Some Christians do not seek to be free from their sin or get delivered from sin because they justify their behavior for one reason or another. They say they want to be delivered. They may come up for prayer and ask for deliverance. But they do not receive deliverance because they walk in double-mindedness. They have the feeling that "they do, but they don’t want" to be delivered and set free.
James 1:6-8 ESV But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (7) For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
They do because they know it is wrong to continue in sin. They don’t because deep in their heart they...
1. Are not convinced total deliverance from their stronghold is a requirement.
2. Are not convinced total deliverance from their stronghold is possible.
3. Want to just keep on with the sin they are engaging in.
All the rewards we associate with the Christian son-ship go to those who overcome.
Romans 12:21 ESV Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
1 John 5:4 ESV For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Revelation 2:7 ESV He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.'
Revelation 2:11 ESV He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.'
Revelation 2:17 ESV He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.'
Revelation 2:26 ESV The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,
Revelation 3:5 ESV The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
Revelation 3:12 ESV The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
Revelation 3:21 ESV The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
We overcome sin through the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ has sufficient power to enable us to turn away from sin in word, deed, and thought. He possesses wisdom and authority and will lead us to total victory.
Is total victory necessary? Does the Bible promise us that under the new covenant we can gain victory over sinful behavior?
Galatians 5:16-18 ESV But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (17) For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Because we battle with faith that the Word of God is true and absolute we have opened the door for the enemy to persuade us that Christ does not have the power to enable us to overcome sin. All kinds of false doctrine has invaded Christian thinking that has as a foundational concept that the new covenant does not include deliverance from our sinful behavior. Some of that stinking thinking is the misuse and improper understanding of Christian liberty.
I have met so many Christians who have fallen into this trap of redefining sin in hope to take the sinfulness out of sin, and all in the name of tolerance and unity in diversity. I had one guy tell me that he smoked dope for the glory of God.
In order to maintain an ABSOBUTE standard, sin must be defined by someone who does not do it. God the Father is the only One who has the right to define sin. His Son died to pay the price of our sinfulness. When the world renames and redefines sin, it is an attempt to take the sinfulness out of sin and to make our Lord's death on the cross something done in vain. Sin is sinfully sinful. Deception is deceivingly deceptive. Here is what our God says about sin.
1. Sin is transgression of the law (1 Jn.3:4).
2. Sin is coming short of the glory of God (Romans. 3:23).
3. Sin is rebellion against God (Isaiah. 1:2).
4. Sin is unbelief: It makes God a liar (I John. 5:10).
5. Sin is going our own way, planning our own life according to our own will, without seeking the will of God (Isaiah. 53:6).
6. All unrighteousness is Sin (I John. 5:17).
When we play with sin by trying to use "Christian liberty" to do what is right in our own eyes we must remember that...
Sin is a folly to deceive us,
Sin is a force to destroy us and
Sin is a fact to condemn us.
A little leaven, leavens the whole lump!
Sin is a volitional act of disobedience against the revealed will of God.
But in our Lord Jesus Christ we can be free from the Penalty of sin, the Power of sin, and the Presence of sin. To Him be the glory. AMEN!
The prophet Isaiah foresaw the ministry of our Redeemer. In Isaiah 61:1-3, that ministry is foretold as if through the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Isaiah 61:1-2 ESV The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (2) to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
In the sermon on the Mount, our Lord Jesus proclaimed,
Matthew 5:4 ESV "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
That is the essence of the Gospel - the good news - that if you mourn over your sins, Jesus will give you comfort and joy.
In Corinth, there was a brother who committed an act of immorality. The Church rightfully disciplined the erring brother and disfellowshipped him. That action of removing him from the church body caused the brother to realize how wicked his behavior was. He sorrowed over his sin. In 2 Corinthians 2:6-7,11, Paul instructs the congregation to accept back the repentant brother and comfort him before his sorrow became destructive:
2 Corinthians 2:6-7 ESV (6) For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, (7) so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
2 Corinthians 2:11 ESV so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
We are called to walk in the joy of the Lord. Sometimes when a Christian sins he/she needs to be removed from the fellowship for their good and for the good of the body. But the removal is not for condemnation but for restoration. Once they have repented then it is our job to seek to restore them back into fellowship and seek to help them to be restored in the JOY OF THE LORD. Those who mourn over their sin will be comforted.
