Imprisoning Themselves

February 25, 2013

Friends,
Sinning “Christians” have constructed a tower that they promote as a refuge. “While they themselves are slaves of depravity” (2 Peter 2:19), these arrogant ones (v. 10,18) promise people freedom (v. 19), doing so by “appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature.” (v. 18) While proclaiming in bold letters that Christ sets us free, they include in the fine print that this freedom is only escape from Hell, not from sin and its power. Sin and its power, they insist, is locked firmly within everyone, including believers, until we get to Heaven. Sadly, what they do not want to understand, is that until we walk free of sin’s power, we are still in its realm and are thus still children of Satan, headed to Hell with him. (Matt. 13:41,42 & 25:41 // 1 John 3:4-10)

This imprisoning stronghold –this doctrine of the kingdom of darkness– needs to be torn down to the ground and crushed to powder. It is likely the number one cause of those masses who, though they’ve heard the Gospel, are still rushing down the bank into Hell. And why? It is because they’ve been presented with, and believe and teach, a twisted gospel, and they cannot, therefore, walk in the freedom of the Truth.

One of the main portions of Scripture which this evil stronghold flaunts is Rom. 7:7-25, teaching from it that Christians will always be struggling with sin. However, those who believe and live this doctrine endanger their eternities, for it is to disbelieve the Truth. As 2 Thes. 2:9-12 warns us, to refuse the Truth and to delight in wickedness, even while believing in spiritual things, is to incur upon oneself condemnation.

When “Christians” hide behind their pet Romans 7 chapter by claiming that it explains the legitimate struggle they have with sin’s power still lurking within them, then they must also acknowledge that they are “unspiritual.” (v. 14) They must acknowledge that they are “sold as a slave to sin.” (same verse) They must admit (and they do admit this) that it is not them doing the sin, but that it is sin itself committing sins through them. (v. 17) For, they reason, nothing good lives in them, that is, in their sinful nature. (v. 18) They insist that because of this, they absolutely cannot carry out their desires to do good (same verse), but instead irresistibly keep doing evil. (v. 19) This, they say, is proof that “it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (v. 20) Indeed, how convenient of a doctrine for sin-lovers who do still want to escape God’s wrath against sin!

The problem is, is that this is not what Romans 7 teaches. In fact, it teaches the exact opposite, as does Rom. 6 and 8 (and the rest of God’s Word). All three chapters are stressing the doctrine that we’ve been set free from sin and are now able to live the new, righteous life, doing so by being under the rulership of the Spirit of life rather than under the rulership of the sinful nature of death. Who has rescued us from this body (the sinful nature) of death? Rom. 7:24 & 25 tell us: Jesus Christ our Lord! For in the sinful nature we were slaves to the law of sin (v. 25), but “by dying to what once bound us” (v. 6) –that is, the sinful nature (v. 5), we have been released from the old way (–the way of law which gave sin the strength to put us to death –v. 10) to serve in the new way of the Spirit. (v. 6) Whoever does not serve God in this new way does not belong to Christ. (8:9) That person has not died to the old husband, and so, of course, remains under his power and rule. (7:1-4) This is why the Truth says that if someone is still a slave to sin, he is not living in Christ (6:11), he is still a child of the devil (1 John 3:8-10), and he will not inherit eternal life. (Rom. 6:22,23)

If Christ is in a person, that person is dead to sin and alive to righteousness (Rom. 8:10), meaning he obeys God, not sin. (6:22) Such a person has accepted Christ, God’s sin offering (8:3) –He who by His death and resurrection “condemned sin in sinful man” (same verse)– and so, “the new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17) who has now been “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8), walks free of the power of sin. (Rom. 6:6) There is no excuse then to retreat back under sin’s control. It is a lie to teach that Christ who sets us free from the body of death / the old self / the sinful nature / the law of sin (7:23-25) does not actually free us and that we must still claim to be “a prisoner of the law of sin.” (v. 23)

No, the Truth teaches us that our old self (our sinful nature) was crucified with Christ. (Rom. 6:6) For through faith and obedience (1:5 & 6:16) we “who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24), which means, we are no longer persuaded or controlled or ruled or mastered by sin. Christ has broken its power completely. This is the wonderful, beautiful Truth, the true Doctrine, the undefiled Gospel, the Good News of the Real Freedom for which Christ ransomed us. And it is the Truth we need to teach and proclaim and walk in ourselves.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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