This is by no means an admonishment but encouragement. The word repent means to change one’s mind. I’m writing to help you change your mind.
First, God loves you and through Jesus you are holy, righteous, you are dead to sin so you are not weak, fallible and no longer a sinner (because you’re dead and if dead, no longer subject to the Law, no Law, no sin Romans 7), but a child of God.
You cannot be tempted with that which you do not want. You can set in front of me all the alcohol in the world and all of the very best of tobacco, but I am not going to be tempted. Why? Because I don’t want it. However, put a cookie, or chocolate or worse a chocolate chip cookie and I’m all over them. We all have vices and faults, this is the “old man”.
Romans 6:6 (KJV) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
HOW then pray tell, do we “not serve sin”? I’m glad you asked 🙂
James 4:7 (KJV) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- Submit to God – focus on Jesus
- Resist the devil
- Have the victory
Hebrews 12:1-3 (KJV) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
- Understand we’re being watched
- Run with patience (don’t look for a quick “fix”) – the “race” is our lives
- Look to Jesus
Read these verses:
Galatians 5:22-24 (KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
First these are G I F T S. You cannot do it on your own. So you must take them as gifts from the Holy Spirit. If you study the word salvation in the Hebrew Scriptures, you’ll find that salvation is salvation from the troubles of this life; that doesn’t mean smooth sailing, but surviving the troubles through God’s salvation. If you look up salvation in Hebrew, you’ll see the word yeshua meaning salvation and is the name of Jesus. We cannot save our lives from hell, and just as helpless, we cannot save our lives. It is all about grace.
Philippians 4:8-9 (KJV) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
When you focus on Jesus and listen to the Holy Spirit and think on the pure, wholesome, things, you will find you have the gift of temperance – self-control.
Believe me you are so close to being free because you recognize your plight. Paul devote all of Romans 7 to this issue. Read the entire chapter, but for now, look at this:
Romans 7:24-25 (KJV) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I 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.
Paul says, and here’s the key, “WITH MY MIND I SERVE THE LAW OF GOD”.
Isaiah 26:3 (KJV) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.Philippians 4:7 (KJV) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Once you have deliverance, you have to have the discipline to keep out the temptations. By focusing on Jesus, praying without ceasing in the Spirit, you will loose the chains you find yourself bound in. It’s all the Lord’s doing and not man’s:
Psalms 116:16 (KJV) O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
You are no longer condemned. You have grace for your failings until you live by faith – for the just shall live by faith and it is through faith we please God, and not only to overcome evil, but to trust the Spirit to be moved to do His will and make a difference in this world. God loves you so very much!
Jesus brought truth and grace and fulfilled the law in the flesh.
John 1:17 (KJV) “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”Romans 8:3-4 (KJV) “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
None of us can do that. As we were prisoners of the Law, Jesus made us prisoners of Righteousness. We are transformed from the enemy of God to the sons of God through Jesus. This is reiterated in the event of the Mount of Transfiguration.
Matthew 17:1-8 (KJV) “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.”
Just in the name of those that attend is a great revelation:
Peter means Stone (the Law); James comes from Jacob which means the supplanter, i.e. replaces; and John means favored of God – grace. Just by their names you can see the mission of the Lord here on earth:
Salvation comes by taking the law and replacing it with grace.
Peter being so fearful, tried to honor the event by wanting to erect a monument to Moses, Jesus and Elijah. The problem was so sever that God the Father Himself spoke, affirming that Jesus was His beloved and that they were to listen to Him. Peter tried to lower Jesus and elevate the Law and the Prophets, but Jesus came to fulfill the Law, which kills, and fulfill the prophecies spoken by Him about Himself in the words of the prophets. Jesus gave the Law to Moses to show that man cannot, even if he so wishes to, keep the Law. The prophets gave hope of another way. What is the thing that the devil and man succeeded in doing with the Law? Cheapen it and hold man hostage through condemnation and guilt. Even Christians today are filled with this same mentality. But what was the first thing Jesus said after the Father said to listen to Him? “Arise, and be not afraid!”
