to continue in sin, supposedly sight unseen. Yet, scripture is quite clear when it says that if we hold on to our old lives of sin, and if we walk in darkness and according to the flesh, and if we persist in sinful practices, we will die in our sins without hope of eternity with God, but with a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire.

Upright and Dishonorable

16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
Than great treasure and turmoil with it.
17 Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.
18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.
19 The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.​

So, we need to test ourselves to see if we are really in the faith, and that test is not with just a few select scriptures at hand, which, taken out of context, seem to say what our flesh wants to hear. We need to look at the whole of scripture, in particularly the whole of the New Testament, if possible, by reading in context the books of the Bible one verse and one chapter and one book at a time. This way we will get a true picture of the character of God, his will for our lives, and of his holiness, righteousness and justice. And, we will see a common theme throughout both the Old and the New Testaments, and that is God’s requirements of both repentance and obedience as part of genuine faith, which is required for salvation.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to walk in the fear of the Lord. This means that we are to honor, respect, revere, follow and obey Him. To worship God means we give ourselves to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing (acceptable) to him, that we are no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but that we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sin and to walking with our Lord in faithful obedience. This means we are putting away (to death) the sins of the flesh, by the Spirit of God, and that we are now walking according to the Spirit.

God’s will for our lives is that we walk in holiness, which means that we live separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being transformed into Christ’s likeness. So, we put off hatred, hot tempers, laziness, gossip, immorality, sexual addiction, pornography, sensuality, cheating, lying, stealing, and the like. And, we pursue righteousness, uprightness, honesty, morality, kindness, compassion, love, and wisdom.

Righteous and Wicked

29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
31 He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.
32 He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.​

So, just because you have prayed a prayer to receive Christ as Savior, or you have acknowledged who he is and what he did for us in dying for our sins, or you have accepted his forgiveness of your sins, it does not assure you that heaven is your eternal destiny. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. When we believe on him with genuine faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. His grace to us is not carte blanche to continue in sin without guilt or remorse. But, his grace instructs us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions (lusts) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (1 Pet. 2:24; Tit. 2:11-14; Eph. 4:17-24).

If we continue in sin, hold on to sinful addictions, and think God doesn’t notice or that it doesn’t matter to him, we need to think again. That kind of thinking makes a mockery of what Jesus did in dying on a cross so we could go free from slavery to sin and so we could live to his righteousness. If we think our salvation is merely a free ride to heaven and that God requires nothing of us, that also is a slap in the face to Jesus Christ who laid his life down for us so that we would be free. To love God is to obey him. To fear him is to revere, respect and honor him with our lives. If he is truly LORD of our lives that means he is owner-master and we are his bond-servants. To know him is also to become like him, and it is to obey him.

To Be Like Him / An Original Work
March 16, 2014 / Based off Scripture

Crucified you are with Jesus.
To be like Him, oh, you’ll be,
Because He died at Calv’ry,
So from sin you’d be free.
Oh, what joy He brings into your life,
Giving life with Him endlessly.

Oh, what plans He has for your life.
Share the gospel faithfully.
Show the people He loves them.
Now His witness you’ll be.
Tell the world of sin about Jesus,
How He died for them on a tree.

Purifying hearts, He saves them,
Who believe on Christ, God’s Son.
Turning now from their idols,
New lives they have begun.
Jesus saves from sin; we’re forgiven.
Over sin, the vict’ry He won!

When He comes again to take us
To be with Him evermore,
There will be no more crying.
Gladness will be in store.
Heavens joys will now overtake us:
We’ll be with our Lord evermore.


So incorruptible seed (1 Pet 1:23) is corruptible after all? And ditto for our incorruptible inheritance (1 Pet 1:4)? Yikes! But I'n not so sure about that.

