We’ve heard that a famous parenting author and her husband have ended their 17-year marriage after he came out as gay. Based on current trends this is not surprising as the percentage of Millennials embracing gay marriage has increased.
What is frightening is the “sensitivity training” to accept, embrace and advocate every kind of sin has escalated. If you believe what the Bible teaches about any controversial subject, you will be allowed to silently believe but not allowed to practice or say what you believe, especially in the “post-Christian” Europe.
The Deep State’s obsession with mind control using all forms of perversions has increased. And one of the tools being used are the six media corporations who are pushing a worldview that promotes lust and every form of sin until people can longer contain themselves within the bounds of human decency.
Please readers don’t cast me into the liberal or conservative camp of Christians. I belong to neither camp. My opinion to homosexuality is the same as that of one famous evangelist.
When asked about homosexuality by a reporter, he excelled by answering, “When I need gasoline for my car I put the nozzle in the gas tank, not in the exhaust….All I am saying is no car is built like that, and no man is created that way either.”
The good news is that God demonstrates and clearly proves His love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died on the Cross for us. (Romans 5:8) Jesus died for all of us sinners and His mercy and grace reaches out to everyone.
Sin is sin whether it is adultery, homosexuality, murder, lying, slander…you name it. And we all sinners and that’s why we need a Saviour. In fact am not qualified to approach someone who has fallen into any sin because I am a sinner too. As a matter of fact, perhaps I can see myself doing what he/she has done if not by God’s grace.
I remember a story that describes two church elders a few years ago who had the task of approaching a man in their church who was in an adulterous relationship.
On their way to the man’s home one elder said to the other, “Do you believe that you could fall into this sin?” the reply: “No I cannot.” The elder who asked the question then said, “You are not qualified to go in and approach this man” and the visit was cancelled.
The apostle Paul admonishes us in Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
The lesson here is: the person who knows full well that he or she could do the very same thing if at all it’s not by the grace of God is the only person qualified to help a fellow Christian caught in any kind of sin. But the question is, how do we overcome sin?
How to Overcome Sin
The problem we have as Christians is we’ve all forgotten the power of the cross. We think that to die once is sufficient but the spirit of the world, with its carnality and selfishness loosed upon this generation is so strong in these evil days.
It is only in a continual daily crucifying of the flesh that we can withstand temptation. The only way to overcome sin is to carry our cross, follow Christ, and die daily because to die just once in this sex-saturated society is not enough. It has to be a daily personal experience with the Lord who alone can enable us to overcome temptation.
All efforts and human willpower to overcome sin without Christ are futile and unscriptural. The Bible teaches us that sin is overcome by faith in Christ. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption- that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). “Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)
Christians are said to have their hearts purified by faith (Acts 15:9). In Acts 26:18, it is affirmed that the saints are sanctified by faith in Christ. And in Romans 9:31-32, it is affirmed that the Jews did not attain righteousness because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.
The Bible tells us that Christ saves people from sin through faith and His Spirit is received by faith to dwell in the heart. It is faith that works by love. (Galatians 5:6) Love is brought about and sustained by faith. By faith, Christians overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. It is by faith that they quench all the fiery darts of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16).
It is by faith that we put on Christ. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27) And we put off the old man with his deeds by faith. (Colossians 3:9). It is by faith that we fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12), and not by resolution. It is by faith that we stand. (2 Corinthians 1:24; by resolution we fall. This is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith (I John 5:4)
No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.(1 John 9:3)
And again, “We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ’s divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him]. (1 John 5:18 AMP)
It is by faith that the flesh is kept under and carnal desires are subdued. It is by faith that we receive the Spirit of Christ to work in us both to will and to work according to His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. (Philippians 2:13)
God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5) By pouring out His love, He quickens our whole souls into harmony with Himself and He purifies our hearts through faith. He quickens and regulates our affections, desires, appetites and passions, and becomes our sanctification.
Every victory over sin is by faith in Christ. Wherever we are diverted from Christ by resolving to fight against sin in our own strength, we are deluding ourselves. Nothing but the Spirit of Christ within us can save us from sin.
The Bible teaches that by trusting in Christ, we receive an inward influence that stimulates and directs every step we take. “I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”(Galatians 2:20 AMP)
It teaches that that by faith we receive His purifying influence into the very centre of our beings. He quickens our inward beings into an attitude of loving obedience. This is the only practical way to overcome sin.
But what about when Paul exhorted us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling…. (Philippians 2:12-13). Here Paul was teaching the Philippians while he was with them; but now in his absence, he exhorted them to work out their own salvation, not by resolution but by the inward operation of God. This passage recognizes both the divine and human agency in the work of sanctification.
God works in us to will and to do; and we, accepting by faith His in-working, will and do according to His good pleasure. Faith itself is an active and not a passive state. A passive holiness is impossible. Jesus Himself influences the free will and, He does this by truth and love and not by force.
You cannot make your life holy or overcome sin if your heart does not have the love of God. This is what the Bible calls sanctification. This is the second part of being saved. The first part is justification.
Having been set free from the penalty of sin and with the broken relationship now restored, we are now set free from the power of sin. The grip of sin is broken, and sanctification comes as much by faith as justification.
We are justified by faith and we are sanctified by faith. We don’t have to produce it ourselves, but we do need to go on trusting Jesus Christ every moment of every day.
The Lord willing we shall consider the meaning of justification, sanctification and glorification next time.