How to Slay Sin, Part 4
Monday, February 28, 2011
We’ve been considering some of the necessary steps toward killing sin. That’s a binding command for every believer. No one is exempt from slaying sin (Col. 3:5), but no one is powerless against it either (Rom. 8:13). God has equipped and empowered all those who abide in Christ (John 15:5) with the necessary wisdom and weapons to succeed. Here are the steps we have considered:
First, understand your true position as a Christian. You are in Christ, united to Him through faith. He already triumphed over sin and His victory becomes your victory.
Second, weaken sinful habits and strengthen righteous behavior. Starve out sin, cut off all provision. Lay it aside like an old, worn out garment and replace it with righteous, godly behavior.
Third, fill your mind with Scripture. Let it saturate your mind, control your affections and determine the course of your life. Unleash the Word of God on your sins.
And now for the fourth and final step: Prepare for battle.
Now that you understand the nature and strategy of your enemy, prepare for its attacks. That means you anticipate ambushes, think like a soldier, train yourself for battle, and select your comrades carefully.
Along those lines, here are some final, practical steps you can take:
- Watch and pray. In war, failing to post guards is costly—and often deadly. An army needs a look-out, someone dependable to watch for approaching danger, notify troops and call for reinforcements. He stands watch while others eat, remains alert when others are distracted, and stays awake while others sleep. He’s the first to detect invasion and sound the alarm (Ezek. 33:3). If he fails in his task, lives will be lost.
As a Christian, your lifestyle closely parallels that of a soldier engaged in combat (2 Tim. 2:3-4). First, you’re to be watchful. That means you walk carefully (Eph. 5:15), staying clear of landmines and remaining alert for approaching danger (1 Pet. 5:8). You never lose your sense of direction or forget the closeness of your enemy (Rom. 7:21). As a good soldier of Christ, you must carefully guard your steps against temptation (Ps. 119:9) and avoid all positions of compromise.
Being watchful in the New Testament is often linked to prayer. Consider Christ’s instructions to His disciples on the night of His arrest: “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation” (Mt. 26:41). Remember how the events of that night unfolded? The disciples didn’t watch or pray—they slept. And when temptation came, they all abandoned Christ—even the ever-confident Peter (Matt. 26:69-75).
Praying that God will protect you from temptation and deliver you from evil (Matt. 6:13) can’t be divorced from a pursuit of personal holiness. That means you should never provide your flesh with the opportunity to tempt you (Rom. 13:14). If thoughts of sexual immorality are a struggle for you, beware of things that excite that lust—music, books, magazines, television, and of course, the Internet. One man gave this example: “Don’t prove your purity in a pornography shop.” You get the point—watch and pray. Be alert!
- Train your mind. The battle against sin begins in your mind. That’s the prime target of your enemy, so “cast down every argument” and “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). Consider the alternative: You’ll either take sinful thoughts captive, or be taken captive by sinful thoughts (Col. 2:8). God has given you a sound mind, Christian. You can successfully combat wayward thoughts when they assault your mind and threaten to undo you (2 Tim. 1:7).
John Piper said, “Develop mental habits that continually renew the mind in God-centeredness (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:16).” Don’t underestimate the power of a disciplined thought life. Meditate on powerful texts like these:
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. (Is. 26:3)
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Col. 3:2)
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Phil. 4:8)
Do you constantly set your mind on those attributes of Christ, or do base, earthly thoughts occupy your mind? Contemplate the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5). Train your mind, Christian.
- Discipline your body. The fight against sin includes bodily discipline and gaining control over the physical realm. Note the importance Paul placed on bodily self-control when he drew an analogy from athletic games:
Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave. (1 Cor. 9:25-27)
Paul fought like a man in a boxing match, and he ran like a man in a marathon. He battled fatigue and frustration by pressing forward and keeping his eyes on the prize—Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:14). Paul understood what was at stake and trained himself accordingly.
