December 17, 2018, 04:41:18 AM

A paradigm shift

Started by Bryan, February 25, 2014, 04:05:15 PM

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Bryan

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned..

I've not met many people, believers or otherwise who would deny their sin nature. The vast majority of people are willing to admit they have made mistakes (just another word for sin). Here we all knew that at one point, and knew that we had to be made right with God, for "the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23) We had to be rescued from our sinfulness that we inherited from Adam. Just as Paul wrote in Romans 5, that was an characteristic/personality trait that we inherited from our father, Adam. When a child is born into the world, we like to look at them and decide whose eyes they have, who's facial features, etc... This is because we all understand the concept of genetic inheritance and that we pass our DNA and personalities and characteristics to our children. This concept in the natural mirrors the concept in the spiritual and that is what Paul describes in Romans 5. Adam sinned and as a result, sin passed from him to all of us, that is our spiritual inheritance. THANKS ADAM! The one who is stuck in this frame of mind will exhibit all the fruits of the flesh as described by Paul in Galatians 5:19-21, "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." But this is not a discussion about our fallen nature that we inherited from Adam so let me get to where I'm going here:

Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Paul doesn't stop writing after he describes our fallen nature and where it comes from and what results from it. Praise God it didn't end there. You see, when we believed in Christ, we received new birth by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3, 16; John 11:26; Acts 16:31). Born into the family of God, with God Himself becoming our Father (Romans 8:15; Gal 4:5-7). As a result of this process, we become co-heirs with Christ of the inheritance of God (Acts 20:32; Romans 8:17; Gal 4:7; Eph 3:6; 2 Tim 2:12; Titus 3:7; Heb 1:2; 1 Peter 1:4; Revelation 21:7). We are literally created brand new by Christ through our faith in Him (2 Cor 5:17). Just as your natural birth resulted in you being born into sin and resulting in condemnation; your spiritual new birth (being born again) results in you receiving the very righteousness of Christ and eternal life. (2 Cor 5:21; John 3:16) So what does this have to do with us outside of another bible post that most here probably already know?

Christians that I have met and known seem to have this one very big problem that I am sure drives Jesus up the wall of New Jerusalem when He hears us talking about it. SIN... When we talk about sin it shows that our minds have been occupied (even if not entirely) with our flesh and our old nature. A nature that we put to death when we believed (Romans 6:1-14) I think Paul brings this out perfectly in Romans 7 when he has an almost amusing conversation with himself about his sin nature and how it came to be. He describes that our sin nature, our flesh, is brought to life through a realization of what the Law says and is. The Law is of course God's standard of holiness and righteous, something that no one other than Jesus Christ could ever or has ever kept in perfection (Romans 3:10, 23). It is a frame of mind, he said when the commandment came, knowledge of sin came with it for he did not know what coveting was until he heard, Do not covet (Romans 7:7-8). Then he realized just how sinful and dead he was for he knew at that point he could not keep the law for one who keeps the whole law except by one point is guilty of it all (James 2:10). We actually give sin power over us by pondering on it, by dwelling on it, even on its effect on our lives and past. I believe that Paul is describing this almost, for he immediately goes into what our frame of mind should be as believers in Romans 8.

Romans 8:5-8 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

To walk with the Spirit, the first thing we must do is allow Him to dominate our thoughts. If we think on and ponder our sins we allow our flesh to have power over us. Come out of that way of thinking! Thank God for all He has done for you! Let His praise ever be on your lips. Pray always in the Spirit with known and unknown languages (Ps 34; Ps 103; Jude 20; 1 Thes 5:16-18; Phil 4:4)

Colossians 3:1-4 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Some years later when writing to the Colossians Paul reinterates his point to them that we must set our minds, our thoughts on things above, things in the Spirit. Why? Well here he even gives a reason, because we have died (with Christ Gal 2:20). We have died to our sin nature (Romans 6:1-14) and are not to give it any room to breathe and become re-invigorated (Romans 7). Set your mind on things of the Spirit Christian! Do not give your flesh any opportunity for sin! (Gal 5:13; Eph 4:27)

Those who live in accordance with the Spirit, or as the NLT says "those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit." Galatians 5:16-18, "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." Walk, be controlled by the Spirit, and you will NOT satisfy your flesh. Life or death? We choose, it starts with our mind, our thoughts! Let the Spirit control your thoughts, let Him guide your way of thinking. Let love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faith, and self-control flow out of you as you set you mind upon the heavenly glory that will be revealed in you when Christ returns to this earth.

It starts with a paradigm shift. Perhaps you've tried to model your life after Christ but just can't seem to make it work. Well perhaps, this was meant for you! Sin seems to come at all times, even when we say we don't want it. But make no mistake about it Christian, we decide to sin, it is not something that just happens. We sin because we take our eyes, our MIND off Christ and upon our fleshly desires, for holiness and sin can NOT cohabitate together. I beg you dear brothers and sisters, if this is you, ask the Holy Spirit to forgive you of allowing your thoughts to be dominated by your flesh and it's desires. Ask Him then to take control then let Him! As I said, thank God always for His goodness and mercy! Praise Him always and forever! Pray at all times under the Spirit's promptings in known and unknown languages! See how quickly the Holy Spirit will turn what you thought was a hopeless situation into a glorious exhibition of God's power! All because you thought He was able.