The Bible speaks of the "old man." Romans 6:6 declares that man died with Christ and the "new man" which God created (by grace, not of works) in Ephesians 4:24. Then there is the "natural man" and the "spiritual man." In short, born again believers have 2 natures, flesh and spirit. The natural man (before the new birth) only has flesh which is corrupted by sin. There is no good thing in the flesh and yet many Christians keep trying to make it better. You said "if we continue in sin" but the Bible says that our flesh absolutely will continue in sin.

Sin is a product of the flesh, which was crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20 & 5:24). The spirit God created in us is perfect and does not sin (1 John 3:9). The flesh will rot in the grave, but the spirit lives on. That is our eternal life.

Paul accused the Galatians of being foolish because although they knew their salvation was by grace, they now believed that they would be made perfect by the flesh.

Gal 3:1-3,
1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

We make it to paradise because of what Jesus did, not because of what we do. I am not saying that God doesn't see our sins. He just doesn't impute them to our account (Rom 4:6-8), they don't go on some "record" from which God will decide later whether we are righteous or not. He already has made us righteous, as righteous as he himself is in fact (Rom 3:22).

Nor do I say we should go on sinning like a drunken sailer. While it won't make God suddenly not your father (even your earthly father's corruptible seed can't be taken from you, you'll always be his son), it will certainly not be a good witness for God.

There are two ways to approach being a good Christian. Work on the flesh by keeping tabs on our sins and don't do to many (how many do we get before it's too late?), or continue in studying the scriptures to learn what God has done for us and what he has made us in Christ Jesus. The former will never work. The latter will. The more we know of God's love for us, the more we will naturally want to follow his word and his commandments. No muss no fuss. It just happens!

God bless...
 
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Christsfreeservant

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You said "if we continue in sin" but the Bible says that our flesh absolutely will continue in sin.

There is a difference between a sin and continuing in (practicing, living in, walking in) sin. Christians will still sin, on occasion, but Jesus set them free from addiction (slavery, bondage) to sin so that they should no longer practice sin, for if sinning against God is their practice, i.e. their lifestyle, the Bible teaches they don't have eternal life with God.

Continuing in Sin

Ro. 6:1-2: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

1 Jn. 3:6: No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.

Gal. 5:19-21: “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Eph. 5:3-6: But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Ro. 8:12-14: So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

1 Jn. 1:5-7: This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
 
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rrobsr

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There is a difference between a sin and continuing in (practicing, living in, walking in) sin. Christians will still sin, on occasion, but Jesus set them free from addiction (slavery, bondage) to sin so that they should no longer practice sin, for if sinning against God is their practice, i.e. their lifestyle, the Bible teaches they don't have eternal life with God.

Continuing in Sin

Ro. 6:1-2: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

1 Jn. 3:6: No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.

Gal. 5:19-21: “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Eph. 5:3-6: But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Ro. 8:12-14: So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

1 John 1:5-7: This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

I don't want to say I'm right and you are wrong or visa versa, but there are some things that must be considered when it comes to the subject we are discussing.

It is undeniable that the verses you quoted seem to say that if we continue in sin, we will loose our salvation. If that is true, I would repeat my question, how many sins do we get before it's too late? That is an important question if sin makes us loose that salvation. Also, if we do go over the quota, can we get back in good graces with God or is the whole thing over? Again, I'm not saying you are wrong and I certainly can't throw those verses away because I don't like them or I don't think they agree with my theology. It's the word of God and no man should add to it or subtract from it.

On the the other hand, the verses I quoted seem to say once saved always saved. So this brings up a major issue, namely, the Bible seems to contradict itself. I trust you, like me, do not believe the scriptures can contradict themselves, so there must be something we can do to reconcile these seemingly contradictory verses. I believe that wherever there appears to b a contradiction it is because of one of two (or both) reasons, either a mistranslation or a misunderstanding of the intended meaning. In the present case, I think the translation is OK. It must be in my understanding and I think that is where we should look.