The Pharisees cheapened the Law by making it “manageable” for man to think righteousness was obtainable. But under the Law, the judgment exceeds the sacrifice as is illustrated when Elijah fought with the prophets of Ba’al and had water poured on the sacrifice. When God responded, not only was the sacrifice consumed, but the wood, stone alter, water and even the dust. When Jesus taught the Law this is what He said:
Matthew 5:27-29 (KJV) “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
Jesus restored the impossibility of keeping the Law back to it’s original intent. God never wanted the Israelites to accept the Law. From Abraham to Mount Sinai they lived under grace! No one died despite their murmurings and complaints. Yet, as soon as they arrogantly said they could keep the Law, they built an idol of gold and worshiped it. Three thousand died that day. When, on the same day, the day of Pentecost, they received the Holy Spirit and three thousand were saved. The Law kills, Grace gives life!
Where the Law, written on stone revived sin which kills us, is the ministry of death.
II Corinthians 3:6-11 (KJV) “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.”
The only thing written in stone was the Law – the ten commandments. If we could keep the Law, then why did Jesus have to come!
Since this was one of my biggest issues with this correct thinking, I’m going to address the following:
Romans 8:1-2 (KJV) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Prosperity preachers stop quoting this verse after they say “Christ Jesus”, but the Spirit put it in there. I’ve even heard some say the next part of the verse was added by legalists. Yet, I contend that we are not the ones walking after Salvation, but the Spirit, therefore there is no condemnation which are in Christ Jesus. The Spirit wouldn’t qualify that else we’re back to the Law: do good get good; do bad get bad. Is it not the Spirit that quickens us?
Ephesians 2:5-7 (KJV) “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
Since we’re dead, how can we be subject to sin?
Romans 6:1-2 (KJV) “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”
Understand God loves us personally, that we are dead to sin, and quickened to the life in Christ Jesus, there IS no more condemnation. There’s no condition. We walk simply in faith just as we are saved by faith. Do you not understand that we are sheep and prisoners? What on earth do they have in common? They must both be taken care of. The means to DO is not within them. They follow the Shepherd or the Warden.
Romans 4:13-16 (KJV) “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,”
This is a truth: if we are heirs of the world, now can we do that sickly or poor? It’s the devil that steals these promises. Don’t believe that kind of thinking, then read this verse:
I John 4:17 (KJV) “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”
“…because as he is, so are we in this world”! This isn’t a future promise, but one of His grace on us NOW, HERE on earth! Hallelujah! Glory to God!
How is this possible? God loves GRACE. Understand that even under the days of the Law, God loved Grace. When the disciples where hungry and walking through a field they began to pluck the food and eat it and it was the Sabbath and the Pharisees pointed out the Law. This is what Jesus said:
Matthew 12:7 (KJV) “But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.”Hosea 6:6 (KJV) “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
We are guiltless, not sinless when we accept the Lord into our hearts. Stop focusing on the sin and focus on Jesus and His Grace towards us. We are guiltless because Jesus paid our debt of sin! The Holy Spirit lives within us to guide us away from our old man – who is still alive in our flesh. We still retain the knowledge of good and evil, but now it’s time to focus on the Tree of Life – Jesus! When God looks at us, though we still retain sin within, He sees Jesus and we are found guiltless! Just like the ark of the covenant. When God would look down all He saw was the blood on the Mercy Seat even though the Law still remained within the ark. We are the ark, the Law still remains within us, but we’re sprinkled with the blood of Jesus and so we are now GUILTLESS!!! We look for peace within when all we find is the Law and thus sin within. We need to look to the cross and wait patiently for the day the Lord returns and gives us new bodies!
So, reject commendation and guilt. Nothing is passed over by God, yet nothing is imputed to me, for Jesus Christ was judged on the cross for them all.
When Jesus came He brought grace and truth. John says:
John 1:16 (KJV) “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”
In Greek the verse can be interpret as “And as a result of His complete fullness we ourselves all receive, even Grace in addition to Grace.”
Rejoice, sing a song, dance to the Lord! I pray this helps you.