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Sunday: The Downward Spiral of Sin — 13 Comments

  1. A long time ago, I worked in a concrete pipe factory.I had been at Avondale College for a couple of years and had not made a lot of progress (meaning I had failed my examinations). I had sat an examination 6 months out of sequence and had to wait for the results to come back. My parents who up till then had been paying for my education thought it was a good idea for me to come back home and earn real money for my College fees.

    I had been in a downward spiral, I had originally gone to College with the idea that I was pretty smart. I squandered my time. I was away from home and parental constraints and had had a good time. Now I was working in a concrete pipe factory where the workers' language was a series of grunts and swearwords. Most of the conversation was about sex. I was earning good money but it was in a toxic atmosphere. And then I got the news that I had passed my examination. Phew! I could escape. I went back to Avondale and put my head down and studied hard. I was a new man To cut a long story short, I never failed another examination.

    Paul talks about the Gentile spiral to destruction and the difference that occurs when we meet Jesus. One thing about spirals in nature, whirlpools, and black holes, for example, is that once you are caught in one there is essentially no escape. You have to be lifted out by someone or something outside the spiral. In our spiritual life, Jesus is the one that removes us from the spiral and gives us a new life.


    -Sin robs us joy and excitement in our Christian life.David after commiting the most atrocious crimes,laments in Psalms 51:12 "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."After adultery,David had to kill.

    -Jesus Christ said in John 8:34 "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."Sin will eventually own us and keep us in chains.

    -Sodom and Gomorrah were getting into more sin,even when they were visited by angels.Genesis 19:4-9(homosexuality),Ezekiel 16:49(pride),2 Peter 2:6(ungodly).

    God has the ability to change a hardened heart to a responsive heart.

  3. It is effortless to deceive myself. When I'm not open to seeing myself through the eyes of God's love, I'll continue to follow a rough pattern and may solidify a personality of stone. I may even have the proper knowledge, but knowledge in dry soil means little. Being as wet clay may save me from me.

  4. The author of the lesson mentioned the term "callous depravity". If we do not set our sight upon Christ daily, our spiritual perception towards sins becomes callous. When the Holy Spirit reveals our error and we do not confess our sins, God's providence will bring us to the ground again and again. We will continue to lack wisdom. We will call sin as righteousness, and righteousness as sin. The multitude of the deception in the last day will encircle us and we will swap our spiritual leaders, yet we will not know that we have done so. Complacency towards sin can gradually lead to an imperceptible downward trajectory of living in the grip of sin if we do not behold constantly towards Christ.

    It was when the Israelites were in a condition of outward ease and security that they were led into sin. They failed to keep God ever before them, they neglected prayer and cherished a spirit of self-confidence. Ease and self-indulgence left the citadel of the soul unguarded, and debasing thoughts found entrance. It was the traitors within the walls that overthrew the strongholds of principle and betrayed Israel into the power of Satan. It is thus that Satan still seeks to compass the ruin of the soul. A long preparatory process, unknown to the world, goes on in the heart before the Christian commits open sin. The mind does not come down at once from purity and holiness to depravity, corruption, and crime. It takes time to degrade those formed in the image of God to the brutal or the satanic. By beholding we become changed. By the indulgence of impure thoughts man can so educate his mind that sin which he once loathed will become pleasant to him. . . .
    The mind is educated to familiarity with sin . . . that the once tender conscience . . . becomes hardened, and they dwell upon these things with greedy interest.—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 459.

  5. In the lesson for today, Paul writes about the outward and obvious sins. But there are the sublet sins that are difficult to acknowledge. These could be practices such as coming to church just to be entertained, lack of meaningful participation, jealous, gossiping, bitterness, self-centered, only finding time for God when it is convenient, only available for church duties if offered pay, attempting
    to make individual feel guilty if they don't give gifts to church officials,
    nepotism, prejudice, etc. Jesus saw and addressed some of these when he was on earth. The difficulty with these practices is that they could be hidden from external view but they are locked in our mind. My prayer is for honesty with myself and my weaknesses and that the Holy Spirit transforms me into an internal and external Christian.

  6. I agree whole heartedly with the lesson writer that without God’s Grace extended to us through the Holy Spirit man will not be able to escape the ‘downward spiral’ of sin. Only He can convict man of the ‘futility of walking according to his own mind’ – Eph.4:17-18.

    A person seeking after the fundamental/unchanging Truth will find it in the rightness of God’s Way of Truth and Light as taught and shown by His Son. Seeing sin and sinning as evidence of an unenlightened heart and mind, it is essential to accept Jesus' offer of the Father’s Way of Life based on His Grace and Mercy to end one's search.

    Teaching man to know by experiencing His Father’s Truth through living one's life by faith, applying this Faith then becomes the evidence of the believer's conversion of heart and mind.

