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Monday: Where Sin Reigns — 13 Comments

  1. Choosing life instead of death! That's the difference between choosing right and wrong... Yes, it is important to discuss the real name of things we know are wrong... But these only represent our distance from God, The deepest meaning of the word sin...

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  2. I use to pray "Dear Lord, help me to be 'good' today", I use to think that "I must do my best and God will do the rest" However in studying Morris Venden's books I found him quoting this same extract from Steps to Christ. Now I pray "Dear Lord, I submit my will to you, change my heart so I want to be 'good' today". Then I found another quote from Desire of Ages pg 668 that explains how it happens:

    But to pray in Christ's name means much. It means that we are to accept His character, manifest His spirit, and work His works. The Saviour's promise is given on condition. "If ye love Me," He says, "keep My commandments." He saves men, not in sin, but from sin; and those who love Him will show their love by obedience.

    All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.

    As Christ lived the law in humanity, so we may do if we will take hold of the Strong for strength. But we are not to place the responsibility of our duty upon others, and wait for them to tell us what to do. We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. The Lord will teach us our duty just as willingly as He will teach somebody else. If we come to Him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Our hearts will often burn within us as One draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as Christ has promised.

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  3. There is A HUGE DIFFERENCE between "sin as Lifestyle," and "Sin as a force to contend with in our lives daily." Sin as a lifestyle is something a person plans daily what and where they will execute their next sinful deed. Sin as a force to contend with is something that a person deals with as temptation, imagination, desire, etc. but with God's help does not give into but if for whatever reason he or she finds themselves as having given into it, they flee to God's word in 1 John 1:9, 2:1,2 etc. for forgiveness, mercy, and grace from God for restoration from Him. The account of the Apostle Peter where he sinks into the water after having walked on top of it and yet there was JESUS ready to pull him out of it to walk on top of the water with HIS MASTER JESUS again, is there for us as a lesson that God will never leave us or forsake us even when we fall fom HIS GRACE at times into the WATERS OF SIN.

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    • Hi Pete;
      I might also add that there is grace to save us from even the worst sins in our lives. Leviticus 16:16 describes the day of atonement sacrifice and uses all 3 commonly used words for sin in the Hebrew language, ranging from a simple and inadvertent mistake to outright rebellion "I don't care what God says, I'm going to do things my way" rebellion against God. It then goes on to say "whatever their sins have been". The clear thought is that you can't dream up a sin that God hasn't already made provision to forgive and to heal. The day must come when we give up our sins, when all the excuses are laid aside and we acknowledge that God is right. That our only hope is to allow Him to guide us right because we are unable to do so ourselves. God knows our weakness and desperately wants us to be restored as His children who don't keep injuring themselves and others by sinning. That must include a realization that we can't continue to plan to sin and be safe. Temptations will come and Ellen White say we will often need to come to God for forgiveness, but I would agree completely with you that as God enlightens our minds and restores our sanity, we will no longer plan to sin any more. steve

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      • Thanks, Steve, and I might also add that there is also SIN as CHARACTER DEFECTS TOO. These are the sins that EGW talks about when she says, and I believe that you alluded to where you say that, "We will often need to come to Jesus for forgiveness..." EGW says, "We will OFTEN have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus for our shortcomings and mistakes..."

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  4. The one thing i learnt from this study is that we can experience righteousness by faith by looking to Christ.He overcame through daily surrender and prayer.He let the holy spirit control the daily decisions of his life.And each of us can assess the power of God just as Jesus did...this is what Ellen White says

    "Christ laid hold on the throne of God,and there is not a man or woman who may not have access to the same help through faith in God.Man may become a partaker of the devine nature" Selected messages book 1 p.409.

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  5. I agree with you completely, Shirley...Have read books by Morris Venden and his books are excellent. I appreciate your perspective, and the quote from Desire of Ages. Thankyou

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  6. Newness of life
    Our identification with Christ is not only in His death to sin. It includes our participation in His resurrection to a new kind of life too. In our union with Christ we have been raised to a newness of life. The life which is capable of manifesting the righteousness of Christ. We now stand where we are dead to sin and alive to God. We must not fall back under the dominion of sin, but must manifest a newness of life (see Colossians 3:1-13  "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God".)

    On the basis of our position in Christ, Paul can not only cast aside any talk of continuing in sin, but can exhort us to demonstrate our position by the practice of personal righteousness: "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God" (Romans 6:12-13 ).

    Continuing to live in sin contradict our position in Christ as dead to sin and alive to God, and our profession of this act baptism. It violates every principle of our profession.

