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Power Over Sin
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Father God we thank you for all gathered here tonight. Open the eyes of our understanding and fill us with your light and peace. Teach us how to master sin in our lives and allow the fruit of self-control to grow. In Jesus Name we ask AMEN so be it.

I've been meditating this week on the topic of Power over Sin. We have a conflict with sin when we are believers, and we need to learn how to deal with it. First of all let's briefly look at why sin is a problem for a believer. As human beings we are composed of body, soul and spirit.

Sparkle - you got that right

Before we receive Christ as savior, our spirits are dead because of sin. And we usually follow the dictates of our body, a few live mostly in the mental realm. When we are born again, saved, born from above, reborn spiritually - whatever you wish to call the experience of receiving Jesus as our Savior - we receive a new spirit, we are a new creation in Christ spiritually. However, we still have the same old body and mind ... and therefore we can still sin.

We want to look at three things tonight: The Race, The Struggle with Sin, and Power over sin.

The Race: Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Paul compares our Christian life to a race we are running. As an athelete running on a track in a stadium, we are surrounded by cheering fans ... believers who have gone on before us and the angels of heaven are cheering us on. That's the good news.

The bad news is that satan tries to hinder us by weights and problems, and by entangling sins. It's like trying to run with your feet tied together and someone throwing rotten tomatoes at you.

Well tonight we're gonna talk about how to "untie the rope" of entangling sins and become overcomers. So keep in mind the image of an athlete running a race which implies the need for self-discipline and training.

Now Paul tells us about his personal struggle with sin, and the same thing happens to us. Look at these next few verses and see if you have felt the same way.

The Struggle with Sin: Romans 7:15-17 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.

Paul is saying here: "I don't get it! I'm not doing what I want to do to please God, but I keep on sinning, which I hate. I know better, but can't seem to help myself. It is the sin living in me that' that's causing me to misbehave" (OT version).

Romans 7:18-20 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

OlePappy - Amen

In other words Paul says "I just keep on messing up". Paul realized that there was something in him that kept him off course, that was causing him to do evil. This part of us is called the flesh, the sinful nature, the carnal nature ...basically the tendency of the flesh (body) towards disobedience.

Romans 7:21-23 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

In fact it was such a problem, that Paul called it a "law" or a principle ... that when he wanted to do good and to please God, he did just the opposite. It was a war between his mind and his body. His mind said NO but the old bod said YES.

It went so far that Paul felt like a prisoner in his own body ... under the control of his flesh ... not able to live for God. Does this conflict sound familiar to any of you? And keep in mind that Paul was a believer ... and still had this struggle

§mickie§ - Yes, it certainly does sound familiar.

So this is the struggle we are all familiar with, right? Is there any hope to gain victory over sin living in us, our flesh nature, the rule of evil in us?

Romans 7:24-25 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Loving Him - it's a test of faith too

Amen Loving Him! It's a miserable state to be in, when you want to do good, but it seems that your desires and body conspire against you. And you find yourself doing just the opposite of what you meant to do.

§mickie§ - I believe the more we study God's word, the farther away we get from the world and it's influence over us. And the stronger we grow in God and better able to crucify our flesh daily and to resist the temptations of sin.

Amen mickie! In fact when Paul said "Who will rescue me from this body of death?" he was referring to a gruesome method of execution in his day. A corpse was bound to the convicted criminal, and he was forced to carry the weight of the decaying flesh until he himself was overcome and died. To Paul, the burden of the sin nature was like an evil rotting corpse he carried around.

seaturtle - it seems that we are totally dependant on God through Christ to the effect that we will stray without his constant holding on to us

Loving Him - The more that the Holy Spirit comes into your life (heart) the more uncontrol you can be to sin

But Paul found a way out ... Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!!!

OlePappy - Amen

So here are some principles to help you overcome sin in your life:


1. Be convinced and confess that sin has no mastery over you

As long as you think that sin is more powerful than you are in Christ, you are defeated already.

