Ask The Pastor
January 10, 2003
> Why is it no matter how I try that I just can't
seem to shake off my
> old sinful practices? Could it be that I'm not saved? No matter how
> many times I ask the lord to forgive me I still fall back into sin.
> Please HELP!!!
It is more than a matter of salvation. You are simply being honest
about something that every believer has to deal with. It has to do
with understanding that a principle of sin is resident in our earthy
bodies. The ancients spoke of this as the 'evil inclination.' I'll share
on this briefly.
First, there are three levels of life that a believer can relate to. The
first level is our former life as a sinner. At that time we sinned by
nature and weren't much concerned about it. Another level is the
heavenly life that we look forward to, that is, where sin will never
again be present in our lives in any form.
But the problem is our NOW life. In our present life we are sort of
betwix and between the other two lives. Sometimes we wonder if we
are saint or sinner. At times we feel very refreshed and at liberty in
our spiritual life, then at other times we feel our sins very deeply.
But this only means that we are in good company. This is what
makes the Bible such a wonderful book. It openly shares the
struggles, the failures, along with the victories that are common to
all God's people.
Read the testimonies of God's great servants of the past. You will
find each of them expressing this very same struggle that you are
expressing. Even the great apostle Paul spoke of it, when he said,
"For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil
that I do not want." (Romans 7:19)
But it was also the apostle Paul who pointed us to the answer. The
answer is three-fold. First, always keep in view that the sin debt has
been fully paid. Paul said that our sins will not be called into
account. This means that Jesus not only died for our sins, but He
gave us His life in exchange. For this reason Satan can never
successfully accuse us before the Father. We have an eternal
advocate in the Son.
Secondly, Paul said that the only way we can walk in victory over
the sins of the flesh is to realize that the victory of the Spirit. His
point was that no believer can defeat flesh with flesh. You can't
keep enough rules, or punish yourself sufficiently, or make enough
vows and promises to bring the flesh into submission. It can only be
done by the power or the Spirit. And every believer has this power
of the Spirit deep within them.
Thirdly, is in learning to appreciate the work of the Spirit. The Holy
Spirit is the one who convicts us of our sins, who causes us to
receive our forgiveness, who actually points us in the way of release
and victory. The reason for this is because the Spirit and the flesh
are at enmity with one another, and the Holy Spirit will never let the
flesh rest as long is it is taking advantage of a believer. The Spirit
wins out by bringing the believer back to the cross.
This does not mean that we are without responsibility. The key is to
learn to live in and by the Spirit. And even in times of slip up, come
back to the cross. The blood will always be sufficient to cleanse our
conscience from the workings of sin in our life.
Finally, and I say this as a way of helping in particular, it is
important to understand that sin begins with a seed thought. If you
will learn deal with these 'seeds' quickly, then the true victory will
always be close at hand.
There is more to be said, but I hope this will help a bit. (Learn to
replace bad habits with good habits.)
Bro. Buddy Martin - Ask
Lawrence "Buddy" Martin
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