This article was first published May 28th 2018 in German. It has since then gone through many updates. Since translation now into English much more material has been added. I anticipate that more updates are forthcoming, simply because this topic, which requires accuracy in the detail, has largely been under-taught. It has always astounded me that of the many important Theological subjects that can be taught there is so little attention given to this truth about sin, i.e. the nature of sin, the action of sin, and ultimately how to deal with temptation and experience victory over it.
I believe it is not addressed often because many simply don’t know how the power of the Gospel applies here. But I put to you, what’s the point if you know all about Grace, the Gift of Righteousness, Eschatology and know how to flow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but you are defeated over and over again by the daily temptations that descend upon our soul. Before I ever knew anything about many of the Theological topics I teach on this blog, I knew that the Gospel contained the key to victory over these battles. Therefore, early on in my walk of faith, now many years ago, I set out to search the scriptures and find the rich material I share now with you here.
Since I began this study and comprehend this truth, have I never yielded to temptation? God knows I have, but my Victory has also been much more in reach. As I keep practicing my art becomes more and more refined and like the serious athlete in the gym, Victory is becoming a balanced regularity rather than an exception. There is much to say on this topic that will have to be build in several articles, like precept upon precept. I expect that the truth taught here will finally be a game-changer for you as it has been for me. May you find the gems and missing pieces of the puzzle here that will empower all the revelation you already have in you.
The Nature of Sin
The nature (the condition) of sin which came into the world through Adam was naturally passed on to the generation after him. Adam made the choice not to trust God’s instructions, but for those generations after him whom the sinful nature was passed onto didn’t have anything to say about it. It had nothing to do with their lifestyle, decisions, or actions. They were simply infected with the nature of sin. The nature, power, or state of sin was a corruption that entered the human spirit and consequently affected their soul and mind.
That sinful condition has not existed since Christ died on the cross.
10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Paul is not telling us that we should not live by the nature of sin. He is saying it is absolutely impossible to do this because that nature, the state of sin, was buried when we died together with Christ.
Sin was left in the grave (realm of the dead) whilst we were in Christ and afterwards He was raised from the dead we were made a new creation without sin.
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
You cannot act (live) by the nature of sin if the nature of sin is not there. It is not possible! It was buried. It’s gone and hasn’t existed for over 2000 years. Whatever you choose to call your wrong and destructive behavior is up to you, but do not assume it is driven by the nature or state of sin.
Acts of sin are now acts that proceed from the principle of sin and death. Not the nature of sin. There is a difference. The law of sin and death is a principle which still exists if we choose to indulge it. However, this is not the same as the original sin nature.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Spirit, Soul, Conscience
21 I find then a law, (this word “law” here is not referring to the law of Moses. Paul speaks of a law here as though it is a universal principle like the law of gravity, a power that can possibly stimulate a dynamic, called the law of sin and death) that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God ( now the word “law” is referring to the law of God given to Moses for the people of Israel) after the inward man: 23 But I see another law (The law or principle of sin and death) in my members, warring against the law of my mind, (the conscience that seeks justification and acceptance with God, by keeping the law of Moses, or by keeping any requirements demanded by that conscience and must be achieved to earn righteousness [acceptance with God]) and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin (The law or principle of sin and death) which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Identifying and believing that you are a sinner is tantamount to believing that your mind and body are still connected to the nature or state of sin. It’s a self-image of you as a sinner by nature and this could become a an established identity. To the extent that you believe you are still a sinner, you will also believe that you are trapped and unable to experience victory over temptation.
However, being crucified with Christ meant that the old identity as a sinner was cut away with the nature of sin in the first Adam. This is precisely the symbolic meaning of circumcision first introduced to Abraham. The circumcision of Abraham, which the Jewish men were required to keep, was prophetic and symbolic, later fulfilled in Christ’s death when he was made sin and cut away as a sacrifice. Circumcision has always had the symbolic meaning of cutting away sin (nature).
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
And the good news is that we have been raised from spiritual death through the resurrection of Christ. You did not obtain this new life through your own works and abilities. God did it for you.
Your mind/soul and body are now/present tense – available as instruments and tools of righteousness for God if you choose to accept this as a reality.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
When mankind was still infected with the nature of sin, we were still slaves bound to the sinful nature. This sinful nature was surgically removed by God through our death in Christ. The prison doors have been opened, although so many are still sitting in their cells, staring hopelessly at an open cell door.
