The War of Victory
by Ken Pullen
Monday, July 9, 2012
The Strife of Two Natures: continued
The following was not peculiar or specific to the apostle Paul. It is applicable to every person ever born, or ever to be born. It is exceedingly applicable to every mouth professing to be Christian:
For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I understand not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If, then, I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now, then, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So, then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh, the law of sin.
Romans 7: 14-25
Scripture tells us of a spiritual war taking place in heaven. We discern this war to have taken place at some point prior to the creation of man and woman: “And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12: 7-9).
If we truly believe in the whole Bible and have our faith firmly planted in the complete Word of God we then know God’s perfect creation, the earth, was made corruptible by that old dragon, that old serpent the devil and his angels being cast down to earth. Enter man and woman with their free will to choose and enter sin and the fall and the need for the Sacrificial Lamb coupled with turning from this world, and the lusts of the flesh, and turning to God in obedience for salvation. There has been constant spiritual warfare since the rebellion of Lucifer and his followers in heaven to this very moment. Some has been and can be seen on this earth. I am of the belief while some of this spiritual warfare can be seen most of it occurs in a dimension all around us we are incapable of perceiving in our present forms. We can know this in part if we mature in our individual spiritual growth and place all our trust in the Spirit of the Lord to lead us from certain places, people and situations. We can get to a point where our spirit can commune with the Holy Spirit keeping us from this constant spiritual war. It’s called a healthy prayer life. It’s called being steadfast and diligent in study of the complete Word of God. It’s called placing emphasis on the internal, the spiritual and away from the external and the worldly influence.
And make no mistake – make no excuse. Do not take the path of so many who begin their apostate fall by thinking or saying “Oh, lighten up. What I’m doing isn’t so bad. Besides, the Bible says I have liberty and I don’t sin if I’m a Christian.”
Anything – anything – that is not of righteousness is of unrighteousness. There is no compromise. Only men and women led by their flesh pursuing the thinking of the world permits compromise and a continual easing or erasing of standards. Scripture does not tell us “do these things until 1950 then do whatever you decide is acceptable.”
The Bible may have been breathed by God into the spirits of select men thousands of years ago but is it no less relevant or timely at this moment in time than it was in the days Jesus Christ walked this earth as God and a man, or in the days and years the apostle Paul traveled to the various churches or in the days of the early Church. There is nothing new under the sun as Solomon wrote. Only man perceives things in his self-centered nature that things or people are different in their time than in previous times. Each word in Scripture pertains to our time just as it did 1900 years ago to the early Church. And the churches today are no different from the early churches. False teachers, false doctrine, pretensions, fighting over what constitutes following God, legalism, failure to discern and grow spiritually, professing to be followers of Jesus Christ the Lord while still being carnal and truly following the flesh and this world.
Romans chapter 6 reveals each individual professed believers responsibility in relation to God’s sanctifying work; to know the facts of our union and identification with Christ in His death and resurrection (read and meditate upon verses 3, 6 and 9); to reckon or count these facts to be true concerning ourselves (verse 11); to yield or present ourselves once for all as alive from the dead for God’s possession and use (verses 13, 16 and 19); to obey in the realization that sanctification can proceed only as we are obedient to the will of God as revealed in His Word (verses 16 and 17).
There is a great dearth of understanding and discernment among the billions of professed Christians. We know, as Scripture tells us, at any given time on this earth there are only a few righteous people in the sight of God. Many pretenders. Many great actors. Few truly righteous. Christ returns because righteousness and faith are about to be consumed with the wickedness of mankind. The earth experienced a great flood and the population of that time perished except for Noah and seven members of his family. The only righteous people on earth at that time in the sight of God. Many belief and live lives partaking of this world, not developing their spiritual nature – except through corrupted translations or false teachers and their false doctrine – convinced if they profess they believe in Jesus Christ they are once and for all saved and have total liberty to go and do whatever they wish, for they have liberty and are impervious to sin.
Screaming, whining, self-centered too untrained to realize they sit hollering in their own dung and in their infantile state can only sup upon watered down milk. Only unlike a human or animal baby in this world that physically grows these remain in an infantile spiritual state never developing. Being carnal. And lost in darkness. Failing to be obedient to God and failing to take up their cross and make Christ the Son the Lord of their life.
We can have deliverance from indwelling sin and the power of the flesh. But it takes more that saying “I believe in Jesus Christ and make Him my personal Savior.”
I know professed believers which permit themselves every worldly pleasure there is. I know professed believers who read literature which conditions and shapes their minds and values that is a downright abomination in the sight of God. I know professed believers who listen to any and every type of music; watch any type of TV program or movie and they lack understanding and discernment of the great damage to their soul they are permitting in these pursuits. What they experience in this world makes them of this world. It shapes them and stirs their feelings and the majority of what passes as “culture” in these times is pure garbage lowering itself to the basest of emotions. I know professed believers who indulge in any and every worldly pleasure. They go to bars. One telling me “there is more truth in any bar than there is in most churches.” These worldly pleasures shape us and over time lead us to become who we really are. Gamblers, smokers, drinking to excess and drunkenness. Gluttons. Slothful relying upon technologies rather than the pursuit of God. Being easily deceived because they seek comfort and pleasure of the self in this life rather than do the heavy lifting leading to spiritual growth. I know professed believers who will go just about anywhere. Speak just about any words. Have friendships with just about any kind of person. And their ambitions are self-centered on accumulating wealth and the material things of this earth. I know professed believers who brood over things which are not right thinking or right living.
All we do or permit shapes us. We give God, Christ and the Word of God either not time or thought, or very little compared to the amount of time in a week. Yet we have no problem and plenty of time and energy for worldly endeavors. Doing that which we ought not to do and not doing that which we ought to do.
“Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in its lusts. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
“For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked that whereas ye were the servants of sin, ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being, then, made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh; for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness, unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things of which ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
Romans 6: 11-23
To be continued…