Sunday, November 5, 2017

My Sincere Pursuit To Overcome The Sin Of Lust

Born-Again But Troubled With Porn-Again? A Believer Is A Saint Or Sinner Or Both?

I thank God that our Lord God is always true to His promises, though we might not be able to feel that He is working out all His promises all the time, yet we just trust God and take Him at His Word. We stake our life on the Word of God, when the day we trusted that we were sinners and asked Jesus who is God's solution and substitute for us to come in to our hearts as our Lord and Savior, apostle Paul reveals that is when we actually believed, at that same time we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the one and only guarantee that we have until we all rise up in a sinless body on the day of rapture to the praise of the Glory of God (Eph 1:13-14).

We cannot trust our feeling to be either good or bad emotionally after we have believed the gospel truth (1 Cor 15:3-4), though we might have feelings of contrition for some people after believing the gospel, joy for some, peace for some, etc...but we do not trust the feelings but we trust the unchangeable Word of God. Thus we are born again Gloriously! Praise the Lord!

In fact the repentance we do towards God is changing our mind to say sin as sin and ourselves as someone in need of the God sent Savior Jesus, which actually saves us from sin, self and Satan once and for all (Heb 10:17-18; Isa 53:6; Acts 26:18). The good news of God is that once we do really repent, the forgiveness of sins that Jesus has already achieved for us is applied automatically by God when we believe (Luke 24:47). Repentance traditionally is taken as stopping sinning, which no one can or will be able to do, which means he or she who is saved needs Jesus for getting saved, but after that they will live by their own power, which in fact is wrong because Jesus after our salvation becomes our High Priest of our confession of our sins, which also reveals that we will sin and we will need Jesus after our salvation to cleanse us from sin so that we can serve God with a clean conscience (Heb 4:14-16; 5:3; 8:11-12, 14; 1 John 1:7, 9). In fact, if we say that just because we are saved, we have no sin to be bothered about, we deceive ourselves because from the day we are saved, we actually become a soldier to fight sin, reject self and overcome Satan, not a retired soldier to have no purpose but to enjoy life after service. For every saved Christian, the rest we have is internal now (Heb 4:9-10), and there is no retirement in our service to the Lord until we die and go on to be with the Lord to have rest externally in heaven as there will be no more sin, self and Satan then (Matt 25:21; Luke 19:17; Rev 21:4).

WHOLE MAN JUSTIFIED: We will be tested everyday after our salvation, by sin, Satan and self. God has instruction for each thing we battle everyday. The moment we become saved, God still hates our sin, but loves us who were sinners but now have been called to be saints in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 1:2). The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious." Because we are "saint in Christ Jesus…" (Philippians 4:21), therefore we are called to live that saintly life for the Glory of God. Believers are "those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy saints…” (1 Cor 1:2) as our "God is holy" (1 Peter 1:16) which is the motivation for us to be holy. We as the "children of God" (Gal 3:26) want to become more like our "Father in heaven" (Matt 6:9). We have been justified from the penalty of sin (Rom 5:1; Titus 3:7), so we should remember that sin has lost its stinging power which leads to death through the law, now law was fulfilled by Jesus perfectly on behalf of us so that we now receive grace upon grace which is empowerment to overcome sin (Rom 6:14; 1 Cor 15:55).

OUTER MAN [BODY + SOUL] SANCTIFIED: As we are sanctified in Christ Jesus already (1 Cor 6:11), God wants us to live by faith in the truth of Jesus [i.e. Word of God and prayer (1 Tim 4:5)] to be sanctified from the power of sin until the end of our lives on earth (Acts 26:18; 1 John 5:4; John 17:19), so that we can inherit the equivalent riches of God as a reward in His coming kingdom which will rule the earth forever after Jesus comes back to earth (1 Cor 9:24-27). In other words, as a believer, we will have constant fight with the power of sin. Jesus is the sanctifier, we are the one being sanctified (Heb 2:11; 10:10, 14, 29). Even our sanctification is a preservation in Christ Jesus, which means to “sanctify” something so as to set it apart for special use; to “sanctify” a person is to make him holy (Jude 1:1). We cannot make ourselves holy by trying to change our behavior, it happens as we believe the truth of Jesus more and more. In other words, Jesus keeps us by His power from the filth of the sin nature within us as we co-operate with Him to switch off the Old man and switch on the New man (Col 3:9-10). When we sin, we will be bothered by the presence of sin, and will have to run as soon as possible to Jesus to be cleansed by Him through our confession of sin to Him. We should always remember, that we need not crucify the Old man, but rather the "old man is [already] crucified" (Rom 6:6) when Christ died on behalf of us. When the Old man lifts up his head, we should remind him that he is dead and therefore he has no power over us, the real us who is a new creature is the new man with a new desire in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17), so that we can become useful for our Master Jesus (2 Tim 2;21). Now the sanctification happens through "the Spirit and belief of the truth." (2 Thess 2:13).

