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Joined: 2005/8/31
Posts: 61
Hartselle, Alabama


A mental image comes to me: When a child is born, he cannot at first truly see. Even as he gorws older he is always asking, 'Father, what is that?' and the father replies, 'It's a tree'...and thus, the process goes on ultil the child becomes a young man, needing not to be constantly told that an oak's an oak or a birch is a birch; however, he is now learning how to care for the father's land...

We, likewise, come to Christ knowing little of the spiritual world around us and need Christ constantly explaining things. Yet, as we grow older, we remember the earlier lessons and just need occassional reminders of them, as well as to be taught the deeper issues (which the writer of Hebrews makes reference to in Heb. 6).

Truly, we are mostly but children; however, let's perfect (mature) in eating the Lord's entire meal: the milk, bread, and meat of the Word; the water of His Spirit; the fruit of the Spirit--if we learn to combine all these, we can make a wonderfully delicious pie that both fills and strengthens us to continue in the fight (How do we cook it?: "God is a consuming fire").

May we all desire the food that the Lord provides, knowing it but a "taste of the heavenlies" to come at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Blessings to you,
PS: As with all images, if they do not help, you don't have to use them. :-)

 2005/12/9 18:49Profile

 Sin shall not have dominion over you

From The Life That Wins by Watchman Nee

Every born-again believer should live a Life That Is Free from the Power of Sin. "Unto you first God, having raised up his Servant, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities" (Acts 3.26). This is the message Peter delivered at the porch of the temple in Jerusalem. What the Lord Jesus has accomplished is in turning people from their iniquities. The minimum experience of a Christian is to be freed from sin. Whatever he knows to be sin must be overcome. I do not insist we must conquer the sins which we have no knowledge of, but I do declare we ought to overcome through our Lord all sins which we know. We should overcome all those which have entangled us for many years. The Bible says, "even if a man be overtaken in any trespass" (Gal.; yet too often our experience as believers is that we only overcome occasionally. How abnormal is our experience!

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?" (Rom. 6.1-2) We who believe in the Lord Jesus have died to sin. Thus, no Christian should continue in it. How do we know we are dead to sin? Paul provides the answer in the very next verse: "Are ye ignorant that all who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?" (v.3) In other words, those who have been baptized are dead to sin. For baptism is into the death of Christ Jesus: "We were buried . . . with him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life" (v.4). This is the kind of life a Christian should live daily. All who have been baptized ought to walk in newness of life. These are not special Christians Paul has in view here; rather, they are the newly baptized ones. We have all been baptized, therefore we should walk in newness of life. Such experience is ordained by God for all believers.

"Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace" (Rom. 6.14). Oh, how I love this verse! Let me ask you: Who is the one in view here who is not under law but under grace? Is it Andrew Murray? or Paul? or Peter or John? Or is it, that all who believe are not under law but under grace? How many of you are under grace today? Praise and thanks be to our God, all of us are under grace, with none of us still under law!

The words which precede this statement we have just discussed are, "sin shall not have dominion over you." Here it declares that sin shall not be our lord! Victory is not the experience of special Christians, it is instead an experience all believers may share; because all who are saved are under grace. When I was first saved, I considered this verse to be most precious. In those days I confessed I had many victories over many sins, and God was truly gracious to me. Yet there was one particular sin which had dominion over me, and a few other sins which frequently returned to trouble me again and again. This can be illustrated by what happened to me one day as I was walking on the street. There I met a certain brother to whom I nodded my head in acknowledgment. Shortly thereafter I came out of a store and met him a second time. And for the second time I acknowledged him by nodding my head. I entered into still another store and when I came out of it, I met him once more. So again I nodded my head. I crossed over to another street, and there to my amazement I encountered him a fourth time! Another street after that and I saw him again. Within one day and I had met him five times, and five times I had nodded my head. This can illustrate, can it not, the way in which we meet up with sin.

We do not know why we always encounter this or that particular sin as though it were following us. Yet it does. Some find ill-temper following them; some, pride following them; some, jealousy; others, laziness; still others, lying; some, misery and self-pity; some, meanness; some, selfishness; others, unclean thoughts; and still others, impure passions. In fact, everybody seems to have a special sin that always follows him or her. I myself found a few sins that followed me most powerfully and tenaciously. I had to concede that sin did have dominion over me. I finally confessed to the Lord, "You say that sin shall not have the rule over me; therefore, I consent that the fault must be in me and not in Your word."

