JUST HOW FREE ARE WE?

Louie: The Bible is a radical book; Check out what it says in 1 John 3: “No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. NO ONE WHO IS BORN OF GOD PRACTICES SIN, BECAUSE HIS SEED ABIDES IN HIM; AND HE CANNOT SIN, BECAUSE HE IS BORN OF GOD.”

What are we to make of this kind of talk in a world that constantly declares, even as a born-again believer, we are still sinners, or we sin everyday?

Tom: It’s not individual acts of sin to which this refers. It’s the continual practice of sin. We all sin – ALL Christians – but someone who continually practices sin reveals the absence of the Spirit and true rebirth. Paul spoke of the sin “which so easily besets us” and the constant battle with sin in his letter to the Romans. Luckily, if you have been born again, your sin is covered in light of eternity. However, in this life, the continual practice of sin will damage your fellowship with God and if it goes too far, God may “turn such a one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh so that the soul will be saved in the Day of the Lord.”

Louie: I agree we all have the ability to commit sins; but I don’t believe Paul taught we had to live in a constant battle with sin as you say. Paul actually shares the revelation of victory with us at the end of Romans 7–“who will deliver me?” “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” He then goes on in Romans 8 to tell us “there is now no condemnation…and Christ Himself fulfills the Law within us” 8:3-4…earlier in Romans 6 he said, “How shall we who died to sin still live in it? I guess my question is how much sin can Christ keep us from?

Tom: You will be in a constant battle against sin until the day you die. Don’t let anyone – particularly any preacher – tell you otherwise. If they do, it’s not Biblical teaching. I’ve dealt with the “there is no more spiritual battle” teaching before. It’s false.

Louie: No one ever said there’s not a battle, but for the most part the battle is on the level of temptation not sin. On the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.” We are called to walk in what Jesus Christ accomplished! He has won the battle against sin! According to the scripture we are told to “reckon ourselves dead to sin and stop presenting our members as instruments of unrighteousness.” “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” To me this means “sin is not my master” therefore I do not have to let sin into my life anymore. This is one of many radical things we are told in the scriptures. It’s up to us as individuals whether or not we believe and live in what it says.  “HAVING BEEN FREED FROM SIN, YOU BECAME SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS”–Romans 6:18

Tom: That’s the key. “For sin shall not be master over you.” We will always have a constant battle against temptation – and sometimes actually fall into sin and have to deal with it – but sin must never become our master. When sin becomes our master we lose fellowship – not relationship – with God. The point I wanted to emphasize is that we will never be free – in this life – from the reality of temptation and sin. In light of eternity, we have already been forgiven and our salvation ensured from the day we were born again. Sometimes Christians confuse the process of sanctification – or cleansing from sin. I have often run into the teaching -begun by the Kenneth Hagin-Kenneth Copeland error – that Christians no longer have to battle sin because we are no longer subject to it. That teaching is false but can be very deceptive when Christians do not understand the process of sanctification.

Louie: How much freedom from sin was purchased on the cross? 80%? ,90%?

Tom: Freedom from condemnation in eternity and the power to resist it in this life.

Louie: What about “NOW” there is no more condemnation?

Tom: Now we are no longer condemned by God because of sin because Christ has paid the price. Does not mean we don’t face trials and temptation in this life.

Louie: I agree. Some of this conversation, like most when it comes to Spirit stuff, is difficult because we are talking about eternal things while still living in the temporal realm. I think that’s why rather than divide the two up so much, we learn to see it’s really “both and” rather than “either or.” When talking about sanctification I think it’s a done deal and it’s also being worked out. We are walking in eternal promises of freedom while still traveling through a temporal, time-based existence. The question is how much of the freedom promised to us are we able to access now?

Louie

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10 thoughts on “JUST HOW FREE ARE WE?

  1. No, I must plead ignorance and say that I am not familiar with blogs. At first, I even had to ask my son for help in posting these replies.

    • Maybe he can help set one up for you. I didn’t know anything about blogs either, I just Googled WordPress and walked step by step. There are many things I still have no clue about but I manage to post things from time to time.

      thanks again,
      Louie

  2. Hey Louie. I know that this space is just for a comment. Please forgive me, but when you share your thoughts and scriptures, I take seriously what you are sharing and follow-up with the study of the word. The “Louie File” has become an outlet for me to share my understanding with others and it is an avenue for me to learn. If you think it is too long or inappropriate, I will understand if you don’t post it.

    I agree with you, that as Christians we are not in constant battle with sin. I also agree with you that the battle is on the level of temptation, not sin. Temptation is not sin, but when it comes, it is on the level of our flesh. Believers are not in the flesh. Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. However, the flesh is the point or place of opportunity for sins to be expressed. Yesterday, I was tempted. Where was I tempted? In my flesh (soul/body). “My” feelings were hurt, “I” felt “my” rights were being threatened and “I” was angry with that person. The reaction was instant, but I did not sin. See the personal pronouns, I and my. The self is where sin has its way of entry. When temptation comes, we can do one of two things. We can walk in the Spirit in obedience to the Holy Spirit or walk in the flesh to satisfy the “I and my.” I chose to listen to the Spirit. I dealt with me/the self. 1 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. By the Spirit those imaginations and thoughts that were running rampant through my mind, that could have caused me to sin, were brought under the obedience of Christ. Galatians 5:13 For, Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

    Our choices to sin are not made independently. Let’s go back to the garden. Genesis 3:11 And he (God) said, who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman, whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou has done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Genesis 3:13 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, because thou has done this, thou are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thou belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. Now, was Adam and Eve to blame for eating of the tree or was the serpent to blame? Ultimately, Adam and Eve were responsible for their sin? However, they did not stand alone in their choice or else God would not have said to the serpent, why hast thou done this. Therefore, punishment was required for all.

    In the dispensation of grace, just how free from sin are we? I believe that Christ did a perfect work in redemption. We were taken out of Adam and have been made righteous in Christ. That covers our spirit. And Christ has suffered our punishment for sin, so if we commit an act of sin, it is not accounted to us. That covers our earthly walk. That is 100% free.

  3. Hey Louie. Enjoyed your post. Andrew Farley had some comments related to this issue in his sermon this morning. Should be online by Tuesday.

  4. I like Toms viewpoint better–we are 100% free from condemnation but when we were birthed into Gods family it was spirit birth–our blood inside of us is still poisoned with satans influence but he is not our boss–that’s why Jesus was sinless–His blood did not come from Adam–when He was tempted He could resist but we are still weakened by our earthliness–never the less we are declared right because of our spirit union with the right one–the longer we experience Christ the more we overcome our weaknesses–praise God–but until we get to heaven and have bloodless bodies we will always be battling and learning.

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