Make your body your slave. Resist sinful impulses and train yourself to say “No!” That often includes sleeping habits (Pr. 6:9-11) as well as eating habits (23:2). Gaining control over those areas is often key to other victories. Many sinful habits are sustained by “muscle memory.” It’s what allows you to tie your shoes or type without looking. Give your muscles new memories in accordance with godliness (1 Tim. 4:7-8). Teach your eyes to look elsewhere, your feet to walk a different path, your hands to serve, and your mouth to edify. Examine where your body is involved and bring it into submission.
Those are just a few practical measures you can take to prepare yourself for battle. God has granted us victory in the war against sin, but we must engage in the battle. To dodge the divine draft notice is to forfeit all hope of victory.
Robert Moffat understood that concept. He served as a missionary to South Africa for more than half a century and said, “We have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but only one short hour before sunset in which to win them.” May God grant you strength in that heated hour of battle.
Slay your sins, Brethren.
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#1 Posted by
Deepika Rao | Monday, February 28, 2011at
Thank you for this post, it is very practical and disciplined...Its an ongoing struggle; May God strengthen and guard us.
God Bless You:)
#2 Posted by
Douglas Grogg | Monday, February 28, 2011at
While understanding our true position as a Christian, we weaken sinful habits and strengthen righteous behavior, as we are filling our mind with Scripture, preparing for battle, watching and praying…
Prayer, in view of scripture:
John Bunyan defines prayer as “a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to His Word, for the good of the Church, with submission in faith to the will of God”.
As he elaborates on “for such things as God has promised” he warns “Prayer is only true when it is within the compass of God’s Word; it is blasphemy, or at best vain babbling, when the petition is unrelated to the Book” (quoted from “Prayer” published by Banner of Truth Trust).
I hope to illustrate an example of how a mind filled with scripture would be illustrated in the praying in the manner consistent with Bunyan’s definition in contrast with a “prayer” we hear time after time in pulpits across our land. It goes something like this “Thank you God that we live in a country where we can freely worship together without fear of persecution…” In contrast to something like this “Oh, God, the absence of persecution in our land bears dreadful testimony against us (see 2 Timothy 3:12)…” Nehemiah’s prayer in Nehemiah 1:7, 8 is a good illustration of evaluating a present condition in light of God’s Word. He then goes on to petition God regarding His promises in light of their returning to Him (repentance).
“Words to Winners of Souls” by Horatius Bonar contains a portion of the “Ministerial Confession” drawn up by ministers of the Church of Scotland, in the year 1651. The first time I read it, I wept through the entire section of that little book. Even now, after having read it several times, its impact is still powerful.
I fear that much of what goes by the name of “prayer” is nothing more than the hypocrisy of the Pharisees which served only to store up more wrath for themselves. May God deliver us from such sin. –His Unworthy Slave
#3 Posted by
Greg Corron | Monday, February 28, 2011at
Very thoughtful, well-worded post. Discipline your mind and body to live according to the Spirit. If you reject worldly assurances of hope, comfort, and security, you will be more motivated to train yourself to seek the genuine articles in a gospel-centered life. Good example, Douglas; we often try to reassure ourselves with nationalistic fervor. Belonging to a majority of opinion can also be a false assurance. If you feel like an oddity, that may in fact be a good sign (1 Peter 4:12, 14).
#4 Posted by
Douglas Grogg | Monday, February 28, 2011at
“Prepare for battle.”
This battle against sin is fought on three fronts, the world, the flesh and the devil. Most of what we have been discussing falls in the category of the lust of the flesh. This enemy is the traitor that resides within us. Though this traitor resides within us, he works together with his ally, the world. On this front of the battle (the flesh), the enemy attacks on three separate fronts also, the lust of the eyes and those sins which are associated with that particular lust, the lust of the flesh and those sensual sins which are associated with it, and lastly, the boastful pride of life which are the sins associated with the exaltation of self. As we better understand the various fronts of attack we will be better able to “identify them” as they operate within us and the better we will be able to defeat them.
