Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Struggling-with-SIN", Part 1

I find it rather amusing how the Lord works to allow us to learn directly from HIS WORD when He wants to expose a false teaching! I've heard many different sermons from different "bible-teachers" and I've grown to love and respect a few of them, but over the years I've as well dropped and left many of them along the way. 

The  reason I would no longer listen to a bible teacher or be a part of anything he works on is because at one point or another, God exposes the real heart and message using the Truth in God's Word.

Oftentimes, I feel my spirit immediately discerning a false teacher with the message that he preaches, but sometimes, there are some of them who are very much like their father, the devil, who are very cunning in all their ways. One would have to really sit down and STUDY THE WORD for themselves in order to TEST the spirit of these kinds of bible teachers. 

This morning, God allowed me to go over some old notes I have in my sermon notebook and somehow, He led me to my notes on a particular message I've heard sometime in July of this year. I said some "amens" back then, but God brought me to read His Word this morning to review and test that teaching against Scripture.

The Word of God commands us to do that, anyway. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading and studying Scripture personally. God can speak through the message of a sermon, no matter how deceptive it is formulated to be by the preacher, but HIS SOVEREIGN TRUTH will never change and it always prevails in His Word. And this Truth will expose every dark corner, every nook and cranny of every message a so-called "bible teacher" will have embedded in their message! God's Word will shed light to ANY subtle lies of the enemy.

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV)

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)

The "Struggle" with Sin
The sermon notes that God made me go over again this morning was one that was based primarily on Romans 7:11-25. My notes showed that the preacher said that the apostle Paul still struggles with sin 27 years after being saved! 

The message was all about struggling with sin in these last days and living in light of the judgment to come. Now the message was opened up by a personal testimony of the preacher about how he "struggled" with some things over the years now. That he's gotten victory over some things but hasn't done so in others. All that made him conclude for himself that he is truly unworthy to do the work of the Lord, but is humbled to have been called to do it. 

My notes showed that the teacher taught primarily from Romans 7:11-25, and it shows us that as Christians it is not supposed to be a surprise for us if we "struggle with sin" ("fall into sin" is the subtle message) regularly because even the apostle Paul "struggled" with it on a daily basis. The teacher goes on to say that Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that God's Grace is sufficient in times of weakness and that Paul's thorn in the flesh was an avenue for  God's power be manifest through our weakness.  

My notes went on to show that this teacher mentioned 1 John 1:9 as an important tool and confidence of Christians, as it reminds us that we just NEED TO CONFESS  our sins to God and know that Christ's forgiveness is available to us every time. 

The message ended with the twist on continuing to do the work of God to reach other people with the gospel message in these last days. It sounded like a legitimate message, an encouragement of Christians who consider themselves weaklings for "struggling" so much on a regular basis with sin, but must continue to fight the good fight and run the race until the end.

This teacher's message was simple: The Christian life will be a DAILY STRUGGLE with SIN, and though it's not a license to sin, we need not be discouraged because great men like the apostle Paul even "struggled" with it during his time. Suffice it to say, though, that we can always run back to Jesus to confess our sins and be forgiven because the Bible tells us that God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This we MUST remember that we may be encouraged to continue to do the work of the Lord by not focusing on our weaknesses, but to focus on reaching the lost in these last days.

My question is this, "Should THAT be the case for true, genuine believers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ? Should we regularly encourage ourselves to stand up again after "struggling" with sin and run back to the throne for mercy (again)? Was this REALLY the case for the apostle Paul?" 

The Word of God in context
Over the years, the Lord has taught me to never take a verse or even a couple of them out of context. I have to go back and also read forward a few verses or even a chapter before I consider the message that pops out of a certain verse. Verses pulled out of their context do so much damage in the end.

So, let me share with you what the preacher said was Paul's heart cry on his "struggle" with sin. Romans 7:11-25 says this:

"11For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. 14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25I 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."  (emphasis given during the message)

Unfortunately, though, the above verses cannot be taken out of the context and used to back up what the preacher spoke of in his message. Romans 7:16-25 is just a small portion of the HUGE TRUTH about SIN. One has to read beginning in Romans 5:18 all through Romans 8:9. 

The apostle Paul started to speak about the Truth of the gospel in Romans 5 and that by one man (Adam) SIN enter into the world, and DEATH BY SIN, and that it was passed upon ALL men. 

Paul then explained that just as JUDGMENT came upon all men to condemnation because of that one offense, the FREE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD became available unto ALL MEN through the obedience also of one man (Jesus) for the JUSTIFICATION of us all.

Paul said that the LAW OF GOD was given (entered into the scene of the world) in order for SIN to be revealed. It established GOD's ABSOLUTES and made it clear for mankind that the SIN that was passed on to ALL OF US is, in fact, an offense against God. But, Paul added, where sin abounded, the GRACE of GOD did much more abound.

Since in the chapters before this in Romans 3:23 Paul already mentioned that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God, we now understand that as sinners, the judgment of God for sin is poured toward us which is DEATH BY SIN. 

The apostle Paul explained it in Romans 7 that the LAW (which established that SIN is a GREAT OFFENSE against GOD) only has dominion over man for as long as he LIVES. When he dies, JUDGMENT FOR SIN has then been passed. And he that remains CONDEMNED remains DEAD for all eternity!

