Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Free to Sin Less

How free are we in Christ?  

1 Corinthians 8:1a
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge.

When Paul says that we all have knowledge, he is talking about the liberty we have in Christ.

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

The Corinthians understood that they were free in Christ.  I was talking to a saint who grew up in a legalistic Christian home.  It wasn’t as legalistic as some, but every denomination is legalistic – every last one of them. 

Galatians 3:1-3
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

There is always legalism to some degree when you don’t rightly divide.

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Just like when I began to teach my wife about God’s grace, the first thing she asked me was, “If we are free, then obviously we are free to sin.  That is what you are saying, isn’t it?”  I said, “Yes!  But just because you are free to sin, should you sin against God?  No.”

Romans 6:1-2
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

By teaching the grace of God, I am teaching what Paul teaches about our identification in Christ.

Romans 6:11
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

You are dead unto sin.  God does not set you free from the penalty of sin so that you can continue in a lifestyle of sin.  We will all continue to sin; these are vile bodies (Philippians 3:21).  They hurt and have disease and sickness and pain and sin.  Paul says that it is a battle even when we want to please God.

Romans 7:23-25
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 7:19
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

But as you grow in the grace of God that builds you up (that is Paul’s message)…

1 Corinthians 3:10
 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

…the sin nature is being mortified.

Romans 8:12-14
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  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.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

It is dying and you are building up your inner man.

Colossians 2:6-8
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.   Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

It is that old story about the two pit bulls fighting.  The one that you feed the most is the strongest.  So if you are not making provision for your flesh (whether it is the religious flesh or the carnal flesh), and you are feeding your spirit the rightly divided word, the grace of God, you are going to grow your inner man; and although you will never be sinless, you will sin less.

Ephesians 3:16
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;


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