Escaping Sin’s mastery
There are no “victimless crimes” even those sins which we commit against our own bodies
are still sins against someone for whom Christ died – namely us. Worldly philosophy redefines the concept of sin so that it is just the natural function of our bodies and not to be worried about. Religions impose rules to squelch it for fear of punishment in the life to come. But even secular societies rightfully pass laws to keep it at bay. It is ironic that it is the sinner himself cannot see his own sin even though everyone else can. “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end there of is death.”
Only True Christianity deals with sin at the source – in the heart. God’s grace not only forgives us for it, not only teaches us to deny its ungodliness, but also gives us the victory from its power over our lives, which is only possible through the cross of Calvary. It is useless to just think “Don’t sin”, it’s like trying to not think of the number 8; rather Christianity replaces the number with another number. Christianity gives us victory over sin by changing our focus in this life to our position in the risen Lord Jesus Christ. We are to fill our minds with the Lord, and then like the song says; “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace” (see Col 3:1-4).
12 “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who made you and then bought you with my blood so that I could dwell in you. I have chosen you as my children to be my temple to be my dwelling place just as I dwelt in the Tabernacle or the Temple in Jerusalem. I have placed my “Shekinah glory” in you for the world to see. When you pollute your body with sin, you grieve my Spirit and the world sees the hypocrisy and stays away. When the Israelites sinned, I withdrew my Spirit from them and made my Temple a byword and reproach among the nations which is the opposite of what I desired for them Romans 2:24. But with you, if you would allow me to give you victory over sin daily, I will reveal my glory through you and draw people to you who need me.
I AM the God who gave Adam a choice. I give the choice to you as well. Like Adam, each day you can choose to love me or love yourself. You can live for selfish pleasures or live for my pleasure. You can enjoy this life with me, or use it to fill your fleshly desires. The choice is yours to live for the here and now, or to live with eternity in mind. However, you cannot have it both ways though. If you want my Spirit to shine through you, you cannot fulfill the desires of your flesh and expect me to use you Gal 5:16, 17. Otherwise you will make my name a byword to those around you because of you 1 Cor 15:34.
Change from the inside
The problem is that because sin is a heart issue, the cure must be applied to the heart. The Mosaic Law just curbed the Hebrew’s outward actions but did nothing to stop them from sinning in the heart and God knew this Deut 5:29. Jesus took it one step further in his kingdom teaching by saying if you lust, hate, etc. in your heart you have already committed adultery, murder or whatever. God is not interested in external conformance, but the cause of wrong behavior –the heart. This is why he promised the Jews the provisions of the future “New Covenant” that God would place his laws and spirit in their hearts because he knew that the “Old Covenants” were temporary and inadequate to cause real heart change. Only his Spirit in us will change us from the inside out to where the righteous requirements of God’s law are fulfilled by the control of the Holy Spirit and his fruit is manifested in us. Today both Jew and Gentile believers in the church have been given the Holy Spirit already when we believed, now God will change us from the inside out freeing us from the control of the Law and sin’s mastery over us (Eph 1:13, 14; Rom chapters 6- 8; Gal 5:16, 17 etc.).
We were bought with a price
Many things master us if we let them. God gave us this world to enjoy with him and to glorify him for his creativity and power in the things he has created for us. However because of how we are made with free will, and because of our fallen sinful selfish ways, we consume and abuse those blessings to the point that they master us. Food, recreation, sex, work, alcohol, chocolate, hobbies, sports and many other things that were designed to be a blessing in this life can easily turn into idols to us. In actuality we become our own gods and we spend our limited time and resources to use those items to gratify our fleshly desires and like a drug, we are addicted to them. Thus we live like “mere men” instead of the “ambassadors for Christ” which we were meant to be. We either forget, or take for granted what our salvation cost Christ. Paul says “I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body”, meaning that the sacrifices which Paul made to take the message of the Gospel to the nations is what Jesus would have had to do to reach you himself.
Any time we say “no” to our sinful desires, we suffer in the flesh for His sake (i.e. when we say “no” to another desert, a second glance at a girl, another hour in front of the TV, or whatever it is you crave). As Christ bought us by laying down his life, we are to lay down our lives for him and say “no” to selfish indulgence in order to cease from sins gratification. As we let his Spirit control us, he gives us a mindset of living for Christ, and denying self and we won’t need external religious or social laws to control us anymore. This is the only way to have victory over sin’s mastery over our lives.
More to come,