1 John 1:7 ESV But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
First I would like to look at the Scriptures concerning lifestyle sins or deeds of the fresh, and the consequences of living in them.
Galatians 5:19-21 ESV Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, (20) idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, (21) envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, (10) nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
We are told from the Word of God that a true believe cannot continue living in a lifestyle of sin.
1 John 3:5-7 ESV You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. (6) No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (7) Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.
From these Scriptures we come to some conclusion.
Those who live in the sins listed in Gal.5:19-21 and 1 Cor.6:9-10 will not inherit the kingdom of God. Those who live in Christ according to 1 Jn.3:5-6 keeps a life-style apart from a lifestyle of sinning.
These Scriptures are so clear. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. If we say we are in Christ we do not keep on sinning. It is as simple as this.
Sometimes I ask people, “Can Jesus Christ deliver someone from lying?” Usually they affirm He can. “Can Jesus Christ deliver someone from stealing?” Usually the answer will be, “Yes, He can.”
Then I ask, “What sin is too great for Christ to overcome?” Usually the answer is, “There is no sin too great for Christ to overcome.”
We know this is true, yet Satan has convinced us that we have so much sin it is useless to think that we can overcome them.
Wintertime is approaching. Imagine this. You are on your way to work early in the morning. It had been snowing (hard to imagine if you live in Florida), and the roads are full of slush. You are now late for work. There is a big truck ahead of you going very slowly and you can't see around it.
You think, “There is really bad traffic this morning. I don’t dare pull around this truck because I may cause an accident. The roads are slippery.”
Finally however you see your opportunity and you pull around the truck. What do you think you saw? There were no other cars ahead of the truck. The road was clear for a long, long way. Sometimes we are blinded by that one sin in front of us and convinced by the enemy that there are thousands more ahead of it. Focus on our Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. The blood of Christ is enough to deliver us from all sin.
Hebrews 10:11 ESV And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
The reason Christians are not delivered from their stronghold of sins is they don't know that this is promise in the New Testament and is a distinct feature of the New Covenant.
In our generational theology, there doesn't appear to be a clear statement that our salvation includes deliverance from daily sin or a workable program for overcoming the nature or habit of sin.
Before we can attempt to overcome our sinful nature we must know for a certainty that the Bible teaches that believers do not have to be continually trapped in sin. We must know what the Word teaches.
1. The New Covenant does not permit continuing in sinful behavior.
2. The New Covenant includes deliverance from sinful behavior.
3. The New Covenant includes a workable plan for deliverance from all sinful behavior.
We do not gain victory over the stronghold of sins until we learn that such victory is in available by faith in the Word of God and our Lord's work on the cross. Then we have faith to pursue victory over the sins of the flesh until we obtain it.
We are not speaking of some sudden experience in which the habit of sin will be removed. The removal of the sin nature is included under the New Covenant, but it has to do with a whole life of cross-carrying obedience to the Lord as the sinful nature is slain and Christ is formed completely within us.
Such freedom from the sin nature, being transformed into the moral image of Christ, and resting in the Person of the Father through Christ, are all part of the New Covenant. To much of modern Christianity is still be lived in the Old Covenant.
We are not dealing with victory over behaviors, such as impure thoughts, lust, anger, lying, gossip, slander, selfishness, hatred, unforgiveness, spite, backbiting, sexual perversion, drunkenness, the use of drugs, and other demonic chains that destroy people including Christians. We do these things knowing that we can keep coming to the cross for forgiveness or we start excusing them away as normal human behavior. But the Scriptures tell us to come boldly before the throne of God for help.
