Santa Clara, CA
| Stop Sinning!|
The time has come to address this head on if only to bring some kind of realization. The mandate was handed down in a death sentence, the same one each and every one us is under, our due penalty.
Right off the bat forget whatever construct we may be under, Calvinism, Armenianism, all this is becoming one great excusing-ism. If we are to be true to our Lord and to each other in Spirit and Truth this business needs to be closed down, burned down, demolished, destroyed, annexed, annihilated from our lives. Enough!
For the moment it might be better off that we construct the idea in our minds that there is NO forgiveness for sin, surely we can pretend this for a bit can't we? We seemingly have little trouble doing it with sin in our lives. Ever the clever pretending, excusing, rationalizing away or the height of presumption and audacity, "It's under the blood", or any of the modern day blasphemy and heretical constructs that keep not only allowing sin to go on with the caveat that sounds something akin to "Try not to... sin" as it's mainspring, it is not "try". It is STOP.
One of our own here put it this way. "It is not only that you can, you must."
If we are ever to be a true witness to a world stepped in sin, we need to come out of it and be something other than it if we are ever to prove this new life we live. Right now hypocrisy reigns and a large part of it fails right at the beginning with an easy believism that is falsely giving assurance of a new birth with the ease of a rubber stamp, "Just accept Jesus." Let us leave off all the clever extrapolations, theological ping-pong, and scriptural cut and paste and get right down to the root of the problem. However you want to slice it, it is putting the cart before the horse. The foundation is not being laid properly, the cost not counted, the admonishen to "take up your cross" and [i]follow[/i] Jesus, which is a death march to your self life and to your [i]sin[/i] instead being excused away, and attempted to be covered over with a shovel full of dirt, no one suffocates under that. Buried means buried. Baptism means baptism. Dead is dead. This whole idea of accepting and receiving has been so twisted and convoluted that it ought to be banished from our lips and in it's place, "Have mercy on me Lord, a sinner" and a pleading for Jesus to accept US. Spare the arguments, please. There is a place and time for grasping forgiveness and grace, with the horse out front, the cart is what needs to be dealt with.
This is directed to us, us who say we hold the Lord in the highest esteem, this poor excuse for excusing away as the self appointed leader of this treatise first and foremost held guilty and liable, accountable to everyone here. Dare I preach it without walking in it.
What has given rise to all this? Many things. One sample is that we have a whole bunch of professing "Christian" so called 'men' that are mere cowards and 'we' and I am using that with great liberty, are giving them excuses and pandering, trying to prop them up with a touchy-feely, so called compassionate 'love' that is in effect lying and covering, mere accessories to allowing the sin in their and our lives. "Accountability partners", does this work? Or if one is under this construct, do you lie to the one you are holding yourself accountable to? There may be some help and truth in it, but what about to Whom we are accountable to? Is He not of greater concern? Have we lost a true apprehension of the fear of the Lord? Mighty and terrible, the [i]wrath[/i] of the Lamb? "Gentle Jesus"?
Again, place for that, but not here, not now.
Men, if I am to dare use that word. Do we fully realize that many of our women find us to be but weaklings and cowards, hypocrites and liars, saying one thing and then doing it's opposite? What am I talking about? Many things, one that is so prevalent in our day; Pornography.
Will spare no one in this, 'men'. You have good reason to question your manhood if you are playing games with this, because it is no game, no mere weakness, it is I believe this coddling and worldly wisdom and psychology and nonsense that is allowing this to be just one of many 'problems' that need to be quietly and 'discreetly' dealt with. Nonsense! Rubbish! Don't for a minute think I speak from lack of experience, thank God it has been dealt with by the Lord very early on, but that has nothing to do with the temptations that still come and must be fought, the mind driven elsewhere, the fleeing of Joseph, slamming the door on it, turning your eyes away, making a covenant as Job did, whatever. Kill your sniveling flesh and suffer. This needs to be torn out at the root.
You men, you think about the ramifications. Lives are being destroyed, your so called 'salvation' is in question. Mark this verse and meditate on it; 2 Cor 13:5. Don't try and wiggle out of it. Get serious. Am almost of the mind to state, go ahead and destroy yourself IF you think you are able to excuse away all your loved ones burdens, shame, damage brought into their lives for your fleeting moments of self pleasure. You know its a lie at the end, you know the guilt that awaits you, the shame, the duplicity. You need to tell yourself that you are but a coward [i]before[/i] you "go there". Married men, do you think for a moment that you can excuse away your conduct with a leap of ill-logic to "The Lord will forgive me"? Banish the thought even if it be true. This presumption is exactly what Paul attempted to get through the thick skulls of his day; "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [b]God forbid[/b]. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Rom 6:2,3
Read it all and hang your hat on; "For he that is dead is freed [u]from[/u] sin." Rom 6:7 Will come back to this latter, it is pivotal.