INNER MAN [SPIRIT] GLORIFIED: We will be saved from the very presence of sin in the future (1Cor. 15:48-49; Rom. 8:22-23; Php. 3:20-21), but now itself God glorifies us by making us bind the presence of sin by revealing to us the power of "Christ who is our Glory" who actually becomes our hope of glory now on earth as He is revealed to us and to others around us day by day through us allowing Jesus to rule over our body (Col 1:27, 29; 2 Cor 4:16-17). In glorification, the mortality of the outward man, is swallowed up by the life of the inner man who will be empowered with more and more glory, so that we might be clothed internally for eternity, that we might not be found naked internally without the imparted glory of Christ (2 Cor 5:1-4; Eph 3:16; Rev 3:18). Whatever morality we achieve through self discipline or religiosity, is nothing but spiritual nakedness. But whatever we achieve through the inner power of the Spirit released within our inner man by Christ's glory will be the eternal spiritual clothing we will inherit for eternity. Christ reveals Himself to us and in us by making us enter in to "glory to glory" through His Spirit by whom we are being transformed with more and more glory as we get seasoned and matured in the Lord (2 Cor 3;8, 18). The more we are glorified by Jesus, the more we will have liberty over the very presence of sin within us (2 Cor 3:17). In other words, glorification is a life long process that only ends when we are perfectly glorified by God at the end of our lives in heaven where our real reward is (1 John 3:2). Until them the purification we do actually results of more and more liberty given by Jesus through the Spirit of God over the very presence of sin (1 John 3:3; Tit 2:13-14; Jam 4:8-10).

What have we learned from the above exposition of our struggle with sin, self and Satan?

As long as we live in this world we will have test and trials, so "2 Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, 3 for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete." (Jam 1:2-4, LB).

Though we will face situations of trials and temptations that might seem to go out of control now and then, but if we stand in faith and in the truth of Jesus, we will produce strong character full and complete which will surely have value with God for eternity ahead.

Though we have become saints, we still have struggle against sin (Rom 7:15), and we still do sin and are therefore sinners by choice (Rom 7:19-20), and are also sinners by birth (1 Tim 1:15; 1 John 1:8; Psa 51:5). Of course, we are both saints and sinners. But believe me, in the New Testament, the apostles have never emphasized about the sinner within the saints, but rather the saint within the sinners which means we should also do the same and be the same to see the apostolic results we saw in the believers living Christ life for the glory of God in the first century. We do not know more than the apostles as to express how to be more successful spiritually by concentrating on saintliness rather than sinfulness, so we ought to abide by their teaching and fall inline within it! Though both saved and unsaved are sinners, only the saved are saints in the eyes of God. So see as God sees you, and you will live automatically as God wants you to live!

I have seen churches emphasize the sinner in the saints so much, that men and women lived in fear of sin rather than in enjoying the power over sin and rest from the presence of sin through the Glory of Christ living in and through them. These churches have become so sin conscious, that they forgot totally that they ought to live Christ conscious in their lives, as Christ is the one who rules over the whole universe now having defeated already sin, self and Satan (1 Cor 15:56-57; Matt 5:17; Rom 10:4; Heb 5:8; Luke 22:42; Col 2:15), He has now all authority, having become the Master over them all (Matt 28:18). May the saints live their glorious life to which they were called by God! May God's rest happen within them. May sin be defied, denied and destroyed by the power of the blood of Jesus and the overcoming power of the Holy Spirit! May self which becomes a channel for sin to survive, suffer to death by each of us carrying our own crosses for obedience to God to bloom and give fragrance of Christ (Luke 9:23-26; 2 Cor 2:15)!

Right from the days of my youth I have been struggling to keep my thoughts clean, but all my striving never gave me freedom when I tried to control the lust of the flesh and lust of my eyes and pride of life by my religiously driven sincere self-control of my own will through striving and self-determination. The more I tried by my strength, the more I slided deeper and deeper in to the same pit of sinful life which increased day by day. When I entered my teen years, my mind struggled with a desire to fantasize with lustful thoughts, see pornography books and read filthy stories which led me in to masturbation, and then eyeing cinema wall posters with lust led me further in to seeing romantic films which again further led me in to seeing X-rated films. Then as I moved in to my mid-teen years and above, this increased further to lead me to further sinful things which I tried to learn such as drinking and smoking, but the grace of God which kept me from it made me cough out the smoke and have disdain for it when I tried to learn it, at the same time God kept me from alcohol except for few times which I took individually and at one other time with my college friends during my Engineering days. Then as the days of internet came to maturity before second half of the decade, before the end of the gone-by Millennium, so also the bondage within me to see pornographic videos on the internet which was very cheap and available in the browsing centers also began to increase and afflict me severely. I have cried out to God innumerable times with severe penitence after committing the act of viewing porn and masturbation, but then at some point of time it would come again to afflict me. Then it increased further and brought me in to complete bondage to its whims and fancies. Finally I cried out to God for deliverance during a period of spiritual wilderness time of waiting which went on for over a couple of years when I was all alone before my marriage, at that time God graciously assured me that His Grace was sufficient for me when I faced difficulties and weaknesses in these areas which has been a thorn in my flesh spiritually (2 Cor 12:9-10).

