“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” Ephesians 2:1-4
You and I are NOT above being tempted and drawn into sin. So, we must “FLEE,” right? The Bible says to “flee fornication” because we simply cannot overcome it if we flirt with it (1 Cor. 6:18). What if David had fleed when he first saw Bathsheba while looking down from his palace? (2 Samuel 11) Here’s the process of sin:
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16Do not err, my beloved brethren.” James 1:14-16
The person who vainly thinks they have arrived spiritually and are above being tempted, is getting ready to fall – “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
Never underestimate the depth of evil that our “desperately wicked” sinful nature has (Jeremiah 17:9).
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12
Your fleshly man (sinful tendencies – Rom. 7; Gal. 5:17-18) will never be reformed but rather must be “daily” crucified (Luke 9:23-24). It can’t be cast out, but must be mortified. We must be so full of the LORD that His blessed presence subdues the sinful nature and keeps us in His “raised up” state (Romans 6-8; 2 Cor. 4:10-14). The LORD sure is able, but are we? Are you? Are you crucified with Christ today beloved? Memorize Galatians 2:20 and pray it every morning in your time of private communion with the LORD.
Learn this daily cross He commanded. Our spiritual lives will not progress if we don’t. This is a Bible teaching though rarely ever so much as touched on in this apostate era but we must learn of Him (John 12:24-25).
Daily acknowledging and even confessing before our God that we are utterly and wholly impoverished outside of His present saving grace, is ultra important. This is what Jesus meant when He said “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) If we are truly “poor in spirit,” we do not make excuse for sin but we certainly do acknowledge the infinite need we have for the LORD – presently, daily! Jesus, please break and teach us Thy way O LORD!
There is a cult being forming today that says we have no sinful nature and are basically neutral. Nonsense! Denying the reality of the iniquity that drive us when we are not crucified with Christ and full of the Holy Spirit, is not the answer but rather by the power of His Sprit crucifying “the deeds of the body” is the biblical answer and prescription (Romans 6; 8:13-14, etc.).
Deceitfully acting or feigning that we ourselves are the picture of sinless perfection is a pharisaical farce! Beware of the self-righteous among us – “Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.” (Isaiah 65:5)
God hates this evil false humility which is nothing more than a sham – a facade – hiding deep darkness (Matthew 23). He wants His people to be “poor in spirit,” broken, and admitting and hungering for His blessed righteousness momentarily (Matthew 5:3-8).
This kingdom truth is never more clearly illustrated and taught to us in Jesus’ teaching of the two men who went to prayer:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:10-14
Not one of us is exempt and it’s the height of deception to feign that we are. We are hopelessly given over to sin unless we enjoin our will with God’s and obey Him by faith, being fueled and empowered by “the killing power of the Holy Ghost” which is a term I borrow from Travis Bryan III.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye THROUGH THE SPIRIT do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:13-14
Even the great apostle of Jesus had to perpetually “KEEP under” his body or sinful tendencies and “bring it into subjection” on an ongoing basis. – “But I KEEP (denotes perpetuity) under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)
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