Thursday, October 23, 2014
"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3
One of the purposes of the word of God is to allow us to see where we are out of sorts with the mind of Christ so that we can be changed.
If you justify lying, you are in covenant with liars.
If you justify adultery, you are in covenant with whoremongers.
If you justify homosexuality, you are in covenant with sodomites.
If you justify disobedience to God's word, then you are in covenant with witchcraft (I Samuel 15:23).
It is really not that hard to understand. Our own words give away what has us bound. People think they are showing off their intelligence, biblical acumen, or spirituality when they debate Scripture, but what they are really doing is loudly & proudly proclaiming that they are still in covenant with sin.
What does it mean to be in covenant with sin? It doesn't even mean that you are necessarily a practitioner of the sin. Why? Because sin is not defined by what you do, but what you are. A drunk may not be drinking at this moment, but he is still a drunkard. Not doing the act right now does not mean he is not guilty of the sin. If this was not true, then how could Jesus say the following?
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:27-28
How can this person be judged guilty of adultery, having not performed the act? Because adultery is still present in his heart. Truly consider this. Even if the man never actually commits the act, he is still already guilty; he is still in covenant with sin.
Earlier this year, entertainer Tye Tribbett gave an interview explaining what he calls the "doctrine of feelings". His assertion is that "feelings" of sin are natural, but may not be God's best. According to Tribbett, as long as you don't do the act, you are not sinning. Even worse, such persons teach you that denying your "natural" lustful feelings is the best that you can do. Many professing Christians think this way, and it is in error. If this doctrine of feelings was true, then Jesus would have no grounds for pronouncing the lusting man to be guilty of adultery.
God is not simply looking at what you do, He is looking at your heart (I Samuel 16:7). Yes, you should press on in obedience to the word of God in spite of how you feel, but the presence of the inclination towards sin is evidence to you that sin is still alive in you and needs to be mortified. You are not delivered from that sin until it is no longer appealing to you; no pull, no temptation, no enticement (James 1:14-15; John 14:30). Walking in the Spirit is not just the ability to not act upon sin. It is the power to crucify that body of death so that you no longer live in sin.
"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Romans 8:13
"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." Colossians 3:5-7, 10
There is some truth spoken by Tribbett in this interview, but it is not the truth. That is a very critical distinction, because a partial truth will not make you free (John 16:13; John 14:6; John 8:2). This is not about Tribbett himself, but the false teaching ever present today which exhorts people to act like they are walking in the Spirit while still being bound by sin.
"Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee." Exodus 23:32-33
You cannot sign a peace treaty with unclean spirits. Any compromise with sin will lead to your ultimate demise. You must press on - patiently and persistently - to take possession of your own soul from that which seeks to bind you (Luke 21:19). It truly takes a "kill or be killed" mentality.
"For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self. But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh]. O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." Romans 7:22-25
Yes, there is a body of death which has corrupt desires and will war with us to do the things we should not do. However, Paul doesn't say , "Oh well. I guess I just have to war with these feelings for the rest of my life." There is also deliverance available in Jesus Christ! Paul says he can be released from that bondage through Christ. He is only held prisoner - and thereby subject to these strongholds - when he lives after the flesh.
What's missing from this "doctrine of feelings" is the cross. You cannot walk in the Spirit until after you have taken up the cross. God resurrects the dead, and then He gives you life. If there is no old man on the cross, then there is no new man through which to impart new life (John 12:24-25).
"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
The old man and his lusts are corrupt. The goal is not to struggle with the desires of the old man, but to kill him. God is not after getting you to stop acts of sin; He desires to kill off that within you which is still yoked to sin.
The only one who feels the lusts of the flesh is the old man. Ask a dead man what he feels. Do you know what the response will be? Nothing. Instead of crucifying the flesh, people are "living in" the flesh and calling it walking in the Spirit, making such no better off than children of disobedience.
"God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 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. For he that is dead is freed from sin." Romans 6:2-7
To be in covenant with sin means to be in agreement with it, even if you never act upon it. It is to think that sin is okay, acceptable, natural, normal, or even unavoidable. It is to strive to live with sin instead of crucifying the flesh which feeds off of it. Such makes you an enemy of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:17-19).
If you want to know what stumbling blocks exist in your soul, immerse yourself in the word of God. Whatever you feel resistance to in your soul is God shining a light on that within you which needs to change. Pray for strength to not give in to that sin, but also do what is necessary to kill it; every inordinate desire. Don't just agree with God that it is sin, but agree that you can be delivered from it. Deliverance from sin is available, but you must not compromise with it.
Sin is Past
The Power to Lay It Down