Ramifications need to be seared into the conscience and I fear that is a primary reason that this one of many has become so prevalent in our day, even as the impossibility and contradictory carnality of calling ones self a Christian. Stumbling, trips, falls ... put it out of your thinking. We need to stop all this clever dodging. Where is the fear of the Lord? "That we might not sin against Him". Is it not strange that not only can one sin against his own wife and not give a rip about what your selfishness will do to her and your own family, but that one can hold this false assumption that you are accountable to the Lord Himself ultimately. Can you, with a straight face and an honest heart sit before your computer screen, your TV, your magazine, your prostitute ... whatever form you are partaking in and say
"Jesus is Lord" ? I defy you to do so. If you think you can you are in strong delusion. Men, we need to regain a sense of meaning in words. Shame. You know what it means in your head, but it needs to be felt and experienced before you even let the thought of this sin to place it's seed in your head or your libido. It is high time to get ruthless with this. Was our Lord waxing eloquent here?;
Mat 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Mat 5:29 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.
Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, 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.
We need to quit taking this as mere advice or abstract thought and take it's true meaning to heart. It means what it means;
If we were as serious as we say we are, if we have all these incredible figures of so called "Christian men" "struggling" with "porn addiction" where pray tell are all the one-eyed, left handed [i]only[/i] men walking about?
We know what this means, it means to get serious about sin. Radical and ruthless. I'll gladly tell you what I think is a major problem with some of us so called men. Were chicken. We don't want to suffer. Babies. Cowards. We have re-made Jesus into this "little lamb" and heard it perfectly stated the other day, in Gods hands He was, not in mens hands. That is the difference between having a right understanding of true love and compassion and this quasi door mat mindset that has crept into all kinds of things, like excusing our sin. This same Jesus once brought out a whip and drove out the hypocrites and don't think for a moment that He missed nailing a couple of them...
Am not advocating a self willed power to overcome ourselves, will get to that. We need the Holy Spirit to so fill our lives and control our actions that our obedience is automatic and without equivocation. I cannot recommend more assuredly than to listen through this series of messages from Earnest O'Neill. [url=http://www.howtolivevictorious.com/]http://www.howtolivevictorious.com/[/url]
They are short 20 to 30 minutes for the most part, if only to listen to a few at least the ones on the Gospel and Romans regarding the Holy spirit. He covers a lot of ground and gives one of the best and simple explanations of what the Gospel is, what our sins is and what the Lord has come to do about it all. These words have stuck right into the marrow regarding the doing away with sin, recalling from the reasoning of excuses... "I can't , I can't, can't", stated, "You can, you can, you can!" "Well, you say, 'What if I sin tomorrow?' " "Then stop sinning tomorrow"
The point left to me was, to stop all this bobbing and weaving. The word is STOP. Stop now. Obedience now. we have to quit projecting and interposing all these "what if scenarios".
Will leave with this for the time being. The aforementioned verse in Rom 6:7 as well as ...
Mat 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he is the one who will save his people [u]from[/u] their sins." That word [i][u]from[/u][/i] needs to be seared into our conscience.
| 2005/10/3 10:41||Profile|
| Re: Stop Sinning!|
Praise the Lord! Awesome and True.
Thank you Brother Mike. This is in the same vain of the post I am putting up: Am I a Tare?
| 2005/10/3 11:23||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Stop Sinning!|
Ramifications need to be seared into the conscience and I fear that is a primary reason that this one of many has become so prevalent in our day, even as the impossibility and contradictory carnality of calling ones self a Christian. Stumbling, trips, falls ... put it out of your thinking. We need to stop all this clever dodging. Where is the fear of the Lord?
[i]The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.[/i](Pro 12:15)
We are fools to not consider ramifications, this is the biblical definition of a fool; not someone who is uneducated or simple, but someone who fails to consider the eternal ramifications and consequences of their choices and actions. Based on this definition I have lived most of my life as a fool, by God's grace no more!
Lord cause me to see from heaven's vantage point the eternal consequences of every choice and action I take, for the glory of your Name. Amen.
| 2005/10/3 11:34||Profile|
| Re: Stop Sinning!|
"Stop sinning!" It scares me to hear this message for often times it drives people away from Christ and causes a great many problems. Hear me out first and let me explain. I dont mean to criticize, and I hope you take this all positively.