The world is that satanically controlled system of which Satan is the God of. Every aspect of this intricately linked system works together to get us to conform (mold) into its image. We have the defensive armor of being transformed by the Word, but we also have a much neglected offensive weapon as well “And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). Notice the word expose, or reprove. We do this with the Sword of the Spirit, even the very Word of God! This also is an essential aspect of any Biblical form of evangelism.
In regards to the devil, the third front on which we do battle, we are not told to fight him. We are never told to flee him. Instead, we are exhorted to resist him (1 Peter 5:9). James states that we are to “submit to God. Resist the devil” and gives the promise that the devil will flee from us (James 4: 6-8). Don’t miss the strategic reference to pride in verse 6 and sin in verse 8. To be continued…–His Unworthy Slave
#5 Posted by
Douglas Grogg | Monday, February 28, 2011at
Prepare for battle.
To triumph in any battle we must also know when to fight, when to resist and when to flee. The fear of looking like a coward is a sin rooted in pride, a sin we must defeat. Actually being a coward is a sin that is deadly, as the cowardly have their part in the lake of fire (see Revelation 21:8).
We must flee immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). While we put to death the traitor of lust on the inside, we must flee from the temptation on the outside. Paul exhorted Timothy to flee youthful lusts, but notice also how he exhorted him to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22). There may very well have been a correlation between the very individuals which incited the lust which dwelt within Timothy in contrast to those individuals he was to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with, namely; those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart. I am unwilling to proceed without pointing out the deficiency in the translation of the word pursue. It is the very same word in the Greek as “persecute”. The strength of the meaning of the verb is lost in the translation process. Don’t loose sight of this.
We must also flee idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14). In Colossians 3:5, Paul mentions several things we must put to death. He mentions greed or covetousness as amounting to idolatry. The Greek word here rendered covetousness is the same word he used in regards to the gift of the Corinthians, that it not be affected by covetousness (see 2 Corinthians 9:5 KJV). This reference to covetousness also ties in with those things which Paul exhorted Timothy to flee from in 1 Timothy 6:5-11. He contrasts the desire for gain with contentment (enough, satisfied). With food and covering with such we shall be content (enough, satisfied) (1 Timothy 6:8). Paul goes on to exhort him to pursue (remember the strength of that verb) righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11).
In conclusion, in view of a Biblical understanding of contentment, namely, being satisfied with food and covering, is it any wonder that there is so little persecution in our land? “And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). “If you walk after the Spirit you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh”. You cannot go two opposite directions at the same time. We cannot desire to live godly in Christ Jesus and at the same time desire the things of this world. We cannot take those things with us. We must choose one or the other. – His Unworthy Slave
#6 Posted by
Dan Wilson | Monday, February 28, 2011at
So we must not be afraid of satan and demons. Jesus our Lord is our protector. One can't do it alone. Need Jesus!! Awesome post!!
#7 Posted by
Greg Corron | Tuesday, March 01, 2011at
Re: #4 "This enemy is the traitor that resides within us."
Douglas, I admire your zeal against sin, but you need to be more careful with the rhetoric. The enemy does not reside in Christians. It is possible that we may leave the door open and let him in, but he can't list us as his address any more. He has already been kicked out and given a restraining order. He's outside prowling the streets, metaphorically speaking. He can only get back in through our own carelessness or foolishness. But if we come to our senses, we need to call 911 (call on Jesus), not try to throw him out ourselves (Acts 19:15-16).
Yes, it would seem that the enemy does reside in Christians when you see how most nominal Christians live. I agree with you there. Not much contentment these days in our country - always buying, traveling to and fro, driving faster, getting more "educated", etc. We need to resist these impulses. Here's a great way to start: drive the speed limit, and practice ignoring the glares and tailgating from other drivers. You will experience just a taste of persecution, but we all have to start somewhere. After you grow accustomed to it, you will have gained in disciplining your mind and will be ready for more.
