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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Designs of Darkness: Advanced Tactics of Spiritual Warfare

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PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Thank you so much dear brethren, for all your input and thoughts. I really appreciate and encourage discourse on this subject! I am trying to edit all these writings and tie them together with Biblical references, and this takes time. I am doing all this while working full time at the funeral home and helping my wife raise two small kids. To affirm what has already been postulated, yes, these teachings all come from my own trials and errors in walking with God. However, I dare not teach an experience of my own without corresponding scriptural credence. Additional material coming shortly.

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/1/23 11:19Profile
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1703


 Re:

Quote:

Many believers have a wrong understanding of Christian victory. They think victory is an unbroken span of sinless perfection where one does not transgress in word, thought or action. But this alone is an inaccurate picture of triumph. True victory, true triumph in Christ leading from glory to glory is actually comprised of segments of overcoming linked together by confession and subsequent blood-washing.



I agree with this brother. This something I have struggled to make people understand. When we talk about victory they think we are talking about sinless perfection, which cannot be achieved in our human body.

A victorious Christian life can be described in 1 life - Sin shall not have dominion over you (Romans 6:14). Dominion means to master. Sin can never be my master. When I was filled by Holy Spirit and got victory over Sin by his grace, I was never under the rule of Sin. The moment any unholy word came out of me, I will repent the immediate instant. I had control over my flesh by the power of Holy Spirit.

Quote:

There is not a Christian alive who can get through a day without having to confess the impurity of a wayward thought, a hasty word, or a deed born of a reactionary impulse to some challenge to his or her own fleshly self-preservation (Psalms 84:7; II Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:12-21; I John 1:8; 2:1).



I do not believe this generalization is right. Let us take Apostle Paul as an example, do you think he was using an unwholesome word sometimes? I am sure he lived without any known impurity. That is why he was able to say 'follow me as I follow Christ'. To Phillipians he says 'do whatever you see in me' (Phillipans 4). If he was falling often and battling with known sin then how could he say this? How could he say in Acts that his conscience is always clear before God and men? If Paul had such a life then how is 1 John 1:8 correct?

The answer is Paul had a victory over all known sins in his life. Which means he never committed them again. But there were still NEW sins that he discovered every day by his daily walk with Christ. He was confessing it and needed Blood of Jesus to cleanse him. No matter how much victory we have in our Spiritual life, we always need the blood of Lamb because we do not know what we did unconsciously.


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Sreeram

 2013/1/23 15:59Profile
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Joined: 2011/8/20
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 Re:

I would suggest you to read Zac Poonen's 'Know your enemy' book, it is available free in CFC website. It deals with similar subject with more practical examples and solution. Like all Zac Poonen's teachings it is also 100% scriptural.


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Sreeram

 2013/1/23 17:07Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Brother, Zac Poonen himself has said that the Lord is constantly bringing knowledge of sin in areas of his own walk where repentance is needed. On a daily basis. I know this is true for myself; is it not for you? Are 100% of your thoughts and intentions pure and godly all the day long? Forget actually speaking or doing - are all your thoughts pure? This is what I am getting at. The secret pride that you are feeling rise up in defense as you read this, knowing I am challenging and disagreeing with you. Acknowledge it; I feel it in me as well. Is confession and repentance not needed? Brother, if you can confess it and repent of it "now" through God's grace (which comes by humility), you are to be counted victorious. The law cannot effectuate this. Neither can psychology. It is by the power of grace (I know you understand all this). In order to be victorious even by definition, there must be a fight that is won. Victory is not by a cessation of repentance due to a finality in overcoming in a particular area, for the flesh can never be improved and our overcoming is through Christ and is predicated upon our humility at the moment of temptation. The moment you stand up and say you have a performance-based "victory" is the moment you begin setting yourself up for a fall.

To say there are no daily issues to confess and repent of and by this one is constituted as walking in triumph, I believe, is being dishonest with yourself and in stark contrast with 1 John 1:8. And I think Zac Poonen - whom I know personally and have spoken with on this very point - would agree with me. The Lord still corrects him at the hidden level no one sees. The Lord corrects you and the Lord corrects me at our own levels by the measure of light we currently have. I live in a constant state of repentance, and there I can tell other men to follow me as I follow Christ. Paul shouting at the the High Priest can still tell others to follow him as he follows Christ; the Holy Spirit will fine tune the rest. By the way, the book you speak of I own and have read it and it is wonderful! God bless you richly.

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/1/23 17:50Profile
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 Re:

I think you totally misunderstood me. I believe in confessing and repenting. I agree with that part of your writing. Please read my post again. Only part I had a slightly different view is in generalizing that all men stumble. The example I took is Paul and not you, I or even Zac poopen. Paul still had to confess and repent but be did not struggle with known sins like I do. Else he could never say someone to follow him. 1 John 1:8- is spoken regarding unconscious sin. This is what brother zac believes. If it was regarding conscious sin then how did 1john 2 says 'if we sin we do not belong to him'?


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Sreeram

 2013/1/23 18:28Profile
PaulWest
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Posts: 3405
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 Re:

Quote:
The example I took is Paul and not you, I or even Zac poopen. Paul still had to confess and repent but be did not struggle with known sins like I do. Else he could never say someone to follow him.