Although you may live a defeated life, you nonetheless know that this is not the life ordained by God. If sin still has the rule over you, you should clearly understand that this is not what God has ordained. For His word plainly says, "sin shall not have dominion over you."

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8.1). In my preaching I have explained the word "condemnation" many times. Some twenty years ago, from an old manuscript excavated from the ground, it was explained that this word in the original Greek language had two usages: one, civil; the other, legal (and thus in this latter sense, the English word "condemnation" is used). According to civil usage, it could be translated as "without strength." Hence we may legitimately retranslate this verse as follows: "There is therefore now no being without strength to them that are in Christ Jesus." How marvelous this is! Let me ask you again, whose verse is this? Only Wesley's? or Martin Luther's? or only Hudson Taylor's? What does the Scripture say here? It says that those who are in Christ Jesus are no longer without strength. Who are these people? They are all Christians — since every Christian is in Christ, and no one in Christ is without strength.

"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death" (v.2). I will repeat a hundred times that it is not those special saints who are freed from the law of sin and of death. It is instead true that every Christian is set free from the law of sin and of death. What is meant by being "without strength"? It is what is spoken of in Romans 7: "to will is present with me, but to do that which is good is not. For the good which I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I practice" (v.l8b-19). In other words, the total thrust of Romans 7 indicates that I am without strength, I cannot do it. The history of many a Christian is marked by a cycle of resolutions and broken promises. Yet we thank and praise God that His word unmistakably declares that no Christian is now without strength.

What is law? It is something which always repeats itself. A law acts the same way and produces the same result at any place and under any circumstance. It is a constant phenomenon, reveals a continuous habit, and always ends with the same effect. There is, for instance, the force of gravity at the center of the earth. Whenever you throw an object, that object is always attracted by this gravitational force and falls downward. This force of gravity is thus a universal law.

For some, then, the losing of one's temper becomes a law. He may endure temptation once or twice, but on the third occasion of being provoked he begins to be agitated, and by the fourth time he completely loses his temper. It does not matter which person or thing he encounters. At first he can endure a provocation, but his temper will always eventually explode later. So that with each occasion he is tempted to lose his temper, and without exception it ends up with the same result.

Pride oftentimes acts the same way. You may remain untouched at the first word with which you are praised, but you will feel your face begin to glow with pride upon hearing the second word of praise. Whatever passes through the same procedure and produces the same result constitutes a law. In short, we sin till sinning becomes a law.

It needs to be said again that it is not those special Christians who are made free from the law of sin. Rather, every Christian hereafter is not to be without strength; every Christian is now set free from the law of sin. The Scripture passages quoted above are facts, not commands. They therefore ought to be the experience of all believers. Yet how sad that our experience does not measure up to God's word.

(6) A Life That Overcomes Environment. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Rom. 8.35, 37). Through the Lord who loves us we are made more than conquerors in all things. This is, in fact, the kind of experience a Christian should have. Yet a slight change in another's countenance — not to mention tribulation or sword! — will cause us to lose the consciousness of Christ's love. Nevertheless, Paul declared that in all these things we more than conquer.

Victory is to be the Christian's normal experience; defeat is abnormal. For according to God's will, every Christian should more than conquer in all kinds of environment. Whether it be tribulation or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword, we shall not only conquer, but more than conquer! Any increase in difficulty will make no difference. The world may look upon Christians as mad. So what if we are deemed mad! Through the love of Christ, we will not mind these things, because we more than conquer them. And such is to be the Christian's experience as ordained by God. But what is our experience? Sad to say, we have not lived rightly. For with but a little tribulation which comes our way we scream and complain how we have endured and suffered. Yet if we live rightly, we shall more than conquer in all these things.

"Thanks be unto God, who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest through us the savor of his knowledge in every place" (2 Cor. 2. 14). The Christian life is not one that sometimes conquers and is sometimes defeated; is not one that is defeated in the morning and is conquering in the afternoon. It is always in triumph. According to the Biblical standard, it is to be deemed strange if you do not overcome and to be reckoned as common if you do overcome!

 2005/12/9 19:10


I read the article on the presence of Christ it was very good.Thanks.
I think every christian's walk with the Lord is like that scene with Jesus on the water and were in the boat and he's calling us to himself.We should embrace the cross.Christians should see the cross as thier friend.If you want to be more like christ endure the pain.
Hebrews 5:8 Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience through the things which He suffered.