The Law of Sin and Death
Where our choices could not set us free from the nature of sin, Christ set us free because of what he did through His faith. When He told the disciples it was likely impossible for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God, He was not singling out rich people. He was pointing out that a wealthy person may find it hard to let go of their riches in order to trust God for eternal redemption. He was also saying that no one trusting their own ability, strength, wealth and position in society could enter the Kingdom of God. It would be impossible. Only God could secure mankind’s eternal salvation. For that to happen God had to remove the sin nature and make a new creation where humanity was born anew in the resurrection life of Christ.
The nature of sin has been removed since the death of Christ. The only thing that the sin nature has done is leave its mark on the human soul. The soul is really just another word for our mind with all its levels of consciousness. The sin nature, although gone, has been affecting the human soul and physical body for many generations. You may know that genetic conditions including some level of memory can be inherited. Therefore, different people at birth will start with an advantage or maybe a disadvantage in life. But no matter where people are, we do not have to remain that way. It is not a static blueprint. There are things we can do to implement transformational change and experience more of the New Life in Christ.
However, always keep in mind this most important criterion, that for believers, changing our behavior through transformative behavioral science or disciplines will not produce the desired result without first understanding the following.
1. We are a new creation in Christ.
2. Our identity is rooted in Christ.
3. Our main focus should not be a change of our behavior, but to renew our minds with the reality of the life of Christ within us and Christ Jesus wanting to express His life through us.
You can change your behavior to a certain extent, but that’s still something you do on your own, and therefore remains a carnal (human) effort. Or you can learn to live in union with Christ, and the entire positive behavioral transformation is an expression of Christ through your personality.
But when we adopt a religious mindset through a belief system that says we must do the right things to gain acceptance with God, we are climbing the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That tree gave us the fruit called the conscience. The moment we try to live our lives by this belief system, we activate that law again, what Paul calls the principle or the law of sin and death.
We know that wrongful actions have many negative consequences, there is no dispute there. The great mistake that is made by people established in religion believe that God will still punish or reject them like He did under the Old Testament Covenants because of their wrong actions. But the negative consequences of wrongdoing have nothing to do with God under this New Covenant in Christ. Our actions do not change God, or His attitude towards us, but our wrongful actions greatly affect our own hearts and minds. The effects of this can have a negative impact on your self-image and self-esteem. It can negatively affect your trust before God. It might lead you to believe that God’s view and opinion of you is one in which you deserve judgment and punishment. However, God’s view and opinion of you never changes. His view and opinion of you is the same as the view and opinion he has of Jesus. When he sees you, he sees Jesus who is righteous, and truly holy, loved and accepted by the Father.
When we commit acts that we feel are wrong and that we believe should have the consequence of either losing our acceptance with God or receiving some form of punishment, then the sinful act committed creates a sense of guilt with a corresponding expectation of death or the sentence of death as punishment. That is why this dynamic is called the law of sin and death. The term “law of sin and death” describes a principle. It’s like a law of nature like the law of gravity and the law of aerodynamics. This principle/law of sin and death then works through our soul/mind and also affects our physical body in the form of emotions.
Every state that we are in mentally and emotionally are psychogenic. They will directly affect the body, and every state that the body is in, equally also directly affects our mental and emotional state. Body and soul are an interconnected system. And so we can develop a cycle that produces beneficial or destructive states. This connection of body and soul is bridged by the autonomic nervous system with its sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems. This is an intricate system that prepares the body for action, calming and repairing the body. Certain thoughts trigger a physiological response, hormones are released, and we feel things in our physical body. When the apostle Paul refers to the members of our body, he would not have been aware of the above medical references. However, it is this system working through our soul into the physical body that Paul was referring to. It’s a beautiful system. God designed us that way. However, if the connection of the soul and body is utilized in a non-beneficial way, the consequences can be destructive. Unwholesome thoughts, beliefs and actions will send this ship the wrong direction. Within the soul body connection, an unhealthy construct that is reinforced by unhealthy beliefs, opinions and views can eventually lead to chronic physical problems as well. Much of this can work at a subconscious level. A destructive pattern of behavior becomes established as a program of the subconscious mind. It has become what the apostle Paul calls a stronghold because it has a strong hold on that person.