I alluded to the "new man" and the "old man." The "old man" is dead in trespasses and sins.
I offer Eph 2:1 & 2:5, Col 2:13, and 1 Pet 2:24 to show that truth.

Eph 2:4-7,

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved
6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Because of God's love for you and I, God made us alive in Christ while we were yet dead in sins. It was a free and undeserved gift. We certainly don't deserve such grace. Furthermore, God hath (note past tense) raised us up when he raised Christ and the real kicker is that he hath (again, past tense) made us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Verse 7 gives the reason. We are like God's trophies which he shows to the creation as proof of his goodness. All of that is what God did. Can I somehow undo it, render God's new creation (Eph 2:10) worthless?

Other names for the "old man" include the "natural man" (1 Cor 2:14), the "outward man" (2 Cor 4:16), and the "carnel mind" (Rom 8:7). The entire 8th chapter of Romans is relevant.

A careful reading of Romans will show that there is a difference between sin and sins. Sin (singular) is the nature of the old man and as a result that man commits sins (plural). Dogs bark, cats meow, birds chirp, and people sin. But what is it that condemns the un-born again individual, his nature of sin, or the sins themselves? That is a key question. Why do we die? Is it because of our sin nature or because of the individual sins that are a result of that nature?

Rom 5:12,
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Rom 6:23,

For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

These verses say that death came because of sin (singular, our nature), not sins. Jesus solved the sin problem by his death so that we can now have a new nature that as I pointed out is as righteous as God himself. After all, it's his creation, not ours. But we still have flesh and the nature of that flesh is still sin. Christ's work did not take that nature away. Instead it gave us an additional nature of spirit and perfectness. That is the one that is already seated in heavenly places with Christ. The other is doomed to the grave. There is nothing in it worthwhile at all (John 6:63, Rom 7:18). No point in even thinking about it, let alone trying to make it somehow good enough for admittance into paradise.

1 John 3:9,
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
The new man cannot sin and the old man can not help but to sin.

You mentioned Romans 8:12-14. It says we must put the deeds of the flesh to death. Pretty plain, simple English. But how do we do that? The answer is by the spirit. I mentioned Galatians and how they were bewitched into working on the flesh by trying to do "good" works and avoiding "bad" works. But Paul said that will never work. Galatians tell us that we began in the spirit (new birth) and that it is that spirit that will make us perfect (Gal 3:1-3). That is why I don't try to grow in the Lord by saying something like, "I will not let my flesh sin anymore." Instead I read and study the scriptures. It would be impossible for someone to do that for any length of time without changing their behavior. Like I said, once you know what God has really done for you, you will absolutely become more and more like him. It is a guaranteed win. But working on the flesh only leads to constant disappointment. My walk would be a sad one indeed, always worrying if I've tamed that flesh enough to please God. On the other hand, if I know my salvation is secure because of God's handiwork, them I walk with an effervescence and a glow that is plainly evident to those around me. They will ask my why, and I have some answers for them! I'm just so darn glad for what God did for me.

I believe that the above helps solve the apparent contradiction. I leave you with one final verse that really sums up what I'm saying.

Rom 7:25,
I (Paul) thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
There are the two natures, one serves God and the other serves sin. It's a good thing the law of God trumps the law of sin, or we'd all be in big trouble!

There is a fair amount in the NT that talks about the "renewed mind." The new birth does not affect our minds. It is an inside, spiritual job, but the mind is in the realm of flesh. The only way to renew your mind is by changing your thinking to think the thinks of God, the things in the scripture instead of worldly wisdom. I can only think one thought at a time. I can think, "Dang. I keep on lying no matter how hard I try not to," or, "Gee that's a beautiful women in the slinky dress, but I best not lust after her" (as my erection grow ever larger). On the other hand I can think, "What a father I have in heaven. He's the best thing going by far in this old world and I'm blessed beyond words by everything he has done for me." I like the latter and I can't help but think my walk will go much smoother thinking about that instead of myself and whether or not I'm sinning at any given moment.