Oh Holy Spirit, forgive me of setting my mind upon my sinful desires! Wash me thoroughly from my iniquities and forgive my sins. I ask You to do what You were sent for. Remind me of Christ. Remind me that I am righteous in Him and Him alone! Fill me with joy and gladness! Help me set my mind upon You and the things that are above that I have in Christ! Amen.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Pete

Great post!

The one thing I would caution is that I have found that a balance is required in all things. With regards to this topic, that means that we don't simply "ignore" sin, but rather do as you suggest and change our focus to Godly things. The imbalanced view of this viewpoint is that we never should examine ourselves and just chalk it all up to God's grace. I don't think that's what your OP is advocating, but I've seen this imbalanced, and dare I say, perverted message of God's grace from plenty of people over the years.

The way I see it, we have 3 choices in how we view sin and obstacles in our lives. 1) We can pretend there are no giants in the land and stay where we are, gleefully ignorant of the reality of the situation. 2) We can see the giants in the land, focus solely upon them and defeat ourselves before we even start. Or we can 3) acknowledge that there are giants in the land, but also acknowledge that God has enabled us to overcome them.

Option 3 is, I believe, the most balanced approach. We must acknowledge that we have sins and weaknesses in our lives, but we must also remember that God has made a way for us to overcome them!

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Bryan

Absolutely Pete!  What I was trying to convey was how we can be victorious over matters of sin and flesh by simply changing our focus.  Away from ourselves "Oh God I can't do it!!!" and towards Him "Oh God You can do it through me!"  If we are constantly focused on Him, we would live free of sin, but when we lose our focus, He gives us grace and forgives us as we confess.  :)

You know like we inherited sin and death from Adam as a type of genetic inheritance, slavery to evil and unrighteousness.  But when we are born again we inherit righteousness and life!  Pure and holy in the sight of God, not on our own, but in Christ.  That's why when we think on the flesh we are mindful of those things, sin, death, unrighteousness, but when we change our focus, shift our paradigm to Christ and the cross and our standing in Him, we are mindful of holiness and righteousness.  In such a state, sin is easily overcome by the Power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13)
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Pete

That's good stuff!

You know, I've been lurking and reading a lot of the, ahem, "debates" at CF for a couple of months now since I stopped posting there, and I have truly appreciated your balanced, Spirit-led approach. Your posts, to me, have stood out like a beacon of light in a sea of pride and, in some cases, complete filth, and I applaud you.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

DiscipleHeLovesToo

i think that the focus on 'sins' (wrong thoughts and actions) attempts to deal with the effect and not the cause: 'sin' (not believing what God has said - unbelief).  unbelief has three forms:


-ignorance of what God has said,


-wrong understanding of what God has said (caused by wrong teaching or by trying to understand scripture with our own intellect rather than receiving revelation knowledge of scripture through fellowship with God),


-purposeful refusal to believe something God has said that we do understand (the 'sin unto death').


the most common confusion among believers is that we are capable of applying the multitude of God's laws correctly in each situation based on our own intellect and understanding.  the example of Jesus' disciples eating corn they picked as they walked through the fields on the sabbath is a perfect example, or Jesus' example of David eating the shewbread with his men.


so 'sin' can only be dealt with by following God's situational leading; this should be the whole focus of every Christian: to be led by God - as He will never lead us to 'sins'
Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

DiscipleHeLovesToo


Rom 8:13-14
(13)  For if ye live after the flesh <your own intellect and understanding>, ye shall die: but if ye through the <situational leading of the> Spirit <and not our own intellect and understanding>  do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
(14)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
text enclosed in "<>" added by me
Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Foadle

Your post is certainly thought provoking and for the most part I agree with it Bryan.  I would however add this: Directly after what you quoted in Romans 7 Paul says:


For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.  for that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If ten I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will id present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is not more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, waring agains 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 of the law of sin. (Romans 7:18-25)


Paul recognised that the physical man is in a sense a slave to sin and hence, we don't always to what it is we want to do; and even will do the things we don't want to do.  However he recognised that this was not the end of the story.  Basically he said, "Yes my physical body sins against the will of my mind and so though I am serving God with my mind my flesh does go astray at times."


The whole point is that our focus is to be not on the sin but the grace we have in and through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift.  For if through the offence of the one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Romans 5:20-21 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.  But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto enteral life by Jesus Christ our Lord.


The thing is whether we like it or not we sin.  Whether we recognise it or not we sin.  The beautiful thing is though that God gave us a free gift of life through the grace shown in Jesus. Now Paul goes on in Chapter 6 to make it very clear that this grace is not a licence to sin or even a get out of jail free card.  Romans 12:2 still admonishes us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  This is true repentance.  Changing the way we think.


1 John 5-10 makes this very clear.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, ad do no the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


I think it is very important to recognise that we can walk in the light yet still sin.  There is a difference between this sin however and walking a life of sin where we really have no intention to change.  John makes it clear that we can be walking in the light and still require cleansing from unrighteousness.  The thing is what is our focus.  Is it the sin, or is it the love of God being our worked in our lives.  What we focus on that we manifest.


But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile a man.  For out of the heat proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (Matt 15:18-19)


Matt 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  four out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.


The concept of actions speak louder than words is also true.  What is the focus of the heart?  What is it we meditate on?  Yes we have a sinful nature in the physical body but the more we let our spirit dominate our thoughts and meditate on those things that are honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy rather than any demands of our flesh, the more we move away from sin and into righteous living; however I believe that this path is one we will continue to walk until such time as we are brought into glory.

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