2 Corinthians 10
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
He uses the word “stronghold” as an analogy of the fortresses of the Roman army during that time. They were very difficult to conquer. Certain circumstances can cause this pattern and construct of unconscious programming to be activated and generate the corresponding emotions, e.g. lust, fear, emotional pain, anger, etc. This is why Paul also calls it “the body of sin” because it is a construct that has become its own body (or energy field) of pain or lust, or anger or fear. The body of sin does not refer to the physical body but to the construct or stronghold of sin which is activated in the mind/soul and physical body when we try keeping laws with the underlying intention of earning acceptance with God.
It may be good to also interject here, that what ancient health systems (like Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda and many others from all over the world) refer to as qi and prana or life force is actually energy made up of electro-magnetic fields. These energy fields form an etheric energy body or etheric construct. The etheric energy body is a major critical elemental component of the soul body connection. When the stronghold of emotional pain is activated, there is a physiological response and it is energized by the etheric body. So the body of sin is a combined construct of unwholesome beliefs from deep levels of the subconscious mind, the etheric body, which generate the physiological responses. If it weren’t for Christ, we would be hopeless slaves to that vicious cycle.
Only the power of Christ can set us free.
The word “serve” in Romans 6:6 is the Greek word for “slave”. Once we’ve learned that the nature of sin has been cut away by our death with Christ, we will also supernaturally experience that the body of sin has become powerless to control us. We are no longer slaves who have no choice but to obey their master. We were set free from the nature of sin and therefore no longer slaves to law of sin and death. We can walk in the power of a superior law, the law of life by Christ Jesus in us.
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
The conscience is that faculty and function of our soul/mind through which we learn to determine our personal standard of good and evil, and right or wrong. This is mostly subjective and personal even though many of these standards are imposed or adopted through upbringing (with or without religion) and society. The conscience and I do not mean “consciousness” is our internal rationale by which we determine or judge what is right, and what is wrong, what is accuse-able and what is excuse-able.
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
A study of the above verse will show that the last part of the sentence should really say: “to discern what is of God and what is not of God.” We should develop our sensory acuity to discern the true source of a spiritual content whether it be in word or manifestation. Our conscience will then also play a part in judging the spiritual manifestation or message as either right or wrong.
If we know we have done something wrong according to our standard of right and wrong we may begin our inner dialogue accusing ourselves or have a feeling of guilt. Guilt is a painful emotion and the mind will seek equilibrium to try and justify or excuse the wrongdoing to alleviate the pain from guilt. People who do not have a revelation of the finished work of Christ are left to their own means to reason their way out of that sense of guilt. Shifting blame onto others is of course one of the most common ways of doing this. Projecting guilt onto another, parents, the world could be a way. Religion, and I mean religion according my definition of religion, assists with dealing with guilt by presenting the “works” that need to be performed in order to experience a sense of relief from guilt.
Confessing of sins is of course a classic, and working your way through a list of all the right things to be done, living up to expectations according to the religious group a person is involved in will eventually silence the accusations of the conscience. This will then soon be replaced the conscience excusing the wrongdoing and when enough of the “good works” are done there is a sense freedom from guilt, which just another word for debt. Doing good works to pay of the debt of sin is penance. It’s payment. This is not true forgiveness. This also why people who live by the stipulations of religion (any religion) really serve the demands of the conscience and are a slave to the conscience.
When we presuppose that the conscience (the capability to establish our beliefs about what’s right and wrong) became an existent part of mind as soon as Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, all that Satan, the accuser of the brethren, needed to do to keep mankind trapped was to get them to believe they were not good enough for God.
This basic idea would breed the next idea that they had to do something to become good enough.
How does this practically work?
Satan would present the lie that someone is not good enough for God. This is re-affirmed by the conscience. Satan would consequently get them to believe that they are therefore not accepted by God. They will then get on the never ending tread-mill of doing works to try and earn acceptance. Maybe they are very disciplined people and get many of the “good works” right. But it matters not. It will never be good enough. This treadmill of self-righteousness is designed to make you fail. Even if a person thinks they are doing well keeping up all the “good works”, because they got trapped into the believe that their good works makes them right before God and earns them acceptance all that needs to happen is fail in one area. This is already bad enough for people who try to live up to the self-righteous demands of the conscience. But when you add religious laws of any kind, or as was the case under the Sinaitic Covenant, the 613 commandments of the law of Moses suddenly heightened the ability of the conscience to accuse even more.
