Friday, November 30, 2012

Freedom from sin by receiving the grace of God

I was listening to a message a few weeks ago and I have not been able to get this revelation out of my mind.  It has transformed my thinking on how I view sin and Gods desire for us to find complete and total freedom from the power of it in our lives.  Most of this blog post is from the notes that I took.  Praise God for complete freedom by the power of His blood.

I think in the American church, there are several ways that we approach sin in our lives.  Either we will always struggle with it (Romans 7) or we come under the written code and resort back to legalism.  Paul says it is possible to overcome the power of sin but we need to focus on someone else rather than ourselves. 

In my last post, I talked about the difference between living under the law verse living by the Spirit.  As we simply yield and allow the Holy Spirit to possess more and more of our lives, He will transform us.  It is His job to change us, not our job to muster up self disciple and self-control to resist sin and walk in holiness.  We need to get radical about believing the truth about who we are in Christ.

So, in light of that, what about that sin that clings so closely? The sin that we can't seem to find true freedom from?  For many years, I would counsel people to continue to preserver, to stay in the word, to renew your mind, to get an accountability partner, to pray, the list goes on.  As I look back, I was counseling people to resort back to the law, believing that they had or could do something in order to find freedom.  Humbling.
So how do we find freedom from "that sin"?  We begin to radically accept the grace given to us on the cross. 
I think it is important to note that sin is not an evil action that you do, it is a supernatural power that has the ability to grip you and control you even against your will.  So how do you control something that has the ability to control you even against your will??

"For sin will have NO DOMINION OVER YOU, since you are not under law but UNDER GRACE." Romans 6:14

No dominion over you? Another translation says "no control" over you.  Wow!!  Is that what you are experiencing in your christian life?  Lets make sure that we never base our theology or beliefs based on our experience rather than the word of God.  Lets radically believe the Word even before our experience lines up with it.

In Romans 6:14, Paul is addressing that there are two areas we could be living under.  I believe that any area of your life where you find yourself free from sins power is an area of your life where you have freely received the GRACE OF GOD.  An example of this is when people come to Christ from wild living, sin they were addicted to before Christ is supernaturally broken off.  They no longer have any temptation or desire to participate in that particular sin.  They have received the grace and forgiveness offered to them on Calvary.    

Any area of your life where you find yourself under sins control even when you don't want it to control you, that is an area where you are still living UNDER LAW.

In Romans chapter 7, Paul is describing what life looks like when it is lived under the law.

"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not what is what I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members." Romans 7:18-24

Do you want to know if you are living under the law in any area of your life?  Romans 7 is your number one sign.  If your genuine heart felt repentance does not result in freedom from the sin you are repenting of, then you are living under law!

So how do you find freedom? You begin to radically accept the forgiveness of God.
"Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!!"

"How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify OUR CONSCIENCE from dead works to serve the living God."  Hebrews 9:14.

Your conscience!!  When you feel guilt or have a heavy conscience, your flesh becomes stirred to try to stop yourself from sinning. Whenever you try to be good, the Holy Spirit backs off and stops working.  His power is no longer moving through you.  When His power is not moving through you, the power of sin takes over.  Dead works is human effort.  Trying to stop ourselves does nothing (Col. 2:20-23).  The impulse of human effort to try to be righteous only produces bondage.  The blood of Jesus removes the guilt from our conscience so we no longer feel guilty.  You freely accept the forgiveness by the blood of Jesus and your conscience gets cleansed from trying all the time and He will heal you.  There is POWER IN THE BLOOD!!      

"There is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1.  When you actually believe that, sin looses it's control over you.

"The law... can never make perfect those who draw near, otherwise there would no longer be any consciousness of sins." Hebrews 10:1-2
Wow!!! How awesome is that!!  It's saying that if you let the blood of Jesus actually do it's work in your life, even the consciousness or inward awareness of the presence of sin in your members will eventually leave your memory.  Praise God. 
"By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with it's legal demands.  This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.  He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him."  Colossians 2:14
So in this verse, why would the demons loose their weapons simply because the legal demands were placed on the cross?  First of all, the legal demands is the LAW.  "The power of sin is the law." (1 Corin 15:56).  So once the law becomes nailed to the cross, sin looses it's power.  We know that satan is the accuser of the brother and he accuses us day and night.  His only weapon is lies, as he hurls accusations at us.  "Look at you, your sin is this. Your sin is that.  You'll always be that way."  When the law was nailed to the cross, he lost his weapons, he lost his power!! We cannot be controlled by sin unless we believe his accusations.  Unless we emotionally identify with his accusations, then sin can take hold. 

There is POWER in the blood of Jesus!! Seriously guys!! We need to get radical in believing the truth that His grace is sufficient.  The truth that we are completely forgiven.  There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  We have the righteousness of Christ.  Our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing.  We are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness.  That is the TRUTH!! Get in the habit of speaking that over your life until you believe it and you see in manifest in your experiences.  He is more than able.  Our God is mighty to save.  Praise Him!!

"What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow, no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my pardon this I see, nothing but the blood of Jesus.  For my cleansing this I plea, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my hope and peace, nothing but the blood of Jesus.  This is all my righteousness, nothing but the blood of Jesus." 

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