There is a book by E. W. Bullinger called "The Two Natures in the Child of God." It goes into the subject in way more detail than I could possibly go into here. It's worth getting and reading.

That's my take on the whole thing. Like I said, I don't claim to be the only source for truth but I believe that what I have stated does solve the apparent contradiction. Maybe there is another way. I'm always open to learning. Thanks for your input.

God bless...

 
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Christsfreeservant

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Let’s look at some of these verses you mention in context. What is the context of Romans 6:23?

Romans 6 presents us with the question of whether we should go on (continue) sinning so that grace may abound (increase). The answer back is, “By no means!” And, then it goes on to describe the spiritual condition of the genuine believer in Jesus Christ. He or she (they, we) have died to sin, so how can we live in it (continue in it) any longer. We, through faith in Jesus Christ died with Christ to sin and we were resurrected with Christ, that we may live a new life, not like the old life, where we were in slavery to sin. Our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Jesus didn’t die just to deliver us from the punishment of sin, but he died that we would be free from enslavement to sin, so that we wouldn’t go on sinning.

So, just as Christ died to sin, and the life he lives, he lives to God, we must also consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Peter put it this way, that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). Paul said that Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15). The goal of our salvation is to free us from living sinful lifestyles, and so that we might walk in holiness and righteousness – all in the power and working of God’s Spirit now living within us. Sin is to have no dominion over us. So, we are to no longer present the members of our bodies as instruments for unrighteousness, and sin should no longer reign in our mortal bodies, so that we obey its passions.

So, then it goes on to say that if we present ourselves as obedient slaves to anyone, that we are slaves to the one we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness. Then, it says to the ones to whom this is written that they who were once enslaved to sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which they were committed, and having been set free from sin, they have now become slaves of righteousness. When we were slaves to sin, we were free in regard to righteousness, i.e. we were free of the control of righteousness. In that condition, the outcome of those things is death. Then it says that now, having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the benefit we derive or the fruit we get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. Then it says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So, what is the takeaway from this? It is that genuine faith in Jesus Christ involves death to sin and living to righteousness, not just positionally, but experientially. This is written to believers. It is warning (cautioning, encouraging) them that their salvation from sin was salvation from slavery to sin, not liberty to keep on sinning now that they were under grace. It tells us that if we present ourselves as slaves to anyone, we are slaves to the one we obey, either sin, which leads to death, or obedience, which leads to righteousness. But, having been freed from sin, we are now slaves to God, provided that we have, indeed, been freed and we truly have died with Christ to sin and that we are living with him to his righteousness, walking according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh (See Ro. 8:1-17). It all comes down to lifestyle, how we live our lives, for sin or for God.

And, in that context it says, “For the wages of sin is death,” but this is not talking about the sin of Adam, or our sin nature, but it is talking about whether or not we are enslaved to sin or we are enslaved to God, and it has to do with what we do in response to what Jesus did for us, i.e. whether we choose to present ourselves as slaves to sin or as slaves to obedience to Christ. This is the whole theme of this chapter. It is about whether or not we are enslaved to God or to sin, and it has everything to do with how we choose to live our lives, but not in our flesh, or in our own strength, trying to be good enough, but it has to do with our submission and surrender to our Lord Jesus, and allowing him to be our master and whether or not we willingly yield to his Lordship over our lives or we choose slavery to sin.
 
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rrobsr

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Let’s look at some of these verses you mention in context. What is the context of Romans 6:23?

Romans 6 presents us with the question of whether we should go on (continue) sinning so that grace may abound (increase). The answer back is, “By no means!” And, then it goes on to describe the spiritual condition of the genuine believer in Jesus Christ. He or she (they, we) have died to sin, so how can we live in it (continue in it) any longer. We, through faith in Jesus Christ died with Christ to sin and we were resurrected with Christ, that we may live a new life, not like the old life, where we were in slavery to sin. Our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Jesus didn’t die just to deliver us from the punishment of sin, but he died that we would be free from enslavement to sin, so that we wouldn’t go on sinning.