     The bible and free will or freedom of choice.
    "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it..."Gen 2:16&17. "But" changes the whole complexion of " free will or freedom of choice " theology. God did not endow man with absolute freedom of choice. He gave Adam a positive command: "thou shall not". It goes to say man's eating of the fruit was breaking that positive command not exercising his " free will ". Free will or freedom of choice eliminates the working and work of the tempter. The bible records that the sanctified life is victorious ( Rom 8:37 ), though it is lived out in the context of temptation and suffering. God promises the "overcomers" in Revelation 2 and 3 to restore all that was lost in the fall ( Romans 2:7 Romans 2:11 Romans 2:17 Romans 2:26 ; Romans 3:5 Romans 3:12 ). Why victorious if he was exercising the power of his "free will or freedom of choice ". We should recognize the error of those who understand this chapter to teach that once a person has been united with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, he or she is incapable of sinning. This is far from Paul' is teaching. " Free will" sinning is unbiblical. This is one teaching of the SDA that is contrary to the bible and the gospel of Christ. The Lord said, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:" (Luke 22:31). If sinning is a result of "free will" how come the Lord cites the devil? I am of the opinion the Church is tinkering with the true meaning of this phrase.

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    • Angele, SDA's don't teach, that once you are saved you are saved and you go on sinning and still consider yourself saved. Take that mote out of your eye. SDA's teach: READ IT, MEDITATE ON OUR BELIEF. By His death on the cross Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. He who subjugated the demonic spirits during His earthly ministry has broken their power and made certain their ultimate doom. Jesus’ victory gives us victory over the evil forces that still seek to control us, as we walk with Him in peace, joy, and assurance of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us and empowers us. Continually committed to Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we are set free from the burden of our past deeds. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. In this new freedom in Jesus, we are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church.

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  7. "The word reign shows that “sin” is here represented as a king. The Greek word here translated as “reign” means literally “to be a king” or “to function as a king.” Sin is all too willing to assume the kingship of our mortal bodies and dictate our behavior."

    I once read an article about an animated sponge that had come to life. It was quite amusing but totally ridiculous. Attributing a living will to sin heads in that same direction.

    Sin does not breath and cannot reason either for good or bad. Sin does not have life in any way let alone as you and I do. It is an object that we choose to embrace or reject.

    By embracing sin we take on the character of Satan apart from faith.
    By rejecting sin we take on the character of Christ apart from sin.

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  8. Mercy blames her alcoholic lifestyle on her upbringing. She is so a dictated to it that she must do a minimum of 4 drings per day.On 1989, before the court, Edward ( name hiden) accepted the charges against him, that he had raped in 8 different occasions.

    We cheat in our relationships, we acquire wealth illegally, we exchange our bodies for money among so many thing. By so doing sin, we are setting Sin as a king in our lives. in Romans 6:10-11 -The baptized person is now living “unto God.” That is, God is the center of his or her new life.By letting God into your life U R SETTING GOD AS THE KING IN OUR LIVES... will alcohol, prostitution be the king in your live, the choice is yours.

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  9. What role does sin play within the concept of justification and sanctification as Paul is describing this issue in Romans chapter 6? Having said that we are dead to sin (Romans 6:2.11), but sin, in a personified sense, still being alive, Paul goes on to caution the believers against thinking: Since they are once saved, they are always saved. Paying attention to verse 12, it becomes obvious that sin, having lost its dominion over its victim, is now trying to recover lost territory. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body," presupposes that the believer is tempted to give way to temptation. "Let not", "do not allow", implies that the tempted one is being admonished not to give in but to say: "I now belong to Christ and not to you. Get away, for the place and the territory you once occupied is now ruled by the Holy Spirit within me (Romans 8:9).

    When does temptation get victorious in regaining lost rulership? In Romans 8:9-11 one will notice the repeated Ifs-- "...if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you," renders the condition: If the Spirit of God dwells in us,there is no way for the tempter to occupy his lost territory inasmuch as that territory is now occupied and ruled by the Holy Spirit. If this is not the case, if the territory is empty, then und only then will the enemy immediately occupy that empty territory.

    Christ told the story of an unclean spirit hat had gone out of a man, but later came back for inspecting his former territory only finding out that it was empty, swept and garnished. So he took seven other evil spirits with him, all entering into that empty place in order to rule over it (Matthew 12:43-45). Christ was referring this instance to the Scribes and Pharisees who enjoyed a very elaborate religion leaving no room for Christ (John 8:37).

    Paul has to ask the Galatian: "Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending up with the flesh." (Galatians 3:3) --- a very dangerous condition inasmuch as they were biting and devouring each other (Galatians 5:15), so much so that Paul is warning them against the works of the flesh hat would exclude them of the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21). So once saved is not always saved. The way of overcoming temptation into sin aiming at restoring lost rulership consists in being made willing to be willing (Philippians 2:13) to surrender ourselves to the redeemer in order for him to occupy His rulership over our lifes (Romans 6:13). This is good news.

    Winfried Stolpmann

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