The Law of Moses was not given by God to entrap the people of Israel. There was nothing wrong with the law. The law was good and holy. The law was never given to make them righteous. It was given to point to the coming Christ as their righteousness of God. (Romans 10:4) But the coming Messiah was still in their future. These people were to believe that they were already accepted and chosen by God because of the Abrahamic-Covenant. They were a selected people holy unto God because of that Abrahamic covenant. The Sinaitic Covenant was meant to express how they were chosen to be separated from the other nations of the world as a people under Yahweh. But as soon as the many began to believe that their performance of law keeping earned them right-standing with God, that’s when they fell into Satan’s trap. The mentality of self-righteousness turned everything upside down and their conscience became Satan’s tool to exercise power over them.
Jesus came to end that cycle. The old man which contained the nature of sin, was the old identity rooted in the first man Adam and was crucified, and put to death in Christ. In this way Jesus killed three flies with one strike.
1. He got rid of the sin nature, and gave us His resurrection life, by which we are forever accepted with the Father.
2. Because we are one with the Lord, there are no good works we can do to earn this union. And there no bad works we can do to break this union.
3. If you believe the first two basic truths then Satan can never, ever accuse you again, no matter what you do right or wrong.
A person who believes what the finished work of Jesus means for them will know that they don’t do “good works” to get relief from guilt. They know they are forgiven of the debt of sin. They know the debt was cancelled. They don’t do “good work” to get anything from God. They do “good work” as a fruit from believing that they are already forgiven and accepted by God because of what Jesus has done, and because they are in Him.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We are a new creation united with the resurrection life of Christ, doing right or wrong does not change that reality. The analogy I can give is that you are a child of whoever were your biological parents. What you do in life can and never will change that fact. The choices you make in life, and the things you do are mostly a consequence of how you see yourself and your general outlook on life. But you remain that same being who descended from your biological parents. Now that you know that Yahweh is your Father, and Christ is your elderly brother, and your identity is rooted in Him, the choices you make and the things you do in life should reflect that reality.
There is of course still right and wrong, good and evil, but knowing who you are in Christ should assist you in discerning in what is of God and what is not. Your conscience must serve you in this process, and it should not end up in you serving the conscience.
The conscience evolves and changes over time. That’s because our determination of what is right and wrong can change as we learn and grow. We must be established in the Gospel truth so our conscience is exercised to calibrate to the reality that Jesus is our righteousness. If we do something wrong we can turn to Jesus and reaffirm our heart and mind – this includes our conscience followed by our feelings – in the fact that we are forgiven and made righteous in Christ. This will then allow the Christian to feel confident before God and access His grace for victory over the situation they were struggling with. For the many who have no clue about the Gospel truth, they have been a very easy target for the sometimes gradual and subtle degenerating and corrupting influences in society and so became more and more callous or indifferent toward evil. In some cases the conscience is so seared people can’t properly discern good from evil anymore or the things they previously believed were evil are now seen as good.
1 Timothy 4
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
In and of itself, the conscience can serve us well. The problem only begins when the conscience becomes our master when we believe that doing wrong will result in us being punished by God and believing that doing right will result in us earning acceptance with God. Remember, if you believe that you must earn acceptance with God through your accomplishments, you must also believe that you are working from a place of non-acceptance in order to try and obtain that acceptance. This is the default setting of rejection. Very, very toxic.
This self-righteous mindset will activate the law of sin and death and begin to work against the law of good and evil of our conscience. Notice that I emphasized the idea of – earning acceptance with God. I’m not talking about complying with your country’s laws or legal system. Compliance with the law of the land is important for regulatory purposes and to protect people from harm and protect property. Providing that that specific law of the land is indeed in harmony with the eternal universal law of doing no harm unto others. When laws are made by legislators and these laws do not uphold the value of life and are destructive to man or this planet, it is up to the people to challenge this in a lawful and effective way. Now then when you obey the law of the land because you believe it makes you righteous before God, it becomes self-righteousness again.