It is true that salvation comes from repentance. Christ preached repentance. However, repentance means to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about ones wrongdoing or sin. (From Oxford English Dictionary). Repentance means realizing that we have done something wrong, and then seeking forgiveness for our sins. By this, we realize that we are wrong or lesser, and by this, we are humbling ourselves.
The command, Stop Sinning! does not preach repentance. It commands that people stop sinning. If this is statement is not communicated properly, it can lead people to think they need to stop sinning by their own accord, by their own will. Often times, this command is coupled with self-control. We are commanded to control ourselves. Rather than seek forgiveness for sin, the person who stops sinning proves they dont need Gods help, rather, they can be good on their own.
If people could stop sinning, then they would not need Christ. Before Christ, the Israelites were held under the law. The law claimed that life came through obedience to the law. (Le 18:5 NLT - If you obey my laws and regulations, you will find life through them.) And so, in effect, people could be saved by following the letter of the law. However, as we know, No one is good not even one. (Rom 3:10 NLT)
Christ came to deliver us from sin. (As you showed in your post above.) As you said, this is important for we need Christ to deliver us from sin. We cannot stop sinning. We never could. That is why we need Christ. We need His help.
Mt 5:17 (NLT)
"Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them.
Jesus came to fulfill the law because we could not. The law has not been abolished, rather, it is Christ who will uphold it. We never could keep the law and stop sinning. Apart from Christ, we never will. It is impossible for any human to be fulfill the law. Why?
If we upheld every letter of the law, and never sinned, we would be good. However, only God is good. (Matt 19:17 NLT) So, only God is capable of fulfilling the law. Only God is good and can stop from sinning. We cannot.
Jesus is most important. He can not only forgive us for our sins, but give us victory over sin as well. He will conquer sin in us. We will not do this by our own will, but by the power of Christ who lives inside of us. All we have to do is turn to him and repent.
As established above, repentance is an act of humility. Someone who repents realizes they are lesser and weak. If you are weaker, then you have no choice but to submit. A repentant heart will submit unto Christ. They will bow down before His throne and seek His forgiveness, mercy, grace, and help.
I am sure you know all this. Youre probably thinking, Yes, Yes, I know.
The thing is, when you tell people to Stop Sinning, you are not directing them to Christ. The reason born-again Christians are devastated by sin in their lives, is not because they lack self-control, but rather because they are not giving their lives completely over to Christ. They dont want to give their sin over to Jesus. Rather, in many cases, the person wants to prove they can stop sinning on their own, and maintain self-control.
To repent is to give up. It is to admit weakness and defeat. At this point, we become remorseful and sorry. We fall down and call upon Jesus for help.
I experienced this first hand in overcoming smoking. After I was saved, everyone told me that I needed to quit smoking because it was a sin. This didnt seem right to me. How could a God who just saved me from sin turn around and tell me to stop sinning? If I couldnt do it before, how could I do it after?
And so, I prayed about it. I said, Jesus, I dont know if smoking is a sin or not. All I know is that I cannot quit. I enjoy smoking immensely. I have tried to quit so many times in the past, and I cant do it. If you want me to quit smoking, I will quit, but you have to help me. I am weak.
About a weak later, while smoking a cigarette, the Lord told me to quit. He asked me to trust Him. And so, I did. I said, Okay, I will. Later that night, I smoked my last cigarette. The Lord carried me through the entire thing.
All I had to do is make a choice. Would I trust in Christ and submit unto Him, or would I try to do things in my own strength? That night, I made the choice to trust Him. And now, whenever I feel the Devil tempting me, my first reaction is to call out to Jesus. Help me! I then rebuke the Devil and tell him to flee. Jesus never fails me.
Therefore, as a fellow brother, I would be careful about telling people to Stop Sinning. Because they just might. They might find strength in themselves to stop sinning. And when they do it without Jesus, they are in a worse place than when they were sinning. A person who stops sinning without Jesus is self-righteous. They are made righteous by their own will and command. A self-righteous person begins to think they are God. They think I am a good person because of their good deeds.
Additionally, sometimes we become so focused on our own sins that we become self-centered and self focused. This is also a dangerous road to walk.
Trust in Jesus and Follow Jesus for anyone who truly follows Jesus would be filled with the Spirit and not seeking after his own good, but only the good of others. They wouldnt be focused on their sin or their self; rather they would be focused on Christ. A person who is totally and truly focused on Christ would not have time to sin.
| 2005/10/3 12:27||Profile|
Cache Valley, Utah
Brother Mike, amen. Amen to that true Word.