 2005/12/9 20:11

Joined: 2005/12/10
Posts: 1


Is very encouraging to see such response to this topic of a sinless life. I have in this last year rededicated my life to Jesus and i have found myself on this path that i had missed when i was serving god in my younger years. Without the realization that Jesus has been resurrected, the christian life would be that of head acknowledgement and lip service. Only when the truth of His resurrection goes from the head (which is COMMON doctrine), to the heart (which is NOT common doctrine), will a person find this path
that will lead to self death, the personal cross in our life and the joy to suffer the death of our carnal man that we we're born in to being on this earth. Jesus sent his Holy Spirit that we may have life on this earth, not earthly life, but heavenly life. It is my FIRM belief that we are coming into days where the mantle of the prophets of old will again be picked up and displayed on this earth before the return of the Son of Man as the King of Kings.

 2005/12/10 7:21Profile

Joined: 2005/11/20
Posts: 49


Lynn ~> I wanted to echo what you are saying about be dead to self. This is very important and Paul was very clear about it. Christ was as well. His example of dieing and burying the old and being resurrected is exactly what we are supposed to follow. Unfortunately from what I have noticed many are not being disciple to do so. Which means they are expected to take up their own cross. Yes, Jesus Christ atoned for our separation from Him and now if we do the same we are able to be connected to Him and He in turn will fill us with His Spirit.

I said way back that I believe it is expected of us to live a sinless life and you have said this yourself in the fact that we are expected to die to self. How can we possibly be filled with His presence if there is too much of us still in the picture?

God does not use people full of sin. He uses people who are free of sin. None of this means that we will not from time to time be tempted and given to it. Like you said as well. The more we die the less likely we will be to return.

He cannot resurrect us if we are not willing to die. Why are people not told this important part of the gospel message?

 2005/12/10 8:44Profile

Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490


Amen, I agree. I would rephrase the question to ask "Is there victory over sin in the Christian life?"

Does the blood of Jesus really break the power of sin in someone's heart?

The problem with the dying of self is that is sounds conceptual but the Holy Spirit exposes some type of sin in my heart am I simply to sin repent, sin repent, etc.? I have found that the Holy Spirit digs to the root and then cuts it out.

There is victory over sin through the blood of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Although I need to "pray through" to victory as the old-timers would say, it's not about self effort or trying harder.

Why are people not told this important part of the gospel message?

Because they haven't died at the cross themselves yet. How can a pastor teach this principle unless he's been through the process? It's not some vague intellectual concept or a particular form of theology but something you actually have to walk through.

Ed Pugh

 2005/12/10 10:55Profile

Joined: 2005/10/19
Posts: 124


Because they haven't died at the cross themselves yet. How can a pastor teach this principle unless he's been through the process? It's not some vague intellectual concept or a particular form of theology but something you actually have to walk through

As a pastor I can very much agree -- the fact remains that some of the most depressing people to be around when it comes to sin are my ministry brethren. Not only do they not believe in victory over sin, they certainly do not practice it. In fact probably 8 out of 10 that I meet have some theology that justifies sin in a beleiver's life. Including their own.

This is very troubling for me as a person who beleives holiness is a big part of revival and as a follower of Ravenhill's belief that revival will start when the clergy learns ot weep again over its own sins let alone the sins of the people.


Ed Raby

 2005/12/10 11:10Profile

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK


I said way back that I believe it is expected of us to live a sinless life.

I don't want to be negative ;-) but 'sinless-ness' is such a negative concept! We are not called to sinless, but we are called to 'holiness'. Sinless-ness is the absence of sin. That in itself it not the gospel. Holiness is the presence and behaviour of the Christ in the believer. Don't measure the work of God in you by what is now missing, but by what is now present. :-)

Ron Bailey

 2005/12/10 13:12Profile

Joined: 2005/11/20
Posts: 49


Habakkuk thanks for your points. To that I would add that they are not really pastoring then if they are missing one of the most important things in which they are supposed to feed people with.

Sounds more like carreer Pastors rather than people allowing Christ to Pastor His sheep through them. If they are missing the most important elements of the gospel message than they are really on their own and rejecting Christ in the process.

 2005/12/10 19:02Profile

Joined: 2005/11/20
Posts: 49


Edward ~> How can they justify sin and consider themselve followers of Christ as well as teach others to remain in sin. It's completely opposite of what Christ asks us to do is preaching the gospel message to others. And if 80% are doing this in my opinion this is a very serious thing.

Seems like repentance and obedience somehow got tossed out the window somewhere. People aren't faithfully following Christ, they're faithfully following their carnal desires.

 2005/12/10 19:06Profile

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