So, just as Christ died to sin, and the life he lives, he lives to God, we must also consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Peter put it this way, that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). Paul said that Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15). The goal of our salvation is to free us from living sinful lifestyles, and so that we might walk in holiness and righteousness – all in the power and working of God’s Spirit now living within us. Sin is to have no dominion over us. So, we are to no longer present the members of our bodies as instruments for unrighteousness, and sin should no longer reign in our mortal bodies, so that we obey its passions.

So, then it goes on to say that if we present ourselves as obedient slaves to anyone, that we are slaves to the one we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness. Then, it says to the ones to whom this is written that they who were once enslaved to sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which they were committed, and having been set free from sin, they have now become slaves of righteousness. When we were slaves to sin, we were free in regard to righteousness, i.e. we were free of the control of righteousness. In that condition, the outcome of those things is death. Then it says that now, having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the benefit we derive or the fruit we get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. Then it says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So, what is the takeaway from this? It is that genuine faith in Jesus Christ involves death to sin and living to righteousness, not just positionally, but experientially. This is written to believers. It is warning (cautioning, encouraging) them that their salvation from sin was salvation from slavery to sin, not liberty to keep on sinning now that they were under grace. It tells us that if we present ourselves as slaves to anyone, we are slaves to the one we obey, either sin, which leads to death, or obedience, which leads to righteousness. But, having been freed from sin, we are now slaves to God, provided that we have, indeed, been freed and we truly have died with Christ to sin and that we are living with him to his righteousness, walking according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh (See Ro. 8:1-17). It all comes down to lifestyle, how we live our lives, for sin or for God.

And, in that context it says, “For the wages of sin is death,” but this is not talking about the sin of Adam, or our sin nature, but it is talking about whether or not we are enslaved to sin or we are enslaved to God, and it has to do with what we do in response to what Jesus did for us, i.e. whether we choose to present ourselves as slaves to sin or as slaves to obedience to Christ. This is the whole theme of this chapter. It is about whether or not we are enslaved to God or to sin, and it has everything to do with how we choose to live our lives, but not in our flesh, or in our own strength, trying to be good enough, but it has to do with our submission and surrender to our Lord Jesus, and allowing him to be our master and whether or not we willingly yield to his Lordship over our lives or we choose slavery to sin.

You make it sound like flesh has a choice as to whether or not to sin. Maybe, but there is Paul saying,

Rom 7:25,
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
I'm not trying outdo Paul in controlling my flesh. I spend my thoughts on the things he taught, i.e. the Bible. Why do you find it hard to believe that one can change naturally by simply reading and studying the scriptures? They are quick (lively) and powerful. Surely they must affect the mind of the Christian who spends time learning about God. I may be wrong in being so, but I am convinced that studying the word will change a man or woman far faster and better than resolutions and promises to stop this or start that. In fact the later seldom works in everything I've seen in the church. In any case any work on the flesh can never do more than a knowledge of God which can only be gotten through a knowledge of what he tells us about himself in his word.
Jesus himself tells us that there is no good thing in the flesh, that it profits nothing (John). Just try to forget your flesh and what you have done, what you are doing, and what you may do in the future to serve that flesh. It was rotten from the day you were born and it still is. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear rings all too true in this case. I guarantee you will not end up committing more sin, and probable less. But the real benefit will be a greater feeling of joy in the Lord and less doubt, fear, and guilt, all of which can not be avoided if too much attention is placed on the flesh and how well it behaves. There is no question. The flesh really does profit nothing. There is nothing good in it. You are made perfect by the spirit (Gal 3), and that very spirit keeps saying over and over that the flesh has nothing worthwhile. It makes no exceptions. Absolutely nobody can make it better by their actions, not even the most chaste Christian who ever lived.

God bless...
 
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