Does the New Covenant include victory over these and all sinful strongholds? You bet it does. Let’s see what the Bible says about victory over sin. It is entirely possible to get victory over this bunch of messy behaviors while we still are in this world. More later....
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE TRAPPED IN SIN!
Romans 6:14 KJV For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
It typically is true that before we can receive a blessing from God we have to know the promise is in the Bible. This is true of the blessings of being saved. It is true of the blessings of the gifts of the Spirit. It is true of the blessing of Divine healing. Once we know God has given the promise we can choose to believe and receive, or doubt and reject.
The same is true with the blessing of victory over sin. Once we see the victory which we have in the Scriptures we can choose to believe and receive that victory or live as a defeated victim of our flesh.
I have had people tell me “No one ever told me before that I could get victory over sin." Many believe that because we are 98.6 and breathing we just had to live with the fact that we are going to sin each day.
Some believers live their whole life with sin. Let me pick one: Anger issues. Every time they get angry and lose their temper they have deep regrets because of the people they hurt verbally or physically. They would feel deep conviction about the anger, but did not know they could get victory over it. We can have faith for victory over anger or any sin that hinders us from walking Christ-like.
The Cross Is Enough For Victory.
That’s just Bible... It is right and so simple and practical!
Years ago in the 1990's I was involved with a ministry called "The Holy of Holies". I taught on the 7 Biblical Feasts and the Holiness of the Tabernacle.
In my early years as a new believer I had been taught the conventional Christian wisdom that all of us are sinners and Christ came to forgive us and save us in order to bring us to Heaven.
This teaching told me that we could not keep the commandments in the New Testament because of our sinful nature. The commandments were written to show us our need of a Savior. We are saved by grace and not by works. This is the difference between the new covenant and preceding covenants. This was all true when I was lost.
But after salvation I was taught that as long as we are in this world we have to sin and there was nothing we could do about it.
But upon searching the New Testament to see what it actually stated, I was amazed to find that the New Testament did not teach this. I had been taught very little about imputed righteousness and righteous behavior. God would not have commanded me in the New Testament to "Be ye holy" if it were not possible.
Then in teaching the 7 Feasts I found out some things about the Day of Atonement. The two goats of the Day of Atonement came to my attention. The one goat was slain and its blood sprinkled in the Holy of Holies, typifying the blood atonement made by the Lord Jesus on the cross, the forgiveness of sin.
The second goat, also a goat of atonement, was left alive and led away into the wilderness, typifying the removal of sin.
Once I realized the truth about the 2 goats, Romans chapter 6 made more sense. Now I am preaching more about our spiritual position called the “state of grace.” We can live each day without being bound by the law of sin. I am no longer a slave to sin, therefore I no longer serve sin.
Why do we spend so much time speaking about some sins and we never hear about others? Why would the sin of homosexuality be greater than say, the sin of laziness or telling a lie?
Sin is sin. Sin is defined as a transgression against the Character of God, the Word of God and the will and ways of God. Therefore man and government cannot define what is sin and what is not sin.
Although all sin is equal in status as being a transgression against God and His Word, not all sin carries the same weight in judgment and consequences. In the Old Testament God commanded a blood sacrifice for some sins yet for the sins of murder, and all sexual sins the offenders were stoned to death. Sin was sin but each carried different consequences of judgment.
When we teach and live the life of holiness and righteousness, which is the life of Christ in and through us we naturally stand against all acts of transgression against God.
We cannot speak against every sin or that is all we will do. In fact most sins, especially within the body of Christ are sins of thoughts and intentions of the mind and heart and not in deed.
God could have mentioned thousands of sins against Sodom, but He singled out the one that caused His destructive wrath and that was homosexual sins.
God could have mentioned thousands of sins about the people of the earth to Noah, but He mentioned the one that caused His world-wide destruction of the earth, and was that violence had filled the land.
So although I agree that all sin is wrong and should be addressed, however some carry such a destructive nature and are such a reproach to God that we need to call the nations to repentance against them.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.