Bleenblake, your definition of repentance, or at least Oxford's, is different than the Bible's or that of the Puritans (and I only use the Puritans because I believe they struck a true chord like no other on this subject of repentance). You wrote:
repentance means to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about ones wrongdoing or sin.
Feeling remorse or sorrow for sin is actually only one element of repentance itself. The Bible describes godly sorrow merely as a stepping stone to true repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). True repentance is, as Mike was saying, actually turning around, ceasing from committing the sin, just like when Jesus said, "Go and sin no more." The word 'repent' is also used when God says: "I will not repent of what I have done" etc... it's a turning or changing.
There's this incredible Puritan book written by Thomas Watson called [b]"The Doctrine of Repentance"[/b] that covers the entire thing [u]indepth[/u]. $5.00 at Banner of Truth.
God be praised. Let us be men of courage. Let us be Christians.
| 2005/10/3 14:02||Profile|
Cache Valley, Utah
[i]Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.
Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.
Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!
Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God![/i]
| 2005/10/3 14:05||Profile|
beenblake, I really enjoyed what you have just written. It has so much truth in it.
Reminds me of Galations.
May I put it out there, that both you and Mike are right. Like a Scale, the balance has got to be there.
I'm not thrilled with the "title" either, ( :-D ), cuz it sort of scares the sensitive conscience people away and 'could' draw in the self-righteous, but there are ample Scriptures to prove both your points.
They say, that is the "both/and" of proper apologetics.
Like where it says. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" but then the very next verse says, "because it is GOD which works in you".
You'll see that principle over and over again through-out.
If I know I'm tempted with a certain sin, my action is to avoid where that sin can be found, but the ultimate deliverance comes from God, so that no man may boast.
It's a "co-operative fellowship or union" we have with Christ ... in my old Church, they used to say, "You take one step, He takes Two."
You took that first step with the Smoking Habit and He took the second & final, but it was still your 'will' to do His will and the action followed, but your "dependence" was on His deliverance ... so that is what made it the "Faith Walk" that we are supposed to walk in.
By Faith, Noah built the ark, etc. etc. Heb. 11.
So it's that "both/and" thing, through-out the Bible, and yet, if we get that "Balance" (Scale) right ... then HE should and would get ALLLLLL the Glory for as Paul said, "in my flesh dwelleth no good thing" and Jesus said, "without me you can do nothing".
It's that fine balance between obedience and dependence that makes both your post and Mike's correct. I really like Phil. 3:9-14 especially.
I believe that is why He made "Love" of God and others His main target for us, because Love fulfills the law and does it's neighbor no harm. Guess we'd need to strive/pray for that First/Main Commandment Foremost, because without His Love becoming Active and Real In and through us, we can't be saved in the end anyhow ... even if we obey every other command in the book.
Appreciate the balance.
Edit: The definition in the Greek for repent would be -
1) to change ones mind, i.e. to repent
2) to change ones mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of ones past sins
From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent.
| 2005/10/3 14:28|
Cache Valley, Utah
Wow. Ernest O'Neill is awesome.
| 2005/10/3 14:39||Profile|
| Re: Stop Sinning!|
This is a word spoken in season my brother. I have wept over this very subject. It permeates our very culture.
If I may bring to memberance a few scriptures...
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: [b]go, and sin no more. [/b]
1 John 2:
15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14But 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.
I don't post very often and to some the message may seem redundant but we need a renewing, reforming, revival that is birthed in prayer. We need a visitation, for in the presence of G_d, we are changed. We need to be transformed in our prayer closet, so the world can be transformed.
Mike, your post begs the question... Is the church evangelizing the world, or is the world evangelizing church?
| 2005/10/3 15:16||Profile|
Dear Brother Eli,
I agree with what you said. True repetance does mean to turn from sin. Even still, in my mind "stop" and "turn" are two different things.
When we stop sinning, we stop. For all I know, a person could stop sinning not because they want to turn to God, but because they want to gain something from it. For instance, I could stop smoking not because I selfishly want to preserve my earthly life, not because I want to turn to God.
To "turn" from sin, in my interpretation, suggests that we choose to turn away from sin toward something else. To "turn" suggests that our action leads us to a different course or path. When we turn, our focus, which was initially on our "sin" or "self" has changed. We are no longer facing our sin, rather we have turned and now are facing Christ. When we turn from sin, we are turning toward Christ.
Of course, this does suggest that we stop sinning, but when we do stop it is not because we have stopped, but only because of Christ in us. By this, God gets all the glory.
Just for the record, I wasn't really disagreeing with Mike. I was just reinforcing his last statement and trying to get him to think a bit about the statement, "Stop Sinning".
| 2005/10/3 19:05||Profile|