#8 Posted by
Gabriel Powell | Tuesday, March 01, 2011at
I'm wondering you took Douglas' comment to refer specifically to the Adversary, which I don't think he intended.
I took his comment to refer to what Jesus said, namely, "for from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person" (Mark 7:21-23).
For a post-Pentecost passage we could turn to James 1:14, "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire."
Yes, Christians have the Enemy prowling around. But we also have an enemy within.
#9 Posted by
Greg Corron | Tuesday, March 01, 2011at
Re #8 Gabriel,
James 1:14 is speaking only about temptation. Jesus was tempted just as we are, yet we know that there was no evil residing in him. So being tempted is no evidence of evil within. On the contrary, we now have a new heart. We are not just legally justified, but are born again as well. Our old nature has died (Col 3:3, Rom 6:6) and we are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). There is no way anyone can marginalize these texts.
This is a never-ending argument, due to the huge number of professing Christians who continue in sin. What can possibly explain it? Should we let their existence sway us from believing that we have a new heart? Should we adopt a doctrine of internal dichotomy to accommodate them? I can't judge their hearts or use them as a basis for comparison to my own. But I dare to believe the most daring texts about the gift of the Holy Spirit, even though I'm not a Pentecostal, because without them I have no hope to endure. There are limits to crafting doctrine to explain what we see. I hope in what I do not see (Rom 8:24-25) and wait with patience.
#10 Posted by
Mary Kidwell | Tuesday, March 01, 2011at
We don’t need to craft a doctrine to explain what we see, rather we should take our understanding from careful exegesis of scripture. Yes, we are new creations and have been given new hearts, but we still have mortal bodies, as Paul states in Romans 6:12 when he exhorts believers to not let sin reign in their mortal bodies. Paul wrote of his struggle with the flesh in the present tense in Romans 7 because it was a present, post conversion struggle. Our new hearts, under the influence of the Spirit, desire to live in accordance with God’s will, but we still have flesh which wars against the Spirit (Romans 7:23). I know you interpret Romans differently, but I do not believe your interpretation is an accurate exegesis of scripture. Without our new hearts and the Spirit within us, we would be unable to live according to the Spirit, but even with our new hearts, we can and do still sin. Hence we are instructed to “put to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13) and make no provision for the flesh (Romans 13:14). It is not something which occurs instantaneously at conversion, but something we are instructed to do with the help of the Spirit.
Tommy, thank you for this four part series on slaying sin in our lives. It has been an encouragement and I have passed the link along to several people.
#11 Posted by
Greg Corron | Wednesday, March 02, 2011at
I agree that there is no instantaneous spiritual makeover at conversion. I would never advocate such a teaching. Before conversion, it was impossible to put to death the deeds of the body. After conversion, it is still impossible if one tries to live according to the law. I'm just saying, let's not forget the new way of grace that has been opened up for us. Not just legal justification, not just imputation of righteousness, but the real hope of actually putting to death the deeds of the body so that we can enjoy the fruits of the Spirit. We can only do this by the new Spirit that lives within us if in fact we know and love the Gospel.
#12 Posted by
Dan Wilson | Wednesday, March 02, 2011at
It is a ongoing battle before and after the conversion. I read in the
blog that said.
All things are possible with God and God will never let us be tempted
more than we can bear. God will fight for it to help us but we need to ask, I meant pray.
#13 Posted by
David Johnston | Wednesday, March 02, 2011at
From Lloyd-Jones, "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount":
"There is nothing more fatal than to regard holiness and
sanctification as experiences to be received. No; holiness
means being righteous, and being righteous means keeping the
law. Therefore if your so-called grace (which you say you
have received) does not make you keep the law, you have not
received grace. You may have received a psychological
experience, but you have never received the grace of God.
What is grace? It is that marvellous gift of God which,
having delivered a man from the curse of the law, enables
him to keep it and to be righteous as Christ was righteous,
for He kept the law perfectly. Grace is that which brings
me to love God; and if I love God, I long to keep His
commandments. 'He that hath my commandments, and keepeth
them,' Christ said, 'he it is that loveth me.'"
