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Alive in Christ

23 Jul

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. (Luke 11:18-22)

This is something we should always remember. Because, though the Devil was strong, and we had no chance of escaping from Him, Jesus was and is stronger. Sometimes we have sin struggles in our lives that seem to dominate us; to overwhelm us so completely that think we may never get free. It’s when we have times like this, when we think that we will always be in bondage to sin, that we should remind ourself of these verses: Jesus is stronger. He has already overcome the Devil on the cross. Though the Devil can attack us, He can never capture us again; He can never in-bondage us to sin for long.

That being said, when we are attacked by the Devil, we shouldn’t simply surrender to him. Jesus is superior in every way to him; for us to simply surrender to the Devil would be like a massive army (the “massive army” is my way of referring to Jesus’ power. We, by ourself, are but half a man in our own power.) surrendering to a lone man. God will always provide a way out for His children when they are tempted [1 Corinthians 10:13]; He will always provide strength. But we must use the strength that He gives us. We must cut off every access point that we might have to sin in the way that we are being tempted in, and actually resist when attacked.–We must resist, in Jesus’ power. We need to pray and ask Him to give us strength, and we need to look in His word for strength, and we need to go to other believer’s to give us strength. Jesus is the one who has overcome the Devil by His death (and we through Him), and whenever we are tempted, it will be Jesus that overcomes through us.

But there is one last question left to answer: why?  If we can never be enslaved to sin, why should we bother resisting it? This is a very good question, to which the Bible gives a very good answer:

20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21)

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (Romans 6:1-2)

We will never be in lasting bondage to sin again, because when we are tempted, we are given grace to overcome. Does this mean we should go searching out sin and temptation? Of course not! We are no longer those who are enslaved to sin, but those who are enslaved to Christ Jesus. How then can we do anything but resist when we are tempted? Yes, sometimes we will still fall. But our new bondage to Jesus will never allow us to stay there. Where before, we would sometimes do random acts of good work, our bondage to sin would pull us back, now the opposite is true of us.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:11-14)

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Delivered Through Love

 

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