#5 and #4.) What is your relationship to sin and when someone attempts to discuss your personal sin, do you get offended?

October 25, 2008

(Since #5 and #4 are so closely related, I decided to tie them together.)

Once a soul is born-again and made alive by the spirit, its relationship to sin changes. Namely, the diametric change of the soul’s destiny causes a completely new life and formulation of character in the current life on earth. It is no longer a slave to sin. In accordance to the relationship with God and His eternal decree, one who was once viewed and judged as a child of wrath [prior to conversion] fit only for destruction, is now viewed and judged as a child of God and judged according to the righteousness of Christ. Therefore, the response and relationship to sin should and must represent the necessary character change from an unrepentant to a repentant heart.
“ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Once the new birth has taken place, there is a deep sorrow for sin that envelopes the heart and affections to lead the soul to repentance, treasuring the cross of Christ and His blood shed for atonement. Sorrow for sin and zeal for repentance is the signal of a broken heart before God in search of humility while casting down selfish ambition, self-sufficiency and the sinful nature. Paul states,
“Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”
2 Corinthians 7:9-11

The conviction instilled by the Holy Spirit upon the new birth heightens and magnifies sin to an unbearable level that leads only to repentance. The very purpose of the coming of the spirit is to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, i.e. our own natures [John 16:8]. It stirs holy fear in the soul that sins against the infinite God Almighty and is to be set apart from the rest of the world. Zealousness for repentance demonstrates the urgency caused by the spirit to obtain the obedience shone forth by the supreme example of Jesus Christ Himself; it brings forth the true joy in overcoming sin and temptation that provides the assurance of salvation. If one has not been wrought by the spirit, there is no zeal, indignation, holy fear or ultimate desire to be obedient, which simply brings forth death.

One who thinks he is in control and can handle his sin is not really battling it but is indeed embracing it. ‘For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places [Ephesians 6:11-12].’ Paul acknowledges and exhorts that we ‘wrestle’ or battle against spiritual wickedness, namely Satan, demons and our sinful nature. We cannot truly be changed by the Gospel of Grace if we do not persuade the continual diligence of battling evil and the desires of the flesh that we naturally desire to do [Galatians 5:19-21]. If we do not acknowledge the reality and ever presence of evil, then we do not know the benchmark in which to battle. In the same way, if we do not see or know the holiness of God and the infinite greatness of it, then we cannot see the utmost evil that dwells within us with any accurate measure. Therefore, if you are a Christian, then you are never “in control” of sin. If God has regenerated your soul, then a battle indeed takes place at all times. To the churches of Galatia,
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
Galatians 5:16-17

To walk in the Spirit is to not lust against the flesh. To lust against the flesh is to not walk in the Spirit. The reiteration of the “lusts” demonstrates the consistent battle between the two that must take place until the body is glorified.

Perhaps the greatest and most thought provoking example of the reality of battling sin in the New Testament Scriptures is that of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7. How could he be so incredibly gifted with the revelation of God, writing more of the New Testament than any other author and publicly declare the unceasing battle of spirit and flesh? If the Apostle humbly confesses the reality of battling his own body of death as a pleading disturbance, how much more must I, a common sinner? Paul does not make this declaration because he is the greatest of all chosen ones of God. His declaration is such that, even he has a body of death, tainted with sin as all sinners. It once again, leaves no room to boast in our abilities, but only Christ and His ability to forgive and kill sin.
“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will do to, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no long I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the veil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no long I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.”
Romans 7:14-21
This acknowledgement completely depletes the soul and conscience of any self-sufficiency to battle sin whatsoever. The body is dead. It is incapable of battling such uproar of dominant lusts from the pit. Even the supposed good desired by the body is a slave and sold under sin. It knows nothing but sin. Sin serves to merely please the fleshly desires only the body knows. The body and sin have perverted and perfected the greatest atrocities committed by man to oppose God. It is only the Spirit that can will to do good, yet the body perverts the good and desires to do evil. Only the Spirit can hate the flesh, but the body loves, desires and approves the flesh because if fuels the fire of perversion and corruption.

The spirit, by its power, reminds the sinner of his true indebtedness to God. Although man naturally does not have the ability or desire to pay the debt of his infinite transgression of the law, the enactment in the comforting of the Holy Spirit pierces the heart with humility and grief; this causes man to recognize his utter helplessness. It reminds the soul that we know sin according to the law [Romans 7:7] and the debt owed must necessarily be nailed to the cross by Jesus Christ in His substitutionary death. The end result is repentance.

How do you respond to the reminding of indwelling sin, believer? Are you learning to mortify sin daily or are you able to discern a sinful situation from one that is not necessarily? There are professing believers who hate to be reminded of personal sin. There are those who will proclaim to read the Scriptures, yet when one asks, “Hello Sir, how are you learning to kill your natural wickedness before God?,” they respond as such to prove to read something other than the Holy Scriptures, or nothing of any spiritual importance. The response may be that they still think they are a ‘good person’ or suddenly become extremely uneasy in attitude and character. There appears to be one justification for sin listed after another. For some reason, the conversation to the one avoiding personal sin confrontation travels in every direction but toward the word of God. I will say that if one is going to justify sin at all, it is according to the word of God, and what Christ had to have done for them.

Those who treasure the holy law of God learn to treasure Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. If one is truly born-again by the spirit, it is a great joy to be reminded of sin! Charles Spurgeon said, “If your sin is small, then your savior is small. But, if your sin is great, then your savior is great!” It is true that the better you consider yourself, the smaller your savior is. What need do you have for a savior if you are not part of the ungodly that Christ died for? If you are not sick, then you are not in need of the Great Physician to heal your soul. It is joyful for the believer to be reminded of personal sin and that he falls infinitely short of moral perfection because it reminds them of the once and for all sacrifice for sins. It reminds him to be on the sure path to life and not on the sure path to eternal destruction. For those who are in Christ, there is no provision to sin more [Romans 6:1-2]. The path that leads to life is only seen by those who died to sin and have become alive to Christ. Only those who are broken hearted over sin with great humility, while seeing the infinite Excellency and perfect sufficiency of Christ to forever forgive sins will receive with great joy the rebuke of it. We cannot repent from sin while clinging to it. To repent is to cling to Christ and see ourselves as the filthy worthless worms we are without Him. Hear about your sin and you may have life! If you care not to hear, then you care not about Christ and do not have life; for He came to die for sick, ungodly sinners and give them life.


One Response to “#5 and #4.) What is your relationship to sin and when someone attempts to discuss your personal sin, do you get offended?”

  1. Oshea Davis Says:

    keep up the good post to give Jesus Honor.in a couple of life-times you might even make Cheung proud.

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