#14 Posted by
Greg Corron | Thursday, March 03, 2011at
Re: #13 David,
Good quote. A lot of people understand grace as an experience; I do not. When I say "the way of grace", I have a picture of grace as the gate to that way. It opens up a new life for us. Grace is legal justification freely given, and it is mercy motivated by God's love for us. I agree with Lloyd-Jones, that we cannot attribute more things to grace than that. However, we also have the Holy Spirit, who is also a free gift to us. The Spirit is not grace in the theological sense; rather, it is the Spirit of God living within us. In that sense, the Spirit is a "psychological experience" -- we do indeed experience him.
Lloyd-Jones is a logic-only kind of teacher. I teach that way myself, to counter mystical, experienced based teachings. And we need logic to explain everything, to give us a comprehensible theology. The Spirit can even help us to understand things logically, because he is the Spirit of truth.
Grace came to everyone who believed God, including Abraham. The Spirit came fully only after the resurrection. When the Spirit enters the scene, Paul proclaims him loudly and boldly. He teaches that we must no longer live under the law, but live according to the Spirit. Living this way, sin is "evident" to us (Gal 5:18-21), but Paul gives us a list just to make sure we are not talking about a mere mystical experience. We still have to fight sin, but thanks to grace, sin has already received a mortal wound and now has no strength. But when we try to live under the law, it comes alive. If we live according to the Spirit, sin loses its strength again and we come alive, that is, we are filled with such love for God that we despise sin and are motivated to live in a disciplined and watchful way.
Like Lloyd-Jones, I once taught everything strictly in a logical framework. Theology was a set of equations to solve. And it still is. But after we solve the equations and understand them, we must turn away from the blackboard and go outside the classroom to enjoy the fresh air, the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). They are not given as a reward for obedience to the law, but only through walking by the Spirit.
#15 Posted by
Douglas Grogg | Thursday, March 03, 2011at
Greg, #3 “Good example, Douglas; we often try to reassure ourselves with nationalistic fervor”.
Greg consistent with the pattern which can be found in not a few of your posts, you have distorted the point I was making. This is no trivial matter (see 2 Peter 3:16).
In post #2, I quoted John Bunyan “Prayer is only true when it is within the compass of God’s Word; it is blasphemy, or at best vain babbling, when the petition is unrelated to the Book”, I went on to give an example of how a mind filled with scripture would be illustrated in the praying in the manner consistent with Bunyan’s definition in contrast with a “prayer” we hear time after time in pulpits across our land. It goes something like this “Thank you God that we live in a country where we can freely worship together without fear of persecution…” In contrast to something like this “Oh, God, the absence of persecution in our land bears dreadful testimony against us (see 2 Timothy 3:12)…”
The point I was making had absolutely nothing to do with “nationalistic fervor”. “And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted.” This is the truth stated in “the Book”. Notice the text does not say “all who live godly in Christ Jesus”. The lack of persecution in our land bears dreadful testimony of the fact that there isn’t even the desire to live godly in Christ Jesus but rather, it bears dreadful testimony of the fact that the affections of the professing church in this nation in the days in which we now live are for the things of this life and for the pleasures of this world.
The wound is a much more grievous and a much more deadly wound than we realize. The words of Daniel and others, as they are recorded in “the Book” are better suited for use in our prayers, for example: “Righteousness belong to thee, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day” (see Daniel 9:7). This battle against sin requires the level of honesty and integrity found in prayers such as these if heart sins are to be rooted out and executed. –His Unworthy Slave
#16 Posted by
David Johnston | Friday, March 04, 2011at
From Lloyd-Jones, "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount":
"We must have this new mind and disposition which leads us to love the law and desire to keep it; and by His power He enables us to fulfil the law. That is why our Lord goes on to say in verse 19, 'Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.' That was not spoken only to the disciples for the three short years they were to be with Christ until He died; it is permanent and everlasting. He enforces it again in Matthew 7, where He says, 'Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is heaven.' What is the will of the Father? The Ten Commandments and the moral law. They have never been abrogated."