Romans 6:12-13 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

You can either let sin reign or rule, or let the Holy Spirit reign or rule in your life. If you let sin rule, you are offering the parts of your body to sin ... literally as WEAPONS of wickedness, that will destroy you and the ones you love.

But if you offer yourself to God, refuse to let sin rule, then the parts of your body literally become WEAPONS of right living. Instead of the devil defeating you, you will defeat him!

Romans 6:14, 18 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace… You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

The Bible clearly declares we have been SET FREE from sin ... sin no longer is our master ... and we have control IN CHRIST over this sin nature that seeks to trip us up in our race. So the first step is realizing that IN CHRIST you have been set free from sin and it no longer rules in your life.

And in confessing that. Sometimes it helps us to just speak out loud "Sin is not master over me in Christ!" Or for a specific temptation ... In Jesus Name I have power over lust, addiction, etc. whatever is tempting you to sin.

2. Train yourself to say "NO" to the flesh

We live in a body and that body has needs we do have to care for ... such as food, clothing, shelter, etc. But our bodies want to run the show. They want to be coddled, cozied, over-fed and gratified all the time.

special - that reminds me of the verse Romans 3:23: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Right special, but there is a difference between a sinner, one who is spiritually dead and habitually under the control of sin, and a believer in Jesus who is spiritually alive and can master sin.

special - But I know that we have power over that, all we have to do is ask and God to forgive us and he does. I love that verse.

But there are things that our bodies want that are sin, and we have to learn to say NO.

Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Now if it were "natural" to be heavenly or spiritually minded ... to have our hearts set on things above, Paul wouldn't have to remind us to do so, would he? But it is "natural" for us to be interested in earthly things, preoccupied with getting our needs met, and being selfish.

It takes effort to shift our attention from things of this earth to things of heaven, to refuse to let our bodies rule, and to make ourselves come under the mastery of the Holy Spirit in our spirits.

Titus 2: 11-12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

What is grace? And how does it teach us to overcome sin?

Sparkle - to know he loves us anyway no matter what we have done, and he forgives us.

Grace is the unmerited, unearned favor of God ... that's right Sparkle. And we are saved by grace through faith. It is God's gift to us.

§mickie§ - Grace is mercy, clemency. But when I pray and ask God for more of His grace to deal with something I would have to describe it as God's strength.
special - I personally think it means that he gives us grace. When we do something wrong he has grace and forgives us
Sparkle - Amen

Mickie that's a good point ... God's grace brings us His strength. Along with bringing us salvation - deliverance from satan and eternal life, God's grace teaches us how to control our body passions and be self-controlled.

special - Doesn't God's grace teach us to be patient also??

Yes special, and that's a good point ... this is a growing process and sometimes we take "one step forward, two steps backward" it seems. Part of our faith is hanging on while God completes His work in us.

Now training ourselves to be godly and self-controlled is not a matter of "will power" - human effort - but allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us. And as we read and study the Word, we learn principles of right living, and as we yield to the Holy Spirit, we receive the power to put those principles into effect.

3. Be Spirit led not sense led

Romans 8:13-14 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Naturally we tend to be SENSE led ... that is we let our senses dictate what we think, feel and do. Our flesh always wants to take us to worldly things, what will gratify you or what you think will benefit you.

You might say that "your flesh takes you where spiritually you don't want to go". But the Word tells us to be led of the Holy Spirit ... and sometimes that takes us where our flesh does NOT want to go ... it fights and kicks and screams! LOL

special - That is a good point OT
Twilight - When we are tempted by sin we should flee and go to the Word, Pray and get into the presence of God so he can speak to us and help us with those temptations.
OlePappy - Amen
Loving Him - Romans 13:14 Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

That’s a good one, Loving Him. Part of being led by the Spirit, is doing what that verse says - don't even think about what the flesh wants, put it out of your mind. Instead concentrate on what the Word says ... listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling you to do.

