So today I want to talk about sin. Sin is a big issue to us. Along with sin comes a host of other issues such as “sickness, shame, anger, confusion, and condemnation”. I want to tell you that your sin does not have the Father packing His bags and leaving you. Think about it the Father knows all things. He was not surprised that Peter was going to fail and deny Jesus. What was Jesus response to Peter? I will pray for you to remain faithful. Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, love never fails. So many times we believe that the Father has left because of our sin but that is not true. The truth is quite opposite. Let’s look at some scripture to clarify Gods response toward us.
We are first going to look at the original sin of man in Genesis.
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Genesis 3:4)
So before we continue let’s take a look at a few things that sin does. Before the fall man had unrestricted communion with the Father. There was no veil separating man’s heart from seeing the Father. The spirit of Adam dominated our current reality and thinking. His heart was pure therefore projecting a purified imagination. So the bate of satan was to appeal to their vanity and to pervert the word of God. He said, “If you eat of this tree you will become as God!” The reality was that Adam and Eve were already walking as gods on this earth. The Father had given them full access to Heaven. Their mission was to expand the garden till it took over the face of the earth. Earth and its fullness was under their dominion. So when they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil their eyes become opened to our reality and closed to theirs. Our reality which was there supernatural reality became theirs. The veil was placed upon their hearts and the heavens closed.
You can see that the moment sin had entered their hearts fear came upon them. All they ever knew was the love that pass understanding. Their Fathers love was manifest physically upon them without the battle in the mind. Fear is the absence of love. John said that Perfect love cast out all fear. Their eyes became opened. They no longer saw only light but the darkness that always lurked at a distance is now filling their heart. As Jesus said:
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22)
The darkness was condemnation. Condemnation says you’re disqualified to receive the Father’s love. You now have a concubine attitude. You begin through servitude to earn the Father’s love hoping to be seen. No longer do you feel loved but now you need to be loved. So man sought love through creation. Something was birthed inside of man. A conscience! Here is the definition of Conscience:
The inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.
Inside their heart was now the ability to choose right and wrong. The only was to have an ability to choose right and wrong is to have a way to measure it such as a law. The law reveals sin. Paul says, the strength of sin is the law! Man now walked in his flesh instead of out of his spirit. I believe that is why the author of Hebrew stated this:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
I believe that when the Gospel or Good news is believed that we are now born of spirit and the word of God separates soul and spirit.
So man’s first response was fear his second response was shame. They covered their sin and hid themselves. So who separated from who? Man hid himself but where is the Father? Did He also depart? Did He remain on His throne? No! He pursued man. He sent His Son the Christ the word of God to walk in the cool of the day seeking man.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8
So you see sin does not separate God from man but man from God. Jesus later comes as the savior of man seeking relationship and cleanses the world of Sin so that whoever would believe in Him would have everlasting life.
Now sin does carry consequences? The consequence is it does remove us from the reality of our Fathers love.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith. (Col 1:21)
When we sin we are no longer beholding Jesus. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. The hope of Glory. The captain of our salvation. In Him is no sin! 1 John 3 says, “He who abides in Christ cannot sin”! Sin removes the reality of the Father and exalts itself above the knowledge of God. This carries depression, shame, guilt, sickness and many other negative feelings and manifestations. But the reality of the Fathers heart is the same toward you. He sees you Holy, Blameless and above Reproach. But you must stay in this reality to benefit from it. Out of this which is walking in the spirit and abiding in His presence comes His fruits. Notice I said His fruits. Righteousness, the absence of sin is a fruit of Christ. Everything Christ did and was on this earth is who we can be. We overcome through living and abiding in Christ.
So if sin is a struggle of your life I want you to know that it’s not your battle but it is finished in Christ. Now that does not mean you sit back and do nothing and expect to live righteous. Faith without action is dead works. You have a laboring to do. Not in trying not to sin but to enter into His rest. In His rest we cease from our works and the Father manifest through us. Our rest is the submitting to God and resisting the devil. So lets look at the book of James and learn the key to overcoming sin.
Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:6)
This verse lays the keys to overcoming sin. Let’s look at them
1. God opposes the proud
2. He gives grace to the humble
3. Submit yourselves to God
4. Resist the devil and he will flee
5. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Let’s look at the first one. God opposes the proud or self-righteous. Ask yourself this question. What would have become of Adam if he had only taken a heart of repentance and asked for forgiveness? But that is not what happened. He blamed Eve for his sin and then blamed God for giving him Eve. He resisted the grace that was being given to him from the Father by standing in self-righteousness. I will stand on this statement with all my heart. God does not send men to hell. Men reject the grace of God through hardening their heart. God resist the proud which moves us to point two, He gives grace to the humble. When we stand in self-righteousness we resist the grace of God that was provided to all men.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
All men have access to this faith but the god of this world has blinded the hearts of men that they might not see the light of the gospel. So in relation to sin when we stand in a place of control or in other words we try to overcome sin through the flesh we resist the grace that empowers us to overcome it. Paul says it this way:
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…
(2 Cor 12:9)
His grace is what empowers us to overcome all sin. Sin is to have no dominion over you. So you must submit to God through acknowledging that you can’t bare righteous living outside of Him. By taking your sin issue to God and humbling yourself by acknowledging that it is through Him you have the victory, sin loses its strength and grace releases power.
So what is the submitting to God? It is allowing the thoughts of the Father and His words to wash your mind till you live in the identity of a sons or daughters. You begin to come into the knowledge of the love of Christ that surpasses all understanding. You are the righteousness of God separate from the law. It’s not your actions that make you righteous but it is His. When this becomes heart revelation the devil flees you. Why because he has nothing in you. You are all His. Living in the reality that you are righteousness of God through faith will release the power of God over your life to take dominion over all sin.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), (Galatians 3:13 NKJV)
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11 NKJV)
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (II Corinthians 5:14-21 NKJV)
Righteousness is a gift like salvation. It can only be conceived through Faith.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26 NKJV)
For righteousness comes through Faith not Works
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. (Romans 3:27 NKJV)
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. (Romans 9:30-32 NKJV)
So this is how we overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony!