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WHY WE ALL NEED THE FEAR OF THE LORD!
In 1 John 2: 28 we read,
“ And NOW, little children ABIDE in him: (why?) that (or in order that), when he shall appear, we may have CONFIDENCE, and NOT be ashamed before him at his coming.”
If we are going to live our lives free from sin so that we shall NOT be ashamed before him at his coming, then we must ABIDE in him.
Now skip down to 1st John 3: 2,3, which says,
“ Beloved NOW are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that has this hope in him PURIFIES himself, EVEN as he is PURE.”
Then in verses 5,6 we read,
“ And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is NO SIN”
There was no sin in Jesus. The word of God says that we are to purify ourselves EVEN as he is pure. That means we are to live our lives without sin EVEN as Jesus lived without sin.
“Whosoever ABIDES in him SINS NOT: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.”
I know that these are hard words to receive at first; at least they were for me, because I had not yet learned what to ABIDE in him actually meant. I was always taught that if you were born again, that is to say, a true believer, one who has truly repented and accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, then you were abiding in him, sort of an automatic condition. NOT SO my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord. NOT SO INDEED!
God’s word says in 1st Peter 2:24
“By his stripes you WERE healed”
Are all Christians healed? Actually the answer is yes, in that healing is PROVIDED for us, but we are not all walking in this PROVISION of HEALING at all times. In other words, healing is not going to fall on us like “ripe cherries off a tree”, even though the price for the HEALING of your body has ALREADY been paid in full, just like the price for your SINS has ALREADY been paid in full. However, there needs to be ACTION on our part, in order to RECEIVE forgiveness of our sins and to RECEIVE the HEALING for our physical bodies. And this ACTION is called FAITH. You must BELIEVE that Jesus died for your sins and repent of your sins in order to receive forgiveness of your sins. The same is true when receiving the HEALING for your physical body.
Now one of the forms or meanings of FAITH is simple OBEDIENCE to God's word.
Also please keep in mind that just because you RECEIVED healing from what ever sickness or disease the enemy had oppressed you with does NOT mean that you will NEVER EVER be oppressed by the devil ever again with another sickness or disease. The same is ALSO true of SIN. Just because you RECEIVED Jesus as your Lord and Savior and all your past sins were FORGIVEN you, does NOT mean that you are FOREVER SAVED in that you shall never ever be TEMPTED to sin and sometimes give into some of those temptations and SIN. The Bible teaches us that the soul that SINS it shall DIE. In other words, the wages or penalty for SIN is DEATH. Therefore when we give into temptation and SIN, we MUST WITHOUT FAIL ask for FORGIVENESS and REPENT of our SIN. In other words, IF we want to obtain ETERNAL LIFE in the world to COME, then we MUST WITHOUT FAIL keep SIN out of our lives, and HOW we keep sin out of our lives is first to RESIST the temptation NOT to give into it and therefore sin, but if a Christian is over come by temptation and gives into it to sin, then the only way to get that sin out of your life is to ask forgiveness and repent of that sin. For a deep understanding on this subject of the CONDITION of living WITHOUT SIN in order to OBTAIN ETERNAL LIFE in the world to COME please read the study "IS ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED BIBLICAL?"
But for now I would like you to read Romans 8:14 which teaches us that ONLY those who are LED by the Holy Spirit are the SONS of God.
“NOW are we the sons of God IF so be that we are LED by the Spirit of God.”
We must at all times be open to and OBEDIENT to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Again, ACTION must be taken on our part; namely OBEDIENCE. If you will just obey the Holy Spirit, then you will not sin. In other words, OBEDIENCE to Almighty God EQUALS NOT SINNING.
Now take a look at Jude 22, 23.
“And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with FEAR pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”
Up to this point I have primarily dealt with the positive and compassionate approach to exhorting you, as well as myself to live our lives free from sin. I hope that it has been enough to aggressively stimulate you to strive for, and one day achieve the goal of walking free from any and all sin. Please know and understand that overcoming sin is a process. For some it will be almost instant. However, with others, a seemingly longer period of time may be needed. Either way it is an ongoing fight of faith. If you are faithful to stand your ground, and resist every temptation, then the fight against sin will become easier and easier. But on the other side of the coin the more you give into the temptation to sin the harder it becomes to resist the temptation unto the end and NOT sin. So walk away at the very first sign of temptation, because the longer you entertain the temptation the harder it becomes to resist that temptation.
Now if by chance more exhortation is needed to help you live your life free from sin, then keep reading. Remember the scripture says,
“…and others save with FEAR, pulling them out of the fire.”
The fire that is spoken of here is referring to the LAKE of FIRE, which is a very real and LITERAL FIRE, and definitely something to be feared and avoided. Now in recent years the LOVE of God has been preached so much so, that consequently, it seems that some Christians, in general, have shoved the “fear” of the Lord into the closet. Perhaps preachers focused on preaching the love of God, because they were hoping not to be offensive, or maybe they were trying to avoid confronting the reality that the LAKE of FIRE called the second DEATH is in fact the penalty of sin.
The Bible says in Matthew 7: 22, 23 that,
“MANY will say to me in that day Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works?
23. And then I will say unto YOU depart from me, you that work INIQUITY.”
I want you to notice that Jesus is making reference to those who were once Christians, but they were deceived by the enemy to let SIN back into their lives. And because of the SIN that they let creep back into their lives combined with their dying while yet living in sin, they were cast into outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth, BECAUSE of their WORK of INIQUITY.
1 Corinthians says it like this.
“Wherefore let him that THINKS he stands take heed lest he fall.”
Remember that Peter thought for sure that he would lay down his very own life for Jesus, and yet he denied even knowing Jesus three times.
Please do NOT misunderstand what I am teaching about living without sin. I do not want to leave anyone the WRONG impression that if you do sin that there is no more hope for you, that is to say that there is no more forgiveness of your sins to restore our fellowship with our heavenly Father. The Bible clearly teaches us in 1 John 1: 9, that if we confess our sins that he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
However, there seems to be a relaxed attitude toward sin in the church as a whole that says, “I am only human, God will understand how hard it is to resist temptation, after all his word does say that if I give in, and sin, all that I need to do is confess my sin, and he will be FAITHFUL to forgive me.” The following verse of scripture in 1 John 2: 1 reads,
“My little children, these things write I unto you that you sin NOT, and IF any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”.
The key word here is “IF”. We are commanded NOT to sin, but IF we would fall into a trap of our adversary and sin, then we are assured that if we confess our sins he is faithful to forgive us.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:12,13 that because iniquity, that is sin shall abound, that the love of MANY would grow cold. Again Jesus is talking about believers here! Perhaps those who thought they could “handle it” so to speak. Jesus goes on to say in verse 13,
“But he that shall ENDURE unto the END, the same shall be saved.”
This passage of scripture tells ME that ONLY those Christians, who endure unto the end shall be saved. In other words, if you do not endure your temptations to sin, that is to say, if you do not resist the temptation to sin, without giving into it, to the END of the temptation, then you will NOT be saved from that particular trial or trying of your FAITH. In other words, you FAIL to walk by FAITH in that particular situation and thus you were NOT saved from SINNING in that particular trying or trial of your FAITH. Remember the word of God teaches us that the JUST shall LIVE by FAITH, and that the WAGES of SIN is DEATH.
Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord that you and I are redeemed from sin. We are set free from the bondage of sin. So then, let us NOT let our lives be entangled in the destructive web of sin ever again. We must patiently endure, or overcome every temptation we are faced with to the very end of each and every temptation. The Bible assures us that if we resist the devil, then he WILL flee from us. Don’t give in, and the temptation will flee from you. Every time you give in to sin you run the risk of being forever separated from God and cast into outer darkness. Don’t be one of the MANY who were once Christians that Jesus will one day say to,
“depart from me you workers of iniquity.”
Again please do not misunderstand what I am saying. I am not saying that a Christian committing just one sin will cause them to be forever lost. But rather I am saying that one sin may very well lead to another sin and that sin to yet another sin and so forth until a Christian is deceived by the deceitfulness of sin to the point where he or she is living a LIFESTYLE of sin. I have heard Christians say that they commit sin every day and I have heard some Christians say that they sin even hundreds of times a day. To ME this was shocking to hear even BEFORE the Holy Spirit began to teach me HOW to live free from sin. When I heard these Christian say that they sin every day and even that they sin many multiple times a day I thought to myself WHERE is the FEAR of the Lord in them?
Proverbs 16: 6 says,
“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the FEAR OF THE LORD men depart from evil.”
It is true that God is love and that by his grace and mercy he sent his Son Jesus to suffer and die on the cross for our sins, but we must also never forget the words found in Hebrews 12:29 that tell us that God is also a consuming fire. Judgment day is coming, and Hebrews 10:30,31 says, “…it is a FEARFUL thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Time is short, and the coming of our Lord is very near. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 4:17,18 that,
“The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God, and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18. And if the righteous SCARCELY be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
All through this study of God’s Holy word are scriptures that are promises to help us purge all sin totally and completely from our lives. But these by far only represent a small portion of the great storehouse of promises to be found in the Bible. Read 2nd Corinthians 7:1, which says,
“Having THEREFORE these promises, dearly beloved, let us CLEANSE OURSELVES from ALL filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness (HOW?) in the FEAR OF THE LORD.”
When you see the word “therefore”, then you need to find out what it is THERE FOR.
These scriptural promises are there for a reason. They are to help strengthen us in order that WE will purge our lives from ALL sin. One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Therefore my brother and sister in Christ Jesus work out your own salvation with great FEAR and TREMBLING. For it is God that is working in you through the Holy Spirit that places not only the desire in your heart to live your life free from sin, but also enables and empowers you to be a doer of the word and make living your life free from sin a REALITY. Right here, right now in the midst of this crooked and perverse world you can live your life free from all sin. Remember you are the light of the world; so let your light shine by setting forth the example of living your life without sin.
Going back to Romans 8:14, I would like to take a side journey, and explore an argument that is thrown around quite often as an excuse for sinning. Remember this verse in Romans says,
“For as many as are LED by the Spirit of God, THEY (speaking of ONLY those FAITHFUL Christians who are LED by the Spirit of Almighty God and who OBEY the Holy Spirit) are the sons of God.”
In other words, if you are NOT OBEYING the leading of the Holy Spirit, then you are NOT a son or daughter of God. Don’t dismiss what I am saying, for it is the word of God.
Back up one verse to Romans 8:13
“For if you live after the flesh, ye shall DIE.”
In other words if you continue to sin after you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, who paid such a great price to redeem you, and set you free from sin, then you shall die in your sins. Does not the Bible say in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death? Does this mean that if I sin after I have received Jesus as my Savior then there is no hope for me? NO ABSOLUTELY NOT, the Bible assures us that IF we confess our sins that he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. However the Bible also says that to OBEY is better than sacrifice, which brings us to the last part of verse 13.
“But IF you THROUGH THE SPIRIT do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.”
Over and over again throughout the word of God you will find that it always comes down to a choice, your choice. You can choose to live your life without sin. It is possible through FAITH and the Holy Spirit.
Before I continue on this side journey I would like to reaffirm the importance of keeping the scripture you are studying in the context were it is found. Now back up a few more verses to Romans 7:15-20
“ For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not, but what I hate, that I do.
16. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17. Now thus it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells (or ABIDES) in me.
18. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells (or ABIDES) no good thing: for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19. For the good that I would I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells (or ABIDES) in me.”
Many have argued with themselves, with God, and with others that we are saved by grace, which is true. They have also argued that our own righteousness is as filthy rags, which is again true, speaking of OUR OWN righteousness. And many have proudly stated that we are only human, which is also true, but yet NOT the WHOLE TRUTH. Then by putting all these SEEMINGLY true statements together along with this passage in Romans chapter seven, which we just read, there has been formed in the body of Christ a stronghold of the enemy that has kept the church in bondage to sin. This stronghold perhaps would have never been formed, if this scripture had not been taken out of context to try and excuse the laziness of the flesh.
Let me explain by paraphrasing a portion of a sermon I have heard many times from various different preachers that goes something like this: “Paul, one of the greatest men in the Bible had a sin problem. Don’t take my word for it just read Romans 7:14-24. So if Paul could not overcome his sin, then you certainly don’t have much of a chance to over come sin.”
Have you ever-heard sermons like that? I certainly have. The problem is, those that believe, and teach that we are only human, and that it is just human nature to sin, have not rightly divided the word of God. They did not leave this passage of scripture in the CONTEXT from were it was found. Keep reading and you will understand the TRUTH that I am conveying to you.
The key verse is found in Romans 7:24 and 25,
“ O wretched man that I am! Who shall DELIVER me from this body of death?”
Now notice the very next thing Paul says in verse 25, “I THANK GOD through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Now I add) “who went to prepare a place for me”. It is through Jesus Christ our Lord, who went to the Father to prepare a place of authority for us, so that the Father would send the Holy Ghost to dwell IN us that he might enable and EMPOWER us to overcome sin.
Don’t stop here at verse 25, but keep on reading right on into chapter 8, because Paul is still telling us how to escape this vicious cycle of sin in chapter 8:1-14.
“ There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk NOT after the flesh, BUT after the Spirit.”
If you give into sin, or in other words, you walk after the flesh, and OBEY the LUST of the FLESH, then there will be condemnation. However, those who do NOT yield to the temptation to sin, and OBEY the LEADING of the Holy Spirit, then they are walking after the Spirit and there is no condemnation in them, because ONLY DISOBEDIENCE to Almighty God brings condemnation. Again to obey is better than sacrifice. Romans 8:1 says,
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are IN Christ Jesus.”
