In the last post we discovered that God does not intend for us to be fighting the small, small soldiers of anger, malice and every work of the flesh you can think of, without first dealing with the strong man, the Goliath that they all depend on to afflict us. Goliath is a picture of the man of sin, the carnal nature, flesh, old man, sinful desires that became the life of man after the fall. The choice to disobey God by Adam and Eve brought a decisive “death” upon mankind: a loss of the divine life of God and an instant replacement with the very nature of satan, which is the life of sin. That is why it is automatic for everyone that is born of a woman to be born in sin: we all received an instant installation of that life of sin at physical birth (Psalm 51:5, Job 14:4, 15:14, Ephesians 2:3).
The Necessity of the Second Birth
This is the reason why the second birth cannot be negotiated if you are to be saved from the grip of the strong man called “Mr. Sin” and brought into the Kingdom where righteousness (of life), peace and joy in the Holy Ghost is the common life style (Romans 14:17). With the first birth, we all became sinners because Adam sinned (Romans 5:12). And you are already here! So, it is not a question of whether you are a sinner according to the definition of society, which is a pitiably low definition anyway, and which has a way of making many people think they are good enough, not needing to be saved.
Sin versus sins
Whether your level of sin is so smart that society has not yet developed ways to catch you as an offender or not, “…the scripture hath concluded all under sin…” (Galatians 3:22) already. Which means it is the same man of sin that works in a con artist, fraudster, prostitute that works in a “nice”, “easygoing” and smart CEO, social worker or legislator. The measure of its operation in people is what is different. Sin, as a master, is selective; and it chooses to work in some in the vilest and most unthinkable way, while in others, it is a master of sophistication, full of deceits and dubiousness, although very well disguised with a lot of niceness and persuasiveness that comes from psychology.
This is the reason a Christian must be very careful not to try to perfect in the flesh what God began in the Spirit. The honest verdict of the Holy Spirit over such is foolishness (Please read Galatians 3). Intelligence, education, exposure etcetera which are all not bad, has a way of making you behave in a certain way that may look good, but every once in a while, when you are all by yourself and you are now free to be yourself, you will toss over that jewel of sophistication off of your neck and descend to the level of sin that is common to all men.
Therefore, your “public behaviour index” is not a yardstick at all to determine the kind of person you are. Who you are is what you are when you are not under any corporate, social and/or religious obligations whatsoever to behave well.
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
Putting off the former conversation (lifestyle)
First of all, you have no liberty to put off until you have experienced the second birth. What will you put off? Who will allow you to put off? The strong man is not so idle that you will put him off without having a warrant/license to justify your actions. Any attempt to put off by the unsaved person will only increase the sophistication of sin and the capacity to sin smartly without getting caught.
So, who is to put off the old man? Let’s check the previous verse. It is the person who has heard Him and has been taught by Him (Ephesians 4:21). To hear Him points to the person who hears and believes Jesus (faith cometh by hearing) and to be taught by Him speaks of the person who has not only believed but has moved on to follow Jesus. When you refuse to follow Jesus, you will become barren, you will not be able to see afar off and you will forget that you were purged from your old sins. (2 Peter 1:8-9). That is, you will forget the essence of your salvation and begin to live like you did when you were not saved. To live like that is to fall away altogether from salvation (2 Peter 1:11)
Knowledge is the key to victory
When we believe Jesus and we are saved, Sin that has ruled our lives since we were born into world loses the right to continue in our lives. That loss of right is death. It is no longer alive in us. But if you don’t know that that was the magnitude of what happened to you when you came to Jesus, Sin will play along and continue in your life, business as usual, because it knows that you don’t know that you have been set free indeed. This is what makes many believers to treat their struggles with sins as something they need a separate deliverance from after salvation. To an extent, the ministry of deliverance to believers is a remedial for a believer’s lack of knowledge. When you don’t know ALL that now accrues to you in the New Life, you will be a candidate for deliverance for every manifestation of sin that shows up in your life.
Meanwhile, treating every sin individually is like killing a soldier in the battle between Israel and Philistine. Even if you succeed in killing one or two, there are still thousands of soldiers running around waiting for an opportunity to be selected by Goliath to afflict you. It is not the sins you commit that you must deal with first; it is the Sin, which is the nature you were born with, called the Old Man. David stood before Goliath and defeated him with one stone. That was the same way JESUS DIDN’T DIE TWICE to put an end to the dominion of Sin; He died ONCE AND FOR ALL, and He arose victoriously to deliver that victory to you. You cannot afford to trifle (or joke) with this kind of comprehensive victory.
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans 6:6
God has done all the work. You are only to know it, to investigate from the Word of God the extent to which you have been saved, and you will no longer be subservient to Sin. I think we need to settle down to know this…to become fully persuaded of the comprehensive victory we have been given in Christ Jesus… you know, to realize that deliverance is a remedial for those who refuse to know this. God in His mercy made this remedial for unbelievers* but unfortunately many believers have swelled up the queue to the extent that a confusion has come upon us in the body of Christ. What confusion? The idea that believers and unbelievers struggle with the same things. That is an indictment to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. And my question to you is this: “are you a part of that indictment or not?”
* A careful look at the ministry of the LORD Jesus Christ shows that deliverance occurred when He was ministering widely to unbelievers; and my definition of “unbelievers” is those who have not yet become His disciples, even if they were already faithful in Judaism or were among those flocking to listen to Him regularly. The New birth is sufficient to deal with every single need for deliverance in a person. He only needs to know the truth and the truth will set free. However, once you don’t know the truth or you know it but don’t believe it; by all means, please join the queue for deliverance! Matthew 4:23-25, 9:35, Acts 10:38 etcetera!
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.
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