#17 Posted by
Greg Corron | Saturday, March 05, 2011at
Re #16, David,
I agree, the moral law is still valid, but we cannot live according to the law. Why not? Because, "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." (2 Cor 3:6). The law may seem to us the most promising way to kill sin, but it kills the soul. It is a curse to us (Gal 3:13).
Faith is our belief and love of the Gospel. The law is specifically excluded from Christian faith (Gal 3:12, 18). We must live by faith alone, in Christ alone.
For those who have come to Christ, the law has already done its work by condemning us (2 Cor 3:7-8), bringing upon us unbearable guilt, so that we turn to Christ for redemption. That guilt has been lifted from us. Now, and forever. If we turn back to the law, we turn back to our guilt.
#19 Posted by
Michael Mclarney | Sunday, March 06, 2011at
As someone who is more aware of the potential time stamp on his exit visa from this life into the eternal life, my mind is constantly filled with prayer and meditation as I draw closer and closer to God. I am not strong enough on my own to slay sin in my life. Were that true I would have been sinless decades ago because of my dedication to the One who made me. Any success I may have is partially, but barely, due to my efforts as outlined in the blog's suggestions. However most, if not all, of that success is due to intervention and strengthening of the Holy Spirit. All good we do, all resistant success, all righteousness and all holiness are because of the Holy Spirit who resides in us. The peace and strength I have experienced since finding out I am terminal and entering this hospice unit where I now reside are a result not of my effort or strength but rather of God's answer to my prayers for strength and peace so that I might walk well the path He has layed before me. I slay sin in my life, when I succeed, by His strength which is a gift of His Grace. When I fail it is because I attempt to deal with sin using my own strength under the falsee assumption that I have that power on my own. I am a slave dependent on my Master, Jesus Christ, for all things. Praise God for the simplicity and wonder of our relationship with Him. The more I surrender to Him the more empowered I become, but it is always His power and His success and none of my own.
#20 Posted by
Tommy Clayton | Sunday, March 06, 2011at
Thanks for your comment. Amen, the battle is the Lord’s, and so is the victory. It’s a privilege fighting in His army, isn’t it? May God grant you strength, joy and hope as you draw near the celestial city and finish your race. Fight the good fight, brother!
#21 Posted by
Ernest Feigenbaum | Monday, March 07, 2011at
Gabriel (#8), you said what I was thinking. The flesh does reside in us. If an individual has been baptized into Christ's death and resurrection (Romans 6), the old man is dead, but the remnants of the old man, our temporal flesh, still reside in our bodies. We are to be "killing sins," but we will continue to deal with the flesh (our unredeemed humanness) until Christ returns.
#22 Posted by
Kokob Mesfn | Monday, March 07, 2011at
Douglas Grogg: Re# 2
"Words to Winners of Souls!", I found and read it and its a blessing to me also. May the lord bless you much greater.
Greg Corron: ALL#
Huh! Am i being slow to understand or else i don't know? I am so sorry Greg i don't understand the points you are trying to make precisely, but to make sure which ones let me ask you a couple of point so that to be clear with your suggestion:
1. What do you mean in Re#16 The Law is Still Valid? in what way? Because after few more sentences in the same response, again you abolished it totally. So in what way is the law valid?
2. Re#13 and on other also, You seem to Separate Walking in the spirit from obedience of the Law; In which we are told Walking in the spirit means submitting to God's Law. Ref. (Rom 8:6-7) or your suggestion on this verses.
3. I would like to read your interpretation of (Rom 8:12), What does "..if by the spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body.." mean Other than what our brother in this main blog is suggesting?
4. Forgive again my misunderstanding in any of your points but you seem to confuse Salvation(which only by faith alone, through Christ Jesus) with Walking with the lord in every day experience, because in some of your responses like Res# 11,you said "..if you try to walk according to the Law...", No, i couldn't find anyone suggesting like that in the blog or other suggestion before yours.