§mickie§ - "Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and charge you more than you want to pay." quote by Jesse Duplantis

Thanks mickie! So living according to the flesh, or the sinful nature brings death ... as special said "The wages of sin IS death". The paycheck sin pays is death.

Loving Him - :o i like that smickie
seaturtle - there are too many that name the name of Christ who are strangers to his glory and holiness who think that Jesus saves us with our sins, and not from our sins
Twilight - Every morning I pray and put on the whole armor of God get in his word and pray some more. God is bigger than any sin!!!...
special - I agree with you. I do the same thing
OlePappy - Yes!

But by the Spirit we MUST put to death the misdeeds of the body ... it is not optional ... we MUST do it to gain victory. Another way to put it ... is to seek to separate yourself AWAY from sin TO God ... perfecting or completing holiness in God's sight.

Now the topics of holiness, self-control and discipline are VERY unpopular in our culture of extreme self-gratification. But we can't experience the fulness of God's grace and true LIFE unless we put to death the misdeeds of our flesh and let the Spirit lead us. We CAN kill the body's ability to rule us by the help of the Holy Spirit.

This means saying NO to your flesh on a regular basis ... something VERY unpopular in our culture! And people will think you are weird or strange for doing this. But saying NO to our flesh brings the power of the Holy Spirit into our lives and gives us an increased ability to do those things that please God.

Loving Him - Self-control is "restraint exercised over ones own impulses, emotions, or desires"

Romans 8: 15-16 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, <"Abba,> Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

Now how can you be led by the Holy Spirit? Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit leads us through our spirit ... "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Now testify ... means to speak, right? One of the things that the Holy Spirit speaks to us and gives evidence of is that we are children of God.

derrick - Yes but how can we know, Old Timer?
Loving Him - Amen Ot

This is sometimes called the "inner witness" - the urging of the Holy Spirit as to what course of action to take or not take. And the Holy Spirit ALWAYS testifies of Jesus and ALWAYS lines up with the revealed Word of God in the Bible.

When we are first learning to hear the Holy Spirit, we need to distinguish HIS voice from all the others clamoring for our attention ... by testing what we think we hear by the Word of God.

So it follows that you need to spend time in the WORD so you can learn to heed the Spirits voice. In Revelation chapters 2 & 3, we are told several times "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches".

§mickie§ - Amen. That is so true.
Loving Him - James 4:7 Resist the Devil draw closer to God and he will draw closer to you

4. Realize it is a training process

I Corinthians 9:26-27 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Now remember that Paul said the Christian life is like a race ... and as spiritual athletes we need to be in training. Here Paul talks about disciplining his body so he would not be kicked out of the race and forfeit the prize.

AMPLIFIED: I Corinthians 9:27 But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].

Now a boxer goes into a strict training regimen to prepare for a fight, spending hours a day in running, jumping rope, boxing and so forth ... he really punishes his body to get it ready for a match.

§mickie§ - OldTimer, sort of like the expression "Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk" and Practice what your preach?
Pearl - how do we know when the match is going to fought?

We don't know when we will run into spiritual conflict Pearl, that's why we need to be in constant training. Paul realized that in a like manner, he was in training and needed to discipline his body ... to be disciplined by hardships, and subdue his body ... in other words to take mastery over it and not let the flesh master him.

Now if the Apostle Paul with the great revelations and position he received from Jesus felt the need for self-discipline, bringing his flesh into control, and realized the possibility that he could fall, how much more do we need to do this?

Loving Him - We will only have self-control when we let God have full-control

Now this training process and discipline is a life long endeavor ... a constant fight against the flesh and enticements of sin. Yes it gets easier as we learn to be led by the Spirit, but it never ends this side of the grave.

§mickie§ - Wasn't Paul saying that through discipline (study of the Word) we have to live what we are speaking or preaching. That people must not only hear our words but to see them also?
Pearl - Smickies-look at James ch1 it is like looking into a mirror

That's true mickie. A disciple of Jesus is a DISCIPLINED learner ... we need to endure hardship as a soldier of Jesus Christ... we need to submit to God's discipline because He's training us how to be His Sons!

5. Break all soul ties that hinder your walk with Christ:

Pearl - what are soul ties?

Now this concept may be difficult for some ... first of all let me explain what I mean by "soul ties". Did you ever have a friend that seemed to always get you into trouble? I mean, you could be a little angel by yourself, but get hooked up with this friend (or maybe a group of friends) and you always got into trouble? Did you ever wonder why this person had so much influence over you? Why you were so easily led astray when you were around them?

Have you ever struggled and struggled with something, like depression or anger, and thought you had overcome it, but when you get around certain people it all comes crashing back?

Pearl - yes, and yes and yes
special - yes I have I have been struggling with that for a long time.

There are people in our lives that influence us for good, but there are also those who influence us for bad ... this influence comes from their "soul" - mind, will and emotions - exerting an unwanted influence on you.

special - I get around a person and I get the urge to do something like they would do.
§mickie§ - yes, yes, yes and yes again

2 Peter 2:7-8 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)--

Now Peter is talking about Lot who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah - those wicked cities that God actually destroyed because of the utter evil in them.

Pearl - OldTimer-why did lot stay so long?

Notice that the lawless people he lived with TORMENTED his soul!!! Yet he was powerless to leave ... and the angels had to drag his family out of there. Lot was unable to leave because of soul ties ... Because of the influence of the people of Sodom on Lot’s life ... they formed soul ties, chains, ropes, that bound him to them.

seaturtle - it is easy to get tangled up with people who say the right things, yet their meaning is just the opposite of what they say
Pearl - why did lots wife look back, was she looking with a longing in her heart and was she the reason lot remained or did lot have a secret desire that he didn't express

Soul ties Pearl ... Sodom so bound lot's wife that she couldn't bear to leave. Lot was righteous and allowed God to cut those ties, but his wife did not. So she was led into disobedience and lost her life.

And it still happens today ... soul ties are formed with people we have close relationships with, and if these aren't broken, they can influence us to sin.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates EVEN TO DIVIDING SOUL AND SPIRIT, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

DJ - So it gets the soulish man out of the spirit man....The word of God......

What can cut these ties? The power of the Word of God, which is SHARPER than any 2 edged sword ... it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, and can cut those ties if we ask.

§mickie§ - Pearl, I believe she regretted leaving Sodom and Gomorrah. a semblance of wanting to follow God but at the same time not wanting to give up a sinful life or sinful pleasures

And the Word not only cuts the soul ties with others, but in our own lives cuts out those things that keep us from being led of the Spirit.

Dee - OT, Does that have something to do with the fact that the Spirit of God in one person bears witness to us only just the opposite?

Dee... we are either spirit led or soul led ... so I think the answer to your question is yes.

Pearl - I believe Revenge is my soul tie

Yes Pearl revenge can be a soul tie ... that lets the one that you have not forgiven control your life. Cut it in Jesus Name and forgive them. Bitterness is too high a price to pay!

So if you are struggling with sin, especially if it occurs around a certain person or persons, ask the Lord to cut those ties and set you free from their influence so that you can be led by the Spirit.

Loving Him - Corrupting you with sinful nature, desires, motives, actions
DJ - What is it about the Word that cuts those soul ties? I mean what parts of the Word....any part?

DJ I would say that Word that reveals to you what the soul tie is ... but the living Word Jesus is the power that cuts them.

DJ - it simply the fact that the Word is all God inspired....and you are brushing His Holines when you pick it up and read it.......??
§mickie§ - OldTimer, I totally understand what you are saying. I have a friend of 30 years who said the sinners prayer from a tract I gave her. But she said the words only. There has not been a change of heart. She feels that the bible is not for today. This grieves my spirit and I do not want to be around her.

If your soul tie is to a sinner that you don't want to associate with anyway, you can ask the Lord to cut it, and just avoid them. But what if it is a close friend, a family member, a spouse, a child? What can you do then?