Zac Poopen? :)

With all due respect, I think you've gotten hung up on the word "struggle". We seem to be looking at it through different lenses. You may be seeing at a physical transgression (correct me if I am wrong) of a known besetting sin. This cycle of sinning, confession, forsaking, repenting is definitely a "struggle" but I do not relegate it to a physical manifestation. You can struggle against a temptation that no one sees and win the victory through Christ again and again. To say that that Paul didn't "struggle" with the temptation to be angry, impatient, discouraged, prideful, sexually enticed...well, I just can't buy it. I think he fought often against it...and overcame through grace. Spirit-led mortification kills the struggle; but the struggle comes back. If it doesn't, I guess that struggle-free person has blessedly "arrived". But this has not been my experience, nor Paul's according to Philippians 3:10-12, nor Zac's, nor with anyone I have met on this earth.


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/1/23 18:40Profile
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 Re:

Brother I am yet to read your last post. My questions are not to challenge you but to know the answers. These are the questions that I have for which I have found answers. I am willing to change my views. Please don't get offended. There is no pride here. I believe we can have a healthy discussion as we both agree on many common grounds.


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Sreeram

 2013/1/23 18:53Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
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 Re:

Dear brother I am not offended in the least! This is actually a very good occasion to fellowship and put forth a godly example in the forum, because I think we agree on just about everything; the syntax is most likely confusing us. Plus, I've read many of your posts on SermonIndex and have always been blessed by them and in overwhelming agreement. If there is any confusion or muddling of points in this discussion, I take the full blame right now and apologize in advance. But I do think our ideas and understandings on sanctification and justification are one and the same.

God's richest blessings upon you,

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/1/23 19:06Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

You can struggle against a temptation that no one sees and win the victory through Christ again and again


Again I am not sure about this terminology you are using here. We do not struggle with temptation. You will know very well that temptation by itself is not sin. Only when it is conceived in our heart it leads to sin. (James 1:15). I personally believe there is no need to struggle with temptation because if we truely call on the name of Lord he will rescue us as he has already put escape path for us. (1 Corinthians 10:13 is a promise of God). The problem is our inability to call for help because we have a hidden love for that sin.

The Struggle against a particular sin is to commit it again and again. Every time we fall for it, the spirit will convict us (John 14) and brings Godly Sorrow leading to repentance. For example a believer getting angry again and again but every time he repents confessing his Sin in the name of Jesus.

Quote:

To say that that Paul didn't "struggle" with the temptation to be angry, impatient, discouraged, prideful, sexually enticed...well, I just can't buy it.



I am not saying this. Paul would have definitely been tempted in all areas like us. Even Jesus himself was tempted like us in all areas but without sin. The point I am trying to make is Paul did not fall for the same Sin again and again. He might have been tempted to be angry but he did not keep falling for it. He did not commit it again and again. He God victory over anger. Similarly for all sins known to him like anger, discouragement, lust etc against which Paul wrote to us. If he was falling for the same sin against which he spoke and wrote to Churches then he can never say to those Churches that they can follow him as he follows Christ. Else he would be a liar.

Now what does this mean to me? When I repent for an angry word that I have spoken I would also believe that God will give me grace not to speak in anger again. I will not think that it is common to commit it because every known believer is struggling with it. Every believer has the temptation to get angry but not everyone is committing it. Many have victory over it by the grace of God. In my own life by this faith I have seen victory in many areas of my life.

Brother Zac himself says that he never got discouraged for the past 40 years. He is no longer struggling with it.

Quote:

There is not a Christian alive who can get through a day without having to confess the impurity of a wayward thought, a hasty word, or a deed born of a reactionary impulse to some challenge to his or her own fleshly self-preservation (Psalms 84:7; II Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:12-21; I John 1:8; 2:1).



My problem with the above quote is it sounds that everyone is committing and falling for sin. Which is not true. They are actually discovering new sins by the conviction of Holy Spirit and that is what they repent from.

It also sounds like it is fine for us to keep falling for same sin. Which is also not true.
Our example is Jesus who never committed even one sin and our hope according to 1 John 3:3 is we will be like him one day and hence we will cleanse ourslef of any Sin that the spirit convicts us, hoping we will be freed from it. This is the hope that leads to victory.


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Sreeram

 2013/1/23 23:44Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
My problem with the above quote is it sounds that everyone is committing and falling for sin. Which is not true. They are actually discovering new sins by the conviction of Holy Spirit and that is what they repent from.


Brother, I have read the quote you have found exception with again and again and I just can't see where you are deriving everyone keeps committing and falling for sin - and at that, the "same" (aka besetting) sin. I am not advocating willful, repetitious sin, or the practicing of sin. If that is what it sounds like to you, I must change the wording or something, because it is not what I meant. What I have written denotes dealing with new discoveries of sin and repentance, to the leading of a blood-cleansed conscience (of course, this also covers besetting sins - but this point is so obvious I feel it needs not to be mentioned). Zac has said in his messages that he in a constant state of repentance; Andrew Murray's writings reveal the same, abiding in the fountain of Christ's blood all the day long. All I was saying is that there is not a Christian live today - if he is being honest with himself - who does not need the blood of Christ to deal with secret revelations of sin (aka falling short of the glory of God). I am repudiating bloodless perfectionism. I admit I could have worded it differently, and I will, thanks to you.

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2013/1/24 8:11Profile





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