The conscience always seeks to judge between what is right and wrong on the basis of what we decided even at a subconscious level what is right and wrong. Train your conscience therefore to believe that it is not your achievement of holiness that makes you right, but that Christ is your righteousness. Tell your conscience that you have been made righteous by Christ and are accepted by God by being in Christ. This is an essential part of the renewal of the mind by the Word of God. How do you tell your conscience anything? Well, it is more about your self-talk coming in line with what is scriptural true about you. Therefore, profess (confess) your faith. I’m not talking about confessing sins. Professing your faith with scriptural true affirmations that will establish your heart, which includes your conscience, in that truth.
One way to determine whether your heart is established in truth is by assessing whether we are experiencing the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit as Galatians 5:22-23 is one fruit. It is love. Not your love, but the love that God has for you at work in you. From the fruit of God’s love there will also be joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, and temperance experienced as feelings. We must therefore become efficient to gage our overall base emotions. We can experience a cluster of different feeling at any given time. Emotions are feelings. The word emotion comes from the meaning of movement, and the letter “e” refers to electric. Electric movement is what we feel in our bodies when we think strong enough about something. We also call them sensations. Our internal dialogue, internal visual, auditory, olfactory and gustatory senses are the internal five senses which engage with each other throughout our thinking process. This is all happening in the mind (soul) and affects and stimulates the physical body during this process.
Our astral or ethereal energy body is also involved in this process. (this is the point where many Christians point out that this kind of “energy talk” is occult and new age stuff. Never mind the fact that true science clearly proves the reality of how all matter is made up of energy. So just to reiterate that in this blog I am not limited to Christianese speak. Here I address things which are not commonly touched upon within the Church setting. Not everything to do with energy or energy works and energy dynamics is occult. God created the energy dynamics of the human body and the universe. Just because those who committed themselves to the way of darkness and evil hijacked these principles doesn’t change the truth regarding energy dynamics)
The physical body interacts with this process of the mind and etheric body by releasing relevant hormones through the glands, which will give us the sensations we experience in the physical body.
All of the many different sensations and feelings we can experience are all based on either Love or Fear. Fear produces other sensations we describe as rage, anger, panic, worry, anxiety, a sense of rejection or in-acceptance, and un-worthiness.
Ask yourself what your most dominant emotion has been throughout this day. Then what has been the most dominant emotion throughout the week,…the last month, and months and years?
Would you say that your dominant emotion is rooted in love? If not and it appears to be linked back to fear, then that reveals something about what you believe about yourself and what you believe about how God sees you. Religion is rooted in self-righteousness and is fear based. The real motivation for keeping up the religious traditions, rituals and rules, is because of a fear of God’s punishment.
I watched an old video clip the other day where the speaker explained that our expectation of a final judgment when we stand before God and punishment is dealt to those who did wrong, is what will give us a reason to live right here on earth. I do not believe this principle to be God’s ideal. I believe we should do right unto others because of the revelation of God’s love for us. Yes, one day we will all stand before God, but His judgment of us has already been made. We are in Christ and therefore we are righteous. When you believe this and your heart is established in this truth, you will want to do right unto others not our of fear of punishment but out of the revelation of God’s love for others as well.
A set of rules by which to earn acceptance with God
When we add a set of rules, whether it be from your own local church/congregation or within any of the many religions in the world, by which we believe we must gain acceptance with God, we have, “injected steroids into the conscience.” (idiom) Such was the situation with the law of Moses. Someone also said the Law of Moses was like the tree of the knowledge of good and evil injected with steroids.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
This happens when living under that mentality of self-righteousness; The more people wrestle with themselves against the temptation not to give in, the more it’s only a matter of time before they do. This is like holding a very light 1kg weight in front of you. You can easily hold it for a relatively long time. But eventually the law of gravity will win and you’ll have to put the weight on the ground. As long as we try to live up to a law imposed on us by our conscience and including by our religion, coupled with the belief that we must do it in order to earn acceptance with God, we are functioning in our own natural willpower. Sooner or later the law of sin and death will win. Remember, you can only be tempted with what you strongly desire. The law of sin and death will do its work. It uses religious law (or any of the commandments of the Torah the individual believes must be upheld to earn right-standing with God) against the conscience and your own desires and feelings until you give in.
