As we only know all too well, Christians can, and do, sin. When we do, the Devil uses our sins to torment us with doubts about our salvation and about God not forgiving us. In this blog I want to look at what we’re supposed to do with sin.

STAY CLEAR OF SIN. DON’T SIN!  The Devil uses your sins to try and bring you into doubt, torment, and condemnation about your salvation and God’s forgiveness. Your sins are what makes the Devil start talking to you about your salvation. Brethren, if you don’t want to face the torment of doubt about your salvation, then don’t sin!

SHEEP DON’T WANT TO SIN OR CONTINUE SINNING.  I told you previously that sheep are like everyone else. They have lusts in their own lives that they’ve got to deal with and they’re subject to Satan’s temptations just like everyone else. But while sheep are like the rest of humanity in these respects, there’s one important thing about them that sets them apart from the rest of humanity. That is, sheep seek to rise above sin. They try not to sin. In their heart of hearts, they really don’t want to sin. They want to please God and obey Him. In the words of our Lord, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27).

Unlike the rest of humanity, sheep don’t live to satisfy and give in to the flesh. They live to deny, restrain, and crucify the flesh. Paul puts it this way in Galatians 5:24, And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

He went on to say in Colossians 3:1-10, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. {2} Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. {3} For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. {4} When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. {5} Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: {6} For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: {7} In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. {8} But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. {9} Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; {10} And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

CHRISTIANS HAVE FLESHLY LUSTS TOO! Note three things from this passage of Scripture. First, note who Paul is talking to: he’s talking to Christians (Colossians 1:2). Why would Paul talk to Christians about sins and lusts that are so characteristic of unregenerates? Because Christians are faced with the flesh and they battle the same sins and lusts that unregenerates do. Brethren, DON’T THINK THAT YOU’RE NOT SAVED JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE BATTLING FLESHLY TEMPTATION AND UNREGENERATE LUSTS. Every human being has fleshly lusts and temptations—and that includes Christians! YOU MAY BE HUMAN. BUT YOU’RE A CHRISTIAN TOO AND GOD EXPECTS YOU TO LIVE AND ACT AS A CHRISTIAN.

Second, note that the sins and lusts that Paul mentions here are all natural or innate to human nature. They come with being human. It’s natural for people to want to fulfill their fleshly, ungodly lusts. But what does God want you to do with these emotions, appetites, and desires that come naturally to human nature? He wants you to mortify, or crucify, them. In other words, JUST BECAUSE SOME DESIRES COME NATURALLY DOESN’T MEAN IT’S ALRIGHT FOR YOU TO FULFILL THEM! God knows you’re human. But you’re a Christian too! And instead of expecting you to give in to human lusts, God expects you to do the Christian thing and crucify those lusts. Why? Because those lusts will get you in trouble with Him. They’re a threat to your soul. And they’ll bring you down to Hell if you coddle them, instead of crucify them.

Read what Paul said in Galatians 5:19-21, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, {20} Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, {21} Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Brethren, CRUCIFIXION IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD: IT WILL KEEP YOU OUT OF HELL!

THE LUSTS THAT YOU HAVE ARE CAPABLE OF BEING CRUCIFIED. And third, notice with me that, while fleshly lusts come naturally to human nature, while some of these lusts are strong and are a powerful, driving force in the lives of people (KJV, inordinate affection); nevertheless they’re still capable of being overcome, controlled, and crucified. What did God say to do with these lusts? He said to crucify them, which means they can be crucified. They’re capable of being taken to the cross and put to death. They’re not beyond dying and being removed from your life. Brethren, NO MATTER HOW STRONG OR POWERFUL YOUR LUSTS ARE, YOU CAN RISE ABOVE THEM AND BE VICTORIOUS OVER THEM!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO SIN.  Brethren, you don’t have to sin. Despite the temptations you face and the lusts you’re trying to rise above, you still don’t have to sin. Sin is a powerful force and master in the lives of men. But not in the lives of God’s people! God has broken the power of sin over you. He has freed you from sin’s tyranny. Sin is no longer your master!

Read what God said in Romans 6:12-18, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. {13} Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. {14} For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. {15} What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. {16} Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? {17} But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. {18} Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Note two things here.

First,  YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN FREED FROM SIN!  Being then made free from sin. WHEN YOU CAME TO CHRIST FOR SALVATION GOD FREED YOU FROM SIN’S RULE IN YOUR LIFE. Like a prisoner of war held captive in sin’s prison, God delivered you from sin’s dominion. He set you free. You’re no longer imprisoned by sin. Sin is no longer your master or jailer.

It’s like changing jobs. When you get a new job, your old boss no longer has any authority over you, you don’t have to listen to him, you don’t have to do what he tells you to do. Why? Because he isn’t your boss anymore.

Brethren, you’ve got a new Boss now and your old boss, called sin, doesn’t have any authority over you anymore. You don’t have to listen to your old boss. Your old boss cannot force or compel you to sin. He doesn’t have that kind of power over you anymore. Christ has given you His power and you’re now free to serve Him—not sin. Brethren, you don’t have to sin!

Second, YOUR FREEDOM FROM SIN REQUIRES YOUR OBEDIENCE. It involves your participation. You’ve got a part to play in being set free from sin: but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you (Romans 6:17). Your freedom involves your obedience to God’s doctrine or teaching. Brethren, YOU’VE GOT TO DO WHAT GOD COMMANDS YOU TO DO, I.E. DIE OUT TO SELF; IF YOU WANT TO STAY FREE AND STAY OUT OF SIN’S PRISON. God said in Romans 6:16, Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin under death, or of obedience unto righteousness? WHEN YOU GIVE IN TO YOUR LUSTS, BRETHREN, YOU LOSE YOUR FREEDOM AND YOU BECOME A SLAVE ONCE AGAIN. Ask a druggie or an alcoholic if he can live without his addiction. Ask him if he can give it up. They’ll tell you what God says, addiction is slavery, not freedom. Friends, if you want to stay out of sin’s prison you’ve got to put Self on the cross. Freedom comes in crucifixion: for he that is dead is freed from sin (Romans 6:7).

If you’re truly God’s sheep and still desire to gratify your fleshly lusts and sin, then call upon God and ask Him to make you willing and desirous to live without the particular sin or lust involved. Ask Him for the willingness and grace to die out to that lust, hate it, and triumph over it. Philippians 2:13 promises, For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Hebrews 13:21 reiterates the promise: {God} Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Brethren, this is one prayer that God will hear and it’s one promise that He will fulfill! He’ll give you the willingness and power to rise above sin. He’ll give you the willingness to crucify that lust and die out to it.

But, in the final analysis, you’ve got to be the one who goes to the cross and put that lust for sin to death. What do you do? You learn to say No. You refuse to give in to your lusts. You develop a hatred or abhorrence of that lust so that, over a period of time, you lose your desire for it and the lust quits being the powerful, driving force that it once was in your life. It can be done. Many of God’s people have had to do it and they succeeded. I’m in that number, so I know what I’m talking about. It ain’t easy. But it’s doable. God will make sure to that.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 7. The concluding post in this series. If you’re really having a hard time with sin and rising above it, it may be indicative of the Devil’s power in your life. It’ll help explain why victory and holiness has been so difficult and elusive for you.  This is Required Attendance for all sin addicts. No AWOL’s allowed.

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