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There is a bona fide reason why we, Spirit-filled believers, can’t afford to teach, as a general rule, that “we will always sin in this life.” The Bible doesn’t teach it as much as many believe this often taught aberration of inspired Scripture.
The real question we should ponder as individuals is “Have we genuinely given Yahweh a fair chance in our lives?” We often put stumbling blocks in our own path while Yahweh steadily works toward liberating us from the bondage of sin through His sanctifying Spirit and “by the washing with water through the Word,” Ephesians 5:26 NIV. We all stumble in many ways because of our own double mindedness at times. We want to grow in “grace and knowledge,” but we all too often hinder the process through faulty thinking, a dangerous view of sin and a lack of understanding how to be washed by the engrafted Word.
Consider how carnal new believers may perceive such a statement that “we will always sin in this life.” First, we can’t afford to accommodate the sinful nature, assuring it that sin will always have its way in us because some will always view occasions to sin as a state of hopelessness at best. As believers we must maintain an attitude of striving to steer clear of sin and to keep our hearts and thoughts in check by yielding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit living in us. As Paul says,
Beating [our] bodies and make it [our] slave so that after [we have] preached to others, [we ourselves] will not be disqualified for the prize, 1 Cor. 9: 27 NIV.
The Apostle Paul offers much for us to consider as believers. He says we must “press on toward the goal,” Philippians 3:14, and “all of us who are mature should take such a view of things,” V. 15. Nevertheless, “[only] let us live up to what we have already attained,” V. 16. Yet,
It is Yahweh’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know Yahweh; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. Yahweh will punish all such sins, as we have already warned you. For Yahweh did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but Yahweh, who gives you His Holy Spirit, 1 Thess. 4:3-8 NIV.
So we see the Father has always set a higher standard in Scripture, as any loving father would, while encouraging His children to focus on striving not only to hear the Word, but to both respond and live out the purpose of one’s salvation.
Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says, James 1:22 NIV.
Our part is to realize that we, who have not accepted the high calling, have something at work in us greater than our sinful nature—the Set-Apart Spirit. We are able to overcome sin as much as we are willing to give up and as much as we would recognize a hindrance to conforming to Yahshua’s image.
Matthew 4 and Luke 4 show how Yahshua dealt with direct confrontations of temptation to sin by the devil. On each occasion He would fire back at Satan with His sword [the Word]: “It is written…” He could do this effectively because His Father’s Word was engrafted in His very being in that He was the “Word of Yahweh.” So we are counseled in Scripture to “receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls,” James 1:21.
The power of Yahweh’s Word to conquer or overcome sin and obtain moral impunity is also emphasized in Psalm 119:9-11:
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: o let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.
We are to meditate on Scripture day and night, Joshua 1:8. Meditation involves the process of engrafting Scripture in our minds and thoughts and applying it directly to the sin that Yahweh wants us to conquer in our lives, just as Yahshua used it when tempted and confronted by false religious leaders of His day. Some fail to realize that Yahshua is our literal example. He taught us how to fight against sin by His scriptural example. Our part in the matter of overcoming sin is to learn from His example and put our faith in His instructions and walk in them.
The knowledge that we are dead to sin must be first discerned by the professed believer and then understood in the mind. Scriptural discernment comes by “the hearing of faith” (Galatians 3:2) and by the Holy Spirit confirming we are in Messiah. The understanding of the mind comes by reckoning the fact to be so.
The word “reckon” is an accounting term that confirms the facts of record.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto Elohim through Yahshua Messiah our Master, Romans 6:11.
How would a dead person respond to the temptation we are facing? Here’s an example or application to answer this question: a Believer who had been trying for several years to overcome the habit of smoking suddenly said to himself, “Say, dead people don’t smoke!” This awareness together with the process of engrafting the word in his heart, led him to freedom from the habit. Importantly, the first step is to discern and then understand in the mind that we are to “reckon [ourselves] to be dead indeed to sin,” Romans 6:11, then know and believe “sin shall not have dominion over [us].” v. 14. Thus, the way to overcome sin is about believing and applying the Word in our living; for “it is written.”
It is probably difficult for many to comprehend the fact that believers are dead to sin when we are still very much alive to temptations. The problem is the “law of sin” that Paul describes in Romans 7:21-24:
I find that a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of Elohim after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of this death?
The law of sin is like the law of gravity. It is always operative, but it can be overcome. An eagle that soars in the air overcomes gravity, but if an eagle draws in its wings, the law of gravity will take over and it will plummet to its destruction.
The law of sin is always operative in our members; however; when we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. If, however, we drawaway from Yahweh, the law of sin takes over and we began to plummet to spiritual defeat. The Apostle James writes: “Draw nigh to Elohim, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded,” James 4:8. What an encouragement to seek out the guidance of Scripture in our pursuit to overcome sin.
Another often overlooked state of human nature is that we humans have this area of our lives where we classify some as being neither good nor bad— this is called “amoral” — and we think such things are not subjected to the scrutiny of Yahweh’s light. This is a condition the Scripture refers to as an “uncircumcised heart.” But 2 Corinthians 5:10 cautions that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Messiah to receive of things done, whether good or bad.
The Apostle Paul further explains that the perfection of Spiritual maturity cannot be attained without the continual exercising of our consciences to discern what is good or what is evil.
For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil, Hebrews 5:13-14.
If we want the perfection of spiritual maturity that leads to overcoming sin, we must scrutinize everything in our lives and decide whether it is of Elohim or not. If it is not of Him, we must reject it by personal preference.
In conclusion, I pray that what I have conveyed encourages the Household of the Faithful to draw nearer to Yahweh, through His Son, Yahshua Messiah, with a renewed confidence that there can be victory over sin in this life. If this not be so, Father Yahweh would not be commanding His people: “Be ye holy because I am holy,” 1 Peter 1:16. Yahshua also said: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” Matt.5:48 NIV. He further says: “If you love me, you will obey what I command,” John 14:15 NIV. Obedience motivated by love is a beautiful relationship. I will leave you with many scriptural citations that will have you realize that Yahshua died and was resurrected so that we can have victory over our sins, and that Scripture is straight forward about instructing us to “go now and leave your life of sin,” John 8:11 NIV.
|“For David had done what was right in the eyes of Yahweh and had not failed to|
|keep any of Yahweh’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite,” 1 Kings 15:5 NIV.|
|“Both of them [Zechariah and Elizabeth] were upright in the sight of Elohim,|
|observing all Yahweh’s commandments and regulations blamelessly,” Luke 1:6 NIV.|
|“Yahshua replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a|
|slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed’,” John 8:34-36 NIV.|
|“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify|
|us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9 NIV.|
|“…Yahshua…said to them, ‘…stop sinning or something worse may happen to you’,”|
|John 5:14. (See also 1 Corinth. 15:34)|
|“My dear children, I write to you that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we|
|have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Yahshua Messiah, the Righteous One,” 1 John 2:1 NIV.|
|“…Aim for perfection…” (2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV)|
|“To this you were called, because Messiah suffered for you, leaving you an|
|example, that you should follow in His steps. ‘He committed no sin and no deceit was found in His mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at Him, he did not retaliate; when He suffered, he made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls,” 1 Peter 2:21-25 NIV.|
|“I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” Psalms|
|“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us|
|throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Yahshua, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the [stake], scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Yahweh. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart in your struggle against sin, you have not resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the word of encouragement that address you as sons” (Hebrews 12:1- 5A NIV)|
-David Jones, Jr.
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