This mentality has left millions of Christians powerless in their fight against temptation. The reason is that self-righteousness, where there is no grace, causes the Christian to fight the battle in his own strength. Positive thinking, positive affirmations, but not scriptural based will add victory only for so long until it doesn’t. It is still the arm of the flesh. And remember the works of the flesh eventually lead to this list here.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Paul uses the word “works” here juxtaposed the word “fruit” in verse 22 of Galatians 5. Why because “works” reflect effort by self ability to try and earn acceptance with God. But the flesh will fail and end up doing any of the things as listed above. Fruit is something that just grows naturally on a tree which has it’s roots in the ground. Have you ever seen an apply tree working hard and making a real effort to squeeze out apples from it’s branches?
The Christian churches are littered with all manner of teachings peppered with psychological approaches to provide a key to defeating temptation. But the fight is supernatural. It can only be won in the victory we already have through Christ.
The Law of Moses
The law of Moses is not for us. Nor did Jesus give us any laws that we must obey in order to gain acceptance with God. He gave us only one New Covenant commandment, which is to love one another as He loved us. John 13:34. Notice that He threatened no punishment if we didn’t love each other as perfectly as He did. The law of Moses was good and holy, but it strengthened the law of sin and death when it was performed from a self-righteous mentality. We are not under the law of Moses now, nor are we under any law that we must keep in order to gain acceptance with God. Christ immersed all of us into Him and with Him we are accepted with the Father, where grace works in us supernaturally for the victory over temptation.
Let go of self-righteousness and the law of sin and death becomes powerless to work within you.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Learn to live your life aware of the fact that the nature of sin is gone and your identity is in Christ. Therefore, the law of sin and death has been rendered powerless by the superior law of life in Christ Jesus in you. The law of life in Christ Jesus is superior and much more powerful than the law of sin and death. Just as the law of aerodynamics is superior and more powerful than the law of gravity. And just to build on that analogy. Remember that when you fly on an airplane, you are not making any effort to keep that airplane flying. You just sit there, or take a nap. You couldn’t get the plane of the ground. The plane’s engine does the work, you just sit back and relax. So rest from your works of self-righteousness. Enjoy the Sabbath. Christ is your Sabbath. Not just on Saturday, no, everyday of your life.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
The Sinaitic Covenant with the Law of Moses
We cannot be under the law of Moses otherwise that would mean that the order and jurisdiction of the of the Law of Moses is still active today. The law of Moses was still in place as long as the temple in Jerusalem was still standing. But that came to a complete end in AD 70. Actually we were never under the law because we were born two thousand years after the law was abolished. Yet, in the mind of God we, all of humanity, literally was placed in Jesus on the cross, and we died with Him. That’s more than Jesus just dying vicariously as a Substitutionary death. You and I may not understand how that can be, but according to God, we were placed in Him in His death, and raised as a new creation made one with His resurrection life. The law did not die on the cross, we died with Christ. For the same reason we were never under the Law of Moses we were also not born into the state (nature) of sin. When we were born into this world, we were born as new creatures into the New Covenant in Christ. Just like we died with Christ the spiritual work for us to be able to be spiritually born righteous in Christ was accomplished 2000 years ago.
Here is another important fact often forgotten. The law of Moses was given exclusively to the Hebrew nation under the leadership of Moses. It wasn’t given to the other nations in the world then. The law and commandments for the Levitical Priesthood were completely abolished with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. People can only break a law when there is a law. Only the Jews and those who lived under the law of Moses could break the law of Moses. These were the acts of transgression against the Law of Moses. A dictionary definition for the word “transgression” is: an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offence. We cannot transgress against the law of Moses because we are not under that order of law. Transgressions of the law of Moses were also considered acts of sin at the time. But we cannot break the law of Moses because it is no longer active, and so we cannot commit the transgression of the Law of Moses. The offences such as murder, and adultery as forbidden by the Law of Moses are not transgressions we can now commit. They are transgressions against God’s eternal universal law of “do no harm unto others”, which by default goes against Jesus’ New Covenant commandment of “love one another as I have loved you”. The truth of Jesus’ commandment to love is written within everyone’s heart, whether acknowledged or not.
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Notice as well that this verse being part of a prophecy by the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah quoted in the New Testament confirms the fulfillment of that prophecy with the establishing of the New Covenant in Christ. There is also no reason why it should be translated using the words “them” and “laws” as though there are many laws God would write in our hearts and minds. The Greek manuscripts do not indicate many laws as though someone could mistakenly assume these laws for referring to the laws of Moses. No God would write His law (singular) in our hearts and minds. Meaning – love one another as I have loved you, which includes – do no harm unto others.