    Without Jesus, His teachings, and the Comforter send by Him to enlighten and comfort the people throughout the whole world, those seeking after rightousness would not have the assurance and conviction that they have chosen rightly and are on the path given to man for salvation from sin.

  7. What is a “futile mind” in Paul’s thinking?

    In 1 Cor. 15:17 he says that if Christ is not risen, our faith is futile, and we are still in our sins. So “futile” is about when something is not doing what it is supposed to do. Here, it’s about faith being meaningless and not accomplishing anything if not fastened onto Christ’s victory over sin. We see the word “Faith“ on mugs and the like, but it means nothing apart from Jesus.

    In Eph. 4:17 Paul talks of the futility of the mind… when the mind doesn’t accomplish what it’s supposed to. What did God want the mind to achieve? 1 Cor. 1:21 says that the purpose of the mind is to know God through its wisdom. We don’t give the world a new philosophical system by which they may be saved. We give them Jesus. We show them it’s about a relationship, not a struggle for self-improvement.

    We see in 1 Cor. 1:21 that it’s actually through the wisdom of God that the world fails to know Him through its own thinking. Rom. 8:19-21 expands this to say that the whole creation is subjected by God to futility, not just our minds. None of it makes sense apart from God, and it isn’t supposed to. The theory of evolution certainly makes no sense to me. If everything is so random and dependent on laws of nature that were made by no one, and are not established by anyone, truly what would be the point… and why should we assume that these laws will continue on as they have?

    How does this subjection to futility, that keeps the mind from knowing God and functioning the way it was supposed to, how does that come about?

    Eph. 2:1-3 says that the spirit of the world and of Satan works through passions of the body and of the mind, which spiral downward into sin without Christ at the center and at the top. Rom. 8:7 tells us that the mind of the flesh, that is the mind without the Holy Spirit welcomed in, is hostile to God and His ways and laws. So I guess we could say that this is another definition of “futile”. God’s enemy. A dead-end street. Going nowhere.

    People use their minds to try to find a way to be happy and at peace. Solomon records in Ecclesiastes what he learned from his lifetime search for happiness and satisfaction apart from God. He tried laughter, wine, building projects, sex and sensuality, music, the pursuit of wisdom, of meaningful work, of power and wealth. He chased whatever feels good as a substitute for that which is good. The power of sin drags you down because the pleasures are either not as good as they promise or they only last for a short time, so you go off looking for something else that ends up battering you a bit more.

    God wants us to be fruitful - not futile- in finding happiness. That’s why we need an intervention that we read about in Ephesians 4:23–24. We need God to renew, or make new, the spirit of our mind. The wise man decided to go back to what he learned as a boy…. he proved to himself that chasing after knowing and obeying God brings the most happiness (Eccl. 12:13)…. wait, the only happiness.

  8. I am so exciting for that lesson to ask my question which is paining me since up to today but thank God, to get it as topic of the day.

    My brothers and sisters my question is When I sinned and do praying I still feeling like confess not my sin.
    Now in that case what shall I do to be sure that I confess? and if I feel so what I can do to be sure?.
    That's all about my question brothers and sisters I wish you to answer me.

    • Dear Brother James,

      An online article titled “The Shadow We Cannot Shake : What to Do When Darkness Remains” may be a blessing to you in answering your question. And remember, feelings may sometimes cloud reality… Jesus felt like the Father had forsaken Him on the cross - asking “My God my God why have You forsaken me?” - but He knew that wasn’t so when He committed His dying self into His Father’s hands. We are promised that God is always with us (John 14:16-17; Matt. 28:20; Ps. 139:7,17-18; Ps. 145:18). Praying you find rest in God’s love today. 🙏

    • One more thought from The Desire of Ages, p. 483, by Ellen G. White:

      Through all our trials we have a never-failing Helper. He does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation, to battle with evil, and be finally crushed with burdens and sorrow. Though now He is hidden from mortal sight, the ear of faith can hear His voice saying, Fear not; I am with you. “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore.” Revelation 1:18. I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Isaiah 54:10.

    • James,
      Remember God reads our thoughts as well as hears what comes out of our mouths. Perhaps just thinking about your sins while you're praying is enough for God at this stage of your spiritual development. It's my opinion that at one point you will confess and be relieved of the guilt you're carrying around. What do you think?

  9. What has been your own experience with the power of sin to continue to drag a person downward into even more sin?

    The battle with sin is a continuous struggle where yielding to one temptation can lead to further transgressions. This cycle can create feelings of guilt, shame, and spiritual disconnection.

    The power of sin to pull us down is often linked to human weaknesses and tendencies. Habits can form (it has been said it takes 180 times of doing the same thing for a habit to form), making it difficult to break free without concerted effort and, often, external support.

    This struggle is overcome when we understand our need for redemption and transformation through faith in Christ. By relying on divine grace, spiritual growth, accountability within a faith community, and the practice of spiritual disciplines, we find the strength to overcome these challenges and experience renewal and liberation from the bondage of sin.


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