So we are suppose to live according to the spirit. We are suggested not only to be walking side by side with the spirit but to use the spirit also as KILLING MACHINE to the misdeeds of the body! which means walking in faith,spirit and obedience of God's Command everyday.
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
#23 Posted by
Dan Wilson | Monday, March 07, 2011at
Jesus wants us to recieve him and observe his laws that he set out
for us. Jesus mention observe and do it. Can you help me to understand what in the sentence means what you said?
'For those who have come to Christ, the law has already done its work by condemning us (2 Cor 3:7-8), bringing upon us unbearable guilt, so that we turn to Christ for redemption. That guilt has been lifted from us. Now, and forever. If we turn back to the law, we turn back to our guilt. '
I agree that the law doesn't save us but God fulfill the law that we
still need to receive Jesus and keep Jesus' fulfilled laws that He mention in the Gospel.
Just a thought? God bless.
#24 Posted by
Darrel Mcdonald | Monday, March 07, 2011at
It is important to remember Romans 4 while considering what righteousness is in the eyes of God. After all He is the books Author. Then, we must carefully consider the next chapter (Romans 5) and how that it is only Christ that has or will ever be without sin. The law only proves and exposes sin: it will never be a substitute. No amount of law keeping (before or after salvation in Christ Jesus) will ever do the work of faith. FAITH = RIGHTEOUSNESS. Still, we are not to misunderstand: expecting that is is pleasing to God for us to live a life filled with sin. On the contrary. Romans 6 shows us that we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to our Father in heaven. Our righteousness is a gift from God- not a reward for our behavior (Ephesians 2:8-10). Jesus Christ is our only hope! Please also read ernestly all of Ephesians 2 and also all of Colossians 2 and Colossians 3.
#25 Posted by
David Johnston | Monday, March 07, 2011at
I believe we are agreed. I am not sure what you find objectionable with Lloyd-Jones in #13, but MacArthur says it well, too,
From MacArthur "NTC: Romans 1-8":
"The law is still important to the Christian. For the first time, he is able to meet the law's demands for righteousness (which was God's desire when He gave it in the first place), because he has a new nature and God's own Holy Spirit to empower his obedience. And although he is no longer under the law's bondage or penalty, he is more genuinely eager to live by its godly standards than is the most zealous legalist. With full sincerity and joy, he can say with the psalmist, 'O how I love Thy law!' (Ps. 119:97).
"As believers, we are dead to the law as far as its demands and condemnation are concerned, but because we now live in newness of the Spirit, we love and serve God's law with a full and joyous heart. And we know that to obey His law to do His will and that to do His will is to give Him glory."
And in another place, MacArthur,
From MacArthur "NTC: Romans 1-8":
"God gave the Law through Moses as a pattern for righteousness but not as a means of righteousness. The law has no power to produce righteousness, but for the person who belongs to God and sincerely desires to do His will, it is a guide to righteous living.
"The law identifies particular transgressions, so that those acts can more easily be seen as sinful and thereby cause men to see themselves more easily as sinners. For that reason the Law also has power to incite men to unrighteousness, not because the Law is evil but because mean are evil.
. . .
"The Law is therefore a corollary both to righteousness and to unrighteousness. For the lawless person it stimulates him to the disobedience and unrighteousness he already is inclined to do. For the person who trusts God, the law stimulates obedience and righteousness."
And finally, Lloyd-Jones,
From Lloyd-Jones "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount":
"Thus the moral law, as interpreted by the New Testament, stands now as much as it has ever done, and will do so until the end of time and until we are perfected. In 1 John 3 the apostle is very careful to remind his readers that sin in Christian people is still 'a transgression of the law'. 'We still see our relationship to the law', says John in effect, 'for sin is a transgression of the law'. The law is still there, and while I sin I am breaking that law, though I am a Christian and though I have never been a Jew, and am a Gentile. So the moral law still applies to us."