But the beauty of the GOSPEL TRUTH is presented by Paul in that he did mention in Romans 6 that those who DO BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished and completed work of salvation are baptized into HIS DEATH. Those who do believe and trust in the Lord Jesus to save them from sin and death are BURIED WITH HIM BY BAPTISM and are RAISED UP FROM THE DEAD IN NEWNESS OF LIFE!!!

This goes with the Truth that Jesus mentioned to Nicodemus in John chapter 6 that we MUST BE BORN AGAIN. Because, our first nature is that of SIN--carnal and dead! And so we read in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son and whoever believes in Him SHALL NOT PERISH but have everlasting life. 

The context of the above passage of Scripture is not that Paul was saying he is STILL in that state of  "struggling" even AFTER HE WAS BORN AGAIN! That portion of Scripture shows Paul explaining on the natures we all have which is the carnal AND THEN the spiritual. Take note of what he said as an opening to his long explanation of the law of sin and death in us. 

Before Paul started speaking and explaining the Law of sin and death in a person's life in Romans 7, he went on to say this in Romans 6:18-23:

"Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Look at verse 19 above and see that Paul said, the saints HAVE YIELDED (past) their members servants to uncleanness, but then continues to say EVEN SO NOW (at present, that they are ALREADY BORN OF GOD), they now have to yield their members servants to righteousness.

Look at Paul's use of words here... In verse 20 he said, they WERE (past) servants of sin. But when he got to verse 22, he said BUT NOW (at present, having been born of the Spirit already) they have been MADE FREE FROM SIN and BECOME (present) SERVANTS TO GOD!

Chapter 7 starts with this... "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?" Paul is now using this to open his remarks on the Law of sin and death in chapter 7! 

Take note that he said, "I speak to THEM THAT KNOW THE LAW...". Paul spoke of the role of the Law in chapter 5 saying that the Law imputed SIN. And this is what he expounds in Chapter 7 when he spoke of what the Law of sin and death is in our beings. 

When Paul talked about doing the things he did not do, he simply was using illustrations of the fact that there is that Law of Sin and Death, and the Law of LIFE in Christ Jesus upon which every believer is MADE FREE with!

(Continued in PART 2)


  1. Hahaha. Sorry, but the chapter just disproved your point. There's no such thing as changing, one-time, big time.
    Can't you see, even St. Paul was still struggling from sin.
    We can still sin because we are still here on earth.

    "25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" - ooohh.. did you see that?? "delivers", not delivered (as opposed to your one time big time prayer of salvation born again event)

  2. Hi Anonymous!
    Thank you for dropping by. I sincerely pray that you will seek God's Truth in His Word. You see, the Word of God is very clear about the REGENERATION of a person who is going to be born of God. There is NO SUCH THING as a new creature in Christ who still "struggles with sin".

    You see, most professing Christians today set their minds on this false teaching that the followers of Jesus Christ CAN CONTINUALLY or habitually just TRY to overcome sin. It gives the professing christian the impression that genuine believers of the Lord Jesus Christ have a reason to move forward with much difficulty in their Christian walk.

    The Bible tells us that those who are IN CHRIST are more than conquerors in (and THROUGH) Christ. There is a DISTINCT DIFFERENCE between the life of a genuine believer in Christ and that of a carnal, unregenerate individual. It is IRRECONCILABLE, really, for one to say that CONSTANT and REGULAR SLIDING INTO SIN is a regular part of the life of one who has been born again.

    Read the Bible because it will clearly show you that the OLD MAN (which is carnal and driven by the flesh) is DEAD and crucified with Christ, and those who have been born of God has also been dead, buried and risen in NEW LIFE with Christ.

    The NEW BEING has a NEW LIFE in CHRIST. The life of Christ's followers is a life of HOLINESS... not CARNAL SPIRITUALLY...

    Perfection in the Bible's sense has something to do with living a holy, moral life amidst the carnality of those in this world. Take Noah, because the Lord calls him perfect, too... It is not about having NO SIN, dear one, but about LIVING A HOLY LIFE BECAUSE OF WHAT CHRIST JESUS DID ON THAT CROSS.

    There is no more LOVE for SIN for those who are in Christ Jesus. It is a TOTALLY different case when a believer falls into sin and repents of it, confesses it to the Lord and moves forward to live a more vigilant and holy life. Coming back to the same sin OVER AND OVER AGAIN is a sign of an UNREPENTANT HEART!

    Why would you confess a sin and go back to doing it again if you know it is offensive to Christ? That nature just doesn't make sense for a true believer of Christ Jesus.

    This is the reason why we have so many carnal people in the church today. So many are deceived that they are born again in Christ because they said a prayer to invite Jesus in their hearts and yet there's really no true repentance and regeneration. These are the millions of "christianized goats" who love to excuse their carnality as something they can do regularly because "Paul also struggled with sin". It's pure hogwash and foolishness to think that Christ's Bride behaves like any other lost individual.

    WE ARE SET FREE FROM SIN & DEATH in and THROUGH THE FINISHED WORK OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. There is just no going around THAT! There isn't a thing as a Christian drunkard, christian adulterer, christian homosexual, christian liar, christian thief, christian idolater, christian fornicator and so on...

    May the Light of God's Truth shine upon you and yours...

  3. Wow reading your post maam-your old student



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