Dee - Sooooo...does the pain that is deep in our soul make us vulnerable to certain people who symbolize the source of the pain and the presence of Christ heals us?
§mickie§ - I pray for them that God will open their eyes and ears to His truth and that is they will not hear me that He put someone in their path that they will hear

A soul tie is an influence someone has on you towards evil because of a past relationship ... when you get around them it influences you to sin. It is the influence of their soul - mind, will and emotions - on you. When you are around them (or think of them, etc) you tend to be led by that soul tie instead of by the Spirit.

dozen - So if one has a connection with an influential sinner one loses some responsibility for sin because one can't help it?

No dozen, you are still responsible, but realize that you need to cut that tie to be victorious in that area.

dozen - So one who is soul-tied to another, possibly a mate, must leave the sinner?
Pearl - dozen-no
DJ - Just break the tie....

No dozen. Some people who we have soul ties to are also close friends or families. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to sever the soul ties, and help us overcome their influence ... at the same time loving them and standing with them

dozen - And the tie can be broken, how?
DJ - You can be soul ties to food but that does not mean you cannot ever eat again.....
Pearl - dozen-we need to ask Jesus to make us strong in the areas that our mates may cause us to fall and in doing so we break the hold they have on us through righteousness.
DJ - Try prayer and fasting....

By prayer, and perhaps fasting dozen ... you might pray something like ... Father God I pray that you break all soul ties and any influence in the soulish realm and set me free to be led by the Spirit from any bondage to any person in Jesus Name.

DJ - Be angry and sin not.....

Realize that if you were fully Spirit led, there would be no soul ties ... keeping in step with the Spirit will safeguard you from future ones as well.

dozen - So Old Timer is anyone truly Spirit lead, having no soul ties?

Dozen that is our goal surely ... to grow into maturity and not be swayed by the flesh ... and ongoing process ... whether anyone fully attains it in this life I don't know.

And sometimes we think we've fully broken a tie ... and then something comes up and we struggle with it again ... we may let our emotions/flesh open the door for it again.

dozen - Maybe OldTimer one or 2 attain it for a second and then have to be reminded that they are human, huh?

LOL @ dozen, it does seem to come with the territory. But if you are aware of it, and on guard against it, you will not be so easily ensnared the next time

dozen - Maybe not the same one, but one can be blindsided, No?

The truth is that we are more influenced in the soul realm - mind will and emotions - by others than we realize ... sometimes it is unintentional on their part, some times it's very conscious.

Loving Him - As we are filled with the Spirit of God, we are given power to overcome whatever assaults the enemy might make. Not because we have control of ourselves, but because we yield ourselves to the Spirit of God and allow Him to provide us with His controlling power.

AMEN Loving Him, well said! It is HIS power working in us ... NOT OF OURSELVES.

Loving Him - Self-control teaches us not to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial. It teaches us patience.

IamNahash - Self control humbles

§mickie§ - I once heard a story about an ex-drug addict who was now in a church and was asked to deposit money for the church. the bank was in time square. he had been having problems with the temptation of drugs again. he got on the train and when the doors open he could not stand it and wanted to buy drugs. but he remembered something a pastor told him and he said Jesus I can't do this but I will let you have control. he got off the train, deposited the money and had not problems. You see he had a problem with temptation for drugs but Jesus didn't

Amen mickie! Let Jeus take control! He has already triumphed over sin, death, hell and the grave! Hallelujah! What matters is the eternal ... ask the Lord to use you to bring eternal good out of conflict. Gives the devil a black eye every time!

OK let's review the points we made tonight on Power over sin...

1. Be convinced and confess that sin has no mastery over you

2. Train yourself to say "NO" to the flesh

3. Be Spirit led not sense led

4. Realize it is a training process

5. Break all soul ties that hinder your walk with Christ:

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Original lesson 7/9/99
Revised: October 29, 2000