The Law of Moses was a reward system. Conditions were attached to these commandments which required complete obedience. The law of Moses was not a system for obtaining righteousness and acceptance with God. It was a system of blessings based on obedience and curses as a consequence of disobedience. To receive these blessings one had to obey this law. The acceptance of the people of Israel had its basis in the Abrahamic Covenant and was at times confirmed by means of the sacrificial system as prescribed by the Sinaitic Covenant. The Abrahamic covenant was based on God’s promise of acceptance (which is the fundamental principle of Grace), but the Sinaitic covenant was based on obediencem (which is the fundamental principle of earning reward based on obedience). These covenants were different in nature. The Abrahamic Covenant was God’s oath/agreement to Abraham and his seed to perform a promise. (which was solely dependent on God to fulfill that promise) The Sinaitic Covenant was an oath/agreement between God and the people of Israel. (Which was solely dependent upon the obedient participation of all Covenant members) A covenant is an agreement, and when the people of Israel disobeyed their part, they breached their part of the agreement of the Sinaitic Covenant. This breaking of the Covenant would provoke the wrath of God. Wrath was associated only with breaking of that legal contract. A Covenant agreement could not be restored by doing good deeds and obeying the law. It could only be restored through Atonement.
Christ the Lamb of God was the final sacrifice, the sacrifice made by God Himself to unite mankind to Himself, regardless of our lifestyle or belief in anything. When we learn this great truth, we could see the life of Christ working His triumph in us through His supernatural grace.
As stated, we are not under the law of Moses. It is impossible for us to transgress these laws. The wrath of God was only associated with the breaking of a covenant oath. If we could break the New Covenant in Christ, we could also face the wrath of God. However, we cannot break the New Covenant. The New Covenant is not between God and us, but between God the Father and God the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity, Yahweh the triune Godhead will never break this covenant. If you believe that God is still angry with us today and that there is a future judgment coming which will bring punishment for sin, you would also have to believe that you either have the ability to break the New Covenant union in Christ or that you are still under the Law of Moses. Do you see the problem here?
15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
If you are convinced that you are still under a God-imposed condition of gaining acceptance with God, then you have placed yourself under the mentality of the law for self-righteousness. That’s why we also call self-righteousness, legalism. Through legalism we give way to the illusion that we are still subject to God’s wrath, and to that extent we are tempted to live and act out of a sense of sin-consciousness. To the degree that you believe you are under the law (of Moses or any law intended to merit acceptance with God), is the extend you will eventually give in to temptation.
No, the Law of Moses was part of the Old Sinaitic Covenant. The wrath of God was connected with the breaking of this old covenant. That old covenant is gone. No old covenant, no wrath. We were adopted into Christ into the new covenant.
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
The old man is an indication of identity rooted in the sin nature inherited from Adam. The body of sin does not refer to the physical body but to the human conscience working with the law of sin and death and activated by a mindset of self-righteousness. In this way, people were slaves to sin. But just as the spiritless body is dead, so the old man (sin nature) was cut away, carried away, and severed from the body of sin. Thus the body of sin became an empty shell and powerless. Just as our spirit were once infected by the nature of sin, we died with Christ, and the Spirit of Christ now lives in our spirit, and through Him we have been made righteous and accepted before God.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
In these verses above, the apostle Paul is not saying that we must try our best to do right or to do good. He says no matter how hard he tries to do good, he is still trapped and tricked by the law of sin. He cannot free himself. It’s not possible my friend. You can’t do it. Haven’t you learned yet? How many times do you have to bang your head against the same old brick?
But then Paul says something profound.
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
This is the key that millions of Christians have been waiting for. Simple yet so powerful. Christ in you is the victory. Have you prayed about your personal temptations and struggles? Of course. Well, the Father has heard your prayers. The Lord Jesus has won the victory. The Holy Spirit is ready to strengthen you. Christ will not gain victory over the law of sin and death that has worked in you and defeated you a thousand times. He already won that Victory. Christ is your victory!
Now stop asking God to help you overcome your temptations. Praise God for the victory in Christ. Every time you are tempted, praise God and thank Christ for His victory over that temptation. He works His victory in you. Praise Christ for the victory over your temptation and notice, observe and feel the power of God at work in your mind/soul, body and circumstances. All you can do is thank Him and praise Him for the victory!
Look out for Part 2