Then God one day showed me in a night vision that these temptation of the lust of the eyes and flesh which lead me to pornography and masturbation was a demon that beat me down and vanishes immediately to afflict me spiritually. Then I began to actively resist this devil by standing on the promises of God and renewing my mind with His Word (Jam 4:7; Eph 4:23), but when I fell in to it again (1 John 2:1-2), I immediately would resist the evil demon of lust to leave and would cast it out (Gal 4:30-31), and therefore would not allow to let this sin to reign in my mortal body to obey its lust again by being cleansed by the power of the blood of Jesus. And then a little later if this thought of lust would again try to come back to take control of my mind, I would rebuke that demon in the authority of the name of Jesus to leave me which would bring relief (Rom 6:11, 12; Rev 12:11; Matt 28:18, 19-20; Luke 10:19-20). Praise the Lord!

Then further as I sought God knowing my unworthy spiritual stature to minister His Word, God promised me two things, one is "Sin shall not have continual dominion over you, because you are not under law of striving which tells you not to do something wrong or sinful but never gives you the power to overcome it, but you are under the empowering grace of the Lord Jesus who through the Holy Spirit will help you to overcome sin that afflicts you with His very own strength." (Rom 6:14, Paraphrased). And the second promise God gave me was, "29 I will deliver you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of [spiritual] famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord GOD, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!” 33 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. 35 So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’" (Ezek 36:29-35). I finally found freedom not to bother myself and become discouraged when I fall, because I realized that only the Lord can keep me and deliver me from all uncleannesses, therefore thereafter I chose positively to stand up and dust my self up by confessing to God my sins whenever I fell (1 John 1:7, 9; Prov 4:18; 24:16; Psa 37:23-24; 34:18-19), and keep walking in the way of the Lord by resisting those evil thoughts that tries to establish itself as a trait, through the blood and name of Jesus to continue to walk in the victory of faith through our Lord Jesus who leads us in the victorious procession of triumph always (1 John 5:4, 5; 2 Cor 2:14; 1 Cor 15:57, 58). This taught me that I should look to the Lord in faith for the victorious living He has promised me. So I believe as we walk in faith, God will lift us up out of such struggle after a period of time in which we might have faced fierce battle from the enemy of our soul who wants to defile us, then God will settle us in such a way that those same demons will run away seeing us after God settles us for His glory, as dominion is His forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 5:8, 9, 10, 11). What has God taught me in and through this struggle? I have come to realize that no matter what, I will choose to never give up in my fight against the devil because I am called to be a warrior in God's end time army against sin, sickness and death in whatever form I face. I thank God for His grace that helps me live victoriously now in my life in the above areas I mentioned, though sometimes it is still a struggle now and then, but God has proved that the devil cannot keep me in bondage any more by his lies because of God's constant empowering grace. Now my faith in the Lord is that He is able to keep me from stumbling further, and present me faultless before the Presence of His glory with exceeding joy, because He alone is my wise Savior, only to Him belongs glory, majesty, dominion and power now and forever. Amen! (Jude 1:24-25). Now, only the grace of God and not my self-determination or striving brings salvation to help me live an abundant life (John 10:10), thus teaching me through it all to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, and to help me constantly live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age of darkness that rules it (Titus 2:11-12; 2 Cor 4:4; Gal 1:4). Praise the Lord!

So are you troubled with porn-again after you are born-again (John 3:3)? Do not worry, you are not alone, we are all in the same boat in our generation. Never give up your fight against sin, self and Satan as long as you are alive in this earth. God has called us to be saints, so never take your eyes of the calling of God. May the God who justified our whole man, sanctify and purify our spirit, soul and body more and more as we continue to seek the God of peace who has promised to crush Satan under our feet shortly (1 Thess 5:23; Rom 16:20). May the glory of Christ rest upon us and clothe us with Himself (2 Cor 12:9; 1 Peter 4:13-14), so that we may glorify our Lord who has called us to grow from glory to glory!

Much Blessings.....


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