In other words, those who are ABIDING in him, and he in you, as in, PRESENT tense of continually ABIDING in CHRIST by walking after the Holy Spirit and by NOT walking after the FLESH, then there is NO CONDEMNATION. Remember the word "CHRIST" means the anointed one. In other words, those who are abiding in the same anointing that Jesus had while he was in the earth, will NOT SIN, and will therefore have no condemnation. In simple terms to ABIDE in him means to OBEY him. Jesus said if we CONTINUE in the truth then we are his disciples indeed and the TRUTH will make us free.
Romans 8:6-9 says,
“For to be carnally minded (that is to say, to always be THINKING upon the DESIRES of the FLESH and the minding or OBEYING of the flesh) is DEATH; but to be spiritually minded (that is to say, to be CONTINUALLY THINKING upon the THINGS of Almighty God and then minding or OBEYING the things of the Spirit) is life and peace.
7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9. But you are NOT in the flesh, but in the Spirit, IF SO BE that the Spirit of God dwell (or ABIDE) IN you. Now if any man have NOT the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
We as Christians are NOT in the FLESH, but rather we as Christians are in the SPIRIT. Again please read the studies related to being FILLED with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Jesus command his disciple to wait in Jerusalem until they be ENDUED with POWER from on high before they went out to preach the gospel. This being endue with power form on high by being FILLED with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues still applies today. Please read the study "HAS SPEAKING IN TONGUES CEASED?"
Remember that Hebrews 11:6 tells us that it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without FAITH.
Nothing would please God more than for his children to OBEY him. Willing obedience is what God desires of us. If we will but simply OBEY the voice of the Spirit of God we would not sin. However, the flesh is weak and cannot please God consistently and continually. Your OWN works in the FLESH to work righteousness can only take you so far and most of the time one's OWN works of righteousness brings BOASTING.
So you see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, the ONLY way to please God and live your life completely free from sin is to live by the spirit, your inner man, IF SO BE that the Spirit of God dwells in you. The only way to live your life free from sin is by FAITH. You have to believe you can before you will be able to do it. And you must TRUST the leading of the Holy Spirit, which is another definition of faith.
It is not hard to trust the leading of the Holy Spirit when it comes to the "You shall NOT do this or you shall NOT DO that". But when it comes to trusting and obeying the Holy Spirit to the "I want you to DO this or I want you to DO that", then it becomes a little harder to trust and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. But this is another area of study so for now let us stick to the keeping of the commandments of God like "you shall NOT steal and you shall NOT commit adultery". Not that the obeying of the Holy Spirit to DO something is not as equally as important, but God has shown me to take one step at a time as HE leads. So do not try and conquer every sin the first day, but rather simply obey the LEADING of the Holy Spirit.
Every Christians has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them to lead and guide them into all truth. And every Christian immediately KNOWS by the Holy Spirit when they sin and even when they are about to sin. So you as a Christian KNOW when you have NOT obeyed the Holy Spirit. You do not need a preacher to tell you when you have sinned. The Holy Spirit within you prompts you to resist sin first and then if you do not obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit to not give into the temptation to sin, then the Holy Spirit will prompt you to REPENT and ask for forgiveness for disobeying his leading. So all a Christians needs to do is to WALK AFTER the SPIRIT by OBEYING the prompting of the Holy Spirit and therefore they will NOT be walking after the FLESH so long as they are OBEYING the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I strongly exhort you to read Romans 8:1-18 over and over again, until you fully rest in the truth that you are made free from the law of sin and death and that you are NOT obligated to obey your lower nature of the flesh. Know this also that when Paul said,
“but how to perform that which is good I find not,”
He was NOT saying he did know how to overcome sin, but rather that in the strength of his OWN flesh, or his OWN will power, so to speak, he could not find a way to keep from yielding to sin. Paul did not remain in this frustrating state of continual sinning and repenting, but rather he overcame the deeds of the flesh THROUGH THE SPIRIT as he goes on to teach us in Romans 8:13. Again I strongly exhort you my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord to read very carefully and prayerfully Romans chapter 8 focusing and studying verses 1 through 18.
Remember the words of Jesus, “I can of mine OWN self do nothing” , but WITH God or with the ANOINTING that dwells WITHIN us as Christians ALL things are possible.Therefore since Jesus depended upon the Holy Spirit to live his life without sin, likewise we also must depend upon the SAME Holy Spirit dwelling in us in order to live our lives free from sin.
Yours in Christ Jesus Now and Forever,
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